December 20, 2005

Thank you...

Mike McConnell of Kokonut Pundits has a very good post thanking Rob McGovern, a JAG officer who served in Afghanistan, then spent two tireless years on the prosecution of Sgt Hasan Akbar, obtaining a richly appropriate death penalty, and after that went to Iraq to work with Iraqi prosecutors.

(Thanks to Betsy N). This is from a news article on McGovern...

...And like so many American stories, it begins on 9/11.

“I walk up the subway stairs,” he says of that day. “And I see hundreds of people in the street. But I don’t see the towers yet. I just see all of these people, looking over my head. I remember the looks on their faces. I’ll never forget that. And then I look up, and I see the hole in the north tower. I could not believe my eyes.”

On Sept. 11, McGovern was a prosecutor in the Manhattan district attorney’s office. He prosecuted drug crimes. He liked his work. McGovern has always wanted to put away bad guys. Maybe that urge came from football. In any case, when he saw the hole in the north tower, he knew that his life would change. He spent the next five days helping with the rescue mission at Ground Zero. Mostly, he dug through rubble.

“I just wanted to help somebody,” he says. “That was the overpowering feeling we all had. It was like: ‘God, just please let me help somebody. Please let me find someone.’ ”

He did not find anyone alive. He did, though, dig out a body. A medical person shouted out: “Are you OK? Can you do it?” McGovern braced himself and nodded. He could barely hold himself together. But he put the body in a plastic bag.

“We all felt so helpless,” he says. “So immensely helpless. There was nothing we could do to change the events. I thought, in some small way, maybe finding that body would help the family, bring some closure for them. Maybe it wasn’t much. Maybe it doesn’t amount to much. I don’t know.”

McGovern was in the Army Reserve then. He signed up for active duty....

One of the men murdered by Akbar was a cousin McConnell never knew he had.

Posted by John Weidner at December 20, 2005 8:40 AM
Weblog by John Weidner