As revealed by a State Department diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks last week, US forces committed a heinous war crime during a house raid in Iraq in 2006, wherein one man, four women, two children, and three infants were summarily executed.
The cable excerpts a letter written by Philip Alston, Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary, or Arbitrary Executions, addressed to then Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice. American troops approached the home of Faiz Harrat Al-Majma’ee, a farmer living in central Iraq, to conduct a house raid in search of insurgents in March of 2006.
“It would appear that when the MNF [Multinational Forces] approached the house,” Alston wrote, “shots were fired from it and a confrontation ensued” before the “troops entered the house, handcuffed all residents and executed all of them.” Mr. Faiz Hratt Khalaf, (aged 28), his wife Sumay’ya Abdul Razzaq Khuther (aged 24), their three children Hawra’a (aged 5) Aisha ( aged 3) and Husam (5 months old), Faiz’s mother Ms. Turkiya Majeed Ali (aged 74), Faiz’s sister (name unknown), Faiz’s nieces Asma’a Yousif Ma’arouf (aged 5 years old), and Usama Yousif Ma’arouf (aged 3 years), and a visiting relative Ms. Iqtisad Hameed Mehdi (aged 23) were killed during the raid.
Alston’s letter reveals that a US airstrike was launched on the house presumably to destroy the evidence, but that “autopsies carried out at the Tikrit Hospital’s morgue revealed that all corpses were shot in the head and handcuffed.”
The details revealed in the cable are a valuable insight into how many of these house raids turn out. The raids, often carried out in the middle of the night, have become one of the primary strategies of the US war in Afghanistan, with tens of thousands orchestrated just in the last year.
In one notable and comparable incident in February of 2010, US Special Operations Forces surrounded a house in a village in the Paktia Province in Afghanistan. Two civilian men exited the home to ask why they had been surrounded and were shot and killed. US forces then shot and killed three female relatives (a pregnant mother of ten, a pregnant mother of six, and a teenager).
Instead of calling in an airstrike to hide the evidence, US troops, realizing their mistake, lied and tampered with the evidence at the scene. The initial claim, which was corroborated by the Pentagon, was that the two men were insurgents who had “engaged” the troops, and the three murdered women were simply found by US soldiers, in what they described as an apparent honor killing. Investigations into the incident eventually forced the Pentagon to retract its initial story and issue an apology.
Civilian deaths are a common occurrence in these commonly occurring raid operations. In May, NATO killed another four civilians in a night raid, and another three in early August. No soldiers or US officials have been held to account.
32 thoughts on “Cables Reveal 2006 Summary Execution of Civilian Family in Iraq”
They are criminals and should be terated as such but the government between 90 to 95 persent are criminals and encourage this.Illegal war illegal actions.I hope there are at least as many good soldiers and there not all monsters.This has happened so mant times we don't now about.The entire world need to stand up to America and there evil friends.Demand a stop and punish the law breakers all presidents since Clinton and some before need to be put in prison along with vps and anyone else involved.They have even made some in my government corrupt in Canada Haper is evil.We were always peace keepers untill 9/11 fauls flag.There not close to as bad as America but in time could be.Harper needs to go.I don't like weapons of mass destrution but Canada could have them many in months.We realy need them and never let the US bring us into illegal wars.They want Canada no there good side nuckes would stop any presser.Also if a huge or even WW3 starts Canada is huge and can let others use are land to attack America.The last thing Canadians want is a North American Union.Canada has nothing to gain.Tell the US to beat it and do what we were known for peace keeping.
Dude, as a fellow Canadian I understand your feelings about this but you're too extreme. I definitely don't like Harper aligning himself with the US on foreign policy but it's extreme to call him evil and to advocate using Canada as a base to attack the US. Over 70% of Canada's economy is with the US and apart from their evil government we should have nothing against Americans.
You'll win more people to your position if you adopt a more reasonable approach and realistic position. People with extreme views are ignored by most. Remember that.
Advocating the use of Canada as a base to attack the USA is totally retarded, but so is the claim that "apart from their government, we should have nothing against Americans." Excuse me, but those people voted – TWICE! – for a man they KNEW was running torture chambers and committing war crimes. The ONLY reason that Bush got away with running torture chambers for the better part of EIGHT YEARS is because the American people approved of his actions- and backed up that approval at the ballot box. But you claim that those who enabled war criminals to continue to commit more war crimes are responsible for none of it? That we shouldn't have 'anything against' those responsible for enabling war crimes? Dream on…
People don't have as much control over who becomes president as much as you think.
Not disagreeing 100% with you, but voter fraud is alive and well in the US. We were busy recounting Floridian ballots in 2000 when the US Supreme Court presumed George W Bush's election and stopped the recount.
Less than half of those eligible to vote participated in the 2004 election. 2002 was even less. Of those who voted, only a slight majority voted for Bush. Please do not include all Americans in your indictment of "those people". You cannot blame the actions of a mob on those who were not a part of it – and the majority of Americans were not.
Also, if you think that things would have been much better under Gore, or different AT ALL under Kerry, you are tragically naive. No matter who you vote for, the state always gets in. And as Randolph Bourne famously said, "War is the health of the state."
All you care is economy I hope not to happen the same case someone to break to your house killing you your children women every person in the house ..
Yes probably you are right economy is worthier than that..
Most are not good people. I am sorry to say this, but I had the unfortunate opportunity this last year to have to work with some of these people that had been housed on the college campus I was working at. Two of these guys, told me that in kazakhstan (or kyrgystan?) the US military personnel are knowingly frequenting sex trafficked women. They were telling me about the many prostitutes and when I said "maybe some of them are trafficked", they both said "they ALL ARE".
Now, Rebecca Murray, from IPS reports "Female Trafficking Soars in Iraq". And once again they are being taken right onto the US military bases to service all the men. Almost ALL the men are taking part in this…married, single, whatever.
These are not nice people. They ALL tell you that they are "fighting for our freedoms"…which is just a bunch of propaganda.
I don't care if I am pegged as UN-PATRIOTIC…I think people that support the troops are unpatriotic. It is almost a crime in the U.S. to discuss the evil and sickness that most these military personnel are about. They shame the nation.
We shouldn't let the bad ones give the other 5% a bad name. 😉
I wish this guy weren't Canadian or at the very least not have the compulsion to post really dumb threads like this one and identify himself as a Canuck.
One must wonder two things– What has the American military done that we haven't found out about, . . and exactly how corrosive and devoid of any sense of elemental humanity the American military has to become before the rest of the world decides that America has to be taken down.
Where are the cries for justice for the death of innocents? What happened to the once great country, compassionate and just?
Contract Army happened.
If American kids would be drafted, as it supposed to be in all civilized countries, their mothers would not allow the Army to corrupt their sons.
But the contract warriors have different mentality – they kill not to protect their Motherland, but because they are being paid for killing.
The news media covered Lindsay Lohan's latest stint in rehab instead.
The results are found in statistically improbable rates of PSTD and increasing numbers of military suicides. The best military training breaks down when it encounters the cognitive dissonance of killing innocent people, particularly children.
Another war was lost when the home front found out that some soldiers were killing babies on their behalf.
I am absolutely convinced that William Calley, the infamous butcher of My Lai Vietnam, is providing "hands-on" experience to the Pentagon in it's efforts to deplete the Iraqi population of women and children. You couldn't ask for a better "exterminator" and if he plays his cards right, he might even qualify for a high position in the Federal Government. They've been known in the past to honor those individuals, considered irreplaceable in spreading American values, with a highly visable position.
Oh, you mean "Rusty" isn't still running his jewelry store, or is he moonlighting? Those two years of house arrest he served for conducting the rapes and murders of a few hundred civilians would have broken a lesser man – assuming a lesser one exists.
Great…just great. I don't get it, why kill the women and children? To leave no living witness? Are these "soldiers" so dumb to believe that it the cause of death won't be found out. Sickening.
Two five year olds, a three year old, and a five month old baby.
Outrage is understandable. **Not** being outraged would be puzzling. Beyond the outrage however, there are questions, important questions for every person — Americans especially, but actually everyone — on the planet: Why was this done? Or perhaps — if "why?" unreasonably presupposes something like rational behavior where there cannot possibly have been any — "how" did this happen? What circumstances before and during made this sort of atrocity possible?
"Justice" is called for, of course, but this is too much, just too much. As Americans we absolutely have to find out what the hell is going on in the US military that events so beyond the bounds of decency, can be committed, AND THEN COVERED UP.
Or was that Major General Philip Sheridan? American boys have been killing babies since 1630.
sick, truly sick. cold blood killers. infants no less. murderers. and you wonder why Americans are hated world-wide?
Who remembers?: "We do more by 6 o'clock than you'll do all day."
What a sap I was. Hard to accept I once lived in grinding paycheck-to-paycheck poverty training for & expected to fight the Soviet military. Now my 'neighbors' are $60K a year E5s & O4s who live in $300K estates. These strut about town at all hours in their Army Strong hero costume impressing young girls with tales of bravado & grifting free meals off worshipping resturant owners.
Should one voice objection to events, he is assailed with demands to know "just what have you ever done for your country?" In the big scheme of things, looking back, I do suppose nothing; but in my day it was considered dishonorable to slay the weak & helpless.
At what point do we in the West, particularly we citizens of the US and the UK, recognise that we are in a position of complicity with murder comparable to that of German citizens during the Holocaust? The MSM emphasises the badness of the Taliban, Saddam and Gaddafi regimes as rationales for invasion/intervention, but if a measure of badness is the death and misery created it is at least arguable that the interventions result in more badness; if badness is measured by motivation then it is at least arguable that greed rather than any noble motive is behind the interventions; if brutality is the measure of badness then atrocities such as these again demonstrate the immoral nature of the interventions. The question is what do we do about it. It is one thing to highlight this on sites like antiwar.com, information is valuable, but what do we do with the information? Where is the coordinated effort to establish a wider dialogue, links between groups working for peace and justice etc.?
and these US and UK butchers are supporting democracy in Libya,what a sick joke. Their democracy means bombing a country round the clock for years on end and stealing there resources.
These innocents, I am sure, are claiming to high heaven for justice, and if we are to believe the Bible, the retribution will surely come. In fact, the way the US is going, with the reckless and murderous leading the fools to the cliff, may end in a violent revolution. We already saw a taste of that in London a few days ago.
As per the late Army Colonel David Hckworth – "there were 1000 Mai Lais; Vietnam was an atrocity from the get go".
Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld-Wolfowitz and ALL members of the Bush Administration should be on trial for war crimes.
There must be German Nazis turning over in their graves wondering why they were hanged 'for waging aggressive warfare" when Bush, etc get s free pass for the same crimes.
And IF we are to 'blame' the German civilian population for having supported Hitler – is the American civilian population any less complicit in supporting its country's war crimes?
All very good and important questions.
Americans have always been just as capable as anyone else of committing atrocities. What stands Americans apart from everyone else is the way they preach at and lecture everyone else on their failings, while patting themselves on the back for being "better." That having been said, the idea that all Americans are collectively responsible for the actions of some Americans is a reprehensible notion that lumps the innocent with the guilty, all in the name of upholding some abstract conception of "democratic justice."
I know America is 70 persent of are economy but am not saying to go to war neather but if being forced to get involved in illegal wars or attacked by the US then we should be ready to defend ourself and take the help we could get.And Harper is a lieing evil back staber trying to start a North American Union without any care of what Canadian citizens want.Back door deals that are illegal.My bad should have elaberated more but might have planed to but taking care of my 5 year old may not have had time can't remember.But almost every Canadian is against the NAU thats for sure.
Yes, this crime is particulary heinous, but don't let the trees block the view of the forest. The illegal, immoral, genocidal aggression against Iraq is the fundamental atrocity, and all the consequential crimes are the expected result of what happens when you unleash such evil.
When you add it all up starting from "Desert Storm" and the attacks against the civilian infrastructure, and the murderous sanctions, and the depleted uranium and never ending bombings and missile attacks and then operation "Iraqi Freedom", what do you have? Why you have genocide, that's what.
America has mercilessly slaughtered God only knows how many Iraqis and basically destroyed the whole country. And that's the context in which this particular crime takes place. The troops are mindlessly slaughtering innocent people in cold blood on behalf of a demonically inspired government whose official policy is the mindless slaughter of innocent people. Really what else should we expect from them?
I think every time the U.S military “accidentally” murders pregnant women, children and babies, U.S. politicians should be forced to surrender members of their family to be executed in front of them.
All the government does is issue an apology?!?!
It’s to the point where I’m ashamed to be called Human. If it wasn’t for my own family and friends, I’d be the first to say I hope the U.S. burns.
What a way to start the day.
USG to blame for these murders – Bush/Cheney "off the hook" Obama said "no investigations on Bush/Cheney". These are Crimes against Humanity – War Crimes.
And USG trying to capture and murder Julian Assange for exposing War Crimes done in the name of "USA citizens and democracy"…… it's greed of OIL/ Drugs/ Money for "industrial military complex".
NOW A Guardian journalist, David Leigh, has violated a confidentiality agreement with WikiLeaks by disclosing top secret WikiLeaks’ decryption passwords to hundreds of thousands of unredacted unpublished US diplomatic cables. [and USG wants to kill Julian Assange, Journalist & Whistleblower???]. Guardian and David Leigh should be brought up on War Crime charges for disclosing UN-REDACTED names and PASSWORDS for INFO to the world – David Leigh should go to prison.
PROOF given to court for Pentagon illegally giving Halliburton [bush/cheney] $5T dollars – Halliburton was fined [but $ not returned]. Whistleblower Army Chief Bunny Greenhouse awarded $97K .
According to Republican fundi-nuts this action and others like it are perfectly OK because the deceased are Muslim and Jesus hates Muslims. He not only hates them, he has directed all good Christians to support killing as many of them as possible in order to protect Israel. it's all right there in the Old Testament! Just ask them! That New Testament Prince of Peace portrayal of Jesus is nothing more than liberal gobbledegook, just like that criminal-coddling pesky Bill of Rights.
Republican and Democrat partisans are perfectly OK with actions like this because everything is good, holy and righteous if it is their party in charge.
Finally, neocons are perfectly OK with actions like this because "you've got to crack a few eggs to make an omelet" and according to arch-neocon/spinless coward William Kristol that omelet is "benevolent global hegemony." What's a few dead families to those hell bent on ruling the world?
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