Sunday, July 27, 2008

Warm Fuzzy Time

This hits you right in the heart.

SEATTLE - Decades after a World War II cover-up at Fort Lawton in Seattle, 28 African-American veterans received apologies and honorable discharges in a ceremony at the same spot where they were wrongly convicted years ago.

On Aug. 14, 1944, a riot broke out on the post. Black soldiers in segregated barracks were accused of sparking the violence due to resentment over treatment of Italian prisoners of war. An Italian POW, Guglielmo Olivotto, was later found hanging dead on wires in a post obstacle course.

Forty-three black soldiers were tried in the largest court-martial of World War II. Of those, 28 were found guilty of rioting and sentenced to as many as 25 years in prison. Three were also convicted of manslaughter.

When evidence emerged years later showing that the court-martial proceeding was grossly flawed and that the prosecutor had withheld critical evidence, the Army opened an investigation.

Based on the results of that probe, the Army overturned the convictions of all the black soldiers who were court-martialed.

Stick that in your pipe, Bill Cosby. That's integrity.

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