massacre of Iraqi civilians by US marines

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/5032214.stm

'Cold blood'

US investigators are looking at both the actual events in Haditha and the alleged cover-up by troops.

The military said at the time that the civilians were killed as a result of either the bomb or a gun battle which erupted afterwards, in which the militants were reportedly killed.

But reports from Iraqi witnesses and in the US media allege that marines went on a rampage.

According to the Wall St Journal, there is evidence that marines killed civilians, including women and children, without provocation.

Several marines are likely to be charged with murder and others with attempting to cover up the incident, the newspaper said, quoting civilian and military officials close to the investigations.

One of the marines in Haditha that day, Lance Cpl Roel Ryan Briones of Hanford, California, told the Los Angeles Times he had taken photos and carried bodies out of homes as part of a clean-up crew:

"They ranged from little babies to adult males and females. I'll never be able to get that out of my head. I can still smell the blood."



Although this doesn't compair with My Lai in number killed in cold blood, this time we might see some justice. For the My Lai massacre there was one scapegoat who served just 6 months.

The guilty parties here should serve life. If the court martials give any less a sentence the little prestige the US still has in the world will diminish to zero.

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Comments

  • Herr_StarrHerr_Starr Member PEx Influencer ⭐⭐⭐
    What is most troubling about this isn't the actual alleged 'Massacre,' that happened last year in November. That was horrible, but that it's taken this long for these events to come to light. This was initially reported in Time magazine earlier this year. Why the outrage only now?

    They say the cover up is worse than the crime. In this case, both are as heinous as possible.
  • ElizabethIIElizabethII Brit PExer
    Herr_Starr wrote:
    What is most troubling about this isn't the actual alleged 'Massacre,' that happened last year in November. That was horrible, but that it's taken this long for these events to come to light. This was initially reported in Time magazine earlier this year. Why the outrage only now?

    They say the cover up is worse than the crime. In this case, both are as heinous as possible.
    There is another case just coming to light also.
    There are probably dozens of cases but the iraqi witnesses are not believed until other evidence comes to light.
    I can just imagine when these are court martialled. They will either be found not guilty with the excuse they were under too much pressure..or found guilty and given no more than 5 years at most.....with parole in 2 years.
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  • quatrocantosquatrocantos NEOCON REBORN PExer
    I've guess Saddam Hussein have been under excellent tutelage and learned from the experts.

    Our last occupation

    Gas, chemicals, bombs: Britain has used them all before in Iraq
    No one, least of all the British, should be surprised at the state of anarchy in Iraq. We have been here before. We know the territory, its long and miasmic history, the all-but-impossible diplomatic balance to be struck between the cultures and ambitions of Arabs, Kurds, Shia and Sunni, of Assyrians, Turks, Americans, French, Russians and of our own desire to keep an economic and strategic presence there.
  • Herr_StarrHerr_Starr Member PEx Influencer ⭐⭐⭐
    BAGHDAD, Iraq - U.S. forces killed two Iraqi women — one of them about to give birth — when the troops shot at a car that failed to stop at an observation post in a city north of Baghdad, Iraqi officials and relatives said Wednesday. Nabiha Nisaif Jassim, 35, was being raced to the maternity hospital in Samarra by her brother when the shooting occurred Tuesday.

    Jassim, the mother of two children, and her 57-year-old cousin, Saliha Mohammed Hassan, were killed by the U.S. forces, according to police Capt. Laith Mohammed and witnesses.

    The U.S. military said coalition troops fired at a car after it entered a clearly marked prohibited area near an observation post but failed to stop despite repeated visual and auditory warnings.

    "Shots were fired to disable the vehicle," the military said in a statement e-mailed to The Associated Press. "Coalition forces later received reports from Iraqi police that two women had died from gunshot wounds ... and one of the females may have been pregnant."

    Jassim's brother, who was wounded by broken glass, said he did not see any warnings as he sped his sister to the hospital. Her husband was waiting for her there.

    "I was driving my car at full speed because I did not see any sign or warning from the Americans. It was not until they shot the two bullets that killed my sister and cousin that I stopped," he said. "God take revenge on the Americans and those who brought them here. They have no regard for our lives."

    He said doctors tried but failed to save the baby after his sister was brought to the hospital.

    The shooting deaths occurred in the wake of an investigation into allegations that U.S. Marines killed unarmed civilians in the western city of Haditha.

    The U.S. military said the incident in Samarra, 60 miles north of Baghdad, was being investigated. The city is in the heart of the so-called Sunni Triangle and has in the past seen heavy insurgent activity.

    "The loss of life is regrettable and coalition forces go to great lengths to prevent them," the military said.

    The women's bodies were wrapped in sheets and lying on stretchers outside the Samarra General Hospital before being taken to the morgue, while residents pointed to bullet holes on the windshield of a car and a pool of blood on the seat.

    Khalid Nisaif Jassim, the pregnant woman's brother, said American forces had blocked off the side road only two weeks ago and news about the observation post had been slow to filter out to rural areas.

    He said the killings, like those in Haditha, were examples of random killings faced by Iraqis every day.

    The killings at Haditha, a city that has been plagued by insurgents, came after a bomb rocked a military convoy on Nov. 19, killing a Marine. Rep. John Murtha (news, bio, voting record), D-Pa., a decorated war veteran who has been briefed by military officials, has said Marines shot and killed unarmed civilians in a taxi at the scene and went into two homes and shot others.

    Military investigators have evidence that points toward unprovoked murders by Marines, a senior defense official said last week.

    In his first public comments on the incident, President Bush said he was troubled by the allegations, and that, "If in fact laws were broken, there will be punishment."

    Former Iraqi Foreign Minister Adnan Pachachi told the BBC that the allegations have "created a feeling of great shock and sadness and I believe that if what is alleged is true — and I have no reason to believe it's not — then I think something very drastic has to be done."

    "There must be a level of discipline imposed on the American troops and change of mentality which seems to think that Iraqi lives are expendable," said Pachachi, a member of parliament.

    If confirmed as unjustified killings, the episode could be the most serious case of criminal misconduct by U.S. troops during three years of combat in Iraq. Until now the most infamous occurrence was the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse involving Army soldiers, which came to light in April 2004 and which Bush said he considered to be the worst U.S. mistake of the entire war.

    Once the military investigation is completed, perhaps in June, it will be up to a senior Marine commander in Iraq to decide whether to press charges of murder or other violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

    The incident has sparked two investigations — one into the deadly encounter itself and another into whether it was the subject of a cover-up. The Marine Corps had initially attributed 15 civilian deaths to the car bombing and a firefight with insurgents, eight of whom the Marines reported had been killed.

    "People in Samarra are very angry with the Americans not only because of Haditha case but because the Americans kill people randomly specially recently," Khalid Nisaif Jassim said.

    By KIM GAMEL, Associated Press Writer
  • Herr_StarrHerr_Starr Member PEx Influencer ⭐⭐⭐
    I've guess Saddam Hussein have been under excellent tutelage and learned from the experts.

    Our last occupation

    Gas, chemicals, bombs: Britain has used them all before in Iraq
    No one, least of all the British, should be surprised at the state of anarchy in Iraq. We have been here before. We know the territory, its long and miasmic history, the all-but-impossible diplomatic balance to be struck between the cultures and ambitions of Arabs, Kurds, Shia and Sunni, of Assyrians, Turks, Americans, French, Russians and of our own desire to keep an economic and strategic presence there.

    Good Article...it also illustrates how little Western Thought regarding Arabs seems to have evolved in almost a century...

    At the time of the Arab revolt in Palestine in the late 1930s, Air Commodore Harris, as he then was, declared that "the only thing the Arab understands is the heavy hand, and sooner or later it will have to be applied". As in 1921, so in 2003.

    And it has been applied ever since without much apparent success.

    I'm also not sure what line of reasoning you are proposing...is it alright for US Troops to commit these atrocities because Saddam visited atrocities on the Iraqi people because the British visited atrocities upon the Iraqi's before him.....
  • ElizabethIIElizabethII Brit PExer
    Herr_Starr wrote:
    BAGHDAD, Iraq - U.S. forces killed two Iraqi women — one of them about to give birth — when the troops shot at a car that failed to stop at an observation post in a city north of Baghdad, Iraqi officials and relatives said Wednesday. Nabiha Nisaif Jassim, 35, was being raced to the maternity hospital in Samarra by her brother when the shooting occurred Tuesday.

    Jassim, the mother of two children, and her 57-year-old cousin, Saliha Mohammed Hassan, were killed by the U.S. forces, according to police Capt. Laith Mohammed and witnesses.

    The U.S. military said coalition troops fired at a car after it entered a clearly marked prohibited area near an observation post but failed to stop despite repeated visual and auditory warnings.

    "Shots were fired to disable the vehicle," the military said in a statement e-mailed to The Associated Press. "Coalition forces later received reports from Iraqi police that two women had died from gunshot wounds ... and one of the females may have been pregnant."

    Jassim's brother, who was wounded by broken glass, said he did not see any warnings as he sped his sister to the hospital. Her husband was waiting for her there.

    "I was driving my car at full speed because I did not see any sign or warning from the Americans. It was not until they shot the two bullets that killed my sister and cousin that I stopped," he said. "God take revenge on the Americans and those who brought them here. They have no regard for our lives."

    He said doctors tried but failed to save the baby after his sister was brought to the hospital.

    The shooting deaths occurred in the wake of an investigation into allegations that U.S. Marines killed unarmed civilians in the western city of Haditha.

    The U.S. military said the incident in Samarra, 60 miles north of Baghdad, was being investigated. The city is in the heart of the so-called Sunni Triangle and has in the past seen heavy insurgent activity.

    "The loss of life is regrettable and coalition forces go to great lengths to prevent them," the military said.

    The women's bodies were wrapped in sheets and lying on stretchers outside the Samarra General Hospital before being taken to the morgue, while residents pointed to bullet holes on the windshield of a car and a pool of blood on the seat.

    Khalid Nisaif Jassim, the pregnant woman's brother, said American forces had blocked off the side road only two weeks ago and news about the observation post had been slow to filter out to rural areas.

    He said the killings, like those in Haditha, were examples of random killings faced by Iraqis every day.

    The killings at Haditha, a city that has been plagued by insurgents, came after a bomb rocked a military convoy on Nov. 19, killing a Marine. Rep. John Murtha (news, bio, voting record), D-Pa., a decorated war veteran who has been briefed by military officials, has said Marines shot and killed unarmed civilians in a taxi at the scene and went into two homes and shot others.

    Military investigators have evidence that points toward unprovoked murders by Marines, a senior defense official said last week.

    In his first public comments on the incident, President Bush said he was troubled by the allegations, and that, "If in fact laws were broken, there will be punishment."

    Former Iraqi Foreign Minister Adnan Pachachi told the BBC that the allegations have "created a feeling of great shock and sadness and I believe that if what is alleged is true — and I have no reason to believe it's not — then I think something very drastic has to be done."

    "There must be a level of discipline imposed on the American troops and change of mentality which seems to think that Iraqi lives are expendable," said Pachachi, a member of parliament.

    If confirmed as unjustified killings, the episode could be the most serious case of criminal misconduct by U.S. troops during three years of combat in Iraq. Until now the most infamous occurrence was the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse involving Army soldiers, which came to light in April 2004 and which Bush said he considered to be the worst U.S. mistake of the entire war.

    Once the military investigation is completed, perhaps in June, it will be up to a senior Marine commander in Iraq to decide whether to press charges of murder or other violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

    The incident has sparked two investigations — one into the deadly encounter itself and another into whether it was the subject of a cover-up. The Marine Corps had initially attributed 15 civilian deaths to the car bombing and a firefight with insurgents, eight of whom the Marines reported had been killed.

    "People in Samarra are very angry with the Americans not only because of Haditha case but because the Americans kill people randomly specially recently," Khalid Nisaif Jassim said.

    By KIM GAMEL, Associated Press Writer

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/5024104.stm

    At least 1,000 UK soldiers desert

    Former SAS member Ben Griffin was allowed to leave the military after telling his commanding officer he was not prepared to return to Iraq because of what he believed were illegal acts being carried out by US forces.

    Mr Griffin would never have considered deserting but says his views are shared by many others in the British military.

    He told the BBC: "There's a lot of dissent in the Army about the legality of war and concerns that they're spending too much time there."


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  • Halle ParotHalle Parot Member PExer
    The US military should just pick a hundred or so good Iraqui families, move them out of the country temporarily, bulldoze the whole country and start fresh. Stop these pussyfooting and get the job done
  • Herr_StarrHerr_Starr Member PEx Influencer ⭐⭐⭐
    The US military should just pick a hundred or so good Iraqui families, move them out of the country temporarily, bulldoze the whole country and start fresh. Stop these pussyfooting and get the job done

    Good thing they didn't do that with another troublesome country at the turn of the last century where an entrenched insurgency was in full swing...the Philippines.
  • thunderofpinasthunderofpinas Banned by Admin PExer
    I feel that there is reason lurking in you somewhere, so we will patiently grope round for it. -- Arthur Conan Doyle, Sr.
  • Alan_MatataAlan_Matata Banned by Admin PExer
    ...1.2. TIME'S UP! :naughty:
  • ArnoldZArnoldZ Member PEx Influencer ⭐⭐⭐
    Recently it was learned that the military are letting in known gang members to serve as soldiers. This massacre is not completely unexpected.

    And the Irag massacre of civilians is not the first time that the US military committed such atrocity.

    Found this one in the Internet. Using Marine massacre I found on the 13th web page of the Google search results is the one about Vietnam (not Iraq since all of the results were about Iraq). Then I try to do another search for just that specific My Lai Massacre and came up with this one below.

    The My Lai Massacre

    On March 16, 1968 the angry and frustrated men of Charlie Company, 11th Brigade, Americal Division entered the Vietnamese village of My Lai. "This is what you've been waiting for -- search and destroy -- and you've got it," said their superior officers. A short time later the killing began. When news of the atrocities surfaced, it sent shockwaves through the U.S. political establishment, the military's chain of command, and an already divided American public.

    Poised for Conflict
    My Lai lay in the South Vietnamese district of Son My, a heavily mined area where the Vietcong were deeply entrenched. Numerous members of Charlie Company had been maimed or killed in the area during the preceding weeks. The agitated troops, under the command of Lt. William Calley, entered the village poised for engagement with their elusive enemy.

    Massacre
    As the "search and destroy" mission unfolded, it soon degenerated into the massacre of over 300 apparently unarmed civilians including women, children, and the elderly. Calley ordered his men to enter the village firing, though there had been no report of opposing fire. According to eyewitness reports offered after the event, several old men were bayoneted, praying women and children were shot in the back of the head, and at least one girl was raped and then killed. For his part, Calley was said to have rounded up a group of the villagers, ordered them into a ditch, and mowed them down in a fury of machine gun fire.

    Call for Investigation
    Word of the atrocities did not reach the American public until November 1969, when journalist Seymour Hersh published a story detailing his conversations with a Vietnam veteran, Ron Ridenhour. Ridenhour learned of the events at My Lai from members of Charlie Company who had been there. Before speaking with Hersh, he had appealed to Congress, the White House, and the Pentagon to investigate the matter. The military investigation resulted in Calley's being charged with murder in September 1969 -- a full two months before the Hersh story hit the streets.

    Questions About Soldiers' Conduct
    As the gruesome details of My Lai reached the American public, serious questions arose concerning the conduct of American soldiers in Vietnam. A military commission investigating the massacre found widespread failures of leadership, discipline, and morale among the Army's fighting units. As the war progressed, many "career" soldiers had either been rotated out or retired. Many more had died. In their place were scores of draftees whose fitness for leadership in the field of battle was questionable at best. Military officials blamed inequities in the draft policy for the often slim talent pool from which they were forced to choose leaders. Many maintained that if the educated middle class ("the Harvards," as they were called) had joined in the fight, a man of Lt. William Calley's emotional and intellectual stature would never have been issuing orders.

    Orders from Above?
    Calley, an unemployed college dropout, had managed to graduate from Officer's Candidate School at Fort Benning, Georgia, in 1967. At his trial, Calley testified that he was ordered by Captain Ernest Medina to kill everyone in the village of My Lai. Still, there was only enough photographic and recorded evidence to convict Calley, alone, of murder. He was sentenced to life in prison, but was released in 1974, following many appeals. After being issued a dishonorable discharge, Calley entered the insurance business.
  • JoRedJoRed Banned by Admin PExer
    Herr_Starr wrote:
    Good thing they didn't do that with another troublesome country at the turn of the last century where an entrenched insurgency was in full swing...the Philippines.

    They just wasted 1.4 million Pinoys. Wiped out 1/3 of the population.
  • AquamanAquaman Member PEx Influencer ⭐⭐⭐
    American torture and scorched-earth campaigns

    General Jacob H. Smith's infamous order, "Kill everyone over ten," was the caption in the New York Journal cartoon on May 5, 1902. The Old Glory draped an American shield on which a vulture replaced the bald eagle. Caption is: "Criminals because they were born ten years before we took the Philippines."In 1908, Manuel Arellano Remondo, in a book entitled General Geography of the Philippine Islands, wrote: "The population decreased due to the wars, in the five-year period from 1895 to 1900, since, at the start of the first insurrection, the population was estimated at 9,000,000, and at present (1908), the inhabitants of the Archipelago do not exceed 8,000,000 in number."

    U.S. attacks into the countryside often included scorched earth campaigns where entire villages were burned and destroyed, torture (water cure) and the concentration of civilians into "protected zones" (concentration camps). Many of the civilian casualties resulted from disease and famine. Reports of the execution of U.S. soldiers taken prisoner by the Filipinos led to savage reprisals by American forces. Many American officers and soldiers called war a "****** killing business".


    American soldiers letters and response
    From almost the beginning of the war, soldiers wrote home describing, and usually bragging about, atrocities committed against Filipinos, soldiers and civilians alike. Increasingly, such personal letters, or portions of them, reached a national audience as anti-imperialist editors across the nation reproduced them.

    Once these accounts were widely reproduced, the War Department was forced to demand that General Otis investigate their authenticity. For each press clipping, he forwarded it to the writer’s commanding officer, who would then convince the soldier to write a retraction.

    Private Charles Brenner of the Kansas regiment resisted such pressure. He insisted that Colonel Funston[23] had ordered that all prisoners be shot and that Major Metcalf and Captain Bishop enforced these orders. Otis was obliged to order the Northern Luzon sector commander, General MacArthur, to look into the charge. Brenner confronted MacArthur’s aide with a corroborating witness, Private Putman, who confessed to shooting two prisoners after Bishop or Metcalf ordered, “Kill them! Damn it, Kill them!” MacArthur sent his aide’s report on to Otis with no comment. Otis ordered Brenner court-martialed “for writing and conniving at the publication of an article which... contains willful falsehoods concerning himself and a false charge against Captain Bishop." The judge advocate in Manila convinced Otis that such a trial could open a Pandora’s box, as “facts would develop implicating many others.”

    General Otis sent the Brenner case to Washington writing: “After mature deliberation, I doubt the wisdom of court-martial in this case, as it would give the insurgent authorities a knowledge of what was taking place and they would assert positively that our troops had practiced inhumanities, whether the charge should be proven or not, as they would use it as an excuse to defend their own barbarities;” and Otis went on, justifying the war crimes, “and it is not thought that his charge is very grievous under the circumstances then existing, as it was very early in the war, and the patience of our men was under great strain.”

    Towards the end of 1899, General Otis attempted to repair his battered image. He began to work to win new friends among the journalists in Manila and bestowed favors on any journalist who gave him favourable press.

    Concentration camps
    As one historian wrote about Marinduque, the first island with concentration camps: "The triple press of concentration (camps), devastation, and harassment led Abad (the Marinduque commander) …to request a truce to negotiate surrender terms… The Army pacified Marinduque not by winning the allegiance of the people, but by imposing coercive measures to control their behavior and separate them from the insurgents in the field. Ultimately, military and security measures proved to be the (essential element) of Philippine pacification."This assessment could probably be applied to all of the Philippines.
  • Herr_StarrHerr_Starr Member PEx Influencer ⭐⭐⭐
    JoRed wrote:
    They just wasted 1.4 million Pinoys. Wiped out 1/3 of the population.

    Sarcasm is a lost art....
  • Herr_StarrHerr_Starr Member PEx Influencer ⭐⭐⭐
    Back to the topic at hand...

    SAN DIEGO - Military prosecutors plan to file murder, kidnapping and conspiracy charges against seven Marines and a Navy corpsman in the shooting death of an Iraqi man in April, a defense lawyer said Thursday.

    The eight men are being held in the brig at Camp Pendleton Marine Corps base north of San Diego, said Jeremiah Sullivan III, who represents one of the men.

    The Iraqi man reportedly was dragged from his home west of Baghdad and shot. Both the Los Angeles Times and NBC News said troops may have planted an AK-47 and shovel near the body to make it appear the man was an insurgent burying a roadside bomb.

    Neither media outlet suggested a possible motive for the April 26 killing in Hamandiya.

    The man's death was unrelated to the shootings of as many as two dozen civilians in the western Iraqi city of Haditha in November. The
    Pentagon is investigating troops from a different Marine regiment in that case.

    The men being held at Camp Pendleton served in
    Iraq with the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, and are members of the battalion's Kilo Company. The highest-ranking among them is a staff sergeant.

    Sullivan, a former Navy JAG who runs a civilian practice in San Diego, said he learned from Marine Corps attorneys that the charges have been drafted and official charging documents could be given to the men as early as Friday.

    Separately, another group of five Marines in Kilo Company, including a lieutenant who commanded the platoon, are under investigation for injuring a suspect in their custody, according to a defense attorney who has been contacted by the family of one of the Marines. He spoke Thursday only on condition of anonymity because he has not taken on the case.

    The Marine Corps and Pentagon spokesmen have refused to comment on any aspect of the Iraqi man's death since the investigation was announced May 24.

    However, a Pentagon official said Thursday that charges are expected to be brought "very soon." The official, who spoke only on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to discuss charges before they are filed, could not confirm the specific counts.

    When the Pentagon announced it was investigating the death it provided no details about the incident other than to say that "several service members" from the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment were suspected of involvement. The servicemen were "removed from operations" and sent back to the U.S. pending the results of the criminal investigation, it said.

    Sullivan said the eight men are being held in solitary confinement.

    "There's concern about the publicity of Haditha having a detrimental impact on the case," he said. "My concern is the whole politics of this. There's an assumption that these guys are guilty before there's been an opportunity for a thorough, impartial investigation."

    Under military law, after charges are served defendants have the right to an Article 32 hearing, the military equivalent of a civilian grand jury investigation.

    An investigating officer presides over the hearing and makes a recommendation to the Marine general who directed the investigation. The general has the final say whether to order a court-martial and what charges, if any, the defendants will face.

    By SETH HETTENA, Associated Press Writer
  • Herr_StarrHerr_Starr Member PEx Influencer ⭐⭐⭐
    The BBC has uncovered new video evidence that US forces may have been responsible for the deliberate killing of 11 innocent Iraqi civilians.

    The video appears to challenge the US military's account of events that took place in the town of Ishaqi in March.

    The US said at the time four people died during a military operation, but Iraqi police claimed that US troops had deliberately shot the 11 people.

    A spokesman for US forces in Iraq told the BBC an inquiry was under way.

    The new evidence comes in the wake of the alleged massacre in Haditha, where US marines are suspected of killing up to 24 Iraqi civilians in November 2005 and covering up the deaths.

    The incident is being investigated by the Pentagon.

    The US military has announced that coalition troops in Iraq are to have ethical training following the furore surrounding the alleged killings.

    For the next 30 days, they would receive lessons in "core warrior values", a military statement said.

    The news of ethical training for US-led troops is likely to be greeted with cynicism by many Iraqis, the BBC's Ian Pannell in Baghdad says, as the troops have long been accused of deliberately targeting civilians.

    The video pictures obtained by the BBC appear to contradict the US account of the events in Ishaqi, about 100km (60 miles) north of Baghdad, on 15 March 2006.

    The US authorities said they were involved in a firefight after a tip-off that an al-Qaeda supporter was visiting the house.

    According to the Americans, the building collapsed under heavy fire killing four people - a suspect, two women and a child.

    But a report filed by Iraqi police accused US troops of rounding up and deliberately shooting 11 people in the house, including five children and four women, before blowing up the building.

    The video tape obtained by the BBC shows a number of dead adults and children at the site with what our world affairs editor John Simpson says were clearly gunshot wounds.

    The pictures came from a hardline Sunni group opposed to coalition forces.

    It has been cross-checked with other images taken at the time of events and is believed to be genuine, the BBC's Ian Pannell in Baghdad says.
  • Herr_StarrHerr_Starr Member PEx Influencer ⭐⭐⭐
    Official Version Is at Odds With Evidence

    By Thomas E. Ricks
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Sunday, June 4, 2006; A01

    At 5 p.m. Nov. 19, near the end of one of the most violent days the Marine Corps had experienced in the Upper Euphrates Valley, a call went out for trucks to collect the bodies of 24 Iraqi civilians.

    The unit that arrived in the farming town of Haditha found babies, women and children shot in the head and chest. An old man in a wheelchair had been shot nine times. A group of girls, ages 1 to 14, lay dead. Everyone had been killed by gunfire, according to death certificates issued later.

    The next day, Capt. Jeffrey S. Pool, a Marine spokesman in Iraq, released a terse statement: Fifteen Iraqis "were killed yesterday from the blast of a roadside bomb in Haditha. Immediately after the bombing, gunmen attacked the convoy with small arms fire. Iraqi army soldiers and Marines returned fire, killing eight insurgents and wounding another."

    Despite what Marine witnesses saw when they arrived, that official version has been allowed to stand for six months. Who lied about the killings, who knew the truth and what, if anything, they did about it are at the core of one of the potentially most embarrassing and damaging events of the Iraq war, one that some say may surpass the detainee abuse scandal at Abu Ghraib prison.

    The Marine Corps is saying only that it would be inappropriate to comment while investigations are underway. But since that Saturday afternoon in November, evidence has been accumulating steadily that the official version was wrong and misleading. The more military investigators learned about what happened that day in Haditha, the more they grew disturbed.

    On Nov. 29, the Marine unit in question -- Kilo Company of the 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment -- had a memorial service at a Marine base for Lance Cpl. Miguel Terrazas, a well-liked 20-year-old from El Paso, Tex. He was killed in a roadside bomb explosion that appears to have been the trigger for what looks to investigators like revenge shootings of Iraqi civilians. Lance Cpl. Roel Ryan Briones said that Terrazas had been "like a brother to me." Staff Sgt. Travis Fields, Terrazas's platoon sergeant, called him "a man of heart." Not long after the bodies were discovered, Maj. Dana Hyatt, a Marine reservist whose job in part was to work with the civilian population when damage was inflicted by the U.S. military, paid out $38,000 in compensation to the families of the 15 dead. The Iraqis received the maximum the United States offers -- $2,500 per death, plus a small amount for other damage.

    Kilo Company did not dwell on what happened Nov. 19. Mike Coffman, who was a Marine Reserve officer in Haditha at the time, recalled that another officer, telling him about the incident, "indicated to me that he thought from the beginning that it was overreaction by the Marines, but he didn't think anything criminal had occurred."

    When the Haditha city council met in January for the first time in many months, "none of them [Iraqi members] ever raised it as an issue," said Coffman, who attended the meeting. Rather, he said, they complained about how car and truck traffic in the area had been shut down after two Marines were killed at a checkpoint bombing.

    That same month, a top military official arrived in Iraq who would play a key role in the case: Lt. Gen. Peter W. Chiarelli, the new No. 2 military officer in the country. He is an unusual general in today's Army, with none of the "good old boy" persona seen in many other top commanders. He had praised an article by a British officer that was sharply critical of U.S. officers in Iraq for using tactics that alienated the population. He wanted U.S. forces to operate differently than they had been doing.

    Not long after Chiarelli arrived in Baghdad, an Iraqi journalism student gave an Iraqi human rights group a video he had taken in Haditha the day after the incident. It showed the scene at the local morgue and the damage in the houses where the killings took place. The video reached Time magazine, whose reporters began questioning U.S. military officials. Pool, the Marine captain, sent the reporters a dismissive e-mail saying that they were falling for al-Qaeda propaganda, the magazine said recently. "I cannot believe you're buying any of this," he wrote. Pool declined last week to comment on any aspect of the Haditha incident.

    But Army Lt. Col. Barry Johnson, a more senior spokesman in Baghdad, notified Chiarelli of the questions. The general's response to his public affairs office was short: Just brief the Time magazine reporter on the military investigation into the incident that Chiarelli assumed had been conducted.

    The surprising word came back: There had been no investigation.

    Chiarelli told subordinates in early February he was amazed by that response, according to an Army officer in Iraq. He directed that an inquiry commence as soon as possible. He wanted to know what had happened in Haditha, and also why no investigation had begun.

    Army Col. Gregory Watt was tapped to start an investigation and by March 9, he told Chiarelli that he had reached two conclusions, according to the Army officer.

    One was that death certificates showed that the 24 Iraqis who died that day -- the 15 the Marines said had died in the bomb blast and others they said were insurgents -- had been killed by gunshot rather than a bomb, as the official statement had said. The other was that the Marine Corps had not investigated the deaths, as is the U.S. military's typical procedure in Iraq, particularly when so many civilians are involved. Individually, either finding would have been disturbing. Together, they were stunning.

    On March 10, the findings were given to Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and Gen. Peter Pace, the first Marine ever to be chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Rumsfeld told aides that the case promised to be a major problem. He called it "really, really bad -- as bad or worse than Abu Ghraib," recalled one Pentagon official. On March 11, President Bush was informed, according to the White House.

    At the Marine Corps headquarters, there was "genuine surprise at high levels," said an Army officer who has been working with the Marine Corps on the case. "It caught a lot of people off guard."

    That weekend, almost four months after the incident, "we went to general quarters," recalled one Marine general, using the naval expression for the call to arms. The following Monday, March 13, Marine officers began briefing key members of Congress on defense-related committees. Their message was succinct: Something highly disturbing had happened in Haditha, and its repercussions could be serious. The alacrity of the Marine response surprised some of Rumsfeld's aides in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. OSD, as it is called at the Pentagon, told the Marine Corps a few days later not to say anything to anyone about the investigation, recalled the general. Too late, the Marines responded, we've already briefed Capitol Hill.

    The Marines began their own investigation almost immediately, following up on Watt's inquiry, but quickly realized that to credibly examine the acts of their top commanders in Iraq, they would need someone outside their service. The Army offered up Maj. Gen. Eldon A. Bargewell, a career Special Operations officer who first saw combat as a sergeant in the Vietnam War, to look into the matter. The Marines, who are part of the Navy Department, also turned over the question of criminal acts to agents of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service. Notified on March 12, the NCIS immediately sent a team of three Iraq-based investigators to Haditha, one of the most violent areas in Iraq. A few days later, as the scope of the case sank in, it dispatched a team of reinforcements from the United States.

    But even then, nothing had been made public about the November event that might have distinguished it from Iraq's daily bloodshed. Then, on March 19, the Time magazine article appeared. "I watched them shoot my grandfather, first in the chest and then in the head," the magazine quoted Eman Waleed, 9, as saying. Most of the victims were shot at close range, the director of the local hospital told Time.

    The first public indication that the military was taking those allegations seriously came on April 7, when Lt. Col. Jeffrey R. Chessani, a reserved, quietly professional officer from northwestern Colorado, was relieved of command of the 3rd Battalion of the 1st Marines, Kilo Company's parent unit. Also removed were two of his subordinates -- Kilo's commander, Capt. Luke McConnell, and the commander of another company. Even then, the Marine Corps didn't specify why the actions were taken, beyond saying that the officers had lost the confidence of their superiors.

    Then, on May 17, Rep. John P. Murtha (D-Pa.) let the news slip out. In the middle of a rambling statement at the outset of a news conference on Capitol Hill, he said -- almost as an aside -- that what happened in Haditha was "much worse than reported in Time magazine." He asserted that the investigations would reveal that "our troops overreacted because of the pressure on them, and they killed innocent civilians in cold blood."

    The reporters present barely focused on what Murtha had said. When the congressman finished his statement, the first reporter asked about Iraqi security forces. The second asked about U.S. troop withdrawals. The third asked about congressional support for Murtha's resolution calling for a U.S. pullout from Iraq. Finally, the fourth asked about Haditha. Murtha responded with a bit more detail: "They actually went into the houses and killed women and children. And there was about twice as many as originally reported by Time." Even then, his comments captured little attention and were not front-page news.

    It took a few days for the horror of what Murtha was talking about to sink in. "This is just My Lai all over again," Vaughan Taylor, a former military prosecutor and instructor in criminal law at the Army's school for military lawyers, said last week. "It's going to do us enormous damage."

    The facts of the shooting incident seem now to be largely known, with military insiders saying that recent news articles are similar to the internal reports they have received from investigators. But considerable mystery remains about how Marine commanders handled the incident and contributed to what some officials suspect was a coverup. "The real issue is how far up the chain of command it goes," said one senior Marine familiar with the case. "Who knew it, and why didn't they do something about it?"

    The Marine Corps still has not corrected its misleading Nov. 20 statement asserting that the Iraqi civilians were killed in a bomb blast. A Marine Corps spokesman didn't return calls on Friday asking why it had not.

    Staff writer Ann Scott Tyson and researcher Julie Tate contributed to this report.
  • quatrocantosquatrocantos NEOCON REBORN PExer
    THE media is not reporting but prosecuting with halfassed truth to sell their trash newspaper.

    UK TIMES SMEARS OUR MARINES
    By Michelle Malkin · June 03, 2006 10:49 AM

    Look very carefully at the photo featured in the UK Times's report from June 1, 2006 titled "Massacre Marines blinded by hate:" (big hat tip - Joe G.)
    hadithawrong002.jpg
    If you are left with the impression that the dead bodies on the ground were massacred by our Marines, that is exactly what the Times intends. Note the caption: "Victims in al-Haditha. The US is carrying out two inquiries (AP)."

    Now, look at this photo closely:
    haditharight.jpg
    Read the caption:"Insurgents in Haditha executed 19 Shiite fishermen and National Guardsmen in a sports stadium."

    Our Marines did not kill these people.

    The terrorists did.
  • quatrocantosquatrocantos NEOCON REBORN PExer
    STAGING THE NEWS
    By Michelle Malkin · June 02, 2006 05:34 PM
    Down Under, an Australian Katie Couric wannabe got busted by a Brigadier General who didn't go along with her MSM stage managers. Background here.
    I'd like to see more of that pushback here in the U.S.
    Anyway, the face-off between the general and the bubblehead is my video clip of the week--along with some classic stage-the-news moments.

    Rowe left red-faced over Timor
    From: By Sean Fewster
    May 31, 2006
    THE bitterness between ratings rivals Channel 7 and Channel 9 escalated after Nine's Today program yesterday was accused of setting up a shot to make a situation in East Timor look more dangerous than it was.

    Channel 7 spokesman Simon Francis later sent to the media a clip of the segment, which aired yesterday morning.
    It shows host Jessica Rowe interviewing East Timor taskforce commanding officer Brigadier Michael Slater.

    "I'm wondering how you feel about your safety given that you've got armed guards there standing behind you, armed soldiers," Rowe says.

    "Jessica, I feel quite safe, yes," Brigadier Slater says. " But not because I've got these armed soldiers behind me that were put there by your stage manager here to make it look good."
    Rowe then responds: "Brigadier, I didn't realise that those soldiers were placed there specifically for the shot, so I apologise about that." But the newsreader returned to her line of attack, saying news footage showed the streets were still dangerous. The networks have feuded openly in 2006, with increasingly venomous press releases about their ratings success - or their rival's lack of success.

    Nine won the ratings nationally this week but Ten won again in Adelaide.
  • Herr_StarrHerr_Starr Member PEx Influencer ⭐⭐⭐
    THE media is not reporting but prosecuting with halfassed truth to sell their trash newspaper.

    Our Marines did not kill these people.

    The terrorists did.

    For starters, this is Michelle Malkin you are citing, notorious Right Wing Shill, Faux News Commentator and not a serious journalist, One of her recent books was titled: In Defense of Internment: The Case for Racial Profiling in World War II and the War on Terror.

    Regardless of what the UK Times is publishing, facts have been established. The victims in Haditha were allegedly killed by an IED, why then do their death certificates cite gunshot wounds as the cause of death?

    To quote from the Washington Post:

    ... Haditha found babies, women and children shot in the head and chest. An old man in a wheelchair had been shot nine times. A group of girls, ages 1 to 14, lay dead. Everyone had been killed by gunfire, according to death certificates issued later.

    Was is the Marines? Or was it the Terrorists?

    Official Statement from the US Marines:

    Capt. Jeffrey S. Pool, a Marine spokesman in Iraq, released a terse statement: Fifteen Iraqis "were killed yesterday from the blast of a roadside bomb in Haditha. Immediately after the bombing, gunmen attacked the convoy with small arms fire. Iraqi army soldiers and Marines returned fire, killing eight insurgents and wounding another."

    The Marines made payments to the surviving family members:

    Maj. Dana Hyatt, a Marine reservist whose job in part was to work with the civilian population when damage was inflicted by the U.S. military, paid out $38,000 in compensation to the families of the 15 dead. The Iraqis received the maximum the United States offers -- $2,500 per death, plus a small amount for other damage.


    Notice the "damage inflicted by the US Military" part.

    The story broke when a VIDEOTAPE made it's way to TIME Magazine, here's the USM Response:

    (Jeffrey) Pool, the Marine captain, sent the reporters a dismissive e-mail saying that they were falling for al-Qaeda propaganda, the magazine said recently. "I cannot believe you're buying any of this," he wrote. Pool declined last week to comment on any aspect of the Haditha incident.

    The story isn't whether or not some members of the US Military committed atrocities:

    The facts of the shooting incident seem now to be largely known, with military insiders saying that recent news articles are similar to the internal reports they have received from investigators. But considerable mystery remains about how Marine commanders handled the incident and contributed to what some officials suspect was a coverup. "The real issue is how far up the chain of command it goes," said one senior Marine familiar with the case. "Who knew it, and why didn't they do something about it?"

    This is a gravely serious matter and if the best Michelle Malkin can do is point out the wrong pictures were used in an attempt to point fingers at the press, then there is something seriously wrong with her moral compass.

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