Skip to comments.Probe Finds Marines Killed Unarmed Iraqi Civilians
Posted on 05/27/2006 4:37:13 AM PDT by billorites
SAN DIEGO Marines from Camp Pendleton wantonly killed unarmed Iraqi civilians, including women and children, and then tried to cover up the slayings in the insurgent stronghold of Haditha, military investigations have found.
Officials who have seen the findings of the investigations said the filing of criminal charges, including some murder counts, was expected, which would make the Nov. 19 incident the most serious case of alleged U.S. war crimes in Iraq.
An administrative inquiry overseen by Army Maj. Gen. Eldon Bargewell found that several infantry Marines fatally shot as many as 24 Iraqis and that other Marines either failed to stop them or filed misleading or blatantly false reports.
The report concludes that a dozen Marines acted improperly after a roadside bomb explosion killed a fellow Marine, Lance Cpl. Miguel Terrazas.
Looking for insurgents, the Marines entered several homes and began firing their weapons, according to the report.
In its initial statement to the media, the Marine Corps said the Iraqi civilians were killed either by an insurgent bomb or by crossfire between Marines and insurgents.
But after Time magazine obtained pictures showing dead women and children and quoted Iraqis who said the attack was unprovoked, the Marine Corps backtracked on its explanation and called for an investigation.
The Marines, many of whom were on their third deployment to Iraq, are part of the 3rd Battalion, 1st Regiment of the 1st Marine Division.
The battalion commander and two company commanders were relieved of duty last month because, a spokesman said, Maj. Gen. Richard Natonski, commanding general of the division, had lost confidence in their leadership.
The Naval Criminal Investigative Service, which conducted a separate investigation, is expected to call for criminal charges, including murder, negligent homicide, dereliction of duty and filing a false report.
(Excerpt) Read more at latimes.com ...
yea, once you leave your bomb planted by the road, or stand watch while it is getting planted I guess you might be unarmed
Personally I would not be quick to judge just because the words "women" and "children" are included.
There is no gender or age difference when it comes to dealing with terrorists. They come in all flavors.
I suspect there were terrorists in the home but the marines were not careful when they used deadly force.
I will wait for the report. I don't trust the media to accurately report the story. They'll emphasis the parts they want and ignore other parts.
Hopefully, the military is leaking this report so it won't explode on the scene like Abu Ghrabib. I think the military is smarter now.
Actually, I suspect the actual report will not be as bad as this media spun leaks of the report.
There was a one year old.
It appears that they may have succeeded. Unfortunately.
Now, as then, their subversion masquerades as public service.
"military investigations" are Not over, yet the LA SLIMES is printing this as fact.
That fact just bugs the crap out of me. How do roadside bombs get planted in these towns and no one sees it being done?
I don't know enough of the details, besides the media report. I do know terrorists have used human shields in the past. Maybe they gave that up for lent, I don't know.
Sure, but a one year old isn't going to give you that much cover. I mean, are they running around with babies strapped on their chests?
I'm not worried about our Marines core values. What I worry about is your hamstringing them by telling them to play by the rules of "war" when your confining them to a peacekeeping mission.
Let them loose to clean out the rat holes, remove the reporters, do what has to be done.
#1 Our men and women serve bravely.
#2 Corps would not condone such an event.
Conclusion: Collateral Damage. When you are fighting a war the asking questions first part just doesn't cut it.
I am not certain, but was there not a report a few days ago saying top Marine Command was on its way to Iraq to prepare troops for the release of the report?
If this is as serious as it first appears it is important not to trivialize, joke or blame others. My wife just said she is convinced that this story is the reason why the President appeared so reflective and sombre in the press conference a few nights ago.
Recent serious allegations concerning actions of Marines in combat have caused me concern. They should cause you to be concerned as well. To ensure we continue to live up to General Lejeunes description of a Marine as someone who demonstrates all that is highest in military efficiency and soldierly virtue, I would like to review the importance of our core values.
As Marines, you are taught from your earliest days in the Corps about our core values of honor, courage and commitment. These values are part of and belong to all Marines, regardless of MOS, grade, or gender. They guide us in all that we do; whether in combat, in garrison, or on leave or liberty.
To a Marine, honor is more than just honesty; it means having uncompromising personal integrity and being accountable for all actions. To most Marines, the most difficult part of courage is not the raw physical courage that we have seen so often on todays battlefield. It is rather the moral courage to do the right thing in the face of danger or pressure from other Marines. Finally, commitment is that focus on caring for one another and upholding the great ideals of our Corps and Country.
The nature of this war with its ruthless enemies, and its complex and dangerous battlefield will continue to challenge us in the commitment to our core values. We must be strong and help one another to measure up. The war will also test our commitment to our belief in the rule of law.
We have all been educated in the Law of Armed Conflict. We continue to reinforce that training, even when deployed to combat zones. We do not employ force just for the sake of employing force. We use lethal force only when justified, proportional and, most importantly, lawful. We follow the laws and regulations, Geneva Convention and Rules of Engagement. This is the American way of war. We must regulate force and violence, we only damage property that must be damaged, and we protect the non-combatants we find on the battlefield.
When engaged in combat, particularly in the kind of counterinsurgency operations were involved in now, we have to be doubly on guard. Many of our Marines have been involved in life or death combat or have witnessed the loss of their fellow Marines, and the effects of these events can be numbing. There is the risk of becoming indifferent to the loss of a human life, as well as bringing dishonor upon ourselves. Leaders of all grades need to reinforce continually that Marines care for one another and do what is right.
The large majority of Marines today perform magnificently on and off the battlefield. I am very proud of the bravery, dedication, honor, courage and commitment you clearly display every day. And America is proud as well. Americans, indeed most people around the world, recognize that Marines are men and women of the highest caliber physically, mentally, and morally.
Each one of you contributes in your own unique way to our important mission; I am proud of your dedication and accomplishments. Even after 38 years, I still stand with pride every time I hear the Marines Hymn. The words of that Hymn mean something special to me. Especially, Keep our Honor Clean. I know that means something to all of you as well. As Marines we have an obligation to past Marines, fellow Marines, future Marines and ourselves to do our very best to live up to these words.
As your Commandant, I charge all Marines to carry on our proud legacy by demonstrating our values in everything you do on duty and off; in combat or in garrison. Semper Fidelis.
These Marines have already been tarred & feathered!
"they come in all flavors"
And at all "events"--like weddings.
I think in human shield use, they expect that no one is going to shoot at someone next to a child at all whether the child is on them, in them, next to them, etc.
These islamofacists use our values to try and destroy us. They use mosques as places to do their work and plan their work, knowing that we probably won't be storming a mosque anytime soon. If they thought a US Marine might not shoot them if they have a child in their grasp, I believe they would do it. Anything is possible with these people who have no respect for any human life, adult or child.
Cut them some slack for God sake, I can easily understand a quick trigger finger, during a firefight.. As for me, I say duck, and shoot the first thing that moves..
I looked at Google News and the Boston Globe can't wait for the report and is out interviewing the villagers and admitting that they can't verify the stories.
This is going to be painful. The media is so happy about this story. They are going to drive support for the war down to 0 and support for Bush down another 10 points.
President Bush should have been out monthy talking about the heroes of this war, giving examples of bravery.
He's allowed the media to frame the discussion of our effort and make the US military out to be victims, statistics, or criminals.
And what was with that mushy apology with Blair the other night. He has been beaten down.
He could take this incident, get out in front of it and make the media out to be the biased, irresponsible fools that they are.
But he won't, he'll just talk mush. The media senses his weakness.
"Let us ONE time get the facts instead of leaping to conclusions."
I think that is wise.
" I mean, are they running around with babies strapped on their chests?"
I wouldnt put it past them. They're animals with little regard for human life.
"Gee Bush should do this, Bush should do that". When did Conservatives become the party of "sit on our butt and whine until someone comes rescue us"?
One hundred percent correct. I hope the investigation is handled fairly.
Real simply, they would not have this "Bush is a lame duck" story line. It a LIE. Just another example of Garbage IN, Garbage OUT polling
Well, I've perked up since I posted that depressing post. I'm beginning to think that perhaps the military is practiciing good PR, get out in front of the story, let the news out gradually.
In fact, the media could really mess up in this case. They are making one mistate after another. (Note ABC: Hastert).
If the media overplays this their credibility will decrease further.
I can go from gloomy to optimistic in 5 minutes.
Good grief, why didn't we just level this hellhole and put in some puppet government so we wouldn't have to waste the lives of our soldiers? I'm tired of fighting p. C. wars.
Civilian casualties are a hideous but unavoidable part of warfare, and have been as long as tribes and nations have fought each other. IMHO this is nothing more than another blatant attempt by the leftist appeasers and apologists for Islamic terrorism to discredit and embarrass our military forces and turn more people against our involvement in Iraq. How can we expect our young men and women to join the military when they are put at risk of criminal prosecution if they make a mistake under the life and death pressure of a confused firefight with terrorists disguised as ordinary noncombatants in the midst of a crowded and hostile city environment?
Note my new tagline.
I sure hope it holds.
Sometimes, crazed, demon-spawn Muslim 1yos, can be quite a handful!!!
They hide behind women who have one year olds strapped to their chests. Possibly under a burqa.
Early on in the war, they used to run vehicles up to checkpoints with women and children passengers in it that would refuse to stop and acted like it was a car bomb, just so it would be fired on and they could use the deaths of those women and children as propaganda.
The odds that a group, not just one soldier with mental problems but a GROUP, would open fire on women and children for no reason is one in a billion.
Is Janet Reno doing time?
If wrongdoing needs addressed, the military will take care of it.
Meanwhile, let's see if the media give the same fair coverage to this as they did their beloved Janet Reno and Bill Clinton.
My nephew in Iraq initially had everyone he knew sending clothes, treats, books/pencils to the children he encountered in Iraq. No more.....these children are being used to kill American soldiers.
The terrorists hide behind civilians and civilians hide the terrorists. Some civilians are bound to be caught in the crossfire. How can our forces tell whether the Iraqi in a nightgown is a civilian or a terrorists?
No way. Shoot first and let Allah sort it out.
According to the Stone-age press, innocent until proven guilty only applies to the clintons!
Pray for W and Our Freedom Fighters