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U.S. braces for 'Iraq's My Lai'
(Robert H. Reid, Chicago Sun Times, 29 May 2006)
he U.S. military is getting ready for a major scandal over the alleged slaying of Iraqi civilians by Marines in Haditha -- charges so serious they could threaten President Bush's effort to rally support at home for an increasingly unpopular war. . . . Although the case has attracted little attention so far in Iraq, it still could inflame hostility to the U.S. presence just as Iraq's new government is getting established, and complicate efforts to quell the insurgency. . . . A Pentagon official said investigators think Marines committed unprovoked murder in the deaths of about two dozen in November. . . . Haditha is not the only case pending: Wednesday, the military announced an investigation into allegations that Marines killed a civilian April 26 near Fallujah. The statement said "service members" had been sent back to the United States "pending results of the criminal investigation." . . . Last July, Iraq's ambassador to the United Nations accused the Marines of killing his 21-year-old cousin during a search of his family's home in Haditha. Results from a criminal investigation have not been announced. . . . Together, the cases present the most serious challenge to U.S. handling of the Iraq war since the Abu Ghraib prison scandal. . . . "What happened at Haditha appears to be outright murder," said Marc Garlasco of Human Rights Watch. "The Haditha massacre will go down as Iraq's My Lai," a reference to the Vietnam War incident in which American soldiers slaughtered up to 500 civilians in 1968.
ALSO SEE: Marines in Iraq 'massacre' may face the death penalty - 29 May 2006 - World News
posted by Lorenzo 5:55 AM