Re: BTL:Special Forces Veteran Asserts The Iraq War Has Already Been Lost

wapo: Iraqis Accuse Marines in April Killing Of Civilian
According to accounts given by Hashim's neighbors and members of his family, and apparently supported by photographs, the Marines went to Hashim's home, took the 52-year-old disabled Iraqi outside and shot him four times in the face. The assault rifle and shovel next to his body had been planted by the Marines, who had borrowed them from a villager, family members and other residents said.

Hashim's family alleged this weekend that a small group of U.S. servicemen came to them last week and offered the family money to support the Marines' version of the killing.

Attorneys familiar with the case say seven Marines and a Navy corpsman are being investigated and all eight were removed from duty in Iraq and are being held at Camp([search]) Pendleton in California. The Associated Press said Friday that the highest-ranking person among the eight was a staff sergeant.

An American investigating team — a mix of uniformed troops and civilians — came to Hamdaniyah on Wednesday, according to Saadoun Ibrahim, Hashim's brother. Ibrahim showed them where his brother's grave was and agreed to allow Americans to exhume the body when they return, he said Saturday.

"One of them . . . said, 'We are an investigation team, and we want to show the truth, and compensate his family if he's proved innocent,' " Ibrahim said. "I agreed."

A different group of American troops arrived at the house the next day, at about 9 a.m. and talked to Ibrahim, 60, in the presence of his wife, 13-year-old son and other children, he said. One man identified himself through the interpreter as a sergeant, Ibrahim said.

The American, who Ibrahim said appeared to be in charge of the group, first asked if the investigating team had spoken to him yet. He responded that they had.

According to Ibrahim, the American said, "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."

The American did not specify an amount, Ibrahim said, saying only that it would be "more than the American military will give you" in standard compensation for killings that commanders later deem to be wrongful.

Ibrahim said he refused. "I told them I will tell them what I know," he said. "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, Ibrahim said.

guardian: Marine's wife paints portrait of US troops out of control in Haditha,,1790499,00.html
The marine unit involved in the killing of Iraqi civilians in Haditha last November had suffered a "total breakdown" in discipline and had drug and alcohol problems, according to the wife of one of the battalion's staff sergeants.

The allegations in Newsweek magazine contribute to an ever more disturbing portrait of embattled marines under high stress, some on their third tour of duty after ferocious door-to-door fighting in the Sunni insurgent strongholds of Falluja and Haditha.

"There were problems in Kilo company with drugs, alcohol, hazing [violent initiation games], you name it," she said. "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."

newsweek: Probing a Bloodbath
In December, NEWSWEEK interviewed some Army soldiers going home as conscientious objectors. To fight boredom and disgust, said Clif Hicks, who had left a tank squadron at Camp Slayer in Baghdad, soldiers popped Benzhexol, five pills at time. Normally used to treat Parkinson's disease, the drug is a strong hallucinogenic when abused. "People were taking steroids, Valium, hooked on painkillers, drinking. They'd go on raids and patrols totally stoned." Hicks, who volunteered at the age of 17, said, "We're killing the wrong people all the time, and mostly by accident. One guy in my squadron ran over a family with his tank."

The wife of a staff sergeant in the 3/1 battalion, who declined to be identified because she doesn't want to get her husband in trouble, told NEWSWEEK that there was "a total breakdown" in discipline and morale after Lt. Col. Jeffrey Chessani took over as battalion commander when the unit returned from Fallujah at the start of 2005. (Chessani's friends in his Colorado hometown defended him as a dedicated, patriotic, religious Marine.) "There were problems in Kilo Company with drugs, alcohol, hazing, you name it," said the woman. "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."

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An inglorious peace is better than a dishonorable war.
-- Mark Twain
Source: "Glances at History" (suppressed)

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