Scenes from an occupation: Wikileaks cable details 2006 massacre of Iraqi family (incl 5 month old baby) by US troops

on 14 Comments

The latest wikileaks dump has revealed the details of a 2006 massacre carried out by US troops in Iraq where ten members of the Al-Majma’ee family were summarily murdered outside the city of Balad. Among those killed were Mr. Faiz Hratt Khalaf, (age 28), his wife Sumay’ya Abdul Razzaq Khuther (age 24), their three children Hawra’a (age 5) Aisha ( age 3) and Husam (5 months old), Faiz’s mother Ms. Turkiya Majeed Ali (age 74), Faiz’s sister (name unknown), Faiz’s nieces Asma’a Yousif Ma’arouf (age 5), and Usama Yousif Ma’arouf (age 3), and a visiting relative Ms. Iqtisad Hameed Mehdi (aged 23).

The leaked cable was written by Philip Alston, the UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary, or Arbitrary Executions, and was sent to Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice.  The cable reads in part:

According to the information received, American troops approached Mr. Faiz’s home in the early hours of 15 March 2006. It would appear that when the MNF approached the house, shots were fired from it and a confrontation ensued for some 25 minutes. The MNF troops entered the house, handcuffed all residents and executed all of them. After the initial MNF intervention, a US air raid ensued that destroyed the house.

Iraqi TV stations broadcast from the scene and showed bodies of the victims (i.e. five children and four women) in the morgue of Tikrit. Autopsies carries out at the Tikrit Hospital’s morgue revealed that all corpses were shot in the head and handcuffed.

I am aware that the MNF confirmed that an air raid took place that day in Balad and that it caused an unconfirmed number of casualties. The US military attacked the house to capture members of Mr. Faiz Harrat Al-Majma’ee’s family on the basis that they were allegedly involved in the killing of two MNF soldiers who were killed between 6 to 11 March 2006 in the Al Haweeja area. The US military was further reported in the media as stating that MNF troops attacked the house in question to capture “a foreign fighter facilitator for the Al Qaeda in Iraq network”. Other reports indicate that over the past five months, there have been a significant number of lethal incidents in which the MNF is alleged to have used excessive force to respond to perceived threats either at checkpoints or by using air bombing in civilian areas.

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14 Responses

  1. Dan Crowther
    September 1, 2011, 10:30 am

    I highly recommend reading this article from Glenn Greenwald on the topic of this leak and the US media’s other priorities in the face of this disclosure:

    link to

    In 2004, Halliburton and Bechtel were allowed to stand before a formation of enlisted Marines at my reserve unit and offer those Marines a way out of their contract with the Federal Government; providing private security for their executives. 100k or more, tax free for one year. That day, I was embarrassed and ashamed for having joined the Marine Corps – to think of a private company being able to supercede your oath to “preserve, protect and defend the constitution of the united states” was, frankly unbelievable. I knew that day what these wars were really all about.

    Reading this cable just flat makes me want to cry, man. The men (and women?) who carried out this execution should be handed over – along with their commanders, including the upper echelons of their chain of command- to the Iraqi’s. Their names should be made public, their citizenship should be revoked and their families should have to wear the stain of this. If it were up to me……well, i really shouldnt say.

    Send this article to your friends and family – every american should know of this. Ive never been more angry and ashamed to be an American as I am right now.

    We ( all of us) should pray for forgiveness. We are all to blame.

    • Tal
      September 1, 2011, 11:27 am

      So once again American soldiers are involved in war crimes.
      Are there any demonstrations in the US over these issues? Acute op-eds in MSM? Who are your Amira Hass and Gidoen Levys exposing these crimes and writing about them in MSM?
      I’m seriously asking these informative questions, not because I’m trying to measure for measure with you.

      • Cliff
        September 1, 2011, 11:41 am

        He just linked one, Glenn Greenwald.

        We are a much bigger country. A much more complex country. Your comparison makes zero sense.

        If you’re going to juxtapose the political economy of Israel to the US, you should provide some context and explain why the comparison is relevant.

      • annie
        September 1, 2011, 11:59 am

        Who are your Amira Hass and Gidoen Levys exposing these crimes and writing about them in MSM?

        i think this info was just leaked the 29th, at least that is the day i ‘retweeted’ it. i hope there are some articles written about it but i won’t hold my breath. activists are still bitching about iraq and afghanistan.

        as for demonstrations i know code pink has weekly demonstrations “Join us every Wednesday to say NO to military recruiting of our youth!” i’d wager this info will definitely be incorporated into the protests.

        i wish there were more anti war demonstrations.

      • annie
        September 1, 2011, 12:11 pm

        So once again American soldiers are involved in war crimes.

        there was that recent trial in wash state of the kill team and the msm was mostly just silent about it. nothing on the tv here as i recall. remember the ishaqi massacre? it was completely covered up until some reporter stumbled upon it months later. and then it was whitewashed as if cold blooded killing of children could be a mistake. then and the rape burning slaughter and cover up of Abeer and her family. none of that would have ever come to light had not 2 soldiers from the same killing team been kidnapped. every time we hear about these individual massacres it is only thru some leak. it’s hideous. there’s no excuse for it. i can’t remember the name of the other big slaughter that came to light in will come to me. but i am sure there are others we don’t know about.

        edit, the haditha masscre. senseless insane cold blooded murder.

      • justicewillprevail
        September 1, 2011, 1:23 pm

        We know what is implied in your question, but there is no comparison, much as you would like there to be.

      • Keith
        September 1, 2011, 5:52 pm

        TAL- “So once again American soldiers are involved in war crimes.”

        Yes, that is an inevitable consequence of an imperial intervention, and why I steadfastly oppose imperial interventions, and all manifestations of empire. While I think that it is very appropriate that Mondoweiss focus on Israel/Palestine (an indirect imperial intervention), I am painfully aware that the US is the greatest purveyor of violence in the world as Martin Luther King stated, but which is rarely reported in the MSM.

        “Are there any demonstrations in the US over these issues?”

        There were huge demonstrations prior to the Iraq invasion that had no effect. ANSWER continues to hold demonstrations, for what they are worth. There is a big one planned for October 6 in Washington, DC. See you there?

        “Who are your Amira Hass and Gidoen Levys exposing these crimes and writing about them in MSM?”

        I am unaware of any radical critique of the American empire in the MSM. Even in the alternative media, people like Juan Cole, Gilbert Achar and Stephen Zunes find reasons to justify imperial intervention when it is a Democrat in the White House. For a fine analysis of the Libyan intervention, I highly recommend the ever reliable Bill Blum:
        link to

  2. Mndwss
    September 1, 2011, 10:50 am

    Why does a UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary, or Arbitrary Executions, report to the US?

    Should he not report to the UN?

    Is that the meaning of the word ‘Special’ in his title? (I report to the US and then to the UN if i am specifically told to do so).

    Do US soldiers have special handcuffs for children?

    • Dan Crowther
      September 1, 2011, 11:05 am


      they use zip ties – aka riot handcuffs. you can make them fit a small child.

      • Mndwss
        September 1, 2011, 12:20 pm

        ty. Do you know the name of the name of the company that makes these for the US armed forces? Someone should tell them to write a warning on those handcuffs.

        NOT TO BE USED ON CHILDREN!!! (Not even if they are soon to be executed).

        I understand the the US government’s panic about Wikileaks.

        They do not want to go to Hague.

  3. Kathleen
    September 1, 2011, 11:24 am

    The people of Iraq and the world should be demanding that Bush, Cheney, Wolfowitz, Rice, Feith, Cambone etc be put on trial at the Hague. Many horrific crimes have been committed by some of our American soldiers and US contractors in Iraq, Afghanistan. Go out and talk to soldiers. They know.

    Cheney was on MSNBC’s Morning Joe. Providing yet another opportunity for Cheney to repeat his WMD lies and never of course under oath. Mostly softball questions. Although MiKe Barnacle asked about troops not having necessary equipment. Mika asked about Powell being hung out to dry at the UN. Joe actually asked about WMD’s

    But when Cheney repeated his lies about the Duelfer report, WMD’s they never ever asked another question.
    So here are a few follow up questions for Cheney and the Morning Joe team.

    Cheney said the WMD intelligence came from the Clinton administration. Which is bull. Why was it Joe, Mika etc did not mention that the false WMD intelligence came out of the Pentagons Office of Special Plans, the office of Net Assessment and the White House Iraq Group. Lt Col Karen Kwiatowski, the Nations Jason Vest, (in the Nation in the fall of 2002) New Yorkers Seymour Hersh have all written extensively about where the false WMD intelligence came from.

    Also not one of the Morning Joe team asked Cheney an extremely obvious question. If he was so concerned about WMD’s in Iraq. Why did he help take out Valerie Plame the very person tracking the path of WMD’s. Why did he avoid testifying under oath about the outing of Plame?
    Why did he undermine Joe Wilson who stated that the NIger claims were false.

    Questions the Morning Joe team should have asked and can still ask.

    1. Why did Cheney out Plame when she was the very person following the path of WMD’s in that part of the world?
    2. Why did he avoid testifying under oath about this? How did he get away with not testifying?
    3, Why did he try to undermine Comey and Ashcroft’s decisions?
    4. Why did he undermine international agreements by pushing and implementing torture?
    5. Why did he wiretap Powell? Release those NSA intercepts that congress had been demanding.
    6. Why after the head of the IAEA El Baradei stated in early March of 2003 that the Niger Documents were forgeries did the MSM continue to allow the Bush administration to repeat these lies
    7. Tenet has said that they contacted the Bush administration and said that those 16 words were wrong and they did not support the use of them. Why did Stephen Hadley/Cheney put those 16 words back in that speech?

    The guest that the Morning Joe team should (but will not) have on to respond to Cheney’s continued lies?

    1. Duelfer (Cheney made false claims about the Duelfer Report on Morning Joe’s)

    2 Plame and Joe Wilson ( Cheney made so many claims about WMD’s that they were hard to count

    3. The counterterrosim expert Richard Clarke who the Bush administration would not directly communicate with during the Bush/Clinton administrations.

    The Morning Joe team played softball with Cheney. There were a few hardball questions. But Mika, Barnacle, Joe all went soft after Cheney repeated the same lies and the Morning Joe team did not challenge Cheney’s lies after he had another opportunity to repeat them on our air waves

    • mudder
      September 1, 2011, 8:41 pm

      Mika is to Zbigniew as Jesse Jr is to Jesse Sr. The younger generation sold out. Fortunately Max Blumenthal is not in their mold.

    • RoHa
      September 2, 2011, 2:37 am

      Toss in Tony Blair and John Howard as well. I know they’d not be missed.

  4. Mndwss
    September 1, 2011, 1:14 pm

    Has anyone asked Condoleeza Rice what she did with this information?

    I am not a fan of torture, but i will donate urine for a special waterboarding if she does not answer.

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