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Killing of Iraqi Civilians Index

Killings Database - Year 2006

 

The Thar-Thar Canal Killings

Background

The Accused

Media Reports

Military Reports

Photo Credits

 

Squad leader Staff Sgt. Raymond L. Girouard

Background - Thar-Thar Canal, May 9th, 2006

 

“For more than a month after the killings, Sgt. Lemuel Lemus stuck to his story. ‘Proper escalation of force was used,’ he told an investigator, describing how members of his unit shot and killed three Iraqi prisoners who had lashed out at their captors and tried to escape after a raid northwest of Baghdad on May 9. Then, on June 15, Sergeant Lemus offered a new and much darker account.

 

“In a lengthy sworn statement, he said he had witnessed a deliberate plot by his fellow soldiers to kill the three handcuffed Iraqis and a cover-up in which one soldier cut another to bolster their story. The squad leader threatened to kill anyone who talked. Later, one guilt-stricken soldier complained of nightmares and ‘couldn’t stop talking’ about what happened, Sergeant Lemus said.

 

“[…] When investigators asked why he did not try to stop the other soldiers from carrying out the killings, Sergeant Lemus - who has not been charged in the case - said simply that he was afraid of being called a coward. He stayed quiet, he said, because of “peer pressure, and I have to be loyal to the squad.  […]”

 

Excerpt of a New York Times article from July 28th, 2006

The Execution

 

“[…] At the house, Girouard called a meeting, according to testimony of his squad members. […] Hunsaker testified that Girouard said, ‘First sergeant is pretty pissed that these guys ain't dead and he wants to know how come they’re not dead. Make it look good.’ […] Girouard then left to meet up with another sergeant. Clagett said Hunsaker told him, ‘I want to kill these (expletive) because they're terrorists.’ ‘I pulled the blindfold up on one guy, down on the other,’ Clagett testified at his trial, and Hunsaker took the blindfold off the third man. ‘Hunsaker told them to run. I told them ‘Yalla,’ to get them to run faster. They didn’t run faster, so I raised my weapon. Hunsaker raised his. He shot, then I shot.’ […] ‘As soon as they fell, I took off my K-pot (helmet) and dropped my weapon," Clagett testified. […]”

 

Excerpt of a “Post & Courier” article from June 21st, 2009.

Executed Iraqi detainee

 

 

Media Reports Archive

 

The 2009 Media Reports File

The 2007 Media Reports File

The 2006 Media Reports File

 

Diverse Archives

 

Images of the Killings - A Photo Series

 

 

Recent Media Reports

 

June 21st, 2009 - Murder at Thar Thar

1 news article from the Post and Courier

 

March 21st, 2007 - Girouard Receives 10-Year Sentence

1 news article by the Monroe County Advocate & Democrat

 

March 19th, 2007 - Soldier Draws 10-Year Sentence in Iraq Slayings

1 news article by Reuters

 

The 2009 Media Reports File

The 2007 Media Reports File

The 2006 Media Reports File

 

The Accused

Raymond Girouard

Corey Clagett

Girouard, Clagett & Hunsaker

 

Charges & Sentences by the Military Tribunal at Fort Campbell

Defendants

Pleading

Main Charges

Sentences

Sentencing Dates

Raymond Girouard

-

premeditated murder, conspiracy

10 years confinement

March 21st, 2007

William Hunsaker

pleaded guilty

premeditated murder, conspiracy

18 years confinement

January 11th, 2007

Juston Graber

pleaded guilty

premeditated murder, conspiracy

9 months confinement

January 9th, 2007

Corey Clagett

pleaded guilty

premeditated murder, conspiracy

18 years confinement

January 25th, 2007

 

Military Reports

January 25th, 2007 - 3rd Brigade Soldier Pleads Guilty (Clagett)

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

 

“[…] As part of a plea agreement reached today, Pfc. Corey Clagett pled guilty to numerous violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice and was sentenced to 18 years confinement for his role in the killing of three detainees during the unit’s deployment to Iraq last year.

 

“Col. Theodore Dixon, the military judge, also reduced Clagett’s rank to Pvt. (E-1), the lowest military rank, ordered that he forfeit all pay and allowances, and be dismissed from the Army with a dishonorable discharge.

 

“Clagett pled guilty to attempted premeditated murder, conspiracy to commit premeditated murder, premeditated murder, conspiracy to obstruct justice and obstruction of justice. […]”

 

January 11th, 2007 - 3rd Brigade Soldier Pleads Guilty (Hunsaker)

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

 

“[…] As part of a plea agreement reached today, Spec. William Hunsaker pled guilty to numerous violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice and was sentenced to 18 years confinement for his role in the killing of three detainees during the unit’s deployment to Iraq last year.

 

“Col. Theodore Dixon, the military judge, also reduced Hunsaker’s rank to private (E-1), the lowest military rank, ordered that he forfeit all pay and allowances, and be dismissed from the Army with a dishonorable discharge.

 

“Hunsaker pled guilty to attempted premeditated murder, conspiracy to commit premeditated murder, premeditated murder, conspiracy to obstruct justice and obstruction of justice. […]”

 

January 9th, 2007 - 3rd Brigade Soldier Pleads Guilty (Graber)

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

 

“[…] As part of a plea agreement reached Tuesday, Spc. Justin Graber pled guilty to aggravated assault with a dangerous weapon and was sentenced to nine months confinement for his role in the alleged killing of three detainees during the unit’s deployment to Iraq last year.

 

“Col. Theodore Dixon, the military judge, also reduced Graber’s rank to private (E-1), the lowest military rank, and ordered that he forfeit all pay and allowances for six months.

 

“Graber had faced charges of attempted premeditated murder, conspiracy to commit premeditated murder and premeditated murder for the killing of one of the mortally wounded detainees. Those charges were dismissed under the agreement. […]”

 

October 18th, 2006 - Charges against 3rd Brigade Soldiers referred for general court-martial

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

 

June 20th, 2006 - Three Soldiers Charged in Detainee Deaths

News article by the American Forces Press Service

 

May, 23rd, 2006 - Operation Iron Triangle Nets Suspects, Weapons

News article by “Defend America” - U.S. Dept. of Defense News About the War on Terrorism

 

May 18th, 2006 - Operation Iron Triangle Shuts Insurgent Training Camp

Press release by the official website of multi-national force Iraq - Operation Iraqi Freedom

 

“Tikrit, Iraq – Iraqi army and U.S. Soldiers raided a suspected insurgent training camp during Operation Iron Triangle near Lake Thar Thar, southwest of Tikrit May 9. Nearly 200 Soldiers from 1st Battalion, 1st Brigade, 4th Iraqi Army Division, and about 230 Soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division’s 3rd Brigade Combat Team assaulted the complex from CH-47 Chinook and UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters into the suspected camp after intelligence sources identified the location as the Muthana Chemical Complex.

 

“The nearly 60-square mile complex was a chemical production facility that was closed by the United Nations after the fall of the former regime. ‘Insurgents were coming here to train, conduct link-up operations, and moving out to attack coalition forces,’ said Capt. Andrew Graham, assistant plans and operations officer, 3rd Battalion, 320th Field Artillery Regiment. The combined three-day operation netted more than 200 suspected insurgents. […]”

 

War Scenes from Lake Thar-Thar during “Operation Iron Triangle” (May 2006)

U.S. soldiers search an Iraqi car

Iraqi soldier questions insurgent

After a house raid

 

 

 

Photo Credits

Background

1) Squad leader Staff Sgt. Raymond L. Girouard - undated - family photo/WBIR.com;

2) Executed Iraqi detainee - May 9th, 2006 - Leonel Lemus/U.S. Army;

 

The Accused

1) Raymond Girouard - undated - family photo/WBIR.com;

2) Corey Clagett - undated - family photo/WBIR.com;

3) Girouard, Clagett & Hunsaker (?) in shackles - 2006 - family photo/WBIR.com;

 

War Scenes from Lake Thar-Thar/”Operation Iron Triangle”

1) U.S. soldiers search a car - May 9th, 2006 - Cassandra Groce, 133rd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment, U.S. Army;

2) Insurgent is questioned by Iraqi & U.S. soldier - May 9th, 2006 - Cassandra Groce, Public Affairs Detachment, U.S. Army;

3) U.S. Army Spc. Christopher Klug, Company A, 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, marks a house that has been searched by U.S. and Iraqi forces during Operation Iron Triangle - May 10th, 2006 - Ryan Matson, U.S. Army/”Defend America”;

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