Once again we have a situation coming to a head between our government and one of our allies. The issue in question is the murder of a transgendered man by a U.S. Marine. Back in October, Marines were a part of 3500 American troops taking part in joint exercises with the Philippines. While on leave, Pfc Joseph Scott Pemberton met what appeared to be two Philipino women.
One of the apparent women called Jennifer, urged the other man to leave before Pemberton discovered they was a men. Jennifer, who’s real name, was Jeffery, remained behind. He was found a few hours later having been stranged and then drowned. Witnesses place the 19-year-old Marine at the hotel.
There are also witnesses within Pemberton’s company that state he confessed to the murder of Jeffery. According to Lance Corporal Jairn Michael Rose, Pemberton told him that he choked Jeffery until he stopped moving and then dragged him into the bathroom. Where it is supposed that he drowned him.
Now, the Philippine government has asked that the U.S. government to hand Pemberton over to them as he has now been formally charged with murder. The Marines, according to the treaty between the U.S. and the Philippines, have the right to detain a suspect for the duration of the trial. According to Marine Spokesman Col. Brad Bartelt in Hawaii, they will be exercising this right.
Cries of hate crime have already begun as this is the reason given for the actions of Pemberton. Philippino leftist and transgender groups have labeled Pemberton’s actions as motivated by hate. This is the usual way that the left handle such things. Dramatizing and overreacting.
It should be noted that if Pemberton is guilty, he should face the consequences. I do not want to sound as if I support or agree with the actions he took. Pemberton should have left the room and went back to the ship. Murder is never the answer.
On the other hand, it is easy to forget the situation the young man was in when this occurred. He is a 19-year-old away from home. He had most likely been drinking and was probably surprized and maybe discussed that he had been kissing a man. Then there is the pride issue. Everyone on his ship was going to know that he had been kissing a man. Now, as a man I would hope that I would have done the right thing. Left and took my ragging from the guys on the ship.
As for the hate crime part. It seems that this is very much overused in our day. I hate the hate crimes part of things. Is it not enough that murder is illegal, do we have to criminalize thought as well? Is not “hate crime” an attempt to make everyone conform to what we want them to think and feel about others?
Besides that, Pemberton did not go into Olongapo on leave with the express purpose to hurt or kill transgendered men. He went there to have a good time and “hook-up” with a local girl. Yet, this boy will be made an example of as he has no chance of a fair trial. He is a foreigner who is accused of killing a local. Worse, he has already been tried and convicted in the media.