Thursday, July 5, 2007

Gazette editorial by a dishonorably discharged soldier: a poor choice

The Billings Gazette ran an opinion piece by Camilo Mejia, who was convicted of desertion by court-martial in 2004 when he failed to return to military duty after a 2-week furlough.

He was sentenced only to one year in prison and a dishonorable discharge (a mark of shame in and of itself for anyone who has served in the miliary.) Given that the traditional punishment for desertion is execution, Mejia got off pretty easy.

As is typical with so many "courageous" protesters, Mejia didn't plead guilty and take his punishment like a man. He instead used various claims under international law in an attempt to avoid conviction and punishment.

Mejia has since become a darling of the anti-war movement, or at least that part of it that doesn't understand the concept of honesty and honor when serving in uniform.

The Billings Gazette editorial staff should be ashamed of itself for printing a version of Mejia's apologia -- on the day after Independence Day, no less.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for providing the background on Mejia -- something the Gazette should have done. The identifier they put on his column would be like identifying Benedict Arnold as a Revolutionary War officer. It just seems misleading.

Montana Headlines said...

Misleading indeed.

The Gazette editors have the 1st amendment right to promote a convicted military deserter.

They also have the right to be misleading.

And Montana Headlines has the 1st amendment right to object in the strongest possible terms.

David said...

I don't hearing what Mejia has to say, and I don't object to The Gazette giving him the platform. But I thought he made an awfully poor case for his position.

Montana Headlines said...

That, too.