Pentagon Denies Meeting Request for SEAL Petition

The Pentagon has turned down a request by HUMAN EVENTS for a meeting with Defense Secretary Robert Gates to present a petition signed by over 114,000 Americans seeking the dismissal of charges against three Navy SEALs.

“I’m sorry, but I’m afraid a meeting is just not going to be possible at this time,” Gates spokesman Bryan Whitman told HUMAN EVENTS’ editors in an e-mail.

The petition asks that the Defense Secretary personally intervene to dismiss charges against Navy SEAL operators SO2 Jonathan Keefe, SO1 Julio Huertas and SO2 Matthew McCabe.

“These three men are charged with abusing a terrorist they captured in a daring nighttime raid on or about 1 September 2009,” the petition says. “On that night, they — as part of a platoon from SEAL Team 10 — captured and detained Ahmed Hashim Abed, one of the most barbaric and dangerous terrorists in Iraq. The terrorist — in a move that is literally right out of the al-Qaeda training manual — complained of abuse, apparently alleging he was struck in the stomach.”

“You can, legally under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, intervene to dismiss the charges against the three SEALs and direct that they be restored to duty. We respectfully request that you do so forthwith. For this matter to continue — and to place the honor and fighting future of these three men at stake — is manifestly a gross injustice,” the petition said.