As the official investigation into the Haditha incident, where Marines in Iraq allegedly murdered two dozen Iraqi civilians because one their troops was killed by a roadside bomb, glacially proceeds, our thoughts inevitable turn to the appropriate punishment should they be found guilty. Rumour has it they may face the death penalty - although "Right Blogistan" is demanding the head of Representative Murtha instead for being a traitor to the troops by digging into the issue.
So what would be an enlightened penalty for murdering civilians while being in uniform in the Government's service?
Well, some lateral thinking is needed here: how to minimise the cost to the taxpayer for keeping them locked up for the rest of their life (if we discount the death penalty), how to appropriately punish them for the rest of their lives; and how to humiliate them sufficiently and continuously so they act as a deterrent for a future repeat?
You lock then up in a Big brother style prison, being webcast 24 hours a day and subscribers can tell them what to do if they want to earn any money to keep themselves alive. It doesn't have to be all sexual perversion, but I bet that would generate more viewers and cash rather than sitting around chatting inanely. And they could give ActiveDuty.com a run for their money. A win-win-win situation for everybody involved: the Marines can strut their macho stuff 24 hours a day, the taxpayer makes some money and the punter gets off. Even the Pajamahadeen wouldn't need to get away from their computers to support their troops.