Friday, July 06, 2007

Author of book on Fallujah decries new investigation

Above: A television pool report by NBC showed a Marine shooting dead a wounded and unarmed Iraqi in a Fallujah mosque in 2004.

OCEANSIDE, Calif. — The author of a book about the battle of Fallujah is decrying the military’s investigation into the actions of an infantry squad that fought during key battles in the insurgent-held city in November 2004...

Helms wrote that Marines fighting in the city often encountered insurgent fighters who had shed their weapons only to later take up arms at other sites with stashed weapon caches. This allowed the insurgents to flee a site when chased, since the Marines were not allowed to shoot unarmed men, Helms wrote....

According to Helms, Weemer told NCIS agents that his squad had detained eight unarmed men who they believed were insurgent fighters. “They were of military age, dressed in so-called ‘track suits’ favored by the insurgents at Fallujah, and running from a firefight,” Weemer told investigators, according to Helms. “The Iraqi men were placed under guard by squad members while the fight raged around them. After a brief time the squad was ordered to move out. The Marine in charge radioed headquarters for instructions about what to do with the suspected insurgents. The laconic response — ‘They’re still alive?’ — came back on the radio.”

“The leader took it to mean kill the Iraqis, Weemer said. Moments later the squad was ordered to move on,” Helms wrote. “Guns were aimed, triggers were pulled, and the Iraqis died.”

Read the rest at Marine Corps Times

Related Link:
Navy investigating possible crimes in Fallujah in 2004