Killing Iraqi Detainees?
This looks ugly. On Friday, the U.S. Army quietly opened an investigation into soldiers assigned to the 2nd Brigade Combat Team of the 1st Infantry Division related to the deaths of Iraqi detainees. Only the dead detainees "were not persons detained in a detention facility," according to preliminary Army findings. That suggests that soldiers killed Iraqis who were already restrained, on or near the battlefield.
According to Army spokesman Paul Boyce, the Army doesn’t yet know how many deaths are under investigation, or where they occurred. Apparently the 2nd BCT was "in several places" in Iraq. It’s also unclear when exactly the deaths occurred — the Army release only says 2007 — or under what circumstances. But Boyce did confirm that at the time of the death, the Iraqis were "persons under custody" — PUCs, in military parlance. The BCT is currently in Schweinfurt, Germany, where witness interviews began last week. Boyce would only say that the investigation is looking at "elements" of the BCT: it’s too soon to tell if a particular company is under special review. Asked if the investigation had a timetable, Boyce would only say, "As long as it takes to do a thorough investigation."
More details as they emerge.