uruknet.info
  اوروكنت.إنفو
    
    informazione dal medio oriente
    information from middle east
    المعلومات من الشرق الأوسط

[ home page] | [ tutte le notizie/all news ] | [ download banner] | [ ultimo aggiornamento/last update 25/10/2014 05:56 ] 25171


english italiano

  [ Subscribe our newsletter!   -   Iscriviti alla nostra newsletter! ]  




[25171]



Uruknet on Alexa


End Gaza Siege
End Gaza Siege

>

:: Segnala Uruknet agli amici. Clicka qui.
:: Invite your friends to Uruknet. Click here.




:: Segnalaci un articolo
:: Tell us of an article






Sergeant Tells of Plot to Kill Iraqi Detainees

ROBERT F. WORTH, New York Times

July 28, 2006


- For more than a month after the killings, Sgt. Lemuel Lemus stuck to his story.

"Proper escalation of force was used," he told an investigator, describing how members of his unit shot and killed three Iraqi prisoners who had lashed out at their captors and tried to escape after a raid northwest of Baghdad on May 9.

Then, on June 15, Sergeant Lemus offered a new and much darker account.

In a lengthy sworn statement, he said he had witnessed a deliberate plot by his fellow soldiers to kill the three handcuffed Iraqis and a cover-up in which one soldier cut another to bolster their story. The squad leader threatened to kill anyone who talked. Later, one guilt-stricken soldier complained of nightmares and "couldnít stop talking" about what happened, Sergeant Lemus said.

As with similar cases being investigated in Iraq, Sergeant Lemusís narrative has raised questions about the rules under which American troops operate and the possible culpability of commanders. Four soldiers have been charged with premeditated murder in the case. Lawyers for two of them, who dispute Sergeant Lemusís account, say the soldiers were given an order by a decorated colonel on the day in question to "kill all military-age men" they encountered.

Many questions remain about the case, which is scheduled for an Article 32 hearing on Tuesday in Iraq. But whatever the truth about that day, Sergeant Lemusís sworn statement ó which was obtained by The New York Times ó provides an extraordinary window into the pressures American soldiers face in Iraq, where wartime chaos and the imperative of loyalty often complicate questions of right and wrong.

When investigators asked why he did not try to stop the other soldiers from carrying out the killings, Sergeant Lemus ó who has not been charged in the case ó said simply that he was afraid of being called a coward. He stayed quiet, he said, because of "peer pressure, and I have to be loyal to the squad."

The mission that led to the killings started at dawn on May 9, when soldiers with the Third Brigade Combat Team of the 101st Airborne Division landed in a remote area near a former chemical plant not far from Samarra, according to legal documents and lawyers for the accused soldiers. It was the site of a suspected insurgent training camp and was considered extremely dangerous.

Just before leaving, the soldiers had been given an order to "kill all military-age men" at the site by a colonel and a captain, said Paul Bergrin and Michael Waddington, the lawyers who are disputing Sergeant Lemusís account. Military officials in Baghdad have declined to comment on whether such an order, which would have been a violation of the law of war, might have been given.

The colonel, Michael Steele, is the brigade commander. He led the 1993 mission in Somalia made famous by the book and movie "Black Hawk Down."

The two lawyers say Colonel Steele has indicated that he will not testify at the Article 32 hearing ó the military equivalent of a grand jury hearing ó or answer any questions about the case. Calls and e-mail messages to a civilian lawyer said to be representing Colonel Steele were not returned.

It is very rare for any commanding officer to refuse to testify at any stage of a court-martial proceeding, said Gary D. Solis, a former military judge and prosecutor who teaches the law of war at Georgetown University.

During the raid, the soldiers discovered three Iraqi men hiding in a house, who were using women and children to shield themselves, Sergeant Lemus said in his statement. The soldiers separated out the men, blindfolded them and bound their hands with plastic "zip ties," restraints that are not as strong as the plastic flex cuffs often used in Iraq.

Then, Sergeant Lemus told investigators, his squad leader, Staff Sgt. Raymond L. Girouard, was told by another sergeant over the radio, "The detainees should have been killed."

The man accused of making that remark, First Sgt. Eric J. Geressy, has denied it. In his own sworn statement, he told an investigator that during the radio call, "I was wondering why they did not kill the enemy during contact." But he added, "At no point did I ever try to put any idea into those soldiersí heads to execute or do any harm to the detainees."

Sergeant Lemus gave investigators the following account of what happened next: About 10 minutes later, the squad leader gathered Sergeant Lemus and three other soldiers in a house nearby, telling them to "bring it in close" so he could talk quietly to them. Sergeant Girouard spoke in a "low-toned voice" and "talked with his hands," making clear he was going to kill the three Iraqis.

"I didnít like the idea, so I walked toward the door," Sergeant Lemus said in his statement. "He looked around at everyone and asked if anyone else had an issue or a problem." No one spoke.

Soon afterward, Sergeant Lemus recounted, he was standing near the landing zone when he heard shouts and bursts of gunfire. He saw the detainees running and then falling to the ground. He walked back to the scene and asked Sergeant Girouard what happened.

"But he couldnít answer," Sergeant Lemus said. "He just looked at the bodies and had this frozen look on his face. I asked him where my guys were, and he stuttered that they were in the building," getting first aid.

Sergeant Girouard has been charged with premeditated murder, a capital offense, as have three other soldiers: Specialist William B. Hunsaker, Pfc. Corey R. Clagett and Specialist Juston R. Graber. Private Clagett and Specialist Hunsaker are accused of actually shooting the prisoners.

Mr. Bergrin, the lawyer who represents Private Clagett, and Mr. Waddington, who represents Specialist Hunsaker, dispute Sergeant Lemusís account. They say the prisoners broke free as two soldiers were fixing the zip ties, which were coming loose. They say the prisoners stabbed Specialist Hunsaker and punched Private Clagett before trying to flee.

But in his statement, Sergeant Lemus said he heard from the accused soldiers that it was Sergeant Girouard who cut Specialist Hunsaker in an effort to make the stabbing story sound plausible. He believed it, Sergeant Lemus said, because "they both have Ranger school backgrounds and they are pretty close friends," and he added, "They would always talk about the French Foreign Legion and renegade mercenaries running around from country to country."

Three days later, Private Clagett "told me he couldnít stop thinking about it," Sergeant Lemus recalled. The private asked how Sergeant Lemus had responded to seeing dead bodies and shooting the enemy during his time in Iraq.

"I told him it was all right that he felt like that," Sergeant Lemus said. "He was really stressed because when he slept the few hours he did, he dreamed about it over and over."

Two initial investigations of the killings by commanders found no wrongdoing. It is not clear who eventually came forward to tell commanders that there was another version of what happened on May 9.

At one point, Sergeant Lemus said in his statement, Sergeant Girouard gathered the men who had been present before the killing and told them "to be loyal and not to go bragging or spreading rumors" about what had happened. Sergeant Girouard added that "if he found out who told anything about it he would find that person after he got out of jail and kill him or her."

Sergeant Lemus said he laughed off the threat at the time. But there may have been other threats. In addition to murder, the four accused soldiers are charged with threatening to kill Pfc. Bradley L. Mason, one of the men in the squad, if he told what he knew about the shootings.

Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company


:: Article nr. 25171 sent on 29-jul-2006 16:01 ECT

www.uruknet.info?p=25171

Link: informationclearinghouse.info/article14245.htm



:: The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website.

The section for the comments of our readers has been closed, because of many out-of-topics.
Now you can post your own comments into our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/uruknet





       
[ Printable version ] | [ Send it to a friend ]


[ Contatto/Contact ] | [ Home Page ] | [Tutte le notizie/All news ]







Uruknet on Twitter




:: RSS updated to 2.0

:: English
:: Italiano



:: Uruknet for your mobile phone:
www.uruknet.mobi


Uruknet on Facebook






:: Motore di ricerca / Search Engine


uruknet
the web



:: Immagini / Pictures


Initial
Middle




The newsletter archive




L'Impero si è fermato a Bahgdad, by Valeria Poletti


Modulo per ordini




subscribe

:: Newsletter

:: Comments


Haq Agency
Haq Agency - English

Haq Agency - Arabic


AMSI
AMSI - Association of Muslim Scholars in Iraq - English

AMSI - Association of Muslim Scholars in Iraq - Arabic




Font size
Carattere
1 2 3





:: All events








     

[ home page] | [ tutte le notizie/all news ] | [ download banner] | [ ultimo aggiornamento/last update 25/10/2014 05:56 ]




Uruknet receives daily many hacking attempts. To prevent this, we have 10 websites on 6 servers in different places. So, if the website is slow or it does not answer, you can recall one of the other web sites: www.uruknet.info www.uruknet.de www.uruknet.biz www.uruknet.org.uk www.uruknet.com www.uruknet.org - www.uruknet.it www.uruknet.eu www.uruknet.net www.uruknet.web.at.it




:: This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more info go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
::  We always mention the author and link the original site and page of every article.
uruknet, uruklink, iraq, uruqlink, iraq, irak, irakeno, iraqui, uruk, uruqlink, saddam hussein, baghdad, mesopotamia, babilonia, uday, qusay, udai, qusai,hussein, feddayn, fedayn saddam, mujaheddin, mojahidin, tarek aziz, chalabi, iraqui, baath, ba'ht, Aljazira, aljazeera, Iraq, Saddam Hussein, Palestina, Sharon, Israele, Nasser, ahram, hayat, sharq awsat, iraqwar,irakwar All pictures

url originale



 

I nostri partner - Our Partners:


TEV S.r.l.

TEV S.r.l.: hosting

www.tev.it

Progetto Niz

niz: news management

www.niz.it

Digitbrand

digitbrand: ".it" domains

www.digitbrand.com

Worlwide Mirror Web-Sites:
www.uruknet.info (Main)
www.uruknet.com
www.uruknet.net
www.uruknet.org
www.uruknet.us (USA)
www.uruknet.su (Soviet Union)
www.uruknet.ru (Russia)
www.uruknet.it (Association)
www.uruknet.web.at.it
www.uruknet.biz
www.uruknet.mobi (For Mobile Phones)
www.uruknet.org.uk (UK)
www.uruknet.de (Germany)
www.uruknet.ir (Iran)
www.uruknet.eu (Europe)
wap.uruknet.info (For Mobile Phones)
rss.uruknet.info (For Rss Feeds)
www.uruknet.tel

Vat Number: IT-97475000150