Skip to comments.U.S. Military Denies New Abuse Allegations at Ishaqi (Marines Exonerated from Killings)
Posted on 06/02/2006 12:43:57 PM PDT by demlosers
Officials Conclude Troops Followed Rules of Engagement
Horrific images of Iraqi adults and children have fueled new allegations that U.S. troops killed civilians in the Iraqi town of Ishaqi. But ABC News has learned that military officials have completed their investigation and concluded that U.S. forces followed the rules of engagement.
A senior Pentagon official told ABC News the investigation concluded that the allegations of intentional killings of civilians by American forces are unfounded.
Military commanders in Iraq launched an investigation soon after the mid-March raid in the village of Ishaqi, about 50 miles north of Baghdad.
Maj. Gen. William Caldwell will make a statement about the Ishaqi allegations today in Baghdad, ABC News has learned.
In Ishaqi, American forces were going after a high-value terrorist target they succeeded in apprehending. The U.S. military reported in March that four people died when the troops destroyed a house from the air and ground.
But previously unaired video shot by an AP Television News cameraman at the time shows at least five children dead, several with obvious bullet wounds to the head. One adult male is also seen dead.
"Children were stuck in the room, alone and surrounded," an unidentified man said on the video.
A total of 11 people died, according to Iraqis on the scene. The Iraqis said the people were killed by U.S. troops before the house was destroyed.
Other Incidents in Question
The allegations in Ishaqi surfaced amid several other alleged incidents that have raised questions about the behavior of U.S. troops in Iraq.
Military sources told ABC News that charges will likely be filed against officers up the chain of command in connection with the killing of 24 civilians by U.S. Marines in Haditha, Iraq, in November 2005.
Among those who may be charged are senior officers whom officials believe were not on the scene at the time of the killings but should have been aware that something had happened and done something about it.
On Thursday, the White House confirmed that an investigation began nearly three months after the Haditha killings, after Time Magazine showed a video to a military spokesman.
(Page 2 of 3)
Until then, the military insisted the civilians in Haditha had been killed by a roadside bomb.
Two Women Killed
On Wednesday in Samarra, a pregnant woman named Nahiba Jassim and her cousin, Saliha Hassan, were killed by gunfire when their car entered what the U.S. military called a clearly marked, prohibited area near a checkpoint and observation post manned by coalition forces.
According to the military, the driver of the car ignored signals and commands to stop, so troops fired shots to disable the vehicle.
Facing a constant threat of deadly attacks by insurgents, American forces in Iraq are allowed to fire in self-defense if they believe they are in danger. One of the survivors of the incident told ABC News they were rushing the pregnant woman to the hospital because she was about to give birth and they didn't know the road was blocked.
Jassim's brother was driving, and he said the soldiers shot straight into their vehicle.
"I didn't see any warning," he says. "I was driving at speed, and they started shooting at us."
Doctors at the hospital tried to save Jassim's baby but failed.
The U.S. military generally compensates the family of any civilian who is killed inadvertently by American forces. It's not known if this will apply in this case.
Iraqi Leaders, President Bush React
The allegations of unwarranted violence have outraged Iraqi officials.
Reacting to video of the Ishaqi incident, Muayed al-Anbaki, chairman of the Iraqi Human Rights Association, said Friday, "It looks like the killing of Iraqi civilians is becoming a daily phenomenon."
On Thursday, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki called the Haditha allegations "a horrible crime" his strongest comment on the incident to date.
"This is a phenomenon that has become common among many of the multinational forces," the prime minister said. "No respect for citizens, smashing civilian cars, and killing on a suspicion or a hunch. It's unacceptable."
At the same time, in light of the Haditha investigation, U.S. military commanders have ordered new ethics training for all troops in Iraq.
(Page 3 of 3)
"This is just a reminder for troops either in Iraq or throughout our military that there are high standards expected of them and there are strong rules of engagement," President Bush said. "The Haditha incident is under investigation. Obviously, the allegations are very troubling for me and equally troubling for our military."
Today, Army Brig. Gen. Donald Campbell explained to reporters what he thinks could be behind these incidents.
"Well, I'd say it's difficult to pin down specifically, but obviously, when you're in a combat theater dealing with enemy combatants who don't abide by the law of war, who do acts of indecency, soldiers become stressed, they become fearful," he said. "It's very difficult to determine in some cases on this battlefield who is a combatant and who is a civilian."
Campbell said the military will investigate the allegations.
"It doesn't excuse the acts that have occurred, and we're going to look into them," he said. "But I would say it's stress, fear, isolation and, in some cases, they're just upset. They see their buddies getting blown up on occasion, and they could snap."
Last week, Bush expressed regret for the Abu Ghraib prison scandal the first incident to raise questions about the military's handling of the war. He called it "the biggest mistake that's happened so far, at least from our country's involvement in Iraq."
ABC News' Hilary Brown and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Address that if ROE's were not followed our system takes care of that....but stress the facts that none of these Marines have been convicted of anything in Haditha and deserve nothing less the complete benefit of the doubt up until that point.
Stress the evil we are fighting and the realities that these enemies do not wear uniforms and can easily take the role of "civilian" when convenient.
Now watch Kerry and Murtha go flip-flop flip-flop.
The solution is really simple. Let's pull our forces back and let the Iraqi Army ferret these people out of their nests. This is total BS...just what the Kerry/Dean/Kennedy bunch are looking for...
They weren't there, but should have known, will be charged???
But I would say it's stress, fear, isolation and, in some cases, they're just upset. They see their buddies getting blown up on occasion, and they could snap."
Our soldiers are not Unisols who can easily turn it off with a flick of a switch. If the iraqis soldiers and security would step up to the plate and take more control of their nation, and move us more and more from the occupying equation, the less confusion and inaccuracies would occur.
We have freed more people from despotism than any other nation in the history of the world. All the accusers and detractors need to stick that fact in there pipe and smoke it. I wonder what kind of alternative world would exist if the U.S. wasn't around.
Do I understand this correctly. Ishaqi is a different incident from the more widely reported Haditha?
There are plenty of entities both inside and outside of this country trying to bring that about.
Never saw the movie, but why shouldn't we start thinking about plopping 500,000 stationary armed and armored robots at each intersection that just stand there and run video and have paintballs to mark suspects for the Iraqi Police to go in and pick up.
"why shouldn't we start thinking about plopping 500,000 stationary armed and armored robot"
Better yet, just have about fifty UAVs on patrol in the sky loaded with flourescent paintballs tagging the terrorists at 1,000 feet for pick up by the iraqi police.
They are so busy dredging up anew the other incidents that it's nearly impossible to separate from them the Ishaqui incident.
Thank you for adding the more accurate headline in parenthesis. Of course, the article spends more time on other allegations than it does on the subject of the headline.
Just thought I'd point that out, like I'm the only one who noticed. LOL
POLL TO FREEP
Do U.S. troops need more training in ethics and values?
This is always a good idea.
Yes, because it's clear there have been problems.
No, this is already part of their training.
No, they should just focus on accomplishing their missions.
SCROLL DOWN RIGHT SIDE OF SCREEN
It's the nature of command. The commander has a duty to make every reasonable effort to determine what's going on in his command.
That was what really pissed me off about Abu Ghraib; the general kept whining that she had no idea what was going on inside her own friggin' prison! It's called "management by walking around." It's called "get off your fat a$$, get out of your office, get down to where your troops are supposedly doing their jobs, and find out what's going on."
One of the first warning signs of a unit going to hell is when the senior leadership is closeted away in their offices--the troops start thinking that their leaders don't care, and pretty soon the troops don't care, and then they start doing things they're not supposed to be doing.
When I was in the Army, my first sergeant was almost never in his office unless the CO was holding him there at gunpoint to get some paperwork done. Otherwise, he was out there, talking to soldiers about what they were doing, correcting or commending them as appropriate, giving a good example of leadership to junior NCOs, and showing us that he cared very much about what went on with HIS soldiers, in HIS company, and in HIS Army. And the same with the company commander, the platoon leaders, and the platoon sergeants. The company CO once said that he didn't want to see a platoon leader sitting down during working hours unless they were eating or excreting--he wanted them moving around and through their platoons.
If stuff like this is what's happening--if the leadership isn't keeping track of what's going on--we have a huge problem, and it goes WAY beyond any allegations of "war crimes" or anything else. It will destroy our military if it goes on unchecked.
Bingo! - Without question there is a deliberate attempt to change public opinion based on fact-less reports and confusion on what events are actually even being reported on (being thrown at the average American viewer by this pathetic MSM).
America or bust!!
If there was a crime committed at the time why aren't the soldiers being charged? Or, are we not being told about that?
Paleese- this is only a crime when Americans do it? Where is the balance? (no answer necessary)
I think they're trying to do that more and more every day.
All it is is Already Been Chewed news, chewing its cud.
Any troops home or coming home--wear your uniforms or we won't be able to buy you drinks/your meals. Congratulations, and thanks to you all.
Democrats and their dying news organs are evil. We know who the `good guys' are!
Blame President Bush.
If a terrorist shoots up dope to make him feel invincible, uses women and children as sand bags, and kills American troops in ambushes. It's news.
Blame President Bush.
If American soldiers react to seeing their best friends, husbands and fathers blown to bits by terrorists who then scurry into buildings and side streets, and the Americans react by engaging the terrorists and killing them, and "civilians" who may or may not have been aiding the terrorists die in the cross fire. It's news.
Blame President Bush, AND THE "GOD D*MN JARHEAD MARINES" (who the lefties hate the most anyway).
What if American soldiers give years of their lives, limbs, and even their lives liberating a people, giving them a chance for democracy, if they take the fight that first killed 2000+ Americans on U.S. soil back to the enemy, if build the roads and schools and power plants, and help restart a country's strategic industries?
Well, that, my friends, is not news. Moreover, it all would have happened anyway, faster, and without bloodshed if only the U.S. "imperial stormtroopers" hadn't run amoke throughout Iraq and other countries of the world.
That's the American left's playbook, including 98% of all lawyers, 95% of all professional journalists, and 99% of Democrats in the U.S.A..
Every U.S. bodybag, every alleged "atrocity", every IED that kills an American, is just one more "political opportunity" for the Democrats. I never had much use for the Democrats due to policy differences. But prior to the war, when the Democrats allied themselves with the political positions of those killing U.S. soldiers, or perhaps it was prior to 2000, when Gore tried to subvert Democracy by stealing a Presidential election, or maybe it was back in 1997, when an American President elected by Democrats committed purgery to cover up an "affair" with a college intern, I'm not sure where the line was drawn, but an insurmountable gulf was created.
At this point, I can fully comprehend how individuals must have felt back in 1860, except, of course, that half the Republicans now are busy trying to be Democrats, from the petty corruption to their liberal ideology, to their political opportunism, fighting a war President from their own party. But I can understand how the unthinkable became thinkable, in 1860.
And finally, now, let's all attack the Marines under fire in Iraq. By all means, let's allow the Navy and Marine JAG officers, graduates from the most far radical leftist law schools in the country, built a case from "evidence" months after the fact in a country at war, to denigrate and destroy the Marines who are actually on the firing lines. You've heard the old saying that a good prosecutor could get a Grand Jury to indict a turnip? Well, you've seen nothing until you've seen the UCMJ system go after a soldier or officer once a Congressman, Senator, or "60 minutes" gets their finger into the pie. (Hint: The Jahadists in Iraq have more rights under the new Iraqi constitution than our Soldiers and Marines have under the UCMJ. If JAG and the CofC wants to get these guys, they're toast.)
I won't excuse atrocity or murder by our troops, but I sure as heck do not trust their accusers or prosecutors.
Commanders are responsible for everything that does or does not happen.
What are the libs going to say when the investigations determine that the murders of innocent civilians in Iraq, being blamed on the US Marines, were actually committed by Al-quaeda?
Will they admit to being dupes?
How do you turn terrorists into a civilians?
No, its war. In war, the baddies are going to die, and sadly, anyone standing near them is going to die too. We aren't going to serve subpoenas on them, we aren't going to take them into court, if they are a threat, if they look like a threat, if they are standing near someone who looks like a threat, their life is in grave and imminent danger.
If they fail to slow down for a checkpoint, they and everyone in their car is going to die. They may be perfectly innocent, maybe they got nervous, maybe they're just on their way to the store, maybe their kids are in the car, but if they fail to slow down at a checkpoint they will be launched into the next life right now.
If Dad and his brothers open fire on an squad of marines, they have signed their death warrant, and the chances are that everyone in the house with them will die right along with them. Its tragic, its a shame, but its so certain an outcome that it may as well be a natural law of the universe. Open fire, trigger an IED in the company of your wife and kids, and you have very likely just killed them. The bullets that take you out will not stop with you.
If you are an insurgent leader, and you are unlucky enough to have found a place on our "high value target" list, there is a hellfire missile with your name on it, and anyone standing near you when it launches is going to die with you. Its a guarantee. They may be innocent, they may play no part in the war at all, but they will die along with their uncle, the "high value target".
There is no point in apologizing about it. You may feel bad about it, but the blame lays with the man who picked up rifle and attacked from amidst a crowd of non-combatants. You can try to protect them, but its inevitable that some will die thanks to the stupidity and cowardice of their uncle, dad, son, brother.
Please call the traitors at AP and show them who they really are: Liars and Traitors.
I'm sure they are real disappointed about the outcome of this case over at DU
Republican Bill Schuster is the Rep. for District 9 in PA not John Murtha:
It doesnt matter if they are innocent, the damage is done.
Proganda win for the enemy, thanks to the media. Things like this can have more of an effect on the entire military operation then any IED or beheading.
The media needs to realize that they are aiding the enemy and I'm not being paranid or over-patriotic. This is real, the enemy knows the media can easily be manpulated because of the overall political agenda.
The media needs to reevaluate journalism ethics in the time of war more thn our soldiers needing "sensitivy trianing."
Thank you. The voice of reason. you just made my day!
I agree...Support Our Troops!!!
Thanks. Much appreciated. So the fellow who lost a son in Iraq and calls Sean Hannity often was either wrong or lying.
Yesterday, someone claiming to be a colonel serving in Iraq called in to Rush's show. He said some powerful things. This morning Rush said checks with the Army showed there is no such person serving in Iraq.
Both are good examples of how careful we all must be re what is said on public forms. At least here on FR, info can and often is corrected quickly, as you just did. Thanks again.
let's face it...it isn't going to happen. They, the people of Iraq, are not willing to fight for freedom. Sure they went out and voted, under the watchful eye of the coalition...but they really don't want freedom.
One nasty world. Doubt the civilized world would last. At one time you could depend on the UK...they've turned as lunatic as the rest.
Way back in 2003 we were told this would happen. Who can say this isn't what's going on now?
This is just an enemy attack by other means with the assistance of unpatriotic leftist news media and politicians.
We will never win a war again as long as a POTUS lets the media and his political opponents continue to do this.
Lincoln and FDR put politicians and the press in jail for a lot less.
Pity our brave soldiers are dying and a bunch of clowns are running the PR war at home.
Bravo to you, Sir!
"....but they really don't want freedom."
You are correct.....the religion and culture is based on total submission, hence the 5x daily genuflection to remind them....
I think if you look closely at the stories about many of the recent "reported" incidents, including Haditha, you'll see that the US forces were operating in conjunction with Iraqi forces. It's even possible that some of the casualties in Haditha were caused by Iraqi forces not US forces. But that information doesn't fit the agenda of those on the left, so it's reported once, if at all, and then conveniently left out of subsequent "stories" on the incident.
This is all ridiculous beyond freaking words! What message is all of this sending to the enemy?? This country needs to get a clue!
hanoi kerry went before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations in 1971
to accuse the United States military
of committing massive numbers of war crimes in Vietnam.
hanoi kerry 1971 TESTIMONY
Legislative Proposals Relating to the War in Southeast Asia Thursday, April 22, 1971
United States Senate, Committee on Foreign Relations, Washington, D.C.
Major General William Caldwell should forthwith kick Brigadier General Donald Campbell directly in the balls, if the media accurately reported Campbells' comments. For those not familiar with the rank structure it is Brig, Maj, Lt, and Gen of. If the comments from Campbell were out of context, the worthless gutterslut that published them should be turned over to the enemy.
One S O B leftist from Time(SLIME)magazine started this, along with Murtha, now we have a feeding frenzy over nothing.