Of course the usual suspects have the dainties in a knot over this. Andrew Sullivan, for example, gets it wrong again:
No possibility of that tactic going wrong, is there? One dimension of committing to an indefinite occupation of Iraq, which means an indefinite war against Jihadist insurgents, is how their depravity seeps back into the US military. We've seen what has happened with torture and abuse. Even if it hadn't been authorized by the president, it's likely some of it would have crept in because of the very nature of the enemy we are engaging. Fighting this war without having it corrupt us is the great challenge we face. It gets harder and harder the longer we stay.
What? At the very, very least the people stealing det chord, C4, etc. are stealing shit from you during time of war. Sorry, they are not innocent choir boys. Much more likely they're the very insurgents that kill our troops and innocent Iraqis or the people that supply them, either way we are well rid of them. Besides if this practice becomes well known, eventually you'll see piles of bomb making materiel sitting unmolested, unused and unexploded as insurgents fear going near it. Is that such a bad thing?
If our troops, for whatever reason, killed innocent Iraqis and then planted stolen materiel on them, that's a completely different issue and should be dealt with accordingly. Judging by the news stories I've read, this is far from certain.
I have some bad news for people like Andrew Sullivan; war, any war is a filthy undertaking. You can't prevail without pushing the limits of what you're comfortable with. With bombs killing Americans and innocent Iraqis on a weekly basis, I would argue that anyone caught possessing or trying to steal explosives must be shot dead. What legitimate purpose could the stolen explosives possibly serve? In effect, the people stealing this materiel have, by their actions, identified themselves to us as our enemy. Not shooting them dead is exactly the sort of feckless, ineffectual nonsense that enables these bastards to function.