U.S. ARMY "WAR CRIME" SINCE CALLEY
The U.S. Army is faced with possibly the worst "war crime" in its history since the Lt. William Calley "My Lai Massacre" of women and children in Vietnam almost 40 years ago.
If the charges against a former GI and four of his buddies still in the Army stick, this alleged attack will go down as one of the most horrific abuses ever committed against innocent civilians by U.S. forces. And the propaganda value of the action to our enemies can only undermine America's already battered image in the Arab world.
The alleged rape of a 14 year-old girl, her "premeditated" killing, and the slayings of her parents and a little sister, aged five, can only disgust decent people anywhere in the world. While MilitaryCorruption.com usually is on the side of the defendant in many of the cases we cover, our sources tell us this case is solid against the accused. Justice must be sure and swift, and if it is proven beyond any reasonable doubt that former paratrooper Steven Green plotted to rape and kill and then try and conceal his actions, he should be executed. The other soldiers, who may not have done the killing themselves, but participated in the crime and tried to cover it up, deserve a long stretch at the Leavenworth DB.
A PREMEDITATED CRIME THAT ALMOST SUCCEEDED
According to our sources, Green and four other soldiers went to the home of Abeer Qassim Hamza, 14, in Mahmoudiya, south of Baghdad, last March 12 with the intent to sexually assault the attractive teenage girl they had seen before passing through their nearby checkpoint.
Investigators claim Green, and perhaps one other GI, raped the girl, then shot to death her family - father, Qassim Hamza; mother, Fikhriya Taha; and little sister Hadeel Qassim Hamza. It is alleged Green also executed the rape victim and tried to set fire to the girl's body.
The assault was carefully planned. According to the FBI affidavit filed against Green in Charlotte, NC federal court, (the others accused face military court-martial), Green and at least two other soldiers "targeted" the teenager and her family for at least a week before the attack.
Efforts were made to conceal their role. The attackers allegedly drank alcohol, abandoned their checkpoint and changed into black clothing to avoid detection. Next, they burst into the victim's home, some 200 yards from their post, and began the alleged reign of terror.
Names of Green's supposed accomplices were not available at presstime. We do know the soldiers all face Article 32 investigations (preliminary hearings) to see if there is sufficient evidence to put them on trial. Our sources say such "evidence" is strong. At least one alleged participant, a G.I. who knew about the attack, has told the CID all the details of the bloody assault.
A look at Green's background - high school dropout, broken home, mother did jail time - indicates the Army is taking a big risk when it scrapes "the bottom of the barrel" to get recruits to sign up and possibly go fight in an unpopular and perhaps - in MCC's opinion - unnecessary war in Iraq.
Lowering standards and letting losers like Green into uniform has proven to be a terrible mistake. Just how costly that error is, will be seen in the weeks and months to come. This story could make the Abu Ghraib case look like a tea party.