Who watches the watchers? Their superiors, apparently -- in order to make sure members of the Special Forces aren't punished for their war crimes:
WASHINGTON - An Army investigation into the shooting death of an Afghan in August 2002 found probable cause to charge several Special Forces soldiers with murdering him, but only one was reprimanded and the rest were cleared, documents obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union show.
[I]n Sayari’s death, Army investigators believed the four Special Forces soldiers conspired to lure him into an ambush and kill him.
Commanding officers disagreed; the leader of the four, a captain, received a written reprimand, and the rest were cleared. A chief warrant officer also was suspected of being an accessory because he reportedly lost Sayari’s alleged rifle, but he also was cleared.
According to a statement provided Monday by the Defense Department, commanders found that the shooting was justified. The statement said the captain was reprimanded only for failing to provide photographs of the scene to investigators.
Soldiers who arrived at the scene later said Sayari’s wounds looked as if he had been shot in his back and the back of his head. Sayari was clutching prayer beads in his right hand, which, according to an interpreter at the U.S. base nearby, was a peaceful gesture, not one made by someone intending violence.
A question occurs: on the basis of what, exactly, did the commanders conclude that the shooting was justified? Did they investigate the scene, talk to the witnesses, examine the physical evidence?
It's cases like these that destroy the military's credibility -- and show how farcical it is to expect the military to police itself regarding its actions in Afghanistan, Iraq, and GITMO.