Law School Discussion

Nine Years of Discussion
;

Author Topic: US Pilot Guilty in Friendly Fire Death of 4 Canadians  (Read 1627 times)

jgruber

  • Guest
US Pilot Guilty in Friendly Fire Death of 4 Canadians
« on: July 06, 2004, 08:46:21 PM »
Four dead = $5,600 fine

Wudya think?


  U.S. 'friendly fire' pilot found guilty of dereliction of duty
Last Updated Tue, 06 Jul 2004 19:57:25

NEW ORLEANS - The U.S. fighter pilot who accidentally dropped a bomb on Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan two years ago, killing four of them, has been found guilty of dereliction of duty by the U.S air force.

Major Harry Schmidt will receive a written reprimand and have to forfeit $5,600 US in pay.



http://www.cbc.ca/stories/2004/07/06/world/schmidt040706

Aonghus

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 405
    • View Profile
Re: US Pilot Guilty in Friendly Fire Death of 4 Canadians
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2004, 09:34:35 PM »
I think this guy really did think he was being fired on... No one in his right mind would have fired on Canadians on purpose. 

*&^% happens in war, people make mistakes, this one was tragic.

It is unfortunate that they chose to hang him out to dry just to appease the international community, but all things considered, it could have been much worse for him.

Politically speaking, this resolution was the best they could do.  His military career is over, he will get to keep his retirement benefits.

He screwed up, it happens.

jgruber

  • Guest
Re: US Pilot Guilty in Friendly Fire Death of 4 Canadians
« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2004, 09:19:14 AM »
I have mixed feelings on this one, but I can't really disagree with you.  *&^% happens in war.

Cheeks

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 1951
    • View Profile
Re: US Pilot Guilty in Friendly Fire Death of 4 Canadians
« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2004, 09:25:51 AM »
Speaking as a Canadian, I would hardly say they have appeased the international community

I think this guy really did think he was being fired on... No one in his right mind would have fired on Canadians on purpose. 

*&^% happens in war, people make mistakes, this one was tragic.

It is unfortunate that they chose to hang him out to dry just to appease the international community, but all things considered, it could have been much worse for him.

Politically speaking, this resolution was the best they could do.  His military career is over, he will get to keep his retirement benefits.

He screwed up, it happens.

jgruber

  • Guest
Re: US Pilot Guilty in Friendly Fire Death of 4 Canadians
« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2004, 09:34:46 AM »
If I were Canadian I would not be satisfied, but what would satisfy the desire for justice?  The man most likely did not do it on purpose and this sort of thing often happens in war.

Speaking as a Canadian, I would hardly say they have appeased the international community

I think this guy really did think he was being fired on... No one in his right mind would have fired on Canadians on purpose. 

*&^% happens in war, people make mistakes, this one was tragic.

It is unfortunate that they chose to hang him out to dry just to appease the international community, but all things considered, it could have been much worse for him.

Politically speaking, this resolution was the best they could do.  His military career is over, he will get to keep his retirement benefits.

He screwed up, it happens.

Cheeks

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 1951
    • View Profile
Re: US Pilot Guilty in Friendly Fire Death of 4 Canadians
« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2004, 09:45:10 AM »
It's not so much the punishment that bothers me.  You're right, this sort of thing does happen in war, and I'm sure that the pilot had no intent to harm the Canadians.

I just feel unsettled about how the whole situation was handled by the US military and the US government.  From my understanding, it was handled completely internally and no input was recieved nor asked for from the international community.  It would have been more satisfying to me if a Canadian representative were present in the investigation process as well as in the group that handed down this judgement.  I don't think this was the case, but I could be wrong ...

jgruber

  • Guest
Re: US Pilot Guilty in Friendly Fire Death of 4 Canadians
« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2004, 10:11:59 AM »
If I'm not mistaken, Afghanistan is a NATO operation.  It would seem reasonable to expect NATO to handle the case, but the US is strongly opposed to any court other than US courts trying US service members.

swagger

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 442
    • AOL Instant Messenger - Swagger008
    • View Profile
    • LSN for stats
Re: US Pilot Guilty in Friendly Fire Death of 4 Canadians
« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2004, 11:01:35 AM »
Rightfully so.

International political calculations have nothing to do with an individual's guilt or innocence.  It is the trial of a servicemember, not the nation. Even his detractors admit it was the unintentional actions of one man; if that is stipulated, it is patently unjust to levy a heavier sentence or conduct a trial in a foreign court because of international relations or geopolitics.

Cheeks

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 1951
    • View Profile
Re: US Pilot Guilty in Friendly Fire Death of 4 Canadians
« Reply #8 on: July 07, 2004, 12:17:53 PM »
My point wasn't that the trial should have been held outside of the US, nor that the outcome of the trial should have been dependant upon international politics.  I was just trying to say that the investigation of the incident, or any investigation, should be non-biased.  As a Canadian citizen, I would feel more inclined to believe that the investigation was non-biased if a Canada had a representitive present in the investigation process.  I'm not saying that this representitive should push for a heavier sentence, or a lighter one for that matter.  Just be present so that all parties involved can feel content that the investigation was sufficiently thorough and fair.

swagger

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 442
    • AOL Instant Messenger - Swagger008
    • View Profile
    • LSN for stats
Re: US Pilot Guilty in Friendly Fire Death of 4 Canadians
« Reply #9 on: July 07, 2004, 01:44:21 PM »
Noted, and I agree.  Our military public-affairs and legal establishment needs to be a little more savvy on these issues.