Monday, March 29, 2010

When Soldiers Become Murderers

Karen De Coster, The LRC Blog
The February 22, 2010 issue of Time magazine includes this article: “The Threat From Within. Some soldiers become murderers. The military needs to figure out how to stop them.”
After that headline, the article does not dare raise the question of who trained them to murder. Not a single comment about what those soldiers are doing overseas, and how murdering for the state makes them “soldiers,” not murderers. As usual, the media recognizes murder, when committed by those who are given orders to murder, to be justified and permissible. Outside of the military, it’s a crime. From the article:
"In late 2005, 1st Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division took control of a stretch of land just south of Baghdad that had come to be known as the Triangle of Death. Experiencing some form of combat nearly every day, suffering from a high casualty rate and enduring chronic breakdowns in leadership, one of the battalion’s platoons — 1st Platoon, Bravo Company — fell into a tailspin of poor discipline, substance abuse and brutality. In March 2006, four 1st Platoon soldiers — Specialist Paul Cortez, Specialist James Barker, Private First Class Jesse Spielman and Private First Class Steven Green — perpetrated one of the most heinous war crimes known to have been committed by U.S. forces during the Iraq War: the rape of a 14-year-old Iraqi girl and the cold-blooded murders of her, her parents and her 6-year-old sister".
This event is known as the Mahmudiyah killings. It wasn’t just a rape — it was a brutal gang rape. After the rape, Green shot the girl on the head and set her body on fire. Steve Green had already raped the girl in a solo act prior to this killing event. Green had an imperfect past prior to enlisting in the Army, and like many young men with no focus or direction, he pursued the only option he had — the military. Infantry training.
Read more here

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