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U.S.Marines are "Valiant & Courageous"! (except answering for their dirty deeds!

by k.hawley Friday, Aug. 04, 2006 at 5:07 PM

TIKRIT, Iraq - Four U.S. soldiers accused of murdering Iraqi detainees refused to testify Thursday at a military hearing, where witnesses described how one of the victims spat blood as he lay dying and another was covered in brain matter.

The upside of "Patriotism" is not easy to define but the downside of "Patriotism" is the flag waving endorsement,by the Bush Govt. ands the,of the brutal slaughter and devestation that the US Marines and the US Military are inflicting on Iraq !


TIKRIT, Iraq - Four U.S. soldiers accused of murdering Iraqi detainees refused to testify Thursday at a military hearing, where witnesses described how one of the victims spat blood as he lay dying and another was covered in brain matter.


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The four invoked their right not to testify for fear of incriminating themselves at the hearing to determine if they should be court-martialed for the May 9 shooting deaths. Instead, their attorneys submitted sworn statements and rested their case on the third day of the hearing.

The defendants — Pfc. Corey R. Clagett, Spc. William B. Hunsaker, Staff Sgt. Raymond L. Girouard and Spc. Juston R. Graber — initially said the three detainees were killed because they tried to escape, but military prosecutors have said they were freed before being shot.

The shootings have raised questions about the Army's rules of engagement during combat and dealt another blow to the reputation of U.S. soldiers, fueling anger against the coalition presence. The U.S. military's conduct has also come under criticism from international human rights groups.

In his testimony, witness Cpl. Brandon Helton said he was the last man off the helicopter that brought the accused and other soldiers to a corner of a marshy island outside Samarra, about 60 miles north of Baghdad, in search of suspected al-Qaida operatives.

Helton said the three Iraqis had already been detained when he arrived, but he saw them trying to flee before they were shot. Some of the detainees had their blindfolds down and were "running at full sprint," he said.

At that point, the soldiers fired.

"The first one fell flat down and the second one, whenever he got shot, it was kind of like what you'd see in a movie where he spun around and landed on his back," Helton said. "I seen one spitting up blood."

Another witness, Spc. Micah Bivens, a medic, recalled hearing shots but said he did not see the soldiers fire.

Bivens said as he approached the fallen men, he knew immediately two were dead. "There was nothing there to sustain life," he said. "The last few seconds of life."

He said he checked the third person. "To me there is no way that he could have been alive considering there was brain on the ground."

Defense lawyers are arguing the soldiers were only following the orders of brigade commander Col. Michael Steele to "kill all military-aged males." Bivens said he doesn't recall hearing such an order.

Steele, who led Army Rangers during the 1993 battle for Mogadishu in Somalia, has denied the allegations. He declined to speak to reporters about the charges, and has also invoked his right not to testify.

Girouard, Hunsaker, Clagett and Graber could face the death penalty if the case is passed on for a court-martial. They are accused of concocting a story to justify the shootings and covering it up from military prosecutors.

The first three are also accused of obstruction of justice for allegedly threatening to kill Pfc. Bradley Mason, the prosecution's leading witness, who testified Wednesday.

"It's our position that you didn't prove anything in this case," Paul Bergrin, a civilian attorney, said Thursday to prosecutors after submitting the sworn statement by his client, Clagett.

All the soldiers were assigned to the 101st Airborne Division's 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment.

The hearing is expected to conclude Friday with testimony from Iraqi soldiers who took part in the raid the Army had dubbed "Operation Iron Triangle."

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Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 17 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
Army Meyer London Friday, Aug. 04, 2006 at 5:31 PM
Exactly right, Meyer TW Friday, Aug. 04, 2006 at 5:45 PM
Airborne Lord Locksley Friday, Aug. 04, 2006 at 5:48 PM
Germany Meyer London Friday, Aug. 04, 2006 at 5:54 PM
A plot so thick you can't cut it with a chainsaw TW Friday, Aug. 04, 2006 at 7:24 PM
And Adolf is a popular name among palestinian children Friday, Aug. 04, 2006 at 7:33 PM
War criminals return in cases Friday, Aug. 04, 2006 at 7:42 PM
Israel and Hitler's allies Meyer London Friday, Aug. 04, 2006 at 9:04 PM
DH DH Friday, Aug. 04, 2006 at 9:13 PM
US Marines should take the Bush penalty! Loren Maxwell Saturday, Aug. 05, 2006 at 12:48 AM
Fuck the troops They are complicit in the war crimes Saturday, Aug. 05, 2006 at 1:09 AM
Troops "Brainwashed"! Loren Maxwell Saturday, Aug. 05, 2006 at 5:21 PM
More zionist-fascist connections TW Sunday, Aug. 06, 2006 at 3:14 PM

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