Green, all around loser
Accused rapist-murderer Steven Green
For Accused G.I., Iraq Only Added to His Woes
By JIM DWYER and ROBERT F. WORTH
On the last day of January 2005, Steven D. Green, the former Army private accused of raping a 14-year-old Iraqi girl and murdering her family, sat in a Texas jail on alcohol-possession charges, an unemployed 19-year-old high school dropout who had just racked up his third misdemeanor conviction.I don't think it's an exaguration to say that Green didn't belong in the Army. Between his GED and jail time along with his issues, he shouldn't have been a soldier.
Days later, Mr. Green enlisted in a soldier-strapped Army, and was later assigned to a star-crossed unit to serve on an especially murderous patch of earth.
He arrived at the very moment that the Army was increasing by nearly half the rate at which it granted what it calls “moral waivers” to potential recruits. The change opened the ranks to more people like Mr. Green, those with minor criminal records and weak educational backgrounds. In Mr. Green’s case, his problems were emerging by junior high school, say people who knew him then.
Mr. Green’s Army waiver allowed a troubled young man into the heart of a war that bore little resemblance to its original declared purposes, but which continued to need thousands of fresh recruits.
Now, there is shame and rage in the Army — from the ranks of the enlisted to the officer corps — over the crimes attributed to Mr. Green, who was discharged in April on psychiatric grounds, and four other soldiers charged with a rape and four killings in March in Mahmudiya, a town about 20 miles south of Baghdad. A sixth soldier was charged with failing to report the matter after learning about it.
Mr. Green’s commanding officer, Lt. Col. Thomas Kunk, told his brother in a recent letter that “his worst fears, the nightmare every commander dreams of, has basically come true,’’ the brother, Peter Kunk, said in an interview describing the letter.
“The three or four people have apparently been involved in a situation that reflects so badly on the Army and all the people in these brigades and companies,” Mr. Kunk said.
Born May 2, 1985, Steven Dale Green spent some of his earliest years in Midland, Tex.
“He was always, like, in trouble, doing something in school,” said Mr. Godfrey, 21, an emergency medical technician. “He was always getting into a fight or saying something mean to a teacher. Something weird. It was just out of place. Gradewise and stuff, I don’t know if he did good or bad. But he did not mix well with other people. He was basically mad, or something like that.”
Lisa Godfrey, Mr. Godfrey’s mother, said she had worked with Mr. Green’s mother at Seabrook Classic Cafe and they had spoken often about their boys. His mother had trouble with Steven, Ms. Godfrey, 46, said.
“He was disruptive in his house,” she said. “I don’t know if he killed small cats or anything, but that’s the kind of kid he was. His mom had a lot of issues.”
In 2000, Mr. Green’s mother spent six months in jail on a drunken-driving conviction, records show. Around that time, Mr. Green returned to Midland, where his father still lived. There, he attended Viola M. Coleman High School, which offers courses for students who have difficulty with regular academic programs. He dropped out by 2002, around the 10th grade, but received a graduate equivalency diploma in 2003 from Midland Community College.
Mr. Green was convicted in October 2001 of possession of drug paraphernalia and fined $350. Five months later, he was charged as a minor in possession of tobacco, and was fined $300, according to records in Midland Municipal Court. On Jan. 31, 2005, he was arrested and charged as a minor in possession of alcohol, and again was fined $350. This time, he did not pay the fine, but served jail time.
“He laid off the fine in jail,” Sheriff Gary Painter of Midland County said. Mr. Green did not volunteer to work in the kitchen or at other jobs, which would have shortened his stay, Sheriff Painter said. He served four days.
The share of Army recruits who received “moral waivers” for criminal records increased last year and through the first half of 2006 by 15 percent from 10 percent or 11 percent before the war, according to statistics released this week. (According to the Pentagon, the number of waivers in 2001 totaled 7,640. The figure increased to 11,018 in 2005, and for the first six months of this fiscal year totaled 5,636.)
Drug issues, authority issues, a sub par education, not someone the Army would have touched in 2002.
Now a kid like this could respond to the Army, but they can also unleash psychotic behavior with no punishment until they cross a line.
He literally went from a jail cell to boot camp.
posted by Steve @ 10:30:00 AM