Thanks for Nothing
Amnesty International USA issued the following statement in response to the alleged killing and torture of two U.S. soldiers in Ramadi, Iraq.
"Amnesty International, first and foremost, extends its sincerest condolences to the families of Pfc. Kristian Menchaca and Pfc. Thomas L. Tucker for their tragic loss. We are deeply disturbed by reports that these two soldiers were brutally tortured. These reports, if proven true, may rise to the level of war crimes.
Amnesty International condemns the torture or summary killing of anyone who has been taken prisoner and reiterates that such acts are absolutely prohibited in international humanitarian law. This prohibition applies at all times, even during armed conflict. There is no honor or heroism in torturing or killing individuals. Those who order or commit such atrocities must be prosecuted to the full extent of the law without recourse to the death penalty.
The reports, as best I understand them, are that the soldiers were severely tortured before death, their throats slit, after which they were beheaded, then mutilated to the point where only DNA testing could positively identify the bodies. The bodies themselves were then surrounded with antipersonnel devices in a locality frequented by civilians to kill and mutilate anyone who might render assistance or simply catch the unwary.
Let's assign these reports the notation of A. Let's assign the existence of a war crime the notation of B. What I think Amnesty International is saying is that if A then maybe B. However, the truth value of the proposition of the last sentence is not contingent. Rather it is absolute. "Those who order or commit such atrocities must be prosecuted to the full extent of the law without recourse to the death penalty." C. Do C whatever anyone else thinks; whatever else the laws of a sovereign Iraq may specify. C.
My own testament, for the record, are that if I should ever be tortured, have my throat slit, beheaded, mutilated and then have booby traps planted round my corpse so that they might kill any relatives and friends -- should any of this ever happen to me -- that Amnesty International kindly refrain from extending it's "sincerest condolences" and weasely condemnations and offering its insulting and gratuitous advice. I don't want them. I would much rather lie forgotten in some open field than have one of Amnesty International's sick letters on my casket. Not that they would write it.
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