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Killings Database - Year 2006

 

 

The Massacre of Mahmudiya - The Rape and Murder of Abeer Qassim Hamsa

Background

The Accused

Media Reports

Steven Green Case File

Military Tribunals

Photo Credits

 

Newest media report: The Blackest Hearts: War Crimes in Iraq (24/7/2010/The Guardian)

Newest legal document: Reply Brief for Appellant (15/3/2010/U.S. vs. Steven Green)

Newest military report: “Dear Mr. Ottmann: …” (7/12/2009/U.S. Army Installation Management Command, Fort Campbell)

 

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Abeer Qassim Hamsa at the age of seven

Background - Mahmudiya, March 12th, 2006

 

“Fifteen-year-old Abeer Qasim Hamza was afraid, her mother confided in a neighbor. As pretty as she was young, the girl had attracted the unwelcome attention of U.S. soldiers manning a checkpoint that the girl had to pass through almost daily in their village in the south-central city of Mahmudiyah, her mother told the neighbor.

 

“Abeer told her mother again and again in her last days that the soldiers had made advances toward her, a neighbor, Omar Janabi, said this weekend, recounting a conversation he said he had with the girl’s mother, Fakhriyah, on March 10. Fakhriyah feared that the Americans might come for her daughter at night, at their home. She asked her neighbor if Abeer might sleep at his house, with the women there. Janabi said he agreed. Then, ‘I tried to reassure her, remove some of her fear,’ Janabi said. ‘I told her, the Americans would not do such a thing.’

 

“Abeer did not live to take up the offer of shelter. Instead, attackers came to the girl’s house the next day, apparently separating Abeer from her mother, father and young sister. Janabi and others knowledgeable about the incident said they believed that the attackers raped Abeer in another room. Medical officials who handled the bodies also said the girl had been raped, but they did not elaborate. Before leaving, the attackers fatally shot the four family members - two of Abeer’s brothers had been away at school - and attempted to set Abeer’s body on fire, according to Janabi, another neighbor who spoke on condition of anonymity, the mayor of Mahmudiyah and a hospital administrator with knowledge of the case. […]”

 

Excerpt from an article by the Washington Post from July 3rd, 2006.

 

Steven Green - The Accused

“’I came over here because I wanted to kill people.’ - Over a mess-tent dinner of turkey cutlets, the bony-faced 21-year-old private from West Texas looked right at me as he talked about killing Iraqis with casual indifference. […] ‘The truth is, it wasn’t all I thought it was cracked up to be. I mean, I thought killing somebody would be this life-changing experience. And then I did it, and I was like, ‘All right, whatever.’ He shrugged. ‘I shot a guy who wouldn’t stop when we were out at a traffic checkpoint and it was like nothing,’ he went on. ‘Over here, killing people is like squashing an ant. I mean, you kill somebody and it's like ‘All right, let’s go get some pizza.’

“[... T]he private was Steven D. Green. The next time I saw him, in a front-page newspaper photograph five months later, he was standing outside a federal courthouse in North Carolina, where he had pled not guilty to charges of premeditated rape and murder. The brutal killing of a 14-year-old Iraqi girl and her family in Mahmudiyah that he was accused of had taken place just three weeks after we talked. […]”

Excerpt from an Washington Post article, July 30th, 2006.

Steven Dale Green with an AK-47 in a Texas motel

 

The Mahmudiya Photo & Video Archive

 

The Rape & Murder Scene in Mahmudiya - Short BBC Documentary from August 7th, 2006

The Mahmudiya Massacre Images - A Photo Series

 

The Mahmudiya Media Reports Archive

 

The 2010 Media Reports File

The 2009 Media Reports File

The 2008 Media Reports File

The 2007 Media Reports File

The 2006 Media Reports File

 

U.S. vs. Steven Green Case File

 

The Steven Green Appeals Process File

Trial Testimonies

The 2009 Steven Green Case File

The 2008 Steven Green Case File

The 2007 Steven Green Case File

The 2006 Steven Green Case File

 

Divers

 

False Phishing Alerts from Microsoft Internet Explorer

 

 

Recent Media Reports

 

July 24th, 2010 - The Blackest Hearts: War Crimes in Iraq

1 feature article from the Guardian

 

February 25th, 2010 - Prosecutors: Law Used in Ex-Soldier’s Trial Valid

1 news article from the Associated Press

 

November 30th, 2009 - Lawyers: Ex-Soldier should have had Military Trial

1 news article from the Associated Press

 

October 2nd, 2009 - Ex-Soldier in Iraq Slaying Sent to Indiana Prison

1 news article from the Associated Press

 

The 2010 Media Reports File

The 2009 Media Reports File

The 2008 Media Reports File

The 2007 Media Reports File

The 2006 Media Reports File

 

The Accused

Steven D. Green

Steven V. Spielman

Paul E. Cortez

James Barker

 

More Images in the Mahmudiya Massacre Photo Series

 

Charges & Sentences in the Criminal Proceedings at the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky

Defendant

Pleading

Main Charges

Sentence & Sentencing Date

Steven Green

pleaded not guilty

premeditated murder, conspiracy, sexual abuse

Life in prison w/o parole - Sept. 4th, 2009

 

U.S. vs. Steven Green: Criminal Proceedings & Appeals Process

 

U.S. vs. Steven D. Green

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

Case No.: 09-6123 (09-6108)

 

U.S. vs. Steven D. Green

U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky

Case No.: 5:06-CR-00019-R (prior to November 3rd, 2006: 3:06 MJ 230)

 

Key Documents

 

September 4th, 2009 - Judgment

May 7th, 2009 - Verdict

May 1st, 2009 - Transcript of Testimony of Paul Cortez

April 30th, 2009 - Transcript of Testimony of Jesse Spielman

November 7th, 2006 - Indictment

June 30th, 2006 - Criminal Complaint

 

Recent Proceedings & Filings

 

March 15th, 2010 - Reply Brief for Appellant

 

“[…] A. Green’s discharge was invalid. […]

 

“The government views a service member’s discharge to be complete when a discharge certificate […] and final pay are ready for him. […] Green acknowledged that those two components of the discharge process were met. […] The discharge, however, is not complete until the service member undergoes a mandatory clearing process. […] As Green noted in his original brief […], the clearing process is not simply an administrative task but is an essential element of a valid discharge and is therefore essential to establishing in personam jurisdiction. […] Therefore, insisting on compliance with the components of the clearing process identified on pp. 44-49 of Green’s brief is not ‘hypertechnical’ […] because Army Regulations (AR) make it clear that the military, i.e., the government, has the burden of ensuring compliance with all aspects of clearing process. […]

 

“The government also seems to suggest […] that Green waived any challenge to the validity of his discharge by his offer to re-enlist and subject himself to the UCMJ. But Green’s willingness to re-enlist was not a concession of the validity of his discharge. As far as the Army was concerned the discharge was valid. If the Army accepted Green’s request to re-enlist, it might be argued that his reenlistment waived any defects in the discharge process but the Army’s rejection of the re-enlistment offer rendered that point moot. Thus, Green can still challenge the validity of his discharge in this appeal.

 

“The government argues […] that Green is not entitled to relief even if the Army failed to strictly comply with all of the requirements of the clearing process because he was neither prejudiced thereby nor deprived of his substantial rights. But as Green demonstrated in his original brief […], he was indeed prejudiced and deprived of substantial rights because his prosecution in a civilian court resulted in grossly disparate treatment from his co-accused who were prosecuted by court-martial. For the reasons set forth in his original brief and in this brief, Green’s discharge was invalid and at the time he was accused of the Iraq crimes he was subject to the UCMJ.

 

“Conclusion

 

“For the foregoing reasons, appellant Steven Dale Green, respectfully submits that he is entitled to the relief requested in his original brief. […]”

 

February 25th, 2010 - Brief for the United States

 

“[…] In this appeal, Green does not dispute that he devised a plot to murder an innocent family of Iraqi civilians or that he carried out his senseless murderous plot in cold blood. Nor does he raise a single assignment of error regarding the fairness of the ensuing criminal trial that sought to hold him criminally accountable for those acts. Instead, Green launches an array of legal challenges to the very legitimacy of the federal government’s effort to hold him accountable, assailing the constitutional validity of the MEJA statute itself - a law that Green does not seem to appreciate was specifically enacted to prevent the absurdity of allowing people like him to escape any prosecution solely because they happened to have been discharged from the service before their criminal conduct was uncovered - as well as the prosecution’s exercise of its discretion to charge him under that law.

 

“Green’s arguments do not withstand scrutiny, and they provide no basis for disturbing his convictions or his resulting life sentences. Indeed, as we will demonstrate, Green’s arguments evince a deep-seated and fundamentally flawed view of the source, nature and breadth of the prosecutorial discretion constitutionally entrusted to the Executive Branch. […]”

 

November 30th, 2009 - Brief for Appellant

 

“[…] Argument I - MEJA is unconstitutional because it violates the separation of powers and the non-delegation doctrine. Congress as the Legislative Branch of government has improperly delegated its constitutional powers to the Executive Branch by allowing the Executive to have the unfettered discretion to decide whether person, who commits a crime while a member of the Armed Forces, is to be tried by the military under the UCMJ or in district court under MEJA. Moreover, the disparate treatment of Green and the more severe punishments he faced as compared to his military co-accused violated Green’s rights to equal protection and due process.

 

“Argument II - Green was improperly subjected to prosecution in district court under MEJA because his discharge from the Army was invalid. The ‘clearing process’ that is an essential component of a soldier’s separation from the miliary failed to comply with Army Regulations thereby rendering Green’s discharge invalid and subjecting him to prosecution under the UCMJ rather than MEJA. […]”

 

September 18th, 2009 - Notice of Appeal

 

“[…] This appeal has been docketed as case number 09-6123 with the caption that is enclosed on a separate page.

 

“Even if the defendant filed the notice of appeal, Sixth Circuit Rule 101(a) requires that counsel continue representation on appeal until specifically relieved by this Court. […]

 

“[…] At this stage of the appeal, the following forms should be downloaded from the web site and filed with the Clerk's office by October 2, 2009. […]”

 

The Steven Green Appeals Process File

Trial Testimonies

The 2009 Steven Green Case File

The 2008 Steven Green Case File

The 2007 Steven Green Case File

The 2006 Steven Green Case File

 

Steven Green on Trial

Before a court hearing

During the trial phase

Before the sentencing

Charges & Sentences by the Military Tribunal at Fort Campbell

Defendant

Pleading

Main Charges

Sentences

Sentencing Dates

Paul Cortez

pleaded guilty

premeditated murder, conspiracy, rape

100 years confinement

February 22nd, 2007

James Barker

pleaded guilty

premeditated murder, conspiracy, rape

life sentence

November 15th, 2006

Jesse Spielman

pleaded not guilty

premeditated murder, conspiracy, rape

110 years confinement

August 4th, 2007

Bryan Howard

pleaded guilty

premeditated murder, conspiracy, rape

27 months confinement

March 21st, 2007

 

The Military Tribunals, Reports & Documents

December 7th, 2009 - 1st Reply to FOIA Request

Letter by the U.S. Army Installation Management Command, Fort Campbell

 

“[…] The purpose of my letter is to notify you that this headquarters has completed processing part of your Freedom of Information Act request.

 

“This headquarters is not the records custodian for your request court martial records. Your request has been referred to the following agency for their review and release determination.

 

“Office of the Clerk of Court, US Army Judiciary, Attention: JALS-CCO, 901 North Stuart Street, Suite 1200 Arlington, Virginia 22203-1837 […]”

 

December 6th, 2009 - FOIA Request to Fort Campbell, Kentucky

Letter by Martin Ottmann

 

“[…] This is a request under the Freedom of Information Act for the following records:

 

“Records of the Court Martials held at Fort Campbell in 2006 and 2007 against Paul Cortez, James Barker, Bryan Howard & Jesse Spielman, former 2nd Brigade Combat Team Soldiers of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault).

 

“Background information: In the years 2006 and 2007, four individual court martials were held at Fort Campbell against the above-mentioned individuals in connection with the rape and murder of Iraqi national Abeer Qassim Hamza on March 12, 2006 in the Iraqi city of Mahmoudiyah. On October 18, 2006 the Public Affairs Office at Fort Campbell announced in this matter the referral of charges for general court martial. On November 15, 2006, James Barker was sentenced to life confinement. On February 22, 2007, Paul Cortez was sentenced to 100 years confinement. On March 21, 2007, Bryan Howard was sentenced to 27 months confinement. On August 4, 2007, Jesse Spielman was sentenced to 110 years confinement.

 

“The rape and killing of Abeer Qassim Hamza and her family and the subsequent trial of former 2nd Brigade Combat Team soldier Steven Green in a civilian court in Paducah, Kentucky created a massive global public interest and consequently numerous press articles and television documentaries. It even became the subject of a movie, ‘Redacted’ by Brian De Palma, which retold the circumstances of the killings. […]”

 

June 26th, 2007 - “Dear Mr. Wolff: …”

Letter by the U.S. Department of the Army

 

“[…] Thank you for your May 10, 2007 letter to the Secretary of Defense and Secretary of the Army concerning consideration of a military court-martial for your client, the former Private First Class Steven Green. […]

 

“The proposed option, which would allow your client to voluntarily reenlist in the Army so that his criminal case could be pursued under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, has been carefully considered. However, the 101st Airborne Division (Air AssauIt) does not wish to pursue this course of action. […]”

 

May 10th, 2007 - Re: Former Army PFC Steven Green/SSN [redacted]

Letter by Darren C. Wolff

 

February 15th, 2007 - Re: Steven Green/SSN [redacted]

Letter by Darren C. Wolff

 

“[…] I appreciate you taking the time over the past few months to speak with me regarding former PFC Steven Green’s case. As one of his civilian defense attorneys, I want to reduce to writing what I have verbally discussed with you regarding the possibility of Mr. Green voluntarily re-enlisting in the Army in order to subject himself to the military justice system. At this time, Mr. Green’s civilian defense team would like to formally begin discussions regarding this issue and I encourage you to send this correspondence up the chain of command so action can be taken as necessary to ensure this possibility is thoroughly investigated.

 

“If an agreement is reached, Mr. Green will undoubtedly agree to testify truthfully at any proceedings involving the military co-accused. We can certainly discuss any further details of such an agreement should the Army express an interest in pursuing Mr. Green’s re-enlistment. […]”

 

November 16th, 2006 - 2nd Bde Soldier Sentenced

Press release by the Public Affairs Office, Fort Campbell, Kentucky

 

“[…] Spc. James Barker pleaded guilty Wednesday and was sentenced today on charges arising from incidents occurring at Yousifiyah, Iraq last March during the 101st Airborne Division’s deployment for Operation Iraqi Freedom.

 

“Barker was charged with premeditated murder, rape, conspiracy to commit premeditated murder and rape, conspiracy to obstruct justice, obstruction of justice, violating a lawful general order, arson and housebreaking. He pleaded guilty to all charges and specifications and the military judge subsequently found him guilty of all charges and specifications and sentenced him to life with eligibility for parole and a dishonorable discharge. […]”

 

November 13th, 2006 - 2nd Brigade Soldiers to be arraigned

Press release by the Public Affairs Office, Fort Campbell, Kentucky

 

October 18th, 2006 - Charges against 2nd Brigade Soldiers referred for general court-martial

Press release by the Public Affairs Office, Fort Campbell, Kentucky

 

September 4th, 2006 - Officials: ‘No Evidence’ Ties Dead Soldiers to Mahmudiyah Crimes

1 article by the American Forces Press Service

 

July 10th, 2006 - Four Soldiers Accused of Rape, Murder

1 article by the Coalition Forces Land Component Command

 

July 8th, 2006 - Charge Sheet of Jesse V. Spielman

Report by the U.S. Department of the Army

 

“[…] Specification 1: In that Private First Class Jesse V. Spielman, U.S. Army, did, at or near Yousifiyah, Iraq, between on or about 5 March 2006 and on or about 12 March 2006, conspire with Sergeant Paul Cortez, Specialist James Barker, Private First Class Bryan Howard and Private First Class Steven Green to commit offenses under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, to wit: rape and premeditated murder, and in order to effect the object of the conspiracy the said Private First Class Jesse Spielman, Sergeant Paul Cortez, Specialist James Baker, and Private First Class Steven Green did unlawfulfy enter the home of Kassirn Hamzah Rashid Al Janabi and commit the offenses of rape and murder therein.

 

“Specification 2: In that Private First Class Jesse V. Spielman, U.S. Army, did, at or near Yousifiyah, Iraq, on or about 12 March 2006, conspire with Specialist James Barker, Sergeant Paul Cortez and Private First Class Steven Green to commit an offense under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, to wit: obstruction of justice in the case of the said Private First Class Jesse V. Spielman, Specialist James Barker, Sergeant Paul Cortez, Private First Class Bryan Howard and Private First Class Steven Green with regard to the murders of Kassim Hamzah Rashid Al Janabi, Fakhriah Taha Mahsin Moussa Al Janabi, Abier Kassim Hamzah Rashid Al Janabi, and Hadeel Kassim Hamzah Rashid Al Janabi and the rape of Abier Kassim Hamzah Rashid Al Janabi and in order to effect the object of the conspiracy, the said Specialist James Barker, Sergeant Paul Cortez, Private First Class Jesse V. Spielman and Private First Class Steven Green did cause to be burned the body of Abier Kassim Hamzah Rashid Al Janabi, the said Specialist James Barker, Sergeant Paul Cortez, and Private First Class Steven Green did cause to be burned the clothes they wore during the aforementioned murders and rape, and the said Private First Class Jesse Spielman threw into a canal a firearm used to commit the aforementioned murders. […]”

 

July 8th, 2006 - Charge Sheet of Bryan L. Howard

Report by the U.S. Department of the Army

 

July 8th, 2006 - Charge Sheet of James P. Barker

Report by the U.S. Department of the Army

 

July 8th, 2006 - Charge Sheet of Paul E. Cortez

Report by the U.S. Department of the Army

 

May 16th, 2006 - Certificate of Discharge from Active Duty/Steven Dale Green

Report by the U.S. Department of the Army/Fort Campbell

 

“[…] 23. Type of Separation[:] Discharge

 

“24. Character of Service […][:] Honorable

 

“[…] 28. Narrative Reason for Separation[:] Personality Disorder […]”

 

December 9th, 2005 - Coalition Forces keep Streets of Iraq safe

1 article by the Army News Service

 

War Scenes from Mahmudiya

During U.S. invasion (2003)

U.S. army patrolling streets (2004)

The rape & murder scene (2006)

Photo Credits

Background

 

1) This undated photo released by the U.S. District Court and introduced by the prosecution as an exhibit in the trial of former Army Pfc. Steven Green in Paducah, Ky., shows Abeer Qassim al-Janabi as a young girl in Iraq. Green, convicted of raping and killing al-Janabi and murdering her family was sentenced to life in prison Thursday, May 21, 2009 in a case that drew attention to the emotional and psychological strains on soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. - probably 1999 - U.S. District Court/Louisville Courier-Journal;

2) Steven Green in motel room - undated - Newsweek (August 7th, 2006 edition);

 

The Accused Series

 

1) Steven Green Mugshot - July 3rd, 2006 - Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Office;

2) Jesse V. Spielman as U.S. soldier - undated - Chambersburg Public Opinion;

3) Paul E. Cortez in highschool - 2000 - ‘Centurion’ - Yearbook for Central High School in Barstow, California;

4) James Barker - undated - Steven Green legal defense team;

 

Steven Green on Trial

 

1) Former 101st Airborne Division Pfc. Steven Dale Green is escorted to court during his trial for the rape and killing of an Iraqi girl. - April 2009 - Mark Humphrey/Associated Press;

2) Steven Green on the way to court - April 2009 - Mark Humphrey/Associated Press;

3) Former 101st Airborne Division Pfc. Steven Dale Green, 24, of Midland, Texas, is taken in the back of the court building in Paducah, Ky. by US marshals for formal sentencing to life in prison for the rape and murder of an Iraqi teenager and the shooting deaths of three of her family members. - September 4th, 2009 - Daniel R. Patmore/Associated Press;

 

War Scenes from Mahmudiya

 

1) The city during the U.S. invasion - April 2003 - CJ;

2) U.S. army patrol in Mahmudiya - 2004 - Khalid Mohammed/Associated Press;

3) Hussein Mohammed points to the floor where he found the body of Abeer - July 6th, 2006 - Ali Al-Mahmouri/Associated Press;

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