U.S. soldier pleads guilty to rape and murder

Dondrei

Diabloii.Net Member
U.S. soldier pleads guilty to rape and murder

I tried to google the story to find it on a better news service than the crappy one my ISP provides, but as always I came up empty-handed.

my ISP news said:
One of four United States soldiers accused of raping a 14-year-old Iraqi girl before killing her and her family has pleaded guilty at the start of his court martial in the US.

Specialist James Barker has pleaded guilty to rape and murder and his lawyer says he will cooperate with prosecutors.

He does not face the death penalty and his sentence will be determined at the end of the proceeding, which is expected to last two days.

Lieutenant Colonel Richard Anderson is presiding at the court-martial and has warned Barker that "admitting guilt is equal to a conviction".

Barker has provided graphic testimony to military investigators about the March 2006 incident at Mahmudiya that was used at a military proceeding in Baghdad last August, resulting in charges against the four and one former soldier.

The others who have been charged with rape and murder were Private First Class Jesse Spielman, Sergeant Paul Cortez, and Private First Class Bryan Howard.

In addition, former soldier Steven Green has been charged in a civilian court and is awaiting trial in a Kentucky jail.

Cortez had also been arraigned at the start of his court-martial and was likely to enter a plea on December 11.

He could be sentenced to death if convicted.

The Mahmudiya case, the killing of 24 people in Haditha and other incidents have sparked outrage among Iraqis.

The gang rape case has led Iraqi officials to call for a review of foreign troops' immunity from Iraqi prosecution.

At a hearing in August an investigator says Barker had told him in a sworn statement that on the day of the attack Cortez, Spielman, Green and himself had been playing cards and drinking whisky mixed with an energy drink.

He says Barker had described how they put the couple and their 6-year-old daughter into a bedroom of their home, but kept the teenage girl in the living room where Barker held her hands, while Paul Cortez raped or tried to rape her.

He says Barker then switched positions with Cortez and attempted to rape the girl.

Barker also told the agent he had heard shots from the bedroom and shortly afterward Green emerged from the room, put down an AK-47 assault rifle and raped the girl while Cortez held her down.
I figured there'd be a thread about it eventually, so I might as well be the one to start it.
 
Does his being a soldier change anything? Nope. A scumbag rapist is a scumbag rapist. He should hang from a light pole at the main gate for the base and left for a month to rot.
 

Talga Vasternich

Diabloii.Net Member
Does his being a soldier change anything? Nope. A scumbag rapist is a scumbag rapist. He should hang from a light pole at the main gate for the base and left for a month to rot.
Of course it makes a difference... to the people who want it to make a difference.
Had these soldiers not been in Iraq, they would have done the same thing somewhere in America, and it would have been front-page news in America while the rest of the world would never hear about it. Now it's another example of how evil we Americans really are.

They will be tried, and if the article is reliable about the facts, they will be found guilty and punished according to their crimes.
If it wouldn't set such a dangerous precedent, they should be given over to the Iraqi legal system to face charges.



 
Ah yes, how silly of me to forget the left hates the military and will use every instance of wrongdoing to further their own Chamberlain/chamberpot ideals.
 

Dondrei

Diabloii.Net Member
Of course it makes a difference... to the people who want it to make a difference.
Had these soldiers not been in Iraq, they would have done the same thing somewhere in America, and it would have been front-page news in America while the rest of the world would never hear about it.
Sure, if they'd been fighting Iraqi insurgents in the streets of America.

Amra's link said:
The U.S. military judge presiding over the case, Lt. Col. Richard Anderson, asked Barker why he participated in the attack in Mahmoudiya, a village about 20 miles south of Baghdad. It was among the worst in a series of alleged attacks on civilians and other abuses by military personnel in Iraq.

"I hated Iraqis, your honor," Barker answered. "They can smile at you, then shoot you in your face without even thinking about it."
P.S. Why is this court presided over by MacGyver?



 

Talga Vasternich

Diabloii.Net Member
Sure, if they'd been fighting Iraqi insurgents in the streets of America.
That is merely a weak-*** attempt at a justification for what he was doing.
Anyone who would rape a 14 year old girl, kill her, and kill her parents along with a younger child would do something similarly grotesque eventually.



 

Dondrei

Diabloii.Net Member
You think a guy could easily convince three other U.S. soldiers to go with him to gang-rape a girl and murder her and her family (as he claims) if they were on American soil and had not just endured a protracted violent insurgency where friend and foe look alike?

And are you ruling out the possible effects of PTSD? Would you claim that all those Viet Vets who went nuts and killed their families were always homicidal maniacs?
 

caddad

Diabloii.Net Member
Rape and murder are terrible crimes regardless of location, occupation, or any other such qualifier.

If he's guilty, I hope they find him guilty and he's punished in accordance to the law.

I won't be using this or any other terrible crime by the few to judge the whole.

-D2netDad
 

kobold

Banned
Had these soldiers not been in Iraq, they would have done the same thing somewhere in America, and it would have been front-page news in America while the rest of the world would never hear about it. Now it's another example of how evil we Americans really are.
I don't know if I agree with you Talga. If they had been in America, drinking booze, playing cards, and wanting to get some action, do you think that they would go invade someone's home and do such despicable things, or go get a whore?

I would argue that:
a) they are placed in very stressful positions in Iraq
b) there is likely a lot of frustration/anger/etc. towards "the people" if they had witnessed their mates being attacked by insurgents (car bombs, etc.)
c) had weapons at their disposal
d) wanted an easy outlet for their frustration/anger/etc.
e) a house occupied by "one of them" would be a psychological step away from a house in their home town.

Does any of what I said mean that the guys that did this aren't scumbags? Not at all.

I just don't think that the situation would be very likely to occur in the US in the same manner.



 

Talga Vasternich

Diabloii.Net Member
Dondrei said:
You think a guy could easily convince three other U.S. soldiers to go with him to gang-rape a girl and murder her and her family (as he claims) if they were on American soil and had not just endured a protracted violent insurgency where friend and foe look alike?
Probably. He showed considerable ability to dehumanize the object of his anger.
As for the others, they were mindless enough to go along with these evil acts, so I seriously doubt they would show more restraint in a different situation.

Dondrei said:
And are you ruling out the possible effects of PTSD?
Yes.
Dondrei said:
Would you claim that all those Viet Vets who went nuts and killed their families were always homicidal maniacs?
Insane =/= evil.
But the casue doesn't change the act... only the sentence.
kobold said:
I just don't think that the situation would be very likely to occur in the US in the same manner.
I agree. Not the same manner.
I believe that he had the mentality that would allow him to perform such an act of violence without any thought to his victim(s)
 

kobold

Banned
I agree. Not the same manner.
I believe that he had the mentality that would allow him to perform such an act of violence without any thought to his victim(s)
Ok. So do you think that this group were predisposed to be this way, or it was a symptom/result of their experiences in Iraq?

I know you already ruled out PTSD w/ Dondrei, just rephrasing.



 

SaroDarksbane

Diabloii.Net Site Pal
P.S. Why is this court presided over by MacGyver?
That was my first thought too.
Probably. He showed considerable ability to dehumanize the object of his anger.
Hmmm, I wonder why he would be able to dehumanize a person so thoroughly. Maybe . . . a war? I'll check, but I seem to remember that dehumanizing the enemy is the first thing a soldier learns to do in order to cope with the whole "killing other people" part of the job description.



 

Dondrei

Diabloii.Net Member
Probably. He showed considerable ability to dehumanize the object of his anger.
As for the others, they were mindless enough to go along with these evil acts, so I seriously doubt they would show more restraint in a different situation.
You're using the fact of act itself to establish that the act was inevitable. That's circular logic.

Why? Because it's more convenient for you to believe they're all evil guys?

Insane =/= evil.
But the casue doesn't change the act... only the sentence.
How do you know the Viet Vets were insane and these guys evil?



 

Stoutwood

Diabloii.Net Member
You think a guy could easily convince three other U.S. soldiers to go with him to gang-rape a girl and murder her and her family (as he claims) if they were on American soil and had not just endured a protracted violent insurgency where friend and foe look alike?
I've seen soldiers in Colorado Springs do some pretty sketchy stuff to girls. The service does occasionally pick up scumbags. I'm skeptical about PTSD personally.



 

WebDragon

Diabloii.Net Member
Donny's ISP said:
The Mahmudiya case, the killing of 24 people in Haditha and other incidents have sparked outrage among Iraqis.

The gang rape case has led Iraqi officials to call for a review of foreign troops' immunity from Iraqi prosecution.
If I were going to be skeptical about all this, I would say that these guys just happened to be the hapless fools that were chosen to be scape goats. The straw that broke the mule's back. I would say that if a bunch of soldiers didn't get some serious prosecution about some of the nasty stuff going on there, then the Iraqis would decide to actually apply their laws to the US soldiers, and then case after case would be uncovered and persued, and Aljazeera would be right there to throw on the spotlight, making the ever-victorious army look quite bad.

That is of course, if I wanted to be skeptical about all this. Thankfully I'm not.
 
Top