Skip to comments.U.S. Marines Rally Round Iraq Probe Comrade
Posted on 11/16/2004 5:44:59 PM PST by jarcolaNY
FALLUJA, Iraq (Reuters) - U.S. Marines rallied round a comrade under investigation for killing a wounded Iraqi during the offensive in Falluja, saying he was probably under combat stress in unpredictable, hair-trigger circumstances.
Marines interviewed on Tuesday said they didn't see the shooting as a scandal, rather the act of a comrade who faced intense pressure during the effort to quell the insurgency in the city.
"I can see why he would do it. He was probably running around being shot at for days on end in Falluja. There should be an investigation but they should look into the circumstances," said Lance Corporal Christopher Hanson.
"I would have shot the insurgent too. Two shots to the head," said Sergeant Nicholas Graham, 24, of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. "You can't trust these people. He should not be investigated. He did nothing wrong."
The military command launched an investigation after video footage showed a U.S. Marine shooting a wounded and unarmed man in a mosque in the city on Saturday. The man was one of five wounded and left in the mosque after Marines fought their way through the area.
A pool report by NBC correspondent Kevin Sites said the mosque had been used by insurgents to attack U.S. forces, who stormed it, killing 10 militants and wounding the five. Sites said the wounded had been left for others to pick up.
A second group of Marines entered the mosque on Saturday after reports it had been reoccupied. Footage from the embedded television crew showed the five still in the mosque, although several appeared to be close to death, Sites said.
He said a Marine noticed one prisoner was still breathing.
A Marine can be heard saying on the pool footage provided to Reuters Television: "He's f***ing faking he's dead."
"The Marine then raises his rifle and fires into the man's head," Sites said.
NBC said the Marine, who had reportedly been shot in the face himself the previous day, said immediately after the shooting: "Well, he's dead now."
THOROUGH PROBE PROMISED
The Marine commander in Falluja, Lieutenant General John Sattler, said his men followed the law of conflict and held themselves to a high standard of accountability.
"The facts of this case will be thoroughly pursued to make an informed decision and to protect the rights of all persons involved," he said.
Marines have repeatedly described the rebels they fought against in Falluja as ruthless fighters who didn't play by the rules. They say the investigation is politically motivated.
"It's all political. This Marine has been under attack for days. It has nothing to do with what he did," said Corporal Keith Hoy, 23.
Rights group Amnesty International said on Monday both sides in the Falluja fighting had broken the rules of war governing the protection of civilians and wounded combatants.
Gunnery Sergeant Christopher Garza, 30, favored an investigation but like other Marines said the Pentagon should weigh its decision carefully.
"He should have captured him. Maybe the insurgent had some valuable information. There may have been mitigating circumstances. Maybe his two buddies died in Falluja," he said.
Sites said: "I have witnessed the Marines behaving as a disciplined and professional force throughout this offensive. In this particular case, it certainly was a confusing situation to say the least."
The U.S. military has been embarrassed by scandals in Iraq, most prominently the Abu Ghraib affair in which at least eight U.S. soldiers have been tried or face courts-martial over the abuse of prisoners at the jail outside Baghdad.
There have also been several cases in which soldiers have been charged with wrongfully killing Iraqis during operations.
ME TOO!!!!! :-)
This is a war, dammit, not a parade of accused criminals for the "American" Civil Liberties Union to represent. These buildings (and bodies) are often booby-trapped; you cannot expect 19 year olds under the heat of battle with constant threats to their lives to operate under Marquis of Queensbury rules. Bush needs to decide whether he won this election and just what policies the majority of us who elected him will tolerate. You've got the majority, Mr. President, USE IT!
"HE DID NOTHING WRONG" HE KILLED A TERRORIST - HE DID HIS JOB!
Just shameful shameful these poor men and women have to defend themselves against their own people and media somethings wrong.
FROM TAMMY BRUCE:
As many of you know, one of our fighting men has come under
"investigation" for shooting a terrorist who was pretending to be dead in a mosque.
The media is spinning this as a "shooting of a wounded, unarmed Iraqi." The bottom line is that he was a murderous savage trying to trick one of our soldiers, who then did his job by killing that enemy.
Quite a few of our casualties as we liberated Fallujah were soldiers who approached the supposed dead or wounded terrorists only to be injured or killed because the body or person was boobytrapped. This was at a time of combat and our young man did his duty. He deserves a medal, not a lawyer.
Please contact the Department of Defense, the White House, your congressional representatives and the US Marine Corp to express your support for that brave marine. Tell them you expect him to be treated as a hero who did his job. Essentially, your voice must eclipse the leftist media who in all likelihood probably expect to make this another abu Ghraib.
Here are the contact numbers and e-mails. Yahoo doesn't allow e-mails in these messages, so I've added a space so it can be read. Please eliminate that space when you use it:
Department ofg Defense: 703-428-0711
House/Senate Contact: 202-224-3441 (They'll ask for your state, and
then connect you to your senator or congressman).
US Marine Corp Public Relations: 703-614-1492
DoD E-mail/Website: www.defenselink.mil (use their 'contact us' link
to e-mail Rumsfeld and everyone else)
President Bush: president @whitehouse.gov
VP Cheney: vicepresident @whitehouse.gov
Please voice your support for this Marine and all our other soldiers so they feel free and safe to perform their duty as this young man has done. As John Kerry said, we need to find and kill terrorists. This Marine did just that, and in a situation where clearly he felt in danger and acted to save the lives of his buddies.
I'll keep you updated here and on my show.
Where are all those email addresses for the pres and out senators and congressmen? We need to bombard them with demands to support this good soldier!
Hey the dead Muslim came to town for martyrdom. The Marine just helped him out.
Tammy, m'dear...if the shoot was righteous, the Marine has nothing to fear. The USMC JAG is not known for giving a s**t what the lamestream press has to say.
Well, he could be given a medal (but it could be announced that it is a lesser medal than was originally proposed). That way the balance of rewards and punishments would be maintained.
I don't think that he is a bad person, but he is a pussy for burning a warrior. I hope he writes weather reports in upstate NY after this.
It would be good for President Bush to come out and support this Marine, but I guess that's too much to ask these days.
The US has been unfairly attacked by the main stream media with overblown and outright fabricated stories.
The only scandal is that the US public doesn't march in protest against the networks.
These anti-American evil doers need to be brought to justice
You are exactly right. While it no doubt helps morale for our troops to know America stands behind them, the UCMJ process works very well, and outside the influence of our worthless media.
Hopefully the young marine wasn't "acting up" for the cameras.
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