The U.S. military is issuing an extensive defense of its decision to prosecute three Navy SEALs on charges of abusing a terrorism suspect they had captured in Iraq, after two of the servicemen were found not guilty during courts-martial.

The case of the SEALs — Petty Officers Julio Huertas, Jonathan Keefe and Matthew McCabe — has outraged many Americans who see the prosecution as weakening the war on terrorism. Some members of Congress have condemned the criminal charges as unnecessary, while thousands of people have signed up on Facebook pages to support the specialized warriors.

Petty Officers Huertas and Keefe were acquitted of charges of dereliction of duty and impeding an investigation during courts-martial last month in Baghdad. Petty Officer McCabe, who is accused of punching Ahmed Hashim Abed after capture, goes on military trial Tuesday in Norfolk, Va.

“It is our hope now, just as it has been since these events were brought to our attention in September 2009, that justice will be reached through a properly constituted process, no matter how unpopular this case is, and no matter how often it has been misinterpreted by some members of the media and/or other people who do not know all the facts surrounding the incident,” Lt. Col. Holly Silkman, a spokeswoman for U.S. Central Command, told The Washington Times in an e-mail.

Source: Rowan Scarborough for The Washington Times.

Up Next

British super sniper kills Taliban 1.5 miles away using Accuracy International AWM L115A3.

The U.S. military is issuing an extensive defense of its decision to prosecute three…