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Three soldiers face charges of murdering Iraqis
Knight Ridder ^ | June 20, 2006 | Drew Brown

Posted on 06/20/2006 1:43:19 PM PDT by jamesm113

WASHINGTON - Three soldiers with the 101st Airborne Division have been charged with murder in connection with the deaths of three Iraqi detainees in their custody last month, the U.S. military said Monday.

The sergeant and two lower-ranking soldiers with the division's 3rd Brigade Combat Team from Fort Campbell, Ky., also have been charged with attempted murder, conspiracy, communicating a threat and obstructing justice.

The three detainees died May 9 during an operation near Thar Thar Canal in southern Salah ad Din province, U.S. Central Command said.

The soldiers charged are Staff Sgt. Raymond Girouard, Spc. William Hunsaker and Pfc. Corey Clagett. They are assigned to Company C, 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment.

They're being held awaiting a hearing to determine whether sufficient evidence exists for a court-martial. A criminal investigation, which began May 17, is under way.

The case is one of three active investigations into allegations that American troops have killed Iraqis under unlawful circumstances.

The military said the three soldiers' commanding officer had ordered an inquiry the day the killings occurred.

The military previously said the inquiry had been initiated after one soldier reported his suspicions about the deaths of the three prisoners.

According to the charge sheets in the case, the three soldiers conspired to commit premeditated murder by shooting the three detainees near the Muthana Chemical Complex.

The next day, Girouard allegedly told Pfc. Bradley Mason, who witnessed the shootings, "I will kill you if you tell anyone" and "you better not talk or I will kill you."

The charge documents allege that Hunsaker and Clagett also threatened to kill Mason if he disclosed anything.

The 3rd Brigade Combat Team is based at Tikrit, near the hometown of deposed Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.

Salah ad Din province, north of Baghdad, lies within the so-called "Sunni Triangle" of central and western Iraq, where most of the fighting between insurgents and U.S. troops has occurred.

The announcement came three days after the American military command in Iraq said Army Lt. Gen. Peter Chiarelli, the senior ground forces commander in Iraq, had received the conclusions of a probe into whether troops with the 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, and their commanders had tried to cover up the circumstances in which 24 Iraqi civilians died in Haditha, in western Iraq.

The report, by Army Maj. Gen. Eldon Bargewell, examined how Marines reported the circumstances of the Nov. 19 killings, the type of training they'd received before the killings and the command atmosphere within their unit. It has not been made public.

The Marines initially reported that a remote-controlled bomb had killed one Marine and 15 civilians and that eight insurgents had died in a subsequent firefight.

A criminal inquiry later found that the Marines had shot and killed the civilians in several houses. No charges have been filed, and the investigation is continuing.

A group of 12 Marines with the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, also is under investigation for allegedly killing an Iraqi farmer April 26 in Hamdania, also west of Baghdad.

The Marines reported that they killed the man after they saw him digging a hole for a bomb, but his family charges the Marines shot him and planted an AK-47 rifle and a shovel near his body to make him look like an insurgent.

Seven Marines and a Navy corpsman have been jailed at Camp Pendleton.


TOPICS: Extended News; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: 101st; airborne; cowards; haditha; iraqis; media; murder
Thank God the reporters aren't fighting!
1 posted on 06/20/2006 1:43:22 PM PDT by jamesm113
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To: jamesm113

There is an investigation underway.

Wait and see.


2 posted on 06/20/2006 1:45:00 PM PDT by SE Mom (Proud mom of an Iraq war combat vet)
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To: jamesm113

I'm so glad we are the "better" people....to actually detain our brave men for killing the enemy. I mean after all, I am sure the terrorists who murdered our two sons today are being tried and shackled....PC RUN AMOK!


3 posted on 06/20/2006 1:45:00 PM PDT by Blue Turtle
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To: jamesm113

In light of the torture/murders of our 2 soldiers, drop all charges at once.


4 posted on 06/20/2006 1:45:13 PM PDT by MikeA (Not voting in November because you're pouting is a vote for Nancy Pelosi for Speaker of the House)
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To: jamesm113

If there's a trial and these men are found guilty, they should be pardoned immediately. Unfortunately, that would require some political guts.


5 posted on 06/20/2006 1:47:40 PM PDT by ozzymandus
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To: jamesm113
These guys have been sent into a really sh*tty situation by the powers that be, and those same powers d*mn well better support them, loudly and unequivocally. Justice can be served quietly at a more opportune time.
6 posted on 06/20/2006 1:48:40 PM PDT by skeeter
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To: jamesm113
The charge documents allege that Hunsaker and Clagett also threatened to kill Mason if he disclosed anything.

Some things you just need to let go, even if you don't agree with them. Assuming these were bad guys who got it, all you can say is that terrorists who are not following the Geneva Convention's rules of war were killed by our guys who also didn't follow the rules of war, and killed a prisoner. Stuff happens in war, even in the good wars. WW2 had lots of this.

Now, if it was non-combatants, or people who the soldiers had a non-military grudge with, then that would be different.

Just my personal view. As a legal matter, obviously, once this gets into the chain of command, you have to investigate and punish. Too bad.

7 posted on 06/20/2006 1:52:51 PM PDT by Defiant (The new KKK--the Koo Kleft Klan.)
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To: jamesm113

I have a cousin in the 101st. He repairs vehicles that have been damaged and keeps them tuned up and running.

There sure seems to be a lot going on with the 101st. God be with them all.


8 posted on 06/20/2006 1:54:49 PM PDT by squarebarb
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To: MikeA

NO! Drop Charges and give them some R&R.


9 posted on 06/20/2006 2:02:12 PM PDT by steel_resolve (Do you know what a bigot is? Someone winning an argument with a liberal.)
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To: MikeA
No Mike! I know that you would never have cold blooded murdered the enemy, unless in self defense, and then it would not have been murder.
10 posted on 06/20/2006 2:06:29 PM PDT by Coldwater Creek ("Over there, over there, We won't be back 'til it's over Over there.")
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To: Defiant
Just my personal view. As a legal matter, obviously, once this gets into the chain of command, you have to investigate and punish. Too bad.

Yeah, punishment if they are found guilty is in order, but I hope consideration is given to the kind of stress they are subjected to by an enemy who doesn't obey even the most fundamental rules of war or morality. They should get a light sentence.

11 posted on 06/20/2006 2:25:40 PM PDT by RCNOVA
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To: jamesm113

I'm sure that liberals and the press would much rather these soldiers had suffered the fate of the two just killed rather than take any chance that the Iraqi's killed were armed as opposed to just protecting those who were. I certainly know that I won't be spending my money on TIME, NEWSWEEK, USA Today, NY Times or any of the other rags that can't seem to spend enough time going after our troops while at the same time finding ways to define just what made the terrorists hate America (since, according to the press we have somehow brought Islam down on ourselves).


12 posted on 06/20/2006 2:29:26 PM PDT by onevoter
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To: jamesm113
Could you imagine a similar headline at the height of WWII? No, you couldn't. If a war crime occurred, it'd be prosecuted, but neither the military nor the civilian administration would be trumpeting it for all the world to hear.

There would be two concerns: One, the enemy would seize on a few half-investigated facts to indoctrinate their troops to kill American prisoners without mercy. Two, it would demoralize the troops on the front lines - not that their comrades-in-arms may have committed a crime, but that their own leaders and the country they fight would consider their sacrifice so lightly to blindly report a possible war crime.

This is the path to defeat. This is the path to national ruin.

I cannot print what I wish upon the liberal left in this country, or I'd be "zotted" by FR or regarded as a right-wing nut case. I will state that they are anti-patriotic, anti-American, treasonous, and responsible for a good many of the deaths of Americans, both those in uniform and civilians, due to their duplicitous activities. This is not about "politics"; it's the about the Left helping the enemy kill and defeat America and Americans.

Now, the liberal left will spin their relative values. The war isn't a "just war". It's "Bush's war". Bush lied, soldiers died, or in Kerry's latest statement, it's "Lie and Die". It's not an Islamic war against the world, it's a "War on Terrorism", or a war on "Islamofascism". For every contrary fact, every death, every enemy atrocity, the left has a "spin" ready and loaded.

How will they spin a smoking hole in the ground, 100 miles and 20 million people wide? Oh, but of course, that'll be Bush's fault for either (a) pursuing imperialistic adventures instead of defending America, or (b) starting a war of aggression upon oppressed poor people world wide.

It is, however, quite ironic, that the most pro-enemy Americans out there live in primary target areas. The North Koreans, Iranians, or state supported terrorists (there are no true independent terrorists) aren't going to be targeting "red states". The first cities to evaporate, the first American citizens to die long, slow agonizing deaths won't be in Kansas, Wyoming, or other "flyover country" states. The first cities to die will be New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington DC, Boston, Miami, and perhaps Austin or Dallas. It is ironic that the liberal left is so decadent that they cannot see their demise approaching.

I cried on 9/11. I never felt "part of" New York. New York was as foreign to me as the Jungles of Africa or Asia. I have lived and worked in the Midwest, East, and Southeast, but drove around New York as fast as possible. There's no part of "New York" that I loved or cared about. On 9/11, New Yorkers became my neighbors, my friends, my family. On 9/11, we were all Americans.

After five years of war involving treason by the American left and Democrat party, I'll doubt I'll have such feelings of affinity after "hit Bravo". 9/11 was a surprise attack. The next 9/11 will be the result of five years concerted, persistent effort by the Democrats to undermine the defense of the United States of America. How will American's mourn the death of a "blue" city, when so many who lived there along with their fellow-travelers there fought any attempt to defend them, and who so long despised those to tried to save them?

I already have a lot of mourning to do. There are still the thousand's of innocents who have died and who are dying daily at the hands of a Muslim irregular army. There are our own troopers and their family survivers to mourn and mourn with. I'm sorry, but I don't think I'll have time to mourn all those poor souls at the NYT, or perhaps Kerry and Kennedy's friends in Boston, when hit Bravo has occurred. And if hit Bravo is in California, don't mourn for my state either ... we don't deserve it.

How can the Democrats and their left-wing allies believe that there will be no consequences to their blind, overtly partisan activities to defeat America in America? They are delusional. By destroying this country's unity in petty pursuit of political power, they aid, abet, and encourage the Muslim terrorists in their pursuit of more dead Americans. How can they believe that they will escape the result?

But thank God, our Marines, Soldiers, Sailors, and Airmen continue to carry the fight forward. Thank God, these young men are singlely and individually more responsible Americans, than the entire "baby boom" generation of the 60's and 70's. Thank God these young men and women defend us, even as they're being trashed daily by so many Americans in Congress, the media, and Academia. The Americans of WWII are rightly considered "America's Greatest Generation", for the world war they selflessly fought and sacraficed for. But THIS current generation will be considered far "greater", in my own mind, because they fought this war against an even more determined enemy. No, I'm not speaking of the Muslim ragheads, but of the political left wing, i.e. the Democrats within their own country.

SFS

13 posted on 06/20/2006 2:34:25 PM PDT by Steel and Fire and Stone
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To: jamesm113

These soldiers should get a medal and a promotion.


14 posted on 06/20/2006 2:40:49 PM PDT by pankot
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To: pankot
These soldiers should get a medal and a promotion.

And more ammo, too.

15 posted on 06/20/2006 3:07:31 PM PDT by EricT. (CA conservatives only serve to inflate the number of electoral votes won by the Dems.)
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To: pankot
These soldiers should get a medal and a promotion.

For what, assuming that the charges are true? Illegally killing detainees? Threatening to kill a subordinate for reporting your crime? Both of those are despicable activities, especially for the NCO involved.

A soldier may not like following the rules, they may not agree with them, but they are the rules they agreed to follow when enlisting. Killing detainees that pose no threat to you is against the rules. It's also immoral.

16 posted on 06/20/2006 3:44:06 PM PDT by timm22 (Think critically)
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To: Steel and Fire and Stone

Bravo...well said! I must say that for all the hypocrisy from the Left the one that bothers me most is their so-called concern for America's image, while they've done nothing but continually and overtly undermine that image from their press pages.

These are the same people who decried the publishing of photos of Saddam and his sons...and even Zarqawi, claiming Geneva violations. Yet, at the same time, they fought for the release of even more Abu Ghraib photos, which were much closer to GC violations since they did show POWs in humilating positions.

Their hypocrisy is amazing; they refused to show the Mohammad cartoon for fear of inflaming Muslim "emotions"...yet they will fabricate a story about Koran flushings or exaggerate prisoner abuse knowing full well that these will inflame emotions...against US soldiers and citizens.

The media has become a traitorous institution, in which their zeal to depose Bush and the Republicans has created the very "image" that they say they are so concerned about. Thanks to our media, the Muslim world doesn't need any more reasons or excuses to hate us; they've given them plenty of choices. Sadly, the media hasn't just impugned Bush and other Republicans...they've further endangered all of us, making this war harder and more dangerous for those fighting. I never thought I could hate any group of people so much.


17 posted on 06/20/2006 4:25:10 PM PDT by cwb (Liberalism is the opiate of the *sses.)
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To: Blue Turtle

Are you saying that we should have ignored the soldier who reported this? We ARE the better people, precisely because we don't sweep incidents like this uner the carpet...


18 posted on 06/20/2006 5:01:53 PM PDT by Stone Mountain
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To: timm22

Probably as immoral as the two soldiers tortured and butchered today. Fight fire with fire. Fight with overwhelming force or don't fight at all.


19 posted on 06/20/2006 10:42:01 PM PDT by pankot
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Comment #20 Removed by Moderator

To: pankot
Probably as immoral as the two soldiers tortured and butchered today.

Absolutely. In fact, probably less so. If you're going to kill a detainee, better to just shoot them than torture them to death and then use their bodies as booby traps.

Fight fire with fire. Fight with overwhelming force or don't fight at all.

That may or may not be true, but it's not up to a SSG to set that kind of policy.

21 posted on 06/21/2006 7:43:17 AM PDT by timm22 (Think critically)
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To: jamesm113

They ought to get medals.


22 posted on 06/21/2006 7:46:29 AM PDT by Beckwith (The liberal media has picked sides and they've sided with the Jihadists.)
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