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Archive for Saturday, July 1, 2006

Troops accused of rape, killings

5 soldiers under investigation for assault, slaying of Iraqi family

July 1, 2006

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— A group of American soldiers in an insurgent-riddled town allegedly noticed a young Iraqi woman when on patrol and later returned to rape her, according to U.S. officials Friday. In an apparent cover-up attempt, she and three members of her family then were killed and her body was set on fire.

Five U.S. troops are being investigated, a U.S. military official told The Associated Press.

It is the fifth pending case involving alleged slayings of Iraqi civilians by U.S. troops.

The suspects in the killing, which took place in March, were from the same platoon as two soldiers kidnapped and killed south of Baghdad this month, said the official, who is close to the investigation and spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the case.

One soldier was arrested after admitting his role in the alleged attack on the family, the U.S. official said. The official said the rape and killings appear to have been a "crime of opportunity," noting that the soldiers had not been attacked by insurgents but had noticed the woman on previous patrols.

One of the family members they allegedly killed was a child, said a senior Army official who also requested anonymity because the investigation is ongoing. Some of the suspects allegedly burned the woman's body to cover up the attack, the U.S. official said.

In Baghdad, the U.S. military issued a sparse statement, saying only that Maj. Gen. James D. Thurman, commander of the 4th Infantry Division, ordered a criminal investigation into the alleged slaying of a family of four in Mahmoudiya, 20 miles south of Baghdad.


U.S. Army soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment conduct a routine patrol in May in Mahmoudiyah, Iraq. The U.S. Army will investigate charges that five American soldiers from the unit were involved in the killings of four Iraqi relatives, including a woman who had been raped, military officials said Friday.

U.S. Army soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment conduct a routine patrol in May in Mahmoudiyah, Iraq. The U.S. Army will investigate charges that five American soldiers from the unit were involved in the killings of four Iraqi relatives, including a woman who had been raped, military officials said Friday.

However, the U.S. official said the soldiers were assigned to the 502nd Infantry Regiment. The official told the AP that the suspects were from the same platoon as two slain soldiers whose mutilated bodies were found June 19, three days after they were abducted by insurgents near Youssifiyah southwest of Baghdad.

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 member of the platoon to reveal the rape-slaying on June 22.

According to the senior Army official, the alleged incident was first revealed by a soldier during a routine counseling-type session. The official 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.

Before the soldier disclosed the alleged assault, senior officers had been aware of the family's death but believed it was a result of sectarian violence, the official said.

One of the five suspects has already been discharged for unspecified charges unrelated to the killings and is believed to be in the United States, two U.S. officials said on condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing. The others have had their weapons taken away and are confined to a U.S. base near Mahmoudiya.

The allegations of rape could generate a particularly strong backlash in Iraq, a conservative, strongly religious society in which many women will not even shake hands with men who are not close relatives.

The case is among the most serious against U.S. soldiers allegedly involved in the deaths of Iraqi civilians. At least 14 U.S. troops have been convicted.

Last week, seven Marines and one Navy medic were charged with premeditated murder in the shooting death of an Iraqi man near Fallujah west of Baghdad.

U.S. officials are also investigating allegations that U.S. Marines killed two dozen unarmed Iraqi civilians Nov. 19 in the western town of Haditha in a revenge attack after a fellow Marine died in a roadside bombing.

Other cases involve the deaths of three male detainees in Salahuddin province in May, the shooting death of unarmed Iraqi man near Ramadi in February, and the death of an Iraqi soldier after an interrogation in 2003 at a detention camp in Qaim.

The allegations have aroused public anger against the U.S. military presence at a time when the new Iraqi government and U.S. authorities are trying to reach out to disaffected Sunni Arabs to quell the insurgency and calm sectarian tensions.

On Saturday, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki leaves for a whirlwind trip to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates to seek support for his national reconciliation initiative, which includes an amnesty for the mostly Sunni insurgents.

Al-Maliki is also expected to brief the Sunni leadership of those three countries on his efforts to deal with the divisions between Shiites and Sunnis. Iraq's neighbors in the Persian Gulf fear sectarian tensions will spill over into their countries, which are dominated by Sunnis but have large Shiite minorities.

On Friday, radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr rejected al-Maliki's initiative because it does not include a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S.-led foreign troops.

"We demand the occupation forces to leave the country, or at least a timetable should be set for their withdrawal," al-Sadr said during a sermon.

Despite al-Maliki's efforts, there has been no letup in Iraq's violence. The U.S. military reported four more American service members have died, including a Marine killed Friday in fighting west of Baghdad. Three Army soldiers died in combat the day before, the military said.

AP correspondent Ryan Lenz is embedded with the 101st Airborne Division in Beiji, Iraq. He was previously embedded with the 502nd Infantry Regiment in Mahmoudiya. AP correspondent Lolita C. Baldor in Washington contributed to this report.

Comments

holygrailale 7 years, 9 months ago

Arminius:

Does "presumption of innocence" extend to Bill Clinton???

You have repeatedly accused him of violent rape, but Juanita Broaddrick has denied (under oath) that your fantasy ever occurred.

Not that I'm accusing you of libel, hypocrisy or anything like that.................................

You have a "presumption of innocence" with me.

HAHAHHHHHAHAAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

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meggers 7 years, 9 months ago

I shouldn't have said "woman". The rape and murder victim was 15-years-old. Her murdered sister was even younger.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/07/02/AR2006070200673.html

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meggers 7 years, 9 months ago

Arminius,

From the article- first paragraph, in fact:

"A group of American soldiers in an insurgent-riddled town allegedly noticed a young Iraqi woman when on patrol and later returned to rape her, according to U.S. officials Friday. In an apparent cover-up attempt, she and three members of her family then were killed and her body was set on fire."

THEY said it, I did not. I commented on the story. If you consider that a conviction, so be it.

You seem to be so absorbed with protecting your own political agenda that you can't even recognize and acknowledge a horrific event when one has obviously occurred. There comes a time when humanity trumps politics and this is one of those times.

Godot,

I believe the story of the slain soldiers was front page news in virtually every newspaper in the nation. To think that these two men might have died in retribution for a crime that other soldiers in their platoon are accused of committing almost defies comprehension. Before Arminius raises a big stink, I should make it clear that the possibility of a connection between the killing of our troops and the rape and murder of the woman and her family is pure speculation on my part.

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Arminius 7 years, 9 months ago

MEGGERS:

"You just called some of our nation's high-ranking military officials "un-American".

Really? Where have these officials said they would convict our soldiers without first having a trial?

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Godot 7 years, 9 months ago

Kansasperson wrote: "My first thought was, "What kind of morally bankrupt S.O.B.s are they letting into the armed services these days?"

Human beings, some good, some bad, most are in between.

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Godot 7 years, 9 months ago

Why is it that the Lawrence Journal World did not put the kidnapping, torture, skinning, burning and beheading of the two US soldiers on the front page? What is the tally (as in "It is the fifth pending case involving alleged slayings of Iraqi civilians by U.S. troops.") of the atrocities committed by the insurgents/jihadis/islamofacist- scumbags against civilians and coalition forces?

For that matter, why don't we hear of Al Qaeda's investigations into the misdeeds of its "soldiers"?

The reason is that the only misdeed an Al Qaeda member could possibly commit would be one of kindness, civility or in fulfillment of provisions of the Geneva Convention. And none of them could be accused of that.

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meggers 7 years, 9 months ago

Arminius,

You just called some of our nation's high-ranking military officials "un-American". Way to go.

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Arminius 7 years, 9 months ago

MEGGERS AND OTHER MOONBATS:

Here's a quick primer on the presumption of innocence, a fundamental right in our judicial system. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Presumpt...

Your refusal to accept the presumption of innocence is simply un-American.

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Arminius 7 years, 9 months ago

meggers:

Well, I guess all you little Hitlers just want to disgard the presumption of innocence for our service members and go straight to the executions. I bet at the same time you fascists believe Mumia and Peltier are innocent even though they have had the privilege of an investigation and trial.

As Dr. Savage notes, "Liberalism is a mental disorder."

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meggers 7 years, 9 months ago

Arminius,

It sems that there must be some "moonbats" in top military posiions, then, as they are acknowleging that the crimes occurred, AND that they occurred at the hands of US troops. It appears that even upon initial publication, the investigation has already shifted from 'what happened' to 'how' the crimes were committed.

In case you misssed it, there was even more in today's article:

The article from Psychology Today that you linked provides insight into false confessions of people already accused of a crime. Interesting, but not all that relevant to this situation. In this case, the soldier's confession was actually the first indication to military officials that such a crime had been committed at all. He wasn't facing charges or otherwise under interrogation.

The purpose of this forum is to allow readers to comment on articles published in the news. If you don't believe that should be allowed in cases that have not been fully adjudicated, perhaps you should contact the Journal World to share your concerns. To villify people who DO choose to comment on a given story is absurd and completely misses the point in this case.

Given the increasing allegations of misconduct and criminal activity involving US troops, our nation's good name can't afford to ignore these issues. I certainly hope military officials don't take the same sort of 'wait and see' attitude that you seem to promote.

KansasPerson,

I had the same question for Arminius about the term 'moonbat' quite a while ago. While he didn't answer me directly, upon observation, I've noticed that he basically slaps the label on anyone who expresses criticism or disagreement with the Bush Administration. In this instance, Arminius is very supportive of the war, so I think these allegations invoked the familiar defensiveness, even for something so completely indefensible.

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Arminius 7 years, 9 months ago

swbsow:

"Apparently, you might try reading the posts as well, Arminius."

Explain. If you had read the story and comprehended what was written, there would have been no need for you to ask, "Did the rape/slaying occur before or after the mutiliations?"

KansasPerson:

What is wrong is that you convicted our troops before there has been an investigation and trial. Our system calls for the presumption of innocence.

"Does the fact that one of the soldiers admitted his role have any bearing on your judgement of the truth of this story?"

If you have time, read this article on false confessions: http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/PTO-20030430-000002.html

"What the heck is a moonbat?"

There are various definitions. However, I would classify anyone whose kneejerk reaction is to condemn our troops first as a moonbat.

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KansasPerson 7 years, 9 months ago

I have questions for Arminius.

1) What's wrong with a nauseated reaction to a story about a woman getting raped, then she and her family members (one of whom was a child) being killed, and then the woman's body being burned to cover it up?

2) Does the fact that one of the soldiers admitted his role have any bearing on your judgement of the truth of this story?

3) What the heck is a moonbat?

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swbsow 7 years, 9 months ago

Apparently, you might try reading the posts as well, Arminius.

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Arminius 7 years, 9 months ago

swbsow:

There's that reading comprehension problem again. Try reading the article.

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swbsow 7 years, 9 months ago

Nevermind. It states that the rape/slaying took place in March. Is it possible that the person who revealed this meant guilt because they thought the soldiers mutilation was in retribution for the rape/slaying?

I don't know whether these soldiers are guilty or innocent, Arminius, but it was one of their own who brought it up. This says something to me.

U.S. officials thought the rape/slayings were by other insurgents.

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swbsow 7 years, 9 months ago

Did the rape/slaying occur before or after the mutiliations? It just says that the rape/slaying info was revealed on 6/22 after the soldiers were mutiliated.

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Godot 7 years, 9 months ago

We need to exit occupation of NYC, Chicago, LA, Kansas City, Houston, Atlanta, Las Vegas and many more US cities, because there are allegations of this kind of behavior every day in these cities.

We export what we grow,or, to phrase it in a more familiary language (to some)

we reap what we sow

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moderator 7 years, 9 months ago

The requirements for military enlistment have been sliding ever since the "war" began. They are having trouble filling their recruiting goals and are taking anyone they can get. The military is also knowingly placing mentally ill soldiers on the frontlines instead of getting them treatment. These actions lead to the past confirmed attrocities and the ones OUR soldiers are now charged with.

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Arminius 7 years, 9 months ago

It's amazing how quickly you moonbats dispense with the presumption of innocence. How about we first have an investigation and trial, and then, if they're found guilty, convictions?

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KansasPerson 7 years, 9 months ago

I agree, Meggers, on both counts.

My first thought was, "What kind of morally bankrupt S.O.B.s are they letting into the armed services these days?"

It later occurred to me that someone might come back with the argument that the men aren't ordinarily like this, that they were just under the stress of battle, fighting insurgents, not knowing where the next IED was coming from... but I would have say a big pre-emptive NONSENSE to that argument. (Not that anyone is making it yet, but the day is young.)

This story makes me sick, sick, sick.

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meggers 7 years, 9 months ago

Ok, I'll say it. It sounds like the murder and mutilation of the two US soldiers might very well have been retribution for this incident.

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

I have a feeling that statement would probably be more accurate if one were to substitute "fear" for "guilt".

I strongly oppose the Iraq war, but I do support our troops and I believe that most of them are honorable and principled. Having said that, what in God's name (literally) is going on over there?

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