New Photos Released of Iraq Atrocity, With Documents and Video
By David Swanson
December 19, 2011 "War Is A Crime" -- Every American should read this letter:
And every American should view these photographs (warning, extremely revolting).
And then watch this superb video to learn from John Needham's father what became of him:
WARNING: Graphic and disturbing photos betweenand .
U.S. Army Ranger John Needham, who was awarded two purple hearts and three medals for heroism, wrote to military authorities in 2007 reporting war crimes that he witnessed being committed by his own command and fellow soldiers in Al Doura, Iraq. His charges were supported by atrocity photos which, in the public interest, are now released in this video. John paid a terrible price for his opposition to these acts. His story is tragic.
Salon covered this story too:
Thanks to Cindy Piester for the excellent video and all of this information.
Casualties of War
Pfc. John Needham, son and grandson of military men, joined the U.S. Army in 2006 with “the whole goal of giving your life for somebody else”?his comrades?and in Iraq he was awarded the Purple Heart. But he suffered depression and excruciating back pain, crippling post-traumatic stress disorder and addiction to various drugs and vodka. Before enlisting, he had never touched a drink. In 2008 he considered suicide; and in a fight with his drug-addicted former girlfriend, he battered her with his fists. She died in the hospital. He remembered nothing.
Private Needham had fallen apart, he said, because he had witnessed “war crimes”; and when he reported them, his comrades mocked him. According to his letter in 2007 to Army officials, members of his company shot Iraqis without provocation. A sergeant killed one, removed the man’s brain, strapped the corpse to the humvee hood and paraded it through town blaring warnings in Arabic. An investigation found no crimes.
In February 2010, John Needham died of a drug overdose after three operations on his back. Salon.com and CBS’s “48 Hour Mystery” have told his story. His father, a Vietnam veteran, will tell it again this month when he reads the text of his son’s “war crimes” letter at a Human Rights Day observance in Los Angeles. The father says the Army failed his son. He is right. John and his girlfriend are both casualties of these wars. Hundreds of unknown John Needhams are coming home. This nation owes them a more supportive welcome