Global Policy Forum

Chapter 7:

By Global Policy Forum and partners
April 2007

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"We go out and kill these people… I define success as continuing to kill the enemy …"
US Marine Captain Andrew del Gaudio [1]

In the counter-insurgency campaign, US Coalition commanders have established very permissive "rules of engagement" to insure a swift and unhesitating use of force and to minimize Coalition casualties. At checkpoints and roadblocks, during house-searches and other operations, these rules allow troops to open fire with little hesitation or restraint. Commanders have seen the killing of Iraqi non-combatants in the course of military operations as regrettable but unavoidable "collateral damage." This environment of extreme violence has produced an increasing number of killings, murders and even atrocities, committed by occupation forces against Iraqi civilians.

Rules of engagement

Rules of engagement (ROE), drawn up by senior commanders, define when, where and how military personnel can "use force." ROEs may vary from one operation or mission to another.[2] Though set by field commanders, they often require approval at a higher level, including civilian leaders. While ROEs determine when it is generally permissible to shoot – sometimes even at civilians - the final decision to fire is left to the immediate judgment of troops on the ground, influenced by uncertainty, stress, fear, hatred and sometimes inexperience.

In light of the large number of civilian casualties,[3] rules of engagement in Iraq have been subject to much criticism. Organizations such as Human Rights Watch[4] , the American Civil Liberties Union[5] and Amnesty International[6] , have requested that the rules be made public, but ROEs are generally classified or for "limited" distribution only. In a news conference in May 2005, when asked to comment on an incident involving the shooting by a US Marine of a wounded Iraqi insurgent in Falluja, Pentagon spokesman Lawrence DiRita answered: "We don't discuss rules of engagement… But [soldiers] have the right of self-defense at all times, and that's a consistent rule of engagement."[7]

While acknowledging the hostile environment in which Coalition forces may operate, Human Rights Watch noted that it "does not absolve the military from its obligations to use force in a restrained, proportionate and discriminate manner, and only when strictly necessary."[8] Evidence suggests that US forces operate under permissive rules and that, in practice, there is further permissiveness in the application of the rules by local commanders and the troops themselves. "Kill counts" and other devices by local commanders encourage competition among soldiers to rack up "enemy kills" and have apparently led to very loose standards of restraint.[9] The result has been a rapid "escalation of force" by troops under diverse circumstances, leading to large numbers of civilian casualties.

Roadblocks & Checkpoints

Iraqi children cry after their parents were killed when US troops opened fire on their car as it approached a checkpoint in Tal Afar. Photo credit: Chris Hondros/Getty Images

From the very beginning of the occupation, there have been excessive and unnecessary deaths at military checkpoints.[10] Civilian casualties occur even at stable and well-defined checkpoints. But most risky are those checkpoints that are set up in ways that make them hard for motorists to see in advance – set up temporarily and suddenly, or in unexpected places, or at night, or in bad weather, or on curvy roads with poor visibility. A combination of these factors can be especially lethal. Approaching civilians do not see the checkpoint and learn of it only when they face a hail of bullets or heavy weapon fire. The troops, for their part, see approaching vehicles as a potential threat and tend to open fire upon suspicion, however unfounded.

The soldiers often say they direct their fire at disabling the vehicle, but the record shows that they often fire directly at the driver and passengers, taken (often incorrectly) to be hostile persons. One example is the case of Walid Fayay Mazban, who was driving with his family in Basra in August 2003. It was about 8:30pm and very dark because there was no electricity. The vehicle turned at a junction near a British temporary checkpoint. The soldiers, fearing "suspicious" behavior, shouted "stop" in English. After the vehicle failed to stop and passed through, they shot at it several times from behind. Walid Fayay Mazban did not understand English. He may not even have heard the order. He died from multiple bullet injuries.[11]

The case of Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena brought checkpoint violence into broad public view. On March 4, 2005, after Italian intelligence had negotiated her release from abduction, Sgrena was riding in a car to the Baghdad airport with high-ranking Italian intelligence officer Nicola Calpari. As the car approached the airport, the Italian driver alerted US military authorities by phone. But suddenly, as the car rounded a turn, US soldiers at a temporary roadblock opened fire with 50mm machine guns mounted atop Humvee vehicles. The bullets wounded Sgrena and killed Calpari.[12] The incident caused great outcry in Italy, where the government demanded an inquiry. It turned out that the "mobile checkpoint" had been set up because US Ambassador John Negroponte was having dinner with US General George Casey, commander of US forces, somewhere in the neighborhood.[13] US authorities apologized, but blamed the Italians for driving fast, not stopping, and not providing enough information about their whereabouts.[14] The Italians said they were going no more than 25 miles per hour, did not see the checkpoint until it was too late, and had kept authorities fully posted.[15] Even though none of the official procedures for warnings on the road had been followed, US commanders exonerated the soldiers involved. The incident was widely covered in the press and heavy criticism continued for weeks. Other journalists and media workers have been injured or killed in checkpoint incidents.

Human Rights Watch issued a statement highly critical of checkpoint shootings, saying that many Iraqi civilians and others had died unnecessarily because Coalition forces had failed to take basic precautions.[16] Human rights organizations have urged commanders to reduce these killings by putting out warnings at a distance from the checkpoint – prominent signs in Arabic, physical barriers to force vehicles to slow down such as speed bumps and rubber cones, bright lights and lines in the road.[17] Warning shots, the human rights experts have pointed out, are ineffective and dangerous, because they are sometimes mistaken as hostile fire, causing drivers to accelerate. US commanders adopted many of the suggestions for improved procedures, but the procedures have rarely been implemented on the ground.[18] Checkpoint killings have continued, and many cases have been reported in the press.[19]

US Marines kick in a door of a house. Photo credit: Airman 1st Class Kurt Gibbons/USAF


US Coalition forces routinely carry out house-searches, in pursuit of insurgent fighters and weapons caches. They often use disproportionately violent methods to break into houses, such as shooting door locks, placing a bomb or hand grenade outside the door and battering down front walls with army vehicles.[20] During the first two months of Operation Together Forward, US and Iraqi forces damaged "more than 1,100 doors, 35 windows and 1,350 locks" in Baghdad.[21] The searches that follow entry into the house are very tense and orders may be shouted in English which family members do not understand. Troops may follow a procedure known as "prepping a room" in which they toss a hand grenade into a room prior to a search or spray the room with gunfire.[22] Such methods have killed many civilians, including women and children. [23] In Haditha, two house-searches resulted in the death of fifteen civilians.[24] Sometimes, troops may simply consider a house to be a "free-fire zone" and commanders may give orders to "shoot first and ask questions later."[25]


During patrols, Coalition forces regularly fire on innocent Iraqis, fearful that they might be insurgents. According to a BBC interview with an Iraqi witness, US patrols have shot and killed many civilians "by accident."[26] Citing several examples from Anbar Province, the man claims that "nearly 100 people have died in this way over the past year."[27] According to estimates by the Iraqi Police in Baghdad, US forces killed 33 unarmed civilians and injured 45 in the capital alone, between May 1 and July 12, 2005.[28]

Under constant fear of being ambushed, troops tend to shoot first. Military convoys constantly patrol the streets. Each convoy has a soldier ready to activate his gun from the roof of the humvee, in case a car comes closer than 100 yards. In June 2005, Salah Jmor arrived in Baghdad with his brother to visit his family. As he was driving, he did not see a US military convoy entering the highway. Suddenly, he collapsed after being shot by a single bullet in the head. His brother claims that there was no signal to slow down and that they did not hear any warning shot.[29] This type of incidents is not rare in Iraq. Iraqis complain that they often do not understand signs or do not see them until it is too late and the shooting has already begun.

During routine foot patrols at night, troops are even more nervous about potential car or road bombs. After curfew, they stop all vehicles by shouting words in English and firing a warning shot. But often, the drivers do not see them in the dark, and do not understand the calls, if they can hear them at all. If cars fail to stop, troops fire waves of bullets, often wounding the driver and passengers. In January 2005, a case gruesomely documented by photojournalist Chris Hondros, US troops during a routine foot patrol fired on an approaching vehicle carrying an Iraqi family. A US soldier shouted "Stop that car!" Simultaneously another soldier fired warning shots. But the car did not stop immediately. A few seconds later, waves of bullets hit the car until it stopped. Six children emerged from the vehicle. The two parents were dead.[30]

Walking is not safer than driving at night. In one case documented by Amnesty International, two men left their home in al-Majdiyeh, and went in the street to find out what was happening after hearing gunfire at night. A few minutes later, they were both dead, mistakenly shot by a British patrol. One of the men was hit by seven bullets in his chest and stomach. The other took five bullets in the right arm, the right leg, the chest and lower body. "I am sorry. There was a mistake. I apologize," said a soldier to the father of one of the men. "It was dark. One colleague was in a hurry. I am sorry..."[31]

Air Strikes

The US is increasingly resorting to air strikes against insurgents in Iraq, to minimize US casualties and lower the risks involved in ground operations. According to military figures, the number of air strikes rose from 25 in January to 120in November 2005.[32] While the US Air Force claims to operate with sophisticated, precision guided munitions to avoid civilian casualties, many innocents have died during air operations in residential neighborhoods.

In November 2005, the Coalition carried out an air offensive in Anbar Province. The US did not assess civilian causalities, but the Washington Post reported that according to eyewitnesses and doctors, many civilians were killed, including children.[33] The same month, Coalition air forces conducted an air strike against "two al-Qaida terrorist safe houses" in al-Qaim. While the military claimed to be acting on multiple intelligence sources, the UN Integrated Regional Information Network reported that "dozens of civilians including women and children" were killed.[34] In January 2006, US warplanes targeted a farmhouse in Baiji, killing in their sleep nine innocents in a family, including women and children.[35] Despite the large number of civilians killed during air operations, the US military does not count civilian deaths from US attacks, claiming that "investigating deaths caused by any one strike is often impractical in dangerous areas."[36]

Criminal Homicide & Murder

US troops have occasionally committed premeditated murder against Iraqi civilians, in unprovoked situations. Many such murders doubtless escape notice, because they are attributed to "threatening behavior" that the perpetrator alleges came from the victim. Still, a number of cases have now come to light.

Haditha is the most infamous and well publicized case. On November 19, 2005, a squad of US marines went on a rampage after a roadside bomb killed one of their groups. The squad's leader initially killed five unarmed young men who happened onto the scene in a taxi.[37] The marines then raided nearby houses, firing freely and killing civilians, including women and children.[38] Twenty-four Iraqis died in the incident, including ten women and children and an elderly man in a wheelchair.[39] The marines involved have claimed that they were under a concerted attack by insurgents and their lawyers have argued that their action was a "justifiable use of lethal force."[40] But credible evidence suggests that the civilians were all unarmed and that the marines shot the Iraqis in cold blood and then tried to eliminate damaging evidence, including a headquarters log and video from an aerial drone that showed the incident.[41] Like Abu Ghraib, US officials first described the Haditha massacre as an isolated case of misconduct. But the incident led to other revelations about atrocities, showing that it was part of a pattern of extreme and unrestrained violence that was more common among US Coalition troops than had been previously realized.

Mahmoudiya, another massacre, took place on March 12, 2006. Four army soldiers stationed at a checkpoint south of Baghdad had a drinking bout, changed into dark civilian clothes and walked to a close-by Iraqi home inhabited by the al-Janabi family. Leaving one soldier outside to guard the door, the others entered and killed the two parents and a five year old daughter. Two of the soldiers then raped a 14-year-old Iraqi girl, Abeer Qassim al-Janabi, and then murdered her. The girl's body was found naked and partly burned, evidently in order to destroy the evidence.[42] According to a FBI affidavit filed in the case, the men made advances towards the young woman for a week before the attack.[43] One of the cases, involving Specialist James Barker, has already come to trial and the defendant has pleaded guilty and been sentenced to 90 years in prison. Barker told the court: "To live there, to survive there, I became angry and mean. I loved my friends, my fellow soldiers and my leaders, but I began to hate everyone else in Iraq."[44]

Ishhaqi, another incident, took place on March 15, 2006. US marines attacked a farmhouse, eight miles north of the city of Balad, evidently because of intelligence that an insurgent was inside. Helicopter gunships fired on the house in support of the attackers. Some accounts say that fire was returned from the house, which US forces eventually captured. According to a report by the Iraqi police's Joint Coordination Center, based on a report filed after a local police investigation, US forces entered the house, "gathered the family members in one room and executed 11 persons, including five children, four women and two men. Then they bombed the house, burned three vehicles and killed their animals."[45] Among those who died were a 75 year old woman and a six month old child.

Hamdaniya is similarly disturbing. On April 26, 2006, a squad of seven US marines and one navy sailor apparently dragged an innocent, unarmed and disabled Iraqi, Hashim Ibrahim Awad, from his home, bound his hands and feet, and repeatedly shot him at point blank range.[46] The squad had been lying in ambush for someone else and when that person did not appear they devised a plan to kill any Iraqi instead.[47] The men entered Awad's home, dragged him out, shot him repeatedly in the head and chest, and then staged the scene to make it look like Awad had been an insurgent. The men were charged on June 21, 2006 with premeditated murder, kidnapping, conspiracy and making false statements to investigators. One participant, Petty Officer Nelson Bacos, who testified against the others in an early trial, said: "I didn't believe they would carry out a plan like that … there was no justification … I knew what we were doing was wrong." [48]

Military commanders and courts have systematically referred to Haditha and other massacres as isolated cases. But the large number of such incidents suggests that the atrocities are systemic and have arisen from permissive rules of engagement and a broader culture of excessive violence, often condoned by commanders.


In most cases of serious misconduct and murder, soldiers directly involved have tried to cover up the crimes and often commanders have ignored evidence, failed to actively pursue even the most serious cases and made exculpatory public statements. In the case of Haditha, the Marine Corps issued a press release the next day claiming that many of the Iraqis killed had died from the blast of an insurgent bomb, a version contested by witnesses. In spite of the many Iraqi casualties, the company commander did not inspect the site, choosing to rely on the report of the soldiers involved. Subsequently, investigators found that pages were missing from a company logbook that recorded major incidents and a video tape from a drone flying overhead disappeared, suggesting that the perpetrators or those in collusion with them had destroyed or withheld evidence.[49] Those involved in the incident apparently also made misleading statements to investigators and the drone video resurfaced but was not turned over to investigators until after the first major report had been made by a senior general.[50] A marine inquiry determined that "some officers gave false information to their superiors" in the initial follow-up to the case.[51] In a later report, Major General Eldon A. Bargewell found "willful negligence" among Marine officers and "attempts to hide criminal conduct." Senior officers, he concluded, "exhibited a determination to ignore indications of serious misconduct, perhaps to avoid conducting an inquiry that could prove adverse to themselves or their Marines."[52]

As in Mahmudiya where soldiers tried to conceal evidence of the rape and killing of the teenage girl and her family,[53] or in Hamdaniya where the soldiers put an AK-47 automatic rifle next to the man they had murdered to suggest that he was an insurgent,[54] those involved in the Ishaqi murders called in air support to blow up the house. It appears that they hoped that the crime would disappear beneath the rubble.[55] The US command first exonerated the soldiers, saying that three civilians died due to the exchange of fire in a military operation and also due to the collapse of the house which occurred during the combat. The civilian deaths were determined to be "unintentional," and US forces involved in the incident were said to have "followed the rules of engagement."[56] But following complaints by neighbors and local leaders who claimed the soldiers entered the house while it was still standing, the Iraqi police unexpectedly opened an inquiry using a US-trained criminal investigation team that literally dug up the facts from the collapsed house.[57] After examining the bodies, hands bound, all in one room with execution-style bullet holes to the head and spent US cartridges nearby, the investigation concluded that the people had been murdered in cold blood. Eleven, not three, bodies were found in the rubble.[58] Autopsies at Tikrit Hospital confirmed that all the victims had bullet wounds to the head.[59] The BBC has shown a video from an Associated Press cameraman, taken afterwards on the scene, that the BBC concludes provides strong evidence of the atrocity.[60] But the US military has refused to open a case or to investigate further.

In the case of the death of Italian intelligence agent Nicola Calipari too, an Italian government report issued on May 3, 2005 criticized the way that evidence of the shooting disappeared. The scene of the incident was not preserved for investigation and the logs of the military unit on the day in question were later destroyed. At the very least, this seemed to be sloppy procedure and at worst the obstruction of justice and the covering up of a crime.[61]

US military authorities, embarrassed by a rash of atrocities, have chosen to back up the official version of the facts, insisting that victims died as collateral damage in military operations. Such cover-ups have kept some cases from public view entirely, and they have diminished the strength of the evidence against the perpetrators of the prosecuted crimes. They have contributed to the dismissals of cases and the very weak sentences that are usually handed down.


The military justice system has acted only very rarely to punish cases of murder and atrocities. Most such cases have never reached the point of a formal charge. Those cases in which a charge has been handed down have usually been dismissed at the preliminary administrative tribunal stage or at the later court martial phase. Or they have been settled at either stage with a very mild rebuke or punishment. Very few charges have included premeditated murder, even in such egregious cases as Haditha.

In late August, 2006, the Washington Post conducted a substantial review of military cases during the period June 2003 to February 2006. The Post report found that out of thousands of Iraqis killed by US soldiers under questionable circumstances, the military justice system prosecuted only a "small portion of the incidents."[62] No homicide prosecutions at all have arisen from shootings at checkpoints and very few high-ranking officials have been charged.

Commanders – in whose hands lies the initial decision to start a criminal investigation against their subordinates - have often failed to investigate Iraqi civilian deaths. They have preferred to consider them as unintended consequence of combat operations and ordered administrative or non-judicial punishments instead. "I think there are a number of cases that never make it to the reporting stage, and in some that do make it to the reporting stage, there has been a reluctance to pursue them vigorously," said Gary Solis, a former Marine prosecutor. "There have been fewer prosecutions in Iraq than one might expect."[63] An army major quoted by the Washington Post concurred: "I think there were many other engagements that should have been investigated, definitely. But no one wanted to look at them or report them high… It was just the way thing worked."[64]


The killing of civilians by US troops has raised anger and outrage among the Iraqi population and has sparked strong statements from Iraqi officials. Asked to comment on the events in Haditha, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki called them "totally unacceptable" and qualified US violence against civilians as a "daily phenomenon" in Iraq. He said bluntly that US Coalition troops do not "respect the Iraqi people."[65] After the announcement that a US investigation had cleared troops in the Ishaqi case, the Iraqi government reacted strongly. Adnan al-Kazimi, an aide to Prime Minister al-Maliki, said the government would demand an apology from the US and compensation for the victims in several cases.[66]

The small number of convictions has pushed the Iraqi government to question the immunity given to members of Coalition forces since June 2004. Al-Maliki publicly said he believed immunity from Iraqi courts "encouraged [troops] to commit crimes in cold blood."[67] Iraq Human Rights Minister Wigdan Michael concurred, that the US failure to hold soldiers accountable for their crimes had fostered a climate of impunity among troops: "One of the reasons for this is the UN resolution, which gives the multinational force soldiers immunity. Without punishment, you get violations. This happens when there is no punishment."[68] Michael also raised the possibility that Iraq would demand a review of the Multinational Forces' immunity by the UN Security Council.[69]


The United States and its allies claim they do everything in their power to prevent civilian casualties. Yet, there are many accounts of Coalition forces opening fire and killing Iraqi civilians in circumstances where there was no imminent threat of death or injury to the Coalition troops or anyone else. This is in clear breach of international human rights standards relating to the use of force. In many cases of patrols, house searches, and relentless bombing campaigns, military personnel have used lethal force in absolutely unjustified circumstances. Studies of civilian mortality in Iraq suggest that tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis have been killed in this way since the occupation began.[70]

Murders and atrocities are the extreme form of the daily deadly violence. In Iraq, where US Coalition forces see every man of military age as a potential fighter, and where fear and anger affect the behavior of troops, events like the Haditha massacre are all too likely to occur. According to US Major General Eldon A. Bargewell, "all levels of command [tend] to view civilian casualties, even in significant numbers, as routine and as the natural and intended result of insurgent tactics." "Statements made by the chain of command (…), taken as a whole, suggest that Iraqi civilian lives are not as important as US lives, their deaths are just the cost of doing business, and that the Marines need to get 'the job done' no matter what it takes," he concluded.[71]

This environment of extreme violence and impunity paves the way for murder, rape and atrocities. These acts are prohibited by The Hague Conventions and the Geneva Conventions and they constitute serious war crimes.


[1] As cited in Dexter Filkins: "In Ramadi, Fetid Quarters and Unrelenting Battles" New York Times. (July 5, 2006)

[2]Chapter 5 of the Operational Law Handbook put out by the Judge Advocate School of the Army

[3]See Chapter 5, section on "mortality."

[4]Human Rights Watch, Hearts and Minds (October, 2003)

[5]American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU to Seek Public Accountability in Haditha Investigations (June 22, 2006)

[6]Amnesty International, Killing of Civilians in Basra and al-Amara (May 14, 2004)

[7]US Department of Defense. News Transcript, Defense Department Regular Briefing with Lawrence Di Rita, Pentagon Spokesman; and Lieutenant General James T. Conway, Director, Operations, Joint Staff (May 5, 2005)

[8]Human Rights Watch, Hearts and Minds (October, 2003)

[9]Borzou Daragahi and Julian E. Barnes, "Officers Allegedly Pushed 'Kill Counts'" Los Angeles Times (August 3, 2006)

[10]See, for example, Human Rights Watch, Hearts and Minds (October, 2003), Human Rights Watch, US Checkpoints Continue to Kill (May, 2005) and "Joint Letter from Human Rights Watch and the Committee to Protect Journalists to Secretary Rumsfeld" (June 17, 2005).

[11]Amnesty International, Killing of Civilians in Basra and al-Amara (May 14, 2004)

[12] "Hostage Recounts US Shooting" CNN (March 6, 2005)

[13]Christopher Dickey: "Reality Checkpoints" Newsweek (March 11, 2005)

[14]Declassified US Report

[15]"Italy Disputes US Shooting Acount" CNN (March 8, 2005)

[16]"Joint Letter from Human Rights Watch and the Committee to Protect Journalists to Secretary Rumsfeld". (June 17, 2005)

[17]Human Rights Watch, Hearts and Minds (October, 2003) See also: Human Rights Watch, Iraq: Checkpoints Lack Basic Safety Measures (June 17, 2005)

[18]"Joint Letter from Human Rights Watch and the Committee to Protect Journalists to Secretary Rumsfeld" (June 17, 2005)

[19]See for instance Hillary Brown " Pregnant Iraqi Woman Shot near Security Checkpoint" ABC News (May 31, 2006); Trudy Rubin "Hidden Toll: Civilians Killed Accidentally" Philadelphia Inquirer (July 12, 2006)

[20]For example, see World Health Organization, Detailed Situation Report in Talafar. (August 19, 2005)

[21]Spc. Joshua Ramey, "Together Forward Restores Life to Ameriyah" Official MNF-I website (September 20, 2006)

[22]Gary Younge, "If Wanton Murder is essential to the US Campaign in Iaq, It's Time to Leave" Guardian (June 26, 2006)

[23]Richard Whittle, "Rules of Engagement: What Were they at Haditha?" Christian Science Monitor (October 10, 2006)

[24]Gary Younge, op.cit.

[25]Josh White, "Death in Haditha" Washington Post (January 6, 2006)

[26]"Iraqi Viewpoint: Iraqis Fear US Troops" BBC (June 1, 2006)


[28]Richard Paddock "Shots in the Heart of Baghdad" Los Angeles Times (July 25, 2005)

[29] Ibid.

[30]Chris Hondros: "A Shooting after Nightfall" Newsday (January 19, 2005)

[31]Amnesty International, Killing of Civilians in Basra and al-Amara (May 14, 2004)

[32]Ellen Knickmeyer and Salih Saif Aldin "US Raid Kills Family North of Baghdad" Washington Post (January 4, 2006)

[33]Ellen Knickmeyer "US Airstrikes Take Toll on Civilians" Washington Post (December 24, 2005)

[34]"Civilians Killed Near al-Qaim in Air Strike, Doctors Say" UN Integrated Regional Information Networks (November 1, 2005)

[35]Richard A. Oppel Jr. and Omar Al-Neami "US Strike on Home Kills 9 in Family, Iraqi Officials Say" New York Times (January 4, 2006)

[36]Ellen Knickmeyer and Salih Saif Aldin "US Raid Kills Family North of Baghdad" Washington Post (January 4, 2006)

[37]Josh White, "Death in Haditha" Washington Post (January 6, 2006)


[39]Richard Engel, "What Happened in Haditha" NBC News (May 30, 2006)

[40]David S. Cloud, "Marines Have Excised Evidence on 24 Iraqi Deaths" New York Times (August 18, 2006)


[42]Tim Whitmire "Ex-Soldier Charged with Rape, Murder" Associated Press (July 3, 2006)

[43]Rick Jervis & Andrea Stone, "Four More Soldiers Accused of Rape, Murder in Iraq" USAToday (July 9, 2007)

[44]As quoted in "Iraq Rape Soldiers given Life Sentence," Guardian (November 17, 2006)

[45]Mathew Schofield, "Iraqi Policy Report Details Civilians' Deaths and Hands of US Troops" Knight Ridder Newspapers (McClatchy) (March 19, 2006)

[46]White, Josh, Sonya Geis. "8 Troops Charged In Death Of Iraqi" Washington Post (June 22, 2006)

[47]Carolyn Marshall, "Corpsman Who Failed to Halt Killing of Iraqi Receives Prison Sentence" New York Times (October 7, 2006)


Another marine, John Jodka III, after a plea bargain, was found guilty on a reduced charge and sentenced to 18 months in jail on November 16, 2006 (see "Marine Sentenced Over Iraq Civilian Killing," Guardian (November 16, 2006).

[49]David S. Cloud, Inquiry Suggests Marines Excised Files on Killings, New York Times ( August 18, 2006)


[51]Thomas E. Ricks, " Probe Into Iraq Deaths Finds False Reports" Washington Post (June 1, 2006)

[52]"Simple Failures' and ‘Disastrous Results': Excerpts from Army Maj. Gen. Eldon A. Bargewell's report" Washington Post (April 21, 2007)

[53]"US Military Trial Ordered in Iraq Murder Cases" Reuters (October 19, 2006)

[54]Sonya Geis, "Hearings Begin for Marines Accused of Killing Iraqi" Washington Post (August 31, 2006)

[55]Mathew Schofield, Iraqi Policy Report Details Civilians' Deaths and Hands of US Troops, Knight Ridder Newspapers, McClatchy (March 19, 2006)

[56]Will Dunham, "Troops Cleared in Iraqi Deaths in Ishaqi" Reuters (June 2, 2006)

[57]Mathew Schofield, op.cit.

[58]Ziad Khalaf, "Raid Kills 11, Mostly Women and Children" Associated Press/Army Times (March 15, 2006)

[59]Mathew Schofield, op.cit.

[60] "New ‘Iraq Massacre' Tape Emerges" BBC (June 2, 2006)

[61]Fitzroy Sterling "Still Seeking Answers in US Checkpoint Killing" Inter Press Service (June 24, 2006)

[62] Josh White, Charles Lane and Julie Tate, Homicide Charges Rare In Iraq War, Washington Post (August 28, 2006)

[63]"Convictions in US Cases Rare in Iraq" United Press International (August 28, 2006)

[64]Cited in Josh White, Charles Lane and Julie Tate, "Homicide Charges Rare In Iraq War" Washington Post (August 28, 2006)

[65]Richard A. Oppel "Iraqi Assails US for Strikes on Civilians" New York Times (June 2, 2006)

[66]Brian Brady "Furious Iraq Demands Apology as US Troops Are Cleared of Massacre" Scotland on Suday (June 4, 2006)

[67]Cited in Aaron Glantz "GIs in Iraq Could Be Stripped of Immunity After Rape –Murder Allegations" OneWorld (July 12, 2006)

[68]Mariam Karouny "Iraq to Ask UN to End US Immunity after Rape Case" Reuters (July 2, 2006)


[70]See Chapter 5, section on Mortality

[71]Cited in Josh White, "Report On Haditha Condemns Marines" Washington Post (April 21, 2007)

More Information on Iraq
Full Report on the War and Occupation in Iraq
More Information on Atrocities and Criminal Homicides in Iraq


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