By Kay B. Day
According to Fox News, the prosecution rested Wednesday afternoon in the trial of Petty Officer 2nd class Matthew McCabe in a Norfolk military court. I am certain God is tired of hearing me pray today because I have done a lot of talking about this with Him. I believe McCabe is innocent. He also passed an independently administered lie detector test. Three SEALs chose to go to court to defend their honor over allegations related to the treatment of an alleged terrorist detained in Iraq.
Two other SEALs charged in relation to McCabe’s case have been acquitted.
The whole case makes no sense. In the following accounts, I've bolded relevant passages.
Here is an image of the original official charge sheet—this is just the charge that relates to a punch McCabe is accused of throwing; other charges like dereliction of duty are minor.
The official charge sheet from the military says McCabe did "unlawfully strike...in the midsection..."
Now here is an account written by a military justice blogger, Dwight Sullivan. Sullivan, who has covered the trial in more detail than any media, recounts the prosecution’s opening statement describing what McCabe is alleged to have done:
“He punched a detainee in the abdomen. He watched as the detainee fell to the ground. He left as the detainee lay on the floor, bleeding. This didn’t happen during the capture. It didn’t happen during the mission. It happened in a con-ex box at Camp Schwedler.”
Now here is the primary witness’s statement relevant to the punch(es) as per Fox News:
“One of the government's two key witnesses testified Wednesday morning that he saw Navy SEAL Matthew McCabe deliver a ‘right punch to the chest’ of his detainee, suspected terrorist Ahmed Hashim Abed. McCabe is facing a court martial in Norfolk, Virginia, charged with assault for the alleged incident last September in Iraq…Petty Officer Third Class Kevin Demartino testified that he was in the prisoner holding area when he saw the assault take place in the detention cell. Demartino said that when he entered the cell, the three Navy SEALs were leaving, and that Abed had fallen from his chair to the floor. When he lifted up Abed, Demartino testified that he saw blood coming from under the suspect’s hood.”
An Associated Press story says it was a punch to the stomach.
Finally, here are attorney Monica Lombardi’s remarks—she successfully defended another SEAL charged in the case: “After the trial, I spoke to the members of the jury, and they did not believe the terrorist at all…They said his testimony was a complete lie. He basically claimed there was a beat-down. 'Oh, they beat me on my shoulders and my back, and my stomach and they kicked me in my legs.' …I have the photographs that were taken about the day after this alleged beat-down, and there were no injuries…And I had argued to the jury if a bunch of Navy SEALs was kicking and punching him, he would really be in bad shape. And obviously, he wasn't."
Lombardi also said of the prosecution’s witness: “He claimed to have conversations with other members of the team that were out there. … He said, 'I told them I saw some abuse.' Three people said when they testified that conversation never happened."
President Barack Obama, amid much fanfare, issued an executive order in January, 2009, “Ensuring Lawful Interrogations,” and the Leftosphere clamored about detainee treatment.
It’s impossible to avoid the belief that leftwing politics spur prosecutions like those of the Navy SEALs over an alleged punch to a detainee suspected of being a murdering, lying terrorist. Alleged terrorist claims he was beaten in a number of places; prosecutorial witness claims the stomach, the chest or the lip, depending I guess on what day it is. You know what kind of shape you'd be in if you bled from the mouth after taking a hard punch?
Incidentally, in the opening statement by the defense, the civilian attorney said an oral surgeon believes the lip injury was actually a canker sore.
The government's lead witness was in charge of the prisoner if I am not mistaken. Was this witness coerced and was he trying to save his own hide because the detainee claimed abuse as terrorist manuals instruct?
What a world we live in.
[For more information and regular updates, visit Support the Navy SEALs who Captured Ahmed Hashim Abed. To contribute to funds for the SEALs’ civilian defense, visit Maritime Tactical Security. The US Report has covered this story extensively. To read previous columns about the SEALs, enter the words 'Navy SEALs' in the search box in the right column.]