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September 07, 2006

Exonerating the dead.

In this post about the deaths of Specialist Babineau, and Privates Menchaca and Tucker, I made the following observation:

Lastly, this result needs to inform the Courts Martial of those soldiers whose actions seemingly sparked this event, if that connection can be made with evidentiary rigor. Not in the guilt or innocence phase - but in the punishment phase.

If that connection can be made with evidentiary rigor...

Heh.

'No Evidence' Ties Dead Soldiers to Mahmudiyah Crimes American Forces Press Service | September 05, 2006

Washington D.C. - Citing media reports suggesting a possible connection between three U.S. soldiers killed in June and the alleged rape of an Iraqi girl and murder of the girl and her family in March, military officials in Iraq today issued a statement saying “no evidence” connects the dead soldiers to the incident.

“Past articles could be read to imply that the three deceased soldiers were somehow involved in the alleged crimes,” Multinational Corps Iraq officials said in the statement.

Spc. David Babineau, Pfc. Thomas Tucker and Pfc. Kristian Menchaca – all assigned to Company B, 1st Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division – were manning a checkpoint that came under attack June 16. Babineau died at the scene, and Tucker and Menchaca went missing. Their bodies were found three days later.

Even though this article addresses a different issue - whether or not these three soldiers were involved in the rape and murders, vice a connection of their deaths as vengeance for the rape and murders, I thought it important to raise the issue back up to the front.

You can read the whole piece at Military.com.

Speaking of the soldiers in question - those accused of the rape and murders, there is an update:

Judge in Rape-Murder Case Denies Gag Order
Associated Press | September 01, 2006
LOUISVILLE, Kentucky - A federal judge rejected a gag order that could have kept lawyers and even President George W. Bush from publicly discussing the rape and murder of a 14-year-old Iraqi girl and the slaying of her relatives.

U.S. District Judge Thomas Russell said there is "no reason to believe" that a former soldier's right to a fair trial would be in jeopardy.

In a ruling Thursday, Russell also ordered former Pvt. Steven D. Green, 21, to be arraigned Nov. 8 in federal court in Louisville.

Investigators say Green and four other soldiers from the Fort Campbell-based 101st Airborne Division plotted to rape the girl in the village of Mahmoudiya. Green is accused of being the triggerman in the shooting of three family members in a room of the girl's house before she was raped and killed.

Defense lawyers had asked the judge to silence a variety of people, from the attorneys in the case to Bush.

The rest of that article is also available via Military.com.