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Killing of Iraqi Civilians Index

Killlings Database – Year 2003

 

 

The Torture Killing of Abed Hamed Mowhoush

 

Background

Media Reports

Military Reports

Photo Credits

 

Background

 

“Iraqi Maj. Gen. Abed Hamed Mowhoush was being stubborn with his American captors, and a series of intense beatings and creative interrogation tactics were not enough to break his will. On the morning of Nov. 26, 2003, a U.S. Army interrogator and a military guard grabbed a green sleeping bag, stuffed Mowhoush inside, wrapped him in an electrical cord, laid him on the floor and began to go to work. Again.

 

“It was inside the sleeping bag that the 56-year-old detainee took his last breath through broken ribs, lying on the floor beneath a U.S. soldier in Interrogation Room 6 in the western Iraqi desert. Two days before, a secret CIA-sponsored group of Iraqi paramilitaries, working with Army interrogators, had beaten Mowhoush nearly senseless, using fists, a club and a rubber hose, according to classified documents. […]”

 

Excerpt of a Washington Post article from August 3rd, 2005.

The victim Abed Mowhoush and his grandson

 

Media Reports

 

April 10th, 2006 - Questions Linger In Captured Iraqi General’s Death

1 news article by CBS 5

 

January 25th, 2006 - Sentence in Death Of Iraqi Angers Son

1 news article by the Washington Post

 

January 24th, 2006 - Army Interrogator Reprimanded in Iraqi’s Death

1 news article by the Washington Post

 

January 22nd, 2006 - CIA Role a Mystery at Army Court-Martial

1 news article by the Associated Press

 

January 21st, 2006 - General was Too Valuable to Kill, Defense Argues

1 news article by Colorado Springs Gazette

 

January 20th, 2006 - Trial Illuminates Dark Tactics of Interrogation

1 news article by Los Angeles Times

 

January 18th, 2006 - Secret Witness Testifies at Officer’s Trial

1 news article by the Associated Press

 

August 3rd, 2005 - Documents Tell of Brutal Improvisation by GIs

1 news article by the Washington Post

 

July 27th, 2005 - Guardsman: CIA Beat Iraqis with Hammer Handles

1 news article by the Denver Post

 

October 5th, 2004 - Army Charges 4 in Death

1 news article by the Denver Post

 

May 28th, 2004 - Carson GI Eyed in Jail Death

1 news article by the Denver Post

 

May 19th, 2004 - Brutal Interrogation in Iraq

1 news article by the Denver Post

 

November 28th, 2003 - Ex-Iraqi General Dies in US Custody

1 news article by the Guardian

 

 

Military Reports

 

Court-Martial of Lewis E. Welshofer, Jr.

 

September 6th, 2006 - Court-Martial Record - Lewis E. Welshofer, Jr. - Volume 1

Record of the U.S. Army Judiciary (13,2 MB)

 

“Department of the Army[,] Headquarters, 7th Infantry Division and Fort Carson[,] Fort Carson, Colorado 80913-4145

 

“[…] CW3 Lewis E. Welshofer, Jr., [redacted] U .S. Army, Regimental Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment (Rear) (Provisional), Fort Carson, Colorado 80913, was arraigned at Fort Carson, Colorado, on the following offenses at a General Court-Martial convened by the Commander, 7th Infantry Division and Fort Carson, Fort Carson, Colorado.

 

“Charge I. Article 92. Plea: Not Guilty. Finding: Guilty.

 

“The Specification: In that CW3 Lewis E. Welshofer, Jr., who knew or should have known of his duties at or near Al Qaim, Iraq, on or about 26 November 2003, was derelict in the performance of those duties in that he willfully failed to properly safeguard the physical health, welfare, and treatment of MG Abid Mowhosh, as it was his duty to do. Plea: Not Guilty. The military judge amended the specification by deleting the words, “or reasonably should have known.” Finding: Not Guilty of willful dereliction of duty, but Guilty of negligent dereliction of duty.

 

“Charge II. Article 118. Plea: Not Guilty. Finding: Not Guilty, but Guilty of a violation of Article 134, UCMJ.

 

“The Specification: In that CW3 Lewis E. Welshofer, Jr., did, at or near A1 Qaim, Iraq, on or about 26 November 2003, murder MG Abid Mowhosh by means of suffocating him with the use of a sleeping bag and electrical cord. Plea: Not Guilty. Finding: Not Guilty of murder, but Guilty of negligent homicide.

 

“The Additional Charge: Article 128. Plea: Not Guilty. Finding: Not Guilty.

 

“The Specification: In that CW3 Lewis E. Welshofer, Jr., did, at or near A1 Qaim, Iraq, on or about 19 November 2003, unlawfully strike an Iraqi detainee, whose name is unknown, by slapping and punching the detainee, throwing the detainee to the ground, by wrapping the detainee in a sleeping bag, and by throwing the weight ofhis body onto the detainee’s torso. Plea: Not Guilty. Finding: Not Guilty.

 

“Sentence

 

“Sentence adjudged on 23 January 2006: To be reprimanded; to forfeit $1,500.00 pay per month for four months; to be restricted for 60 days to the limit of his place of duty, place of worship, and barracks. […]”

 

-------

 

“19 May 2006 - Memorandum for General Court Martial Convening Authority, U.S. v. CW3 (P) Lewis E. Welshofer, Jr.

 

“[…] I regularly read in the press about how I am a murderer who deserves to go to jail for the rest of my life. I hear my case compared with the atrocities that occurred at Abu Graib when there is in fact no comparison. None of these critics and talking-heads have any knowledge about the true facts of my case. I did not murder MG Mowoush. I did not kill MG Mowoush through my lack of care. I was operating within the appropriate constraints that both the rules of law, and just as importantly - duty, imposed on me. I have always put the welfare of my country and my Soldiers ahead of my own. My Officer Evaluation Report that covered the period when MG Mowoush died even states that I ‘saved lives’. […]

 

“7. 1 do not think I could accurately convey through written words the amount of confusion prevalent in conducting interrogation operations during OIFI. These insurgents did not meet the definition of Enemy Prisoners or War (EPW), and our chain of command specifically told us we were not to treat the detainees as EPWs. For months we were given no ROE to deal with detainees. We were told that the command, specifically CJTF-7-the commander of land forces in lraq-was getting tired of mounting U.S. casualties and that it was time to ‘take the gloves off’. We asked for further guidance from CJTF-7 on several occasions, but there was no guidance given on interrogation operations, just on how to process detainees.

 

“[…] At no point did anyone at any level call into question my actions even though I was very open with the sleeping-bag technique of close conyinement. Indeed, my former commander, MAJ Jessica Voss, testified on the stand during my trial that she knew about and approved this technique. I was not operating in secret. I was completely open about what I was doing. Finally, on 10 September 2003 CJTF-7 sent down guidance that provided great latitude for interrogations. […]”

 

September 6th, 2006 - Court-Martial Record - Lewis E. Welshofer, Jr. - Volume 2

Record of the U.S. Army Judiciary (13,3 MB)

 

September 6th, 2006 - Court-Martial Record - Lewis E. Welshofer, Jr. - Volume 3

Record of the U.S. Army Judiciary (15,2 MB)

 

Volume 4 was not made publicly available.

 

The Murderer - Lewis Welshofer

During military trial

During military trial

During interview with the media

 

Photo Credits

 

Background

 

1) Maj. Gen. Abed Hamed Mowhoush together with his grandson - undated - family photo;

 

The Murderer Lewis Welshofer

 

1) Lewis Welshofer during court-martial - January 24th, 2006 - Mark Reis/Associated Press;

2) Lewis Welshofer Jr. leaves the courtroom in Fort Carson - January 17th, 2006 - Jerilee Bennett/The Gazette;

3) Lewis Welshofer during an interview for CBS “60 Minutes” - Aired: April 6th, 2006 - Screenshot/CBS;

 

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