Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Martinez officially charged with murder

Nearly 5 months following the death of two officers in Iraq, SSG. Alberto Martinez has formally been charged with the murder of Capt. Phillip Esposito and 1LT. Louis Allen.

I first wrote about this under the title of "Fragging Suspected" back in June, immediately following the incident. John and Bill told me to wait it out, because it may not have been a true fragging, because it sounded more like a grudge killing to them.
John's original comment was "I refuse to attach the "fragging" label until I find out it had a political/truly military motivation to it... not just 'I'm pissed at my boss for not patting me on the head' going postal ass-hattery."

Bill's comment included a definition of fragging:
"Fragging technically refers to the act of killing or wounding a superior with an explosive device in order to remove them from the operational chain-of-command, e.g.,
1. tossing a frag into the hootch of a leader who is so consistently inept that he loses soldiers for no good reason, and the fragger(s) are operating in (extreme) self-preservation, or
2. tossing a frag into the hootch of a leader who is considered by the fragger to be an instrument of national policy, and by killing him, the perp is making a political statement.
Anything else is just a grudge-killing. What John said..."

It would appear that SSG. Martinez killed the officers after being disciplined by them- a grudge killing. He's been formally charged with premeditated murder after allegedly using three grenades and a Claymore anti-personnel mine to kill the two officers. According to hearing transcripts, Martinez "hated" Captain Esposito, and had even threatened to "frag" him.

The MSNBC article I originally referenced includes the following explanation of fragging: "The term usually refers to the assassination of an unpopular member of one's own fighting unit by lobbing a fragmentation grenade into his or her tent at night. The idea was that the attack would be blamed on the enemy. The term came to include intentionally killing a comrade during combat."
No where does it mention that fragging involves a perceived inept superior or was motivated politically. No wonder the MSM is referring to this incident as a "fragging".

This is the second case during the Iraq war that a US soldier has been accused of murdering fellow soldiers. The first case, involving SGT. Hasan Akbar, resulted in a conviction and the death penalty. However, unlike Martinez, Akbar's motive was clearly political. He admitted to launching the attack because he was afraid that American troops would kill fellow Muslims. THAT, according to Bill and John's definitions, is fragging. Martinez's motive had nothing to do with politics, religion or leadership skills; it was pure revenge, which is NOT fragging.

Will SSG. Martinez's case follow suit? I hope so. No matter what you call it, murder is murder.... and is punishable by death in our society. I hope the military has a nice, cozy cell reserved for Martinez, right next to Akbar's.

3 Comments:

  • Sabemos que cuando estos jovebenes van ha la querra el medicamento que le suministran los afecta mentalmente por que no alludan sicologicamente ha estos jovenes y los ponen fuera del servicio no todos tienen la misma capacidad mental soy una madre en el mismo sufrimiento que la madre de este joven alguien por favor haga justicia con nuestros heroes afectados

    By Anonymous maria martinez, at 11:58 AM  

  • Sabemos que cuando estos jovebenes van ha la querra el medicamento que le suministran los afecta mentalmente por que no alludan sicologicamente ha estos jovenes y los ponen fuera del servicio no todos tienen la misma capacidad mental soy una madre en el mismo sufrimiento que la madre de este joven alguien por favor haga justicia con nuestros heroes afectados

    By Anonymous maria martinez, at 11:58 AM  

  • Well, SSG Martinez didn't receive any vaccinations or "medicine" that reduced his mental capacity. It was all the standard stuff that we all received. There weren't any spooky, experimental or secret syrums that caused his actions.

    If there was any "reduced mental capacity" it was his inability to accept responsibility for his actions that got him disciplined in the first place and was pre-existing.

    I was a few hundred meters away on a rooftop. I felt the blastwaves, i watched the ripples in my coffee and I heard the explosions. There was 1 loud explosion (the M18A1 claymore mine on CPT Esposito's windowsill) and 3 smaller explosions (the M67 fragmentation grenades that were tossed through the broken window into CPT Esposito's room).

    It was common knowledge that SSG Martinez was into some very shady supply dealings, pilerfage and blackmarketing of U.S. property to the Iraqis. That was partially the cause of his disciplinary actions. These were completely seperate from him getting busted with ordinance in his private residence in NY or later being a suspect in an arson for insurance incident of his private residence.

    As far as 1LT Allen? He had nothing to do with any of the disciplinary action. He had only arrived to the unit a couple days earlier. He was in CPT Esposito's room because they were playing the boardgame Risk. 1LT Allen was an innocent bystander.

    SSG Martinez untterly destroyed Esposito's and Allen's families. Allen had 4 sons (toddlers on down). Esposito had, I believe, one or daughters who were a bit older than Allen's children but under the age of 9.

    SSG Martinez was nothing more than a common street thug and petty criminal punk who slipped through the cracks in the system. Even before this heinous act he was a disgrace to the Armed Forces of this country.

    I hope the court finds him guilty as charged and juice him.

    I'm not a religious person but, if there is a hell, I hope he burns forever!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:16 PM  

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