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Old 02-20-2007, 06:24 PM   #496
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more surge
Probably. There's bound to be political fallout from this. It's a symbolic shift in his mandate, and kind of surprising based on Blair's earlier convictions.
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Old 02-23-2007, 09:57 AM   #497
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Yes I remember this horrific beyond any words case. Stress?

FORT CAMPBELL, Kentucky (AP) -- A U.S. soldier was sentenced to 100 years in prison Thursday for the gang rape and murder of an Iraqi girl and the killing of her family last year.

Sgt. Paul E. Cortez, 24, also was given a dishonorable discharge. He will be eligible for parole in 10 years under the terms of his plea agreement.

Cortez, of Barstow, California, pleaded guilty this week to four counts of felony murder, rape and conspiracy to rape in a case considered among the worst atrocities by U.S. military personnel in Iraq.

In his plea agreement, he said he conspired with three other soldiers from the Fort Campbell-based 101st Airborne Division to rape 14-year-old Abeer Qassim al-Janabi. The girl, her parents and a younger sister were all killed.

Earlier Thursday, tears rolled down Cortez's face as he apologized for the rape and murders. He said he could not explain why he took part.

"I still don't have an answer," Cortez told the judge. "I don't know why. I wish I hadn't. The lives of four innocent people were taken. I want to apologize for all of the pain and suffering I have caused the al-Janabi family."

The military judge hearing the case, Col. Stephen R. Henley, issued a sentence of life in prison without parole, the maximum for the charges. Under military law, the defendant is given the lesser sentence unless he violates terms of the plea agreement, which requires Cortez to testify against others charged in the case.

Psychologist Charles Figley testified that Cortez and the other soldiers likely suffered stress brought on by fatigue and trauma.

"It eats you up," Figley said. "It's a horrible thing. This is not unique. We've seen this in other wars."

Five soldiers who served with Cortez in Iraq testified that his actions were out of character and described the hardships of war they experienced, including sleep deprivation and the lack of running water.

"I just never would have seen it coming," said Staff Sgt. Tim Briggs, who has known Cortez for five years and served with him in Iraq.

Prosecutors said the stress was no excuse for the actions of Cortez and the other soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division, based at Fort Campbell.

On Wednesday, Cortez described raping the girl in her family's home in Mahmoudiya last March, along with Spc. James Barker, 24. Barker pleaded guilty in November to rape and murder and was sentenced to 90 years in military prison.

Cortez said this week that former private Steven D. Green raped the girl in front of him; shot her father, mother and sister; and then shot her in the head. He also testified that the soldiers attempted to burn the girl's body; burned their own clothes; and threw the murder weapon, an AK-47, into a canal in an attempt to dispose of the evidence.

Cortez was found not guilty of more serious charges of premeditated murder and conspiracy to premeditated murder.

Pfcs. Jesse Spielman, 22, and Bryan Howard, 19, await courts-martial. Green, who is accused of being the ringleader but was discharged from the military before being charged, will be prosecuted in a federal court in Kentucky.
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Old 02-23-2007, 10:15 AM   #498
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Yes I remember this horrific beyond any words case. Stress?

FORT CAMPBELL, Kentucky (AP) -- A U.S. soldier was sentenced to 100 years in prison Thursday for the gang rape and murder of an Iraqi girl and the killing of her family last year.

Sgt. Paul E. Cortez, 24, also was given a dishonorable discharge. He will be eligible for parole in 10 years under the terms of his plea agreement.

Cortez, of Barstow, California, pleaded guilty this week to four counts of felony murder, rape and conspiracy to rape in a case considered among the worst atrocities by U.S. military personnel in Iraq.

In his plea agreement, he said he conspired with three other soldiers from the Fort Campbell-based 101st Airborne Division to rape 14-year-old Abeer Qassim al-Janabi. The girl, her parents and a younger sister were all killed.

Earlier Thursday, tears rolled down Cortez's face as he apologized for the rape and murders. He said he could not explain why he took part.

"I still don't have an answer," Cortez told the judge. "I don't know why. I wish I hadn't. The lives of four innocent people were taken. I want to apologize for all of the pain and suffering I have caused the al-Janabi family."

The military judge hearing the case, Col. Stephen R. Henley, issued a sentence of life in prison without parole, the maximum for the charges. Under military law, the defendant is given the lesser sentence unless he violates terms of the plea agreement, which requires Cortez to testify against others charged in the case.

Psychologist Charles Figley testified that Cortez and the other soldiers likely suffered stress brought on by fatigue and trauma.

"It eats you up," Figley said. "It's a horrible thing. This is not unique. We've seen this in other wars."

Five soldiers who served with Cortez in Iraq testified that his actions were out of character and described the hardships of war they experienced, including sleep deprivation and the lack of running water.

"I just never would have seen it coming," said Staff Sgt. Tim Briggs, who has known Cortez for five years and served with him in Iraq.

Prosecutors said the stress was no excuse for the actions of Cortez and the other soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division, based at Fort Campbell.

On Wednesday, Cortez described raping the girl in her family's home in Mahmoudiya last March, along with Spc. James Barker, 24. Barker pleaded guilty in November to rape and murder and was sentenced to 90 years in military prison.

Cortez said this week that former private Steven D. Green raped the girl in front of him; shot her father, mother and sister; and then shot her in the head. He also testified that the soldiers attempted to burn the girl's body; burned their own clothes; and threw the murder weapon, an AK-47, into a canal in an attempt to dispose of the evidence.

Cortez was found not guilty of more serious charges of premeditated murder and conspiracy to premeditated murder.

Pfcs. Jesse Spielman, 22, and Bryan Howard, 19, await courts-martial. Green, who is accused of being the ringleader but was discharged from the military before being charged, will be prosecuted in a federal court in Kentucky.
This is a horrible incident. These men deserve to be shot be a firing squad. There is no place in our Army for such atrocious behavior - not only because of the pain and suffering they have caused this family (which is reason enough), but also because it gives our enemies (both within and outside the US) propaganda ammunition.

The insurgents in Iraq can use this incident to try and demonstrate that we are nothing more than murdering rapists. Those here in America that are rooting for the defeat of US forces will use this incident to try and demonsrate how horrible the war is going and that we should surrender and pack up immediately.
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Old 02-23-2007, 10:28 AM   #499
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Those here in America that are rooting for the defeat of US forces will use this incident to try and demonsrate how horrible the war is going and that we should surrender and pack up immediately.


is this really our primary concern here? is that what you're most worried about -- a PR issue?

and, besides, everyone in Washington knows that the war is over, and we're going to find a way to declare victory and then pull out.

and then there's going to be one hell of a Civil War, even worse than the one going on now (the one that American soldiers have been asked to police, which is horrible to do to them).
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Old 02-23-2007, 12:39 PM   #500
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Gee, I don't believe anyone in America is rooting for the defeat of US forces. And I think all Americans are intelligent enough to know that these men do not represent all the other fine men and women who are serving there and elsewhere.

This incident isn't being used for anything-it's barely a footnote in the news. Unfortunately.
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Old 02-23-2007, 04:27 PM   #501
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Originally posted by AEON
Those here in America that are rooting for the defeat of US forces will use this incident to try and demonsrate how horrible the war is going and that we should surrender and pack up immediately.
Um...just because someone is anti-war doesn't mean that they want our own brothers and sisters to die.
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