This is a bad couple of days for military news. Marines punished for desecrating enemy corpses; soldiers punished for unheedingly burning Qurans; now soldiers from Ft. Stewart, GA being prosecuted as “anarchists” who wanted to overthrow the government.
Really. Overthrow our national government.
One might think this would be too silly to be carried out by only four soldiers. But according to the prosecution, no one really knows how many were involved. And almost certainly four lone soldiers couldn’t bring down our government.
But they could shoot, bomb and kill. And not only did they (allegedly) plan and conspire to do so, one of their leaders, Pvt Isaac Aguigui, is accused of murdering a soldier, Michael Roark, and his girlfriend, Tiffany York, because Roark planned to leave the group and he and York were “loose ends.”
PFC Michael Burnett agreed to testify against the other three soldiers–who include a sergeant, Anthony Peden–to avoid the death penalty for the murders of Roark and York. Burnett admitted in testimony to being at the scene of the murder, “including watching as a soldier ‘checked (York’s) pulse and then shot her again.'” (CNN)
The other charges in the case include conspiring on “forcibly taking over the ammo control point of Fort Stewart to take the post, bombing vehicles of local and state judicial and political figureheads and federal representatives to include the local department of homeland security, (and plotting) to bomb the fountain at Forsyth Park in Savannah.”
And it all started as “just going out shooting guns, just guy stuff,” Burnett testified.
“And then Aguigui introduced me to ‘the manuscript,’ that’s what he called it, a book about true patriots,” the soldier said.
“Just guy stuff.” A special “manuscript.” A private who was so influential, so charismatic and convincing, that he directed the group of four traitors–a group that included a sergeant who outranked him. A young private who recruited others to his plot to overthrow the government, while in his spare time, while serving in uniform at Ft. Stewart. A private who, according to Burnett, eventually directed his small group to murder.
Burnett said, “If I could have stopped it [the murders], I would have.”
Perhaps Burnett means, if he had tried to stop the murders when they occurred without getting harmed himself, he would have. I’m not impressed. He’s in the uniform of his government (even though he has become a traitor) and one of his comrades-in-arms, even a co-conspirator, is murdered in front of him. I’m not at all impressed with Burnett’s mewling excuses, with his cowardice, with his willing descent into darkness.
There may come a time for any or all of us when we must step forward and say, “This is wrong. I will not be a part of this. And I will stop you.”
That’s the statement that matters. That’s the person who matters.