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Marine says beatings urged in Iraq; ordered to 'crank up violence'

 
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 221107
France
07/17/2007 02:00 PM
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Marine says beatings urged in Iraq; ordered to 'crank up violence'
Witness testifies that officers told troops to 'crank up the violence level' before the slaying of a civilian in Hamandiya.

By Tony Perry, Times Staff Writer
July 15, 2007

CAMP PENDLETON A Marine corporal, testifying Saturday at the murder trial of a buddy, said that Marines in his unit began routinely beating Iraqis after being ordered by officers to "crank up the violence level."

Cpl. Saul H. Lopezromo said Marines in his platoon, including the defendant, Cpl. Trent D. Thomas, were angry when officers criticized them as not being as tough as other Marine platoons.

"We're all hard-chargers, we're not there to mess around, so we took it as an insult," Lopezromo said.

Within weeks of allegedly being scolded, seven Marines and a Navy corpsman went out late one night to find and kill a suspected insurgent in the village of Hamandiya near the Abu Ghraib prison. The Marines and corpsman were from 2nd Platoon, Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 5th Regiment.

Lopezromo said their target was known to his neighbors as the "prince of jihad" and had been arrested several times, only to be released by the Iraqi legal system.

Unable to find their target, the Marines and corpsman dragged another man from his house, fatally shot him, and then planted an AK-47 assault rifle near the body to make it look like he had been killed in a shootout, according to court testimony.

Four Marines and the corpsman, initially charged with murder in the April 2006 killing, have pleaded guilty to reduced charges and been given jail sentences ranging from 10 months to eight years. Thomas, 25, from St. Louis, pleaded guilty but withdrew his plea and is the first defendant to go to court-martial.

"We were told to crank up the violence level," said Lopezromo, who testified for the defense. He indicated that during daily patrols the Marines became much rougher with Iraqis. Asked by a juror to explain, he said, "We beat people, sir."

Lopezromo said he believed that officers knew of the beatings, and he suggested that the order to get tough soured him on the Marine Corps.

Lopezromo, who was not part of the squad on its late-night mission, said he saw nothing wrong in what Thomas and the others did.

"I don't see it as an execution, sir," he told the judge. "I see it as killing the enemy."

He added that Marines, in effect, consider all Iraqi men as part of the insurgency. "Because of the way they live, the clans, they're all in it together," he said.

In August, Lopezromo and two other Marines were charged with assaulting an Iraqi two weeks before the killing that led to charges against Thomas and the others. Charges against all three were dropped.

Thomas' attorneys have portrayed him as suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury from his combat duty in Fallouja in 2004. Also, they have sought to convince the jury that Thomas believed he was following a lawful order to get tougher with suspected insurgents.

Prosecution witnesses testified that Thomas shot the 52-year-old Iraq at point-blank range after he had already been shot by other Marines and was lying on the ground.

Lopezromo said a procedure called "dead-checking" was routine. If Marines entered a house where a man was wounded, instead of checking to see whether he needed medical aid, they shot him to make sure he was dead, he testified.

"If somebody is worth shooting once, they're worth shooting twice," he said.

Marines are taught "dead-checking" in boot camp, the School of Infantry at Camp Pendleton, and the pre-deployment training at Twentynine Palms called Mojave Viper, he said.

Other Marines testified that Thomas was emotionally shaken by the deaths of Marines during the fighting in Fallouja in late 2004. After the death of Lance Cpl. George Payton, "he broke down and cried, he was angry, the usual effect when you lose a friend," Staff Sgt. Gage Coduto said.

Coduto said many Marines had difficulty adjusting to a change in the of rules of engagement from the Fallouja battle to places such as Hamandiya.

"It took a lot of patience for guys to bring it down a notch," he said.

The jury comprises three officers and six enlisted personnel, all of whom have served in Iraq. The trial resumes Monday.

[link to www.latimes.com]
Anonymous Coward (OP)
User ID: 221107
France
07/17/2007 02:34 PM
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Re: Marine says beatings urged in Iraq; ordered to 'crank up violence'
First it was the Saddam has WMDs and 9/11 connections BS.

Most Americans have long given up on the "rebuilding Iraq" lies.

And so much for the "assist Iraq in becoming a democracy" deceptions.

Now, the only mission is to 'crank up the violence.'
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 268006
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07/17/2007 02:42 PM
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Re: Marine says beatings urged in Iraq; ordered to 'crank up violence'
To be fair to the US armed forces, all armies do this shit.

They always have and they always will.

And many do a shitload worse than just hand out a beating.

scream
Anonymous Coward
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07/17/2007 02:57 PM
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Re: Marine says beatings urged in Iraq; ordered to 'crank up violence'
Just more Leftwing Propaganda,Nothing new...


bsflag bsflag bsflag bsflag bsflag
Anonymous Coward (OP)
User ID: 221107
France
07/17/2007 03:07 PM
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Re: Marine says beatings urged in Iraq; ordered to 'crank up violence'
To be fair to the US armed forces, all armies do this shit.

They always have and they always will.

And many do a shitload worse than just hand out a beating.

scream
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 268006

You mean like this?:

Did American Marines murder 23 Iraqi civilians?

The US military deny accusations of massive over-reaction when attacked. But video evidence from one incident has led the official story to unravel.
By Raymond Whitaker

Published: 26 March 2006
US military investigators are examining allegations that Marines shot unarmed Iraqis, then claimed they were "enemy fighters", The Independent on Sunday has learned. In the same incident, eyewitnesses say, one man bled to death over a period of hours as soldiers ignored his pleas for help.

American military officials in Iraq have already admitted that 15 civilians who died in the incident in the western town of Haditha last November were killed by Marines, and not by a roadside bomb, as had previously been claimed. The only victim of the remotely triggered bomb, it is now conceded, was a 20-year-old Marine, Lance-Corporal Miguel Terrazas, from El Paso, Texas.

An inquiry has been launched by the US Navy's Criminal Investigation Service after the military was presented with evidence that the 15 civilians, including seven women and three children still in their nightclothes, had been killed in their homes in the wake of the bombing. If it is proved that they died in a rampage by the Marines, and not as a result of "collateral damage", it would rank as the worst case of deliberate killing of Iraqi civilians by US armed forces since the invasion three years ago.

The military still insists that eight men who also died on 19 November were insurgents who opened fire on a Marines patrol after the bomb explosion. One military spokeswoman said the civilian deaths were their fault, because they "placed noncombatants in the line of fire as the Marines responded to defend themselves". But numerous witnesses say the only shooting was by the Marines, and that the only difference between these victims and the rest were that they were young men who could be depicted as insurgents. Despite claims of a fierce firefight after the explosion, military officials say two AK-47 rifles were the only weapons recovered.

Four of the young men who died were students on their way to college. They were in a car which was near the Marines' convoy when the bomb went off. According to the soldiers' statements to investigators, they told the youths to leave the car and lie face down in the road. Instead they ran, and were shot down. All this time, the Marines said, they were under fire from nearby houses.

The IoS understands, however, that local people have contradicted this account in almost every detail. According to their statements, the soldiers were not under fire when they approached the car. Rather than order the occupants to leave the vehicle and lie down, they simply dragged them out and shot them. While investigators seek to determine the truth of the incident, the military has admitted no weapons were found in the vehicle.

The most shocking allegation concerns what happened when the Marines approached a house nearby. Although investigators are again struggling to reconcile wildly differing accounts, the military confirms that seven people were killed inside the house, including two women and a child. The Marines also reported seeing a man and a woman run out of the house, at which they gave chase and shot and killed the man. Relatives named the woman as Hiba Abdullah, and said she escaped with her baby. The dead man, they added, was her husband, Rashid.

But according to statements seen by the investigators, the first time the Marines saw the couple was not when they were running away. Instead they confronted them in or near the house. Hiba Abdullah, who spoke some English, asked if she could flee, and the soldiers let her run away. Her husband, after a moment of hesitation, ran after her and was shot in the chest.

Rather than dying immediately, local people have told investigators, Rashid lay bleeding for hours, pleading for help, but the Marines, who had cordoned off the area, refused to allow anyone access to him.

The other four men claimed to be insurgents were all the sons of a man called Ahmed Ayed. The Marines say that when they entered a house, one of the brothers had an AK-47 and another appeared to be reaching into a wardrobe for a weapon. The soldiers opened fire, killing all four. But another member of the family said the brothers had all been forced into the wardrobe and killed there.

Last November the first report of the incident, in a communique from the Marines, said Lance-Corporal Terrazas and "15 Iraqi civilians were killed yesterday from the blast of a roadside bomb". Gunmen "attacked the convoy with small-arms fire", the statement added, and the Marines returned fire, killing eight insurgents and wounding one.

Although the mayor of Haditha led a protest delegation to the local Marines camp soon afterwards, the official story did not begin to unravel until an Iraqi human rights group obtained a video, shot by a local journalism student, which showed that the civilians could not have been killed by a bomb. It also showed that although the houses where they died were bullet-riddled indoors, there were no exterior marks, casting doubt on the Marines' claims of a firefight.

After Time magazine took up the story, an infantry colonel was sent to Haditha for an inquiry which concluded that the civilians died as a result of the Marines' actions rather than the bombing. But the colonel did not accuse the Marines of wrongdoing, saying the deaths were "collateral damage". Nor was there a challenge to the claim that the others were insurgents; it is not known whether the criminal inquiry now in progress will reopen the issue.

US troops are frequently accused of massive over-reaction when attacked, even allowing for the stress of combat. According to human rights groups, the only unusual feature of the events of 19 November was that there was video evidence to contradict the military account.

Almost the only other instance was an air attack in May 2004 on what the US military described as a gathering of "foreign fighters" and local people said was a wedding party. Their version was backed up by a video showing dead children and smashed musical instruments. When asked to account for the footage, the response of the authorities was to demand the name of the cameraman who shot it. An aggressive response to accusations of misconduct is common. Last week Iraqi journalists filmed the bodies of five children, four women and two men whom local police said had been killed in their home in Ishaqi, north of Baghdad. A spokesman, Lt-Col Barry Johnson, said coalition forces knew of four people killed in crossfire but denied claims that officers had failed to attend a meeting with local people.

"There appears to be a distinct pattern of misinformation," complained Lt-Col Johnson. "This is another clear sign of that happening, making allegations for the sake of prompting media reporting and attempting to discredit coalition operations. This is a pattern we've seen the terrorist-backed insurgency use repeatedly."

[link to news.independent.co.uk]
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 21470
United States
07/17/2007 03:11 PM
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Re: Marine says beatings urged in Iraq; ordered to 'crank up violence'
I know, you know, the whole world knows it Wrong.
God help us.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 268006
United States
07/17/2007 03:26 PM
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Re: Marine says beatings urged in Iraq; ordered to 'crank up violence'
To be fair to the US armed forces, all armies do this shit.

They always have and they always will.

And many do a shitload worse than just hand out a beating.

scream

You mean like this?:

Did American Marines murder 23 Iraqi civilians?

The US military deny accusations of massive over-reaction when attacked. But video evidence from one incident has led the official story to unravel.
By Raymond Whitaker

Published: 26 March 2006
US military investigators are examining allegations that Marines shot unarmed Iraqis, then claimed they were "enemy fighters", The Independent on Sunday has learned. In the same incident, eyewitnesses say, one man bled to death over a period of hours as soldiers ignored his pleas for help.

American military officials in Iraq have already admitted that 15 civilians who died in the incident in the western town of Haditha last November were killed by Marines, and not by a roadside bomb, as had previously been claimed. The only victim of the remotely triggered bomb, it is now conceded, was a 20-year-old Marine, Lance-Corporal Miguel Terrazas, from El Paso, Texas.

An inquiry has been launched by the US Navy's Criminal Investigation Service after the military was presented with evidence that the 15 civilians, including seven women and three children still in their nightclothes, had been killed in their homes in the wake of the bombing. If it is proved that they died in a rampage by the Marines, and not as a result of "collateral damage", it would rank as the worst case of deliberate killing of Iraqi civilians by US armed forces since the invasion three years ago.

The military still insists that eight men who also died on 19 November were insurgents who opened fire on a Marines patrol after the bomb explosion. One military spokeswoman said the civilian deaths were their fault, because they "placed noncombatants in the line of fire as the Marines responded to defend themselves". But numerous witnesses say the only shooting was by the Marines, and that the only difference between these victims and the rest were that they were young men who could be depicted as insurgents. Despite claims of a fierce firefight after the explosion, military officials say two AK-47 rifles were the only weapons recovered.

Four of the young men who died were students on their way to college. They were in a car which was near the Marines' convoy when the bomb went off. According to the soldiers' statements to investigators, they told the youths to leave the car and lie face down in the road. Instead they ran, and were shot down. All this time, the Marines said, they were under fire from nearby houses.

The IoS understands, however, that local people have contradicted this account in almost every detail. According to their statements, the soldiers were not under fire when they approached the car. Rather than order the occupants to leave the vehicle and lie down, they simply dragged them out and shot them. While investigators seek to determine the truth of the incident, the military has admitted no weapons were found in the vehicle.

The most shocking allegation concerns what happened when the Marines approached a house nearby. Although investigators are again struggling to reconcile wildly differing accounts, the military confirms that seven people were killed inside the house, including two women and a child. The Marines also reported seeing a man and a woman run out of the house, at which they gave chase and shot and killed the man. Relatives named the woman as Hiba Abdullah, and said she escaped with her baby. The dead man, they added, was her husband, Rashid.

But according to statements seen by the investigators, the first time the Marines saw the couple was not when they were running away. Instead they confronted them in or near the house. Hiba Abdullah, who spoke some English, asked if she could flee, and the soldiers let her run away. Her husband, after a moment of hesitation, ran after her and was shot in the chest.

Rather than dying immediately, local people have told investigators, Rashid lay bleeding for hours, pleading for help, but the Marines, who had cordoned off the area, refused to allow anyone access to him.

The other four men claimed to be insurgents were all the sons of a man called Ahmed Ayed. The Marines say that when they entered a house, one of the brothers had an AK-47 and another appeared to be reaching into a wardrobe for a weapon. The soldiers opened fire, killing all four. But another member of the family said the brothers had all been forced into the wardrobe and killed there.

Last November the first report of the incident, in a communique from the Marines, said Lance-Corporal Terrazas and "15 Iraqi civilians were killed yesterday from the blast of a roadside bomb". Gunmen "attacked the convoy with small-arms fire", the statement added, and the Marines returned fire, killing eight insurgents and wounding one.

Although the mayor of Haditha led a protest delegation to the local Marines camp soon afterwards, the official story did not begin to unravel until an Iraqi human rights group obtained a video, shot by a local journalism student, which showed that the civilians could not have been killed by a bomb. It also showed that although the houses where they died were bullet-riddled indoors, there were no exterior marks, casting doubt on the Marines' claims of a firefight.

After Time magazine took up the story, an infantry colonel was sent to Haditha for an inquiry which concluded that the civilians died as a result of the Marines' actions rather than the bombing. But the colonel did not accuse the Marines of wrongdoing, saying the deaths were "collateral damage". Nor was there a challenge to the claim that the others were insurgents; it is not known whether the criminal inquiry now in progress will reopen the issue.

US troops are frequently accused of massive over-reaction when attacked, even allowing for the stress of combat. According to human rights groups, the only unusual feature of the events of 19 November was that there was video evidence to contradict the military account.

Almost the only other instance was an air attack in May 2004 on what the US military described as a gathering of "foreign fighters" and local people said was a wedding party. Their version was backed up by a video showing dead children and smashed musical instruments. When asked to account for the footage, the response of the authorities was to demand the name of the cameraman who shot it. An aggressive response to accusations of misconduct is common. Last week Iraqi journalists filmed the bodies of five children, four women and two men whom local police said had been killed in their home in Ishaqi, north of Baghdad. A spokesman, Lt-Col Barry Johnson, said coalition forces knew of four people killed in crossfire but denied claims that officers had failed to attend a meeting with local people.

"There appears to be a distinct pattern of misinformation," complained Lt-Col Johnson. "This is another clear sign of that happening, making allegations for the sake of prompting media reporting and attempting to discredit coalition operations. This is a pattern we've seen the terrorist-backed insurgency use repeatedly."

[link to news.independent.co.uk]
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 221107


Of course.

Some Eastern and Turd-World Armies skin and roast civilians alive.

Hell, the Russian/Mongolian forces that took Berlin in 1945 had a three-day rape and murder party at the invitation of Marshal Zhukov, their supreme commander.

And we'd better not even imagine what the Japanese did to the Chinese at the Rape of Nanking.

If you ever fall into the hands of enemy troops, think yourself lucky if you can walk away from a beating with all your body parts intact.





GLP