Geography of atrocity
In the interest of context, the image is part of an encarta.com map, edited by me to highlight the locations of the two incidents that may (or may not) be connected.
Update: 1:30 pm, 8 July - "a military official disclosed Friday that three other soldiers still under investigation [for the Mahmoudiyah crimes] include a sergeant, a specialist and a private first class. ... all four men were in the same platoon." NYTimes
Update 2: 1:00 pm, 9 July - Reuters reports three were charged yesterday with rape and murder, and another soldier with dereliction of duty for failing to report the crime. No names or information on rank. The man accused of dereliction is almost certainly the one who stayed behind at the checkpoint. AP reports four charged with rape and murder, one with dereliction. One of the two accounts is wrong; how hard is it to report the actual text of the military's statement?
Update 3: 3:25 pm, 10 July - Soldiers charged are: Sgt. Paul E. Cortez, Spc. James P. Barker, Pfc. Jesse V. Spielman, and Pfc. Bryan L. Howard, murder, rape, and obstruction of justice. Sgt. Anthony W. Yribe, dereliction of duty and making a false official statement. Apparently I was wrong about Yribe being the checkpoint stay-behind; according to the general who ran today's press conference he "was not there that day, but afterwards had some tacit knowledge." [Results give AP the nod over Reuters in yesterday's reading comprehension contest.]
Update 4: 3:45 pm, 10 July - According to locals in Mahmoudiyah, relatives of the Hamzas asked resistance fighters to take revenge for the crime, and the Youssufiyah checkpoint kidnaping and murder were part of that revenge.
Update 5: 4:05 pm, 10 July - The human rights minister of Iraq announces plans to ask the U.N. to end immunity from local law for U.S. troops. The minister is correct in her assessment that a climate of impunity fosters more violations. I have plans to ask Congress to end the climate of impunity that surrounds our President, Vice President, and Secretary of Defense. They are about as likely to meet with success as the human rights minister's plans. But good luck to both of us.
Labels: Iraq mil