Sunday, February 8, 2015

Quickies: This Is A Marine?

I have an extraordinarily busy day before me, so today’s post must be brief.

First, read Doug Giles’s column of today. Try to contain your incredulity and read it all the way to the end.

Eddie Ray Routh, the subject of that column, killed two retired SEALs. One of Routh’s victims was Chris Kyle, a justly celebrated American hero. Routh’s mother had asked Kyle to help Routh, who supposedly suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Routh widowed Chris Kyle’s wife Taya and left the Kyles’ two children without a father.
Routh is about to stand trial for two counts of murder. His defense will be insanity related to his PTSD.
Routh is a former United States Marine.

The Marines are a proud service, for good reason: it’s a tough service to get into, and it demands much of those who wear its emblem. The Marines are often “first into the shit.” They have to be good. They make up for their relatively small numbers with courage, skill, mobility, and hard training.

What are the facts of Routh’s discharge from service? What credibility has a man who never saw combat, whose one tour in the Middle East was at an air base described as “cushy,” and who never experienced an episode of incoming fire, when he claims Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder? Indeed, how did Eddie Ray Routh become a Marine in the first place?

Are we looking at a degradation-of-standards problem here?

If any of the armed services would be expected to resist the watering-down of its standards, it would be the Marines. I suppose no matter how much effort is put to the maintenance of a high standard, once in a great while someone who doesn’t belong there will get in anyway. But Eddie Ray Routh’s story is remarkable: the very antithesis of the pride of service we think of in connection with the Marines. Then, once he’s safely home, he murders two fellow servicemen, one of whom is currently the most celebrated unelected figure in America.

Was some sort of pressure put on the Marine Corps to accept Eddie Ray Routh? If so, where did it come from? If not, how on Earth did he pass not just the initial screening but the rigors of Marine training? How did his aversion to service in combat go unnoticed until he was “in the sandbox,” detailed to guard jihadists who apparently won some measure of sympathy from him?

No doubt Routh’s insanity / PTSD defense will be subjected to intense scrutiny during his trial...but that scrutiny might not occur within the courtroom. If pressure got him into the Marine Corps despite his evident unsuitability, pressure might prevent the subject from being explored under a jury’s eyes. Indeed, pressure might shield him from the just consequences of his actions.

Murder deserves a harsh penalty. We don’t inflict that penalty on a man whom we deem to have been “not responsible” at the time of the event, but insanity, whether arising from PTSD or from some other genesis, is an affirmative defense: it must be substantiated by the accused. I very much want to see Eddie Ray Routh pressed on that defense...but whether he will be, given the mysteries surrounding his acceptance into the Marine Corps and his abstention from combat, is a question in itself.

And once those questions have been answered, how about this one: Why did Eddie Ray Routh, supposedly out of his mind from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder despite never having been in combat, shoot Chris Kyle and another retired SEAL, but no one else at the gun range that day?

We shall see.


Linda Fox said...

It does begin to look like a "hit", doesn't it?

Who could have ordered it?

Beyond my pay grade.

Anonymous said...

Not the first ex-marine to pull ff a hit.

Anonymous said...

I was the worlds worse usmc recruiter back in 1977 in lacrosse wi.why they sent a reluctant recruiter a died in the wool soutron to wi I will never know.i had a quota I had to make each month two into the pool and one direct.the pool were useualy high school seniors who hadn't graduated yet and a direct was someone who would asap.we would take anyone fraud them in stand in a judges chambers while the judge said go with him or go to jail which is how I got in at 15.your friend truckwilkins

mexicano said...

There is some speculation that he was a Moslem convert. I have no idea if there´s any truth in this claim, but it´s one possible explanation.

Ownerus said...

It's been over 42 years since I graduated MCRD as a newly minted Marine. I saw several individuals wash out of boot camp. One of them within the first three days. It was tough both physically and mentally expressly for the purpose of weeding out weak candidates. I can only wonder how the sometimes harsh training has fared in the era of political correctness. Maybe the weeding process has been destroyed by those who hate what America was as they've done with so many of the other processes that used to make American men.

Dan said...

I have seen stories that state
Routh was a guard in charge of
Islamic prisoners and spent quite a bit of time in their company.
Prison is a massively effective
location for's certainly a possibility that Routh became sympathetic to islam while in the company of his prisoner.

Tim Turner said...

I apologize for being on a tangent here, but two things are pretty clear:

1)Islam is an enemy of Western civilization. Period.

2)Treason and murder are simply defined.

I'm not advocating killing every Muslim in the U.S. But a case could be made for deporting them. If you were a Christian in Egypt, how comfortable and progressive would you feel?

"Eddie Ray Routh." He murdered a person in cold blood. The circumstances don't matter all that much. He is a stain on humanity and his continued existence does absolutely nothing to help the human race.

Kill the little punk and forget his name.