Marines Staged Mock Executions of Juveniles

Marines in Iraq conducted mock executions of juvenile prisoners during the war there last year, burned and tortured other prisoners with electrical shocks, and allegedly warned one Navy medic to keep his "mouth shut" about abuse and threatened to kill another medic if he assisted an injured Iraqi soldier or civilian, according to investigators' records. The new revelations of detainee mistreatment, disclosed today after the ACLU obtained them in a lawsuit against the federal government, for the first time detail case histories in which 11 Marines have been punished for abusing prisoners and two were disciplined for falsely boasting about killing and torturing detainees. Further, the records describe government officials deep in debate about what to do with the bodies of detainees killed while in the custody of U.S. troops and of Navy criminal investigators scrambling to keep up with the growing number of abuse cases after the Abu Ghraib prison scandal became public last spring.

"Heads up," an assistant special agent-in-charge of the Navy's investigative field office in the Middle East warned his superiors in an urgent e-mail dispatched at 6 a.m. on June 14. He was desperate for more investigators.


US troops used mock executions, electric shocks on Iraqis

US Marines fired a pistol in a mock execution involving four young Iraqi looters and shocked another Iraqi detainee with an electric transformer until he danced, a US Navy document shows. The document dated June 16 detailed 10 substantiated incidents of detainee abuse in Iraq involving 24 Marines dating back to May 2003.

On Monday the Pentagon was forced to admit it was investigating two more deaths in custody in Afghanistan that it had previously acknowledged.

The Marine Corps said 13 Marines were convicted in courts-martial stemming from the incidents, getting prison sentences of up to 15 months.


Files show more US abuse in Iraq

Evidence of more prisoner abuse in Iraq has come to light after the US military was forced to release it by the courts. The documents show that US marines carried out a mock execution, used electric shocks and burned prisoners. American campaign groups obtained the US navy documents by using freedom of information legislation. The navy said those found guilty of abuse had been punished, but added that many allegations - some relating to killings - had been dismissed.

Ten "substantiated" incidents of detainee abuse were detailed, leading to the court martial conviction of 13 marines, and the jailing of some others.


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Top Stories - December 18th, 2004


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