Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
October 02, 2008

First Sgt. Hatley Involved in a Second Murder

A month or so ago I wrote about First Sgt. Hatley and the Beauchamp TNR Affair:

A U.S. Army sergeant outed as a murderer in today's NYT seems to be the same one that led the unit involved in last years New Republic / Beauchamp controversy. Then he denied atrocities Beauchamp reported on.

In July 2007 a U.S. soldier under the pseudonym Scott Thomas wrote about the war in Iraq at the The New Republic's Shock Troops blog. Scott Thomas described some disgusting behavior by his fellow soldiers. Such included running over dogs with Bradley fighting vehicles and playing with a child's scull found in a mass grave.

There followed some lively comments, partly defending Sgt. Hatey with the penultimate one proclaiming:

i don't care who you think you are, SFC hatley and the other 2 soldiers identified in this situation are THE most respected nco's i've ever had the honor to meet. everything they do during work or during off duty hours is honorable, respected, and with high moral standings.

Well, the legal judgment on those three is still out, but two others marginally involved in the case will receive their sentences:

A U.S. soldier has pleaded guilty at a court martial to charges of accessory to murder in the killings of four Iraqi prisoners who were bound, blindfolded, shot and dumped in a canal in 2007.

The charges were reduced as part of a plea agreement Thursday that will see U.S. Army Spc. Steven Ribordy testify for the prosecution against others in his unit who are alleged to have carried out the shootings.
Ribordy was a member of the patrol alleged responsible for the killings and testified that he stood watch as they were carried out.
Last month another soldier, Spc. Belmor Ramos, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to seven months in prison and a dishonorable discharge. Ramos, 23, testified that he stood guard as the killings were carried out.

At least they do not hang those lower folks who, under order, only stood guards. But what about those "honorable, respected, and with high moral standings" guys?

Three others in the unit—Sgt. John E. Hatley, Sgt. 1st Class Joseph P. Mayo and Sgt. Michael P. Leahy Jr.—have been charged with premeditated murder, conspiracy to commit premeditated murder and obstruction of justice. They face a hearing to determine if there is enough evidence for them to be sent before a court-martial but no dates have been set.

Hatley and Leahy have also been charged with one count each of premeditated murder and conspiracy to commit premeditated murder in a death near Baghdad in January 2007. Leahy was also charged with being an accessory after the fact in that incident, a September statement from the Army said, without providing more details.

So far we only knew of the murdering of four Iraqis by these men in March or April 2007. With several witnesses testifying against them, the will likely be punished. And now it seems that these people are involved in a least one additional killing in January 2007.

The mafia may value murderer as "honorable, respected, and with high moral standings." Soldiers should not do the same.

Posted by b on October 2, 2008 at 16:16 UTC | Permalink



if we know anything about the jurisprudence of the empire - is that nobody, nobody who commits real crime is punished. if they commit the most terrible crimes as a politician, a financier or as a soldier - inevitably they will be honoured. psychopaths, real psychopaths become vice presidents, they are put in charge of the fed, they become secretaries of defence or supreme court judges

none of these criminal soldiers, or those guilty of the heinous crimes of haditha or the countless crimes committed since the illegal & immoral invasion will ever be punished

what we know of the empire is that there is no accountability, no accountability at all

there is no sense of responsibility, no sense of responsibility at all

on the contrary its culture cherishes the crimes they commit, they laud the criminal especially if he is commander in chief or in 'command' of the economy

the bailout is a perfect instance of where crime pays, crime really pays

people with very very sick minds can commit acts in iraq & afghanistan - that would shame tamerlaine & nothing will happen - i'm sure they will not have sleepless night

revisionism is deep inside that culture & on a 'liberal' television here arte last night i saw a documentary on the tet offensive which repated again that ww 1 canular that it was the politician who stabbed the soldiers in the back - here it was johnson & washington that stabbed them in the back

in fact, nothing could be further from the truth & while the tet offensive was extremely costly to the vietnames people it was a spectacular defeat of the empire - a defeat so spectacular that peoples fighting the empire have repeated forms of it ever since. the genius, the pure genius of the command of nlf & the nvra was to keep to a strategy with a kind of consistency which the western mind is completely incapable of comprehending. platoons of the armies of the empire dissapeared into air in vietnam while the tactic of the empire remained the same from the beginning to the end - overwhelming force, massacres & what is essentially, terrorism. & it failed politically but it also failed militarily

the revisionism is in & of itself a crime because it is the form of preparing for other crimes

& today for example on a more venal level - the republican stevens of alaska will not be punished because the prosecutors made a 'mistake' - that will see him laughing at any form of punishment

we have sleepless night just covering their criminal acts, on seeing the absence of any accountability or punishment

they are monsters. fuck them all to kingdom come

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Oct 2 2008 17:17 utc | 1


I know I'm kind of a drive-by commenter here, but I'd like to thank you for keeping on this story. I recall Beauchamp being a favorite whipping boy of the simian screechers are PowerLine, BlackFive, TNR, and whatever other rancid watering holes they frequented.

I'm sure we'll be reading many reflective retractions from that crowd soon.


Posted by: Jeremiah | Oct 2 2008 17:30 utc | 2

rgiap #1:

they are monsters. fuck them all to kingdom come

Ever wonder why those most in a position to know about any afterlife, those having the resources to research any question and control the revelations of any kingdom come, appear this wicked?>Buffy's Bohemian Holiday It's all just business.>Blue Boy Enchained, and these guys know business. Re the American period of Vietnam controlled war:>Uncle Sam Went to Vietnam.

The empire is over the whole world, all large opposition co-opted.

Posted by: plushtown | Oct 2 2008 17:50 utc | 3

here here,
this is an exceptional empire, different rules.

knock, knock.

who prey tell is there?

the global south, the haigue,
and american idol are here to
interview you guys.

fear not, karma is a comin.

opps it may be a bit democratic in
the iroquois and greek sense.

Posted by: here here | Oct 2 2008 21:55 utc | 4

From the debate:

PALIN: ... Now, Barack Obama had said that all we're doing in Afghanistan is air-raiding villages and killing civilians. And such a reckless, reckless comment and untrue comment, again, hurts our cause. ...

You could dump dead Afghani children on the steps of Congress and all you'd be called is unpatriotic. This is a national self-delusion.

Posted by: Tantalus | Oct 3 2008 11:49 utc | 5

I don't get it. War has, for its most basic component, killing. Thus, how can any soldier in hostile territory during a time of war be accused of murder?

Posted by: Ex-P.F.C. Wintergreen | Oct 3 2008 16:36 utc | 6

Thus, how can any soldier in hostile territory during a time of war be accused of murder?

i'm sure some nazi's would agree w/you.

Posted by: annie | Oct 3 2008 16:50 utc | 7

Ex-P.F.C. Wintergreen, maybe we should just line up all those prisoners of war and execute them. why bother w/prisoners in wartime? what a waste of resources, housing and feeding them. we could save a lot of manpower just by givin' all a bullet to the back of the head. or maybe the ovens!

Posted by: annie | Oct 3 2008 16:54 utc | 8

An excellent perspective on this issue may be had from Iraq vets who testified at Winter Soldier II last March. Two issues addressed include the change in military training between the to include "brainwashing techniques" in order to up the number of combat soldiers who would actually follow orders to kill, and the prevalence of racism and sexism in the military and how this has led to violence against both military women and families and civilians in Iraq and other theaters of war (the US ha over 700 bases around the world). You can view the proceedings on streaming video at

Posted by: Kmlisle | Oct 4 2008 18:12 utc | 9

Im not going to say who i am because its not important, but i have met with all of these Ncos and without a doubt they are the most honorable men i have ever met. i am a Marine and as some of you may know the Marine corps holds themselves to a higher standard. so for me to say that 1st sgt Hatley is more of a man than anyone on this page it means alot. maybe what they did or didnt do for that matter is wrong but it is justified. id like to challenge everyone with the thought......what if you lost your best friend right infront of you. and it wouldnt be pretty it wouldnt be nice imagine your son with his legs blown off. The people that say "fuck them all" wow thats amazing that really shows alot about a person. many men like myself and these gentelmen fight for you to live in this country. watch your brother get shot in the head and see if you go play in a field of flowers. its war....maybe im not the smartest and maybe i dont use all of the big words that you all are using but i do know that these men are honest men and more honorable that anyone you will ever meet.

Some people have to wake up every day with the things they have think you can punish someone for a crime like this? i think they have been through enough

Semper fidelis

Posted by: Hardcore Marine | Oct 19 2008 17:37 utc | 10

The comments to this entry are closed.