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Marines charged with rape; U.S. won't turn them over

From the AP via Lenin's Tomb.
CARMEN, Philippines -- The United States on Tuesday refused a Philippine request to hand over four Marines charged with rape, provoking anti-American protests in the capital and the Muslim south.

In a letter to the Philippine government, the U.S. Embassy invoked the bilateral Visiting Forces Agreement, which allows large-scale U.S. training in the country, and vowed to keep the Marines in its custody during an upcoming trial.

Prosecutors allege that Lance Cpl. Daniel Smith raped a 22-year-old woman Nov. 1 inside a van at Subic Bay, a former U.S. naval base, as fellow Marines cheered him on. Smith claims he had consensual sex.

Also charged were Lance Cpl. Keith Silkwood, Lance Cpl. Dominic Duplantis and Staff Sgt. Chad Carpentier, part of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Force stationed in Okinawa, Japan.

About 30 left-wing students lay on a scorching road near the U.S. Embassy, raising their fists and yelling: "Arrest the American troops and let them pay!"

About 2,000 protesters greeted American troops in the southern town of Carmen, about 560 miles southeast of Manila, where they started monthlong exercises with Filipino troops.
That's not going to win very many hearts and minds.

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