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FR EXCLUSIVE: HAMDANIA: OFFICIAL DOCUMENTS TELL A DIFFERENT STORY COMPARED TO THE MEDIA ACCOUNTS.
A few dedicated former Marines and their families | 04/11/2008 | RaceBannon

Posted on 04/11/2008 4:55:14 PM PDT by RaceBannon

HAMDANIA: The PENDLETON 8: OFFICIAL DOCUMENTS TELL A DIFFERENT STORY WHEN COMPARED TO THE MEDIA ACCOUNTS. WHY?

(A) WHAT WERE THE CIRCUMSTANCES LEADING UP TO THE PATROL THAT NIGHT? WERE THEY COMMON EVENTS OR WAS THIS A SPECIAL PATROL TO SEARCH OUT A SPECIFIC PERSON AS THE OFFICIAL CHARGES CLAIMED?

The government's case was that the patrol lead by Sgt Hutchin's, Plymouth, Massachusetts, was after a specific insurgent named Saleh Gowad, and when he was not found at the location of his house, a random house was chosen and an innocent man was taken and killed. Make sure that you note the following that Sgt Hutchins was NOT at the house when Awad was taken; yet, Sgt Hutchins is the only one convicted of murder and is the only one who is continuing to do jail time.

The following news articles show the accusation brought against these Marines, the Pendleton 8:

http://www.nctimes.com/articles/2006/11/16/news/top_stories/1_01_1711_15_06.txt "One of those suspected insurgents was a man named Saleh Gowad, an Iraqi the squad had arrested at least three times during a 45-day period, Jodka said. It was Gowad that the platoon was originally looking for, Jodka and other members of the squad have testified."

The Iraqi man, Saleh Gowad, was a known terrorist suspect who lived in the same house with his family and siblings Amad, Tareq, Hambed, Hakem and Ismael. According to the Census report of Kilo Company, the entire family, (sons and Father) were believed to be involved in the insurgency against the international forces participating in Operation Iraqi Freedom. He was known to work at a gas station and made deliveries from the location of the gas station, sometimes being gone for as many as 6 days.

The census reports clearly name other individuals, also, who were believed to be involved with kidnapping rings, IED creation and deployment, the murder of Iraqi civilians, the operation of terror cells, small arms attacks on Marine Corps forces, and which businesses were being used as fronts to create IED’s and VBIEDS.

On April 7, 2006, the family of Gowad was seen at a senior leadership meeting, with Saleh Gowad present among other insurgent leaders who were named in the report. Saleh Gowad, or a man identifying himself as Saleh Gowad, was spotted and questioned by Marines of Kilo Company, 3rd squad, as reported on April 9, 2006. The man reported to be Gowad appeared to look different than the previous descriptions given of this man of interest, or HIGH VALUE INTEREST person (HVI)

In a report dated April 12, 2006, an unnamed brother of Saleh Gowad was seen in a market where an IED had gone off on April 11, 2006, and is believed to have acted as a lookout for the insurgents who exploded the IED and to observe the tactics used by the Marines as a form of intelligence gathering.

So the question is, since the government claims it was a mission to specifically grab Saleh Gowad, why would the squad go after Gowad when others of higher importance and clear connections to kidnapping rings, murder, other IED’s and small arms fire attacks against Marines are known to Marine Corps intelligence?

With all the names and tribal connections listed in the census reports, to include the names of Gowad’s brothers and father as being possible insurgents, why would Sgt Hutchin’s squad choose to leave the home of Saleh Gowad with NO ONE else from the house, knowing that the entire family was suspect, to just snatch someone from a house at random?

Remember, the government’s story is that Sgt Hutchin’s squad was on a self created mission, orchestrated by Sgt Hutchins, to capture or kill the Iraqi man, Saleh Gowad. When this failed with Saleh Gowad not at his house, they went to another random location and snatched Hashim Ibrihim Awad from his bed and killed him in a fabricated IED hole and a planted a rifle and shovel to hide the murder. This was all supposed to have been done for the purpose of extracting revenge for previous attacks against Marine forces in the area.

As the media has reported this ‘act of revenge’, here are two examples: “Encinitas Marine pleads guilty in Hamdania killing Thursday, October 26, 2006-- http://www.nctimes.com/articles/2006/10/26/news/top_stories/1_01_510_25_06.txt Jodka testified that he did not know that Awad was not their intended target, a suspected Iraqi insurgent named Saleh Gowad, but was actually Awad. When the squad could not find Gowad at his home, members went to another house and seized Awad. "I couldn't see the man in the hole at the time we were firing, sir," Jodka said. "I only saw him stand up and run down the road to the north."

http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/iraq/2006-10-06-iraq-marines_x.htm “Prosecutors have said the servicemen killed Awad out of frustration and then planted the assault rifle and shovel by the body to make it look as if he had been caught digging a hole for a roadside bomb. Bacos testified that the squad entered Hamdania on April 26 while searching for a known insurgent who had been captured three times, then released. Squad leader Sgt. Lawrence Hutchins was "just mad that we kept letting him go and he was a known terrorist," Bacos said. The group approached a house where the insurgent was believed to be hiding, but when someone inside woke up, the Marines instead went to another home and grabbed Awad, a former policeman, according to the testimony. Bacos said the squad had intended to get someone else if they did not capture the insurgent, then stage a firefight to make it appear they had found an Iraqi planting a roadside bomb.”

If the decision was to grab Saleh Gowad from his home, then why go to another home to find a random victim just to make a point? Knowing that ALL the male members of the Gowad family were considered a part of the Iraqi insurgency, any male member of the family who was at home would have been a ‘suitable’ person to intentionally murder to make the revenge point.

If the members of the squad were so bold as to grab someone at another random location, why would the act of waking someone up at the original target house cause them to abandon their mission?

(B) THE APPREHENSION AND THE SCENE OF THE KILLING OF “HASHIM AWAD”

This is from the autopsy report of the Hamdania incident, which was NOT allowed into evidence in this murder trial, the pathology report, and the Census Reports performed by Kilo Company.

And, YES, that's correct, the autopsy report was not allowed into trial!

In the Census reports, each Squad Leader gives a detail of who they encountered as personnel in the Iraqi cities and villages as needed. This information is then used as intelligence, both in assessing the nature of the community and its needs, but also in war intelligence against Iraqi insurgents. These reports are also used to provide detail in how suspected insurgents are approached and a short description of actions taken against those who show hostile intent.

In these reports, whenever a squad approaches a house, one of the main thrusts described in entering the house is to secure the area surrounding the house itself and especially, THE ROOF of the house. Each time an entry is made, it is always assumed, and rightly so, that there may be persons of hostile intent inside who would fire upon the Marines. Also, one well known Military axiom is to control the ‘high ground’ of a situation, for it allows observation of the surrounding area and allows for greater command and control of all units in place and those who may be needed for support.

In these Census Reports, many times there is a clear mention of the Marines who entered these houses did so in accordance with rules of war fighting that meant: they also secured the high ground: the roof!

From one Census report, dated March 28, 2006, an Iraqi house was entered at night time, and reads the following:

“AS WE CAME UP TO THE HOUSE I SET IN MY INT. CORDON AND THEN PUSHED INTO THE HOUSE. AS WE CAME UP TO THE HOUSE WE WOKE UP THE FAMILY AND BEGAN TO GET THE FAMILY UP AND INTO ONE ROOM THE MAIN ROOM. ONCE THE HOUSE WAS CLEAR WE SENT FOR THE INT. CORDON AND SET ROOF TOP SECURITY AND BEGAN TO SEARCH THE HOUSE. WE CAME UP ON 4 MEN AND NUMEROUS WOMEN AND CHILDREN. WE BEGAN TO ASK QUESTIONS.”

This is critical, for the testimony of the Awad family is:

1.) That when Sgt Hutchin’s squad allegedly grabbed Hashim Awad from his house, there is no testimony from the family that any sort of combat entry involving the establishment of a security perimeter. This would have been suicide for the Marines of Sgt Hutchin’s squad to not perform. Their actions would be no less surprising as any night time search done previously or since and therefore would be no less dangerous than any combat entry.

2.) To therefore believe the claim that their actions during a ‘legal and approved’ entry into a house to grab a suspected insurgent would necessitate defensive maneuvers to include a defensive perimeter around the house and then a defensive emplacement upon the roof of the house to prevent any actions of any insurgents who may be unseen; and yet when going to a house at random to snatch someone to murder them after failing to find the previous unfound terrorists can somehow allow these Marines to:

a.) Drop their guard and not establish a security which would include the securing of the roof top where the family testified they were sleeping atop?

b.) Not secure the perimeter of the house they were surrounding?

c.) Perform all of this at 0300 in the morning after waking up a neighbor and direct family member who lived less than 100 feet away who could easily either make a phone call to an insurgent friendly individual who lived nearby to engage these Marines with hostile fire either immediately or shortly after their actions or openly monitor the actions of these Marines who allegedly took another Iraqi man’s shovel and AK-47 from a previous house they supposedly barged into at 0200 that same morning?

What is known, from the documents we have received, is that Kilo Company had established a pattern of setting up IED ambushes by visually making themselves seen in a common rural area for a time, show the populace a repeatable pattern of travel, and then egress the area in an open manner to allow the local insurgents an opportunity to attempt to set up an IED. By showing a false pattern of movement, Kilo Company would then return to the area under the cover of night using night vision equipment and monitor the area they were just located at in hopes of catching an insurgent planting an explosive device.

This pattern of patrolling was proven effective, and on the night in question, Sgt Hutchin’s patrol proved it effective again by catching the man identified as “Hashim Awad” in the act of digging a hole for what was believed to be an IED, at the hour of 0200, an act that is rightly seen as hostile.

(C)WHO SHOT WHO: THE KILLING OF THE MAN IDENTIFIED AS AWAD

The story of the actual death of a supposed Iraqi man identified as Hashim Ibrihim Awad, has very differing accounts from both the Marines 'witnesses' and the supposed Iraqi 'witnesses'. Among the conflicting stories are the number of people who supposedly entered the house to remove and apprehend the supposed Iraqi man, Hashim Ibrihim Awad, and just how the body was identified.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/06/04/AR2006060400797.html ( Please see original article at the link) ( This article discusses the differences between the Marine’s accounts of the action vs the family and government)

Due to FR posting guidelines, Washington Post articles cannot be posted, please open the link in a new window

(Note also here in this story, if Awad truly lived in a walled compound, then the security concerns would have been greater, and the need for control of the area against all unknown forces in the area would be expanded. To enter any residence where there is a walled defense, especially after waking up the neighborhood by banging on the door and NOT securing the perimeter and rooftop as normal procedure was, is insanity.)

Concerning the apprehension of the deceased, Iraqi sources quoted in the official autopsy report say the following: A man identified as Nassar Hashim Ibrihim Al Awad, the son of Hashim Ibrihim Awad, claims to have been sleeping on the roof of his father's house when at 0200 he heard loud banging on the front door. His father, Hashim, was sleeping downstairs. He claims his father answered the door to the Marines outside, which Nassar numbered at about 8 Marines.

http://www.nctimes.com/articles/2007/07/11/news/top_stories/1_03_107_10_07.txt "When Gowad wasn't home, the squad decided to go to the home closest to his where they dragged the sleeping Awad from his bed, Jackson said. They marched him out about 1,000 yards, bound his hands and feet, gagged him, then shot him, according to Jackson and Bacos, who also testified Tuesday. They didn't know who Awad was until told by investigators, they said."

Note that the Iraqi man identified as Awad's son said 8 men were at the door, which his father answered due to the knocking by the Marines, but the Marines themselves say that only 4 of them approached the house and that Awad was forcibly removed from his bed. The Marines made these statements as a part of their plea bargains.

Cpl Trent Thomas told the story this way:

http://www.nctimes.com/articles/2007/01/19/news/top_stories/1_00_030_17_07.txt "Thomas testified that Awad, the 52-year-old father of 11, became the focus of the squad after their original target, who lived in the home next door to Awad's, could not be found. Awad was killed in the early morning hours after being seized from his bed by a "snatch team" that included Thomas, marched to a hole created by an earlier roadside bombing and shot multiple times."

These differing accounts beg the question: Why would the family members lie if their father was murdered? If he was dragged from the door after answering the knocks, why change the story? Would it matter if he was dragged from the door or from his bed? In fact, isn't it a much crueler thing to break into a house and drag someone from their own secure bed and outside the house kill them? If there is to be a falsehood from the family concerning a murdered family member, would that lie not represent something more extreme?

Surely, to drag someone out of their house from their bed is worse, but the family does not say that, they plainly state in the official report that he answered the door and was taken away.

So, why would the Marines all say he was taken from his bedside? Why is there no difference of opinion between the Marines who pled guilty and got plea bargains on this subject?

(At this point, the reader must remember the beginning of this section describing how Marines enter a house and why security is paramount.)

Concerning their identification of the body of the deceased, Iraqi sources as quoted in the official autopsy report say the following:

4.) Awad Ibrihim Awad, the reported brother of Hashim Ibrihim Awad, stated in the official report that he lived approximately 30 yards away from Hashim's house and that he witnessed the Marines taking Hashim away. Awad claimed that his brother owned an AK-47 but that he was not in possession of it when the Marines left Hashim's house. Capt. Rafie Mohammed Abid, a local Iraqi policeman, called Awad at 0500 and informed him of his brother's death. According to Awad Ibrihim Awad, his brother was shot in the back and the back of the head and that Hashim had a 'Platinum Leg' which would have hindered his manner and ability of walking.

This contradicts the previous testimony in the formal report by the son, Nassar Hashim Ibrihim Al Awad, in that, after he recounts the incident about his father's abduction and describes the number of Marines who took away his father, he continued to describe his first learning of his father's death from tribal leader Galeb Alkwad Alabes, who told him that his father's body is in the Police Station. Nassar was told that the Police needed someone to identify the body of the man later identified as Awad. How is this possible? The two members of the same family are contacted by different people, and one is told at 0500 that the Police KNEW who the dead man was, yet when the son was notified of his 'father's death', he is told the Police are unaware of the identity of the deceased. What is also curious, is that there is no mentioning of the son calling the Police to ask what happened to his father and where he was, was he charged with something, or was he alive!

(If an occupation army took away your parent in the middle of the night, wouldn’t the first thing you do when you awake is make a phone call or inquiry as to his whereabouts?)

The son does another curious thing after receiving a call from the Police; he goes to the Police station with two of his uncles, but NOT with the one who lived the closest, Awad Ibrihim Awad, and makes no mention of looking for that uncle first, the one which would live the closest to the deceased.

Nassar claims he went to the Police Station with Saadon Ibrihim Awad and Ali Ibrihim Awad, but NOT with Awad Ibrihim Awad, the uncle who lived only 30 meters from the very house he was sleeping on the roof of that fateful night??

According to the testimony and recorded statements of HM3 Bacos, the shooting went like this:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=6215761 “They took him to a roadside hole, bound him, and, Bacos testified, Sgt. Hutchins fired three rounds into Awad's head. Then Corp. Trent Thomas shot Awad in the chest seven to 10 times.”

Pvt. Tyler Jackson said the following in testimony: http://www.nctimes.com/articles/2007/07/11/news/top_stories/1_03_107_10_07.txt “Pvt. Tyler Jackson told the nine-member jury that it was Hutchins who announced to the seven men he was leading on a patrol the night of April 25 that he had a plan. If everyone agreed, Jackson said Hutchins told his men, the squad would go to the home of a suspected insurgent named Saleh Gowad, seize and kill him. The platoon had arrested Gowad several weeks earlier, but learned he had been released from custody. Once they had Gowad, Jackson said, the plan was to march him to the site of a previous roadside bombing, shoot him and make it appear he had an AK-47 and was planting a bomb. And executing a man considered an "HVI," or high value individual as the military refers to suspected insurgents, wasn't something that caused much angst that night, Jackson said. "Killing the number one HVI in the area did not sound like a bad idea to me," he told the three officers and six enlisted men hearing the case against Thomas. When Gowad wasn't home, the squad decided to go to the home closest to his where they dragged the sleeping Awad from his bed, Jackson said. They marched him out about 1,000 yards, bound his hands and feet, gagged him, then shot him, according to Jackson and Bacos, who also testified Tuesday. They didn't know who Awad was until told by investigators, they said.”

Cpl. Rob Pennington: http://www.nctimes.com/articles/2007/02/18/news/top_stories/16_04_492_17_07.txt “Pennington's role in the April 26 killing included helping march the 52-year-old Awad to the killing site, binding the victim's hands and feet and wiping squad members' fingerprints from a stolen AK-47. He also was accused of placing that weapon and a shovel in Awad's hands in an attempt to make it appear the Iraqi was an insurgent planting a roadside bomb.”

HM3 Bacos own testimony contradicts himself, however, as reported here: http://www.nctimes.com/articles/2007/02/08/news/top_stories/1_03_482_7_07.txt “Bacos testified at length Wednesday about the corporal's actions in the killing of Awad. Thomas, Bacos said, was part of a "snatch team" that took Awad from his home and helped lead the retired Iraqi policeman to a killing site some 1,000 yards away. During the march to that site, Thomas repeatedly pushed Awad along and helped bind the hands and feet of the 52-year-old father of 11. Shortly after the squad from the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment took up positions and fired numerous shots at Awad, Thomas fired three shots at close range into his chest, Bacos testified. While outlining Thomas' role in the slaying, Bacos also testified that the plan that led to the killing was primarily designed and led by the squad's leader, Sgt. Lawrence Hutchins III. At the same time that Thomas was firing three shots into Awad's chest, Hutchins fired several rounds into the man's head, Bacos said.”

But, Bacos’ previous statements were this: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=6215761 “They took him to a roadside hole, bound him, and, Bacos testified, Sgt. Hutchins fired three rounds into Awad's head. Then Corp. Trent Thomas shot Awad in the chest seven to 10 times.”

3 Shots in the chest are not 7 to 10 shots in the chest. Which is correct? Also, who shot first? This testimony is a critical part of a testimony used to convict Sgt Hutchins of murder and must be and if a person is credible or not, and his story keeps contradicting itself, how can it be considered accurate?

The following testimony by Pfc. Jodka is also troubling, for it raises more questions as to who is telling the truth:

http://www.nctimes.com/articles/2006/10/27/news/top_stories/1_01_510_25_06.txt “Four of the men ---- Cpls. Marshall Magincalda and Trent Thomas, Lance Cpl. Robert Pennington and Corpsman Bacos ---- all headed out to snatch Gowad from his home. When Bacos testified three weeks ago, he said they could not find Gowad, so instead they grabbed a neighbor ---- Awad. The four troops returned with their captive under a moonless sky, Jodka said. "I overheard Cpl. Thomas tell Sgt. Hutchins that we got him and he's in the hole," Jodka testified, adding that the hole was about 75 yards away. "At this point, you thought the individual was Saleh Gowad?" the judge asked Jodka. "Yes sir," he replied. 'You know what to say'. According to the charges filed in June, the men bound the hands and feet of Awad ---- who was a retired Iraqi policeman ---- before shoving him into the hole. Jodka said Hutchins ordered the men to open fire. But Awad stood up and scrambled out of the hole, which was about 2 1/2 feet deep. "I don't know if he stood up after he was shot, or was shot after he stood up," Jodka said, soon adding, "I couldn't see the man in the hole at the time we were firing, sir. I only saw him stand up and run down the road to the north."

The question that must be raised is how did a man who was bound hand and foot get up to run? The standard method of binding a prisoner on the battlefield is to use a plastic draw tie, sometimes called a TIE WRAP, often used in industrial applications. Large types are being used in Iraq to restrain suspects or prisoners since they are lightweight and can be rolled up in your pocket before use and can be discarded after use.

When applied properly, they cannot come undone; it is a physical impossibility due to its design. That means anyone who had these Draw Ties (TIE WRAPS) around their wrists or legs, would be unable to remove them themselves without a cutting tool of some sort along with some physical contortions to maneuver your tool into the correct position.

How could someone whose legs are tied run? How could he get up if the men were standing there? Why are most testimonies of this event all stating that the man was in the hole when shot, but Jodka’s testimony is that the man tried to get up and run? For anyone to resist against this type of restraint, you would be exerting great force upon your areas restrained to no avail. If you resisted, there would be marks of some kind on your body.

(D)THE EXHUMATION, AUTOPSY, PATHOLOGY REPORT AND POSITIVE IDENTIFICATION OF THE DECEASED

The identity of the deceased Iraqi man identified as Awad is also in question. When appearing at the home of Awad, persons who identified themselves as family members gave testimony to the investigating team of Marines after the incident. There was no attempt to catalog the identification of these person, no ID’s were copied or transcribed. The identities of all persons in the room were known only by the name they gave, not by any evidence of who they were according to what the government could prove.

Iraqi persons have identification cards, and Americans took photographs of persons who they were suspect of, and this family did NOT produce, nor were they asked about any identification confirmation.

Nor were any of the persons there asked to submit DNA samples, including the sons or others claiming to be uncles of the deceased.

The body of the man identified as Hashim Awad was exhumed from what was called the family gravesite. The condition of the gravesite and the circumstances surrounding the exhumation are questionable.

The grave that was identified as Awad’s was located in what the Awad family said was their family cemetery. A small white tombstone marked the location and the grave itself had a 12” mound of dirt on the top of the grave. What happens next is puzzling.

The alleged family member of the deceased, Awad Awad, told the exhumation team that the body was buried approximately 1 meter deep, but off to the side of the actual grave! The mound of dirt, which a person would assume was covering the actual body, was NOT the grave mound! According to Awad Awad, the actual site of the body was off to the side of the grave and behind some concrete tiles.

What that means is, while a grave mound appears to be piled over the body, the actual body is to the side of the grave mound??

Awad Awad explained that this is standard custom for their culture! While photographs taken by the Marine Corps conclude that this is the immediate area of the gravesite, there is NO WAY anyone can state that a body that is to the side of a burial mound is the actual body. It is also questionable to see concrete tiles separating this body from the immediate gravesite that is indicated by the tombstone of the grave.

The Pathology report contains a DNA analysis from the deceased Iraqi man identified as Hashim Awad and a man who was identified as Awad Ibrihim Awad, yet the government’s own case has foundered on this part due to the fact they do NOT know the identity of the man identified as the brother of Awad. There was no evidence of any other family relation by name giving DNA evidence. I wish I knew more, but it seems the ratio of the percentage of how connected the two persons were was a number that was compared to the whole Earth population when compared to their ethnic origin. If a person is classified as 614,000 times more likely to be my brother than a random man in the population, that still leaves quite a few people who are likely to be related. Can it be that the person tested is a cousin? We don’t know who the first man is in actuality, there were no DNA tests performed or released on the persons claiming to be a child or parent of the deceased.

As in all autopsies, there is a physical description of the body received and work performed. The location and number of bullet wounds and locations of these wounds in the autopsy findings contradicts the accounts of all the Marines in their testimony.

All Marines agree that the Iraqi man identified as AWAD was shot before the dead check was performed on him. The exact location of those wounds was unclear in testimony, but the wounds received after Sgt Hutchins and his squad came face to face with the man firing at them are accounted for, namely: a.) 3 Shots in the face done by Sgt Hutchins b.) 7 to 10 Shots in the torso by Cpl Thomas

The autopsy and pathology report should reflect these accounts with only small additions or corrections, yet this is not the case.

3 similar gunshot wounds, similar to those reported by Sgt Hutchins, are mentioned in the autopsy report, but additional facial gunshot wounds are also recorded in the autopsy. 1 Additional gunshot wound is recorded to have entered on the left side of the face and exiting the left side of the face near the left ear. Additional wounds appear on the left side of the neck.

NONE of the accounts of the Marines who took plea bargains spoke of these additional wounds on the left side of the face or left side of the neck. These wounds described are serious, would produce heavy bleeding and possible be a cause of death in themselves due to heavy bleeding, yet there is no mentioning of these wounds. Why?

It must be emphasized that the testimony given states that Cpl. Thomas shot 7 to 10 times into the torso of this Iraqi Man. The autopsy does NOT record 7 to 10 shots in the torso at all. The autopsy records 2 shots in the lateral right aspect, and one entrance wound which caused internal injuries, but did NOT mention 7 to 10 gunshots or multiple gunshots to the chest or abdomen at all.

The autopsy records a gunshot wound to the right buttock and pelvis, the anterior right forearm with 2 wounds, and a gunshot wound to the right thigh. Those additional wounds here would indicate that he was moving when shot and his right side was in the line of fire of the advancing Marines if this was the actual man these Marines were shooting at, yet none of the recorded evidence agrees with the sworn statements.

An additional problem with the identification of the body is the claim that “Hashim Awad” had a rod in his leg, was once described as having a “platinum leg” and also being known as “Hashim the Lame”. The autopsy did show a healed fracture and did show that 2 wire fixtures were used to assist in healing, but this is certainly NOT a debilitating wound that would label anyone “Lame” or disabled.

(Editor’s note: I myself have several pins surgically installed due to a shoulder injury, located in my shoulder in 2004, have had bone graft surgery on my right humerous as a teenager before my service in the Marine Corps, and recently had 2 spinal surgeries in an 11 month period since March of 2007. Having an old fracture wired is not debilitating)

One additional point in all this, is that the autopsy records NO SOOT or STIPPLING wounds to any of the wounds recorded. Yet, each and every of the Marines, in their plea bargains, stated that Sgt Hutchins shot the Iraqi man from a distance of approximately 3 feet away with a high powered military assault weapon, 5.56 millimeter projectile whose muzzle velocity is approximately 2270 feet per second. So did Cpl. Thomas according to the sworn testimony. Anyone shot at that close a range would certainly have gunpowder residue embedded in their face, but according to the autopsy examination, microscopic analysis showed there was none!

What must also be mentioned is how the autopsy clearly indicated that there appeared to be no hemorrhage or other injury of any kind after the wrists and ankles were dissected. To be fair, the amount of decomposition that occurred may be a factor in that, but that itself is not proof enough that there were restraints or cuffs used or not used. Which ever it is, is does NOT prove cuffs were used, regardless of how the story is told.

Conclusion: It is with great difficulty that the only conclusion that can be gathered from this report is that the men of Kilo Company, known as The Pendleton 8, are innocent and were prosecuted for reasons known only to the Marine Corps, NCIS and the JAG Corps, for the evidence that the government had in it’s hands exonerated these men, not convict them.


TOPICS: Extended News; Government; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: corruption; haditha; hamdania; iraq; marines; ncis; pendleton8
HAMDANIA: The PEndleton 8: OFFICIAL DOCUMENTS TELL A DIFFERENT STORY WHEN COMPARED TO THE MEDIA ACCOUNTS. WHY?

(A) WHAT WERE THE CIRCUMSTANCES LEADING UP TO THE PATROL THAT NIGHT? WERE THEY COMMON EVENTS OR WAS THIS A SPECIAL PATROL TO SEARCH OUT A SPECIFIC PERSON AS THE OFFICIAL CHARGES CLAIMED?

The government's case was that the patrol lead by Sgt Hutchin's, Plymouth, Massachusetts, was after a specific insurgent named Saleh Gowad, and when he was not found at the location of his house, a random house was chosen and an innocent man was taken and killed. Make sure that you note the following that Sgt Hutchins was NOT at the house when Awad was taken; yet, Sgt Hutchins is the only one convicted of murder and is the only one who is continuing to do jail time.

The following news articles show the accusation brought against these Marines, the Pendleton 8:

http://www.nctimes.com/articles/2006/11/16/news/top_stories/1_01_1711_15_06.txt "One of those suspected insurgents was a man named Saleh Gowad, an Iraqi the squad had arrested at least three times during a 45-day period, Jodka said. It was Gowad that the platoon was originally looking for, Jodka and other members of the squad have testified."

The Iraqi man, Saleh Gowad, was a known terrorist suspect who lived in the same house with his family and siblings Amad, Tareq, Hambed, Hakem and Ismael. According to the Census report of Kilo Company, the entire family, (sons and Father) were believed to be involved in the insurgency against the international forces participating in Operation Iraqi Freedom. He was known to work at a gas station and made deliveries from the location of the gas station, sometimes being gone for as many as 6 days.

The census reports clearly name other individuals, also, who were believed to be involved with kidnapping rings, IED creation and deployment, the murder of Iraqi civilians, the operation of terror cells, small arms attacks on Marine Corps forces, and which businesses were being used as fronts to create IED’s and VBIEDS.

On April 7, 2006, the family of Gowad was seen at a senior leadership meeting, with Saleh Gowad present among other insurgent leaders who were named in the report. Saleh Gowad, or a man identifying himself as Saleh Gowad, was spotted and questioned by Marines of Kilo Company, 3rd squad, as reported on April 9, 2006. The man reported to be Gowad appeared to look different than the previous descriptions given of this man of interest, or HIGH VALUE INTEREST person (HVI)

In a report dated April 12, 2006, an unnamed brother of Saleh Gowad was seen in a market where an IED had gone off on April 11, 2006, and is believed to have acted as a lookout for the insurgents who exploded the IED and to observe the tactics used by the Marines as a form of intelligence gathering.

So the question is, since the government claims it was a mission to specifically grab Saleh Gowad, why would the squad go after Gowad when others of higher importance and clear connections to kidnapping rings, murder, other IED’s and small arms fire attacks against Marines are known to Marine Corps intelligence?

With all the names and tribal connections listed in the census reports, to include the names of Gowad’s brothers and father as being possible insurgents, why would Sgt Hutchin’s squad choose to leave the home of Saleh Gowad with NO ONE else from the house, knowing that the entire family was suspect, to just snatch someone from a house at random?

Remember, the government’s story is that Sgt Hutchin’s squad was on a self created mission, orchestrated by Sgt Hutchins, to capture or kill the Iraqi man, Saleh Gowad. When this failed with Saleh Gowad not at his house, they went to another random location and snatched Hashim Ibrihim Awad from his bed and killed him in a fabricated IED hole and a planted a rifle and shovel to hide the murder. This was all supposed to have been done for the purpose of extracting revenge for previous attacks against Marine forces in the area.

As the media has reported this ‘act of revenge’, here are two examples: “Encinitas Marine pleads guilty in Hamdania killing Thursday, October 26, 2006-- http://www.nctimes.com/articles/2006/10/26/news/top_stories/1_01_510_25_06.txt Jodka testified that he did not know that Awad was not their intended target, a suspected Iraqi insurgent named Saleh Gowad, but was actually Awad. When the squad could not find Gowad at his home, members went to another house and seized Awad. "I couldn't see the man in the hole at the time we were firing, sir," Jodka said. "I only saw him stand up and run down the road to the north."

http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/iraq/2006-10-06-iraq-marines_x.htm “Prosecutors have said the servicemen killed Awad out of frustration and then planted the assault rifle and shovel by the body to make it look as if he had been caught digging a hole for a roadside bomb. Bacos testified that the squad entered Hamdania on April 26 while searching for a known insurgent who had been captured three times, then released. Squad leader Sgt. Lawrence Hutchins was "just mad that we kept letting him go and he was a known terrorist," Bacos said. The group approached a house where the insurgent was believed to be hiding, but when someone inside woke up, the Marines instead went to another home and grabbed Awad, a former policeman, according to the testimony. Bacos said the squad had intended to get someone else if they did not capture the insurgent, then stage a firefight to make it appear they had found an Iraqi planting a roadside bomb.”

If the decision was to grab Saleh Gowad from his home, then why go to another home to find a random victim just to make a point? Knowing that ALL the male members of the Gowad family were considered a part of the Iraqi insurgency, any male member of the family who was at home would have been a ‘suitable’ person to intentionally murder to make the revenge point.

If the members of the squad were so bold as to grab someone at another random location, why would the act of waking someone up at the original target house cause them to abandon their mission?

(B) THE APPREHENSION AND THE SCENE OF THE KILLING OF “HASHIM AWAD”

This is from the autopsy report of the Hamdania incident, which was NOT allowed into evidence in this murder trial, the pathology report, and the Census Reports performed by Kilo Company.

And, YES, that's correct, the autopsy report was not allowed into trial!

In the Census reports, each Squad Leader gives a detail of who they encountered as personnel in the Iraqi cities and villages as needed. This information is then used as intelligence, both in assessing the nature of the community and its needs, but also in war intelligence against Iraqi insurgents. These reports are also used to provide detail in how suspected insurgents are approached and a short description of actions taken against those who show hostile intent.

In these reports, whenever a squad approaches a house, one of the main thrusts described in entering the house is to secure the area surrounding the house itself and especially, THE ROOF of the house. Each time an entry is made, it is always assumed, and rightly so, that there may be persons of hostile intent inside who would fire upon the Marines. Also, one well known Military axiom is to control the ‘high ground’ of a situation, for it allows observation of the surrounding area and allows for greater command and control of all units in place and those who may be needed for support.

In these Census Reports, many times there is a clear mention of the Marines who entered these houses did so in accordance with rules of war fighting that meant: they also secured the high ground: the roof!

From one Census report, dated March 28, 2006, an Iraqi house was entered at night time, and reads the following:

“AS WE CAME UP TO THE HOUSE I SET IN MY INT. CORDON AND THEN PUSHED INTO THE HOUSE. AS WE CAME UP TO THE HOUSE WE WOKE UP THE FAMILY AND BEGAN TO GET THE FAMILY UP AND INTO ONE ROOM THE MAIN ROOM. ONCE THE HOUSE WAS CLEAR WE SENT FOR THE INT. CORDON AND SET ROOF TOP SECURITY AND BEGAN TO SEARCH THE HOUSE. WE CAME UP ON 4 MEN AND NUMEROUS WOMEN AND CHILDREN. WE BEGAN TO ASK QUESTIONS.”

This is critical, for the testimony of the Awad family is:

1.) That when Sgt Hutchin’s squad allegedly grabbed Hashim Awad from his house, there is no testimony from the family that any sort of combat entry involving the establishment of a security perimeter. This would have been suicide for the Marines of Sgt Hutchin’s squad to not perform. Their actions would be no less surprising as any night time search done previously or since and therefore would be no less dangerous than any combat entry.

2.) To therefore believe the claim that their actions during a ‘legal and approved’ entry into a house to grab a suspected insurgent would necessitate defensive maneuvers to include a defensive perimeter around the house and then a defensive emplacement upon the roof of the house to prevent any actions of any insurgents who may be unseen; and yet when going to a house at random to snatch someone to murder them after failing to find the previous unfound terrorists can somehow allow these Marines to:

a.) Drop their guard and not establish a security which would include the securing of the roof top where the family testified they were sleeping atop?

b.) Not secure the perimeter of the house they were surrounding?

c.) Perform all of this at 0300 in the morning after waking up a neighbor and direct family member who lived less than 100 feet away who could easily either make a phone call to an insurgent friendly individual who lived nearby to engage these Marines with hostile fire either immediately or shortly after their actions or openly monitor the actions of these Marines who allegedly took another Iraqi man’s shovel and AK-47 from a previous house they supposedly barged into at 0200 that same morning?

What is known, from the documents we have received, is that Kilo Company had established a pattern of setting up IED ambushes by visually making themselves seen in a common rural area for a time, show the populace a repeatable pattern of travel, and then egress the area in an open manner to allow the local insurgents an opportunity to attempt to set up an IED. By showing a false pattern of movement, Kilo Company would then return to the area under the cover of night using night vision equipment and monitor the area they were just located at in hopes of catching an insurgent planting an explosive device.

This pattern of patrolling was proven effective, and on the night in question, Sgt Hutchin’s patrol proved it effective again by catching the man identified as “Hashim Awad” in the act of digging a hole for what was believed to be an IED, at the hour of 0200, an act that is rightly seen as hostile.

(C)WHO SHOT WHO: THE KILLING OF THE MAN IDENTIFIED AS AWAD

The story of the actual death of a supposed Iraqi man identified as Hashim Ibrihim Awad, has very differing accounts from both the Marines 'witnesses' and the supposed Iraqi 'witnesses'. Among the conflicting stories are the number of people who supposedly entered the house to remove and apprehend the supposed Iraqi man, Hashim Ibrihim Awad, and just how the body was identified.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/06/04/AR2006060400797.html ( Please see original article at the link) ( This article discusses the differences between the Marine’s accounts of the action vs the family and government)

Due to FR posting guidelines, Washington Post articles cannot be posted, please open the link in a new window

(Note also here in this story, if Awad truly lived in a walled compound, then the security concerns would have been greater, and the need for control of the area against all unknown forces in the area would be expanded. To enter any residence where there is a walled defense, especially after waking up the neighborhood by banging on the door and NOT securing the perimeter and rooftop as normal procedure was, is insanity.)

Concerning the apprehension of the deceased, Iraqi sources quoted in the official autopsy report say the following: A man identified as Nassar Hashim Ibrihim Al Awad, the son of Hashim Ibrihim Awad, claims to have been sleeping on the roof of his father's house when at 0200 he heard loud banging on the front door. His father, Hashim, was sleeping downstairs. He claims his father answered the door to the Marines outside, which Nassar numbered at about 8 Marines.

http://www.nctimes.com/articles/2007/07/11/news/top_stories/1_03_107_10_07.txt "When Gowad wasn't home, the squad decided to go to the home closest to his where they dragged the sleeping Awad from his bed, Jackson said. They marched him out about 1,000 yards, bound his hands and feet, gagged him, then shot him, according to Jackson and Bacos, who also testified Tuesday. They didn't know who Awad was until told by investigators, they said."

Note that the Iraqi man identified as Awad's son said 8 men were at the door, which his father answered due to the knocking by the Marines, but the Marines themselves say that only 4 of them approached the house and that Awad was forcibly removed from his bed. The Marines made these statements as a part of their plea bargains.

Cpl Trent Thomas told the story this way:

http://www.nctimes.com/articles/2007/01/19/news/top_stories/1_00_030_17_07.txt "Thomas testified that Awad, the 52-year-old father of 11, became the focus of the squad after their original target, who lived in the home next door to Awad's, could not be found. Awad was killed in the early morning hours after being seized from his bed by a "snatch team" that included Thomas, marched to a hole created by an earlier roadside bombing and shot multiple times."

These differing accounts beg the question: Why would the family members lie if their father was murdered? If he was dragged from the door after answering the knocks, why change the story? Would it matter if he was dragged from the door or from his bed? In fact, isn't it a much crueler thing to break into a house and drag someone from their own secure bed and outside the house kill them? If there is to be a falsehood from the family concerning a murdered family member, would that lie not represent something more extreme?

Surely, to drag someone out of their house from their bed is worse, but the family does not say that, they plainly state in the official report that he answered the door and was taken away.

So, why would the Marines all say he was taken from his bedside? Why is there no difference of opinion between the Marines who pled guilty and got plea bargains on this subject?

(At this point, the reader must remember the beginning of this section describing how Marines enter a house and why security is paramount.)

Concerning their identification of the body of the deceased, Iraqi sources as quoted in the official autopsy report say the following:

4.) Awad Ibrihim Awad, the reported brother of Hashim Ibrihim Awad, stated in the official report that he lived approximately 30 yards away from Hashim's house and that he witnessed the Marines taking Hashim away. Awad claimed that his brother owned an AK-47 but that he was not in possession of it when the Marines left Hashim's house. Capt. Rafie Mohammed Abid, a local Iraqi policeman, called Awad at 0500 and informed him of his brother's death. According to Awad Ibrihim Awad, his brother was shot in the back and the back of the head and that Hashim had a 'Platinum Leg' which would have hindered his manner and ability of walking.

This contradicts the previous testimony in the formal report by the son, Nassar Hashim Ibrihim Al Awad, in that, after he recounts the incident about his father's abduction and describes the number of Marines who took away his father, he continued to describe his first learning of his father's death from tribal leader Galeb Alkwad Alabes, who told him that his father's body is in the Police Station. Nassar was told that the Police needed someone to identify the body of the man later identified as Awad. How is this possible? The two members of the same family are contacted by different people, and one is told at 0500 that the Police KNEW who the dead man was, yet when the son was notified of his 'father's death', he is told the Police are unaware of the identity of the deceased. What is also curious, is that there is no mentioning of the son calling the Police to ask what happened to his father and where he was, was he charged with something, or was he alive!

(If an occupation army took away your parent in the middle of the night, wouldn’t the first thing you do when you awake is make a phone call or inquiry as to his whereabouts?)

The son does another curious thing after receiving a call from the Police; he goes to the Police station with two of his uncles, but NOT with the one who lived the closest, Awad Ibrihim Awad, and makes no mention of looking for that uncle first, the one which would live the closest to the deceased.

Nassar claims he went to the Police Station with Saadon Ibrihim Awad and Ali Ibrihim Awad, but NOT with Awad Ibrihim Awad, the uncle who lived only 30 meters from the very house he was sleeping on the roof of that fateful night??

According to the testimony and recorded statements of HM3 Bacos, the shooting went like this:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=6215761 “They took him to a roadside hole, bound him, and, Bacos testified, Sgt. Hutchins fired three rounds into Awad's head. Then Corp. Trent Thomas shot Awad in the chest seven to 10 times.”

Pvt. Tyler Jackson said the following in testimony: http://www.nctimes.com/articles/2007/07/11/news/top_stories/1_03_107_10_07.txt “Pvt. Tyler Jackson told the nine-member jury that it was Hutchins who announced to the seven men he was leading on a patrol the night of April 25 that he had a plan. If everyone agreed, Jackson said Hutchins told his men, the squad would go to the home of a suspected insurgent named Saleh Gowad, seize and kill him. The platoon had arrested Gowad several weeks earlier, but learned he had been released from custody. Once they had Gowad, Jackson said, the plan was to march him to the site of a previous roadside bombing, shoot him and make it appear he had an AK-47 and was planting a bomb. And executing a man considered an "HVI," or high value individual as the military refers to suspected insurgents, wasn't something that caused much angst that night, Jackson said. "Killing the number one HVI in the area did not sound like a bad idea to me," he told the three officers and six enlisted men hearing the case against Thomas. When Gowad wasn't home, the squad decided to go to the home closest to his where they dragged the sleeping Awad from his bed, Jackson said. They marched him out about 1,000 yards, bound his hands and feet, gagged him, then shot him, according to Jackson and Bacos, who also testified Tuesday. They didn't know who Awad was until told by investigators, they said.”

Cpl. Rob Pennington: http://www.nctimes.com/articles/2007/02/18/news/top_stories/16_04_492_17_07.txt “Pennington's role in the April 26 killing included helping march the 52-year-old Awad to the killing site, binding the victim's hands and feet and wiping squad members' fingerprints from a stolen AK-47. He also was accused of placing that weapon and a shovel in Awad's hands in an attempt to make it appear the Iraqi was an insurgent planting a roadside bomb.”

HM3 Bacos own testimony contradicts himself, however, as reported here: http://www.nctimes.com/articles/2007/02/08/news/top_stories/1_03_482_7_07.txt “Bacos testified at length Wednesday about the corporal's actions in the killing of Awad. Thomas, Bacos said, was part of a "snatch team" that took Awad from his home and helped lead the retired Iraqi policeman to a killing site some 1,000 yards away. During the march to that site, Thomas repeatedly pushed Awad along and helped bind the hands and feet of the 52-year-old father of 11. Shortly after the squad from the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment took up positions and fired numerous shots at Awad, Thomas fired three shots at close range into his chest, Bacos testified. While outlining Thomas' role in the slaying, Bacos also testified that the plan that led to the killing was primarily designed and led by the squad's leader, Sgt. Lawrence Hutchins III. At the same time that Thomas was firing three shots into Awad's chest, Hutchins fired several rounds into the man's head, Bacos said.”

But, Bacos’ previous statements were this: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=6215761 “They took him to a roadside hole, bound him, and, Bacos testified, Sgt. Hutchins fired three rounds into Awad's head. Then Corp. Trent Thomas shot Awad in the chest seven to 10 times.”

3 Shots in the chest are not 7 to 10 shots in the chest. Which is correct? Also, who shot first? This testimony is a critical part of a testimony used to convict Sgt Hutchins of murder and must be and if a person is credible or not, and his story keeps contradicting itself, how can it be considered accurate?

The following testimony by Pfc. Jodka is also troubling, for it raises more questions as to who is telling the truth:

http://www.nctimes.com/articles/2006/10/27/news/top_stories/1_01_510_25_06.txt “Four of the men ---- Cpls. Marshall Magincalda and Trent Thomas, Lance Cpl. Robert Pennington and Corpsman Bacos ---- all headed out to snatch Gowad from his home. When Bacos testified three weeks ago, he said they could not find Gowad, so instead they grabbed a neighbor ---- Awad. The four troops returned with their captive under a moonless sky, Jodka said. "I overheard Cpl. Thomas tell Sgt. Hutchins that we got him and he's in the hole," Jodka testified, adding that the hole was about 75 yards away. "At this point, you thought the individual was Saleh Gowad?" the judge asked Jodka. "Yes sir," he replied. 'You know what to say'. According to the charges filed in June, the men bound the hands and feet of Awad ---- who was a retired Iraqi policeman ---- before shoving him into the hole. Jodka said Hutchins ordered the men to open fire. But Awad stood up and scrambled out of the hole, which was about 2 1/2 feet deep. "I don't know if he stood up after he was shot, or was shot after he stood up," Jodka said, soon adding, "I couldn't see the man in the hole at the time we were firing, sir. I only saw him stand up and run down the road to the north."

The question that must be raised is how did a man who was bound hand and foot get up to run? The standard method of binding a prisoner on the battlefield is to use a plastic draw tie, sometimes called a TIE WRAP, often used in industrial applications. Large types are being used in Iraq to restrain suspects or prisoners since they are lightweight and can be rolled up in your pocket before use and can be discarded after use.

When applied properly, they cannot come undone; it is a physical impossibility due to its design. That means anyone who had these Draw Ties (TIE WRAPS) around their wrists or legs, would be unable to remove them themselves without a cutting tool of some sort along with some physical contortions to maneuver your tool into the correct position.

How could someone whose legs are tied run? How could he get up if the men were standing there? Why are most testimonies of this event all stating that the man was in the hole when shot, but Jodka’s testimony is that the man tried to get up and run? For anyone to resist against this type of restraint, you would be exerting great force upon your areas restrained to no avail. If you resisted, there would be marks of some kind on your body.

(D)THE EXHUMATION, AUTOPSY, PATHOLOGY REPORT AND POSITIVE IDENTIFICATION OF THE DECEASED

The identity of the deceased Iraqi man identified as Awad is also in question. When appearing at the home of Awad, persons who identified themselves as family members gave testimony to the investigating team of Marines after the incident. There was no attempt to catalog the identification of these person, no ID’s were copied or transcribed. The identities of all persons in the room were known only by the name they gave, not by any evidence of who they were according to what the government could prove.

Iraqi persons have identification cards, and Americans took photographs of persons who they were suspect of, and this family did NOT produce, nor were they asked about any identification confirmation.

Nor were any of the persons there asked to submit DNA samples, including the sons or others claiming to be uncles of the deceased.

The body of the man identified as Hashim Awad was exhumed from what was called the family gravesite. The condition of the gravesite and the circumstances surrounding the exhumation are questionable.

The grave that was identified as Awad’s was located in what the Awad family said was their family cemetery. A small white tombstone marked the location and the grave itself had a 12” mound of dirt on the top of the grave. What happens next is puzzling.

The alleged family member of the deceased, Awad Awad, told the exhumation team that the body was buried approximately 1 meter deep, but off to the side of the actual grave! The mound of dirt, which a person would assume was covering the actual body, was NOT the grave mound! According to Awad Awad, the actual site of the body was off to the side of the grave and behind some concrete tiles.

What that means is, while a grave mound appears to be piled over the body, the actual body is to the side of the grave mound??

Awad Awad explained that this is standard custom for their culture! While photographs taken by the Marine Corps conclude that this is the immediate area of the gravesite, there is NO WAY anyone can state that a body that is to the side of a burial mound is the actual body. It is also questionable to see concrete tiles separating this body from the immediate gravesite that is indicated by the tombstone of the grave.

The Pathology report contains a DNA analysis from the deceased Iraqi man identified as Hashim Awad and a man who was identified as Awad Ibrihim Awad, yet the government’s own case has foundered on this part due to the fact they do NOT know the identity of the man identified as the brother of Awad. There was no evidence of any other family relation by name giving DNA evidence. I wish I knew more, but it seems the ratio of the percentage of how connected the two persons were was a number that was compared to the whole Earth population when compared to their ethnic origin. If a person is classified as 614,000 times more likely to be my brother than a random man in the population, that still leaves quite a few people who are likely to be related. Can it be that the person tested is a cousin? We don’t know who the first man is in actuality, there were no DNA tests performed or released on the persons claiming to be a child or parent of the deceased.

As in all autopsies, there is a physical description of the body received and work performed. The location and number of bullet wounds and locations of these wounds in the autopsy findings contradicts the accounts of all the Marines in their testimony.

All Marines agree that the Iraqi man identified as AWAD was shot before the dead check was performed on him. The exact location of those wounds was unclear in testimony, but the wounds received after Sgt Hutchins and his squad came face to face with the man firing at them are accounted for, namely: a.) 3 Shots in the face done by Sgt Hutchins b.) 7 to 10 Shots in the torso by Cpl Thomas

The autopsy and pathology report should reflect these accounts with only small additions or corrections, yet this is not the case.

3 similar gunshot wounds, similar to those reported by Sgt Hutchins, are mentioned in the autopsy report, but additional facial gunshot wounds are also recorded in the autopsy. 1 Additional gunshot wound is recorded to have entered on the left side of the face and exiting the left side of the face near the left ear. Additional wounds appear on the left side of the neck.

NONE of the accounts of the Marines who took plea bargains spoke of these additional wounds on the left side of the face or left side of the neck. These wounds described are serious, would produce heavy bleeding and possible be a cause of death in themselves due to heavy bleeding, yet there is no mentioning of these wounds. Why?

It must be emphasized that the testimony given states that Cpl. Thomas shot 7 to 10 times into the torso of this Iraqi Man. The autopsy does NOT record 7 to 10 shots in the torso at all. The autopsy records 2 shots in the lateral right aspect, and one entrance wound which caused internal injuries, but did NOT mention 7 to 10 gunshots or multiple gunshots to the chest or abdomen at all.

The autopsy records a gunshot wound to the right buttock and pelvis, the anterior right forearm with 2 wounds, and a gunshot wound to the right thigh. Those additional wounds here would indicate that he was moving when shot and his right side was in the line of fire of the advancing Marines if this was the actual man these Marines were shooting at, yet none of the recorded evidence agrees with the sworn statements.

An additional problem with the identification of the body is the claim that “Hashim Awad” had a rod in his leg, was once described as having a “platinum leg” and also being known as “Hashim the Lame”. The autopsy did show a healed fracture and did show that 2 wire fixtures were used to assist in healing, but this is certainly NOT a debilitating wound that would label anyone “Lame” or disabled.

(Editor’s note: I myself have several pins surgically installed due to a shoulder injury, located in my shoulder in 2004, have had bone graft surgery on my right humerous as a teenager before my service in the Marine Corps, and recently had 2 spinal surgeries in an 11 month period since March of 2007. Having an old fracture wired is not debilitating)

One additional point in all this, is that the autopsy records NO SOOT or STIPPLING wounds to any of the wounds recorded. Yet, each and every of the Marines, in their plea bargains, stated that Sgt Hutchins shot the Iraqi man from a distance of approximately 3 feet away with a high powered military assault weapon, 5.56 millimeter projectile whose muzzle velocity is approximately 2270 feet per second. So did Cpl. Thomas according to the sworn testimony. Anyone shot at that close a range would certainly have gunpowder residue embedded in their face, but according to the autopsy examination, microscopic analysis showed there was none!

What must also be mentioned is how the autopsy clearly indicated that there appeared to be no hemorrhage or other injury of any kind after the wrists and ankles were dissected. To be fair, the amount of decomposition that occurred may be a factor in that, but that itself is not proof enough that there were restraints or cuffs used or not used. Which ever it is, is does NOT prove cuffs were used, regardless of how the story is told.

Conclusion: It is with great difficulty that the only conclusion that can be gathered from this report is that the men of Kilo Company, known as The Pendleton 8, are innocent and were prosecuted for reasons known only to the Marine Corps, NCIS and the JAG Corps, for the evidence that the government had in it’s hands exonerated these men, not convict them.

1 posted on 04/11/2008 4:58:06 PM PDT by RaceBannon
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To: RaceBannon; stowaway; jjm2111; Mrs.LoneGOPinCT; underbyte; badbackman; Bigfitz; mcswan; ...

Please and disseminate freely


2 posted on 04/11/2008 4:59:26 PM PDT by RaceBannon (Innocent until proven guilty; The Pendleton 8: We are not going down without a fight)
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To: RaceBannon

Bookmark for tonight.


3 posted on 04/11/2008 5:01:32 PM PDT by pissant (THE Conservative party: www.falconparty.com)
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To: RaceBannon
We've seen the screenplay based on the government's theory. It's called Apocalypse Now ~ and that, in turn, was based on Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad.

The primary defect in this whole business is that no one in the chain of command seems to have any familiarity with war movies or English literature.

Another frequently copied "war story" is Arjuna's Celestial Journey ~ it's in the Mahabarata.

One of the Navy Department's lawyers on the prosecuting team is having a big laugh over this one. I hope they catch her and stick her in the brig for a very long time.

4 posted on 04/11/2008 5:05:05 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: RaceBannon; stowaway; jjm2111; Mrs.LoneGOPinCT; underbyte; badbackman; Bigfitz; mcswan; ...
Everyone reading this must understand, this was not considered interesting enough to be covered by NEWSMAX, HUMAN EVENTS, or any other conservative news outlets.

We contacted all of them, I sat in a major news studio in NYC for over 1 hour with someone, explaining our story, and his higher ups refused to act on it.

NEWSMAX personnel spoke on the phone to representatives more in the know than I and told Freeper Flightline that the story wasn't interesting enough.

Jed B. of Human Events said the same thing.

If you want to know why people haven't heard more of this, that's why.

Apparently, when a Pennsylvania Democrat Representative slanders troops, that's news, but when the government slanders it's own troops and sends one to jail on trumped up charges, that's not news, at least it aint news for NEWSMAX or HUMAN EVENTS.

Feel free to send them this information. We now have the autopsy reports, the pathology reports, the combat ledger, the census reports and a private diary some would find interesting.

Someone once claimed here that his friends at NEWSMAX cared more for the troops than I did.

Let's see them prove it.

5 posted on 04/11/2008 5:10:19 PM PDT by RaceBannon (Innocent until proven guilty; The Pendleton 8: We are not going down without a fight)
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To: muawiyah

Could someone supply the Cliff Notes version of this?


6 posted on 04/11/2008 5:11:01 PM PDT by Paleo Conservative
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To: muawiyah

This particular incident is based on the war movie, BREAKER MORANT !!

Sad, but true, we just can’t see it any other way...because the alternative to it being based on any other theory we are discussing are much more frightening than BREAKER MORANT


7 posted on 04/11/2008 5:12:13 PM PDT by RaceBannon (Innocent until proven guilty; The Pendleton 8: We are not going down without a fight)
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To: Paleo Conservative

this is the cliff’s notes, this was taken from over 700 pages of documents


8 posted on 04/11/2008 5:13:03 PM PDT by RaceBannon (Innocent until proven guilty; The Pendleton 8: We are not going down without a fight)
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To: RaceBannon; 1stbn27; 2111USMC; 2nd Bn, 11th Mar; 68 grunt; A.A. Cunningham; ASOC; AirForceBrat23; ..

Next chapter ping!


9 posted on 04/11/2008 5:20:59 PM PDT by freema (Proud Marine Niece, Daughter, Wife, Friend, Sister, Cousin, Mom and FRiend)
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To: RaceBannon
Breaker Morant doesn't quite apply unless you are a mind-numbed, robot-like, knee-jerk Liberal puke, e.g. Hildabeast or Obamasama, or maybe Teddy the Hulk ~ somebody like that.

You have to be someone who thinks the higher ups have something to hide.

Still, concerning Australian military parallels, there's an element of Gallipoli in this ~ civilians totally disinterested in the outcome make decisions that get troops killed, then stop by for dinner at a 4 star restaurant or something.

10 posted on 04/11/2008 5:22:29 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: muawiyah

You forgot your recent history

Breaker Morant was about placating the Boers who wanted peace

They demanded a sign from the Brits that the Brits wanted peace

The false prosecution for war crimes of Morant, Whitten, and the other guy were that show of peace

What the US had was ABU GRAHIB. In order to show the world that the US polices it’s own people, we have Hamdania and Haditha, and The Iron Triangle SSgt Ray Girouard.

I think the parallel is unmistakable.


11 posted on 04/11/2008 5:28:31 PM PDT by RaceBannon (Innocent until proven guilty; The Pendleton 8: We are not going down without a fight)
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To: muawiyah
Another frequently copied "war story" is Arjuna's Celestial Journey ~ it's in the Mahabarata.

There you go, adding to my TO READ list....

12 posted on 04/11/2008 5:31:06 PM PDT by RaceBannon (Innocent until proven guilty; The Pendleton 8: We are not going down without a fight)
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To: RaceBannon
Why is the government going out of its way to screw our Marines for doing their job? This is outrageous. Is there an element in our military that wants to destroy it from within? We really need to clean up the scum that has infected our government from top to bottom. The men and women of our military deserve much better than the cowards and creeps who stink up the halls of our government.
13 posted on 04/11/2008 6:53:55 PM PDT by peeps36 (Politician = Corrupt Degenerate Loser = Ted, Nancy, Barry, Jack and Many More)
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To: RaceBannon

bump


14 posted on 04/11/2008 6:54:41 PM PDT by RaceBannon (Innocent until proven guilty; The Pendleton 8: We are not going down without a fight)
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To: peeps36

I can tell you why, and I’m going to publish the documents that prove it.


15 posted on 04/11/2008 7:18:41 PM PDT by euphoriadev (http://euphoricreality.com - hosting The Front Line with Kit Lange)
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To: RaceBannon; euphoriadev

The first two FR threads

NO. 1 FR EXCLUSIVE::THE RULES OF ENGAGEMENT: NEW RELEASED INFORMATION CONCERNING THE HAMDANIA INCIDENT
cannot disclose at this time, but not impeachable | 03/31/2008 | Tim Harrington
Posted on Monday, March 31, 2008 11:41:59 PM by RaceBannon
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1994868/posts

NO. 2 FR EXCLUSIVE: HAMDANIA: OFFICIAL DOCUMENTS TELL A DIFFERENT STORY COMPARED TO THE MEDIA ACCOUNTS.
A few dedicated former Marines and their families | 04/11/2008 | RaceBannon
Posted on Friday, April 11, 2008 7:58:03 PM by RaceBannon
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1994868/posts


16 posted on 04/11/2008 7:55:27 PM PDT by freema (Proud Marine Niece, Daughter, Wife, Friend, Sister, Cousin, Mom and FRiend)
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To: RaceBannon
Race, my fine FRiend

Thanks for posting this and thanks for your intrepid determination in following this critical and complex story.

Interesting?

Absolutely

However, it's a bit overwhelming.

I'm thinking that our biggest ally here just might be a brief but cogent summary with a simple link to the main text.

(This from the FReeper who tends to prate on occassionally.)

17 posted on 04/11/2008 9:18:14 PM PDT by Seaplaner (Never give in. Never give in. Never...except to convictions of honour and good sense. W. Churchill)
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To: peeps36

>>Why is the government going out of its way to screw our Marines for doing their job?<<

Nothing new. Ever since liberals have been in power, their mission has been to discredit the Marine Corps and eventually dissolve it. They almost succeded after WWII, but Korea came too quickly.

Why else is it that only Marines arepersecuted and prosecuted? If you haven’t walked a mile in their boots, you have no right to judge them.

Semper fi
USMC (6 Jan 1959 - 31 Dec 1962)


18 posted on 04/12/2008 3:52:25 AM PDT by NTHockey (Rules of engagement #1 - Take no prisoners))
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To: kristinn; tgslTakoma; Jim Robinson; jveritas

Ping


19 posted on 04/12/2008 4:34:41 AM PDT by freema (Proud Marine Niece, Daughter, Wife, Friend, Sister, Cousin, Mom and FRiend)
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To: The Spirit Of Allegiance

Ping


20 posted on 04/12/2008 4:36:58 AM PDT by freema (Proud Marine Niece, Daughter, Wife, Friend, Sister, Cousin, Mom and FRiend)
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To: nw_arizona_granny

Ping


21 posted on 04/12/2008 4:37:14 AM PDT by freema (Proud Marine Niece, Daughter, Wife, Friend, Sister, Cousin, Mom and FRiend)
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To: bigheadfred

Ping


22 posted on 04/12/2008 4:39:19 AM PDT by freema (Proud Marine Niece, Daughter, Wife, Friend, Sister, Cousin, Mom and FRiend)
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To: Saoirise

Ping


23 posted on 04/12/2008 4:39:36 AM PDT by freema (Proud Marine Niece, Daughter, Wife, Friend, Sister, Cousin, Mom and FRiend)
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To: NTHockey

To be fair, they did take out a SSgt in the Army, also, SSgt Ray Girouard

I don’t have the specifics to post, needless to say, he didn’t do it either.


24 posted on 04/12/2008 5:07:49 AM PDT by RaceBannon (Innocent until proven guilty; The Pendleton 8: We are not going down without a fight)
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To: RaceBannon; NTHockey; bigheadfred

Don’t forget, there’s bigheadfred’s nephew, Army Sgt. Evan Vela Carnahan, too.
http://sergeantevanveladefensefund.org/


25 posted on 04/12/2008 5:53:33 AM PDT by freema (Proud Marine Niece, Daughter, Wife, Friend, Sister, Cousin, Mom and FRiend)
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To: freema; RaceBannon

Interesting. Did the defense attorneys present the scenario that the autopsied man’s wounds (other than the face) were more consistent with a man running from gunfire? If not, why not?

Also, at this point wouldn’t it make sense for Sgt. Hutchins or Cpl. Thomas give an account of all the details that occurred that night. If there were orders why not name names? What do they have to lose?


26 posted on 04/12/2008 6:47:25 AM PDT by Girlene
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To: Girlene; freema; NTHockey; RaceBannon

Here is the latest opinion from Diana West about Sgt. Evan Vela.

http://www.townhall.com/content/f93a776c-67b3-418b-bcfc-c116b0f95b2e


27 posted on 04/12/2008 7:00:03 AM PDT by bigheadfred (freeevanvela.com)
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To: Girlene; freema; NTHockey; RaceBannon

Try this link instead:

http://www.townhall.com/columnists/DianaWest/2008/04/10/was_soldier_jailed_to_appease_iraqi_allies


28 posted on 04/12/2008 7:08:09 AM PDT by bigheadfred (freeevanvela.com)
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To: bigheadfred

Thanks for the good link. I was trying to find the article. Great writeup by Diana West! Has there been a thread on this article?


29 posted on 04/12/2008 10:10:26 AM PDT by Girlene
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To: Girlene

No thread on this latest article. Must be your turn to post one.

I’ve had all I can take. I’m goin’ fishin’. :-)


30 posted on 04/12/2008 10:20:39 AM PDT by bigheadfred (freeevanvela.com)
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To: Girlene
I don't know, girl, as 5 of 8 took a plea arraignment.

But you prompted me to think, and of course, I had to take some aspirin as a result. I know I don't have all the information, I'm looking at the dates and attorneys. I'm not quite sure what it is that I'm looking for, though.

______________________________________________

Petty Officer 3rd Class Melson J. Bacos Plea Deal On October 4, 2006
Jeremiah Sullivan III Marine Lt. Col. Scott Jack, Defense Attorney-

Assault Charges Filed Against 6 Marines October 4, 2006
http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/9626976/detail.html

Pfc. John J. Jodka III Plea Deal October 27, 2006
Jane Siegel, Joseph Casas Defense Attorney-Lt. Col. John Baker, Prosecutor

LCpl. Tyler A. Jackson Plea Deal Nov. 15, 2006
Lt. Col. Paul Starita, Defense Attorney- Maj. Donald Plowman, Prosecutor

LCpl. Jerry E. Shumate Plea Deal November 13, 2006
Steven Immel, Defense Attorney-Lt. Col. John Baker, Prosecutor

Trent Thomas Convicted July 18 2007
Victor Kelley, Defense Attorney-Lt. Col. John Baker, Prosecutor

LCpl. Robert Pennington Plea Deal February 17, 2007
David Brahms, Defense Attorney- Maj. Donald Plowman, Prosecutor

Cpl. Marshall Magincalda Convicted August 1, 2007
Mr. Joseph Low, Defense Attorney -Lt. Col. Sean Sullivan,, Prosecutor

Sgt. Lawrence Hutchins Convicted Aug 2, 2007
Richard Brannon, Defense Attorney-Lt. Col. John Baker, Prosecutor

31 posted on 04/12/2008 1:48:44 PM PDT by freema (Proud Marine Niece, Daughter, Wife, Friend, Sister, Cousin, Mom and FRiend)
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To: bigheadfred

I wanna say, BAM! She’s cookin’!


32 posted on 04/12/2008 1:53:39 PM PDT by freema (Proud Marine Niece, Daughter, Wife, Friend, Sister, Cousin, Mom and FRiend)
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To: Girlene; flightline; freema

The autopsy was not allowed into testimony, at all


33 posted on 04/12/2008 5:28:52 PM PDT by RaceBannon (Innocent until proven guilty; The Pendleton 8: We are not going down without a fight)
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To: RaceBannon
The autopsy was not allowed into testimony, at all

Well, that doesn't make any sense.
34 posted on 04/13/2008 6:30:18 AM PDT by Girlene
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To: freema
Thanks, freema. Sgt. Hutchins is the only Marine left in confinement. He knows what happened that night. I wonder if he's considered putting together the story based on his understanding of the events that lead to the death of whoever this Iraqi was.
35 posted on 04/13/2008 6:38:05 AM PDT by Girlene
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