Posted by John Donnelly on December 10, 2009
* War on Terror
* Veterans Affairs
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: John Donnelly
December 10, 2009 (202) 225-2276
40 Congressmen Join Rep. Burton In Asking Brass To Drop Charges Against The Navy SEAL Three
WASHINGTON, D.C. â€“ On December 7, 2009, the court martial of three Navy SEALs began over allegations surrounding their capture of terrorist mastermind Ahmed Hashim Abed, the man believed to be responsible for the infamous mutilations of four American contractors in Fallujah, Iraq, in 2004. Today, Rep. Dan Burton (R-IN-05) sent a letter to Major General Charles Cleveland, Commander of Special Operations Command Central, asking for all charges against the SEALs to be dropped. 40 Members of Congress signed onto Rep. Burton’s letter, which was also sent to President Obama, Defense Secretary Gates, and Admiral Mullin, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Rep. Burton issued the following statement after sending the letter today:
“What is happening to these three Navy SEALs is completely wrong. They signed up, not only to serve their country, but to do so in the most dangerous capacity provided by our government. The commanders gave these men a mission, and they executed it. They risked their lives to capture a brutal terrorist, and in their success, likely saved the lives of countless others.
“Not unexpectedly, the captured terrorist, a top al-Qaeda leader, followed his own training manual and complained of poor treatment by his captors in the form of a punch to the stomach and a cut lip. I find it infuriating and unconscionable that the three SEALs are now undergoing court martial as a result of those allegations. Instead of medals and commendations, our heroes are being met with twisted jurisprudence. This sends a backwards message to our men and women in the military who are charged with carrying out dangerous missions and must often use aggressive force in dealing with al-Qaeda and the Taliban.
“My forty colleagues in Congress and I are asking that the charges be dropped immediately, and for the Navy SEALs to be restored to their capacity within the Special Forces so they can continue the heroic business of fighting our nation’s most wanted enemies.”
1. Attached is a PDF of the letter to Maj. Gen. Cleveland
2. Alphabetical list of cosigners:
11. Diaz-Balart, M.
37. Smith, C.
40. Young, D.