Regarding Patrick Clark’s letter, “To quick to judge those who fight abroad” ProJo 7/1/6, I’d like to turn the title on its head. The problem is many people are too quick to protect their compadres. Yes, America’s legal system is based on the presumption of innocence, but we also have an independent grand jury system that identifies possible culpability. Whether they are policemen, priests or soldiers, there are certain professions which carry with them a certain amount of blind trust. [It is important to point out that there are many good men and women that have earned and deserve our trust.] However, many people seem to put blinders on when it comes even to the ‘bad apples.’
Whether its NYPD’s Justin Volpe who beat Abner Louima, RI’s own Dan Azzarone, Jr., or the convicted prison guards at Abu Ghraib, there are bad apples out there. When a grand jury, or the military equivalent, recommends a trial, it behooves the intelligent public to –not presume guilt- but trust in the system and allow for the fact that the persons MAY be guilty.
The knee-jerk defenses of accused soldiers, simply because they’re soldiers, are jingoistic and anti-intellectual. Instead of wrapping accused soldiers with the American flag, perhaps we should wrap their wrists in handcuffs and let the justice system do its job? The honorable soldiers, past and present, that I know separate themselves from these opportunistic criminals who don’t defend our country, but soil its reputation abroad.