Sgt. Michael Leahy Jr. was convicted of murder Friday for his part in the shooting deaths of four Iraqis in 2007. The 28-year-old Army medic, one of a group of soldiers to face charges in the case, admitted that he shot one of the victims in the back of the head, but Leahy’s lawyer argued that combat stress had destroyed his client’s capacity to reason properly.
The specifics of this case are made more sickening by the fact that they did not occur in a vacuum. Several cases of U.S. forces killing unarmed Iraqi civilians are pending in military courts, and they have badly mangled America’s already bad image in the region.