“I find it deeply troubling when a three star general in our military stands before an audience, and acknowledges a sick enjoyment for shooting people.  General Mattis of the 1st Marine division did exactly this before a conference in San Diego last week.

Somewhere along the way, torture became an acceptable practice (thank you Mr. Gonzales!).  Of course, the next logical step would be killing!  After all, it was inevitable, wasn’t it?  Perhaps he was “just blowing off some steam,” as Rush likes to put it.

Whatever the reason behind his comments, they were completely out of line.

But will Mattis face any consequence for his misconduct?  Let’s hear what Rummy has to say (1):
Mr. Secretary, you said that no one should expect Iraqi security forces I believe to come out of a pipeline like the fine battle-hardened men and women of the U.S. military.
            I’d like to ask, if I could, your reaction and the reaction of Marine General Pace, to some comments, apparently intemperate comments that General James Mattis made this week at a meeting in San Francisco — San Diego, he made publicly in San Diego.  He said — he was asked about fighting terrorists and insurgents and he said, “”Actually, it’s quite fun to fight them, you know.  It’s a hell of a hoot.  It’s fun to shoot some people, I’ll be right up front with you.  I like brawling.””
            Mattis also said, “”You go into Afghanistan, you’ve got guys who slap women around for five years because they didn’t wear a veil.  You know, guys like that ain’t got no manhood left anyway, so it’s a hell of a lot of fun to shoot them.””
            The commandant of the Marine Corps, General Hagee, says he’s counseled General Mattis on those comments.  I’d like to have you all’s reaction to those public comments, if I could.
            SEC. RUMSFELD:  General Pace?
            GEN. PACE:  Charlie, first of all, all of us who are leaders have a responsibility in our words, in our actions, to provide the right example all the time for those who look to us for leadership.
            I was not present when General Mattis made those specific comments, so I would let him address what he said for himself.
            But I will tell you that the last three times that that general has been in combat, when he was leading Marines in Afghanistan, and the two times that he led his division in Iraq, his actions, and those of his troops, clearly show that he understands the value of proper leadership and the value of human life.
            And in fact, if you go back and re-read, as I did this morning, the letter that he published to all of his troops in March of 2003 before the 1st Marine Division attacked into Iraq, you will see in one piece of paper, in several very short paragraphs, a leader who is directing his troops to fight the enemy with overwhelming power and to show great compassion to those who are noncombatants.  So clearly in his writing and clearly in the way that his troops have acted in combat, he has set the example.  I will leave it to him to tell you what he meant to say when he said what he said.
            Q     General, I don’t think anyone would argue about both his sensitivity and his bravery, but Mr. Secretary, do you think the commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps Development Command should be saying publicly that it’s fun to shoot people?
            SEN. RUMSFELD:  I have not read his words.  I don’t know what he said precisely or the context.  And I understand that General Pace has, and he’s responded.

So in other words, he is taking the Bush approach to wash his hands of the entire situation.  This is another example of the lack of accountability from the bush administration.


1. Full Transcript