June 20, 2006

Bodies of Missing Soldiers Apparently Found

Sadly, I think this is what we expected:

A high-ranking official with the Iraqi Defense Ministry told CNN on Tuesday that the bodies of two missing U.S. soldiers were found Saturday south of Baghdad. No more details were immediately available.

"Two bodies have been found," Maj. William Wilhoite, spokesman for Multi-National Forces-Iraq, told CNN.

"We haven't made any confirmation if they're the two U.S. soldiers we're looking for."
He said he did not know whether the bodies showed signs of torture. "I haven't heard anything through our official channels," he said.

"Obviously, before we made any announcement, if it was our soldiers, we'd have to make notification to the families," Wilhoite said.

Pfc. Kristian Menchaca, 23, of Houston, Texas, and Pfc. Thomas L. Tucker, 25, of Madras, Oregon, went missing Friday after an attack on a traffic checkpoint near the town of Yusufiya, 12 miles (20 km) south of Baghdad.

The Washington Post reports that the two men had been tortured:

Two U.S. soldiers missing since an attack on a checkpoint last week have been found dead near a power plant in Yusifiyah, south of Baghdad, according to an Iraqi defense official.

Maj. Gen. Abdul Aziz Muhammed-Jassim, head of operations at the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, said the soldiers had been "barbarically" killed and that there were traces of torture on their bodies.

As I predicted yesterday, the media quickly found their anti-war, anti-Bush soundbite:

The news is going to be heartbreaking for my family," Menchaca's uncle, Ken MacKenzie, told NBC's "Today" show.

He said the United States should have paid a ransom for the two soldiers from money seized from Saddam Hussein.

"I think the U.S. was too slow to react to this," MacKenzie said. "Because the U.S. did not have a plan in place, my nephew has paid with his life."

MacKenzie is entitled to grieve, but he cannot blame this on anyone other than the terrorists. Today Show host Matt Lauer even called him on it.

Once his nephew surrendered he was a dead man, and there was nothing, no "plan" or bribe that would have changed this outcome.

The terrorists of the Mujahedeen Shura Council probably think they have scored a victory, and indeed, in the short-term, they have. They can claim that after three years of war, they finally captured and killed a grand total of three U.S. soldiers. Accounts of the capture and killing of U.S. soldiers will receive a great amount of press worldwide. Arab media will likely present the deaths as a thinly veiled triumph, and the western media will use it as an opportunity to once again call for disengagement, as will many Democrats.

But these killings will not be received favorably by the U.S. military in Iraq, which will likely step up operations to hunt down and destroy terror and insurgent cells operating in this part of Iraq. Though official orders will not be given, perhaps U.S. forces will not be so inclined to take prisoners after this incident. Insurgents and their al Qaeda allies set the tone of giving U.S. forces no quarter when they took prisoners.

They made a huge mistake.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at June 20, 2006 10:16 AM | TrackBack

There are some very pissed off screaming eagles ready to place the Ace of Spades in the appropriate place on any terrorist they obtain.

Posted by: bman at June 20, 2006 09:39 AM

I think the media has been both better and worse than you suggest. At NewsBusters the transcript of the MacKenzie interview shows Matt Lauer (?!) stood up for good sense and shot down MacKenzie's suggestions.

However, the Post article you link to cannot help but bring up the murder charges brought against 3 soliers yesterday, and even works in the Italian indictment for the killing the intelligence agent that tried to rush a U.S. checkpoint.

Posted by: McKreck at June 20, 2006 11:10 AM

What's funny is that we're winning this war despite what the media would like to portray.

Great post.



Posted by: jeff at June 20, 2006 11:54 AM

When will the left understand that we are not fighting soldiers in Iraq, we are fighting 7th century animals.

American policy is NOT responsible for what happened to these young American warriors. Islamists have been torturing and beheading prisoners since the inception of their "religion".

Posted by: MCPO Airdale at June 20, 2006 11:57 AM

Okay, someone on the left step forward and proclaim that we should still extend the articles of the Geneva Accords to these sub-humans. They tortured and killed two soldiers rather than take them as POWs. This had absolutely nothing to do with Abu Ghrab, Gitmo, Afghanistan, Haditha, Fallujah or any other infraction the left would like to throw up. It is centuries old behavior that is perpetuated by religious tennant and dogma. These people would just a quickly do the same thing to any of the useful idiots on the left that should fall prey to them. Wake up and smell the coffee before you smell the urine in your pants!

Posted by: Old Soldier at June 20, 2006 12:27 PM

I want to know something. In Abu Ghrab, Gitmo, Haditha and other places, even the hint of infraction brings out detailed investigation.

I've never heard *ANYBODY* from al Qaeda or Mujahedeen Shura Council bring any of their "soldiers" up on Geneva charges. Gee, with suicide bombers killing civilians, beheadings and general crap that has been done by them, you know their leaders don't give a damn about the Geneva Convention and rules of war.

This is the difference between us and them. We believe in righting wrongs, even if it has been done by one of us. We believe in instilling justice by the rule of law and protection of the weak from the strong.

For the barbarians who caused the deaths of the servicemen, may hell be too good for you.

Posted by: Dave at June 20, 2006 03:08 PM

I'm about to start the book by Lieutenant Pantano who was prosecuted for murder by the Marines for shooting two men he suspected of being terrorists, at a checkpoint. Maybe the REMF JAG officer who prosecuted him should pay attention to this story. These kids got ambushed at a checkpint.

Posted by: Mike K at June 20, 2006 04:30 PM