Washington (CNN) - A trio of congressional Republicans passionately appealed to the Pentagon on Thursday to drop charges against three Navy SEALs accused of assaulting an Iraqi suspected of orchestrating the 2004 killing and mutilation of four U.S. contractors.
Flanked by about a dozen retired Navy SEALs at a news conference near the Capitol, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-California; Rep. Dan Burton, R-Indiana; and Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, insisted that the U.S. is sending the wrong message to its troops.
"These Navy SEALs were apprehending a terrorist murderer, and they are being accused of roughing him up? Give me a break! These men should be given medals, not prosecuted. These men are heroes," Rohrabacher said.
Burton agreed, saying, "These people are laying their lives on the line every day, and they can't go into a combat situation with kid gloves on."