SELF DEFENSE AND THE RULES OF ENGAGEMENT by
This morning, in an interview with the General who does the daily news, the subject matter of the vehicle holding civilians which ignored halt warnings at a check point in Iraq was strafed with lethal force. Some of the press believed that some of the passengers were Americans.
The General explained that definitive rules of engagement were in place at the time and these rules were SOP. That having been said would justify a self defense plea, if all the rules of engagement had been followed.
The indicia for the defense justification, was not unlike our state rules governing the right to plead self-defense in a deadly situation.
Some members of the Press & Media seemed to believe that check point guards could fire at will if they became suspicious. After all, why shouldn’t check point guards have this right in view of the case of where four or five American soldiers were wiped out by a suicide bomber.
So, even in trying times, and extreme circumstances, the United States honors rules of law to justify extreme prejudice situations.
It was nice to see that the hounding media reporters pointing accusing fingers at the military, were confronted with the fact that the rules of engagement was an operating rule of law, and to be complied with in order for the self defense plea to be adopted.
Just keep in mind that the self defense issue is not just available to the challenged guard, but can be relied on as applying to the defense of others, so if the use of deadly force, in the circumstances, so warranted on the facts, was to defend the deadly force, it can be an exoneration, if the actions of the offenders was a threat to an other or others, the action can be considered an act of self defense.
The case where check point guards wiped out a van and several people, in Iraq should be interesting in view of the tests to be applied to the facts, as set forth in the most current rules of engagement
What is the balance? Would a series of hand signals and warning shots to the vehicle to halt, all being ignored justify firing into the passenger section of the suspect vehicle? Were the guards knowledgable of the new Rules of Engagement?
Many Americans are indignent over the death of these passengers, and the media gobbles this up; so I think the answer should be avalable shortly.