Another Apocalypse Now - In Iraq ...
Some soldiers serve their country.
Sadly, certain scumbags serve only to shame it.
Some people, such as This Old Brit and Richard, never shy away from standing up to be counted. Some others seek to slink off into the shadows, and some do so on a serial basis.
To which group belongs a certain NCO, Sgt Frank Wuterich of Kilo Company, Third Battalion, First [US] Marines along with several others from the same ' band of brothers' -- ranking both above and below him -- remains as yet to be seen.
Remember what it says in This Old Brit's blog profile -- Richard Reports. You decide.
But to help more plainly put you in the picture, here's a bit more about the man/men we've mentioned -- snipped from Scotland's award winning independent newspaper, The Sunday Herald.
So far, three marine officers, including the commander of Kilo Company and the commander of the third battalion, have been relieved of duty.Here's a little longer extract from the same sickening story.
The investigation is centred on the NCO who was leading Kilo Company on the day, and was allegedly at the scene of nearly every killing, and a number of other soldiers who are said to have taken part directly in the killings.
Sources close to the investigation have named the ranking marine as 25-year-old Sgt Frank Wuterich. Up to nine other men witnessed the killings but did nothing.
CIVILIANS who spent time at the Haditha Dam base of the Third Battalion of the First Marines describe the place as something out of Apocalypse Now or Lord Of The Flies.
It was 'feral' one said. Soldiers didn't wash. They had abandoned regulation billets and had built make-shift, primitive huts bearing skull-and-crossbone signs. The place stank.
One American civilian engineer attached to the camp, with the task of keeping the huge hydro-electric dam nearby operating, said he was terrified of the soldiers he had to live alongside.
Kilo Company was part of the Third Battalion. At 7.15am on November 19 last year, as a column of Kilo Company Humvees drove down the Hay al-Sinnai Road in Haditha, a bomb exploded under the last vehicle 'the tail-end charlie' killing the driver, 20-year-old Lance Corporal Miguel Terrazas.
What happened next will go down in US military history as the worst deliberate atrocity carried out against unarmed civilians by American forces since the notorious massacre at My Lai in Vietnam when GIs killed around 500 people, mainly women, children and the elderly.
Minutes after Terrazas died, the remaining 13-strong unit of marines went on a bloody rampage, wiping out whole families, killing women, children and an elderly man in a wheelchair, and hurling grenades into homes. In all, 24 Iraqi civilians were murdered by American troops.
The killings are already having a corrosive effect on US society, war-weary from scandals such as the torture of detainees at Abu Ghraib and the ever-mounting death toll of American troops. US government sources say some of the marines involved will be put on trial, and could face the death penalty for their crimes.
The men of Kilo Company have been involved in some of the worst horrors of the Iraq war, including the assault on Fallujah which involved close-up killing and hand-to-hand fighting. Many of the marines in Kilo Company were on their second tour of duty in Iraq at the time of the massacre in Haditha.
As soon as the shooting stopped, the marines started to lie and cover up the truth about the Haditha killings.
The faked-up version of events went something like this: as a taxi drove up Hay al-Sinnai Road towards the Humvee column, the marines waved to it to stop. When the Humvees and the taxi came to a halt, a bomb detonated, indicating, the marines claimed, that the taxi was either meant to lure the Humvees over the bomb or that someone in the taxi detonated the bomb. The marines claimed they immediately came under fire from nearby houses once the bomb exploded.
The four passengers in the taxi and the driver fled, the marines claimed, and were all shot dead. Soldiers then returned fire on the positions shooting at them, killing eight insurgents. Fifteen civilians, they said, also died in the explosion which killed the Humvee driver Terrazas.
Investigations by the military, accounts by survivors and reports by human rights organisations and medics have proved that this version of events contains barely a grain of truth.
Here's some more of the same.
When it became clear that the civilians had been shot by US soldiers, the marines switched to saying that the deaths were the fault of insurgents who placed non-combatants in the line of fire as the marines responded to defend themselves.Well, surprise, surprise. Who would have thought it, eh? Accusing their close comrades; stabbing their big brave brothers in the back; fibbing and fingering their fellow troopers.
However, that claim also fell apart when other senior US commanders in Baghdad saw the tape and a criminal investigation was opened.
Military police travelled to Haditha, examined the murder scenes, spoke to survivors and interviewed marines.
The marine's story quickly collapsed and members of Kilo Company started to implicate each other.
They certainly sound like some special sort of fine upstanding soldiers, wouldn't you say?
Here's your last 'taster' from this terrible tale.
A doctor at the hospital said there were no signs of shrapnel wounds from explosives on the bodies, instead the bullet wounds were very apparent.Read the rest of the full revolting report right here.
Most of the victims were shot in the chest and head from close range. Death certificates for all the murdered Iraqi civilians also showed they were all shot - many in the head and chest.
One marine who had to help clear up the aftermath of the murders and remove the bodies, Lance Corporal Roel Ryan Briones, said he was traumatised by what he'd seen. They ranged from little babies to adult males and females, he said. I'll never be able to get that out of my head. I can still smell the blood. This left something in my head and heart.
Briones's mother added: He had to carry a little girl's body. Her head was blown off and her brain splattered on his boots.