Thursday, June 22, 2006

Increase In War Crimes Incidents in Iraq

Charges have yet to be filed against the marines accused of killing 24 Iraqi civilians in Haditha back in November 2005. Nonetheless a total of 12 American military personnel have been charged with murder in two other incidents involving the deaths of Iraqi civilians:

WASHINGTON (AP) — Seven Marines and a sailor have been charged with murder in the April death of an Iraqi civilian, the Marine Corps said Wednesday.

All eight also were charged with kidnapping, according to a Marine statement issued at Camp Pendleton, Calif. Other charges include conspiracy, larceny and providing false official statements.

Separately, the U.S. military in Iraq announced that murder charges were filed against a fourth Army soldier in the shooting deaths May 9 of three civilians who had been detained by U.S. troops. Spc. Juston R. Graber, 20, of the 101st Airborne Division was charged with one count of premeditated murder, one count of attempted premeditated murder, one count of conspiracy to commit murder, and making a false official statement.

On Monday the military had announced that three soldiers of the 101st Airborne Division were charged with murder and other offenses in connection with the May 9 killings. It was not clear why charges against the fourth soldier were not announced until Wednesday.

In the case of the April killing of an Iraqi civilian, the allegation is that Marines pulled an unarmed man from his home on April 26 and shot him to death without provocation. Seven Marines and one Navy corpsman from the Pendleton-based 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment were taken out of Iraq in late May and put in the confinement at Pendleton pending the filing of charges.


The case is separate from the alleged killing by other Marines of 24 Iraqi civilians at Haditha last November. A pair of investigations related to that case are still underway and no criminal charges have been filed.

Knight-Ridder war correspondent Joe Galloway said there are no bad soldiers in war, only bad leaders. The responsibility for these incidents lies with Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and the military brass.

Just like with Abu Ghraib.

The tone was set by the administration and the Pentagon that "harsh techniques" are okay as long as you don't get caught. We know Dick Cheney is a big fan of torture and mistreatment of "terror suspects" and suspected insurgents. Hell, Preznit Bush himself urged "harsh interrogation" of a prisoner at Gitmo. Do what you have to do, just be smart about it, right?

The only problem is, when the abuse incidents and killing of innocents start to mount and embarrass the United States, the administration and the Pentagon need to make a point by prosecuting a few marines and soldiers. That's what they're doing here.

But the people who set the tone and developed the policies?

There's no responsibility for them.

I'm starting to think that, (without starting another Rovian rant) the administration simply does not understand the dynamics of modern media.
The increase in war crimes is really more like an increase in information flow.
Spinning the facts within the US might work in the short term.
But when the rest of the world is telling it like it is, it will eventually break through to the US.
I notice even prisoner ill-treatment is seeping through to the national psyche.
I don't wish ill thoughts on anyone, but the truth must be available and transparent.
I sure hope you're right, Cartledge. After six years of this administration, it's hard to see when America will wake up.

Fox News is on every day saying we have to stay the course and the rest of the world is a bunch of commie hippie weirdos.
LOL, commie hippie weirdos I must tell Rupert's Aussie fans what he really thinks of us.
I never was a hippie or a commie. Left leaning for sure, and a weirdo perhaps, but a beat all the way.
I just want to say that nyc educator is one of the funniest people I know. And I mean that. I can't wait to read that novel he's working on.

And he's right about the commie hippie weirdos, btw. They're as big a danger to the Republic as flag-burners and gay people.
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