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Soldiers ordered to kill all military age males?

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posted on Jul, 22 2006 @ 01:21 PM
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In this Chicago Sun-Times article, four soldiers have claimed that their orders for a raid on a suspected insurgency training camp were to kill all males of military age. The soldiers are charged with murder but have given the orders as their defence.
 



www.suntimes.com
The soldiers first took some of the men into custody because they were using two women and a toddler as human shields. They shot three of the men after the women and child were safe and say the men attacked them.

''The ROE [rule of engagement] was to kill all military age males on Objective Murray,'' Staff Sgt. Raymond L. Girouard told investigators, referring to the target by its code name.

That target, an island on a canal in the northern Salahuddin province, was believed to be an al-Qaida training camp. The soldiers said officers in their chain of command gave them the order and explained that special forces had tried before to target the island and had come under fire from insurgents.


Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


Firstly, it's pretty obvious that such orders (if given) would be against the Geneva Convention even given the somewhat lax attitude to its application displayed by the US military and government.

Personally, I think it's entirely possible that these orders were in fact given, but there are a number of troubling circumstances about this case. I think that the fact that there were women and children present makes it extremely unlikely that the location was, in fact, an Al Qaeda training camp. It seems entirely possible that the orders were given and then as it turned out it was just a bunch of people living on an island trying to stay secluded and safe from the carnage. The claims of them shooting as Special Forces soldiers are entirely plausible - Iraqis, for their own safety these days, are armed, and these people might indeed have been shooting at people creeping around in the dark.

If the location had genuinely been an AQ training camp, I think we would certainly have heard about it by now and the deaths would definitely have been written off as insurgents. As it stands, it looks to me as if the soldiers are trying to fend off what is from their point of view the unfair consequence of their obeying orders. If they manage to make this stick, the ol' "rotten apple" defence won't work this time.

(Edited just to add the capital 'T' in the source quotation)

[edit on 22-7-2006 by rich23]

Edit: Added another capital.

[edit on 22-7-2006 by intrepid]




posted on Jul, 22 2006 @ 06:05 PM
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If true it is absolutely appalling and would make whomever gave such an order no better than Saddam or his sons.



posted on Jul, 22 2006 @ 06:14 PM
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Blatant violation of Geneva conventions, if true. And if these orders were indeed given, then its only proof that there is an incurable moral rot within the ranks of the military's leadership. Even worse, if soldiers obeyed these orders without protest.

There is nothing more fatal for the American military than the total collapse of basic human morality, and a definite reflection of the current administration values.



posted on Jul, 22 2006 @ 07:24 PM
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I couldn't agree more but mark my word sooner or later there will be those logging onto this thread who will see nothing wrong with it and try and shout down those of us who do despite the fact that those tactics have been the very ones used by those we call oppressors and evil throughout time from the Nazi's to the Assyrians.



posted on Jul, 22 2006 @ 07:46 PM
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Originally posted by Skadi_the_Evil_Elf
Blatant violation of Geneva conventions, if true. And if these orders were indeed given, then its only proof that there is an incurable moral rot within the ranks of the military's leadership. Even worse, if soldiers obeyed these orders without protest.

There is nothing more fatal for the American military than the total collapse of basic human morality, and a definite reflection of the current administration values.


That's quite a stretch Skadi_the_Evil_Elf. The orders may have been given, I don't know, but such orders could have come from only one or two bad officers, not the entire officer corps.



posted on Jul, 22 2006 @ 07:55 PM
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"Even worse, if soldiers obeyed these orders without protest."

That is what bothers me the most. I agree astromner that if they were given those orders they would have had to come from bad officers but you are allowed in the military code of conduct the right to refuse orders you know are wrong and to blindly obey them is always a disturbing development.



posted on Jul, 22 2006 @ 07:59 PM
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Originally posted by Astronomer70
The orders may have been given, I don't know, but such orders could have come from only one or two bad officers, not the entire officer corps.


Aha. Our first promoter of the "rotten apple" theory, only this time it applies to officers rather than enlisted men. "Our boys could never do such a thing". "Our leaders would only take us into just wars". These sentiments usually turn out to be ill-founded, I'm afraid.



posted on Jul, 22 2006 @ 08:06 PM
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I agree Grover they certainly did have that right, or really duty, to refuse orders they believed were totally wrong. It's probably just a BS defense anyway to try to cover their asses. rich23 I can't just condemn the entire military officer corps because that would be wrong and you know it.



posted on Jul, 22 2006 @ 08:07 PM
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Originally posted by grover
"Even worse, if soldiers obeyed these orders without protest."

That is what bothers me the most. I agree astromner that if they were given those orders they would have had to come from bad officers but you are allowed in the military code of conduct the right to refuse orders you know are wrong and to blindly obey them is always a disturbing development.


And in principle, I'd agree too that those orders are morally wrong and against the convention.

But are they wrong when you are in a combat situation where any military age males left in your patrol zone all have guns and are trying to kill you? The orders could well be justified in certain war situations.



posted on Jul, 22 2006 @ 08:34 PM
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Originally posted by Astronomer70
I agree Grover they certainly did have that right, or really duty, to refuse orders they believed were totally wrong. It's probably just a BS defense anyway to try to cover their asses. rich23 I can't just condemn the entire military officer corps because that would be wrong and you know it.


I certainly didn't ask you to do that, which you may see if you re-read my post.

It is however interesting that you at least admit that these orders, if given, should have been disobeyed. The idea that these orders could be justified in certain war situations is weakened somewhat because the US is the invader. It's not - and this is obvious to anyone outside the US and hence not prey to domestic propaganda or the need to believe in the rightness of its cause - a liberator, but an oppressor, and a pretty obnoxious one at that.

And people who disobey orders in wartime tend to get pretty short shrift from their commanding officers. Those who had the moral fibre to refuse to serve in this war have all been smeared as cowards.

But the point I would make is that the US is now in a Vietnam-style quagmire. Does no-one remember the quote from that era "we had to destroy the village in order to save it"? What so many of the posters on this board fail to realise is that one of the main factors in the chaos that has now been visited on Iraq is that the US military does not comport itself very well and the average Iraqi now sees them as the enemy. The "insurgents" are not necessarily foreign fighters - they are locals who have had enough of being treated like Hajii or untermenschen.



posted on Jul, 22 2006 @ 08:36 PM
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Originally posted by Astronomer70
That's quite a stretch Skadi_the_Evil_Elf. The orders may have been given, I don't know, but such orders could have come from only one or two bad officers, not the entire officer corps.


Not necessarily. And this is not the first time in Iraq we see cases of questionable or downright brutal behavior by U.S. troops where orders from officers were involved.

It is the responsibility of officers to ensure order, discipline, and proper sucess of his subordinates. Since we are seeing more and more cases of troops engaging in war crimes, immoral behavior, and a great breakdown in morale and stability amongst the ranks, we can say that there is a big problem with the officers, since if they were carrying out their duties like they were supposed to be doing, this would not happen.

true American, there is NO justification in ANY case to murder all military age males in an area, regardless of circumstance.



posted on Jul, 22 2006 @ 09:02 PM
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We are supposed to be better than this...yes its true that anyone in a war zone could be armed and and enemy but when you follow that logic to its end what you have are the Mi Lai's and the like, where men, women and children are killed indiscriminately. When the Vietnam vets took John Kerry to task for saying that there were atrocities committed (that is BTW not what he said, he told congress that he had been told about atrocities at the Winter Soldiers gathering) in Vietnam, it was exactly that sort of thing (Mi Lai) that they connviently chose to forget about. Atrocities happen in all wars (and the greatest being war itself) but that still does not make them right.



posted on Jul, 22 2006 @ 09:11 PM
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Originally posted by rich23

I certainly didn't ask you to do that, which you may see if you re-read my post.

It is however interesting that you at least admit that these orders, if given, should have been disobeyed. The idea that these orders could be justified in certain war situations is weakened somewhat because the US is the invader. It's not - and this is obvious to anyone outside the US and hence not prey to domestic propaganda or the need to believe in the rightness of its cause - a liberator, but an oppressor, and a pretty obnoxious one at that.


Exactly how you got from a single incident to calling the coallition forces in Iraq oppressors is beyond me, but you went even further by calling them obnoxious oppressors to boot. I think you believe entirely too much of what you read in the media, which has been biased during this entire war.


And people who disobey orders in wartime tend to get pretty short shrift from their commanding officers.


Yes they do.


Those who had the moral fibre to refuse to serve in this war have all been smeared as cowards.


Tthat simply isn't true.


But the point I would make is that the US is now in a Vietnam-style quagmire.


I disagree with that statement completely.


What so many of the posters on this board fail to realise is that one of the main factors in the chaos that has now been visited on Iraq is that the US military does not comport itself very well and the average Iraqi now sees them as the enemy. The "insurgents" are not necessarily foreign fighters - they are locals who have had enough of being treated like Hajii or untermenschen.


Please provide support for that opinion. By and large, the U.S. military comports itself very well. I suggest you delve into many of the good things happening in Iraq. Check out this link: www.abovetopsecret.com...

And this link:

politics.abovetopsecret.com...'

The situation in Iraq is not nearly as bad as portrayed in the media, or as you seem want to believe.

[edit on 22-7-2006 by Astronomer70]



posted on Jul, 22 2006 @ 10:30 PM
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Originally posted by Skadi_the_Evil_Elf
true American, there is NO justification in ANY case to murder all military age males in an area, regardless of circumstance.


Well interestingly, the US military ordered the evacuation of citizens prior to the invasion of Fallujah, and told all military aged men to stay behind.


Seems like the order would be simple. I am not saying it is right, by any means. Just making the point, for the hell of it, that there might be some pertinent military situations where it could occur. The morally justifiable part is not in question with me.

[edit on 23-7-2006 by TrueAmerican]



posted on Jul, 22 2006 @ 11:32 PM
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Hmmm , seems to me that the 4 accused are engaging in a spot of post hoc defence concoction . Let us not forget that they are on trial in a US military court for murders alleged committed while on duty . the army they claim ordered them to murder is not their accuser .

Bottom line is , Personal responsibility for their actions lies with them .

Although the absence of any officers in the dock troubles me some what , if they claim that their actions were “ under orders “ , and not just the result of “ red mist “ or over reaction – why doesn’t the officer they alleged gave the order stand in the dock too ?

The charge of murder has yet to be proven , and so far the “ it was orders “ defence could be just that , a gambit to muddy the waters of their trial .

Other details might come out during the proceedings or post trial , But for now , this quote speaks volumes to me :


Girouard, Hunsaker and Clagett are also charged with obstruction of justice for allegedly threatening to kill another soldier if he told authorities what happened.


This case needs watching to see if the courts martials follow the chain of command .

They have expended the “ I didn’t do it “ defence , and their attempts to cover it up and prevent others talking has failed , so they are moving onto the old classic “ some one else made me do it “

I am not impressed



posted on Jul, 23 2006 @ 09:48 AM
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.

Shades of Herod - a truly Biblical decree.

Hmmmm.


.



posted on Jul, 23 2006 @ 11:30 AM
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I wholly agree that they have a moral duty.

Likewise, I understand that in a war situation, morals are quickly thrown out the window.

The part that irritates me is that these men would have been court martialed if they outright refused.. and we would never have heard any of this. (Be an upright citizen, or an upright soldier.. it's very difficult to be both, if not impossible with the current set up.)
Yes, they have a choice.. but they signed the papers giving up their personal choice when they joined. To refuse an order is to go against the military.. Whether or not the orders were morally just or not is not for the peons to decide.. the pawns..

It's a Catch-22, and the only way to bring any of the 'wrongs' to daylight is to go ahead and do them, then confess afterwards to those outside of the loop..
Then hope that the higher-ups who gave the orders admit to giving them.. which they probably won't.. 'national security' 'top secret' and all that badly synchronized jazz...

[edit on 23-7-2006 by Diseria]



posted on Jul, 23 2006 @ 11:05 PM
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Originally posted by ignorant_ape
The charge of murder has yet to be proven , and so far the “ it was orders “ defence could be just that , a gambit to muddy the waters of their trial .


I agree…

From the above posted article:

Girouard, Hunsaker and Clagett are also charged with obstruction of justice for allegedly threatening to kill another soldier if he told authorities what happened.


This would make it appear as if the creditability of their recent statement will be torn to shreds.

Other soldiers did report the behavior of the three charged.

The appearnce is the actions of the accused went beyond orders or else why threaten to kill someone for your actions?


mg



posted on Jul, 24 2006 @ 08:59 AM
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Originally posted by Astronomer70
Exactly how you got from a single incident to calling the coallition forces in Iraq oppressors is beyond me, but you went even further by calling them obnoxious oppressors to boot.


You just aren't keeping up with the news, are you? To call this a single incident after the massacre at Haditha, the use of illegal chemical weapons in Fallujah, the rape and murder of a barely teenaged girl... do I really have to go on? One single incident? And what of the pregnant woman killed by a sniper's head shot as she was being rushed to hospital? There are none so blind as those that will not see. Cling to your myths, if you must.

There are more than enough links to support each incident I've cited above, but here's one for a more recent report that abuses by US soldiers are still continuing:

Torture of detainees in Iraq authorized, routine, say US soldiers


"Soldiers were told that the Geneva Conventions did not apply, and that interrogators could use abusive techniques to get detainees to talk," said John Sifton, the author of the report and the senior researcher on terrorism and counterterrorism at Human Rights Watch. "These accounts rebut U.S. government claims that torture and abuse in Iraq was unauthorized and exceptional, on the contrary, it was condoned and commonly used."



I think you believe entirely too much of what you read in the media, which has been biased during this entire war.


Biased, true... but even then, biased in favour of the US government, by and large. It has accepted US reports of fatalities as "insurgents" rather than civilians, for example, and embedded reporters routinely take the part of the troops with whom they're based. The Iraqi side of things is dismissed as propaganda except under rare circumstances in which the old "rotten apple" theory is promulgated.



Those who had the moral fibre to refuse to serve in this war have all been smeared as cowards.


Tthat simply isn't true.


www.abovetopsecret.com... This is the thread about Lt. Ehren Watada, who has refused to serve and is being court-martialed. The venom directed against him in that thread is nothing short of disgusting. If you can find me an instance of someone who has refused to serve and is being congratulated by his superiors, perhaps you may persuade me that my statment above "simply isn't true". I doubt you'll manage it, though.



But the point I would make is that the US is now in a Vietnam-style quagmire.


I disagree with that statement completely.


That's entirely your right. On the other hand I think it means you're in denial.



...the US military does not comport itself very well and the average Iraqi now sees them as the enemy. The "insurgents" are not necessarily foreign fighters - they are locals who have had enough of being treated like Hajii or untermenschen.


Please provide support for that opinion.


From the UK Telegraph comes an article about a British serviceman who has refused to serve alongside US forces.


An SAS soldier has refused to fight in Iraq and has left the Army over the "illegal" tactics of United States troops and the policies of coalition forces.

After three months in Baghdad, Ben Griffin told his commander that he was no longer prepared to fight alongside American forces.

He said he had witnessed "dozens of illegal acts" by US troops, claiming they viewed all Iraqis as "untermenschen" - the Nazi term for races regarded as sub-human.


In this article, Time magazine interviews a Japanese citizen who was captured by insurgents and, unusually, released.


What else did the kidnappers say?
The man who pointed his gun at me told me he was walking on the sidewalk and was arrested by the G.I.s when he wouldn't answer their questions. He said he was imprisoned for almost a month and regularly beaten up. One day, he said, he was taken to a private room and sexually assaulted. He asked me what I would have done if I were him, and I had no answer.

Why were you released?
I'd say it was largely due to their basic humanity. Another major reason was that I wasn't carrying a gun. Also, Japanese history was on my side. They might think the Japanese are sending soldiers to their country, but they also proudly show off their Toyotas, and they talk about Hiroshima and Nagasaki.


As for the "good news" stuff - it's band-aid when you need a torniquet. Destroying cities wholesale rather invalidates putting the odd new roof on a school. Clutching at straws like that is neither facing up to reality nor a particulalry edifying spectacle.

[edit on 24-7-2006 by rich23]



posted on Jul, 24 2006 @ 09:57 AM
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I doubt this true, but you never know these days.

Here's what Gen. Peter Pace (THE head honcho) has to say about that:




"It is the absolute responsibility of everybody in uniform to disobey an order that is either illegal or immoral."

www.antiwar.com


So, following orders is not an excuse.

Sporty

[edit on 24/7/2006 by SportyMB]



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