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GIs at Ishaqi cleared; Haditha probe open
Yahoo!News ^ | June 2, 2006 | HAMZA HENDAWI and KIM GAMEL

Posted on 06/02/2006 6:10:29 PM PDT by Kaslin

BAGHDAD, Iraq - A military investigation into allegations that U.S. troops intentionally killed Iraqi civilians in a March raid in Ishaqi, a village north of Baghdad, has cleared the troops of misconduct, the military said Friday — despite dramatic video footage of slain children.

Meanwhile, a lawyer representing families of some of the two dozen unarmed Iraqi civilians allegedly killed by U.S. Marines in the western town of Haditha on Nov. 19 said three or four Marines carried out the shootings while 20 more waited outside the homes. He also said victims' relatives turned down a request by U.S. investigators to exhume the victims' bodies for forensic tests.

The investigation of the March 15 attack in Ishaqi concluded that the U.S. troops followed normal procedures in raising the level of force as they came under attack upon approaching a building where they believed an al-Qaida terrorist was hiding, said Maj. Gen. William Caldwell, a U.S military spokesman.

Caldwell also acknowledged there were "possibly up to nine collateral deaths" in addition to the four Iraqi deaths that the military announced at the time of the raid.

The probe was part of U.S. investigations into possible misconduct by American troops in at least three separate areas of Iraq. Besides Haditha and Ishaqi, seven Marines and a Navy corpsman could face murder, kidnapping and conspiracy charges in the April shooting death of an Iraqi man west of Baghdad.

The military said Friday it will cooperate with the Iraqi government in its own investigation of Haditha and other incidents of alleged wrongdoing by U.S. troops. "We're going to give them whatever assistance they need as a part of this investigation," said Army Brig. Gen. Donald Campbell, the chief of staff for U.S. forces in Iraq.

Campbell's pledge came a day after Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki upbraided the U.S. military over Haditha, which he called "a horrible crime," and accused U.S. troops of habitually attacking unarmed civilians.

On Friday, White House press secretary Tony Snow said al-Maliki had told U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad that he had been misquoted. But Snow was unable to explain what al-Maliki told Khalilzad or how he had been misquoted.

In Haditha, the Marines, enraged by the loss of a comrade, stormed into nearby homes in the area and allegedly shot occupants dead as well as several men in a taxi that arrived at the scene of the blast, according to U.S. lawmakers briefed by military officials.

In one of the homes, Marines ordered four brothers inside a closet and shot them dead, said the Haditha lawyer, Khaled Salem Rsayef.

Rsayef said he himself lost several relatives in the alleged massacre, including a sister and her husband, an aunt, an uncle and several cousins. He and his brother, Salam Salem Rsayef, spoke to The Associated Press by telephone from the Euphrates River town of 90,000 late Thursday and Friday.

Despite the Iraqi government's insistence of cooperation between the U.S. and Iraqi investigations, the Rsayefs said they and other victims' families refused the request several months ago to exhume the bodies.

"No way we can ever agree to that," Salam Salem Rsayef said. Under Islamic teachings, exhuming bodies is prohibited, but is allowed on case-by-case basis, sometime after a fatwa, or an edict, from a senior cleric allowing it to proceed.

The Rsayef brothers met at least four times with U.S. military investigators looking into the killings. They said the meetings began in February and were held at Samarra General Hospital. The next meeting is scheduled for Sunday, the two brothers said, suggesting that the U.S. investigations are not finished.

Khaled Salam Rsayef identified the four brothers killed in the closet as Jamal Ayed Ahmed, 41, a car dealer; Chassib Ayed Ahmed, 27, a traffic policeman; Marwan Ayed Ahmed, 28, an engineer; and Kahtan Ayed Ahmed, 24, a local government employee. He said the U.S. military did not give compensation payments to their families because the brothers were believed to be insurgents.

The lawyer said his account of what happened was based on his personal observations from the rooftop of his home and windows. He said his house is several dozen yards away from the three homes raided by Marines. The killings, which he did not witness in person, were recounted to him and other members of his family the following day by survivors, he said.

He said his own home shook violently when the roadside bomb went off at 7:15 a.m. and that intermittent gunfire lasted for about two hours. He could not go out of his house to see for himself, but managed to steal quick glances from his roof and from behind windows.

"About 5 p.m. I emerged with my family carrying white flags," he said. "We wanted to move away from the area fearing that shooting could resume."

The March 15 nighttime raid in the village of Ishaqi, about 50 miles north of Baghdad, was conducted by a U.S. ground force, said two defense officials in Washington. After being fired upon from the targeted building, the soldiers pulled back and called in airstrikes by an Air Force AC-130 gunship, which attacked and collapsed the building, they said.

One of the officials said the investigation into the circumstances of the Ishaqi attack found that four people in the building were killed by U.S. forces, including two women and a child. The main target of the attack, said by U.S. intelligence to be an al-Qaida figure, ran from the building but was later captured, the official said.

Caldwell said that a search found "the body of Abu Ahmed plus three noncombatants," while the "investigating officer concluded that possibly up to nine collateral deaths resulted from this engagement but could not determine the precise number due to collapsed walls and heavy debris."

Local Iraqis said there were 11 dead, contending they were killed by U.S. troops before the house was leveled, and video footage showed a row of dead children.

The bloody aftermath of the attack was captured at the time in the footage shot by an AP Television News cameraman. The video became the focus of attention Friday when the BBC aired it in the wake of recent allegations of U.S. troops killing unarmed civilians.

The footage shows at least one adult male and four of the children with deep wounds to the head that could have been caused by bullets or shrapnel. One child has an obvious entry wound to the side and the inside of the walls left standing were pocked with bullet holes. A voice on the tape said there were clear bullet wounds in two people.

The video includes an unidentified man saying "children were stuck in the room, alone and surrounded."

"After they handcuffed them, they shot them dead. Later, they struck the house with their planes. They wanted to hide the evidence. Even a 6-month-old infant was killed. Even the cows were killed, too," he said.

Although it has been known that U.S. air power was involved in the assault on the building in Ishaqi, it was not previously reported that there was an AC-130 gunship, a devastating weapon capable of operating at night and pummeling its target with side-firing guns, including a 105mm cannon. The gunship is flown by Air Force Special Operations crews.

U.S. commanders have ordered new ethics training for all troops in Iraq. In a letter sent Thursday to the troops and reported by ABC News, Gen. George Casey, the top U.S. military commander in Iraq, wrote that "one important way for us to assist the Iraqis is to demonstrate the discipline and values that mark us as professional armed forces of free and democratic nations."

___

Associated Press writers Robert Burns in Washington and Qais al-Bashir, Patrick Quinn and Mazin Yahya in Baghdad contributed to this report.


TOPICS: Extended News; Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: 2005; 200511; 20051119; 2006; 200603; 20060315; 200604; abuahmed; ac130; ahmed; albashir; almaliki; ayedahmed; bashir; bureaucrat; burns; cardealer; chassibahmed; chassibayedahmed; engineer; gamel; haditha; hamzahendawi; hendawi; iraq; ishaqi; jamalahmed; jamalayedahmed; kahtanahmed; kahtanayedahmed; khaledrsayef; khaledsalemrsayef; khalidrsayef; khalidsalemrsayef; khalilzad; kimgamel; maliki; marwanahmed; marwanayedahmed; mazenyahya; mazinyahya; misquotes; msmmisquotes; murthawatch; nourialmaliki; patrickquinn; policeman; probe; qaisalbashir; quinn; robertburns; rsayef; salamrsayef; salamsalemrsayef; salemrsayef; tonysnow; trafficcop; trafficpoliceman; yahya; zalmaykhalilzad

1 posted on 06/02/2006 6:10:30 PM PDT by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin
He also said victims' relatives turned down a request by U.S. investigators to exhume the victims' bodies for forensic tests.

Predictable

2 posted on 06/02/2006 6:12:05 PM PDT by Texasforever (I have neither been there nor done that.)
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To: Kaslin
Despite the Iraqi government's insistence of cooperation between the U.S. and Iraqi investigations, the Rsayefs said they and other victims' families refused the request several months ago to exhume the bodies.

"No way we can ever agree to that," Salam Salem Rsayef said.

Then you've got no case and you won't be getting checks from Uncle Sam any time soon, Counselor Rsayef.

3 posted on 06/02/2006 6:15:43 PM PDT by rhombus
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To: Kaslin
Golly sakes alive....

it is too bad that civilians are DEAD...

...bad things happens during war...

not one single Iraqi...is worth hassling our troops ... IMHO

4 posted on 06/02/2006 6:16:03 PM PDT by pointsal (Q)
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To: Kaslin
Khaled Salam Rsayef identified the four brothers killed in the closet as Jamal Ayed Ahmed, 41, a car dealer; Chassib Ayed Ahmed, 27, a traffic policeman; Marwan Ayed Ahmed, 28, an engineer; and Kahtan Ayed Ahmed, 24, a local government employee. He said the U.S. military did not give compensation payments to their families because the brothers were believed to be insurgents.

Didn't we go to war to kill people like this? I wonder how many American Soldiers and Marines these creeps killed?
5 posted on 06/02/2006 6:16:39 PM PDT by SHOOT THE MOON bat (Disclaimer: No live moonbats were harmed during the making of this screen name.)
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To: Kaslin

No point in telling people upfront that Haditha is a enemy stronghold, is there? I thought not.


6 posted on 06/02/2006 6:17:56 PM PDT by Rodentking (There is no God but Yahweh and Moses is his prophet - http://www.airpower.blogspot.com/)
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To: Texasforever
Yup, can you say staged
these pacification wars really suck.
Its bad enough, but when half our own people and all our home media are our worst enemy, its amazing how good we have done.
thank God the men know that we are all behind them and that we know they died and are injured to prevent kids from getting hurt.
Bless our Christian soldiers, fighting for murtha's "spit" right to throw them under a bus.
7 posted on 06/02/2006 6:18:36 PM PDT by roverman2K6
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To: Kaslin

Looks like Murtha and Pelosi are going to have to leave the champagne on ice a little longer.


8 posted on 06/02/2006 6:18:36 PM PDT by FlingWingFlyer (Somebody get Jack a beer! He spent the whole day "fraggin'" Marines!)
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To: pointsal
TONY SNOW,TONY SNOW,TONY SNOW,

.... Poor old Tony just seems to think that everyone walking across the border is our buddy....

I worked a ranch on the border...every nite we pulled every battery from every vehicle...

The yard was just footprints in the morning...

WAKE UP AMERICA...it is an invasion....

9 posted on 06/02/2006 6:21:25 PM PDT by pointsal (Q)
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To: pointsal
Typically, every thread, no matter what the thread is about has some post about illegal aliens. Some people seem to think that's a bad thing. I don't.

I bet ya one thing, they won't be pulling batteries out of vehicles on the Bush ranch in Texas. He's not going to be touched by the problem that's ruining our schools, creating more crime, increasing our taxes, etc.

10 posted on 06/02/2006 6:25:02 PM PDT by isthisnickcool (What is it about "illegal" you don't understand?)
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To: Texasforever

Yeah because thy don't want us to find out what really happened


11 posted on 06/02/2006 6:28:02 PM PDT by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

"a military investigation has cleared the troops of misconduct-despite dramatic video of slain children"

These so-called reporters do not hide their anger at the military for clearing the troops of wrongdoing.

Yet, how many hundreds or thousands of children have been slain by terrorists who actually boast of their murderous acts.

The media for the most part is despicable.


12 posted on 06/02/2006 6:28:22 PM PDT by texasmountainman (Remember the heroic men and women of Flight 93-go watch United 93.)
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To: Kaslin
cleared the troops of misconduct, the military said Friday — despite dramatic video footage of slain children.

We have emotional footage! They MUST be guilty!!

The MSM is truly vomit-inducing.

13 posted on 06/02/2006 6:39:31 PM PDT by atomicpossum (Replies must follow approved guidelines or you will be kill-filed without appeal.)
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To: Kaslin

"After they handcuffed them, they shot them dead."

This is not what Marines would have done. There was no need to handcuff children. This is a fabrication of events. How did this guy know anything anyway? He wasn't there.

Guilt should be punished but I see nothing so far to indicate anything other than Marines doing their jobs.

I hope we know the whole story soon.


14 posted on 06/02/2006 6:49:52 PM PDT by jch10
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To: Kaslin
"relatives turned down a request by U.S. investigators to exhume the victims' bodies for forensic tests."

End of story unless they have some magic machine that can collect ballistics 6ft under.
15 posted on 06/02/2006 6:52:25 PM PDT by tobyhill (The War on Terrorism is not for the weak.)
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To: Texasforever

Here's what I think (and I admit my cynicism right up front): the families of those killed (let's not ask "by whom" yet) realize they'll never get anything but more death from the terrorist scum-sucking thugs, but Uncle Sam has been most generous in trying to get rid of the terrorists, and in building, rebuilding, and repairing all the cr*ppy infrastructure and oil producing facilities over there, and everyone knows the streets are paved with gold in Uncle-Sam-Land, and that the citizens of Uncle-Sam-Land are kind and compassionate, so. . . . why not just say "Uncle Sam" killed these people? The only problem is proof, and perhaps they never thought Uncle Sam would demand any proof.


16 posted on 06/02/2006 6:55:49 PM PDT by hsalaw
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To: Kaslin
U.S. commanders have ordered new ethics training for all troops in Iraq. ...Gen. George Casey, the top U.S. military commander in Iraq, wrote that "one important way for us to assist the Iraqis is to demonstrate the discipline and values that mark us as professional armed forces of free and democratic nations."

WTF?

What utter crap. The best way to show Iraquis what a professional armed forces of free and democratic nations are about is to unleach our fighting men to do what they were f'en trained to do:

Anahilate the vermin with extreme prejudice so free men and women are not under the yoke of tyranny. Let the Iraquis see for themselves how it is done.

I believe most Iraquis would dispense with the moral vicissitudes that only snivelling little shits in the west can indulge in when brave men & women stand at the gates of hell.

Casey's been hangin out too much in the green zone!

17 posted on 06/02/2006 7:00:47 PM PDT by bubman
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To: bubman
U.S. commanders have ordered new ethics training for all troops in Iraq.

I'll believe that when I hear it from someone not working for AP.
18 posted on 06/02/2006 7:47:56 PM PDT by caveat emptor
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To: bubman

Amen. Well said!


19 posted on 06/02/2006 8:20:01 PM PDT by armydawg1 (" America must win this war..." PVT Martin Treptow, KIA, WW1)
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To: Kaslin
BAGHDAD, Iraq - A military investigation into allegations that U.S. troops intentionally killed Iraqi civilians in a March raid in Ishaqi, a village north of Baghdad, has cleared the troops of misconduct, the military said Friday — despite dramatic video footage of slain children.

Despite dramatic out of context video footage taken by a person of suspect sympathies of dead children of unknown age that could have been set up and filmed just about anywhere and any time and by anyone.

Meanwhile, a lawyer representing families of some of the two dozen

One minute it's twenty, the next it's two dozen; but if you count up all the names of alleged victims when all this is said and done it will probably exceed the population of the town.

unarmed Iraqi civilians ...

How do we know these were unarmed, and how do we determine who is a civilian and who is a combatant when one side has decided to disguise their combatants as civilians in order to use civilians as human shields for their attacks on our combatants, who are actually uniformed and cannot hide among civilians?

They should have said "alegedly unarmed"

...allegedly killed by U.S. Marines in the western town of Haditha on Nov. 19 [the lawyer] said three or four Marines carried out the shootings while 20 more waited outside the homes. He also said victims' relatives turned down a request by U.S. investigators to exhume the victims' bodies for forensic tests.

Which means victims' relatives really don't care about the outcome of an investigation and aren't interested in the rule of law.

The investigation of the March 15 attack in Ishaqi concluded that the U.S. troops followed normal procedures in raising the level of force as they came under attack upon approaching a building where they believed an al-Qaida terrorist was hiding, said Maj. Gen. William Caldwell, a U.S military spokesman.
Caldwell also acknowledged there were "possibly up to nine collateral deaths" in addition to the four Iraqi deaths that the military announced at the time of the raid.

Translation : Shrill press claims turned out to be bogus in this case.

The probe was part of U.S. investigations into possible misconduct by American troops in at least three separate areas of Iraq. Besides Haditha and Ishaqi, seven Marines and a Navy corpsman could face murder, kidnapping and conspiracy charges in the April shooting death of an Iraqi man west of Baghdad.

They could; they could also face nothing at all if the claims against them prove to be unfounded. Meanwhile, Murtha proclaims all accused everywhere guilty because he wants to make some political points for his own campaign.

The military said Friday it will cooperate with the Iraqi government in its own investigation of Haditha and other incidents of alleged wrongdoing by U.S. troops. "We're going to give them whatever assistance they need as a part of this investigation," said Army Brig. Gen. Donald Campbell, the chief of staff for U.S. forces in Iraq.

Campbell's pledge came a day after Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki upbraided the U.S. military over Haditha, which he called "a horrible crime," and accused U.S. troops of habitually attacking unarmed civilians.

This should say al Maliki allegedly upbraided the US military over Haditha, which he allegedly called a "horrible crime." I recall all too well the numerous other media misquotes of Bush, Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld, Chalabi, Powell, Rice and so on where comments were so chopped up and twisted they bore no resemblence to the original and often meant precisely the opposite of what was actually said. Maureen Dowd is legendary in this regard, and there are others prone to it as well.

On Friday, White House press secretary Tony Snow said al-Maliki had told U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad that he had been misquoted. But Snow was unable to explain what al-Maliki told Khalilzad or how he had been misquoted.

I guess it would be too much to ask for the reporters to call up al Maliki's office and ask him personally? If they can find and interview insurgents you'd think they could just call up an elected official now and then. But no...

In Haditha, the Marines, enraged by the loss of a comrade, stormed into nearby homes in the area and allegedly shot occupants dead as well as several men in a taxi that arrived at the scene of the blast, according to U.S. lawmakers briefed by military officials.

Why did several men arrive at the scene of the blast in a Taxi, knowing there would be "enraged marines" in the area? Were they the insurgent's followup photographers hoping to film burning US vehicles or some such thing, al la Mogadishu?

In one of the homes, Marines ordered four brothers inside a closet and shot them dead, said the Haditha lawyer, Khaled Salem Rsayef.

Four brothers described elsewhere as insurgents. Were they ordered to get into a closet and then shot? If so, how do we know this? Did one leave a diary? Or were they hiding in a closet when the Marines arrived, in which case they may not have come out of it when ordered to do so?

Rsayef said he himself lost several relatives in the alleged massacre, including a sister and her husband, an aunt, an uncle and several cousins.

What Sunni hasn't claimed they lost relatives there?

He and his brother, Salam Salem Rsayef, spoke to The Associated Press by telephone from the Euphrates River town of 90,000 late Thursday and Friday.

You mean we missed his brother?

Despite the Iraqi government's insistence of cooperation between the U.S. and Iraqi investigations, the Rsayefs said they and other victims' families refused the request several months ago to exhume the bodies.

so, we started a "coverup" by having investigators "several months ago" - in other words- not long after the event - request to investigate bodies? And the relatives refused to help in the investigation? Who's covering it up again? Seems to me the relatives are.

"No way we can ever agree to that," Salam Salem Rsayef said. Under Islamic teachings, exhuming bodies is prohibited,

I can't blame Mohammed for that idea given his background.

but is allowed on case-by-case basis, sometime after a fatwa, or an edict, from a senior cleric allowing it to proceed.

So, when's Imam Whatsisface going to issue the fatwa? OR is he covering it up?

The Rsayef brothers met at least four times with U.S. military investigators looking into the killings. They said the meetings began in February and were held at Samarra General Hospital.

While Murtha says we were "covering it up" we had investigators on the job?

The next meeting is scheduled for Sunday, the two brothers said, suggesting that the U.S. investigations are not finished.

Hope those investigators have some bomb sniffing dogs on hand.

Khaled Salam Rsayef identified the four brothers killed in the closet as Jamal Ayed Ahmed, 41, a car dealer; Chassib Ayed Ahmed, 27, a traffic policeman; Marwan Ayed Ahmed, 28, an engineer; and Kahtan Ayed Ahmed, 24, a local government employee.

Sounds to me like an excellent team to use to set up car bomb ambushes, no?

He said the U.S. military did not give compensation payments to their families because the brothers were believed to be insurgents.

Well, there IS a lawyer in the family. That should be reason enough for caution.

The lawyer said his account of what happened was based on his personal observations from the rooftop of his home and windows. He said his house is several dozen yards away from the three homes raided by Marines. The killings, which he did not witness in person, were recounted to him and other members of his family the following day by survivors, he said.

He says his account of what happened was based on his personal observations of things he did not witness in person? Oh my.

If it wasn't for citizenship issues, I think I've found the perfect Democrat candidate for President.

...

20 posted on 06/02/2006 8:30:30 PM PDT by piasa (Attitude Adjustments Offered Here Free of Charge)
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To: Texasforever

Indeed predictable. This way there won't be any ballistic evidence to clear the Marines conclusively, so while a court martial would be obliged to clear them, in the propaganda war, the "massacre at Haditha" will live on as an "American war crime" in the mythology of the Muslim world and Western left.

Each passing revelation makes this look more like a replay of the Sarajevo market or Jenin rather than Mi Lai. (Though I'd still like conclusive evidence one way or the other).


21 posted on 06/02/2006 10:46:43 PM PDT by The_Reader_David (And when they behead your own people in the wars which are to come, then you will know. . .)
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To: Kaslin
Despite the Iraqi government's insistence of cooperation between the U.S. and Iraqi investigations, the Rsayefs said they and other victims' families refused the request several months ago to exhume the bodies.

Well, that's it. CASE DISMISSED. Time to moveon.org to the next "atrocity".

22 posted on 06/03/2006 12:47:15 AM PDT by pawdoggie
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