More accusations against the troops

Friday, June 30, 2006
Read this article and notice how they manage to accuse soldiers of rape and murder and at the same time besmirch the memory and reputations of the two young men who were kidnapped and killed in Iraq.

The story is based on an anonymous tip about something said by someone who wasn't actually there but felt guilty anyway.

These soldiers have been in Iraq for more than three years and there have been more allegations of atrocities in the last three months than there have been in the last three years.

I thought about mentioning this in one of Rick Ballard's AP watches but I thought it deserved a post of its own.

Some of the five soldiers also allegedly burned the body of the woman they are accused of assaulting in the March incident, a U.S. military official told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the case.

The U.S. command issued a statement saying only that Maj. Gen. James D. Thurman, commander of coalition troops in Baghdad, had ordered a criminal investigation into the alleged killing of a family of four in Mahmoudiyah, south of Baghdad.

At least 14 American troops have been convicted in other cases.


The United States also is investigating allegations that two dozen unarmed Iraqi civilians were killed by Marines in the western town of Haditha on Nov. 19 in a revenge attack after one of their own died in a roadside bombing.

"The entire investigation will encompass everything that could have happened that evening. We're not releasing any specifics of an ongoing investigation," military spokesman Maj. Todd Breasseale said of the Mahmoudiyah allegations.

"There is no indication what led soldiers to this home. The investigation just cracked open. We're just beginning to dig into the details."

Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said he had no additional details on the inciden
t but added that the military routinely investigates all allegations of misconduct.

However, a U.S. official close to the investigation said at least one of the soldiers, all assigned to the 502nd Infantry Regiment, has admitted his role and been arrested. Two soldiers from the same regiment were slain this month when they were kidnapped at a checkpoint near Youssifiyah.

The official told the AP the accused soldiers were from the same platoon as the two slain soldiers. The military has said one and possibly both of the slain soldiers were tortured and beheaded.

The official said the mutilation of the slain soldiers stirred feelings of guilt and led at least one of them to reveal the rape-slaying on June 22.

According to a senior Army official, the alleged incident was first revealed by a soldier during a routine counseling-type session. The official, who requested anonymity because the investigation is ongoing, said that soldier did not witness the incident but heard about it.

A second soldier, who also was not involved, said he overhead soldiers conspiring to commit the crimes, and then later saw bloodstains on their clothes, the official said.

So they say one soldier has admitted his role and yet they have not arrested the others? And what was his role? Maybe I am just having problems absorbing this but it sounds as if the soldier who admitted his role was not at the scene. How credible is this? Or am I just not reading it correctly?

If this is true it is the kind of crime that can get you lethal injection in this country, but the whole scenario seems bizarre to me.

It seems to me that the media could at least wait until the facts are in before they run a story like this. I know the people who took those soldiers and killed them also killed the Russian diplomats who certainly were not involved in any alleged rape and murder so why drag them into it without a shred of real evidence to back up the story?

5 comments:

Knucklehead said...

Fox radio (don't know which show, heard it while driving and clicking) reported that one of the soldiers has confessed and been arrested.

That isn't pertinent to your point, Terrye, which remains valid. I'm just reporting.

terrye said...

knuck:

That is what I thought as well, but then while reading this I got the impression that the soldier who confessed was not at the scene and that is what confused me. I thought he might have been arrested for witholding eveidence or something, but then again the military is not even saying for sure there was a crime.

So exactly what was the soldier arrested for and was he charged with a specific crime?

Knucklehead said...

Terrye,

I have no idea. I just heard a 2 second blurb on the radio that either carried no real info or I failed to take in the info. They mentioned this thing and then said that apparently one of the soldiers had confessed and been arrested.

The Presse Ancienne has no interest in presenting anything that would let our troops know people care about them.

The same is not true of GCS Distributing which presents a number of tributes (see down the right side of their page) such as Until Then. Interestingly that rather moving piece was constructed using photos owned by AP and Rueters. I don't recall seeing many of these published in the their reports.

CF said...

Here's the template on these stories: Some anonymous person (usually an insurgent, an opponent and/or someone seeking gelt) makes charges to some reporter who cannot corroborate it (would mean leaving the hotel) who, in turn, reaches the military where some (unanmed official probably a JAG asshole tut tuts the troops involved and solemnly says it's under investigation which is written up in a way that suggests the scaffold is being prepared. Nothing can happen until there is an Article 32 hearing (tantamount toa grand jury) and any "investigation" referred to is preliminary to even deciding if there needs to be an Art. 32 hearingg.

After that hearing, if the charges are deemed credible and further proceedings warranted there is a court martial and trial.

Until then..bupkus.

terrye said...

cf:

thought so.