Let me tie a couple of news stories together. Here's today's:
Marine freed in Iraq killing case

A US marine who was sentenced to eight years in military jail for his role in the death of an Iraqi civilian has been released following a clemency decision. Robert Pennington, 22, was jailed in February after pleading guilty to kidnapping and conspiracy in the 2006 killing of Hashim Ibrahim Awad, 52.In exchange, prosecutors dropped murder and other charges. His rank was reduced and he was dishonourably discharged. Of the eight members of the squad involved only one remains in prison.

In making the decision, Lt Gen James Mattis considered the defendants' ages, military experience, rank and involvement in the death, the marines said in a statement. Murder and other charges were dropped in return for Pennington testifying against three other marines in the case. He was demoted from corporal to private.

Mr Awad, a police officer, was taken from his home, put in a hole and shot in the head 10 times. A gun and a shovel were then placed by his body to make it look as if he were an insurgent planting a roadside bomb. The unit was reportedly searching for an insurgent and took Mr Awad when they failed to find their target.

I posted my next quote once before, a long time ago in another thread in response to a previous massacre of civilians by General Mattis' subordinates. It's his 1st Marine Division (REIN) Commanding General's Message to All Hands, March 2003, and I hope nobody ever forgets it:
Our fight is not with the Iraqi people, nor is it with members of the Iraqi army who choose to surrender. While we will move swiftly and aggressively against those who resist, we will treat all others with decency, demonstrating chivalry and soldierly compassion for people who have endured a lifetime under Saddam's oppression [...] For the mission's sake, our country's sake, and the sake of the men who carried the Division's colors in past battles "who fought for life and never lost their nerve" carry out your mission and keep your honor clean.
This is the same General Mattis who told a convention audience two years later that
Actually, its a lot of fun to fight. You know, it's a hell of a hoot. I like brawling. [...] You go into Afghanistan, you got guys who slap women around for 5 years because they didn't wear a veil. You know, guys like that ain't got no manhood left anyway. So it's a hell of a lot of fun to shoot them.
And now, sixteen months after eight of your marines "dragged disabled Mr Awad from his home and killed him" only one remains in prison, because you "considered the defendants' ages, military experience, rank and involvement in the death"?

Keep your honor clean, General? I don't think you know what the words mean.