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Men in Uniform: Corporal Keil Joseph Cronauer and Lance Corporal Christopher Charles Stanzel, United States Marine Corps. Savannah, Georgia.

In Savannah, Georgia, Corporal Keil Joseph Cronauer and Lance Corporal Christopher Charles Stanzel, two government soldiers working for the United States Marine Corps, sucker-punched a gay man from behind as he was walking away, and then beat him unconscious, for allegedly winking at them. (The Marines, in their defense, claim that they beat him half to death because he might have been coming onto them.) Their victim, Kieran Daly, is recovering in the hospital from bruising to his brain.

A gay man was attacked by two Marines in Savannah, Georgia, reportedly because the soldiers thought that he was “winking” at them.

Kieran Daly was struck in the back of the head shortly before 4:00 a.m. on June 12, following an altercation with the two Marines, reported the local newspaper the Savannah Morning News that same day. A police officer saw the Marines running, then received word of the incident, the article said. The officer investigated the scene where Daly lay on the ground being given CPR by his friends, and then chased after and arrested the Marines, identified as Keil Cronauer, 22, and Christopher Stanzel, 23.

The Marines said that Daly had come on to them, saying sexually suggestive things and following close behind them; but their story was contradicted by witnesses who said that the Marines accused Daly of winking at them.

Daly suffered bruising to the brain, but was talking to the media from the hospital later that day. The guy thought I was winking at him, Daly recounted. I told him, I was squinting, man… I'm tired. Daly added that, the last thing I remember is walking away. I remember the feeling of getting hit, but I only kind of remember it. According to witnesses, one of the Marines punched the back of Daly's head as he was walking away.

— Kilian Melloy, edge (2010-06-16): Outrage Mounts After 2 Marines Viciously Beat Gay Man in Savanah, Ga.

Here is how the government police responded to this hyperviolent gay-bashing by a couple of government soldiers (their colleagues in the trade of unhinged government violence):

Although there were multiple eye-witnesses who confirmed that the attack was unprovoked, local police authorities charged the men with a misdemeanor and released them into the custody of military police.

— Action alert from Georgia Equality, quoted by Kilian Melloy, edge (2010-06-16): Outrage Mounts After 2 Marines Viciously Beat Gay Man in Savanah, Ga.

(Care to take bets on whether two gay men would be charged with misdemeanor battery right now if they had singled out a young Marine for harassment on the street, attacked him from behind and then beat him unconscious and put him in the hospital with head trauma?)

But, never to fear. The military has them in custody and is assuring us that the Incident will be Internally Investigated. Hear the reassuring words of Colonel David Robinson, Commanding Officer, MAG-31, and know that the guilty will be held accountable. Or, at least, some reports will damn well be made consistent.

Although this certainly does not justify the actions of the Marine who punched the individual, it is important for us to consider both sides of the story, said Col David Robinson, Commanding Officer, MAG-31. As with most incidents there are multiple perspectives, accounts and recollections. The facts of this isolated incident will come out through investigations by civilian and military authorities.

Although the initial reports from the arresting officer and the media coverage of the incident are widely disparate, we are committed to resolving the inconsistencies between the reports, added Robinson.

— Quoted in Kilian Melloy, edge (2010-06-16): Outrage Mounts After 2 Marines Viciously Beat Gay Man in Savanah, Ga.

Boldface mine.

Ah yes; Consider Both Sides; and remember, above all, that this is Yet Another Isolated Incident. Isolated, just like all the others (trigger warning).

What we’re actually dealing with here is an entrenched and institutionalized culture of violent masculinity, in which young men are taken away and set apart, to bond with each other around killing and through over-the-top violent hypermasculinity; where, like many other spaces where over-the-top violent hypermasculinity is encouraged, it’s often expressed through homophobic hostility and celebrations of torture and sexualized violence; where these men trained to see themselves as becoming stand-up men through their dutiful practice of violence on command from other men; where they are constantly told that they can do no wrong and that Their Country will Honor Them for their unrelenting brutality; and after which they are constantly treated as a special class apart, with an entirely separate system of policing and law, deserving special honors, special protection, and also special consideration and kid-glove handling by fellow soldiers and government police, when they turn around inflict that violence on innocent people.

When men in uniform are encouraged to see their manhood in violence, and violence as essential to their manhood, and when government insulates its trained killers, over and over again, from accountability for their violence, you are going to see that violence acted out on the people that masculinity targets: on women, on lesbians, on gay men. The problem here isn’t the apples. It’s the damn barrel.

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