The documents, released Tuesday by the American Civil Liberties Union ahead of a lawsuit, total nearly 10,000 pages of courts-martial summaries, transcripts and military investigative reports about 22 incidents. They show repeated examples of troops believing they were within the law when they killed local citizens.
The killings include the drowning of a man soldiers pushed from a bridge into the Tigris River as punishment for breaking curfew, and the suffocation during interrogation of a former Iraqi general believed to be helping insurgents.
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Other killings included:
- A man shot after a search of his home near Balad uncovered illegal weapons and anti-American literature. Immediately after the shooting, according to testimony, Sgt. 1st Class George Diaz, who was convicted of unpremeditated murder, said, "I'm going to hell for this." Diaz also was convicted of mistreating a teenage detainee when he forced the youth to hold a smoke grenade with the pin pulled as Diaz questioned him at gunpoint.
- A suspected insurgent in Iraq by Staff Sgt. Shane Werst, who said the man appeared to be reaching for a weapon. Werst was acquitted of murder despite acknowledging he had fired and then planted a chrome Iraqi pistol on the suspect to make his claim of self defense more believable.
- In a previously unreported case, Pfc. James Combs was convicted of involuntary manslaughter for shooting an Iraqi woman from a guard tower in what he claimed was an accident, though court documents and testimony indicate his weapon was set to fire multiple shots despite a regulation advising against such a setting.
- Another previously undisclosed case involved Sgt. Ricky Burke, who was charged with murder for killing a wounded man alongside the road following a firefight. Staff Sgt. Timothy Nein, a member of Burke's military police company, testified he heard Burke say before the shooting, "It's payback time."