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Iraqi Civilian Deaths ... caused by Bush's unprovoked war

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Massacre cover-up 'may go to the top'
(Michael Gawenda, The Age, May 30, 2006)
Senator John Warner, the Republican chairman of the Armed Services Committee, said he would hold hearings to determine whether there had been a military cover-up of the November 19 incident in Haditha, an insurgent stronghold in Anbar province. . . . Democrat congressman John Murtha, a fierce critic of the war who has close ties to the military and served as a marine for 30 years, including in Vietnam, said there was "no question" that there had been a cover-up of the "massacre". . . . "It might go all the way up the chain of command to General Pace", he said, referring to General Peter Pace, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. . . . "There was an investigation right afterwards, but then it was stifled, so we need to know what happened," he said. "It goes right up the chain of command." . . . [COMMENT by Lorenzo: How many of you remember that Colin Powell's career skyrocketed after he helped his superiors cover up the My Lai Massacre. . . . There is increasing anxiety in the Bush Administration about the fallout from the incident in Haditha, with most Americans already convinced that the war was a mistake and that the Administration has no strategy for winning in Iraq. . . . Mr Murtha said the killings, which allegedly involved a small group of marines going house to house and killing unarmed civilians after one of their colleagues was killed by a roadside bomb, was worse than the human rights abuses at Abu Ghraib. . . . "The killings were unprovoked", Mr Murtha said. "They included girls from 14 to a one-year-old baby. One woman, as I understand it in talking to the officials in the Marine Corps, was bending over her child, pleading for mercy and they shot her in cold blood. That's the thing that's so disturbing." . . . Twenty marines, including officers, have been suspended pending the outcome of the two inquiries, and military officials have made it clear that if the evidence suggests that unarmed civilians were killed, some marines will face murder charges. . . . Senator Warner said he was determined to get to the bottom of the incident and find out why it took the military so long investigate the killings. . . . Mr Murtha said that after the attack on the convoy at Haditha, a group of marines killed a family of five in a taxi before entering two houses where they shot 19 more people during a five-hour rampage. . . . The American ABC network has carried an interview with a 12-year-old girl who said her father was killed as the marines entered her house and they then killed her mother and her sisters, who were cowering in a bedroom. She was huddled with them and played dead. . . . In its latest edition, Time magazine reports that photographs were taken with a mobile phone by a marine that showed a group of Iraqis kneeling before they were shot.

posted by Lorenzo 8:55 AM

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