Persistent Persecution

This is a sickening news story: “Spanish Court Seeks Arrest of U.S. Soldiers in Hotel Attack.” The National Court of Spain has issued an “international arrest warrant” for American soldiers who were involved in the Palestine Hotel incident in Baghdad in 2003:

On the morning of July 29, Spain’s National Court announced that it has re-issued an international arrest warrant against three U.S. soldiers it implicates in an attack on Baghdad’s Hotel Palestine, where Rodriguez and Couso, along with dozens of other journalists, were based during the Iraq war.
On April 8, 2003, one day before U.S. troops officially captured Baghdad, a U.S. tank fired a single incendiary shell on the hotel, killing Couso, a cameraman for Spain’s Telecinco television station, and Reuters journalist Taras Protsyuk.

The Army investigated the incident and concluded that the soldiers had acted properly. Nevertheless, twice in the last seven years, Spain’s Supreme Court has overruled the National Court’s decision to drop the matter, and has ordered the National Court to pursue Sgt. Thomas Gibson, the tank sergeant who fired the shell, Captain Philip Wolford, who ordered the attack, and commanding officer Colonel Philip deCamp. What does Spain have to do with the 2003 incident? Absolutely nothing, but that country has assumed authority to pursue politically-motivated persecutions of anyone, anywhere in the world.
The killing of the two journalists in 2003 was accidental. But, for what it’s worth, there actually was an incident in 2005 involving the U.S. Army in which a deliberate attack was launched against the Palestine Hotel. Our friend Major Eric Egland told the story here:

Army Sergeant Darrell Green … is a soldier from the Third Infantry Division who was holding a security overwatch position at the Palestine Hotel the other day when the terrorists attacked with multiple vehicle bombs–including a cement truck packed with explosives. As the smoke cleared from the first car bomb detonation, which caused a breach in the security wall, SGT Green saw a cement truck driving through the opening in the wall–heading directly toward the hotel.
Had the truck reached the hotel, there likely would have been significantly more destruction. The only thing that stopped the cement truck from reaching its target was SGT Green’s decision and ability to engage the driver’s compartment with automatic weapons fire. …
Since a common enemy tactic is to follow a barrier breaching blast with another blast aimed at the actual target, the first blast probably caused SGT Green to know that another blast could be coming at any moment. But rather than run for cover, he exposed himself to the effect from a second blast he must have known was probably coming, thereby putting himself at risk to defend the hotel and the journalists staying there.

Needless to say, Spain’s Supreme Court has no interest in that attack and no intention of issuing arrest warrants for its perpetrators or any other terrorists.

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