One of the ugliest massacres committed by US troops in the entire Iraqi War is getting another look from Iraqi officials, following the WikiLeaks release of State Department cables showing the US soldiers handcuffed and executed children as young as five months of age, and ordered an air strike aimed at covering up their crime.
The coverup failed and the Tikrit Hospital confirmed that all the corpses were handcuffed and shot in the head. UN Inspector Philip Alston, quoted in the cables, supports the hospital’s claims.
At the time US officials declared everyone slain a “collaborator” and insisted that they followed the rules of engagement in the attack. Just months later, the US military determined that the killings amounted to “appropriate force.”
This is where many of these ugly stories end, but the WikiLeaks cables ensure that this is not the case this time, and that the truth actually had a shot at coming out to the public. Predictably slow to recognize when the jig is up, the Pentagon responded by insisting that the cable’s explicit descriptions of war crimes revealed “nothing new”