U. S. Army Orders Were to "Kill Them All"

August 6, 2006

On August 3, the Associated Press reported that two U.S. soldiers described "in gruesome detail" how they murdered Iraqi prisoners during recent military operations.

The soldiers of the 101st Airborne Division said that during an offensive in May 2006 in Salahuddin Province, they carried out cold-blooded killings of detainees under direct orders from their commanders.

One soldier said during sworn testimony, that Colonel Michael Steele, commander of his unit, the 3rd Combat Brigade, ordered us "to kill them all...to kill all the male insurgents." Another soldier verified that those orders "were the rules of engagement" during the operation. When the soldiers reported to their squad leaders that they had captured and bound three Iraqi men, they were told over their radio that "the detainees should have been killed." The soldiers also testified that they "smiled as they killed the prisoners" and then "spat on the dying bodies." Another squad leader then threatened to kill any soldier who talked about the murders.

This testimony has again provided a glimpse of the typical methods used by U.S. imperialism. It offers further proof of the on-going war crimes committed by the U.S. government during its continuing war and occupation of Iraq. Such atrocities are still being carried out.

It also shows that all those responsible for the atrocities must be held accountable and pay for their crimes. This includes both the individual soldiers involved as well as George Bush, Donald Rumsfeld and the entire high command of U.S. imperialism.