March 12th, 2011 Headsman
On this date in 2006, a family of Iraqis was taken prisoner and shot by a group of American soldiers.
This date’s entry is, to be sure, well into and even across the zone of borderline executions: it was crime whose authors are serving long prison sentences (although they ducked execution themselves).
It has the barest trappings of execution, enough to give that name descriptively to the killings — but maybe a little more than that, too, for this is the story of an occupation army whose “bad eggs” are endowed with the power of life and death over their subject population
“We’ve all killed Hadjis, but I’ve been here twice and I still never fucked one of these bitches.”
This is an excerpt of a London Guardian article called “The blackest hearts: War crimes in Iraq,” which is itself an excerpt from a book its author published titled Black Hearts: One Platoon’s Descent into Madness in Iraq’s Triangle of Death.
Barker had already picked the target. There was a house, not far away, where there was only one male and three females during the day – a husband, wife and two daughters. One was young, but the other was pretty hot, at least for a Hadji chick. Witnesses were a problem, though; they knew they couldn’t leave anyone alive. Barker asked Green if he was willing to take care of that, even if women and kids were involved. “Absolutely,” Green said. “It don’t make any difference to me.”
Sneaking up on the house, the soldiers corralled the whole family into the bedroom. After they had recovered the family’s AK-47 and Green had confirmed it was locked and loaded, Barker and Cortez left, yanking Abeer behind them. Spielman set up guard in the doorway between the foyer and living room, while Cortez shoved Abeer into the living room, pushed her down, and Barker pinned her outstretched arms down with his knees.
As Green was executing the family, Cortez finished raping Abeer and switched positions with Barker. Green came out of the bedroom and announced to Barker and Cortez, “They’re all dead. I killed them all.” Cortez held Abeer down and Green raped her. Then Cortez pushed a pillow over her face, still pinning her arms with his knees. Green grabbed the AK, pointed the gun at the pillow, and fired one shot, killing Abeer.
The men were becoming extremely frenzied and agitated now. Barker brought a kerosene lamp he had found in the kitchen and dumped the contents on Abeer. Spielman handed a lighter to either Barker or Cortez, who lit the flame. Spielman went to the bedroom and found some blankets to throw on the body to stoke the fire.
The four men ran back the way they had come. When they arrived at the TCP, they were out of breath, manic, animated. They began talking rapid-fire about how great that was, how well done. They all agreed that was awesome, that was cool.
Only after Green was discharged did the crime come fully to light.
At Green’s sentencing in the anomalous confines of Kentucky — he was the first former soldier prosecuted in U.S. civilian court for crimes committed overseas under the Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act — a cousin of Abeer’s murdered parents
spoke last, praising his slain family members and criticising the jury’s reluctance to execute Green. He concluded by turning to Green and saying, “Abeer will follow you and chase you in your nightmares. May God damn you.”
This incident is the subject of the 2007 film Redacted.
Also on this date
- 1943: David Cobb, the first U.S. serviceman hanged in World War II Britain
- 1690: Jack Bird, pugilist
- 1421: The last Viennese Jews
- 1975: Olga Hepnarova, tram spotter
- 1939: Mikayil Mushfig, Azerbaijani poet
- 1960: Hoang Le Kha, NVA cadre
- 1289: Demetre II the Self-Sacrificer
Entry Filed under: 21st Century,Borderline "Executions",Capital Punishment,Children,Crime,Death Penalty,Execution,Innocent Bystanders,Iraq,No Formal Charge,Occupation and Colonialism,Ripped from the Headlines,Sex,Shot,Summary Executions,USA,Wartime Executions,Women