Clubbing SEALs

Navy SEALs secretly captured one of the most wanted terrorists in Iraq: the alleged mastermind of the murder of four Blackwater USA security guards in Fallujah in 2004.

But three of the SEALs who captured him now face criminal charges, themselves. Why? The poor delicate flower of Iraqi manhood says someone punched him.

The three SEALs have refused non-judicial punishment -- called a captain's mast -- and have requested a trial by court-martial.

Ahmed Hashim Abed, whom the military code-named "Objective Amber," told investigators he was punched by his captors -- and he had the bloody lip to prove it.

Oh, the humanity!

The Fallujah atrocity came to symbolize the brutality of the plainclothes enemy in Iraq. The four Blackwater agents were transporting supplies for a catering company when they were ambushed and killed by gunfire and grenades. Terrorists then burned the bodies and dragged them through the city. They hanged two of the bodies on a bridge over the Euphrates River for the world press to photograph.

Intelligence sources identified Abed as the ringleader, but he had evaded capture until this September.

No, those suspected of atrocities should not themselves be subjected to unnecessarily harsh treatment. But we're talking here about a military operation on foreign soil, aimed at apprehending a vicious combatant accused of murdering and mutilating four American civilians for the "crime" of delivering a truckload of food. If you expect the accused to come along quietly, you don't send the Special Forces.

We are fighting an enemy who jeers at the Geneva and Hague conventions, sawing the heads off civilian kidnap victims with rusty swords while (in the current case) gleefully videotaping the proceedings. Yet elite U.S. SEALs could now lose their careers because the poor captured enemy combatant says someone gave him an elbow in the kisser? We're so worried about the niceties of "arrest procedure" that three brave Navy SEALS will go on trial -- without benefit of the very constitutional guarantees which we will now provide to a separate set of murderous cutthroats in the federal courthouse in New York City?

More revelations will follow, make no mistake. In all likelihood they deprived him of his teddy bear, served him a lukewarm dinner, and also made disparaging remarks about his tribe's sanitary habits and his mother's pulchritude.

This is nonsense. President Obama should publicly send the court-martial board a firm signal of support for the men who brought in Ahmed Hashim Abed.