If you haven't heard the story of Jose Luis Nazario, read it here.
For those of you who don't want to follow the link, Nazario is a former Marine who allegedly killed two insurgents in Fallujah. The incident occurred during wartime, like I said, in Fallujah, a hotbed for the insurgents at the time of the alleged killing. Nazario is now back in the United States, he has received several awards from the military, and was commended for his actions in the war.
Now that he's gotten back to the States, however, Nazario has been charged with voluntary manslaughter in federal court. Not a court martial, federal court. Now, Sergeant Nazario was following orders from his C.O., so why should he be held accountable by a civilian court for what he's done under direct orders from a military officer? The statute that he's being charged under is the "Military Extraterritorial Extradition Act", which was almost certainly not passed to be used in this case. It gives the government a chance to prosecute civilians and military personnel for crimes committed overseas.
If Nazario is found guilty in this case, this is only going to open the floodgates to the prosecution of a large number of former soldiers who just so happened to kill someone in their tour of duty. The problem is that most of these former soldiers were not court martialed. They were not charged by the military in any way.
We already have a hard time recruiting people for the military as it is, with the long, drawn out war in Iraq discouraging people, but if you add in the fact that you can get prosecuted when you come back to the country for FOLLOWING ORDERS, you aren't going to get anyone to come out and join the military, or you're going to have a lot more deaths because people won't be protecting themselves.
One of the biggest movements in this country, whether you're a war supporter or not, was the "Support the Troops" movement. This prosecution of Nazario seems to go against that. Like the war or not, we want the soldiers to do their jobs over in Iraq. If we can't let them do their jobs properly, there are going to be gigantic issues.
Leave the military offenses to the military's courts. There's no need for these government prosecutors to dabble in these cases.