Soldier Gets Six Months in Case of Drowned Iraqi

Sgt. Tracy Perkins was convicted at his court-martial of ordering two Iraqis thrown in the Tigeris River. One, Zaidoun Hassoun, drowned. His cousin, Marwan Fadil, climbed out of the river and survived. They were forced to jump in the river at gunpoint. The jury sentenced him to six months in jail and will keep his job in the military, despite a prosecution recommendation of five years and a dishonorable discharge.

Marwan Hassoun testified that he tried to save his cousin by grabbing his hand, but the powerful current swept Zaidoun away. Marwan said the body was found in the river nearly two weeks later.

Perkins said the man had made a gesture of slitting his throat. He said he never meant to injure or kill the Iraqi by throwing him in the river; and he ordered him thrown in the river to teach him a "hard lesson" about threatening U.S. troops. He testified he saw the man climb out alive. "Basically the enemy would test your resolve. ... I didn't want them to think we were soft or weak," said Perkins, who has 14 years of military service.

The enemy? These were two young men whose truck, filled with bathroom equipment, had broken down at night.

Zaidoun Hassoun was to have finished high school this year. Three weeks before his death, he got engaged to a cousin, and he hoped to start a family in Samarra, a trade and agriculture center whose name means "pleasant to those who see it."

For Marwan Hassoun, a bearded and burly 23-year-old who attends a teachers' college, the death robbed him of a companion and a childhood friend. Zaidoun's voice pleading for help still echoes in his ears.

"Every time I see an American soldier, a Humvee or a tank I become agitated. Many emotions rush into my mind: confusion, fear and rage. I am constantly thinking of how I could have helped Zaidoun. I feel so much guilt, but prayers and reading the Quran keep me going," he said.

It's a strange case. The defense claimed Zaidoun didn't die and someone else was in his coffin. The body was exhumed last month in preparation of Perkins' supervisor's trial. I haven't seen anything with the results yet. The jury didn't convict on involuntary manslaughter or making a false statement to the military but did convict for the aggravated assault on Marwan and obstruction of justice.

From Reuters :

Marwan Fadil, who was forced off the bridge along with his cousin, Hassoun, testified on Wednesday that the soldiers tossed the two at gunpoint into the water after they begged for mercy and then laughed as Hassoun drowned.

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    Re: Soldier Gets Six Months in Case of Drowned Ira (none / 0) (#1)
    by Walter on Sat Jan 08, 2005 at 06:34:30 PM EST
    I'm kinda surprised they even found him guilty.

    Re: Soldier Gets Six Months in Case of Drowned Ira (none / 0) (#2)
    by Al on Sat Jan 08, 2005 at 06:53:53 PM EST
    The message is clearly that it is fair game to murder Iraqi civilians. And of course the murderers are protected from prosecution by the International Criminal Court. But then everybody knew that already.

    Re: Soldier Gets Six Months in Case of Drowned Ira (none / 0) (#3)
    by wishful on Sat Jan 08, 2005 at 07:02:49 PM EST
    Is this really OUR government?

    Despicable. Absolutelty despicable

    I'm actually surprised that any American court would deem that an Iraqi life would have any worth at all! But at least our warrior gets to keep his job ... which is killing MORE Iraqis. Gotta love that American logic!

    Think of the positives, now he is qualified to run as the democratic candidate for president in 08!!

    And that's all you can say in response to such a sad story. All you can do is mock people. That way you don't have to think about the true gravity of the situation.

    Re: Soldier Gets Six Months in Case of Drowned Ira (none / 0) (#8)
    by Ray Radlein on Sat Jan 08, 2005 at 10:48:50 PM EST
    The worst part is that it is extremely unlikely that the young Iraqis would have received even this much justice were it not for the fact that one of the victims was related to (and the other one was known by) a prominent — and generally pro-American — Iraqi blogger, Zeyad of Healing Iraq fame. Only the fact that they had an advocate who was media-savvy, well-spoken, fluent in English, and with numerous blog contacts in the USA prevented their case from getting swept under the rug from the outset.

    Hearts and minds. Mission accomplished. They never had it so good. Teach them a hard lesson. All these sound bites cover for some incredible deficits in judgment and compassion. Why will we lose this war? Because you cannot win by killing innocents. Righteously angry family members who may now want revenge against American soldiers (our family members and friends) will be identified as insurgents and terrorists and the beat goes on. There are many hard lessons to be learned here. Let him who has ears hear.

    First They Came for the Jews First they came for the Jews and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew. Then they came for the Communists and I did not speak out because I was not a Communist. Then they came for the trade unionists and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak out for me. Pastor Martin Niemöller

    Keep bashing the military you libs. Side with the enemy everytime you dims. Keep up the good....no GREAT work. W......still the PRESIDENT fillibuster proof/06 Gingrich/08

    Interesting the sentence delivered was six months. From Bob Dylan's "Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll: In the courtroom of honor, the judge pounded his gavel To show that all's equal and that the courts are on the level And that the strings in the books ain't pulled and persuaded And that even the nobles get properly handled Once that the cops have chased after and caught 'em And that the ladder of law has no top and no bottom, Stared at the person who killed for no reason Who just happened to be feelin' that way without warnin'. And he spoke through his cloak, most deep and distinguished, And handed out strongly, for penalty and repentance, William Zanzinger with a six-month sentence. Oh, but you who philosophize disgrace and criticize all fears, Bury the rag deep in your face For now's the time for your tears.

    I hate it when Demacrats say that us Soiders and the Iraqis they are helping are agianst the war.That is not the truth.Almost all of the Soilders support the war,and the same goes to Iraqis

    So how many of our guys have been sent to prison for fighting terror? maybe our boy Bush needs some time in our political prison system, and I think with the news about MS-13 Gangs inside this empire, many of us will be fighting here. Our government is a criminal government and anyone who wants can go to any border town and check it out. this new people are just political scapegoats, the real Rats are inside the government at the top. Betrayal, treason, brainwashing and next holocaust on you! Stop prison rape and remove this government to stop AIDS, evil is evil.

    Intersting that libs want to free all of those incarcerated for legitimate reasons. But when it comes to the ones that defend this country with their lives they want them locked up for good. Could this be the reason you LOST the election? I thought so!!

    Re: Soldier Gets Six Months in Case of Drowned Ira (none / 0) (#16)
    by jondee on Sun Jan 09, 2005 at 02:09:19 PM EST
    "What you do to the least of these you do to me" Try being a Real Human. It wont drop off.

    Re: Soldier Gets Six Months in Case of Drowned Ira (none / 0) (#17)
    by jondee on Sun Jan 09, 2005 at 02:12:04 PM EST
    "What you do to the least of these you do to me." Try being a Real Human for a change - it wont fall off,promise.

    You know it's amazing that the wingnuts can post and write anything cause there's no evidence they can read. Hey, Real Man, read the article and get real.

    Sounds like about as much evidence as there was against Scott Peterson, whom you think was done bad. And OJ was a slam-dunk compared to this guy.

    Lt. Calley gets put on trial while Macnamara walks free...some things never change.

    Ernesto, your idea of RSM and mine are similar but for different reasons. I do have, however, a question: What was the evidence that McNamara ordered Calley to commit the massacre? If you're right, then the folks who ended it, other American soldiers, should have been the ones courtmartialed. Didn't happen. Get some sleep.

    I see the election was a 51-48 affair now despite blunder after blunder people say they support Bush 60-40 If I didnt know better I would think ABU GHARIB was Karl Rove at his best, the more we complain about the American military the further we fall behind.Trials were underway before Chris Matthews and the NY times kept energizing the other side as it become obvious that Democrats are more worried about Islamo-Fascists with sacks on their head then the brave men and women who defend our freedom.I sense a 2008 49 state landslide as Democrtats seem happiest when dragging our military through the mud. Since Islamo Fascists are terrorizing the globe from Thailand to Tunisia ,I suggest we start talking about how to defeat them as opposed to complaining.It is obvious the American people are turning away from us loyal Democrats in droves.

    hey "real men love Jesus"...The reason W "won" the election is because dimwits like you are more concerned with keeping fellow Americans from having abortions and smoking pot than you are with making peace in the world. Go to hell "real man", it is indeed where you belong. When Jesus said "love your enemies" he surely meant don't kill them.

    You people need to pull your head out!! you can sit in front of your computer and bash people you dont even know. I served with perkins, he is good man, a father. and he helps keep your sorry asses safe. you dont get shot at, mortar rounds dropped on your head daily. did he make wrong choice yes he did. But stress makes all do thing not always reasonable. Im glad are soldiers are making a difference and that your not there to bake them all cakes and thump bibles

    Re: Soldier Gets Six Months in Case of Drowned Ira (none / 0) (#26)
    by Jlvngstn on Mon Jan 10, 2005 at 11:32:30 AM EST
    Keeping whose arse safe? As a veteran who chose to enter the Army I can tell you Hate, if you feel superior because you are serving, you are wrong. You are not "keeping me safe" as I have not heard of any plans of any merit regarding Hussein attacking the US, let alone the capacity to do so. If you want special privilege because you "serve" ask your Battalion Commander for that recognition, don't whine to me about how you are protecting my arse, it is your job just like it was mine.

    real men love jesus, and their priest really really love little boys