Monday, July 03, 2006

Mahmudiyah Update - Stay This Course?

This information is gleaned from two sources:
A man already in the US has been arrested and charged with the murders. Dead are a man, his wife, and their two duaghters, one 15, one 5 or 7. The elder daughter was raped, as has been confirmed by a medical evaluation. Charged in that rape are the man also charged with murder of the four family members, and three or four other men. The accounts do not give names of additional people, and they are equivocal as to whether they will also be charged with murder. These four or five soldiers have committed a heinous crime. There are confessions and corroborating testimony.

The most horrifying detail is this one from the NYT:

The affidavit, by an F.B.I. special agent, Gregor J. Ahlers, said details of the crime emerged during a "combat stress debriefing" on June 20. Private Green and at least three others planned the rape and told another soldier to monitor the radio while they went to the house near Mahmudiya, south of Baghdad, according to the affidavit. Some of the participants changed out of their uniforms before going to the house and had blood on their clothes when they returned, the affidavit said.

After the murder-and-rape rampage, the affidavit states, the soldiers burned their clothes and told the comrade who had been left to monitor the radio that "this is never to be discussed again."

The F.B.I. affidavit portrays a crime at once chilling and calculated. Before raping one woman, Private Green confined her relatives to a bedroom, the document states. Shots were heard inside, after which Private Green came to the door and said, "I just killed them, all are dead," the affidavit goes on. Then Private Green and another "known participant" were seen raping the woman before Private Green shot her in the head "two to three times," the document states.

This was premeditated. They murdered the family members, including a child, first, then raped the teenager, then murdered her. There is no room for accident.

I'm not sure what to make of this, from the WaPo:

Janabi [a neighbor of the murdered family] said U.S. soldiers controlled the scene of the killings for several hours on March 11, telling neighbors that insurgents were responsible. The bodies of the victims were taken to Mahmudiyah hospital by March 12, according to Janabi and an official at the hospital, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

On March 13, a man identifying himself as a relative claimed the bodies for burial, the hospital official said. An hour after the man left with the bodies, U.S. soldiers came to the hospital and asked about the bodies, the hospital official said.

The next day, the hospital official said, soldiers scoured the area, trying to find the funeral for the family.

Who were these soldiers? Were they they ones who committed the crime? or were these other soldiers who knew the real story behind the crime?

George Bush and his enablers sent these men into a needless and unsupportable war. They have destroyed the effectiveness and the honor of our military for nothing. Bush's War, the greatest strategic disaster in U.S. history, has enraged populations against us and increased the ability of terrorist groups like al Quaeda to recruit and operate because they have sympathy from people who ordinarily would shun them.


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