Is THIS why they hate us?

AMY GOODMAN: A former US Marine who killed two unarmed Iraqis is running for a congressional seat in North Carolina… Ilario Pantano has said he has no regrets about fatally shooting the two at point-blank range after detaining them near Fallujah in April 2004.

JUSTIN ELLIOT: These two Iraqi men had been searched. They didn’t have any weapons. And he was — Mr. Pantano was having them search their own car when he opened fire, and shooting as many as fifty or sixty rounds at them. And that includes reloading his M-16 rifle.

AMY GOODMAN: Despite his admission, the military cleared Pantano of wrongdoing in 2005. He is now in a tight race with incumbent Democrat Rep. Mike McIntyre in North Carolina’s 7th Congressional District. –From Murder to Congress?

Do you think this sort of thing might be why they hate us?

One thought on “Is THIS why they hate us?”

  1. Give the guy a break, he probably had plans to become a cop when he got home and was just practicing.

  2. By the way, the fact that Pantano is in a "tight race" with his opponent implies two things:

    1. Congressman Mike McIntyre is an even bigger scumbag than Ilario Pantano, or

    2. The majority of the residents of North Carolina's 7th Congressional district are ignorant, jingoistic, bloodthirsty animals without a shred of human decency (a great number of whom are also probably "pew warmers" at local churches on Sunday morning).

    I'm betting it's a fair combination of both of the above.

    1. You could be right, liberranter, but it could be even more pernicious:

      "Successful politicians are those who can adopt policies which keep them in office by taking the wealth from the politically less powerful and redistributing it to supporters, …the prudent citizen-voter must pay a steep price even to be informed about the costs and benefits of policy options. Voters, therefore, remain ignorant of costs while politicians remind them of the alleged benefits. All this suggests a great tragedy for modern democracies: The better a political system represents the narrow private interests of some citizens, the worse it may be at fostering economic progress and safeguarding liberty." -Randy T. Simmons, (author "Politics: Markets, Welfare, and the Failure of Bureaucracy (Westview Press)), quoted in "Can Washington Change?," Reason, August/September 1996, p.28 _clip17… VOTE?

      1. This is why a democracy based on elections doesn't work. What we need instead is to make service in Congress similar to jury duty where potential representatives are picked at random till someone willing and able to serve agrees to do so for a limited time. (Since the commitment is greater than a week of jury duty, the person drafted should have the option of saying no.)

        These are the benefits:

        1. No partisanship.
        2. No devotion of time to fund raising. Further, bribes would be punished as bribes and not dismissed as campaign contributions.
        3. You would get sleazy, self-serving, pathological politicians out of power.
        4. The Congress would not be owned by the Israel lobby.
        5. There would be a greater diversity of experience in congress and infinitely more character.

        Could we trust a bunch of randomly selected rubes to run the show? Actually, yes. The same people who are today "low information voters" would be forced to inform themselves and make responsible decisions. You'd be surprised at how much consensus can be built around doing the right thing when partisan wrangling and special favors for patrons are removed from the dynamic.

        The executive would be elected by this randomly selected congress from among its members who have served at least half their terms or who have just completed their terms.

        We can continue to think through and work out the details, but I think this is a good start towards a government that would work to serve the common good instead of special interests.

        1. Heathcliff – I feel exactly the same. I've even coined a name for the new system: selected representation, rather than elected representation. Basically, anyone interested in the service would ask for their name be added to the eligible list. The, every Nov, instead of the current congressional circus, you would simply randomly select the required number of reps. The selected reps would move to DC and serve their term, beiung well-renumerated for their service to their country.

          Obviously, this would require a new constitutional convention … takers?

          1. I like your "selected representation" terminology, but I think we should not select from people who put their hat in the ring because then we'll get people who want the power. Let people step up when asked.

            For example, I never would have volunteered for jury duty, but I was willing to do my duty when asked. I didn't want to serve on my HOA board, but I agreed to put my name on the ballot when asked by a few neighbors who were already on the board or had been on the board. We had people on that board who had different national political leanings, but when we had to make decisions for our condominium complex, we routinely reached unanimous consensus because we simply looked at what made sense.

          2. The only problem with this strategy, from a libertarian perspective, is the coercive aspect of "conscripting" people to be "representatives." I, for one, would want NOTHING WHATSOEVER TO DO with legislative representation, either by serving as a legislator or being "represented" by one, no matter how he/she was put into office. The very idea of being "represented" by someone who doesn't even know that I exist, let alone having a clue about my actual concerns, is simply absurd.

            No, as an anarcho-capitalist I fully agree with the sentiment that dumbocracy is an abject failure. That being the case, the maintenance of its failed forms, including "legislative representation" is pointless.

          3. You didn't read my first post very carefully. There is nothing coercive about giving someone the option of saying no.

  3. McCain was a war criminal for bombing civilians in Vietnam, which he confessed to doing on Vietnam radio, and for providing more than his name, rank and serial number he was guilty of treason for violating the UCMJ Uniform Code of Military Justice. Besides, we have a criminal government. Sound very American to me.McCain and Pantano are now referred to as "warrior hero's".

  4. Be careful not to engage in collectivist thinking. McCain and Pantano are not stereotypes. They are two individuals who have committed murder which was condoned by their government. They don't represent us anymore than the criminals (bureaucrats) who were "accessories after the fact". I don't share their guilt but anyone who defends their actions in the slightest is an accomplice,e.g., my "born again" brother in law who gives 10% to the church he attends every week told me soldiers can't commit murder because there is no murder in wartime. I guess he believes in magic words(war) that can suspend morality. I know he believes the bible is a magic book outside the realm of logic.

    1. Hi Don!

      You might remind your brother-in-law that the U.S. hasn't been in a constitutional war since the end of WWII – – – because Congress, specifically the U.S. House – – – hasn't officially declared war since then. So even if "there is no murder in wartime," "we" AREN'T at war.

      I know, I know, details, details, details – – –

  5. Democracy is a sham. The idea that people should be able to vote to wage aggression on other people is reprehensible. You don't need democracy. We just need to agree that government will stop violating fundamental human rights.

  6. On the other hand, some dude who ALLEGEDLY threw a grenade when 15 at FULLY ARMED BADASSES (who apparently aren't badass enough to consider resistance by the enemy as fair practice) got the whole torture enchilada for his efforts, has been convicted as a war criminal and is looking at a second life in prison.


  7. I believe that everyone has an inate sense of right and wrong. I don't know how many thousands participated in these two most recent wars or how many actually witnessed the seemingly constant criminal acts but there is only one man, Bradley Manning, who has dared to reveal the crimes and only a hand full of others who refused to take part. How is that? Maybe the question that we need ask is what is the difference between these people and how do we convince the vast majority of the worlds population to stand up for what is morally correct?

  8. Hey, it's what the people want.

    Lt. Calley of My Lai fame was pardoned after about a year by Dick Nixon, after widespread criticism of his prosecution.

    For those unawares, he's one of the main culprits in the infamous massacre of over 500 Vietnamese civilians in 1968. Men like Calley were witnessed (by American soldiers) to shoot infants at point blank, engage in gang-rape and then casually murder their victims, lined up and executed old men and women, etc…this went on for quite a while. Some guy named Colin Powell lead a white-wash investigation of the affair, but a troubled soldier spilled the beans to reporter Sy Hersh.

    If this Pantano guy is suitable for the House by offing 2 innocent men, maybe Calley should be in the Oval Office…

  9. "Look outside the window, there's a woman being grabbed. They dragged her in the bushes and now she's being stabbed. Maybe we should call the cops and try to stop the pain but monopoly is so much fun I'd hate to spoil the game. And I'm sure it wouldn't interest anybody, outside of a small circle of friends." Phil Ochs

  10. A murderer in congress?

    Those of us who regularly come to this site should not be surprised.

    Lets look at who congress has admitted to its ranks:thieves,rapists,pedophiles,drug dealers…

    Are we seriously surprised at (another) murderer joining the ranks of congress?

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