Thursday, May 26, 2005

It took far too long, but the Marines finally came to their senses in the case of Lieutenant Ilario Pantano.

He won't be prosecuted, but the devil got his due in this case. 2LT Pantano's career is trashed, he's been dragged throught the mud, he has most likely expended considerable financial resources--in short, his life has been irrevocably changed. All over accusations made by a disaffected sergeant.

By all accounts Pantano is a superb officer and held in high regard by his men and his peers. On the other hand, Pantano's accusser, one SGT Coburn, is known to be incompetent and a slacker. When Patano finally tired of Coburn's incompetence he removed him from his leadership position. Coburn clearly was seeking revenge. The one man who was in a position to witness exactly what did occur that day, Navy Corpsman Gobles, backed Pantano's statement.

Like Ray Donovan before him, 2LT Pantano now finds himself in the position of wondering where to go to get his reputation back.

Rudyard Kipling understood the travails of military service.

From "That Day":

It got beyond all orders an’ it got beyond all ’ope;
It got to shammin’ wounded an’ retirin’ from the ’alt.
’Ole companies was lookin’ for the nearest road to slope;
It were just a bloomin’ knock-out—an’ our fault!

Now there ain’t no chorus ’ere to give,
Nor there ain’t no band to play;
An’ I wish I was dead ’fore I done what I did,
Or seen what I seed that day!


Barb said...

I was very glad to hear that the charge were dropped. How sad that such a well-respected officer has had his career thrashed.

Lilly said...

I've written and deleted about 10 different comments to this post. Situations like this one just get me so mad.

Snake Eater said...

Me too, Lilly. I can't be emphatic enough about the reality here--prosecution or not, 2LT Pantano is done for.

He made a split-second decision (the correct decision, I think) in a place and situation that has killed many men already. What was then done to him is a cosmic unjustice.

Jennifer said...

Since he's not going to be charged and since it all this means that his decisions/actions were the correct ones and he did not wrong, they shouldn't shitcan his career. That just ain't right. And to think this could happen to anyone, all you need is an assclown like that Sergeant. They should prosecute the Sergeant for all the money spent, hours investigated, manpower used, etc.

Jennifer Martinez sends

Snake Eater said...

I couldn't agree with you more, Jenn. But you're familiar with life in the military.

Once someone has been tarred, there's no coming back. I disagree with it vehemently, but the military, and the officer corps in particular, are infamous for devouring their own.

2LT Pantano did a hitch in the Marines as an enlisted man then worked his way to the top of the heap, landing huge bucks as an investment banker. After 9/11 he put country first and went back into the Marines. We could use several million more Americans like him, yet this is how he gets treated.