There’s a semi-hidden cemetery in France filled with executed US WWII solders who raped and murdered the locals. The military has such disrespect for them that they are only marked with numbers, not names. We don’t execute quite so much anymore, but we still do proper military criminal investigations into such allegations.
There are two sides to this. On one, we talk as you do about making sure justice is done for crimes committed, and the damage inherent in not fully investigating. On the other hand, there’s the concern about railroading troops who were doing the best they could in a bad situation. A soldier fighting for his life in a firefight shouldn’t have to ask to for a time-out so he can consult an attorney to avoid potential Monday-morning legal quarterbacking. This is all the harder with an enemy who doesn’t wear a uniform and blends in with the locals.
And, yes, every friendly fire incident gets a full investigation. Criminal charges are unlikely since most of these are truly accidents with multiple contributing factors. However, we once railroaded a colonel out of the Army over a friendly fire incident, using the fact that he’d violated some local command policy by going up that day when they couldn’t find an actual violation of law in the friendly fire incident itself. Because of feelings just like yours, there is a LOT of political pressure from the very top to convict for friendly fire incidents, and in those cases we have to be extra sure that justice, not mob justice, is done.
That’s very interesting if it’s true. Does that statement imply that the US military executed various US troops for crimes such as murder and rape committed against French locals. I suppose they had trials or court-martials and were quickly sentenced to death? Amazing if it’s actually true, because I’ve never heard of it.