Chris Hedges and Laila Al-Arian have an excellent report in the new issue of Nation from interviews with 50 U.S. veterans on the carnage inflicted in Iraq.
Hedges, Al-Arian, and Nation deserve great credit for this report.
If the New York Times or the Washington Post had half as much gumption on this issue, Americans would be less deluded by Bush propaganda.
Here is an excerpt from the piece:
The killing of unarmed Iraqis was so common many of the troops said it became an accepted part of the daily landscape…. Several interviewees said that, on occasion, these killings were justified by framing innocents as terrorists, typically following incidents when American troops fired on crowds of unarmed Iraqis. The troops would detain those who survived, accusing them of being insurgents, and plant AK-47s next to the bodies of those they had killed to make it seem as if the civilian dead were combatants. “It would always be an AK because they have so many of these weapons lying around,” said Specialist Aoun. Cavalry scout Joe Hatcher, 26, of San Diego, said 9-millimeter handguns and even shovels–to make it look like the noncombatant was digging a hole to plant an IED–were used as well. “Every good cop carries a throwaway,” said Hatcher, who served with the Fourth Cavalry Regiment, First Squadron, in Ad Dawar, halfway between Tikrit and Samarra, from February 2004 to March 2005. “If you kill someone and they’re unarmed, you just drop one on ’em.” Those who survived such shootings then found themselves imprisoned as accused insurgents.