Being Nowhere
Circus Tradition
Class Politics
Enormous Loss
Haditha Tragedy
Homeless Being
Illegal Camping Ordinance
Journalism Priviledge
Keep Us Safe
Leadership and the People

Lesser Evils
Lynching Iraq
News for Working People
Nice Cops
Palestinian Democracy
Poison Fish
Political Communication
Selective Memory
Vestigial Entrances

Haditha Tragedy

ttorney Neal Puckett says of the Haditha tragedy: “Unless you were on the ground that day, you can’t judge.” I disagree.

Initially, those who were on the ground that day are precluded from judging by ancient principle: iniquum est aliquem suae rei esse judicem. One should not be judge in his or her own affairs.

More recently, cognitive psychology suggests serious weakness in the perceptions of intensely involved witnesses. We need to hear them of course, but license to judge would be a mistake.

And last, if moral standing to judge were limited to participants, the meaning of discipline would be lost, and there would be no distinction between necessary force and mayhem.














©Al Katz • Prof. of law SUNY, Buffalo, 1969-1989 (ret.)