A little over three months ago, the Ode Street Tribune launched a special operation to save three endangered SEALs. Navy SEALs Julio Huertas, Jonathan Keefe, and Matthew McCabe have being doing the difficult, dangerous, dirty work of tracking down terrorists and killing or capturing them. Recently they were subject to a dangerous charge: the U.S. military command charged them with punching a captive and then attempting to cover up this abuse.
Military juries heard court-martial cases against these three men. A guilty verdict could have had devastating effects on them, including up to a year of imprisonment. On April 22, 2010, Julio Huertas was acquitted of all charges. On April 23, 2010, Jonathan Keefe was acquitted of all charges. On May 6, 2010, Matthew McCabe was acquitted of all charges. The jury took only one hour and forty minutes to reach this last verdict (decision times weren't reported in the other cases). All three men have reported back to continue their difficult, dangerous work as Navy SEALs.
The Ode Street Tribune's special operation has achieved all its objectives. Undoubtedly few persons even realized that this operation was going on. Only Senator Jim Webb responded specifically to my email about the endangered SEALs. Senator Mark Warner responded with a form letter. Both these responses I've included in the comments to my original post. Representative Jim Moran did not respond at all. Representatives from other states, in particular Rep. Dan Burton (statement, statement, statement, statement) and Rep. Bob Latta (letter to President Obama) spoke out vigorously in support of the SEALs.
The weakness of the cases and the common sense of the jury surely helped to extricate the SEALs from the charges. But important too was popular support that generated donations to the SEALs' legal defense funds. Justice, like freedom, often requires a fight. I hope that the SEALs went into this legal fight with the most talented, best equipped, best trained, hardest-working legal defense team in the world. SEALs deserve no less.
The Ode Street Tribune thanks Julio Huertas, Jonathan Keefe, and Matthew McCabe for their service as Navy SEALs and wishes them a long and happy life.
Think about Navy SEALs Julio Huertas, Jonathan Keefe, and Matthew McCabe next time you're out walking your dog or enjoying a cold drink.