Major Harry Schmidt, an elite American military pilot, "flagrantly disregarded a direct order" to hold fire in Afghanistan. Then he dropped a 220 kg. bomb from his F-16 warplane that killed four Canadian soldiers and wounded eight.

He acted "shamefully," with "arrogance." He chose to wage his own private war in defiance of all orders. He never expressed heartfelt remorse.

And he lied to excuse his fatal actions.

That's how U.S. Air Force Lt.-Gen. Bruce Carlson summed up the case against Schmidt this week, as he officially reprimanded him for the "friendly fire" bombing on April 17, 2002 when the pilot mistook the Canadians for Taliban fighters.

And having rendered this scorching verdict, what penalty did the U.S. military impose?

Schmidt loses $5,672 (U.S.) in pay. The reprimand will go on his military record. And he will not fly warplanes again.

This guy, Schmidt - from what I've seen in the media, the way he presents himself - represents the worst of the military. The "YEAH! I get to fly a plane and shoot shit" guy. The "This is just like being in a video game" guy. The "I've been waiting a long time to see some action so I'm not going to wait when I get my chance" guy. I don't like these guys. They have thick necks and narrow minds.

This verdict is a slap in the face. American military justice has let down comrades-in-arms in the war on terror.

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