Thursday, August 09, 2007

U.S. Attack Kills 32 in Sadr City - New York Times

U.S. Attack Kills 32 in Sadr City - New York Times:
Residents describe some or all of the victims as innocent, while American military statements typically describe those killed by American weapons as militants.

"The American attack coincided with an expanded curfew across Baghdad for a Shiite religious festival welcoming tens of thousands to the capital, and with a trip to Iran by Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki for discussions about security.
Hospital officials in the Sadr City district of Baghdad said that the American airstrike had killed or wounded several civilians, including a child, though the military disputed that account.

Lt. Col. Christopher Garver, an American military spokesman here, said the airstrike was called in against suspected gunmen who were surrounding a vehicle and who were moving toward American troops who had been taking fire. He said 30 people around the vehicle were killed, and 2 more died during the raid, all of them combatants.

“They called in an airstrike on a tactical formation of individuals, on people who were operating as a tactical unit,” Colonel Garver said. “Those are the ones who were hit.”

American military raids causing Iraqi deaths, particularly in Sadr City, frequently lead to conflicting stories. Residents describe some or all of the victims as innocent, while American military statements typically describe those killed by American weapons as militants. In most cases, neither side can provide definitive proof. "

“Early Release for 2 Marines

The Iraqi civilian was pulled from his Hamdaniya home and shot in April 2006. An AK-47 and shovel were placed nearby to make him look like an insurgent planting a bomb. After a mere 17 months in military prison both marines were released four months early “ensure fair treatment,” the Marines said. Not bad for premeditated murder, plead down to aggravated assault and conspiracy to obstruct justice.

CAMP PENDLETON, Calif., Aug. 8 (AP) — Two marines who pleaded guilty in the case of a slain Iraqi civilian have been released from military prison four months early.

The two, Tyler A. Jackson and Jerry E. Shumate Jr., had been demoted from corporal to private and sentenced to 21 months in prison as part of plea deals in which they admitted to aggravated assault and conspiracy to obstruct justice. Both were released Monday to “ensure fair treatment,” the Marines said in a statement.

Lt. Gen. James N. Mattis, who is overseeing the case, weighed their “military experience, relative rank and position of authority and their specific involvement in the death of the Iraqi man,” the statement said.

The Iraqi civilian was pulled from his Hamdaniya home and shot in April 2006. An AK-47 and shovel were placed nearby to make him look like an insurgent planting a bomb, according to the prosecution. ”

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/09/world/middleeast/09iraq.html?ex=1344398400&en=09e0ce907f689f3f&ei=5124&partner=permalink&exprod=permalink

con·cept: U.S. Attack Kills 32 in Sadr City - New York Times