September 14, 2002
Now if it had only been a Canadian wedding...

In Graham Greene's Our Man in Panama a pre-Castro Cuban colonel tells the English hero he doesn't need to fear torture if the colonel's men arrest him--the Englishman doesn't belong to the "torturable class."

I thought of that today when reading a Reuters story about two American fighter pilots charged with manslaughter and assault for killing four Canadian soldiers and wounding eight others in a bombing attack. The pilots believed they were under fire from the ground.

On the same page of the Times, less than an inch away but in a separate story, was this: "On July 1 an American helicopter crew fired rockets into a village near Deh Rawud, believing that they wre returning fire from Taliban fighters. Instead they hit a wedding party, killing 34 people and wounding about 50, according to a United States military report issued on Sept. 6. At traditional Afghan weddings, guns are fired into the air."

No action has been taken against the helicopter crew, or apparently will be. The victims of their friendly fire were members of the killable class.

Posted by Jerome Doolittle at September 14, 2002 07:58 PM
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