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Secret papers shed light on killings as troops pull out

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Michael Schmidt
Sydney Morning Herald
December 15, 2011

BAGHDAD: One by one, the marines sat down, swore to tell the truth and began to give secret interviews discussing one of the most horrific episodes of America’s time in Iraq: the 2005 massacre by marines of Iraqi civilians in the town of Haditha.

”I mean, whether it’s a result of our action or other action, you know, discovering 20 bodies, throats slit, 20 bodies, you know, beheaded, 20 bodies here, 20 bodies there,” Colonel Thomas Cariker, a commander in Anbar province at the time, told investigators as he described the chaos of Iraq. At times, he said, deaths were caused by ”grenade attacks on a checkpoint and, you know, collateral with civilians”.

The 400 pages of interrogations, once closely guarded as secrets of war, were supposed to have been destroyed as the last US troops prepared to leave Iraq.

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Instead, they were discovered with reams of other classified documents, including military maps showing helicopter routes and radar capabilities, by a reporter for The New York Times at a junkyard outside Baghdad. An attendant was burning them as fuel to cook a dinner of smoked carp.

Full article here

This article was posted: Thursday, December 15, 2011 at 8:06 am





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