Pantano-Recommendations-charges should be dismissed

At Defend the Defenders there was good news for 2nd Lt. Pantano who had been accused of unjustly killing two Iraqis. A cache of weapons had been found in their home. They had attempted to flee in an SUV. The tires where shot out and they ran. They were caught and handcuffed. Fearing the SUV may have been bobby trapped, they were ordered to search it. It was during this period they were shot. They had been ordered, in Arabic, to stop talking but did not comply. They made a sudden joint movement toward Pantano and then were shot.

The investigative officer in charge has recommended that all charges against Pantano be dismissed.

The key findings of the Investigating Officer included:

*That the Government offered no credible evidence to contradict Lt Pantano's statement that he acted in self defense in response to a hostile act;
*That Lt Pantano's shooting of the two Iraqis was justified in accordance with the then-prevailing Rules of Engagement;
*That there was no credible evidence that Lt Pantano acted with premeditation;
*That Lt Pantano was not derelict in his duties in the handling of Iraqi prisoners;
*That Lt Pantano's use of the "No Better Friend, No Worse Enemy was poor judgment but not criminal and not conduct unbecoming an officer; and,
*That Lt Pantano did not act in a manner unbecoming an officer in his handling of the Iraqi prisoners.

It was recommended that he receive the Commanding General's Non-judicial Punishment for conduct unbecoming an officer. This was based on the excessive rounds that were fired at the two Iraqis. I am glad the ruling went this way.

This has been updated. I had previously stated that all charges had been dismissed when in fact it had been recommended that the charges be dismissed. However, from the investigating officers recommendations, all charges will likely be dismissed.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home