Reservist witnessed War Crimes, tells High School students

I read this at The War in Context. This site is like Instapundit… mostly just links to important stuff, not so much opinion. After reading only the excerpt on the blog, I find myself quivering… with anger or disgust or sadness. I’m not sure.

I haven’t even read the entire story yet.

Here’s the Excerpt:

Aiden Delgado, an Army Reservist in the 320th Military Police Company, served in Iraq from April 1, 2003 through April 1, 2004. After spending six months in Nasiriyah in Southern Iraq, he spent six months helping to run the now-infamous Abu Ghraib prison outside of Baghdad.

DELGADO: The worst incident that I was privy to was in late November [2003]. The prisoners [held in Abu Graib] were protesting nightly because of their living conditions. They protested the cold, the lack of clothing, the rotting food that was causing dysentery. And they wanted cigarettes. They tore up pieces of clothing, made banners and signs. One demonstration became intense and got unruly. The prisoners picked up stones, pieces of wood, and threw them at the guards. One of my buddies got hit in the face. He got a bloody nose. But he wasn’t hurt. The guards asked permission to use lethal force. They got it. They opened fire on the prisoners with the machine guns. They shot twelve and killed three. I know because I talked to the guy who did the killing. He showed me these grisly photographs, and he bragged about the results. “Oh,” he said, “I shot this guy in the face. See, his head is split open.” He talked like the Terminator. “I shot this guy in the groin, he took three days to bleed to death.” I was shocked. This was the nicest guy you would ever want to meet. He was a family man, a really courteous guy, a devout Christian. I was stunned and said to him: “You shot an unarmed man behind barbed wire for throwing a stone.” He said, “Well, I knelt down. I said a prayer, stood up and gunned them all down.” There was a complete disconnect between what he had done and his own morality.

Q: Commanders permitted use of lethal force against unarmed detainees. What was their response to the carnage?

DELGADO: Our Command took the grisly photos and posted them up in the headquarters. It was a big, macho thing for our company to shoot more prisoners than any other unit.

Q: When did all this happen?

DELGADO: November 24th. The event was actually mentioned in the Taguba Report, under Protocol Golden Spike. And there’s more. Before our company transported the bodies, the soldiers stopped and posed with the bodies and mutilated them further. I got photos from the guy who was there, my friend. I have a photo of a member of my unit scooping out the prisoner’s brains with an MRE [meals-ready-to-eat] spoon. Four people are looking on; two are taking photographs. If you remember the Abu Ghraib stuff that came out on CNN, this kind of stuff was common. You see guys posing with bodies, or toying with corpses. It was a real common thing in the military, all because the guys thought Arabs are terrorists, the scum of the earth. Anything we do to them is all right.

What do *you* think about Delgados stories?

You can read the Taguba Report here. I’ve also archived that webpage in PDF format here.

Here are some choice quote from Taguba Report:

31. (U) SGM Marc Emerson, Operations SGM, 320th MP Battalion, contended that the Detainee Rules of Engagement (DROE) and the general principles of the Geneva Convention were briefed at every guard mount and shift change on Abu Ghraib. However, none of our witnesses, nor our personal observations, support his contention. I find that SGM Emerson was not a credible witness.

33. (S/NF) The various detention facilities operated by the 800th MP Brigade have routinely held persons brought to them by Other Government Agencies (OGAs) without accounting for them, knowing their identities, or even the reason for their detention. The Joint Interrogation and Debriefing Center (JIDC) at Abu Ghraib called these detainees “ghost detainees.” On at least one occasion, the 320th MP Battalion at Abu Ghraib held a handful of “ghost detainees” (6-8) for OGAs that they moved around within the facility to hide them from a visiting International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) survey team. This maneuver was deceptive, contrary to Army Doctrine, and in violation of international law.

more later… off to listen to Prime Minister Paul Martin grovel for forgiveness to the Canadian Public.. should be entertaining.

One thought on “Reservist witnessed War Crimes, tells High School students”

  1. One can only hope that the discovery of these outrages last year has since corrected the conditions that allowed them to occur.

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