How does one resuscitate a reputation that the media has savaged?

You remember Ilario Pantano, don’t you?  Well, maybe not.   It’s been a long time now since the media savaged his reputation, selling him to Americans as a cold-blooded killer, a story that ran endlessly on newspaper front pages and in TV headlines.  Interestingly, the media was pretty quiet when the report came out clearing Pantano of those charges, which were nothing more than a smear by a disgruntled sergeant with a bone to pick against Pantano.  Aside from minimal statements to the effect that he was cleared (so minimal that I missed them entirely), the media has had no reports about the sergeant and his malevolent attack, not just on a man’s career, but on something much more valuable — his reputation.

Frankly, in terms of “sex selling” in the media, a story about this kind of personal attack, based on nothing more than malice and lies, is also.  Sadly for Pantano, it’s not sexy enough to convince the media that a wronged man deserved vindication as public as the attacks against him once were.

Please give a gift to Ilario Pantano this Christmas season by emailing to your friends and posting on your facebook and twitter accounts Arthur Herman’s reminder that, while Pantano was cleared as a matter of law, he is still a man whose (false) reputation precedes him, keeping him trapped in an endless nightmare:

Five years late, Ilario Pantano has been fully vindicated. Now where does he go to get his reputation back?

A dogged NCIS investigator has proven that Pantano, then a Marine lieutenant, should never have been put up on war-crimes charges back in 2004-5. But that doesn’t wipe away the endless smears thrown at him since.

Maybe the media and the bloggers hated him so much because he lived the classic American success story.

Born to a poor family in Hell’s Kitchen, Pantano showed the smarts to get a half-scholarship to the elite Horace Mann School — then put off college to join the Marines in the first Gulf War.

After that tour, he came back and worked nights to finish college, then landed a job at Goldman Sachs — until he re-enlisted shortly after 9/11.

In April 2004, 2nd Lt. Pantano was leading his squad in Iraq’s deadly Sunni Triangle when they stopped two Iraqis fleeing in a car from what turned out to be an insurgent ammo dump. Pantano ordered the pair to search their own vehicle to make sure it wasn’t booby-trapped. When they charged at him instead, he opened fire.

But one Marine, a disgruntled sergeant Pantano had disciplined more than once, claimed the two men had been kneeling and that Pantano shot them from behind. All other testimony contradicted him, yet that was the witness the Judge Advocate General’s investigating officer chose to believe when he charged Pantano with murder.

Since the witness kept changing his story and no evidence backed him up, the charges were dismissed in May 2005. But Pantano’s career as a Marine was over — and his nightmare was just beginning.

Read the rest here (and distribute it widely, please).

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  • Mellow Jihadi

    Ilario Pantano certainly faced a hellish character assassination after the incident. Good for the NCIS agent for clearing his name.

    One tiny quibble with this snippet: “After that tour, he came back and worked nights to finish college, then landed a job at Goldman Sachs — until he re-enlisted shortly after 9/11.”

    Mr. Pantano did not re-enlist, he was an officer. He accepted a commission. . .

  • Simplemind

    he wrote a book about it. I bought it on   I’m sure he’d appreciate the business. Its pretty well written first hand account. Makes a nice Christmas gift for someone thinking of going into the military.

  • Simplemind
  • suek

    “Every tenth page of Warlord should be stamped ‘this is not a work of fiction.’ Some men run from a fight, some hold their own; Ilario is the rare hero that runs to a fight. He is one tough mother!”
    — James Carville New York Times bestselling author, political strategist, and former U.S. Marine –This text refers to the Paperback edition.

    _James Carville_ gave it a good review??  Wow.

    James Carville is a former US Marine???  Wow again.  I didn’t know that.  As much as I find the man abhorrent, maybe there’s _something_ good deep down in there…

  • Ymarsakar

    Personally, I like cold blooded killers. Personality wise, I find them to be interesting sources of information, conservationists, and general entertainment. They just got some fun stories and I can talk about stuff that normally I don’t bring up with other people. A lot of stuff people talk about are simply boring to me.

     The thing about the media is that you can tell when they think you are a real killer, when they don’t talk about it. I.E. Islamics threatening reporters and reporters suddenly, mysteriously, shut up as they were told to. So if you really think the media thinks you are a killer, that gives you props as well as info on how to control the media. It’s only when the media is lying, do they do certain things that become obvious character assassination works of art. But of course, that’s no different from malignant narcissistic Leftist lying and deception campaigns reaching back an entire century, either.

     Lawyers are lawyers. It doesn’t matter if they are civilian lawyers or military lawyers. Their creed is neither the mission nor the US Constitution. Their creed is “I win”. The nice thing about cold blooded killers is that at least you know where you stand with them. If they ever felt really exercised about anything, they will make it very clear to you ahead of time. Lawyers will kill you 5 ways to Sunday, win, and reality can no longer be distinguished from fiction. It’s a bad way to go. My personal preferences are for truth, honesty, and simplicity.


  • Ymarsakar

    Grim Beorn is an oddity, in that he strives for codified law and security, yet personally advocates the resurrection of the Code Duello: the ability to challenge and kill people you don’t like or have offended your sense of the order of the universe. I, who value truth, honesty, and the fact that in a deathmatch no judge will over rule the sentence of survival earned by either party, do not believe in the necessity for the resurrection of the Code Duello. As much as I prefer the company and conversation topics of “violent” and uncivilized folks, I don’t think a civilization should have too many of them running around. ANd if there aren’t too many, it simply means most people will be weak, defenseless sheep, and those who can use violence, will simply make them do things their way with the threat of a duel. Just another social retarded way to control people, no different from Leftist lies. I believe in freedom, not in simply exchanging one’s shackles for another. Preferably, I’d like to nuke both the Left and their lies, plus the Islamic Jihad and their death squads, their familes replenishing the death squads, and their clans replenishing their families. But that’s just personal preferences. Get rid of slick, lying malignant narcissists, and get rid of violent, murder mad Islamos. Two for the price of one.

    I don’t ever want to be in a situation where I see a bunch of people who know how to use force and violence, but can’t protect the many against guerilla insurgents and terrorists, because most people are defenseless and the reaction speed of centralized security forces are too slow to cover all corners and principalities. It’s pretty annoying and counter productive.

    Until learning how to kill is brought back into formal human education and taught to everyone, rich or poor, stupid or smart, the Code Duello is not something we need back, in any form.