Aletho News


Iraq killing spree GI off scot-free

Press TV – January 24, 2012

A US military judge has recommended no time in confinement for a Marine accused of involvement in a massacre in the Iraqi town of Haditha in 2005 that left 24 civilians dead.

The judge made the ruling in the case of Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich on Tuesday at Camp Pendleton, California, but the decision still must be approved by the commander of the Marine Corps Forces Central Command.

Wuterich was one of eight Marines originally charged with killing Iraqi civilians, including women, children, elderly people, and a man in a wheelchair.

The charges against six of them were dropped or dismissed, and one was acquitted in a court-martial.

On Monday, Wuterich agreed to a plea deal, according to which he would plead guilty to a single count of dereliction of duty and face a maximum of three months confinement, a two-thirds cut in pay, and a rank demotion to private.

Before the plea, he faced nine counts of manslaughter, assault, and dereliction of duty.

Gary Solis, a former Marine lawyer now teaching the law of war at Georgetown University, said on Monday that if the Wuterich case is studied by future military lawyers, it may be as an example of how not to investigate and prosecute a case.

In the incident, dubbed the Massacre of Haditha by the media, Sgt. Wuterich led his Marine squad on a bloody rampage that killed 24 Iraqis in the town of Haditha after a roadside bomb exploded near a Marine convoy, killing one Marine and wounding two others.

The massacre caused international outrage and was one of the main reasons that the Iraqi government refused to extend immunity to US forces in the country in 2011.

January 24, 2012 - Posted by | Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | ,


  1. Sgt Wuterich committed war crimes, the mass murder on civilians in cold-blooded point-blank hate-crime, perhaps racist, certainly cowardly, for they were not under fire, just shooting women and children between the eyes for kicks!

    The victims included 10 women and children killed at point-blank range. Six people were killed in one house, most shot in the head, including women and children huddled in a bedroom.

    Camp Pendleton should be ashamed of being associated with that miscarriage of justice. I am of course opposed to double-jeopardy, but no less than winking at war criminals for esprit de corps!

    That squad of Marines violated the Nuremberg Principles’ prohibition of Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes. It reminds me of My Lia, but missing in Sp4 Henderson to stop them. So, Lt Calley never did time outside of a motel room in Florida with his (perhaps subsidized) girlfriend.

    Put that is par for the course, with no courts martial for the brass for conspiracy in 9/11 or craven complicity to this day.

    What of the pilots, the uniformed nurds sending drones to the same thing, but not a point-blank range, in an invaded country; they are continents away, unarmed, chewing candy, and using a mouse to commit mass murder, which is a War Crime.

    But, look at congress and the democratic party, it is just the same thing on a higher level or criminality. Obama is just another Sgt Wuterich, and most of those in attendance at the State of Union address by War Criminal Obama, without anyone booing the piece of shit, calling his a liar, ordering him to resign!

    Congress passed the ominous military authorization act containing the totalitarian provisions to abduct, torture, and assassinate as they please, without any due process. Obama signed it! And there in chamber of the US House of Representatives were enemies of the US Constitution, and they might even know it!


    Comment by Bill Mitchell | January 25, 2012

  2. CORRECTION to my previous post below.:

    Here is the paragraph where I misremembered the surname of the soldier who stopped a total massacre that did murder 400-700 civilians, mostly women, children, babes; and old people. I contrasted them in that no one objected by hollered “that’s illegal, you can’t murder these people like this!”
    No man or woman, can be better than their mission. They must weigh it radically. Is the war just, are reasons given true or contrived, and regardless; that you can’t shot unarmed people execution style because a “superior” ordered you to do it.

    My Lai Massacre

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    ‘…… Killings

    On the morning of March 16, Charlie Company landed following a short artillery and helicopter gunship preparation. Though the Americans found no enemy fighters in the village, many soldiers suspected there were NLF troops hiding underground in the homes of their wives or elderly parents. The US soldiers, including a platoon led by Second Lieutenant William Calley, went in shooting at what they deemed to be an enemy position.

    Once the first civilians were wounded or killed by indiscriminate fire, the soldiers began attacking humans and animals alike, with firearms, grenades and bayonets. The scale of the massacre grew, the brutality only increasing with each killing. BBC News described the scene: “Dozens of people, herded into an irrigation ditch and other locations, were killed with automatic weapons.”[16]

    A large group of about 70–80 villagers, rounded up by the 1st Platoon in the center of the village, were killed on an order given by Calley, who also participated. Calley also shot[clarification needed] two other large groups of civilians with a weapon taken from a soldier who had refused to do any further killing.

    Members of the 2nd Platoon killed at least 60–70 Vietnamese, as they swept through the northern half of Mỹ Lai 4 and through Binh Tay, a small subhamlet about 400 metres (1,300 ft) north of Mỹ Lai 4.[3] The platoon suffered one dead and seven wounded by mines and booby traps.[3]

    After the initial “sweeps” by the 1st and 2nd Platoons, the 3rd Platoon was dispatched to deal with any “remaining resistance.” They immediately began killing every living person and animal they could find. This included Vietnamese who had emerged from their hiding places as well as the wounded, found moaning in the heaps of bodies. The 3rd Platoon also rounded up and killed a group of seven to twelve women and children.[3]

    Since Charlie Company had encountered no enemy opposition, the 4th Battalion, 3rd Infantry Regiment, was transported by air to its landing zone at between 08:15 and 08:30 and attacked the subhamlet of Mỹ Khe 4, killing as many as 90 people.

    Over the following two days, both battalions were involved in additional burning and destruction of dwellings, as well as mistreatment of Vietnamese detainees. While most of the soldiers did not participate in the crimes, they neither protested nor complained to their superiors.[17]

    [edit] Helicopter intervention

    Warrant Officer One Hugh Thompson, Jr., a helicopter pilot from an aero-scout team, saw a large number of dead and dying civilians as he began flying over the village—all of them infants, children, women and old men, with no signs of draft-age men or weapons anywhere. Thompson and his crew witnessed an unarmed passive woman being kicked and shot at point-blank range by Captain Medina (Medina later claimed that he thought she had a grenade).[18] The crew made several attempts to radio for help for the wounded. They landed their helicopter by a ditch, which they noted was full of bodies and in which there was movement. Thompson asked a sergeant he encountered there (David Mitchell [no relation] of the 1st Platoon) if he could help get the people out of the ditch, and the sergeant replied that he would “help them out of their misery”. Thompson, shocked and confused, then spoke with Second Lieutenant Calley, who claimed to be “just following orders”. As the helicopter took off, they saw Mitchell firing into the ditch.

    Thompson then saw a group of civilians (again consisting of children, women and old men) at a bunker being approached by ground personnel. Thompson landed and told his crew that if the soldiers shot at the Vietnamese while he was trying to get them out of the bunker that they were to open fire at these soldiers.Thompson later testified that he spoke with a lieutenant (identified as Stephen Brooks of the 2nd Platoon) and told him there were women and children in the bunker, and asked if the lieutenant would help get them out. According to Thompson, “he [the lieutenant] said the only way to get them out was with a hand grenade”. Thompson testified that he then told Brooks to “just hold your men right where they are, and I’ll get the kids out”. He found 12–16 people in the bunker, coaxed them out and led them to the helicopter, standing with them while they were flown out in two groups.

    Returning to Mỹ Lai, Thompson and other air crew members noticed several large groups of bodies. Spotting some survivors in the ditch, Thompson landed again. A crew member entered the ditch and returned with a bloodied but apparently unharmed child who was flown to safety. The child was thought to be a girl, but later turned out to be a four-year-old boy. Thompson then reported what he had seen to his company commander, Major Frederic W. Watke, using terms such as “murder” and “needless and unnecessary killings”. Thompson’s reports were confirmed by other pilots and air crew.[19]

    For their actions, Thompson was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) and his crew were awarded Bronze Star medals. Andreotta received his medal posthumously, as he was killed in action on April 8, 1968.[20] As the DFC citation included a fabricated account of rescuing a young girl from My Lai from “intense crossfire”[21] Thompson threw his medal away.[22][23] He later received a Purple Heart for other services in Vietnam.[24] In 1998, the helicopter crew’s medals were replaced by the Soldier’s Medal, “the highest the US Army can award for bravery not involving direct conflict with the enemy.” The medal citations state they were “for heroism above and beyond the call of duty while saving the lives of at least 10 Vietnamese civilians during the unlawful massacre of non-combatants by American forces at My Lai”.[25] Thompson initially refused the medal when the US Army wanted to award it quietly. He demanded it be done publicly and that his crew also be honored in the same way.[26][27] The veterans also made contact with the survivors of Mỹ Lai.[28]


    Comment by Bill Mitchell | January 25, 2012

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