Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Looks Like I Was Wrong About This One...

U.S. 'friendly fire' pilot appealing conviction
Last Updated Wed, 07 Jul 2004 17:36:01
LANGLEY, VA. - A U.S. fighter pilot who dropped a bomb that killed four Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan plans to appeal his dereliction of duty conviction, his lawyer said Wednesday.

Charles Gittins said his client, Major Harry Schmidt, gave him the instructions after a morning round of golf.

So, fuckwit decides to appeal a dereliction of duty conviction while playing golf?!?!?!?!? The irony itself is enough to choke on. Y'know, we have treaties with the States - let's get this fucker extradited. Have him face a court martial in Canada (I know, I know, extradition treaties don't cover military cases, more's the pity right now).

What stuns me is the complete lack of responsibility inherent in Major Schmidt's character. He has not said one word of contrition (although his cunt of a wife made some snide comment about one the dead Canadian's wives waking up alone, and how "bad" she felt about that - I'll find the exact quote if I can). And now, apparently, he has no shame, either. According to his lawyer, his opinion of the reprimand his commanding officer gave him is "not printable," which says it all, really. Hopefully, Maj. Schmidt will overextend himself here and get into some real trouble. Like a lengthy prison term, for example.

I must say though, that my anger over this does not extend to the U.S. military (I'm mad at it - them? - for a host of other reason, but not over their handling of this case). The U.S. higher-ups have fought diligently, as far as I can tell, to see that justice gets done for the families of the dead. I wish that some of that attitude had trickled down on Maj. Schmidt.

Since I'm apparently incoherent with rage at the moment, I'm going to put this to bed, and try to write something more coherent in the next couple of days.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Justice, More or Less, Done

U.S. 'friendly fire' pilot found guilty of dereliction of duty
Last Updated Tue, 06 Jul 2004 15:42:26

NEW ORLEANS - The U.S. fighter pilot who accidentally dropped a bomb on Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan two years ago, killing four of them, has been found guilty of dereliction of duty by the U.S Air Force.

Major Harry Schmidt will receive a written reprimand and have to forfeit $5,600 US in pay.

Well, in the end this was about all Canadians could hope for. Schmidt, who unlike his flying partner William Umbach, never admitted any resposibility for his actions nor showed any compassion for the families of his victims, has finally been called to account. While it would have been more heart-warming to see Schmidt actually do time, this will have to suffice. In my thinking, the most important sentence in this article is the penultimate one (emphasis added by me):

Schmidt will be allowed to remain in the Illinois Air National Guard, but not as a pilot.

So no other family should ever have to suffer at the hands of this idiot. At least so we can hope...