A military panel acquitted Spc. Jorge Sandoval on charges he killed two unarmed Iraqis, but convicted him of planting evidence on the dead bodies in an attempt to cover up the shooting. Sandoval’s lawyer claimed he was only guilty of misplacing government property by planting the detonation wire on the bodies. It is clear both men were unarmed and had their hands in the air after they accidentally stumbled on a secret sniper hideout. Spc. Alexnader Forbes who was with Sandoval said they were told by Sgt. Michael Hensley the suspects were “our guy.” In May, Sgt. Hensley was involved in a case in which Sgt. Vela killed an unarmed Iraqi who had his hands in the air.
This is a sickening episode in the history of the American military. How can one be “aquitted” of murder but found guilty of misplacing government property by planting evidence to cover up a murder! If one is covering up an action doesn’t that indicate one knows there has been a mistake? It is these type of killings which enable insurgents to gain popular support within the Iraqi population. By the way, there is no mention of any officers being around during these incidents. Why?