Breaking: Last Navy SEAL acquitted of abusing Iraqi terrorist; Video: SEAL interview added

posted at 6:35 pm on May 6, 2010 by Allahpundit

He was the only one of the three charged with actual assault, and even so, it took just an hour and 40 minutes to acquit him. Why so quick? Because the prosecution’s case collapsed:

The defense called an oral surgeon Thursday who testified by phone from Baghdad. He said Abed might have bitten an ulcer on his lip, causing it to bleed. Defense attorneys hope this validates their position that no assault occurred and that Al Qaeda detainees are trained to injure themselves then claim abuse.

Earlier, after the prosecution and defense both rested their cases, prosecutors Thursday announced they needed time to present a rebuttal. They were basically trying to rehabilitate their key witness, Petty Officer 3rd Class Kevin Demartino, who claims he saw McCabe punch the prisoner in the stomach. Demartino’s character and credibility had been questioned by a string of defense witnesses Wednesday, many of them Navy SEALs. A rebuttal witness Thursday morning, Demartino’s former superior officer, called Demartino “one of my top sailors—I can depend on him for anything.”

Defense witnesses on Wednesday had painted a picture of Demartino as unstable, unreliable and, after the incident with Abed, “distraught.” According to testimony, Demartino was worried his career would be ruined because a prisoner claimed abuse on his watch, and that he would no longer have a chance for his dream job with the California Highway Patrol. This, the defense claims, gives Demartino a motive to lie.

Demartino did not immediately report the alleged assault to his superiors and admits to dereliction of duty. The defense suggested that since Demartino initially said nothing, then later described seeing McCabe punch Abed, he’s an unreliable witness.

Pretty amazing that they brought this to trial with little more than Demartino and a jihadi attesting that it happened, but then the point here was always political. They wanted to show that they take detainee abuse seriously and were hoping the accused would accept some sort of deal. No dice. How’d that work out for them?

McCabe is being interviewed on Fox News right now. I’ll update with the video later when it’s posted.

Update: Here’s the clip. Click the image to watch.

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hawkdriver on May 7, 2010 at 12:21 AM

My God, my God, Mr. Demartino is a fully qualified Navy Seal, who has been in combat, and he is a lousy E-4, equivalent to an Army corporal? Every fully qualified Special Forces Army Green Beret is, at least, an E-5 Sergeant! It is clear that there is simply no end to the Naval prejudice and stupidity as regards the Seals! Perhaps the Naval Service should withdraw the Seal Service if they cannot support it! At the very least, the ghastly, miserable poltroon, who calls himself the Central Command Naval Service commander should immediately resign, or maybe one of the more honorable general officers of Central Command can advise him what is required under the circumstances and provide the necessary equipment! There can be no other conclusion that the high Naval command are dishonorable officers. Frankly, I am beginning to question if we would not be better off with Grand Admiral Carl Donitz. At least he had empathy with his sailors and saw that those that performed were rewarded!

John Adams on May 7, 2010 at 12:25 AM

He was the only one of the three charged with actual assault, and even so, it took just an hour and 40 minutes to acquit him.

Yes! YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Freaking Pentagon has gone way too political, and this whole episode was for nothing but “show”, as AP rightly pointed out.

These guys should never have been put through this farce of a kangaroo trial, and thankfully there are still those in positions of authority who recognized the political nature of it all. I hope they all have a chance to have better lives now that this is behind them, and that noone at any level in the military decides to make their lives more miserable than has already been done. Some Liberals just never seem to be able to let go of obsessive revenge, though. And there are way too many of them in the military these days.

KendraWilder on May 7, 2010 at 12:30 AM

Which is the biggest frustration for liberals this week?:

A Times Square Bomber not white.

B Tims Square bomber a registered Democrat.

C BP the creator of the largest oil slick ever donated the lion’s share of their contributions to Obama’s campaign.

D All three Navy Seals now cleared of all charges.

E All of the above/

F None of the above (If so-write in your choice here)

MaiDee on May 7, 2010 at 12:30 AM

OK, let’s be frank. The Naval high command thought it was alright to have a few brave sailors put on masks and flippers and disarm pacific beaches in WW II. And after a while, the called them Seals but, of course, they really were not “Sailors” in the view of the Naval high command. Over the years, the program languished, but was revised in the modern era. The Naval high command had some small use for the Seals, but never accorded them any respect or special consideration.

By way of illustration, it is interesting to note that the heroic Navy Seal combat veteran, Mr. Demartino, which the Navy attempted to court martial and was found not guilty, is only an E-4, which is equivalent to an Army corporal. Even Army Green Berets who are without combat experience, are at least E-5 Sergeants! But not Mr. Demartino or his Seal compatriots, who are not, in the view of the Navy, really “Sailors”.

It would seem that, if the Navy is not serious about naval special forces, it would be best to end the Seal program. The Naval high command clearly does not support the Seals, and recently failed in their attempt to have three of them Court Marshaled on absurd charges. This is all very sad, like a Navy desperately attempting to avoid the development of air craft carriers in the 1920’s.

The most immediate villain in the preposterous court marshal case is the Naval commander at Central Command. However, he is simply representative of the senior Naval command in Washington, who are only interested in ships and planes and beautiful white uniforms with gold braid. Admirals Nimitz, Halsey, and yes, Donitz and Yamamoto, would not be impressed!

John Adams on May 7, 2010 at 3:04 AM

Sadly, it has become apparent that some in the Pentagon are of the mindset that highly trained combat specialists should be kept in seclusion and only brought out to handle emergencies. A similar mindset is what brought about the tragedy a Fort Hood. Political correctness has no place in the military.

Dukehoopsfan on May 7, 2010 at 9:37 AM

What an epic waste of time, money and resources!

rjoco1 on May 7, 2010 at 11:43 AM

It wouldn’t have bothered me if Seal kicked the guy’s teeth down his throat.

saiga on May 7, 2010 at 3:51 PM