Hmmmmmm ... now isn't this just the slightest bit awkward?
Three soldiers have been ordered to stand trial at Fort Carson on murder charges in the suffocation of an Iraqi general, who died during an interrogation 1 1/2 years ago.
Chief Warrant Officers Lewis Welshofer and Jeff L. Williams and Spc. Jerry Loper, all of the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, also face charges of assault and dereliction of duty during combat operations, Army spokeswoman Kim Tisor said Thursday.
Prosecutors claim the soldiers put Maj. Gen. Abed Mowhoush headfirst into a sleeping bag, tied him up with an electrical cord and threw him to the ground. The Army accuses the soldiers of sitting and standing on Mowhoush's chest.
Previously secret court testimony indicates the Iraqi general's body was badly bruised and he may have been severely beaten two days before he suffocated on Nov. 26, 2003.
No date was set for the court-martial. If convicted of all charges, the soldiers face life imprisonment without parole, forfeiture of all pay and dishonorable discharges.
Welshofer and Williams were interrogators, and Loper a prison guard. All have denied wrongdoing, saying commanders had sanctioned their actions.
Ah, yes, the "I was only following orders" defense -- which worked so well at Nuremberg, as I recall.
Here's the deal: Unless those soldiers are prepared to specifically name names and testify to the direct orders they were given and exactly who gave them, they should take the fall. Quite simply, you shouldn't be allowed to pass the buck unless everyone can see who you're passing it to. Someone's head should roll for this.