Thursday, July 06, 2006

U.S. Military

Haditha is just beginning
Get ready for major Afghan war crimes charges

Publishing Date: 06.07.06 13:04
Iraqi Prime MInster Nouri al-Maliki

While at least one U.S. soldier faces the death penalty for Iraqi civilian deaths in Mahmudiyah and U.S. Marines are under investigation for the deaths of 24 civilians in Haditha, sources tell G2B the office of the Army's Judge Advocate General is preparing to hand up many other indictments for "war crimes" against Special Forces troops in Afghanistan.

"The witch hunt continues," says one veteran Army insider.

Most of the attention on prosecution of U.S. soldiers in the war on terror has focused on the Iraq front.
At least 14 members of the U.S. military have been convicted in connection with the deaths of Iraqis. Two received sentences of up to life in prison.

Seven Marines and a Navy corpsman were recently charged with premeditated murder for the killing of the Iraqi man in Hamdania April 26.

Also four members of the Army's 101st Airborne Division were charged with murder in the May 9 shooting deaths of three civilians who had been detained by U.S. troops. Meanwhile, the investigation continues into last year's killing of 24 civilians in Haditha, with the possibility that more Marines could be charged with murder.

U.S. prosecutors said a former soldier had been charged with raping and murdering an Iraqi girl and gunning down three other members of her family, including a 5-year-old girl. The Justice Department said Steven Green, 21, could face the death penalty if convicted. The incident occurred on March 12 near the town of Mahmudiyah, south of Baghdad.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki ordered an independent Iraqi investigation into the alleged rape and murder of the Iraqi girl.

But G2B sources say there will be a big wave of indictments in the coming months against Special Forces troops operating in Afghanistan.

The prosecution of American soldiers is seen as an inevitability of the U.S. government's determination to walk a fine line in its continuing occupations of both Iraq and Afghanistan.

Leaders in those countries face a population divided over the U.S. presence. Vigorous prosecutions of perceived wrongdoing by U.S. troops are perceived by the Pentagon as necessary to achieving its political objectives in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, the increasing number of charges against U.S. troops is being used by anti-war activists at home to prove the immorality of the conflict itself.

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