Ok, you have one point right, but the size of the bullets is irrelevant. He "only" squeezed the trigger 20 times to produce 60 rounds?!?!?! At point blank range with men who have already been searched, that is still a clear indication of well beyond excessive force.
He reloaded his clip and emptied it AGAIN into their dead bodies. Does that sound like the action of a war hero? Just what exactly was his objective? Did he think they were going to come back to life?
There is a reason why the incident has since been incorporated into Marine training manuals as an example of "what not to do" in such situations. YET HE BRAGS ABOUT WHAT HE DID AS THOUGH IT SHOWS HIS "BRAVERY"!!! His actions show only cowardice!!! If you or anyone else are inclined to BRAG about taking life, then you are a poor example of/for Americas men and women who serve. No one denies they were "bad guys" but they were IN CUSTODY!! You seem to know the letter of the Geneva Conventions quite well, but I'd say the spirit has been completely lost on you my friend. War is not about revenge.
The fact that there was never a proper trial does not mean that he is innocent or guilty, and I am not suggesting that he should be thrown in jail now -- I am merely suggesting that we should not VOTE for the guy, because he will be an embarrassment to our state. The details of the autopsy report are not public, nor is there transparency in many cases such as these. There have been many cases like this swept under the rug in Iraq and Afghanistan, and they are a major hindrance in our efforts to win hearts and minds.
Even if Pantano's own account of these events in his self-promotional book are accurate (a highly dubious proposition) then he acted improperly and stupidly. Even giving him the biggest benefit of the doubt possible, he is a horrid example of a U.S. marine.
By the way, the old "my accuser is just a disgruntled subordinate who wanted to get even with me" line has been used by about 50 million murder suspects since God was a boy -- it hardly constitutes exculpatory evidence.
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