bARABie – Hard Hitting Facts

TORTURE AND MURDER IN IRAQ

CHAPTER 24

TORTURE AND MURDER IN IRAQ

CONTENTS

1. AN OVERVIEW

2. ABU GRAIB

3. CAMP NAMA

4. THE HADITHA MASSACRE

5. THE MASSACRE AND MURDER IN SAMARRA

6. THE MASSACRE AT ISHIQUI

7. MURDER AT A BAGHDAD MOSQUE

8. MURDER IN HAMANDIYAH

10. MURDER AND RAPE IN MAHMOUDIVA

11. IRAQ INVESTIGATES KILLINGS BY AMERICANS

12. IRAQ’S DEATH SQUADS

13. THE MURDERS CONTINUE

14.TORTURE AT CAMP CROPPER

15. THE CASUALTIES OF THE WAR

1. AN OVERVIEW

In the spring of 2004, the Army’s Criminal Investigation Command investigated into misconduct by American soldiers against detainees and civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan. The command concluded that in as many as 18 instances, Iraq’s died in American custody for allegedly stealing money, jewelry, or other property. The Army never conducted autopsies on any of the prisoners and never determined the cause of their deaths. (Washington Post, June 1, 2004)

The investigation was extended to include 91 cases that involved the mistreatment of Iraqis. The probe included not only cases that resulted in death but also those that involved non-lethal assaults. It also included as many as 18 instances of United States soldiers in Iraq allegedly stealing money, jewelry, or other property. (Washington Post, June 1, 2004)

According to the probe, 59 of the 91 investigations were closed. Forty-two cases involved alleged abuse inside detention facilities, and 49 cases dealt with allegations of misconduct outside. The inside cases were divided into two groups: Thirty of them were related to the deaths of 34 individuals; the other 12 concern assaults — including kicking, punching, or other abusive action — on an unspecified number of detainees. Half the death cases were attributed to natural causes or undetermined factors. Four cases, involving eight detainee deaths, were ruled justifiable homicides, meaning American soldiers were deemed to have killed in self-defense or to prevent escapes. (Washington Post, June 1, 2004)

Ten other homicides had no such justification. Only one case resulted in disciplinary action, with a soldier being demoted and discharged after shooting a prisoner who was throwing stones at a detention center northwest of Baghdad in September 2003. Another homicide case, involving a contractor employed by the CIA, was turned over to the Justice Department. (Washington Post, June 1, 2004)

Of the 49 cases of alleged misconduct outside detention facilities, three involved deaths, 28 centered on assaults in which soldiers allegedly kicked or punched Iraqi civilians or fired weapons to frighten them. Eighteen cases dealt with thefts that occurred during raids on houses or other operations in Iraq. In one death case, an American shot and killed an Afghani who had attempted to grab a weapon. In another instance, an Iraqi drowned after being forced off a bridge. In the third case, an American soldier shot an Iraqi who had lunged at a sergeant escorting the Iraqi. (Washington Post, June 1, 2004)

Between 2003 and 2006, 26 members of the United States Army were referred to trial for abuse or murder of detainees. Seventy-five troops were subjected to other disciplinary measures. (The Guardian, January 17, 2005)

AN OVERVIEW OF TORTURE AND MURDER BY THE UNITED STATES. Sergeant Shane Werst was accused in the killing of an Iraqi in Balad in 2003. The Iraqi, Naser Ismail, died in custody following his arrest on January 3, 2004. Werst was also accused of forcing other soldiers to lie about the death. (The Guardian, January 17, 2005)

**Twenty-year-old Salah Salih Jassim was not suspected of any crime but had been arrested along with his father, an officer in Saddam’s Fedayeen militia. In late 2003, United States military personnel in Mosul broke his jaw, requiring his mouth to be wired shut, and could eat only through a straw. Jassim was told ”to say that I’ve fallen down and no one beat me.” Jassim was held in a detention room with about 70 other prisoners. Deafening heavy metal music was played, and guards threw cold water onto hooded prisoners and sounded bullhorns beside their heads.(Reuters, March 26, 2005)

The Army report concluded that the broken jaw was caused either as a result of a blow by a United States soldier or a collapse due to ”complete muscle failure” from being excessively exercised. The investigation also revealed that inmates were being systematically and intentionally mistreated. (Inter Press News Service, March 31, 2005)

**Abu Malik Kenami died while in detention in Mosul. On the day he died, Kenami had been ”punished with several ups and downs — a correctional technique of having a detainee stand up and then sit-down rapidly, always keeping them in constant motion … and ha(d) his hands flex-cuffed behind his back.” He was also hooded, with ”a sandbag placed over (his) head.” The file stated that “(t)he cause of Abu Malik Kenami’s death will never be known because an autopsy was never performed on him.” (Inter Press News Service, March 31, 2005)

**A military intelligence team saw soldiers kicking blindfolded and ”zipcuffed” detainees several times in the sides while yelling profanities at them. The investigation concluded that at least three military personnel abused the detainees. (Inter Press News Service, March 31, 2005)

**An Iraqi prisoner, held at an Army Brigade Holding Area in Mosul, died in December 2003 after four days of repeatedly having to do physical exercises as a punishment. A United States soldier said, ”He continued to mess with his mask/sandbag so I took his handcuffs off and put them behind his back and smoked him for another 20 minutes before I sat him down.” At night, the prisoner had to sleep with the sandbag on his head and his hands cuffed behind his back. On the morning of the fourth day, he was found dead in his cell. According to the report, an autopsy was supposed to be performed, but no record of it was provided. (Reuters, March 26, 2005; Inter Press News Service, March 31, 2005)

**Inmates at the Mosul facility were hit with water bottles, forced to do exhausting physical exercises until they collapsed, and deprived of sleep and subjected to deafening noise. Yet, nobody was court martialed over the abuse. (Reuters, March 26, 2005; Inter Press News Service, March 31, 2005)

**In May 2004, a United States army tank company commander convicted of shooting dead a wounded Iraqi was acquitted. The shooting occurred when United States troops were pursuing suspected militiamen supporting Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr near the Iraqi city of Najaf. United States soldiers fired on a car, wounding the driver and a passenger. Maynulet said he then shot dead the driver to put him out of his misery. In dismissing the charges, the military court ruled the shooting a “mercy killing.” (Reuters, April 1, 2005)

**In September 2003, one soldier was demoted and discharged after shooting a prisoner who was throwing stones at a detention center northwest of Baghdad. (Washington Post, June 1, 2004)

**Of the 49 cases of alleged misconduct outside detention facilities in Iraq, three involved deaths, and 28 centered on assaults in which soldiers allegedly kicked or punched Iraqi civilians or fired weapons to frighten them. Eighteen cases dealt with thefts that occurred during raids on houses or other operations in Iraq. In one death case, an American shot and killed an Afghani who had attempted to grab a weapon. In another instance, an Iraqi drowned after being forced off a bridge. In the third case, an American soldier shot an Iraqi who had lunged at a sergeant escorting the Iraqi. (Washington Post, June 1, 2004)

**At least four prisoners died in Iraq from strangulation, asphyxia, smothering, or “compromised respiration,” including Abid Mowhosh, a major general who headed Iraq’s air defenses. His death certificate said he died from “asphyxia due to smothering and chest compression.” (USA Today, June 1, 2004)

**A few days after Saddam Hussein’s statue was toppled on April 15, 2003, a prisoner detained by Navy commandos died in a suspected case of homicide blamed on “blunt force trauma to the torso and positional asphyxia.” (New York Times, May 26, 2004)

**In 2003, two former Iraqi detainees said that they were repeatedly tortured by United States forces seeking information about Saddam and WMD. Thahee Sabbar and Sherzad Khalid claimed they were tortured for months, in violation of the United States Constitution and international law. (ABC, November 15, 2005)

Khalid sai American soldiers at one point threatened him with live lions. He said, “They took us to a cage — an animal cage that had lions in it within the Republican Palace. And they threatened us that if we did not confess, they would put us inside the cage with the lions in it. It scared me a lot when they got me close to the cage, and they threatened me. And they opened the door and they threatened that if I did not confess, that they were going to throw me inside the cage. And as the lion was coming closer, they would pull me back out and shut the door, and tell me, ‘We will give you one more chance to confess.’ And I would say, ‘Confess to what?’ ” (ABC, November 15, 2005)

Inside the Republican Palace — the site of Saddam’s former office — Sabbar said troops taunted him with a mock execution. “They put us in individual cells. And before entering those cells, they formed two teams of American soldiers — one to the right, one to the left — about 10 to 15 each American soldiers. And they were holding wooden sticks. It was like a hallway, like a passage. And they made us go that hallway while shouting at us as we were walking through and hitting us with the wooden sticks. They were beating us severely.” (ABC, November 15, 2005)Khalid said United States soldiers deprived him of food, water, and sleep. He claimed he began to suffer from stomach ulcers, but was denied medical care. According to Sabbar, United States soldiers used Taser guns and rubber bullets to control detainees. “They had another kind of torture using electrical shocks, pointing a hand gun towards you that shocks you and causes you to lose consciousness for a while. That was one of the methods at the airport (jail). Or use rubber bullets that end up hurting or burning the area where it hits you, and very painful ones.” (ABC, November 15, 2005)

Sabbar ended up at Abu Ghraib where he was subjected to a different type of torture. “They put us in different groups. The lack of food — we could not eat as much as we did before. And if they gave us food, it certainly is spoiled most of the time, so either you die from not eating, or you have to be taken to the emergency (room.” (ABC, November 15, 2005)

Sabbar also alleged troops mistreated the Koran, an egregious affront to Islam. “They would give us Korans as well as the holy Bible, and they would come on purpose to walk or step on the holy Koran, and we opposed or — protested that. Or they would take it … and throw it away in front of everybody, the holy Koran. And this was painful to us.” (ABC, November 15, 2005)

**In the spring of 2003, Army interrogators from a National Guard unit attached to the Third Infantry Division “forced into asphyxiation numerous detainees in an attempt to obtain information” during a 10-week period. (New York Times, May 26, 2004)

**On November 10, 2003, the United States military took custody of a high-ranking officer in Saddam’s Republican Guard. The United States said that Iraqi General Abed Hamed Mowhoush had been captured during a raid. In reality, he had walked into the Forward Operating Base “Tiger” in Qaim in western Iraq, hoping to speak with United States commanders to secure the release of his sons, who had been arrested in raids 11 days earlier. (Washington Post, August 3, 2005)

The Pentagon believed Mowhoush had been a key supporter of the insurgency in northwestern Iraq. Mowhoush was one of a few generals whom Hussein had given “execution authority,” United States commanders believed, meaning that he could execute someone on sight. (Washington Post, August 3, 2005)

Mowhoush had been visited by Saddam one month earlier “to discuss, among other undisclosed issues, a bounty of $10,000 to anyone who video-taped themselves attacking coalition forces,” according to a Defense Intelligence Agency report. Military intelligence also believed that Mowhoush was behind several attacks in the Qaim area.

On November 21, Mowhoush was moved from the border base at Qaim to a makeshift detention facility about six miles away in the Iraqi desert. Soldiers with the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment and the 101st Airborne Division were running a series of massive raids called Operation Rifles Blitz, and the temporary holding facility, nicknamed Blacksmith Hotel, was designed to hold prisoners. (Washington Post, August 3, 2005)

Mowhoush was moderately cooperative in his first days of detention. He told interrogators that he was the commander of the al Quds Golden Division, an organization of Saddam’s loyalists fueling the insurgency with mortars, rocket-propelled grenades, sniper rifles, machine guns, and other small arms. (Washington Post, August 3, 2005)

On November 24, a secret CIA-sponsored group of Iraqi paramilitaries, working with Army interrogators, beat Mowhoush. This occurred around the same time as torture was being carried out at Abu Ghraib in Baghdad. (Washington Post, August 3, 2005)

Two days later, a Special Forces team, consisting of a United States Army interrogator and a military guard, took Mowhoush to Qaim in western Iraq. They stuffed him in a sleeping bag, bound him with an electrical cord, laid him on the floor, and began beating him again. Mowhoush died. Two Army soldiers with the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment were charged with killing Mowhoush. (Washington Post, August 3, 2005)

An autopsy was conducted on December 2. Mowhoush’s death certificate listed his cause of death as “asphyxia due to smothering and chest compression.” It showed that Mowhoush had “contusions and abrasions with pattern impressions” over much of his body, and six fractured ribs. Investigators believed a “long straight-edge instrument” was used on Mowhoush, as well as an “object like the end of an M-16” rifle. (Washington Post, August 3, 2005)

However, the official Pentagon release said that Mowhoush had died of natural causes after complaining of feeling sick. Army psychological-operations officers quickly distributed leaflets designed to convince locals that Mowhoush had cooperated with interrogators. (Washington Post, August 3, 2005)

Army Captain Ian Fishback and two sergeants, who all served with the 82nd Airborne Division, described more routine harsh treatment of captives in Iraq. The 82nd Airborne soldiers at FOB Mercury earned the nickname “The Murderous Maniacs” from local Iraqis and took the moniker as a badge of honor. The soldiers witnessed daily abuse of Iraqi detainees at Camp Mercury from September 2003 to April 2004.(Los Angeles Times, September 25, 2005; Scotland’s Sunday Herald, October 2, 2005)

When Fishback left Iraq in April 2004, he said he tried unsuccessfully to get the Army to recognize it was skirting the Geneva Convention, which prohibited torture. He further complained that officers were not being properly trained how to handle prisoners. But he said he was rebuffed by his chain of command, and after 17 months approached Human Rights Watch, which helped put him in touch with the Senate Armed Services Committee. (Los Angeles Times, September 25, 2005)

The soldiers referred to their Iraqi captives as PUCs- – persons under control — and used the expressions “Fucking a PUC” and “Smoking a PUC” to refer respectively to torture and forced physical exertion. (Scotland’s Sunday Herald, October 2, 2005)

Fishback said, “The first interrogation that I observed was the first time I saw a PUC pushed to the brink of a stroke or a heart attack. At first I was surprised, like, ‘This is what we are allowed to do?’ ” (Scotland’s Sunday Herald, October 2, 2005)

In the summer of 2005, Fishback and the sergeants said prisoners taken during the siege of Fallujah were kicked and beaten, their bones broken and skin and eyes doused with chemical irritants. In addition, some prisoners were forced to form human pyramids, and others were made to hold heavy water jugs with their arms outstretched. (Los Angeles Times, September 25, 2005)

The troops would put sand-bags on prisoners’ heads and cuff them with plastic zip-ties. Fishback said if he was told that prisoners had been found with homemade bombs, “we would fuck them up, put them in stress positions and put them in a tent and withhold water … It was like a game. You know, how far could you make this guy go before he passes out or just collapses on you?” (Scotland’s Sunday Herald, October 2, 2005)

On January 3, 2004, Lieutenant Jack Saville ordered three Army soldiers to drive two Iraqi detainees to a bridge over the Tigris River in the Iraqi city of Samarra, in the Sunni Triangle. Saville ordered his men to push the detainees into the river as punishment for breaking curfew. One of the Iraqis drowned. (Washington Post, July 3, 2004)

When questioned about the incident, Saville and the others told military investigators that they had released the Iraqis and had seen them walking away. The Army said Saville and Perkins also conspired with their battalion commander; Captain Matthew Cunningham, their company commander; and one other officer to impede the criminal investigation. (Washington Post, July 3, 2004)

Seven months later in July, the Army brought charged against four soldiers. Saville, Sergeant Tracy Perkins and Sergeant Reggie Martinez were charged with manslaughter, assault and making false statements. The fourth soldier, Specialist Terry Bowman, was charged with assault. Saville and Perkins also were charged with conspiracy, making false statements, and obstruction of justice. This marked the first time that Army troops in Iraq were charged with manslaughter or murder in connection with the handling of detainees. (Washington Post, July 3, 2004)

**In the spring of 2004, the Pentagon reported that 25 Iraqi and Afghan war prisoners died in United States custody since October 2002. They included two Iraqi prisoners who were killed by American soldiers in 2003. Twenty other detainee deaths and assaults were under criminal investigation in Iraq and Afghanistan. These were part of a total of 35 cases probed since December 2002 for possible misconduct by American troops in those two countries. (Los Angeles Times, May 5, 2004; MSNBC, May 4, 2004)

**In May 2004, the Army’s elite Delta Force became the subject of a Pentagon inspector general investigation into abuse against detainees. The target was a top-secret site at BIF’s interrogation center near Baghdad’s airport. It was the scene of the most egregious violations of the Geneva Conventions in all of Iraq’s prisons. BIF only held Iraqi insurgents and suspected terrorists. (NBC News, May 20, 2004)

Prisoners at BIF were hooded from the moment they were captured, and they were kept in tiny dark cells. In the BIF’s six interrogation rooms, Delta Force soldiers routinely drugged prisoners. They held a prisoner under water until he thought he was drowning or smothered him almost to suffocation. (NBC News, May 20, 2004)

**After being incarcerated by American forces for nine months, Mohammed Abdelmonaem Mahmoud Hamdi Alazmirli died in a Baghdad prison. The death certificate said he died of natural causes. Alazmirli’s body bore suspicious marks. He had a bruise on his nose, an abrasion on his cheek, a cut near his eye, and a fractured skull. (Los Angeles Times, May 18, 2004)

Alazmirli died on January 31, 2004, but the military waited for more than two weeks before United States soldiers delivered his body to family members. He was naked in a zipped black body bag. (Los Angeles Times, May 18, 2004)

Alazmirli was a scientist under the Saddam regime. On April 24, 2003, about two weeks after the Americans captured Baghdad, United States soldiers raided the home of the Iraqi scientist. Tanks and armored vehicles closed off streets. Dozens of soldiers blasted locks off the doors and broke numerous items in Alazmirli’s home. They left with boxes of belongings, including all of his books and his wife’s gold jewelry. That was the Iraqi equivalent of a life’s savings. (Los Angeles Times, May 18, 2004)

American soldiers demanded to know where he was keeping weapons of mass destruction. However, in the 1990s, United Nations weapons inspectors interviewed Alazmirli and concluded that he was not involved in any arms program. (Los Angeles Times, May 18, 2004)

**Two former Iraqi detainees, Thahee Sabbar and Sherzad Khalid, said they were repeatedly tortured in Iraq by United States forces seeking information about Saddam and WMD.

In an interview with ABC News, Khalid said United States soldiers at one point threatened him with live lions. He said, “They threatened us that if we did not confess, they would put us inside the cage with the lions in it. It scared me a lot when they got me close to the cage, and they threatened me. And they opened the door and they threatened that if I did not confess, that they were going to throw me inside the cage. And as the lion was coming closer, they would pull me back out and shut the door, and tell me, ‘We will give you one more chance to confess.’ And I would say, ‘Confess to what?’ ” (ABC, November 16, 2005)

Sabbar said, “I found the other prisoners who had come before me there in the line beside me mocking, in a way as to make it a mock execution. They all stood up, those of us who could stand up. They directed their weapons towards us. And they shot, shot towards our heads and chests. And when the shots sounded, some of us lost consciousness. Some started to cry. Some lost control of their bladders. And they were laughing the whole time.” (ABC, November 16, 2005)

After a night in jail at the Republican Palace, Khalid said he was taken to the prison at the Baghdad airport where the torture continued. He said, “They put us in individual cells. And before entering those cells, they formed two teams of American soldiers — one to the right, one to the left — about 10 to 15 each American soldiers. And they were holding wooden sticks. It was like a hallway, like a passage. And they made us go that hallway while shouting at us as we were walking through and hitting us with the wooden sticks. They were beating us severely.” (ABC, November 16, 2005)

Khalid said United States soldiers deprived him of food, water, and sleep. He claimed he began to suffer from stomach ulcers, but was denied medical care. He said United States soldiers used Taser guns and rubber bullets to control detainees. (ABC, November 16, 2005)

When Sabar was sent to Abu Graib prison, he was exposed to a different type of torture. He said, “They put us in different groups. The lack of food — we could not eat as much as we did before. And if they gave us food, it certainly is spoiled most of the time, so either you die from not eating, or you have to be taken to the emergency (room). (ABC, November 16, 2005)

Sabbar also charged that United States troops mistreated the Koran. He said, “They would give us Korans as well as the holy Bible, and they would come on purpose to walk or step on the holy Koran, and we opposed or — protested that. Or they would take it … and throw it away in front of everybody, the holy Koran. And this was painful to us.” (ABC, November 16, 2005)

**Amnesty International reported in March 2005 that detainees ”were being systematically and intentionally mistreated” in a holding facility near Mosul. Despite widespread evidence of abuse, no one was punished, because the investigating officer claimed there was not enough proof against any individual. (Boston.com News, March 27, 2005)

There were reports of brutal beatings, ”exercise until exhaustion,” and sworn statements that soldiers were told to ”beat the fuck out of” detainees. Army documents included sworn statements that soldiers were told in August 2003 to ”take the detainee(s) out back and beat the fuck out of them.” (Inter Press News Service, March 31, 2005)

**In November 2005, more than 170 prisoners who were found locked in an interior ministry bunker in Baghdad, many of them beaten and malnourished and some apparently brutally tortured. They were found in an underground cell near an interior ministry bunker in Jadiriya, in middle of the city. Mutilated corpses and torture instruments were also found at the underground bunker, including bodies with electric drill holes in their heads. (The Guardian, November 16, 2005)

One month later, some Iraqi police officials acknowledged the existence of three other Sunni-operated secret prisons where torture was a common occurrence. One officer said “(Shi’ites) were beaten until they confessed.” He added that many suspects paid bribes to Sunni police officers in order to be released. (NBC News, December 29, 2005)

**In southern Iraq in February 2006, British soldiers were caught on video head-butting, kicking, and clubbing unarmed Iraqi teenagers during a series of street demonstrations in early 2004. (Britain’s News of the World, February 12, 2006)

Eight soldiers in riot gear and army uniforms dragged four young men into the courtyard of a walled compound, wrestled them to the ground, and battered them with more than 40 blows over a two-minute period. The suspects offered little resistance and occasionally cried out, “No, please!” A man with a British accent was heard urging the soldiers on, yelling, “Oh, yes! Oh, yes! You’re gonna get it. Yes! Naughty little boys.” (Britain’s News of the World, February 12, 2006)

**In January 2004, Sergeant Tracy Perkins was sentenced to six months for forcing two Iraqis to jump from a bridge into the Tigris near Samarra. One of the men drowned. His commanding officer, Lieutenant-Colonel Nathan Sassaman was disciplined, but not subjected to a trial, for ordering a cover-up of the death. (The Guardian, January 17, 2005)

2. ABU GRAIB

Nearly as disturbing as the repulsive behavior by some American soldiers at Abu Grahaib was the fact that the Pentagon was so slow to share the sense of outrage over their actions. Pentagon officials knew of the prison abuses six months before the story broke in April 2004. It was not until April 24 that the Army began to investigate possible involvement by military intelligence units and contractors working with them in Iraq in any abuse. These included the 205th Military Intelligence Brigade; employees of CACI, a private contractor; and the Iraqi Survey Group, a unit of the Defense Intelligence Agency. (Los Angeles Times, May 5, 2004)

A 53-page United States military report that concluded that Iraqi prisoners had been subjected to “sadistic, blatant and wanton criminal abuses” at Abu Ghraib prison 20 miles southwest of Baghdad.

Was it shocking? No. The treatment of prisoners at Abu Ghraib could have come out of a CIA handbook. In the late 1940s and the 1950s, the CIA focused on the abuse and torture of suspects. The agency conducted numerous tests in areas such as sleep-deprivation and physical and psychological torture in an effort to coerce confessions. For decades, classes in interrogation and torture had been part of the curriculum at the School of the Americas at Fort Benning, Georgia.

Just days before the first photos were broadcast in May, several senior military lawyers were so concerned about changes in the rules designed to safeguard prisoners during interrogation that they sought help outside the Defense Department. The military lawyers were part of the Army Judge Advocate General’s office, which in the past had played a role in ensuring that interrogators did not violate prisoners’ rights. (Los Angeles Times, May 14, 2004)

Scott Horton, who was chairman of the New York City Bar Association, said the military lawyers felt they were shut out of the process. They claimed the civilian political lawyers — not the military lawyers — were writing these new rules of engagement. (Los Angeles Times, May 14, 2004)

The torture and humiliation of Iraqi prisoners were carried out in October and December of 2003. There were numerous instances of “sadistic, blatant, and wanton criminal abuses” at Abu Ghraib. This systematic and illegal abuse of detainees was carried out by soldiers of the 372nd Military Police Company — and also by members of the American intelligence community. (The New Yorker, April 30, 2004)

The classified report was finished in March 2004 and was made public by The New Yorker magazine on April 30. It said that military intelligence interrogators and other United States government agency interrogators actively requested that MP guards set physical and mental conditions for favorable interrogation of witnesses. The report also said that a civilian contractor employed by a Virginia company called CACI “clearly knew his instructions” to the MPs called for physical abuse. (The New Yorker, April 30, 2004; Los Angeles Times, May 4, 2004)

At Abu Ghraib, there were overcrowded cellblocks, sadistic guards abusing and humiliating prisoners, inmates shot dead trying to escape down dark alleys, and detainees being moved around the prison compound to avoid Red Cross workers. There were too many inmates and not enough guards. Training was inadequate and superiors rarely made rounds. The United States guards’ morale dropped, when their hopes of returning home soon were disappointed. (Los Angeles Times, May 5, 2004)

All this happened as guards made up their own rules and superiors condoned their actions. Lieutenant colonel Steven L. Jordan, the former head of the Joint Interrogation and Debriefing Center at Abu Ghraib, told a senior Army investigator in February 2004 that before he took the job, he had no experience in interrogating prisoners. Jordan asked military intelligence soldiers to let him sit in on their questioning to understand their task. Jordan was a civil affairs officer by training and that his assignment was to set up a database at the interrogation center for tracking information gleaned from the prisoners. (New York Times, June 9, 2004)

The Pentagon continued forcefully to block the release of new video evidence of prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib, arguing it would help recruit new Islamist insurgents and endanger American lives. (Agence France Press, August 12, 2005)

In September 2005, District Judge Alvin Hellerstein ordered the release of dozens more pictures of prisoner abuse by American troops at Abu Ghraib. Hellerstein rejected government arguments that the images would provoke terrorists and incite violence against troops in Iraq. (London’s The Independent, September 30, 2005)

American personnel at Abu Ghraib:

Beat and sodomized inmates.

Broke chemical lights and poured the phosphoric liquid on detainees.

Poured cold water on naked detainees.

Beat detainees with a broom handle and a chair.

Threatened male detainees with rape.

Allowed a military police guard to stitch the wound of a detainee who was injured after being slammed against the wall in his cell.

Sodomized a detainee with a chemical light and perhaps a broom stick.

Used military working dogs to frighten and intimidate detainees with threats of attack.

Actually bit a detainee. (The New Yorker, April 30, 2004; Reuters, May 5, 2004)

To support the allegations, there were detailed witness statements and the discovery of extremely graphic photographic evidence of the soldiers as the abuses were happening.

Private England, with a cigarette dangling from her mouth, gave a thumbs-up sign and pointed at the genitals of a young Iraqi who was naked except for a sandbag over his head as he masturbated. Three other hooded and naked Iraqi prisoners were shown with their hands reflexively crossed over their genitals. A fifth prisoner had his hands at his sides.

England stood arm in arm with Specialist Graner. Both were grinning and giving the thumbs-up behind a cluster of perhaps seven naked Iraqis, knees bent, and piled clumsily on top of each other in a pyramid.

A cluster of naked prisoners who were piled in a pyramid. Nearby, Graner, smiled with his arms crossed and a woman soldier in front of him and also smiling.

Several hooded bodies with a female soldier standing in front and taking photographs.

A kneeling, naked, unhooded male prisoner posing to make it appear that was performing oral sex on another male prisoner who was naked and hooded. (The New Yorker, April 30, 2004)

Army personnel at Abu Ghraib blamed the incidents on civilian interrogators. The use of private contractors for the sensitive task of wartime interrogation marked a sharp shift from traditional practices.

Steven Anthony Stefanowicz, a civilian interrogator at Abu Ghraib, said, “The MPs are allowed to do what is necessary to keep the detainee awake in the allotted period of time. … I’ve referred to the MPs to give the detainee his special treatment. … Hence, the MPs are not directed when and how this is to be administered.” (Washington Post, June 11, 2004)

Captain Donald J. Reese, a member of the 372nd Military Police Company who assigned MPs to work in the isolation tiers, told investigators, “It appeared that the MI (military intelligence) tactics were very aggressive and then appeared to taper in intensity as time went along.” (Washington Post, June 11, 2004)

The unmuzzled dogs at Abu Ghraib were authorized by American intelligence personnel. Military intelligence personnel requested that they bring their dogs to prison interrogation sites multiple times to assist in questioning detainees in December and January. Colonel Thomas Pappas, who was in charge of military intelligence at the prison, told both soldiers that the use of dogs in interrogations had been approved. However, the use of dogs to frighten and intimidate prisoners was a violation of the Geneva Convention. (Washington Post, June 11, 2004)

According to a military intelligence interrogator, two dog handlers at Abu Ghraib had a “contest” to see how many detainees they could make involuntarily urinate out of fear of the dogs. (Washington Post, June 11, 2004)

In December 2003, a woman prisoner inside the jail west of Baghdad managed to smuggle out a note that claimed American guards had been raping women detainees. The note also said several of the women had become pregnant and that they had been forced to strip naked in front of men. The note urged the Iraqi resistance to bomb the jail to spare the women further shame. (The Guardian, May 20, 2004)

In another case, an Iraqi woman in her 70s had been harnessed and ridden like a donkey at Abu Ghraib and at another coalition detention center. According to an investigation by British Member of Parliament Ann Clwyd, “She was held for about six weeks without charge. During that time she was insulted and told she was a donkey.” (The Guardian, May 20, 2004)

Military spokesmen in Afghanistan initially portrayed at least one as being the result of natural causes. Personnel from the unit in charge of interrogations at the facility, led by Captain Carolyn Wood, were later assigned to Iraq, and to the Joint Interrogation and Debriefing Center at Abu Ghraib. (New York Times, May 26, 2004)

In an Army document prepared on May 5, 2004, three dozen cases were listed. They included abuses at Abu Ghraib. (New York Times, May 26, 2004)

United States Special Operations Forces, including both Delta Force and Navy SEALs, were also involved in abusing prisoners in Iraq.

In one case, Mon Adel al Jamadi died while being interrogated in Abu Ghraib by a CIA officer in November 2003, shortly after being captured by Navy SEALs and questioned about a plot to attack United States forces with plastic explosives. An autopsy revealed al Jamadi had broken ribs and had been “badly beaten.” His CIA interrogator told investigators the prisoner was injured before he was turned over to the CIA. That allegation was denied by the Navy. (NBC News, May 6, 2004)

Two Army generals reported in September 2004 that its jailers in Iraq, acting at the CIA’s request, kept dozens of detainees at Abu Ghraib and other detention facilities off official rosters to hide them from Red Cross inspectors. (New York Times, September 10, 2004)

Ahmad Naji Abid Ali Dulaymi, who was held at Abu Ghraib for 10 months, said, “Prisoners were forced to sit naked, were licked by dogs, and were soaked in cold water and then forced to sit in front of a powerful air-conditioner. But frankly the worst insult and humiliation they were doing to us, especially for the religious ones among us, is when they tore up holy books of Koran and threw them away into the trash or into dirty water. (Los Angeles Times, May 22, 2005)

Some Guantanamo prisoners testified at military tribunals that some Afghans were sold to Americans. Bounties ranged from $3,000 to $25,000. Afghan warlords, like General Rashid Dostum, were among those who received bundles of notes. (Associated Press, May 31, 2005)

Gary Schroen, a CIA intelligence officer, who helped lead the search for Bin Laden, agreed that the accounts were legitimate. He said United States allies regularly got money to help catch Taliban and Al Qaida fighters. Schroen said he took a suitcase of $3 million in cash into Afghanistan himself to help supply and win over warlords to fight for United States Special Forces. (Associated Press, May 31, 2005)

However, the United States departments of Defense, Justice, and State and the CIA claimed they were unaware of bounty payments being made for random prisoners. (Associated Press, May 31, 2005)

ALCOHOL ABUSE AT ABU GHRAIB. In December 2003 and early January 2004, commanders at the Abu Ghraib launched a crackdown on alcohol abuse. They also told intelligence troops that guards were suspected of soliciting sex from Iraqi prostitutes. (Los Angeles Times, June 13, 2004)

In an effort to stem alcohol abuse, commanders at Abu Ghraib launched a series of measures that included inspecting troops’ living quarters for stashes of liquor. Commanders also banished Iraqi vendors who were suspected of helping to procure alcohol and make arrangements for soldiers to visit prostitutes. (Los Angeles Times, June 13, 2004)

MILITARY PERSONNEL AT ABU GHRAIB DEFEND THEMSELVES. Brigadier General Janis Karpinski who oversaw the prison, said in January 2004 that something “very, very bad” was going on in the prison under her charge. The Pentagon hoped to keep it a secret. (Boston Globe, May 8, 2004)

In the fall of 2003, Karpinski said she told Major General Geoffrey Miller, who was in charge of Guantanamo, that prisoners “are like dogs, and if you allow them to believe at any point that they are more than a dog then you’ve lost control of them.” She claimed she was being made scapegoats for abuse that was ordered by others. Later, Miller was transferred to oversee the American prisons in Iraq. (San Francisco Chronicle, June 16, 2004; (Reuters, June 15, 2004)

Karpinski claimed she did not know about the abuse and blamed “military intelligence” for being behind the abuse. “The cellblocks were actually in operation for the interrogations and isolation under the Military Intelligence control,” she said. “It was part of the Abu Ghraib prisoner operation but those cellblocks, cellblock 1A and 1B and the prison was actually under the control at that time” (Al Jazeera, May 5, 2004)

Karpinski added that “there was one photograph that didn’t show the faces completely, but the photograph showed 32 boots (of a lightweight boot). Asked whether she was saying the people who were wearing those boots were CIA or military intelligence, she replied “I’m saying other people than the military police were the ones committing the abuses.” (Al Jazeera, May 5, 2004)

Many guards at Abu Ghraib said they had been told by intelligence officers to “soften up” detainees, but some thought that meant making them do calisthenics to tire them out, while others took it to mean forcing them to crawl naked on leashes for hours. Beatings were accepted enough at Abu Ghraib that some soldiers recorded the number of stitches their victims required with tack marks on the wall. In the worst cases in Afghanistan and Iraq, abuse resulted in deaths, including 10 cases now being investigated as homicides. (New York Times, June 22, 2004)

Sabrina Harman, a military police officer charged with abusing detainees at the Abu Ghraib, claimed there were no rules and little training. But she said her mission was clear — to break down prisoners for interrogation. She said the job of the MP was to keep them awake, make it hell so they would talk.” Harman said her military police unit took direction from the military intelligence officers in charge of the facility and from civilian contractors there who conducted interrogations. (Washington Post, May 8, 2004)

Harman was charged with striking several detainees by jumping on a pile of detainees, writing “rapist” on a prisoner’s leg, and with attaching wires to a prisoner’s hands while he stood on a box with his head covered. (Washington Post, May 8, 2004)

Karpinski was the only high-ranking officer to be disciplined. Thirteen days before, General Sanchez was exonerated. But Kapinski was demoted to the rank of colonel in May 2005. Yet, an investigation by the Army inspector general’s office “determined that no action or lack of action on her part contributed specifically to the abuse of detainees at Abu Ghraib.” (New York Times, May 6, 2005)

The Army said Kapinski’s job performance was “seriously lacking” and accused her of concealing a past shoplifting arrest. Karpinski failed to inform the Army as required when filling out an official document about an earlier arrest on an Air Force base in the United States on a misdemeanor charge of stealing less than $50 worth of cosmetics from a military store. Asked how Army investigators looking into detainee abuse learned of her shoplifting arrest, the official said, “Somebody ratted her out.” (New York Times, May 6, 2005)

THE DOD REFUSES TO COOPERATE. In the summer of 2005, the Defense Department refused to cooperate with a federal judge’s order to release secret photographs and videotapes related to Abu Ghraib. The request for their release was part of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union to determine the extent of abuse at American military prisons in Iraq and Afghanistan and at Guantánamo. (New York Times, July 27, 2005)

3. CAMP NAMA AND THE BLACK ROOM

In 2004, a United States Special Operations forces unit converted one of Saddam’s former military bases near Baghdad into a top-secret detention center. American soldiers used a portion of the facility as a torture chamber for interrogating suspects. It became known as the “Black Room.” The sole goals was to obtain information that could lead them to capture or kill al-Zarqawi. (New York Times, March 19, 2006)

The Black Room was located at the Camp Nama detention center, the secret headquarters of a shadowy military unit known as Task Force 6-26, near Baghdad International Airport. The center was the first stop for many insurgents on their way to the Abu Ghraib prison a few miles away. The Black Room was a windowless, jet-black garage-size room. (New York Times, March 19, 2006)

Task Force 6-26 was comprised of elite troops from the Joint Special Operations Command, whose elements included the Army unit Delta Force, Navy’s Seal Team 6, and the 75th Ranger Regiment. Military reservists and Defense Intelligence Agency personnel with special skills, like interrogators, were temporarily assigned to the unit. CIA and FBI agents and special operations forces from other countries also worked closely with the task force. (New York Times, March 19, 2006)

Many of the American Special Operations soldiers wore civilian clothes and were allowed to grow beards and long hair, setting them apart from their uniformed colleagues. Unlike conventional soldiers and marines whose Iraq tours lasted 7 to 12 months, unit members and their commanders typically rotated every 90 days. (New York Times, March 19, 2006)

Unmarked helicopters flew detainees into the camp almost daily. Dressed in blue jumpsuits with taped goggles covering their eyes, the shackled prisoners were led into a screening room where they were registered and examined by medics. (New York Times, March 19, 2006)

Just beyond the screening rooms, detainees were kept in as many as 85 cells spread over two buildings. Some detainees were kept in what was known as Motel 6, a group of crudely built plywood shacks that reeked of urine and excrement. The shacks were cramped, forcing many prisoners to squat or crouch. Other detainees were housed inside a separate building in 6-by-8-foot cubicles in a cellblock called Hotel California. (New York Times, March 19, 2006)

Another smaller room offered basic comforts like carpets and cushioned seating to put more cooperative prisoners at ease, according to several Defense Department specialists who worked at Camp Nama. Detainees wore heavy, olive-drab hoods outside their cells. (New York Times, March 19, 2006)

Some Defense Department personnel, who served with the Task Force 6-26, said soldiers beat prisoners with rifle butts, yelled and spit in their faces and, in a nearby area, used detainees for target practice in a game of jailer paintball. Some detainees were stripped naked and had cold water thrown on them to cause the sensation of drowning, said Defense Department personnel who served with the unit. (New York Times, March 19, 2006)

Task force leaders established a ritual for departing personnel who did a good job, Pentagon officials said. The commanders presented them with two unusual mementos: a detainee hood and a souvenir piece of tile from the medical screening room that once held Saddam. (New York Times, March 19, 2006)

American soldiers spoke of seeing pink blotches on detainees’ clothing as well as red welts on their bodies. These marks were later learned to come from soldiers who used detainees as targets and called themselves the High Five Paintball Club. (New York Times, March 19, 2006)

The Black Room was part of a temporary Placards posted by soldiers at the detention area advised, “NO BLOOD, NO FOUL.” The slogan, as one Defense Department official explained, reflected an adage adopted by Task Force 6-26: “If you don’t make them bleed, they can’t prosecute for it.” (New York Times, March 19, 2006)

According to Pentagon specialists who worked with the unit, prisoners at Camp Nama often disappeared into a detention black hole, barred from access to lawyers or relatives, and confined for weeks without charges. (New York Times, March 19, 2006)

The abuses at Camp Nama continued despite warnings beginning in August 2003 from an Army investigator and American intelligence and law enforcement officials in Iraq. The CIA was concerned enough to bar its personnel from Camp Nama that August. (New York Times, March 19, 2006)

One example of torture involved an 18-year-old man suspected of selling cars to members of the al-Zarqawi terrorist network. In early 2004, he was seized with his entire family at their home in Baghdad. Task force soldiers beat him repeatedly with a rifle butt and punched him in the head and kidneys, according to a Defense Department specialist briefed on the incident. (New York Times, March 19, 2006)

In January 2004, the task force captured the son of one of Saddam’s bodyguards in Tikrit. The man told Army investigators that he was forced to strip and that he was punched in the spine until he fainted. He was placed in front of an air-conditioner while cold water was poured on him. Then he was kicked in the stomach until he vomited. (New York Times, March 19, 2006)

By June 2004, the revelations of abuse at Abu Ghraib galvanized the military to promise better treatment for prisoners. In one small concession at Camp Nama, soldiers exchanged the hoods for cloth blindfolds with drop veils that allowed detainees to breathe more freely but prevented them from peeking out. (New York Times, March 19, 2006)

The CIA’s Baghdad station sent a cable to headquarters on August 3, 2003, raising concern that Special Operations troops who served with agency officers had used techniques that had become too aggressive. Five days later, the CIA issued a classified directive that prohibited its officers from participating in harsh interrogations. Separately, the CIA barred its officers from working at Camp Nama but allowed them to keep providing target information and other intelligence to the task force. (New York Times, March 19, 2006)

By early 2004, both the CIA and FBI expressed alarm about the military’s harsh interrogation techniques. On June 25, 2004, nearly two months after the disclosure of the abuses at Abu Ghraib, an FBI agent in Iraq sent an e-mail message to his superiors in Washington, warning that a detainee captured by Task Force 6-26 had suspicious burn marks on his body. The detainee said he had been tortured. A month earlier, another FBI agent asked top bureau officials for guidance on how to deal with military interrogators across Iraq who used techniques like loud music and yelling that exceeded “the bounds of standard FBI practice.” (New York Times, March 19, 2006)

American generals were also alerted to the problem. I n December 2003, Colonel Stuart Herrington, a retired Army intelligence officer, warned in a confidential memo that medical personnel reported that prisoners seized by the unit, then known as Task Force 121, had injuries consistent with beatings. Herrington concluded, “It seems clear that TF 121 needs to be reined in with respect to its treatment of detainees.” (New York Times, March 19, 2006)

By May 2004, just as the scandal at Abu Ghraib was breaking, tensions increased at Camp Nama between the Special Operations troops and civilian interrogators and case officers from the DIA’s Defense Human Intelligence Service, who were there to support the unit in its fight against the al-Zarqawi network. The discord centered on the harsh treatment of detainees as well as restrictions the Special Operations troops placed on their civilian colleagues, like monitoring their e-mail messages and phone calls. (New York Times, March 19, 2006)

Despite all the evidence of torture at Camp Nama, the Army investigation came to an end in June 2005. Investigators said task force members used battlefield pseudonyms that made it impossible to identify and locate the soldiers involved. The unit also asserted that 70 percent of its computer files had been lost. (New York Times, March 19, 2006)

4. THE BATTLE FOR FALLUJAH

When troops of the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division occupied a school in the center of Fallujah shortly after Baghdad fell in April 2003, the city’s residents were upset. A rumor even circulated that the soldiers were using their night-vision goggles to see through the clothes of women in the city. Five days after the American soldiers arrived, demonstrations erupted against the United States occupation. Seventeen Fallujans were killed and 70 injured in the clash with troops. (Los Angeles Times, October 24, 2004)

Soon after, Paul Bremer, the civilian administrator, dissolved the Iraqi army, along with the intelligence service, the Republican Guard and half a dozen other security services that had worked for Hussein. Thousands of men lost their jobs and their pensions. (Los Angeles Times, October 24, 2004)

Throughout 2004, skirmishes continued in Fallujah, even after United States troops moved their camps outside the city limits. In March 2004, he 1st Marine Expeditionary Force replaced the Army. The Marines deployed a minimal-force strategy and offered help in the form of money and aid. But the violence did not end. On March 27, four Fallujans died in a confrontation with Marines. (Los Angeles Times, October 24, 2004)

As it became obvious that American forces could not subdue Fallujah, Bush issued a statement reaffirming his determination to defeat the insurgents. “We will not be intimidated. We will finish the job.” (Los Angeles Times, October 24, 2004)

On April 1, Rumsfeld and Abizaid briefed Bush on plans for attacking Fallujah. Rumsfeld’s decision not to inform Bush about the Marines’ dissenting recommendation. One day later, the Marines began preparing their attack, named Operation Valiant Resolve. Initially, the Marines estimated that they would need two battalions, a total of 2,500 troops, and that the mission would take 10 days. (Los Angeles Times, October 24, 2004)

On April 5, the Marine operation was underway. The following day, they pushed farther into the city and ran into stiffer resistance. The insurgents came up with a strategy to slow the American advance. They blocked streets with buses and trucks to try to force the Marines onto routes where insurgents lay in wait. They ferried fighters from place to place in cars and even in city buses. They used an antiaircraft gun to fire on United States helicopters. (Los Angeles Times, October 24, 2004)

On April 7, American troops killed 60 people. Then a family was killed in a car parked behind the mosque. Twenty-five members of a family were killed when their house was hit. By early April, Bush’s overall job approval reached a new low of 43 percent. (Los Angeles Times, October 24, 2004)

In Baghdad, the Iraqi Security Committee met at least once a day. The committee consisted of a handful of Iraqi Governing Council members, the Iraqi national security advisor, and the heads of the Iraqi Defense Ministry, Interior Ministry, and the intelligence service. The American civilian administrator, Paul Bremer, also attended the meetings. American officials were divided over what course to take in Fallujah. Bremer was convinced that continuing the military offensive in Fallujah would create a political disaster, and he supported the idea of a cease-fire to allow the council members to try to negotiate a deal. General Ricardo Sanchez were reluctant, participants said, but finally came around to Bremer’s side. (Los Angeles Times, October 24, 2004)

At the White House, the new strategy for Fallujah was to give negotiations a try. But officials at the National Security Council did not want the negotiations to continue for more than a few weeks. (Los Angeles Times, October 24, 2004)

On April 9, the Bush administration ordered a cease-fire. It came at a time when the Marines estimated that they had taken a third of the city with relatively modest American losses of 11 dead. The Marines were unhappy. They never wanted to attack Fallujah, but once their advice was ignored, their only goal was to crush the enemy. They felt they were being called off just when victory was possible. (Los Angeles Times, October 24, 2004)

On May 10, the Marines made their first and only patrol in Fallujah. When it was over, Iraqi national guard and Fallujah Brigade members waved their guns in the air chanting, “From Fallujah to Kufa,” a suggestion that the Iraqis should free their cities from American domination from central to southern Iraq. (Los Angeles Times, October 24, 2004)

Knowing full well that they themselves could not occupy Fallujah, the United States military command chose to retreat and to use Iraqi surrogates to patrol the city of 350,000. The Fallujah brigade, as it was known, was incapable of securing the city. Soon afterwards, the brigade simply disbanded and disappeared, as insurgents continued to control the city. (PBS, November 5, 2004)

In June, insurgents began to push outside the city limits. They staked out the nearby Marine bases and targeted people entering and leaving. On June 5, six Shi’ite truck drivers became frightened at an insurgent checkpoint and rushed to the police station for help. The police took them to a mosque, where they were handed over to insurgents. They were executed, and their bodies were mutilated. (Los Angeles Times, October 24, 2004)

By mid-June, the U.S. military believed that many of the bombings of civilian targets and other terrorist acts throughout Iraq were being directed by al-Zarqawi from Fallujah. On June 19, the United States launched airstrikes there on what were believed to be safe houses used by al-Zarqawi. At least two homes were destroyed and 18 to 24 people killed. It was the beginning of an effort to use precision bombing to go after al-Zarqawi’a network and other insurgents. But the scenes Iraqis saw on Arab television told a different story. Emergency room doctors again said that many of the dead were women and children. (Los Angeles Times, October 24, 2004)

On June 28, Bremer transferred sovereignty to the new interim Iraqi government and then flew home. Fallujah was completely in the grip of insurgent forces, and the insurgency continued to spread. (Los Angeles Times, October 24, 2004)

In August, signs emerged that insurgents from Fallujah were aiding the Shi’ite insurgency 100 miles away in Najaf, where rebel cleric al-Sadr and his Al Mahdi militia had occupied the revered Imam Ali Mosque. (Los Angeles Times, October 24, 2004)

At the same time, attacks on foreigners, including beheadings, became almost commonplace. By the end of August, more than 100 people had been kidnapped. Most of them by groups thought to be based in the Fallujah area. At least 20 were killed. (Los Angeles Times, October 24, 2004)

The insurgents also were trying to eliminate anyone in Fallujah or Ramadi — the two cities account for 70 percent of Al Anbar province’s population — who represented the interim government. The targets included members of the police, the national guard, ministerial appointees in the provincial offices, governors, and their deputies. (Los Angeles Times, October 24, 2004)

One such target was Colonel Suleiman Marawi, the head of one of two Iraqi national guard battalions based in Fallujah and a key ally of the Americans. Marawi was attacked as he returned to the guardsmen’s base outside the city. He was soon turned over to the rebels, tortured, and killed. (Los Angeles Times, October 24, 2004)

In September and October, American warplanes bombed Fallujah in hope of killing al-Zarqawi and his followers, and in hope of forcing Fallujah’s remaining residents to plead for peace. The United States failed, as the terrorist operations continued. Fallujah’s ruling council negotiated with the Baghdad government, agreeing to expel foreign fighters and welcome the Iraqi national guard. Then the deal fell through. (Los Angeles Times, October 24, 2004)

In October, Allawi ordered Fallujans to hand over al-Zarqawi or face a new assault. The leader of Iraq’s hard-line Sunni clergy, Sheik Harith Dhari, charged that an attack would prompt a Sunni boycott of elections scheduled for January 2005. That would be a death blow to the Bush administration’s timetable for Iraqi elections. (Los Angeles Times, October 24, 2004)

Just prior to the November presidential election, the Bush administration planned a massive attack on what was left of the 350,000 inhabitants in Fallujah. When Bush narrowly won reelection, it became more apparent that he would flex his power and attack the city, despite the results being no more than a pyhrric victory.

Thousands of British troops were transferred from southern Iraq to the Baghdad area in order to allow American forces to concentrate on the Sunni Triangle — and particularly Fallujah. Roads leading into the city were sealed. Many families fled the city of 300,000 long before the offensive began. As many as 4,000 insurgents were suspected of hiding in the city. (New York Times, November 7, 2004)

United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan warned Bush that a major assault on Fallujah would result in more resentment towards the United States. Annan also said that an attack would further jeopardize the January 2005 elections. (New York Times, November 5, 2004)

Just prior to the American offensive, the Association of Muslim Scholars (AMS), an influential group, urged Iraqi security forces not to fight alongside United States troops once the offensive commenced. The edict read, “We call on the Iraqi forces, the National Guard, and others who are mostly Muslims … to beware of making the grave mistake of invading Iraqi cities under the banner of forces who respect no religion or human rights. Beware of being deceived that you are fighting terrorists from outside the country, because by God you are fighting the townspeople and targeting its men, women and children, and history will record every drop of blood you spill in oppressing the people of your nation.” (Al Jazeera, November 9, 2004)

“Psy Ops.” Before the American invasion, Marine spokesman Lieutenant Lyle Gilbert was near Falloujah when he appeared on CNN. On October 14, he said, “Troops crossed the line of departure. It’s going to be a long night.” (Los Angeles Times, December 1, 2004)

However, the Falloujah offensive did not begin for three weeks. Gilbert’s announcement was an example of psychological operation (“psy-ops”) that was intended to dupe insurgents in Falloujah. The Pentagon hoped the disinformation would allow United States commanders to see how the insurgents would react if they believed American troops were entering the city. (Los Angeles Times, December 1, 2004)

Officials at the Pentagon and other United States national security agencies admitted that “psy-ops” were part of a broad effort underway within the Bush administration to use information to its advantage in the war on terrorism. (Los Angeles Times, December 1, 2004)

The price for attacking Fallujah. On the eve of the attack, United States air raids destroyed a clinic funded by an Islamic relief organization in the center of Fallujah and a nearby warehouse used to store medical supplies. (Al Jazeera, November 9, 2004)

After weeks of waiting, 10,000 American troops launched their attack on Fallujah on November 8. When the offensive was launched, only about 60,000 people remained. American warplanes and helicopter gunships pounded suspected insurgent areas in the city. United States soldiers entered residential areas considered to be the center of insurgent activities. (New York Times, November 9, 2004; Al Jazeera, November 9, 2004)

Residents said scores of civilians were killed or wounded in 24 hours of fighting. Doctors said people brought in at least 15 dead civilians at the main clinic in Fallujah on the first day of the invasion. By the next day, there were no clinics open, and there was no way to count casualties. (Al Jazeera, November 9, 2004)

United States bombardments hit a clinic inside Fallujah, killing doctors, nurses, and patients, according to residents in the city. But United States military authorities denied the reports. Allawi accused doctors of exaggerating civilian casualties. Not a single surgeon in Fallujah, and its one ambulance was hit by United States fire. Scores of injured civilians were confined to their homes. (Al Jazeera, November 9, 2004)

On November 8 — the day that United States forces attacked Fallujah — the Islamic Party, Iraq’s official Sunni Muslim political group, quit the coalition. On the day before, top party officials met with Allawi to demand he stop the Fallujah offensive and to try to negotiate a peaceful settlement with fighters. When the talks failed, the party saw no justification to remain a part of the interim government and subsequently quit. (Al Jazeera, November 9, 2004)

When the intense fighting stopped after one week, much of Fallujah was in ruins. Concrete houses were flattened. Electricity was out. Power and phone lines lay in the streets. Rubble and human remains littered the empty streets. The Jolan district, once an insurgent stronghold, looked like a ghost town. Half the mosques in Fallujah were destroyed by United States warplanes and tanks. A 500-pound bomb, dropped by an American plane, slammed into the Khulafa Al Rashid mosque, the city’s most celebrated religious building. (Al Jazeera, November 14, 2004; New York Times, November 15, 2004)

The invading forces consisted of 6,000 United States military personnel, along with about 2,000 allied Iraqi troops. Seventy-one United States troops died in the November battle to retake the city of Falloujah. An additional 623 American troops were wounded. Another 3,500 United States and Iraqi troops maintained a cordon outside the city. Seven Iraqi troops were killed and 43 wounded. An estimated 1,600 insurgents were killed. Over 800 of Fallujah’s civilians were killed. (Al Jazeera, November 15, 2004; Common Dreams, November 16, 2004; Los Angeles Times, December 2, 2004)

American troops prevented a Red Crescent convoy of emergency aid from reaching helpless residents inside Fallujah. The convoy carried emergency food, water, and medical supplies into the Fallujah hospital. Al Jazeera, November 14, 2004; November 15, 2004; New York Times, November 15, 2004)

Finally on November 25, the first Red Crescent team was allowed by the United States military to deliver food and water to five families in a northern Fallujah neighborhood. (Al Jazeera, November 26, 2004)

The International Committee of the Red Cross sharply criticized the “utter contempt” for humanity shown by all sides in Iraq during the United States invasion of Fallujah. “We are deeply concerned by the devastating impact that the fighting in Iraq is having on the people of that country,” said Pierre Kraehenbuehl, the ICRC’s director of operations. (France’s AFP A La Carte, November 19, 2004)

The Pentagon estimated that approximately five percent of the insurgents were foreigners. The overwhelming majority of insurgents consisted of tens of thousands of former government employees whose sympathies lie with sympathized with the Hussein regime. Those included Iraqi Islamic fundamentalists and others who were paid to carry out terrorist plots. One was paid about $500 to lay roadside bombs. (Los Angeles Times, November 16, 2004)

The battle for Fallujah had significant political repercussions that haunted the interim government as well as the Bush administration. The decision to attack the city’s insurgents strained military resources, enraged prominent Sunni and Shiite Muslims, and unleashed fresh violence throughout the country. (Knight Ridder, November 15, 2004)

Lieutenant-General John Sattler claimed that his forces broke the back of the resistance in Fallujah. Meanwhile, attacks by insurgents in other areas of Iraq continued to escalate. Prime Minister Allawi conceded that many of the city’s resistance had dispersed, posing threats elsewhere. Furthermore, a Marine officers in Fallujah warned of the “outstanding resilience” of fighters opposed to the presence of United States troops in Iraq. (Al Jazeera, November 19, 2004)

5. THE MASSACRE AT HADITHA

A unit of Marines from Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment was assigned to the city of Haditha, 150 miles northwest of Baghdad. Several members of the unit were on their second tour of Iraq; one was on his third. They were veterans of ferocious house-to-house fighting in Fallujah. (Time, March 27, 2006; May 28, 2006)

One morning in November 2005, several members of the Kilo Company went on a rampage, killing 24 civilians in cold blood in at least two homes. Among those killed included women and children. (Washington Post, March 27, 2006; May 22, 2006)

At about 7:15 in the morning on November. 19, a string of four Humvees were on routine patrol in a residential area when a white taxicab approached from the opposite end of the street. The Marines made hand and arm signals for the taxi to stop. But as the taxi halted near the first Humvee, a bomb under the fourth Humvee exploded, killing its driver — Lance Corporal Miguel Terrazas — wounding two of his comrades and shattering windows 150 yards away. (Time, March 27, 2006; May 28, 2006)

Marines said the convoy almost immediately began to take fire from several houses on either side of the road. Iraqi civilians in the area disputed that account. They claimed the only firing after the explosion was by the Marines. Suspecting that the four students in the taxi either triggered the bomb or were acting as spotters, the Marines ordered the men and the driver, who by then had exited the taxi, to lie on the ground. Instead, they ran, and the Marines shot and killed them. (Time, March 27, 2006; May 28, 2006)

After fleeing the taxi, a few members of Kilo Company moved through four homes along nearby streets, killing 19 men, women and children. The Marines contended they took small-arms fire from at least one house, but only one of the 19 victims was found with a weapon. (Time, March 27, 2006; May 28, 2006)

Some of the Marines and the corpsman allegedly doctored the scene to make look like the man was an insurgent. The military’s initial report stated that Terrazas and 15 civilians were killed in a roadside blast and that shortly afterward, the Marines came under attack and returned fire, killing eight insurgents. (Time, March 27, 2006; May 28, 2006)

The next day, Captain Jeffrey Pool, a Marine spokesman in Iraq, released a terse statement: Fifteen Iraqis “were killed yesterday from the blast of a roadside bomb in Haditha. Immediately after the bombing, gunmen attacked the convoy with small arms fire. Iraqi army soldiers and Marines returned fire, killing eight insurgents and wounding another.” (Washington Post, June 4, 2006)

Despite what Marine witnesses saw when they arrived, that official version was allowed to stand for six months. Who lied about the killings, who knew the truth and what, if anything, they did about it were at the core of one of the potentially most embarrassing and damaging events of the Iraq war.

The massacre was kept classified by the Pentagon for four months. In March 2006, Time magazine broke the story after interviews with 28 individuals, including military officials, the families of the victims, human-rights investigators, and local doctors. (Time, March 27, 2006; May 28, 2006)

From the beginning, Iraqi civilians in Haditha said Marines deliberately killed 15 unarmed Iraqi civilians, including seven women and three children. One young Iraqi girl said the Marines killed six members of her family, including her parents. “The Americans came into the room where my father was praying,” she said, “and shot him.” (War Crimes Watch Blog, May 18, 2006)

According to the wife of a battalion sergeant involved in the massacre, the marine unit in Haditha last November had suffered a “total breakdown” in discipline and had drug and alcohol problems after the unit was pulled out of Fallujah in early 2005. (The Guardian, June 5, 2006)

She said, “There were problems in Kilo company with drugs, alcohol, hazing (violent initiation games), you name it. I think it’s more than possible that these guys were totally tweaked out on speed or something when they shot those civilians in Haditha.” (The Guardian, June 5, 2006)

The gung-ho battalion had staged a chariot race, complete with captured horses, togas and heavy metal music, before the battle for Fallujah in late 2004. The Marines were given loose rules of engagement in the vicious urban warfare that followed. One of the commanders said, “If you see someone with a cellphone, put a bullet in their fucking head.” (Newsweek, June 12, 2006)

At one point in the battle at Fallujah, a Marine from the 3rd battalion was caught on camera shooting a wounded, unarmed man as he lay on the ground. However, the Marine involved was later exonerated. The third battalion lost 17 men in 10 days in Fallujah and by the time the troops arrived in Haditha, in the fall of 2005, it was clear morale had plummeted. (The Guardian, June 5, 2006)

A Daily Telegraph reporter who visited the Kilo Company’s headquarters in early 2006 described the scene as a “feral place” where discipline was “approaching breakdown.” He reported that some Marines had left the official living quarters and had set up separate encampments with signs ordering outsiders to keep out. (The Guardian, June 5, 2006)

Dr. Salam Ishmael, projects manager with the organisation Doctors for Iraq, was in Haditha during the massacre at Haditha. He said that the United States military cut electricity and water to the entire city, attacked the hospital, and burned the pharmacy. (Inter Press Service, June 7, 2006)

Ismael said, “The hospital has been attacked three times. In November 2005 the hospital was occupied by the American and Iraqi Army for seven days, which is a severe breach of the Geneva Conventions. In one of these attacks, the U.S. soldiers used live ammunition inside the hospital. They handcuffed all the doctors and destroyed the entire contents of the medical storage. It ended with the killing of one of the patients in his bed.” (Inter Press Service, June 7, 2006)

At the same time, the Iraqi Red Crescent reported that nearly 1,000 families had been forced to flee their homes in Haditha following the launch of the United States military operation. (Inter Press Service, June 7, 2006)

After the story broke in March, three military officers were relieved for their role in the incident. The Marine command in western Iraq requested a Navy criminal investigation and General Eldon Bargewell was appointed to conduct an investigation of the chain of command of the Marine Corps to determine if there was a cover-up of the incident. (Veterans for Common Sense, May 22, 2006)

Two investigations were ordered. The first inquiry was conducted by Army General Eldon Bargewell whose role was to determine whether Marines had lied about the incident and whether senior Marine commanders had investigated the incident properly.

Bargewell concluded that two failures occurred in reporting the Haditha incident up the Marine chain of command. The first was that Staff Sergeant Frank Wuterich, a squad leader alleged to have been centrally involved in the shootings, made a false statement to his superiors when he reported that 15 Iraqi civilians had been killed in the roadside bombing that killed a Marine and touched off the incident. That report was entered into an official database of “significant acts” maintained by the United States military in Iraq. (Washington Post, June 1, 2006)

A second failure occurred later in the day when a Marine human exploitation team, which helped collect the dead, should have observed that the Iraqis were killed by gunshot, not by a bomb. The team’s reporting chain lay outside that of the other Marines — who were members of the 3rd Battalion of the 1st Marines — and went up through military intelligence channels directly to the 1st Marine Division. Had this second unit reported accurately what it witnessed, that would have set off alarms and prodded commanders to investigate. (Washington Post, June 1, 2006)

Bargewell ordered that all United States and allied troops in Iraq undergo new “core values” training in how to operate professionally and humanely. The training focused on how to treat civilians under the rules of engagement. Small units also were ordered to go through training scenarios to gauge their understanding of those rules.

Bargewell also concluded that the training of troops for Iraq had been flawed and that too much emphasis had been placed on traditional war-fighting skills and insufficient focus on how to wage a counterinsurgency campaign.

The second inquiry was carried out by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service that involved more than 45 agents.

6. THE MASSACRE AND MURDER IN SAMARRA

United States commanders said their troops killed at least 54 Iraqis in a massacre in the northern city of Samarra on November 30, 2005. Townspeople in Samarra said far fewer died. (Pacific News Service, December 2, 2005)

Located in the “Sunni Triangle,” Samarra was a not only a Sunni Arab stronghold but a shrine city sacred to the Shi’a population of Iraq. As a result, the attack by United States forces offended almost everyone in Iraq. (Pacific News Service, December 2, 2005)

The United States troops allegedly were provoked into the attack by members of the Fedayeen, the elite guards loyal to Saddam. It appeared that insurgents attempted to attack a United States military convoy carrying new Iraqi bank notes designed to replace those bearing Saddam’s portrait. Radio Free Europe reported that the Fedayeen were wearing their uniforms on purpose in order “to send a message to the local population that the Fedayeen remained a fighting force able to carry out complex operations.” (Pacific News Service, December 2, 2005)

In May 2006, Nabiha Nisaif Jassim, a mother of two, was killed in firing along with her 57-year-old cousin Saliha Mohammed Hassan when they were being transported to Samarra General Hospital for Nabiha to give birth. (Inter Press Service, June 13, 2006)

The United States military’s version was that soldiers fired on the car after it entered a “clearly marked prohibited area near an observation post” after failing to stop despite “repeated visual and auditory warnings.” The military sa*id that “shots were fired to disable the vehicle.” (Inter Press Service, June 13, 2006)

But the United States military refused to report that both women were shot in the back of the head by United States snipers. An investigator said, “I investigated this incident myself, and both of these women were shot from behind. Nabiha’s brains were splattered on her brother who was driving the car, since she was in the back seat.” (Inter Press Service, June 13, 2006)

The brother of the pregnant woman, Redam Nisaif Jassim, who was driving the car, told investigators that he neither saw nor heard any warnings by the United States military. Two men who witnessed the incident from a nearby home also said they saw no signs of any warning. (Inter Press Service, June 13, 2006)

The next day Redam Jassim was summoned to a local police station. He said, “The Americans offered me 5,000 dollars, and told me it wasn’t compensation but because of tradition.” The United States usually paid $2,500 dollars for killing an Iraqi. Jassim refused the payment. (Inter Press Service, June 13, 2006)

7. THE MASSACRE AT ISHIAQI

Another cover-up allegedly occurred in Ishaqi, north of Baghdad. In March 2006, four people died when they attacked from the ground and air a house suspected of holding an al Qaida operative. The house was destroyed. (Washington Post, June 2, 2006)

Local Iraqis said there were 11 total dead — including five children — and charged that they were killed by United States troops before the house was leveled. The video shot by an Associated Press Television News cameraman at the time showed at least five children dead. (Washington Post, June 2, 2006)

The video showed at least one adult male and four young children with obvious entry wounds to the head. One child has an obvious entry wound to the side caused by a bullet. The video included an unidentified man saying, “Children were stuck in the room, alone and surrounded. After they handcuffed them, they shot them dead. Later, they struck the house with their planes. They wanted to hide the evidence. Even a 6-month-old infant was killed. Even the cows were killed too.” (Washington Post, June 2, 2006)

The initial statement by the United States military was that one guerrilla, two women, and a child were killed in the attack. Three months later, a United States military probe exonerated American troops in the deaths at Ishaqi, stating that they followed standard procedures and committed no misconduct. The military said the allegations that United States troops “executed a family … and then hid the alleged crimes by directing an air strike, are absolutely false.” (Al Jazeera, June 3, 2006; Reuters, June 3, 2006)

The military said its troops were fired on as they raided a house to arrest an al Qaeda suspect. They returned fire and called in air support, which destroyed the building, killing one militant and resulting in “up to nine collateral deaths.” (Al Jazeera, June 3, 2006; Reuters, June 3, 2006)

8. MURDER AT A BAGHDAD MOSQUE

On March 26, 2006, United States troops and Iraqi commandos raided a Shi’ite mosque in Baghdad. The next day, Iraqi security minister Abd al Karim al Enzi told Reuters: “At evening prayers, American soldiers accompanied by Iraqi troops raided the Mustafa mosque and killed 37 people. They were unarmed.” Enzi said that all of the victims had been tied up and executed. (Green Left Weekly, April 5, 2006)

The United States military issued a statement claiming that 16 “insurgents” had been killed in a fire fight when Iraqi commandos and United States Special Forces “advisers” conducted a raid on a “terrorist cell.” (Green Left Weekly, April 5, 2006)

An Associated Press videotape of the scene taken on the night of March 26 showed a tangle of dead bodies with gunshot wounds on the floor of what was said to be the living quarters of the mosque’s imam. The tape showed 5.56 mm shell casings scattered about the floor. United States forces used that caliber ammunition. A grieving man in white Arab robes stepped among the dead bodies strewn across a bloody floor.” (Associated Press, March 27, 2006)

Iraqi police said some of the dead were identified as members of anti-occupation Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al Sadr’s movement. A number of others were carrying membership cards of Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim al Jaafari’s Dawa party. (Green Left Weekly, April 5, 2006)

9. MURDER IN HAMANDIYAH

On April 26, 2006, Hashim Ibrahim Awad al-Zobaie was shot dead by Marines of the 3rd Battalion, 5th Regiment in the small central Iraqi village of Hamdaniyah. There was no dispute that he was killed by Marines, but there were differing accounts of his death. (Washington Post, June 5, 2006)

Approximately one dozen members of the Marine foot patrol said they came upon al-Zobaie digging a hole for a bomb near his home in the Sunni Arab village of about 30 homes near Abu Ghraib. The Marines said they killed al-Zobaie in a brief gun battle and that they found an AK-47 assault rifle and a shovel by his side. (Los Angeles Times, May 28, 2006; Washington Post, June 5, 2006)

Al-Zobaie’s neighbors and members of his family, with the support of photographs, disputed the Marines’ account. They said the Marines banged on the door at al-Zobaie’s home at 2:00 a.m. One of al-Zobaie’s sons said the Marines grabbed Hashim by the front of his cotton robe as soon as he came to the door, pulling him from the house. (Washington Post, June 5, 2006)

One hour later, the family heard shots but they were fearful to go outside to investigate. Al-Zobaie was shot four times in the face. Witnesses said the Marines planted an assault rifle and shovel, that had been borrowed from a villager, next to al-Zobaie’s body. (Washington Post, June 5, 2006)

Several hours later at daylight, the family found a wide hole in the dirt road about 500 yards from their home, wet with bloodstains and littered with discarded plastic gloves.

Al-Zobaie said the family was told that Marines had brought his body to a local police station. The family eventually recovered their father’s corpse from a hospital at Abu Ghraib.(Washington Post, June 5, 2006)

Al-Zobaie’s neighbor, Farhan Ahmed Hussein, said the Marines had stopped at his house first that night, before going to al-Zobaie’s. Hussein said the Marines took a shovel and an AK-47 from his house. Iraqi and United States military forces allowed each Iraqi household to keep one weapon for protection. (Washington Post, June 5, 2006)

After al-Zobaie’s killing, Hussein collected his shovel and the rifle from Iraqi police. Hussein said, “They asked me several questions to be sure whose weapon it was. Then they gave me the rifle.” (Washington Post, June 5, 2006)

Al-Zobaie’s family claimed that a small group of United States servicemen came to them one month later and offered the family money to support the Marines’ version of the killing. Al-Zobaie’s brother quoted the American serviceman: “We are ready to compensate you with the money you want, on one condition, which is when the investigation committee comes back, you tell them that your brother worked with the insurgents and had connections with the insurgents, and that he used to go out at night to places you don’t know.” (Washington Post, June 5, 2006)

The American soldier did not specify an amount, saying only that it would be “more than the American military will give you” in standard compensation for killings that commanders later deemed to be wrongful. (Washington Post, June 5, 2006)

Al-Zobaie’s brother refused the offer. He said, “I told them I will tell them what I know. “And all the money in the world wouldn’t compensate for the loss of a brother and the loss to the 13 members of his family.” The American then consulted briefly with another American service member with him and left. (Washington Post, June 5, 2006)

Iraqis Awad’s neighborhood said that the Marines shot him four times in the face before planting an AK-47 rifle and a shovel near his body to make it appear as though he had been trying to bury a roadside bomb. He was known in the village as “Awad the Lame “because a metal bar was inserted in his leg several years ago. (Washington Post, June 21, 2006)

Al-Zobaie’s body was examined at the morgue. Photographs showed at least four bullet holes — two in one cheek, one in the chin. and one in the lip. Exit wounds from the shots had distorted the head, which was lying in a pool of blood caught by the plastic sheeting. (Washington Post, June 5, 2006)

The Marines told another story. They claimed al-Zobaie was an insurgent who had been shot after he fired on the foot patrol. Their statement said: “On 60425 at aprox 0300 we spotted a man digging on the side of the road from our ambush site. I made the call and engaged. He was pronounced dead at the scene with only a shovel and AK-47.” The statement was signed Lawrence Hutchins and noted that he was a sergeant. A staff sergeant named Bowen signed as a witness; his first name was not legible. (Washington Post, June 5, 2006)

The statement said the body brought to police by the Marines was that of a man spotted by coalition forces “digging a place for the (explosive) charge and with him was his weapon, a rifle with full clip, plus a shovel.” (Washington Post, June 5, 2006)

After the killing, Marines distributed leaflets in the area. They described al-Zobaie as an insurgent and a “saboteur” who had been shot after he fired on the foot patrol. The leaflets said the Marines had found him at about 11 p.m. on April 26 digging a hole in the road to place a bomb. The leaflets also said, “The Marines fired at him and he returned fire from the AK-47 he had, which forced the Marines to fire back and kill him.” (Washington Post, June 5, 2006)

Family members insisted al-Zobaie was not an insurgent and said they did not know why he was killed. Local police, who were Shi’ite Muslims although the area is Sunni, also said al-Zobaie was not known to have connections to the insurgency. (Washington Post, June 5, 2006)

In June 2006, seven Marines and one Navy corpsman of Kilo were charged with murder and kidnapping of Awad. (Washington Post, June 21, 2006)

10. MURDER AND RAPE IN MAHMOUDIVA

In thee summer of 2006, four soldiers were charged with the rape of the 15-year-old girl and three members of her family in Mahmoudiyah, a city south of Baghdad. A fifth soldier, not directly involved in the attack, was charged with dereliction of duty for failing to report it. One of the accused, Marine Private Kevin Green of the 502nd Infantry Regiment, was discharged shortly thereafter from the military on a “personality disorder.” (Los Angeles Times, July 9, 2006)

The soldiers allegedly were drinking alcohol — a prohibited activity for United States troops in Iraq — while manning a checkpoint on the night of March 11. They started talking about having sex with the woman, whom they had seen during a visit to her house. The house was about 650 feet from the checkpoint, one soldier told investigators. The affidavit said that four of the soldiers then grabbed three rifles and a shotgun and headed to the house. The fifth soldier was said to have stayed behind at the checkpoint. (Los Angeles Times, July 4, 2006)

The incident received attention the following day when Iraqis told soldiers at the checkpoint that four members of their family had been killed and the house had been set on fire. (Los Angeles Times, July 4, 2006)

Green and the other soldier allegedly were drinking alcohol — a prohibited activity for United States troops in Iraq — while manning a checkpoint on the night of March 11. They started talking about having sex with the woman, whom they had seen during a visit to her house. The house was about 650 feet from the checkpoint, one soldier told investigators. The affidavit said that four of the soldiers then grabbed three rifles and a shotgun and headed to the house. The fifth soldier was said to have stayed behind at the checkpoint. (Los Angeles Times, July 4, 2006)

After the decision was made to rape the woman, three of the soldiers changed out of their uniforms and into dark clothes. One soldier told investigators that Green covered his face with a brown T-shirt. One of the soldiers told investigators he changed clothes so he “wouldn’t be seen.” (Los Angeles Times, July 4, 2006)

According to FBI agent Gregor Ahlers, two of the soldiers described themselves as mainly standing watch outside the civilians’ house while Green and another soldier — identified as Known Participant 1 — allegedly raped the 20-year-old woman. The third soldier interviewed said he was told to stay behind to monitor the radio while the others went to the woman’s house. (Los Angeles Times, July 4, 2006)

After the decision was made to rape the woman, according to the FBI affidavit, three of the soldiers changed out of their uniforms and into dark clothes. One soldier told investigators that Green covered his face with a brown T-shirt. One of the soldiers told investigators he changed clothes so he “wouldn’t be seen.” According to the affidavit, four of the soldiers then grabbed three rifles and a shotgun and headed to the house. The fifth soldier was said to have stayed behind at the checkpoint. (Los Angeles Times, July 4, 2006)

According to the accounts of the two who stood guard, Green went into a back bedroom, closed the door and shot three family members. An Army official said the three were believed to be the woman’s mother, father, and sister, approximately age 5. The FBI report said, “Green came to the bedroom door and told everyone: ‘I just killed them, all are dead.’ ” (Los Angeles Times, July 4, 2006)

Around the same time, the soldier identified as Known Participant 1 grabbed the woman and threw her on the floor, the affidavit said. The two soldiers acting as guards told investigators that Green and the other soldier raped the woman before Green picked up an AK-47 assault rifle he had found at the house and killed her. (Los Angeles Times, July 4, 2006)

One of the soldiers who stood watch said Green later told him to dispose of the AK-47 in a canal across the street from the checkpoint. All four soldiers, who returned to the checkpoint with bloody clothes, burned what they were wearing, according to the soldier who said he monitored the radio during the attack. (Los Angeles Times, July 4, 2006)

Army investigators took at least 15 photos of the scene, the FBI affidavit said, which showed three dead Iraqis, including the young girl, with bullet wounds. Other photos showed the burned body of what appeared to be a woman with blankets thrown over her upper torso. (Los Angeles Times, July 4, 2006)

Abu Firas Janabi told the story of the murders of his cousin Fakhriya Taha Muhsen; her husband, Kasim Hamza Rasheed; and their two daughters who were slain. Janabi said, “Kasim’s corpse was in the corner of the room, and his head was smashed into pieces. The 5-year-old daughter, Hadel, was beside her father, and Janabi said he could see that Fakhriya’s arms had been broken.” (Los Angeles Times, July 6, 2006)

In another room, Janabi said he found 15-year-old Abeer, naked and burned, with her head smashed in “by a concrete block or a piece of iron.” Her dress was pushed up around her neck. A fire had been set in the room, burning a pillow and the girl’s hair. (Washington Post, July 7, 2006)

Janabi continued, “There were burns from the bottom of her stomach to the end of her body, except for her feet. I did not believe what I was seeing. I tried to fool myself into believing I was in a dream. But the problem was that we were not dreaming. We put a piece of cloth over her body. Then I left the house together with my wife.” (Los Angeles Times, July 6, 2006)

11. THE IRAQI GOVERNMENT VOWS TO INVESTIGATE

Perhaps assuming that the Bush administration would exonerate most or all military personnel involved in the deaths in various cities, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said his government would move ahead with its own investigation. In addition, al-Miliki demanded an apology from the United States and compensation for the victims in several cases. (Reuters, June 3, 2006)

12. IRAQ’S DEATH SQUADS

On November 13, 2005, United States soldiers found 173 incarcerated men with indications that they had been tortured. They were imprisoned in a secret bunker in an Interior Ministry compound in central Baghdad. (Washington Post, April 24, 2006)

The United States official involved in the inspection described in an e-mail the abuse found during some of the visits since the November 13 raid: “Numerous bruises on the arms, legs and feet. A lot of the Iraqis had separated shoulders and problems with their hands and fingers too. You could also see strap marks on some of their backs.” (Washington Post, April 24, 2006)

The United States military refused to transfer most of them to safe locations. Instead, only a handful of the most severely abused detainees at a single site were removed for medical treatment. Prisoners at other sites were removed to alleviate overcrowding. United States and Iraqi authorities left the rest at the facilities where many had been tortured. (Washington Post, April 24, 2006)

The torture continued despite the pledge by General Peter Pace, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, that United States troops would attempt to stop inhumane treatment if they saw it. On November 29, 2005, Rumsfeld and Pace held a press conference:

Pace: “It is absolutely the responsibility of every U.S. service member, if they see inhumane treatment being conducted, to intervene to stop it.”

Rumsfeld: “I don’t think you mean they have an obligation to physically stop it; it’s to report it.”

Pace: “If they are physically present when inhumane treatment is taking place, sir, they have an obligation to try to stop it.” (Washington Post, April 24, 2006)

At the insistence of United States officials, Iraq agreed to the joint inspections of all of Iraq’s more than 1,000 detention centers. Both American and Iraqi officials said that abuse of prisoners was found at all the sites. (Washington Post, April 24, 2006)

The first inspections included an Interior Ministry detention center in Baghdad; a Defense Ministry site near the Green Zone; an Interior Ministry site in the city of Kut; an Interior Ministry site in the Muthanna neighborhood of Baghdad; and a “maximum crimes facility” in Baghdad. At three of those sites, prisoners were being held by the Wolf Brigade, one of the Interior Ministry commando forces most feared by Sunnis. (Washington Post, April 24, 2006)

At the detention sites, some detainees showed signs of abuse that required immediate medical care. The signs of abuse included broken bones, indications that they had been beaten with hoses and wires, signs that they had been hung from the ceiling, cigarette burns, evidence of scars, missing toenails, dislocated shoulders, and severe bruising. (Washington Post, April 24, 2006)

Sunni leaders accused the Interior Ministry of hiring members of militias belonging to the Shi’ite religious parties. In addition, the Shia-controlled Interior Ministry was charged with operating death squads that targeted Sunnis. (Washington Post, April 24, 2006)

It took months for the Iraqi regime to acknowledge that death squads were operating within the government. Finally, in March, Minister of Interior Bayan Jabr confirmed for that for first time: “The deaths squads that we have captured are in the defense and interior ministries.” (Knight Ridder, March 13, 2006)

13. THE MURDERS CONTINUE

In February 2005, four former security contractors said they watched as innocent Iraqi civilians fired upon by United States troops. One was crushed by a truck. The four contractors were all retired military veterans: Captain Bill Craun, Army Rangers; Sergeant Jim Errante, military police; Corporal Ernest Colling, United States Army; and Will Hough, United States Marines. All went to Iraq as private security contractors. (MSNBC, February 17, 2005)

The contractors worked for the American company, Custer Battles that was hired by the Pentagon to conduct dangerous missions guarding supply convoys. Craun said, “What we saw, I know the American population wouldn’t stand for.” (MSNBC, February 17, 2005)

They claimed that heavily armed security operators on Custer Battles’ missions were poorly trained young Kurds with historical resentments against other Iraqis. They terrorized civilians, shooting indiscriminately as they ran for cover, smashing into and shooting up cars. (MSNBC, February 17, 2005)

On a mission on November 8, 2005 — while escorting ammunition and equipment for the Iraqi army — a Kurd guarding the convoy allegedly shot into a passenger car to clear a traffic jam. Colling said, “He sighted down his AK-47 and started firing. It went through the window. As far as I could see, it hit a passenger. And they didn’t even know we were there.” (MSNBC, February 17, 2005)

Later, the convoy came upon two teenagers by the road. One allegedly was gunned down. Colling recalled, “The rear gunner in my vehicle shot him. Unarmed, walking kids.” (MSNBC, February 17, 2005)

In another traffic jam, they claimed a Ford 350 pickup truck smashed into, then rolled up and over the back of a small sedan full of Iraqis. Craun said, “The front of the truck came down. I could see two children sitting in the back seat of that car with their eyes looking up at the axle as it came down and pulverized the back. I said, ‘Wow, what hit this car?’ ” (MSNBC, February 17, 2005)

14. TORTURE AT CAMP CROPPER

Various torture techniques were also carried out at Camp Cropper, the United States military’s maximum-security detention site in Baghdad. In the spring of 2005, American guards periodically opened the cell door where detainee No. 200343 was incarcerated. The guards shackled his hands and feet, blindfolded him, and took him to a padded room for interrogation. After an hour or two, he was returned to his cell, fatigued but unable to sleep. He said the fluorescent lights in his cell were never turned off. At most hours, heavy metal or country music blared in the corridor. He was rousted at random times without explanation and made to stand in his cell. Even lying down, he said, he was kept from covering his face to block out the light, noise and cold. (New York Times, December 18, 2006)

The detainee was released after 97 days. He was exhausted, depressed, and scared. He was among thousands of people who had been held and released by the American military in Iraq. Not only he, but dozens or hundreds of his relatives and friends had turned bitterly against the United States. (New York Times, December 18, 2006)

Another detainee was Donald Vance, a 29-year-old Navy veteran who went to Iraq as a security contractor, became a whistle-blower. He passed information to the FBI about suspicious activities at the Iraqi security firm at Camp Cropper where he worked. He made claims of possible illegal weapons trading. (New York Times, December 18, 2006)

Vance said the company had a growing cache of weapons it was selling to suspicious customers, including a steady flow of officials from the Iraqi Interior Ministry. The ministry had ties to violent militias and death squads. He said he had also witnessed another employee giving American soldiers liquor in exchange for bullets and weapon repairs. (New York Times, December 18, 2006)

On a visit to Chicago in October 2005, Vance met twice with an F.B.I. agent who set up a reporting system. Weekly, Mr. Vance phoned the agent from Iraq and sent him e-mail messages. “It was like, ‘Hey, I heard this and I saw this.’ I wanted to help,” Vance said. A government official familiar with the arrangement confirmed Vance’s account. (New York Times, December 18, 2006)

But when American soldiers raided the company at his urging, Vance and his co-worker Nathan Ertel were detained as suspects by the military. Officials claimed they did not know the two were informers. (New York Times, December 18, 2006)

At Camp Cropper, Vance took notes on his imprisonment and smuggled them out in a Bible. On July 3, 2006, he wrote, “Sick, very. Vomited. The next day: “Told no more phone calls ‘til leave.” (New York Times, December 18, 2006)

Ertel brought away military records that shed further light on the detention camp and its secretive tribunals. Those records included a legal memorandum explicitly denying detainees the right to a lawyer at detention hearings to determine whether they should be released or held indefinitely, perhaps for prosecution. (New York Times, December 18, 2006)

In April 2005, Ertel and Vance said, they felt increasingly uncomfortable at the company. Ertel resigned and company officials seized the identification cards that both men needed to move around Iraq or leave the country. (New York Times, December 18, 2006)

On April 15, feeling threatened, Vance phoned the United States Embassy in Baghdad. A military rescue team rushed to the security company. Again, Vance described its operations. (New York Times, December 18, 2006)

15. THE CASUALTIES OF THE WAR

THE NUMBERS. The Bush administration never kept statistics on the number of Iraqi civilians killed during the war. The White House never spoke of civilian deaths unless pressured into giving an estimate. After over one year of fighting, the administration estimated that 8,000 or 9,000 civilians might have been killed.

In November 2004, Medact — a British-based medical charity — reported that Bush’s invasion of Iraq caused a dramatic deterioration in the health of the Iraqi people. The report said that the ongoing war led — directly and indirectly — to many thousands of deaths and injuries as well as high levels of illness. (www.medact.org, November 30, 2004)

Medact blamed the chaotic and deteriorating situation in Iraq on several factors:

*The United States invasion

*An increase in criminal activities

*Social inequality

*The lack of democracy

*Political instability

*The presence of foreign forces

*The decrepit essential infrastructure

Medact said that the war led to an alarming recurrence of previously well-controlled communicable diseases including diarrhea, acute respiratory infections, and typhoid — particularly among children. The war also resulted in a greater burden of non-communicable diseases because of a lack of resources, facilities, and expertise.

According to the Medact report, behavioral problems such as family violence, child and spouse abuse, and acts of public violence were greatly increased. Also, the effects of the psychosocial trauma suffered by the Iraqi people created preconditions for further violence. (www.medact.org, November 30, 2004)

In sharp contrast to the Bush administration’s figures, the first reliable study of the death toll came from Iraqi and United States public health experts. They said approximately 100,000 Iraqi civilians — half of them women and children — died in Iraq between March 2003 and October 2004. According to Britain’s Lancet Medical Journal, most of the deaths came as a result of airstrikes by coalition forces. The Lancet Medical Journal, October 2004)

In November 2004, the Norwegian-based Fafo Institute for Applied Social Science released a report that found malnutrition had reached 7.7 per cent among Iraqi children between the ages of six months and five years. Officials from the institute, which conducted a survey with the UN Development Program and Iraq’s Central office for Statistics and Information Technology, said the Iraqi malnutrition rate is similar to the level in some hard-hit African countries. Associated Press, March 31, 2005)

Also in late 2004, Carol Bellamy, head of the United Nations children’s agency UNICEF, said there was little relief workers could do to ease the plight of Iraqi children, because fighting hampers or prevents most aid operations in the country. Associated Press, March 31, 2005)

According to Jean Ziegler, the United Nations Human Rights Commission’s special expert on the right to food, the war in Iraq and its aftermath almost doubled malnutrition rates among Iraqi children. In the study released in March 2005, Ziegler said acute malnutrition rates among Iraqi children under five rose to 7.7 per cent in 2004 from four per cent after the ouster of Hussein in April 2003. Associated Press, March 31, 2005)

Ziegler said more than 25 percent did not have enough to eat. She cited an October 2004 United States study that estimated as many as 100,000 more Iraqis — many of them women and children — had died since the start of the United States-led invasion of Iraq than would normally have died. Associated Press, March 31, 2005)

In May 2005, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff said that his soldiers had killed 250 of Zarqawi’s “closest lieutenants.” But six months later in November, the Pentagon did something new. Buried in its latest security report to Congress is a bar chart labeled “average daily casualties — Iraqi and coalition. 1 Jan 04-16 Sep 05.” The Pentagon had lied. It had always claimed that it never kept track of Iraqi deaths. (The Guardian, November 8, 2005)

A household survey of 988 homes in 33 randomly selected districts was conducted among household residents who reported deaths in their families both before and after Bush’s invasion. The survey showed that the risk of death in Iraq had risen by a factor of 1.5. Between 8,000 and 194,000 extra people had died, with the most probable figure being 98,000. Of half the deaths, 15 percent were caused by violence, and the majority of those by attacks on the part of United States forces. (The Guardian, November 8, 2005)

During the first three years of the war, 100,000 families fled their homes. That could mean as many as one-half million people were displaced. The estimate was given by Adel Abdul Mahdi, a Shi’ite leader and one of Iraq’s two vice presidents.

Iraqi national security adviser, Mowaffak al-Rubaie, gave a different estimate. He said that, between 2003 and 2006, 13,750 families — or 70,000 to 80,000 people — were displaced. (New York Times, April 3, 2006)

As the war dragged on, ethnic cleansing continued to increase. Thousands of Iraqis fled for their lives as sectarian assassins and death squads hunted them down. (London’s The Independent, May 20, 2006)

Morale appeared low enough that 13 United States troops committed suicide in Iraq in October of 2003. The Pentagon was concerned enough that it dispatched a mental health unit to Iraq to counsel soldiers. (Los Angeles Times, November 11, 2003)

According to a 2004 study by The New England Journal of Medicine, one in six soldiers returning from the war in Iraq showed signs of post-traumatic stress disorder or other emotional difficulties. Lower levels of psychiatric problems were found among troops who served in Afghanistan. (New York Times, July 1, 2004)

The researchers surveyed more than 6,000 soldiers in the months before and after service in Iraq or Afghanistan. Almost 17 percent of those who fought in Iraq reported symptoms of major depression, severe anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder, compared with about 11 percent of the troops who served in Afghanistan. (New York Times, July 1, 2004)

The rates were slightly higher than those found among soldiers in the 1991 Persian Gulf war, and lower than the rates in Vietnam veterans. But mental health studies of soldiers in those earlier conflicts were carried out years — in the case of Vietnam, decades — after the troops returned home. The New England Journal of Medicine study examined soldiers before deployment and within three to four months after they returned. (New York Times, July 1, 2004)

More than one in three soldiers and Marines, who returned to the United States after having served in Iraq and Afghanistan, help for mental health problems. Over 300,000 of them spoke of the psychological impact that they sustained. . (Washington Post, March 1, 2006)

In another study, the Army reported in February 2006, those servicemen returning from Iraq consistently reported more psychic distress than those returning from Afghanistan and other conflicts — such as those in Bosnia or Kosovo. Iraq veterans were far more likely to have witnessed people getting wounded or killed, to have experienced combat, and to have had aggressive or suicidal thoughts. (Washington Post, March 1, 2006)

Nearly twice as many of those returning from Iraq reported having a mental health problem — or were hospitalized for a psychiatric disorder — compared with troops returning from Afghanistan. (Washington Post, March 1, 2006)

The Iraqi government was questioned for concealing the number of its country’s casualties. On January 16, 2007, the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) criticized Baghdad for charging that many detainees had “disappeared.” The UNAMI said more than 34,400 people had died in the daily acts of violence across the country in 2006. (Agence France Presse, April 25, 2007)

Since the increase of 22,000 military personnel in early 2007, Iraqi and United States officials insisted the civilian death toll from Iraq’s sectarian war had declined since the plan began on February 14, 2007.

According to the UNAMI report, at least 37,641 people were held in detention centers across Iraq in March 2007, and about 3,000 were detained since the Baghdad crackdown began. The United States incarcerated 17,898 people, while the rest were in the custody of Iraqi authorities. UNAMI said that at least 736,422 Iraqis had fled their home. (Agence France Presse, April 25, 2007)

2. FAILING TO HELP RETURNING SOLDIERS. United States, troops coming back from war — with unprecedented levels of mental health problems — faced a bureaucracy unprepared to deal with them, as the Walter Reed scandal highlighted. (Think Progress, March 12, 2007)

Seventy-six percent of Americans, including a majority of Republicans, believed the Bush administration failed to do enough to care for Iraq war veterans.

The issue of mental health in Iraq was no different. Iraqi psychiatrists saw a disturbing spike in mental health disorders after four years of war. In March 2007, they concluded a problem compounded by Iraq’s lack of mental health workers, facilities, and services. (San Francisco Chronicle, March 19, 2007)

Several mental health care professionals suggested the number of untreated or under-treated people nationwide reached into the millions, and the consequences could permanently harm generations. (San Francisco Chronicle, March 19, 2007)

Dr. Said al-Hashimi, a psychiatrist who operated a private clinic, said, “Iraqis are being traumatized every day. No one knows what will result from living through this continuous trauma on a daily basis.” (San Francisco Chronicle, March 19, 2007)

Army officials and a 2007 Pentagon survey found that troops in Iraq and Afghanistan suffered from chronic shortages of armored vehicles, heavy weapons, and communications equipment. Army and Marine Corps officials said it would take years for their forces to recover from a “death spiral” in which rapid war rotations consumed 40 percent of their total gear, wearied troops, and left no time to train to fight anything other than the insurgencies now at hand. (Think Progress, July 31, 2006)

Similarly, troops coming back from war – with unprecedented levels of mental health problems – faced a bureaucracy unprepared to deal with them, as the Walter Reed scandal highlighted. (Think Progress, March 12, 2007)

Seventy-six percent of Americans, including a majority of Republicans, believed the Bush administration failed to do enough to care for Iraq war veterans.

Bush’s response to cut funding for veterans’ health care between 2007 and 2009, even though the cost of providing medical care to veterans grew rapidly — by more than 10 percent in many years. (Think Progress, March 6, 2007)

Bush’s response to cut funding for veterans’ health care between 2007 and 2009, even though the cost of providing medical care to veterans grew rapidly — by more than 10 percent in many years. (Think Progress, March 6, 2007)

3. THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION. On March 1, 2007, the commander of Walter Reed Medical Center, General Kevin Kiley, was fired for shabby and slow treatment and the handling of complaints against the facility. Then Army Secretary Francis Harvey was forced to resign over the controversy. (New York Times, March 3, 2007)

Kiley downplayed the problems at Walter Reed, where he was in command until 2004. He and other top officials at the hospital heard complaints about outpatient neglect from family members, veterans groups, and members of Congress for more than three years. (Washington Post, March 1, 2007)

The complaints surfaced at town hall meetings for staff and soldiers, at commanders’ “sensing sessions” in which soldiers or officers were encouraged to speak freely. In several inspector general’s reports, they detailed building conditions, safety issues, and other matters. (Washington Post, March 1, 2007)

A number of Pentagon and Walter Reed officials expressed surprise about the living conditions and bureaucratic nightmares faced by wounded soldiers staying at the facility. As far back as 2003, Kiley was told that soldiers who were wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan were languishing and lost on the grounds. (Washington Post, March 1, 2007)

Steve Robinson, director of veterans affairs at Veterans for America, said he ran into Kiley in the command headquarters at Walter Reed shortly after the Iraq war began. Kiley told him that “there are people in the barracks who are drinking themselves to death and people who are sharing drugs and people not getting the care they need.” Robinson said, “I met guys who weren’t going to appointments because the hospital didn’t even know they were there.” (Washington Post, March 1, 2007)

Horrific conditions were reported at Walter Reed’s Building 18, a dingy former hotel on Georgia Avenue where the wounded were housed among mice, mold, rot, and cockroaches. (Washington Post, March 1, 2007)

For all its cries of “support the troops,” the Bush administration treated veterans’ medical care the same way it treated everything else. The White House was reluctant too spend adequate funds the same way it treated everything else. Rather, it protected the incompetent and privatized everything it could. (New York Times, March 5, 2007)

Federal spending on veterans’ medical care since 2001 actually lagged behind overall national health spending. Since the Iraq War, veterans began be charged for formerly free services, including hundreds of dollars each month for food, so the VA could save money. (New York Times, March 5, 2007)

The VA backlogged 400,000 benefit claims, including those concerned with mental health. More important, two months before the invasion of Iraq, the Veterans Health Administration, which previously offered care to all veterans, introduced severe new restrictions on who was entitled to enroll in its health care system. (New York Times, March 5, 2007)

Bush’s 2006 budget assumed cutbacks to veterans’ health care in 2009 and 2010 — and a freeze thereafter. (New York Times, March 5, 2007)

Examples of incompetence within the VA:

Kiley took no action when personally informed by the wife of GOP Congressman Bill Young of Florida of a soldier sleeping in his own urine. (New York Times, March 5, 2007)

VA Secretary Jim Nicholson was accused by some veterans and the organizations that represented them of being primarily a mouthpiece for the Bush administration. He was also accused of being slow to respond to increasing strains on his agency. Nicholson entered the position with far more experience in politics than in veterans policy. He served as chairman of the Republican National Committee from 1997 to 2000, raising close to $380 million for the 2000 cycle. In Bush’s first term, Nicholson was rewarded with the plush ambassadorship to the Vatican. (New York Times, March 5, 2007)

Army Specialist Roberto Reyes remained nearly immobile and unable to talk in his hospital bed at Walter Reed. A member of Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry, Reyes got too close to an improvised explosive device in Iraq. His family complained about his inadequate hospital care at Walter Reed. (Washington Post, March 4, 2007)

At the Bronx, New York VA Medical Center, systemic neglect nearly crippled the United States veterans’ health system. Journalist Mark Benjamin, who first reported on the neglect and deplorable conditions at Walter Reed in 2005, said, “I’ve written the same story at Fort Knox. The problems that led to this crisis were also systemic.

A Pentagon study, conducted in the spring of 2007, found that the more often soldiers were deployed, the longer they were deployed each time, and the less time they spent at home, the more likely they are to suffer mental health problems such as combat trauma, anxiety, and depression. That result was particularly notable given that the Pentagon had sent soldiers and Marines to Iraq multiple times and recently extended the tours of thousands of soldiers to 15 months from 12 months. (Washington Post, May 5, 2007)

Twenty percent of the soldiers surveyed and 15 percent of the Marines appeared to suffer from depression, anxiety, or stress. More than 40 percent of soldiers reported low morale in their units. (Washington Post, May 5, 2007)

About 20 percent of soldiers said they were planning a divorce or separation, up from 15 percent in the 2006 survey. Marital problems increased with the length of a deployment. Ten percent of soldiers deployed for less than six months reported that infidelity was a problem in their marriage, compared with 17 percent among those who had been in Iraq longer than that. (Washington Post, May 5, 2007)

1 Comment »

  1. […] TORTURE AND MURDER IN IRAQ Filed under: Uncategorized — barabie @ 11:42 am The Armys Criminal Investigation Command investigated into misconduct by American soldiers against detainees and civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan. The command concluded that in as many as 18 instances, Iraqs died in American custody for allegedly stealing money, jewelry, or other property. The Army never conducted autopsies on any of the prisoners and never determined the cause of their deaths. Read more… […]

    Pingback by TORTURE AND MURDER IN IRAQ « Arab bARABie blog — November 2, 2007 @ 11:42 am


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