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BoyBach
Nov 15, 2006, 04:40 PM
A US Army soldier has pleaded guilty to raping a 14-year-old Iraqi girl and helping murder her and her family.

James Barker agreed to the plea deal at the start of his court-martial in the US to avoid the death penalty, his civilian lawyer said.

A criminal investigation began in June into the killing of the family of four in their home in Mahmudiya, south of Baghdad, in March 2006.

Specialist Barker is one of four US soldiers charged with murder.

They are alleged to have helped a former private - who has since been discharged from the army - to plan, carry out and cover up the attack.

Two of the soldiers could face the death penalty if found guilty.

All four soldiers belong to the 2nd Brigade of the elite 101st Airborne Division.

Separate trial

Specialist Barker had agreed to co-operate with prosecutors and will testify against the others, his civilian lawyer, David Sheldon, said.

The others charged with rape and murder were Pte Jesse Spielman, Sgt Paul Cortez, and Pte Bryan Howard.

In addition, former soldier Steven Green has been charged in a civilian court and is awaiting trial in a Kentucky jail.

He was discharged from the army for a personality disorder earlier this year, and in July pleaded not guilty to charged of murder and sexual assault.

Later on Wednesday, a military court in California is due to hand down a sentence to a private who admitted to involvement in the death of an Iraqi civilian near the town of Hamdaniya last April.

- BBC (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/6152118.stm)

Hearts and minds?

Grakkle
Nov 18, 2006, 01:48 AM
Well, it's really no surprise that things like this happen in war zones. I hesitate to say that it's a natural side effect of war, but in fact it is.

Soldiers are trained to kill - basically, they learn to disrespect human life - and this attitude carries over in many cases to civilians.

When a person sees other human life as a potential target, the implications are obvious.

I'm not suggesting that all soldiers are rapists and murderers by any means, but I do think that the business of war tends to lead one to regard life as disposable. How could it not?

AP_piano295
Nov 18, 2006, 07:01 AM
Well, it's really no surprise that things like this happen in war zones. I hesitate to say that it's a natural side effect of war, but in fact it is.

Soldiers are trained to kill - basically, they learn to disrespect human life - and this attitude carries over in many cases to civilians.

When a person sees other human life as a potential target, the implications are obvious.

I'm not suggesting that all soldiers are rapists and murderers by any means, but I do think that the business of war tends to lead one to regard life as disposable. How could it not?


Does that really matter? The cause doesnt change the effect.

iGary
Nov 18, 2006, 07:10 AM
Rape happens everywhere, every day.

clevin
Nov 18, 2006, 07:55 AM
well, maybe rape happens everyday, but the rapists won't kill victims' whole family and the rapists aren't from a foreign country.

iGary
Nov 18, 2006, 08:01 AM
well, maybe rape happens everyday, but the rapists won't kill victims' whole family and the rapists aren't from a foreign country.

That never happens in the states?

I'm just saying that sick crap like this happens every day - doesn't matter whether you're deployed in a foreign country or live in Detroit.

Grakkle
Nov 19, 2006, 01:32 PM
That never happens in the states?

I'm just saying that sick crap like this happens every day - doesn't matter whether you're deployed in a foreign country or live in Detroit.

That's true, but the chaos of a war zone makes such things more common, both by soldiers and the local idiots. If the chances of punishment for a crime are nil or unlikely, more people are going to commit crimes.

BoyBach
Feb 22, 2007, 02:35 PM
A US soldier being court-martialled for raping a 14-year-old Iraqi girl and killing her family last March broke down in tears yesterday as he gave a graphic account of the unprovoked attack.

Sgt Paul Cortez, one of five men facing criminal charges for the atrocity, described how he and his comrades discussed "having sex with an Iraqi female" and then selected their target in such a way as to minimise getting caught.

He, James Barker and Steven Green had their eye on a farmhouse near their checkpoint in Mahmudiya, near Baghdad. They visited it before the attack and behaved so lasciviously around Abeer Qasim al-Janabi that she was sent to sleep at a neighbour's house. They made their move in broad daylight, when Abeer's parents and five-year-old sister were also home. Cortez told the court that Green took the three into a bedroom while Cortez and Barker took turns raping Abeer in the living room.

"She kept trying to keep her legs closed and saying stuff in Arabic," Cortez said. "During the time me and Barker were raping Abeer, I heard gunshots that came from the bedroom. After Barker was done, Green came out and said that he had killed them all... Green then placed himself between Abeer's legs to rape her."

Green shot the girl dead too, at which point the soldiers set her on fire. The fire prompted neighbours to contact Abeer's uncle, who discovered the bodies.

Cortez broke down several times as he read his account. The judge called a break at one point so he could regain his composure.

Cortez is the second soldier to be court-martialled. Barker pleaded guilty in November and was sentenced to 90 years. Both men struck a plea bargain whereby they escaped the death penalty in exchange for their full cooperation. Steven Green was honorably discharged in May and is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

At first the US authorities blamed the attack on Iraqi insurgents. The truth emerged after members of Cortez's unit were kidnapped and beheaded by a Shia group last June in an explicit act of revenge. A unit member talked about it during counselling, sparking the investigation.

- Independent (http://news.independent.co.uk/world/americas/article2293485.ece)

DeSnousa
Feb 22, 2007, 02:58 PM
Sick and filthy idiots. I know that this happens regularly but hearing it still makes me sick in the stomach. I just don't get rape and never will. The man broke down in tears too, I'm sorry I don't get that you scum. He should of been made to hear it all in one go, instead of leaving the court to 'gain exposure'.

I'm just glad that this was discovered and dealt with in a court of law.

princealfie
Feb 22, 2007, 03:05 PM
How can this be excused? War isn't good to begin with. :eek:

Allotriophagy
Feb 22, 2007, 03:18 PM
I read the Independent's piece on it today and the part which stood out (of all things) was the US's initial attempts to blame "insurgents".

Ha! Seems like the best way to "minimize getting caught" is to be a cog in a poorly managed war machine.

As for "rape happening every day", only about 8% of reported cases in the UK are "stranger rape". So this kind of assault is less common, not even considering the whole raping-then-shooting-a-14-year-old-and-shooting-her-family-and-burning-the-corpses thing...

Mind you, I suppose in Iraq the chances are you don't know the occupying forces personally so that probably affects the numbers...

SpookTheHamster
Feb 22, 2007, 03:23 PM
Steven Green was honorably discharged

Why was his discharge honorable? The acts he committed should surely require dishonorable discharge.

Allotriophagy
Feb 22, 2007, 03:28 PM
Why was his discharge honorable? The acts he committed should surely require dishonorable discharge.

He was discharged before the allegations came to light.

Unless he was discharged afterwards and the FBI are trailing him in a black sedan, waiting to see if he will rape again.

psychofreak
Feb 22, 2007, 03:33 PM
Does that really matter? The cause doesnt change the effect.

Then how come killing an Iraqi militant is better than killing a civilian? Cause definitely changes the effect...