Sunday, July 23, 2006


Iraq: Frustration, Rage, Murder

A two-fer, this Sunday, on the Iraq scene.

The first piece, from Yahoo News, brings up the observation—again—that the problem with a few rotten apples is that they spoil the whole barrel of apples. In this case, the bad apples happen to be in high-level—very high level—leadership. It’s like pollution in a water-shed: the higher-up in the water-shed where the pollution goes in, the more in spreads on it’s way down.

And the 2nd piece...well...Look: a lot of the National Guard and Regular Army are people from the bottom of the economic pile: people who have been losers all their lives. I’m not saying they’re born losers: I’m saying they’re people who have been shut out of the economy for various reasons: family scenes, geography, lack of education, you know, the people that the military offers a way out: a chance to do better. They were angry and confused before they went in to the military. The army knows what to do with anger: channel it into killing the enemy. In Iraq, the enemy is everywhere and nowhere—like in Viet Nam. Your back is never really safe. The potential for outright rage is stupendous. We’re seeing the results of that.

Yahoo! News
Group: U.S. military urged abuse in Iraq
By DAVID B. CARUSO, Associated Press WriterSun Jul 23, 7:23 AM ET

The group Human Rights Watch said in a report released Sunday that U.S. military commanders encouraged abusive interrogations of detainees in Iraq, even after the Abu Ghraib prison scandal called attention to the issue in 2004.

Between 2003 and 2005, prisoners were routinely physically mistreated, deprived of sleep and exposed to extreme temperatures as part of the interrogation process, the report said.

"Soldiers were told that the Geneva Conventions did not apply, and that interrogators could use abusive techniques to get detainees to talk," wrote John Sifton, a senior researcher at Human Rights Watch.

The organization said it based its conclusion on interviews with military personnel and sworn statements in declassified documents.
Accused troops: We were under orders to kill
Soldiers say officers commanded them to ‘kill all military age males’ in Iraq
The Associated Press
Updated: 1:56 p.m. PT July 21, 2006

EL PASO, Texas - Four U.S. soldiers accused of murdering suspected insurgents during a raid in Iraq said they were under orders to “kill all military age males,” according to sworn statements obtained by The Associated Press.

The soldiers first took some of the men into custody because they were using two women and a toddler as human shields. They shot three of the men after the women and child were safe and say the men attacked them.

“The ROE (rule of engagement) was to kill all military age males on Objective Murray,” Staff Sgt. Raymond L. Girouard told investigators, referring to the target by its code name.

That target, an island on a canal in the northern Salhuddin province, was believed to be an al-Qaida training camp. The soldiers said officers in their chain of command gave them the order and explained that special forces had tried before to target the island and had come under fire from insurgents.

Girouard, Spc. William B. Hunsaker, Pfc. Corey R. Clagett, and Spc. Juston R. Graber are charged with murder and other offenses in the shooting deaths of three of the men during the May 9 raid.

Girouard, Hunsaker and Clagett are also charged with obstruction of justice for allegedly threatening to kill another soldier if he told authorities what happened.

© 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

© 2006

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