THE NEWS BLOG

 
Steve and Jen bring you this daily review of the news
Premium Advertiser

News Blog Sponsors

News Links

BBC World Service
The Guardian
Independent
Washington Post
Newsday
Iraq Order of Battle
Agonist
NY Times
LA Times
ABC News
CNN
Blogger

 
Blogs We Like

Daily Kos
Atrios
Digby's Blog
Skippy
Operation Yellow Elephant
Iraq Casualty Count
Uggabugga
Media Matters
Talking Points
Defense Tech
Intel Dump
Soldiers for the Truth
Margaret Cho
Juan Cole
Tbogg
Corrente
Gropinator
Just a Bump in the Beltway
Baghdad Burning
Wonkette
Howard Stern
Michael Moore
James Wolcott
Cooking for Engineers
There is No Crisis
Whiskey Bar
Rude Pundit
Driftglass
At-Largely
Crooks and Liars
Amazin' Avenue
DC Media Girl
The Server Logs

 
Blogger Credits

Powered by Blogger

Archives by
Publication Date
August 2003
September 2003
October 2003
November 2003
December 2003
January 2004
February 2004
March 2004
April 2004
May 2004
June 2004
July 2004
August 2004
September 2004
October 2004
November 2004
December 2004
January 2005
February 2005
March 2005
April 2005
May 2005
June 2005
July 2005
August 2005
September 2005
October 2005
November 2005
December 2005
January 2006
February 2006
March 2006
April 2006
May 2006
June 2006
July 2006
August 2006
September 2006
October 2006
November 2006
December 2006
January 2007
February 2007
Comments Credits
Comments by YACCS
Saturday, May 27, 2006

The price of Bush's war


(AP Photo/Brennan Linsley, File).
In this Dec. 14, 2004, file photo, Gen. Michael
W Hagee, the U.S. Marine Corps Commandant
,...flew to Iraq Thursday, May 26, 2006, to reinforce
the need to adhere to Marine values and standards
of behavior and to avoid the use of excess force.


Photos Indicate Civilians Slain Execution-Style
An official involved in an investigation of Camp Pendleton Marines' actions in an Iraqi town cites `a total breakdown in morality.'
By Tony Perry and Julian E. Barnes
Times Staff Writers

May 27, 2006

WASHINGTON — Photographs taken by a Marine intelligence team have convinced investigators that a Marine unit killed as many as 24 unarmed Iraqis, some of them "execution-style," in the insurgent stronghold of Haditha after a roadside bomb killed an American in November, officials close to the investigation said Friday.

The pictures are said to show wounds to the upper bodies of the victims, who included several women and six children. Some were shot in the head and some in the back, congressional and defense officials said.

One government official said the pictures showed that infantry Marines from Camp Pendleton "suffered a total breakdown in morality and leadership, with tragic results."

The case may be the most serious incident of alleged war crimes in Iraq by U.S. troops. Marine officers have long been worried that Iraq's deadly insurgency could prompt such a reaction by combat teams.

An investigation by an Army general into the Nov. 19 incident is to be delivered soon to the top operational commander in Iraq. A separate criminal investigation is also underway and could lead to charges ranging from dereliction of duty to murder.

Both investigations are centered on a dozen Marines from the 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division. The battalion was on its third deployment to Iraq when the killings occurred.

Most of the fatal shots appear to have been fired by only a few of the Marines, possibly a four-man "fire team" led by a sergeant, said officials with knowledge of the investigation, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The same sergeant is suspected of filing a false report downplaying the number of Iraqis killed, saying they were killed by an insurgent's bomb and that Marines entered the Iraqis' homes in search of gunmen firing at them. All aspects of his account are contradicted by pictures, statements by Marines to investigators and an inspection of the houses involved, officials said.

Other Marines may face criminal charges for failing to stop the killings or for failing to make accurate reports.

Of the dead Iraqis, 19 were in three to four houses that Marines stormed, officials said. Five others were killed near a vehicle.

The intelligence team took the pictures shortly after the shooting stopped. Such teams are typically assigned to collect information on insurgents after firefights or other military engagements.

Investigators and top officers of the Camp Pendleton-based 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, which oversees Marine infantry, aviation and support units in Iraq, have viewed the pictures.

The incident began when a roadside bomb attached to a large propane canister exploded as Marines passed through Haditha, a town on the Euphrates River. Lance Cpl. Miguel Terrazas, who was driving a Humvee, was killed and two other Marines were wounded.

Marines quickly determined that the bomb was a "line-of-sight" explosive that would have required someone to detonate it. Marines and Iraqi forces searched houses and other structures in the narrow, dusty streets. Jets dropped 500-pound bombs and a drone aircraft circled overhead.

Time magazine, in a report published in March, quoted witnesses, including a 9-year-old girl, Eman Waleed, who said that she saw Marines kill her grandparents and that other adults in the house died shielding her and her 8-year-old brother, Abdul Rahman.

An elder in Haditha later went to Marine officials at the battalion's headquarters to complain of wanton killings.

The Marines involved in the incident initially reported that they had become embroiled in a firefight with insurgents after the explosion. However, evidence that later emerged contradicted that version.

"There wasn't a gunfight, there were no pockmarked walls," a congressional aide said.

"The wounds indicated execution-style" shootings, said a Defense Department official who had been briefed on the contents of the photos.
.................................
One Marine sergeant, in an interview after his unit had returned to Columbus, Ohio, remembered a raid in which he burst into a home and came close to killing two women and a teenage boy out of rage for the deaths of fellow Marines.

Sgt. Guy Zierk, interviewed in the documentary, "Combat Diary: The Marines of Lima Company," said he knew at that point that he had been in Iraq too long.

They send these kids back to Iraq with PTSD and wonder why this kind of thing happens. There is no excuse for murder, shooting children in the head?

But the descriptions sound familiar, like My Lai, a few killers, and a lot of liars. To say that the command broke down at the NCO level is a disgrace. Where was his platoon and company commanders? If he was going to snap and murder children, didn't anyone see this?

The NCO pulled the trigger, but a lot of people are guilty

posted by Steve @ 10:12:00 AM

10:12:00 AM

The News Blog home page





 

Editorial Staff
RSS-XML Feeds

Add to My AOL

Support The News Blog

Amazon Honor System Click Here to Pay Learn More
News Blog Food Blog
Visit the News Blog Food Blog
The News Blog Shops
 
 
 
Operation Yellow Elephant
Enlist, Young Republicans