they can kill, but they can’t hide
For many of us, it's been clear for some time now that US troops have been indiscriminately killing Iraqi civilians. Thankfully, the myriad crimes have now made front page news and the soldiers who committed them - and their commander in chief - will no longer be able to hide from the images of their defenseless victims, or from the world.
The video aired on Friday shows footage of a March 15 US military raid in the village of Ishaqi, about 80km north of Baghdad.And those are the ones we know about. How many more remain hidden in the graves of silent victims?
The US military had said four people died when the military attacked a house suspected of holding an al-Qaeda operative. The house was destroyed.
But footage shot by a news cameraman at the time shows at least five children dead.
'They wanted to hide the evidence'
The video also shows at least one adult male and four young children with obvious entry wounds to the head. One child has an obvious entry wound to the side caused by a bullet.
Locals said there were 11 total dead. They said they were killed by US troops before the house was levelled.
The video includes a man saying there were "children were stuck in the room, alone and surrounded.
"After they handcuffed them they shot them dead. Later they struck the house with their planes. They wanted to hide the evidence. Even a six-month-old infant was killed. Even the cows were killed."
Other video shows the bodies of three children in the back of a pickup truck that took them to the hospital in Tikrit, Saddam Hussein's former hometown.
On Thursday, the US military's major general William Caldwell said "about three or four" inquiries were being carried out.
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A man was shot in Hamandiya, near Baghdad, in April. The Iraqi was reportedly dragged from his home and killed by U.S. military personnel.
Seven Marines and a Navy corpsman could face murder, kidnapping and conspiracy charges as early as Friday, according to a defense attorney.
The results of a US probe into the incident in Ishaqi cleared US troops of any wrongdoing.
But . . .
On the Ishaqi incident, military officials described a night-time raid aimed at finding a specific guerrilla, who then fled the building but was later caught. Another guerrilla who fired from the building was killed in the raid, they said.
"The forces, upon arrival, began taking direct fire from the building. As the enemy fire persisted, the ground force commander appropriately reacted by incrementally escalating the use of force from small arms fire to rotary wing aviation, and then to close air support, ultimately eliminating the threat," Caldwell said."Allegations that the troops executed a family living in this safe house, and then hid the alleged crimes by directing an air strike, are absolutely false," Caldwell said.
A senior Iraqi police officer said autopsies showed each had been shot in the head.Pretty remarkable coincidence for all the victims to have been shot in the head from outside the house.
Television footage showed the bodies in the Tikrit morgue. Their wounds were not clear, but one infant had a gaping head wound.Given the fact that the investigative report from Haditha turned out to be a coverup, it is not far-fetched to suspect that this one might be too.
Describing that day, Ibrahim Khalaf told Reuters Television U.S. troops attacked his brother Faez's house before raiding his own home. Death certificates from the hospital where the victims were taken said they died of gunshot wounds.
"They started shooting in the air before entering the house. This process lasted for about 20 minutes and after that they entered the house and started shooting inside it," he said.