By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

New details on an atrocity

The Washington Post today publishes sickening new details about the alleged rape-murder by U.S. troops of a young Iraqi girl (she’s now reported to have been just 15) and the murder of three of her family members. Ellen Knickmeyer writes:

Janabi [a neighbor] and others knowledgeable about the incident said they believed that the attackers raped Abeer in another room. Medical officials who handled the bodies also said the girl had been raped, but they did not elaborate.

Before leaving, the attackers fatally shot the four family members — two of Abeer’s brothers had been away at school — and attempted to set Abeer’s body on fire, according to Janabi, another neighbor who spoke on condition of anonymity, the mayor of Mahmudiyah and a hospital administrator with knowledge of the case….

The case is at least the fourth American military investigation announced since March of alleged atrocities by U.S. forces in Iraq.

Although I’m sure the vast majority of U.S. troops have conducted themselves professionally, what’s coming out now is doubly horrific: atrocities such as those under investigation are inevitable in war, and this is an unnecessary war.

And how skittish are the media? The Post plays this story on page 15, on a slow news day.

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  1. Don

    I don’t suppose that anyone has considered the possibility that this atrocity was perpetrated by some of those terrorists who behead people on TV. And, of course, no Iraqi would ever lie. Naturally, the press is anxious to support the President and our brave fighting men. Let’s all believe the worst before the evidence is in. This couldn’t be political, could it?

  2. Dan Kennedy

    Hatlo — The investigation is being headed up by the Army. Ours.

  3. Brian

    Yes, let’s defend the rapists, on the 4th of July.

  4. lou

    Uh, Hatlo, a soldier came forward and confessed to the crime. Apparently he felt guilty because the two soldiers who were mutilated were from the same brigade, so he thought maybe the two actions were related (although the Pentagon doesn’t think so).

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