War Crimes Against the Civilians of Iraq

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"Like Abu Ghraib, Haditha is not an aberration by a few 'bad apples' but the emblem of a wider, systemic crime, the natural fruit of an outlaw regime that has made aggressive war, torture, indefinite detention, 'extrajudicial killing,' rendition and concentration camps official national policy. This moral rot is Bush's true historical legacy."—Chris Floyd, Empire Burlesque, May 31, 2006.



According to the June 2, 2006, Reuters FACTBOX, the following is known about the massacre of Iraqis on November 19, 2005, at Haditha:

  • November 19, 2005: "A roadside bomb kills Lance Corporal Miguel 'TJ' Terrazas, 20, from El Paso, Texas, during a patrol by Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division in Haditha. In the following hours, 24 Iraqis are killed. Marine investigators inspect the scene and take photographs."
  • November 20, 2005: "Military says roadside bomb killed a marine and 15 civilians. Captain Jeffrey Pool says in statement: 'Iraqi Army soldiers and Marines returned fire killing eight insurgents.'"
  • December 2005/January 2006: "Families of some dead paid $2,500 for each by U.S. military, Iraqi human rights activist says. U.S. officer says in May he paid out $38,000 in total compensation."
  • January 2006: "Journalism student Taher Thabet, via an Iraqi human rights group, passes video of bodies and homes where they died to Time magazine. Time says Pool dismisses it as al Qaeda propaganda. But Baghdad military spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Barry Johnson recommends investigation into possible foul play."
  • February 14, 2006: "Lieutenant General Peter Chiarelli, the No.2 U.S. commander in Iraq, initiates a preliminary investigation."
  • March 27, 2006: "Time magazine publishes survivors' allegations that marines ran amok after Terrazas's death. Iraqi human rights group issues the video showing residents describing rampage and bodies. U.S. military confirms accounts from Haditha doctors to Reuters that all the civilians were shot, not killed by bomb. Witnesses say dead were in three houses and a car."
  • April 7, 2006: "Three officers, 3rd Battalion commander Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Chessani, Kilo Company commander Captain Lucas McConnell and Captain James Kimber are relieved of command."
  • May 26, 2006: U.S. Department of Defense "official says marines face charges up to murder after media reports that investigators are about to recommend charges against about a dozen marines, including murder and lying in reports."
  • May 30, 2006: "New Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki tells Reuters he is tiring of 'excuses' about 'mistakes' by U.S. troops and wants Iraqis to probe Haditha and similar incidents."
  • May 31, 2006: President George W. Bush "says in his first comment on the affair: 'If ... laws were broken there will be punishment.'"

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More Allegations

At least two other incidents "are currently known to be under investigation," the Associated Press/CBS News reported June 2, 2006:

  • March 15, 2006: At Ishaqi, near Balud, eleven Iraqis were killed. Pentagon officials told CBS News that "the civilians were killed accidentally during a March 15 raid by American special forces, but an investigation has turned up no evidence of wrongdoing."
  • June 3, 2006: The "military has determined U.S. soldiers followed proper procedure and will not face charges." [1]
  • April 26, 2006: At Hamandiya, near Baghdad, an Iraqi man "was reportedly dragged from his home and killed by U.S. military personnel. The Los Angeles Times and NBC News said troops may have planted an AK-47 and shovel near the body to make it appear the man was an insurgent burying a roadside bomb. Seven Marines and a Navy corpsman could face murder, kidnapping and conspiracy charges." [2]

In a June 2, 2006, FACTBOX, Reuters reported on "some other incidents that have made headlines about U.S. forces' treatment of civilians in Iraq" since the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

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