Friday, March 02, 2007

This makes me sad.

US soldier gets 100 years in prison for rape, murder of Iraqi girl, Yahoo! News

"A US soldier was sentenced Thursday to 100 years in prison for his role in the rape and murder of a 14-year-old Iraqi girl and the slaying of her parents and younger sister.

"But under military law and following a plea bargain Sergeant Paul Cortez could be eligible for parole after 10 years."

Rape, Murder, and the American GI, by Robin Morgan, on AlterNet.

"The soldiers noticed [Abeer, the 14-year-old victim] at a checkpoint. They stalked her after one or more of them expressed his intention to rape her. On March 12, after playing cards while slugging whisky mixed with a high-energy drink and practicing their golf swings, they changed into black civvies and burst into Abeer's home in Mahmoudiya, a town 50 miles south of Baghdad. They killed her mother Fikhriya, father Qassim, and five-year-old sister Hadeel with bullets to the forehead, and "took turns" raping Abeer. Finally, they murdered her, drenched the bodies with kerosene, and lit them on fire to destroy the evidence. Then the GIs grilled chicken wings.

"These details are from a sworn statement by Spc. James P. Barker, one of the accused along with Sgt. Paul Cortez, Pfc. Jesse Spielman, and Pfc. Bryan Howard; a fifth, Sgt. Anthony Yribe, is charged with failing to report the attack but not with having participated."


Soldiers Face Neglect, Frustration At Army's Top Medical Facility, by Dana Priest and Anne Hull, The Washington Post.

"...the despair of Building 18 symbolizes a larger problem in Walter Reed's treatment of the wounded...Many agreed to be quoted by name; others said they feared Army retribution if they complained publicly.

"On the worst days, soldiers say they feel like they are living a chapter of 'Catch-22.' The wounded manage other wounded. Soldiers dealing with psychological disorders of their own have been put in charge of others at risk of suicide.

"Disengaged clerks, unqualified platoon sergeants and overworked case managers fumble with simple needs: feeding soldiers' families who are close to poverty, replacing a uniform ripped off by medics in the desert sand or helping a brain-damaged soldier remember his next appointment.

"'We've done our duty. We fought the war. We came home wounded. Fine. But whoever the people are back here who are supposed to give us the easy transition should be doing it,' said Marine Sgt. Ryan Groves, 26, an amputee who lived at Walter Reed for 16 months. 'We don't know what to do. The people who are supposed to know don't have the answers. It's a nonstop process of stalling...'

"...Danny Soto, a national service officer for Disabled American Veterans who helps dozens of wounded service members each week at Walter Reed, said soldiers 'get awesome medical care and their lives are being saved,' but, 'Then they get into the administrative part of it and they are like, "You saved me for what?" The soldiers feel like they are not getting proper respect. This leads to anger.'"

And third:

Walter Reed patients told to keep quiet, by Kelly Kennedy, Army Times:

"Soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center’s Medical Hold Unit say they have been told they will wake up at 6 a.m. every morning and have their rooms ready for inspection at 7 a.m., and that they must not speak to the media.

"'Some soldiers believe this is a form of punishment for the trouble soldiers caused by talking to the media,' one Medical Hold Unit soldier said, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

"It is unusual for soldiers to have daily inspections after Basic Training."

I wish I could do something to stop this unnecessary despair called "war."

1 comment:

Stephanie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.