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February 11, 2005

Something more for our soldiers to fear

2nd Lieutenant Ilario G. Pantano was in command of a Marine platoon sent to search a building in an area south of Baghdad, suspected of being and insurgent hide-out. Pantano and his platoon found weapons, ammunition and bomb-making material in the building, and saw two men fleeing in an SUV. They stopped it by shooting out the tires then took the two men into custody. At gun point the suspected insurgents were ordered to rip out the seats and the interior of the SUV to ensure there were no booby traps and secret compartments.

Suddenly one of the Iraqis turned toward Pantano, and both the insurgents moved toward him. They were ordered to stop, but continued their approach. Given the circumstances Pantano logically assumed the two had less than affectionate intentions, and might have even been equipped as suicide bombers, so he shot and killed them both.

Pantano served three more months in Iraq after the shooting and returned to Camp Lejeune when his tour of duty ended. The former commodities trader is from New York City and also fought during the first Gulf War...

On February 1st the Marine Corps authorities charged Second Lt. Ilario Pantano with two counts of premeditated murder. Under military law, a crime punishable by death.

Pantano's mother has put up a web site in order to inform people about the problem, and encourage people to help. Read more about the situation at http://www.defendthedefenders.org.

Posted by Jack Lewis at February 11, 2005 04:18 PM

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Comments

At a time when the armed forces are trying to recruit young people, this doesnt seem to be a good advertisement: “Leave a great career and your family behind to fight a war 5,000 miles away and when you return we will prosecute you for doing your job, possibly facing the death penalty for saving the lives of fellow soldiers” - ironic and tragic - he gets my support.

Posted by: Vincent Hanna at February 12, 2005 06:35 PM

There is a new World Net Daily story out with new info.

http://ridingsun.blogspot.com/2005/02/update-on-ilario-pantano.html

It's a mix of good and bad news for Pantano -- a Navy witness corroborates his claim that the Iraqis refused his order to stop, but claims that the Iraqis were moving away from him, not toward him.

The best part of the new info is that the accuser's claim of a cold-blooded execution seems to be contradicted by Pantano's and the Navy man's accounts.

--GB

Posted by: GaijinBiker at February 16, 2005 03:39 AM

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