An army sergeant kicked and shot an Iraqi insurgent as the man lay bleeding from nearly two dozen gunshot wounds and then told his fellow soldiers to say the man was armed and posed a threat. Sgt. Leonardo Trevino is charged with premeditated murder, attempted murder, and obstruction of justice for the June incident in Muqdadyah, Iraq. Richard Stevens, attorney for Tevino, claims his client is wrongfully accused, He claims Trevino and other soldiers were upset at losing several friends who were among 10 troops killed in roadside bombings and a helicopter crash on Memorial Day. That night in June, Trevino led a squad of men to an area where there were insurgents, they killed one and followed a trail of blood to another who lay unarmed and wounded. Trevino kicked the man in the head and shot him in the abdomen. He then turned to his fellow soldiers and said: “I don’t want this coming back to you guys…The story is, the guy had a pistol. That’s that.” At that point, Cpl. Justin whitman placed a pistol next to the dead Iraqi’s body. According to the testimony of Pvt. Tristan Miller, “everybody was pretty excited, taking pictures, the the money shot” since it was the first insurgent the group had killed.
War brings out the best and the worst in human beings. Fear, anger, uncertainty, confusion are all present in combat situations and a decent person may well become someone other than himself under these conditions. The actions of Sgt. Trevino were grossly in violation of proper military conduct if the testimony given is believed by the court martial body. He acted against the American code of military conduct, and, if found guilty, should be punished. But, it is unfortunate, that men in the field wind up doing such horrible things while those sitting in nice offices in Washington D.C. who placed them in these horrible situations are busy eating lunch and collecting more money from lobbyists.