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BTL:U.S. Rep. Murtha: U.S. Marines Kill Iraqi Civilians "in Cold Blood"
Interview with John Sifton, terrorism and counter-terrorism researcher with Human Rights Watch, conducted by Between the Lines' Scott Harris
U.S. Rep. Murtha: U.S. Marines Kill Iraqi Civilians "in Cold Blood"
Interview with John Sifton, terrorism and counter-terrorism researcher with Human Rights Watch, conducted by Scott Harris
Since the March 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq, the civilian death toll resulting from the conflict remains a topic rarely discussed by American politicians or corporate media. While the Pentagon has refused to provide an estimate of Iraqi casualties, other groups have used various methods to arrive at the numbers of Iraqis killed. Iraq Body Count website states that up to 42,000 have lost their lives, while The Lancet, a respected British medical journal, reported that a study in 2004 found that over 100,000 Iraqi civilians had died due to the U.S. invasion.
The May 17 pronouncement of Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., that U.S. Marines deliberately killed 15 unarmed Iraqi civilians "in cold blood" last November, has momentarily refocused public attention on the little discussed costs of the occupation. Murtha, an opponent of the war, said that a Pentagon investigation into a Nov. 19 incident in the western Iraqi town of Haditha found that Marines had killed 15 or more Iraqi civilians execution-style in their homes after one of their comrades was killed by a roadside bomb. Among the dead were four women and five children, including a 3-year-old girl. The Pentagon says the probe is not yet complete and refused comment.
Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with John Sifton, a researcher with Human Rights Watch, who takes a critical look at the Pentagon's credibility in investigating soldiers accused of brutalizing civilians. Sifton also comments on the U.N. Committee Against Torture's call for the closing of the U.S. Navy's detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Contact Human Rights Watch by calling (212) 290-4700 or visit their website at http://www.hrw.org
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