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Soldiers Speak Out About War Atrocities

jpeyton

Moderator in SFF, Notebooks, Pre-Built/Barebones
Moderator
Aug 23, 2003
25,387
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Straight from the horse's mouth, confirmation of the widespread reckless nature in which our soldiers take innocent Iraqi lives in the name of war. It makes you pause and re-examine every time our military reports an "insurgent" or "enemy operative" is killed. It makes me sick to hear how easily life is erased in a situation where we should be taking the utmost care to restore a society we destroyed. I guess that's hard to do with 135,000+ trained killers running around above the law.

Text

SILVER SPRING, Maryland, Mar 15 (IPS) - Garret Reppenhagen received integral training about the Geneva Conventions and the Rules of Engagement during his deployment in Kosovo. But in Iraq, "Much of this was thrown out the window," he says.

"The men I served with are professionals," Reppenhagen told the audience at a panel of U.S. veterans speaking of their experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan, "They went to Iraq to defend the U.S. But we found rapidly we were killing Iraqis in horrible ways. But we had to in order to remain safe ourselves. The war is the atrocity."

The event, which has drawn international media attention, was organised by Iraq Veterans Against the War. It aims to show that their stories of wrongdoing in both countries were not isolated incidents limited to a few "bad apples", as the Pentagon claims, but were everyday occurrences.

The panel on the "Rules of Engagement" (ROE) during the first full day of the gathering, named "Winter Soldier" to honour a similar gathering 30 years ago of veterans of the Vietnam War, was held in front of a visibly moved audience of several hundred, including veterans from Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam. Winter soldiers, according to U.S. founding father Thomas Paine, are the people who stand up for the soul of their country, even in its darkest hours.

Reppenhagen served in Iraq from February 2004-2005 in the city of Baquba, 40 kms northeast of Baghdad. He said his first experience in Iraq was being on a patrol that killed two Iraqi farmers as they worked in their field at night.

"I was told they were out in the fields farming because their pumps only operated with electricity, which meant they had to go out in the dark when there was electricity," he explained, "I asked the sergeant, if he knew this, why did he fire on the men. He told me because the men were out after curfew. I was never given another ROE during my time in Iraq."

Another veteran of the occupation of Iraq on the panel was Vincent Emmanuel. He served in the Marines near the northern Iraqi city of Al-Qaim during 2004-2005. Emmanuel explained that "taking potshots at cars that drove by" happened all the time and "these were not isolated incidents".

Emmanuel continued: "We took fire while trying to blow up a bridge. Many of the attackers were part of the general population. This led to our squad shooting at everything and anything in order to push through the town. I remember myself emptying magazines into the town, never identifying a target."

As other panelists nodded in agreement, Emmanuel spoke of abusing prisoners who he knew were innocent, adding, "We took it upon ourselves to harass them, and took them to the desert to throw them out of our Humvees, while kicking and punching them when we threw them out."

Two other soldiers testified about planting weapons or shovels on civilians they had accidentally shot, to justify the killings by implying the dead were fighters or people attempting to plant roadside bombs.

Jason Washburn was a corporal in the marines, and served three tours in Iraq, his last in Haditha from 2005-2006.

"We were encouraged to bring 'drop weapons' or shovels, in case we accidentally shot a civilian, we could drop the weapon on the body and pretend they were an insurgent," he said, "By the third tour, if they were carrying a shovel or bag, we could shoot them. So we carried these tools and weapons in our vehicles, so we could toss them on civilians when we shot them. This was commonly encouraged."

Washburn explained that his ROE changed "a lot".

"The higher the threat level, the more viciously we were told to respond. We had towns that were deemed 'free fire zones'. One time there was a mayor of a town near Haditha that got shot up. We were shown this as an example because there was a nice tight shot group on the windshield, and told that was a good job, that was what Marines were supposed to do. And that was the mayor of the town."

Jason Wayne Lemue is a Marine who served three tours in Iraq.

"My commander told me, 'Kill those who need to be killed, and save those who need to be saved', that was our mission on our first tour," he said of his first deployment during the invasion nearly five years ago.

Lemue continued, "After that the ROE changed, and carrying a shovel, or standing on a rooftop talking on a cell phone, or being out after curfew [meant the people] were to be killed. I can't tell you how many people died because of this. By my third tour, we were told to just shoot people, and the officers would take care of us."

John Michael Turner served two tours in the Marines as a machine gunner in Iraq. Visibly upset, he told the audience, "I was taught as a Marine to eat the apple to the core." Turner then pulled his military metals off his shirt and threw them on the ground.

"Apr. 18, 2006 was the date of my first confirmed kill," he said sombrely. "He was innocent, I called him the fat man. He was walking back to his house and I killed him in front of his father and friend. My first shot made him scream and look into my eyes, so I looked at my friend and said, 'Well, I can't let that happen', and shot him again. After my first kill I was congratulated."

Turner explained one reason why establishment media reporting about the occupation in the U.S. has been largely sanitised. "Anytime we had embedded reporters, our actions changed drastically," he explained. "We did everything by the books, and were very low key."

To conclude, an emotional Turner said, "I want to say I'm sorry for the hate and destruction that I and others have inflicted on innocent people. It is not okay, and this is happening, and until people hear what is going on this is going to continue. I am no longer the monster that I once was."
 

bbdub333

Senior member
Aug 21, 2007
686
0
0
Yep, this is proof alright. Just like the last 8 stories about people either lying about their service, or their actions, or what they witnessed, just to make political points.

 

RichardE

Banned
Dec 31, 2005
10,247
2
0
Funny how when soliders refute this shit and say its bs that you refuse to believe it. Guess the only true information is the stuff that supports your worldy view?
 

1EZduzit

Lifer
Feb 4, 2002
11,834
1
0
At least they didn't throw a kitten off a cliff, they would have been in some deep shit then.
 

palehorse

Lifer
Dec 21, 2005
11,547
0
76
I have served downrange, in both major theaters, alongside men and women from every service or agency; and I have NEVER seen any unit operate in a manner these supposed Marines described in the OP -- NEVER -- so Jpeyton, your passing it off as the gospel truth, or the norm, is utterly despicable.

Then again, with you, I'm not surprised.
 

blackangst1

Lifer
Feb 23, 2005
20,534
733
126
Originally posted by: palehorse74
I have served downrange, in both major theaters, alongside men and women from every service or agency; and I have NEVER seen any unit operate in a manner these supposed Marines described in the OP -- NEVER -- so Jpeyton, your passing it off as the gospel truth, or the norm, is utterly despicable.

Then again, with you, I'm not surprised.
Same goes for my wife's best friend's two kids. Theyre on their 3rd tour and have stories NOTHING like this.
 

datalink7

Lifer
Jan 23, 2001
16,765
5
81
Some people are monsters. Some units go bad. However, here's another one "straight from the horses mouth", as you say. This time, from me.

This is a-typical behavior. Every single round that comes out of our guns is accountable. We are constantly going over ROE. Any shooting where rounds hit anyone (even a confirmed bad guy) initiates a 15-6 investigation as to whether the shooting was justified.

So now are you going to go post what I've said and hail it as the truth because it comes "straight from the horses mouth"? I think not. It doesn't fit your agenda. You rail against fear-mongering but you've become the monster you claim to fight. To quote Nietzche, when you gaze long into the abyss, the abyss also gazes long into you. You became what you feared.
 

blackangst1

Lifer
Feb 23, 2005
20,534
733
126
Originally posted by: datalink7
Some people are monsters. Some units go bad. However, here's another one "straight from the horses mouth", as you say. This time, from me.

This is a-typical behavior. Every single round that comes out of our guns is accountable. We are constantly going over ROE. Any shooting where rounds hit anyone (even a confirmed bad guy) initiates a 15-6 investigation as to whether the shooting was justified.

So now are you going to go post what I've said and hail it as the truth because it comes "straight from the horses mouth"? I think not. It doesn't fit your agenda. You rail against fear-mongering but you've become the monster you claim to fight. To quote Nietzche, when you gaze long into the abyss, the abyss also gazes long into you. You became what you feared.
Wait...you mean US soldiers aren't running through the streets in Bradleys randomly popping of a few 50 cal's and whoever they think are terrorists??
 

hellokeith

Golden Member
Nov 12, 2004
1,670
0
0
We really should just send all our soldiers to The Hague after their tour of duty so they can be freed of Western brainwashing and serve their new Socialist World Order masters in "service camps" by making AK-47's and IED's for their innocent comrades in China and Iran and Palestine.

edit: Jpeyton is a moderator???
 

ultra laser

Banned
Jul 2, 2007
513
0
0
A soldier's job is to kill people. How is this in any way surprising? What do you think they're doing over there - building schools and playing gleefully with children? Hell no, they're over there shooting people and most likely having a good time doing it.
 

cwjerome

Diamond Member
Sep 30, 2004
4,294
0
76
Hundreds of thousands of people without these stories, dozens with the heinous stories.... hmmmmmm.

I'm sure there are unfortunate and even evil incidents here and there. Especially among line units during that first year. But to suggest it's standard ROE and basic policy with mass cover-ups is typical, irrational, anti-military jpeyton. Anyone can find anecdotal "evidence" to support their warped belief system if they look hard enough.

The fact is hundreds of thousands of American military and civilian personnel have rotated through Iraq... normal, everyday people who know millions of other normal everyday people. And you mean to tell me this stuff is going on and only a handful of anti-war people know about it? You realize that 99% of the people in the Army would read your post and think (correctly) that you're a complete idiot and useless tool? And anyone with a patch on their right shoulder should (rightly) view you as a worthless little geek spreading lies and hate to make up for your lack of courage and integrity.

To think that there's some widespread scam in whole units where officers on down promote senseless slaughter is beyond the pale (and beyond the limits of rationality) but simply SOP for jpeyton. Congrats
 

jpeyton

Moderator in SFF, Notebooks, Pre-Built/Barebones
Moderator
Aug 23, 2003
25,387
140
116
Originally posted by: RichardE
Funny how when soliders refute this shit and say its bs that you refuse to believe it. Guess the only true information is the stuff that supports your worldy view?
I never said 100% of soldiers kill innocent Iraqis. I just think the problem is, as these soldiers said, a lot more widespread than simply a few bad apples.
 

datalink7

Lifer
Jan 23, 2001
16,765
5
81
Originally posted by: jpeyton
Originally posted by: RichardE
Funny how when soliders refute this shit and say its bs that you refuse to believe it. Guess the only true information is the stuff that supports your worldy view?
I never said 100% of soldiers kill innocent Iraqis. I just think the problem is, as these soldiers said, a lot more widespread than simply a few bad apples.
Well it's a good thing then that what you think isn't reality.
 

RichardE

Banned
Dec 31, 2005
10,247
2
0
Originally posted by: jpeyton
Originally posted by: RichardE
Funny how when soliders refute this shit and say its bs that you refuse to believe it. Guess the only true information is the stuff that supports your worldy view?
I never said 100% of soldiers kill innocent Iraqis. I just think the problem is, as these soldiers said, a lot more widespread than simply a few bad apples.
Straight from the horse's mouth, confirmation of the widespread reckless nature in which our soldiers take innocent Iraqi lives in the name of war. It makes you pause and re-examine every time our military reports an "insurgent" or "enemy operative" is killed. It makes me sick to hear how easily life is erased in a situation where we should be taking the utmost care to restore a society we destroyed. I guess that's hard to do with 135,000+ trained killers running around above the law.
Sure makes it seem like you meant everyone. So why don't we ever see you proclaiming how professional the majority of the American army is in Iraq? Face it, your a typical fear monger. You do the same thing the administration does except on a polar opposite of there ideas. Your no better than the spin masters in the white house except your trying to push your own version of doom and gloom and like the administration does with (all Muslims are bad, islamofacism!) you do it as "were just there to kill Iraq's, doesn't matter who, just kill them for oil". Maybe instead of latching onto any anti-establishment and any anti-iraq story you can come across you can look at the entire situation analytically.
 

bbdub333

Senior member
Aug 21, 2007
686
0
0
Originally posted by: jpeyton
Originally posted by: RichardE
Funny how when soliders refute this shit and say its bs that you refuse to believe it. Guess the only true information is the stuff that supports your worldy view?
I never said 100% of soldiers kill innocent Iraqis. I just think the problem is, as these soldiers said, a lot more widespread than simply a few bad apples.
confirmation of the widespread reckless nature in which our soldiers take innocent Iraqi lives in the name of war.
135,000+ trained killers running around above the law.
You've made it very clear from this post, as well as your history of posting, that you have nothing but disdain and a profound distrust of all soldiers serving overseas. Stop trying to play it like this is anything but the truth in your eyes.
 

Tab

Lifer
Sep 15, 2002
12,145
0
71
Originally posted by: palehorse74
I have served downrange, in both major theaters, alongside men and women from every service or agency; and I have NEVER seen any unit operate in a manner these supposed Marines described in the OP -- NEVER -- so Jpeyton, your passing it off as the gospel truth, or the norm, is utterly despicable.

Then again, with you, I'm not surprised.
Originally posted by: blackangst1
Originally posted by: palehorse74
I have served downrange, in both major theaters, alongside men and women from every service or agency; and I have NEVER seen any unit operate in a manner these supposed Marines described in the OP -- NEVER -- so Jpeyton, your passing it off as the gospel truth, or the norm, is utterly despicable.

Then again, with you, I'm not surprised.
Same goes for my wife's best friend's two kids. Theyre on their 3rd tour and have stories NOTHING like this.
Originally posted by: datalink7
Some people are monsters. Some units go bad. However, here's another one "straight from the horses mouth", as you say. This time, from me.

This is a-typical behavior. Every single round that comes out of our guns is accountable. We are constantly going over ROE. Any shooting where rounds hit anyone (even a confirmed bad guy) initiates a 15-6 investigation as to whether the shooting was justified.

So now are you going to go post what I've said and hail it as the truth because it comes "straight from the horses mouth"? I think not. It doesn't fit your agenda. You rail against fear-mongering but you've become the monster you claim to fight. To quote Nietzche, when you gaze long into the abyss, the abyss also gazes long into you. You became what you feared.
I wish jpeyton was more respectful and knew more about what's actually going in Iraq I will say that your relationships with the military or it's member is a rather small sample size. There are many recorded (and unrecorded) incidents of soldiers and officers not following RoE.

Taxi to the Dark Side

I hope you'll all take a look at this...
 

LumbergTech

Diamond Member
Sep 15, 2005
3,624
1
0
I think its pretty idiotic to pretend that these type of things don't occur. These stories may be false, and if they are, hopefully the people who told them will pay in one way or another. Lets not forget history though. Nasty , nasty things are common in war. Every single other war before this has had its share of atrocities. The type of posters who come in here and outright reject stories because they don't like the tone (usually deflecting the stories with pseudo patriotic remarks) are just as bad as the people who tell fake stories.

Also, those who say ..so and so didn't have stories like that. Of course most people won't tell stories like that. Either they didn't have that experience or they are too afraid or in denial and won't admit it to the people around them for fear of being judged or for fear of invalidating the "mission" they were given. Unless you have some evidence or have personally witnessed these things, you simply don't know. Logic tells me that war brings out the worst in people. It doesn't mean that that is how most of the people conduct themselves, however, it only takes a small percentage to create quite heinous results.
 

ProfJohn

Lifer
Jul 28, 2006
18,268
4
0
Just an FYI: Garett Reppenhagen is chairman of the board of directors of Iraq Veterans Against the War.

Maybe everything he says is the truth, or maybe he is just trying to score some points.
 

datalink7

Lifer
Jan 23, 2001
16,765
5
81
Originally posted by: Tab
Originally posted by: palehorse74
I have served downrange, in both major theaters, alongside men and women from every service or agency; and I have NEVER seen any unit operate in a manner these supposed Marines described in the OP -- NEVER -- so Jpeyton, your passing it off as the gospel truth, or the norm, is utterly despicable.

Then again, with you, I'm not surprised.
Originally posted by: blackangst1
Originally posted by: palehorse74
I have served downrange, in both major theaters, alongside men and women from every service or agency; and I have NEVER seen any unit operate in a manner these supposed Marines described in the OP -- NEVER -- so Jpeyton, your passing it off as the gospel truth, or the norm, is utterly despicable.

Then again, with you, I'm not surprised.
Same goes for my wife's best friend's two kids. Theyre on their 3rd tour and have stories NOTHING like this.
Originally posted by: datalink7
Some people are monsters. Some units go bad. However, here's another one "straight from the horses mouth", as you say. This time, from me.

This is a-typical behavior. Every single round that comes out of our guns is accountable. We are constantly going over ROE. Any shooting where rounds hit anyone (even a confirmed bad guy) initiates a 15-6 investigation as to whether the shooting was justified.

So now are you going to go post what I've said and hail it as the truth because it comes "straight from the horses mouth"? I think not. It doesn't fit your agenda. You rail against fear-mongering but you've become the monster you claim to fight. To quote Nietzche, when you gaze long into the abyss, the abyss also gazes long into you. You became what you feared.
I wish jpeyton was more respectful and knew more about what's actually going in Iraq I will say that your relationships with the military or it's member is a rather small sample size. There are many recorded (and unrecorded) incidents of soldiers and officers not following RoE.

Taxi to the Dark Side

I hope you'll all take a look at this...
I will check out that link tommorow (just got off mission at 0330 and I'm tired :p). However, considering I have the same indirect access to information that everyone else has, but in addition have easy direct access to a Brigade (~4500 soldiers) I would say my sample size is much larger than most. I will check out that link tommorow though and get back to you with what I think.
 

LTC8K6

Lifer
Mar 10, 2004
28,523
1,573
126
The IVAW?

Why would anyone believe anything connected to them?

Who didn't know that there were a few bad soldiers out there?

My guess is that winter soldiers part 2 will be shredded by reality, just like it's predecessor.
 

palehorse

Lifer
Dec 21, 2005
11,547
0
76
Nobody can deny that there may be scattered unlawful incidents throughout the war in Iraq; but it's jpeyton's passing it off as the norm, and his complete dismissal of any testimony contradicting his own low-grade sources, that makes everyone sick.

Exhibit A:
I guess that's hard to do with 135,000+ trained killers running around above the law.
I mean, wtf is that about!? Who the hell does this prick think he is!? I'm beginning to think that the armed services rejected him at some point... maybe due to a disability, or perhaps it was drug use... whatever the case, this person has a serious and unhealthy grudge against the US military.

bah...
 

lupi

Lifer
Apr 8, 2001
32,542
260
126
Originally posted by: palehorse74
I have served downrange, in both major theaters, alongside men and women from every service or agency; and I have NEVER seen any unit operate in a manner these supposed Marines described in the OP -- NEVER -- so Jpeyton, your passing it off as the gospel truth, or the norm, is utterly despicable.

Then again, with you, I'm not surprised.
He's only spouting the Obama talking points.
 

palehorse

Lifer
Dec 21, 2005
11,547
0
76
Originally posted by: lupi
Originally posted by: palehorse74
I have served downrange, in both major theaters, alongside men and women from every service or agency; and I have NEVER seen any unit operate in a manner these supposed Marines described in the OP -- NEVER -- so Jpeyton, your passing it off as the gospel truth, or the norm, is utterly despicable.

Then again, with you, I'm not surprised.
He's only spouting the Obama talking points.
:roll:

dumb.
 

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