United States of America

II Lt. IIlario Pantano. Marine Corps. A Hells Kitchen, Manhattannative, Father of two including a four month old daughter, is being brought up on charges of pre-meditated murder when in self-defense he shot and killed Two Iraqi insurgents in the hostile city of Fallujah.

He is facing a Article 32 hearing and if charged could face the Death Penalty. The incident occurred on April 15, 2004. II Lt.Pantano was leading his platoon in a search for weapons and insurgents, to a suspected hide-out/weapons cash near Baghdad. The search yielded several weapons, ammunition, and materials such as nails that could be used to make home-made bombs. During the search, two insurgents ran out of the building and attempted flee the scene in their truck.

The insurgent vehicle was stopped. Lt. Pantano told the men to search the truck themselves, as bombs and booby-traps were suspected. The men began acting nervously and tried to run away. Pantano ordered them both to stop in Arabic, they refused and acting quickly for his and his platoons safety shot them.

Lt. Pantano's commanders conducted an investigation, which valiadted his actions. He continued to serve his tour of duty, then returned to the United States to Camp Lejeune. It was not until an as yet to be named enlisted marine that was under Lt.Pantano's command during the incident, filed a complaint against Lt. Pantano that raised an eyebrow over the April 2004 combat incident. The enlisted man filed the complaint months after the shootings took place.

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The Defend II Lt. Ilario Pantano against Injustice petition to president@whitehouse.gov was written by Matthew Figurski and is in the category Military at GoPetition.