U.S. Soldiers Accused Of Raping Iraqi Women Escape Prosecution
On International Women's Day, Guardian reporter Suzanne Goldenberg broke the story about how soldiers from the 3rd Infantry Brigade accused of rape were able to escape the charges. The soldiers were from the same military unit whose troops fired on the car carrying freed Italian hostage Giuliana Sgrena.
Suzanne Goldenberg's article
appeared in the Guardian newspaper.
It began: "Soldiers from the 3rd Infantry Brigade -- the
same military unit whose troops fired on the car carrying freed
Italian hostage Giuliana Sgrena -- were under investigation last
year for raping Iraqi women, U.S. Army documents reveal. Four
soldiers were alleged to have raped two women while on guard
duty in a Baghdad shopping precinct. A U.S. Army investigator
interviewed several soldiers from the military unit, the 1-15th
battalion of the 3rd Infantry Brigade, but did not locate or
interview the Iraqi women involved before shutting down the
inquiry for lack of evidence.
"Transcripts of the investigation, obtained by the
Guardian from the American Civil Liberties Union, show only the
most cursory attempts by the investigator to establish whether
the women were raped. The soldiers claimed the women were
prostitutes, or denied any knowledge of anyone in their unit
having sex while deployed in Iraq. The statements went largely
unchallenged. "I know the women were Iraqi. I however don't
know if they were raped, or were prostitutes, or just wanted
sex," one soldier told investigators.
"Jameel Jaffar, an attorney for the ACLU, which has led
a long legal struggle to get the Pentagon to release documents
of its investigations, argues that the failure to conduct a
thorough investigation on such serious charges as rape was part
of a disturbing pattern. 'There are always questions in these
files about whether the investigator was sufficiently aggressive
in pursuing leads and tracking down evidence,' he said."
We are joined by Suzanne Goldenberg in our D.C. studio.
- Suzanne Goldenberg, U.S. correspondent for the
British Guardian newspaper.
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