22 March 2006

A War Crime In Iraq

Not all soldiers deserve our support. (Emphasis added in excerpt below).

The military says about 12 Marines are under investigation for possible war crimes by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service following the Nov. 19 insurgent attack in Haditha, 140 miles northwest of Baghdad. . . .

[A] videotape two months ago taken by a Haditha journalism student that shows the dead still in their nightclothes. . . .

Rsayef and another resident, former city councilman Imad Jawad Hamza, who spoke with hospital officials and residents, said the first house to be stormed was that of Abdul-Hamid Hassan Ali, which was near the scene of the bombing.

Ali, 76, whose left leg was amputated years ago because of diabetes, died after being shot in the stomach and chest. His wife, Khamisa, 66, was shot in the back. Ali's son, Jahid, 43, was hit in the head and chest. Son Walid, 37, was burned to death after a grenade was thrown into his room, and a third son, 28-year-old Rashid, died after he was shot in the head and chest, Rsayef and Hamza said.

Also among the dead were son Walid's wife, Asma, 32, who was shot in the head, and their son Abdullah, 4, who was shot in the chest, Rsayef and Hamza said.

Walid's 8-year-old daughter, Iman, and his 6-year-old son, Abdul-Rahman, were wounded and U.S. troops took them to Baghdad for treatment. The only person who escaped unharmed was Walid's 5-month-old daughter, Asia. . . .

Rsayef said those killed in the second house were his brother Younis, 43, who was shot in the stomach and chest, the brother's wife Aida, 40, who was shot in the neck and chest while still in bed where she was recuperating from bladder surgery. Their 8-year-old son Mohammed bled to death after being shot in the right arm, Rsayef said.

Also killed were Younis's daughters, Nour, 14, who was shot in the head; Seba, 10, who was hit in the chest; Zeinab, 5, shot in the chest and stomach; and Aisha, 3, who was shot in the chest. Hoda Yassin, a visiting relative, was also killed, Rsayef and Hamza said.

The only survivor from Younis's family was his 15-year-old daughter Safa, who pretended she was dead. . . .

Dr. Walid al-Hadithi, chief physician at Haditha General Hospital, said that about midnight the day of the attack, two U.S. Humvees arrived at the hospital — one carrying the bodies of men and the other those of women and children.

"They (the Marines) told me the women and children were shot in their homes, and they added that the men were saboteurs," al-Hadithi said. He said he was given a total of 24 bodies. "All had bullet wounds."


What did the military report:

A U.S. military statement in November described it as an ambush on a joint U.S.-Iraqi patrol that left 15 civilians, eight insurgents and a U.S. Marine dead in the bombing and a subsequent firefight. The statement said the 15 civilians were killed by the blast [an IED that destroyed a U.S. Humvee].


IEDs don't inflict bullet wounds on people asleep in their homes.