Senator Seeks Answers On Possible Iraq Service-U.S. Crime Link


Six Iraqi veterans of the U.S. Army’s 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry regiment are in prison for serious crimes. The Los Angeles Times says the Army is quick to downplay any link between what soldiers saw in Iraq and the allegations against them. “Anybody that does crimes of that nature, it goes deeper and farther back than anything in the U.S. Army,” said Lt. Col. Brian Pearl, the 2-12’s commanding officer. “Nothing here has trained them to do what they are charged with.”

The six behind bars are implicated in four separate shooting incidents and five slayings since August 2007. The killings stretch from Colorado to an California beach town, where a veteran of the company is accused of beating his girlfriend to death. In October, a soldier who served in Iraq was charged with slitting a woman’s throat and leaving her to die in the foothills near Colorado Springs, prompting U.S. Sen. Ken Salazar (D-CO) to urge a “swift and thorough review” of the accused soldiers’ records. He asked whether the Army, in its zeal to meet recruiting numbers, had issued the soldiers waivers for felonies, serious misdemeanors or mental health issues. The Army has launched a task force to examine the question. “Think about Vietnam,” said Amanda Philipps, a public defender in one case. “This is just the tip of the iceberg.”


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