home

8 U.S. Troops to be Tried for Mahmoudiya Rape and Murder of 14 Year Old

Remember the case of the 14 year old girl who was raped and murdered by U.S. troops?

8 of them will face courts-martial proceedings on rape and murder charges.

Eight soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division will be court-martialed on murder charges stemming from their service in Iraq, including two who face a death sentence for allegedly raping a 14-year-old girl and killing her and her family, the military ordered Wednesday.

The Fort Campbell soldiers facing the death penalty are Sgt. Paul E. Cortez and Pfc. Jesse V. Spielman. Both are accused of raping Abeer Qassim al-Janabi in her family's home in Mahmoudiya, about 20 miles south of Baghdad, then killing her along with her parents and younger sister.

Another soldier, Steven Green, is being tried in federal court in the U.S., since he was discharged before charges were filed. You can read the affidavit for Green's arrest here. Page 6 lays out the events and players.

As to five of them:

Military prosecutors have said the five -- all from the division's 502nd Infantry Regiment -- planned the attack from a checkpoint near the family's home, changed their clothing to hide their identities and set the girl's body on fire to destroy evidence.

The military also made an announcement in a different case:

Four soldiers from the division's 3rd Brigade also will be tried in a separate court-martial on charges of murdering Iraqi detainees in northern Iraq's Salahuddin province during a raid on a village.

Pfc. Corey R. Clagett, Spc. William B. Hunsaker, Staff Sgt. Raymond L. Girouard and Spc. Juston R. Graber are accused of murdering three Iraqi men taken from a house May 9 on a marshy island outside Samarra, about 60 miles north of Baghdad.

< Accountability | Suicide Watch >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft


  • Re: 8 U.S. Troops to be Tried (none / 0) (#1)
    by HeadScratcher on Wed Oct 18, 2006 at 03:54:53 PM EST
    They're being held accountable? How can that be in this fascist state?

    Re: 8 U.S. Troops to be Tried (none / 0) (#2)
    by Jakebnto on Wed Oct 18, 2006 at 03:56:31 PM EST
    I would like to know the collective right's response to this notice of courts martial.  Not so much that I am willing to go read, however.  Maybe some compilation will be posted somewhere by someone I trust.

    I do recall that there was mostly disblief when the news first broke.  The places I read then all said "wait till the facts come out" which sounds good, but what they meant was "you'll see, there's no there, there".

    But there is a there, and it IS horrific.

    So like I said, I will be interested to read what the right has to say.

    Jake

    Re: 8 U.S. Troops to be Tried (none / 0) (#5)
    by Gabriel Malor on Wed Oct 18, 2006 at 04:17:44 PM EST
    I don't stand for the "collective right", but if you want the opinion of a Republican, here it is:

    Good. Murderers and rapists should be prosecuted. This is what makes us better than the enemy; we police our own.

    Parent

    Re: 8 U.S. Troops to be Tried (none / 0) (#9)
    by Jakebnto on Wed Oct 18, 2006 at 04:38:08 PM EST
    GM, do we really police our own?  Call me unconvinced.  We prosecute the few and the lowly, and those with most blood on their hands suffer no unkind word to be uttered in their presence.

    If there is an accounting to be made, GM, it won't be Republicans leading the charge.  They have proved feckless and dishonest.  The most we can hope for from the Republican "leadership" is that it will leave when told.

    And I make no apologies for my fears that they will not do even that much.

    Jake

    Parent

    Re: 8 U.S. Troops to be Tried (none / 0) (#3)
    by edbartlett on Wed Oct 18, 2006 at 03:58:23 PM EST
    There is a four part Iraq War video slide show up on Youtube right now that everyone should go see.  The photos show the dark side of the American Military's behavior and attitude in Iraq.  LINK - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=986DikQDPEk


    Re: 8 U.S. Troops to be Tried for Mahmoudiya Rap (none / 0) (#4)
    by Edger on Wed Oct 18, 2006 at 04:10:55 PM EST
    In any other kind of organization, a commercial company for example - Enron comes to mind here - the CEO and "C" Level management are held accountable and responsible for crimes committed by employees in the course of executing their orders.

    These men, these troops sent into the hell created by Bush, Rumsfeld, et al, are the instruments of their superiors. They should be held accountable for this disgusting, heinous crime.

    So should Bush, Rumsfeld, et al. But they don't want to know that her name is Abeer and she was only 14 years old and they raped her and they shot her and they killed her and they crushed her head and they set her on fire. And then they did the rest of her family.

    All they can think is "Help... we got a serious PR problem here."

    Now... who's going to show up in this thread with some idiotic comment to the effect that: "war is hell. Sh*t happens."?

    "I don't think all this dirt will fit back into the hole. We'd better dig another one."

    This story pi*ses me off
    more than almost anything else that has happened since Bush invaded a country that was no threat to, and did not have the capacity to be a threat to the US.

    Re: 8 U.S. Troops to be Tried for Mahmoudiya Rap (none / 0) (#6)
    by Gabriel Malor on Wed Oct 18, 2006 at 04:25:58 PM EST
    Edger, successful application of the doctrine of command responsibility rests on two conditions:

    (1) The commanders had knowledge (actual or constructive) of the war crime; and

    (2) The commanders failed to "discover and control" the war crime.
        a. "discover" means the commander must have a system in place through which to identify LOIAC violations; and
        b. "control" means the commander must punish LOIAC violations when they are discovered.

    Only if both conditions are met can the doctrine be applied to military commanders higher in the chain of command.

    The very fact that we punish the war crimes of our soldiers means that the doctrine of command responsibility cannot be applied to them.

    Parent

    Re: 8 U.S. Troops to be Tried for Mahmoudiya Rap (none / 0) (#10)
    by Edger on Wed Oct 18, 2006 at 05:44:38 PM EST
    Yes, yes, I know, Gabriel. I was blowing off emotional steam there. They have already been tried and convicted in the court of public opinion as well as my mind anyway.

    Parent
    Re: 8 U.S. Troops to be Tried for Mahmoudiya Rap (none / 0) (#7)
    by Gabriel Malor on Wed Oct 18, 2006 at 04:30:39 PM EST
    "LOIAC violations" should read "war crimes" in my above comment. Sorry. Also, I looked around for whether the US would allow the doctrine of command responsibility and found that the doctrine is part of the Geneva Conventions.

    Additional Protocol I of 1977 codified the doctrine of command responsibility in Articles 86 and 87. I'm reprinting them here for you.

    Art 86. Failure to act

        1. The High Contracting Parties and the Parties to the conflict shall repress grave breaches, and take measures necessary to suppress all other breaches, of the Conventions or of this Protocol which result from a failure to act when under a duty to do so.

        2. The fact that a breach of the Conventions or of this Protocol was committed by a subordinate does not absolve his superiors from penal disciplinary responsibility, as the case may be, if they knew, or had information which should have enabled them to conclude in the circumstances at the time, that he was committing or was going to commit such a breach and if they did not take all feasible measures within their power to prevent or repress the breach.

    Art 87. Duty of commanders

        1. The High Contracting Parties and the Parties to the conflict shall require military commanders, with respect to members of the armed forces under their command and other persons under their control, to prevent and, where necessary, to suppress and to report to competent authorities breaches of the Conventions and of this Protocol.

        2. In order to prevent and suppress breaches, High Contracting Parties and Parties to the conflict shall require that, commensurate with their level of responsibility, commanders ensure that members of the armed forces under their command are aware of their obligations under the Conventions and this Protocol.

        3. The High Contracting Parties and Parties to the conflict shall require any commander who is aware that subordinates or other persons under his control are going to commit or have committed a breach of the Conventions or of this Protocol, to initiate such steps as are necessary to prevent such violations of the Conventions or this Protocol, and, where appropriate, to initiate disciplinary or penal action against violators thereof.



    Parent
    Re: 8 U.S. Troops to be Tried for Mahmoudiya Rap (none / 0) (#8)
    by Peaches on Wed Oct 18, 2006 at 04:33:14 PM EST
    My first comment on the New TalkLeft.

    Don't mean to be a smartass, Edger, but here goes,

    War is Hell, Sh#t happens!

    Rape and Murder have always been a part of War. The response of all the supportors of this aggressive war will attribute these crime to the "bad Apples" and point to our prosecution of these criminals as proof that we are conducting a civilized and humanitarian action in Iraq. However, instances like this always happen during war time and they will always happen in the future. Give young Men full of Testosterone unlimited Ammo and Sh#t is going to happen and it is going to to be extremely ugly---ALways! Sometimes, it can be argued that this is a price that has to be paid for war and the benefits of our military action will outweigh these catastrophes. In this case, in Iraq, when there were no WMD's, when we were warned of the potential civil war in the aftermath, in the failure of post-war planning, with a preemptive strike, because of all of these reasons, the ultimate responsibility should be laid upon the true war criminals who planned the invasion and occupation of Iraq, and we both know who they were :)

    Parent

    Re: 8 U.S. Troops to be Tried for Mahmoudiya Rap (none / 0) (#11)
    by Edger on Wed Oct 18, 2006 at 05:47:18 PM EST
    Peaches, jeezus you are a smartass, and I don't care what your friends say about you! ;-)

    Parent
    Re: 8 U.S. Troops to be Tried (none / 0) (#12)
    by Ernesto Del Mundo on Wed Oct 18, 2006 at 05:59:11 PM EST
    Peaches you are exactly right and that's why Gabe's defense of the neocon cabal holds no water. They had to know that every war produces this type of horror...and worse (of course, none of them ever saw it firsthand since our very special caste system assured them of staying safe and snug while the lower class losers did the heavy bleeding). And with that knowledge comes the responsibility of deciding when to go to war. Only as a last resort...not because of some half-baked plan to take over the world.

    Give them a fair trial then put them away forever.

    Re: 8 U.S. Troops to be Tried (none / 0) (#13)
    by Edger on Wed Oct 18, 2006 at 06:40:42 PM EST
    Well put, Ernesto.  

    What about those of us who knew better, we who knew the words were lies and worse than lies? Why did we sit silent? Why did we take part? Because we loved our country. What difference does it make if a few political extremists lose their rights? What difference does it make if a few racial minorities lose their rights? It is only a passing phase. It is only a stage we are going through. It will be discarded sooner or later. [BUSH] himself will be discarded -- sooner or later.  The country is in danger.


    Parent