Thursday, September 07, 2006

No Evidence ties Iraq mutilation/murder to the Mahmoudiya rape/murder 
This according to a military statement.

Washington D.C. - Citing media reports suggesting a possible connection between three U.S. soldiers killed in June and the alleged rape of an Iraqi girl and murder of the girl and her family in March, military officials in Iraq today issued a statement saying “no evidence” connects the dead soldiers to the incident.

“Past articles could be read to imply that the three deceased soldiers were somehow involved in the alleged crimes,” Multinational Corps Iraq officials said in the statement.

Spc. David Babineau, Pfc. Thomas Tucker and Pfc. Kristian Menchaca – all assigned to Company B, 1st Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division – were manning a checkpoint that came under attack June 16. Babineau died at the scene, and Tucker and Menchaca went missing. Their bodies were found three days later.

You want defamatory? That's defamatory!

Media reports tying these soldiers to the abhorrent rape and murder of an Iraqi girl and her family were based on the rankest speculation. Will we see a retraction and apology from these outlets to these soldiers' families?

Unfortunately, American Forces Press Services doesn't bother to tell us which media reports did so.

Nor does Reuters, though they at least mention that the military statement explicitly charged that some news stories implied that these murdered soldiers were implicated.

Looking at it now, though...this may be one of those stories.

I knew they were in the same platoon. Hadn't realized they were in the same squad. If that's the case, it just got a lot less likely that the three murdered soldiers didn't themselves know about the rape and murder of Abeer al Janabi, 14, her sister, 6, and her family.

Alright - It won't be popular in some circles, but I'll call a spade a spade.

Squads are seldom split in combat, and almost never split outside the wire. (The incident in which three of them were cut off, taken prisoner, and murdered is a powerful illustration as to WHY squads are seldom split in battle.)

There were nine men in the squad. Six of them are charged. That accounts for two thirds of the squad. But infantry squads in the Army normally operate in two fire teams, not three. At least one member of Babineau's, Menchaca's, and Tucker's fire team has to be one of those charged with the violence or the conspiracy to cover it up.

Can their whereabouts be accounted for the night of the murder? Were they not present when the rest of the squad conspired to cover it up?

If I were going to clear those names, I'd get to finding out the answers to those questions.

Splash, out


Jason, I believe it's at least a possibility that the three were targeted as revenge for the rape/murders. The Iraqis involved said so, although those sorts of claims are often opportunistic.

I don't think there's been any evidence evinced of their involvement in the crimes, but I certainly think their deaths are directly attributable to the incident.
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