Sunday, August 14, 2005
Actual Random Thoughts
The columbarium at left at Arlington National Cemetery contains the ashes of Russell Wayne Wagner. Wagner’s vault is in the top row
Questioning how the remains of a "cold-blooded murderer" were accepted at a national military cemetery, U.S. Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, D-Md., on Thursday asked members of a Senate committee to investigate.
"Our national cemeteries are places of national honor for those who have served their country and fellow citizens," Mikulski wrote in a letter to Sen. Larry E. Craig, R-Idaho, and Sen. Daniel K. Akaka, D-Hawaii, both of the Committee on Veterans' Affairs. "Convicted murderers should not be allowed in the hallowed grounds of our national cemeteries."
Mikulski was referring to Russell Wayne Wagner, 52, who was convicted of murdering Daniel Davis, 84, and Wilda Davis, 80, of Hagerstown, MD in 1994. Wagner was sentenced to consecutive life terms in 2002.
He died in prison in February. The cause of death was listed as heroin intoxication.
Wagner served in the U.S. Army from 1969 to 1972 and was honorably discharged. At his sister's request, Wagner's ashes were placed in an urn at Arlington National Cemetery last month with standard military honors.
Mikulski wrote that she was "shocked" to learn that a 1997 law passed to keep convicted murderers such as Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh from being buried at national cemeteries did not apply to Wagner because his sentence allowed him to apply for parole.
He should not have been allowed to be buried at Arlington, in my opinion. I see it this way: He murdered 2 people. Thus he sacrificed his rights as an American citizen. If he was no longer allowed rights as an American citizen, the same loss of rights should be extended to his military service as well. Arlington is a place where The United States honors the American service men and women for their service to their country. We don’t honor the memory of murderers. And we shouldn’t.
This is a photo of Rudolph Hess, taken on the grounds of Spandau Prison, shortly before his death.
In other news, An “official” close to the proceedings said, on Thursday, that Saddam Hussein could be executed after the first trial if he is convicted and sentenced to death for his alleged role in a Shiite massacre, even though he faces other charges as well. An estimated 150 Shiites were massacred in 1982 in Dujail, north of Bhagdad. His trial is scheduled to begin in the fall.
Iraqi authorities are building about a dozen other cases against Saddam that they intend to try separately, but the official said authorities could “theoretically” carry out the death sentence without waiting for the other trials to begin.
Personally, I think it would be a mistake for Saddam to be executed. I also think it would be a mistake to kill Osama Bin Laden. Why? Because killing them would make martyrs of them and would only serve to embolden the terrorists.
I think I have a better solution. Place them both in a prison by themselves as the allies did to 7 Nazi war criminals convicted in the famous trial at Nuremberg after World War II. In 1947, 7 men were locked away in Spandau prison in Berlin, Germany.
Spandau Prison was built as a 19th Century penitentiary. The buildings are of a pseudo-medieval, red-brick fortress. It was built in 1876 to hold 500 prisoners as a military detention center. after World War II it held the seven Nazi leaders sentenced from Nuremberg. But, since 1966, its only prisoner was Rudolph Hess (1894 - 1987) until his death on 17 August 1987.
A Military guard was provided by the four occupying powers, The U.S.A., Britain, France and the Soviet Union. The Military guards were supplemented by eighteen warders. The Military guard was provided by a platoon strength who manned the six watch towers. Strict orders were given to the guards regarding fraternization with Hess, and all sentries were searched prior to taking up their post to prohibit the use of cigarettes. Most of those who carried out this duty remember a very old man walking around the garden on a path he had trodden himself.
This is what should be done with Osama and Saddam, in my opinion. Never let them out, and never allow them any contact with the outside world.
None. They can’t be martyrs if they are still alive but there is no way they can do any more harm if they have no contact with anyone.
The guy that invented this evil concoction called the "Double Chocolate" bar. It is creamy milk chocolate on the outside and creamy dark chocolate, almost chocolate syrup, on the inside. It is so delicious that it will no doubt end up killing me. Some one stop this evil, please!