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US Soldier Sentenced For Rape and Murder of Iraqi Girl

US Soldier Sentenced For Rape and Murder of Iraqi Girl

Former U.S. soldier Steven Dale Green received life in jail on Friday for raping and murdering 14 year old Abeer al-Janabi, as well as murdering her mother, father and six year old sister in Baghdad.

According to Al-Jazeera, Green led a group of U.S. soldiers who planned the attack over a game of cards and whiskey. Three soldiers were given life sentences with eligibility for parole in 10 years, and a fourth soldier who kept watch while the others attacked received a 27 month long jail sentence.

While Green apologized to the al-Janabi family in May, his defense attorneys claimed that military leaders had ignored his complaints about emotional stress. Green added, “You can act like I’m a sociopath. You can act like I’m a sex offender or whatever. If I had not joined the Army, if I had not gone to Iraq, I would not have got caught up in anything.”

Incidentally, by the time charges were pressed in June 2006, a month after the rape and murders, Green had been honorably discharged with a personality disorder and returned to the U.S. He was therefore tried as a civilian, not as a soldier. He is the first person to be charged under the Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act, passed in 2000, which allows former members of the military to be tried for crimes committed overseas.

This story raises the issue of mental health services for soldiers. There is no excuse for rape, no matter the stress level, but if soldiers were to receive better access to care, perhaps less disturbing behavior such as that of Green and the other four soldiers would occur. The New York Times recently reported that soldiers will soon be required to receive training in “emotional resiliency” by emphasizing cognitive behavioral therapy to combat the high rates of post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and suicide that soldiers face.

More focus on soldiers’ emotional health is imperative also for the sake of the innocent people in Iraq and Afghanistan. While Abeer al-Janabi’s rape and murder made headlines, there are undoubtedly countless other victims who have remained silent and without justice.

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49 comments

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10:13AM PST on Dec 7, 2009

So many things to say here. 1. We shouldn't be there anyway. 2. He made his decision to join the Army and go to Iraq. 3. There is no excuse for behavior like that. 4. Yes, he SHOULD have gotten help when he asked for it and its tragic that he didn't. but..5. He still deserves to be imprisoned for life for what he did.

12:43PM PDT on Sep 17, 2009

Nice to read so many intelligent comments here. Anyway, the "solution" is quite simple: don't invade foreign countries, either based on fake or real reasons -there are other ways to solve problems-, don`t act criminally -killing or raping- and at least you'll solve the "stress" with soldiers... just get out of Irak & Afghanistan !

11:06AM PDT on Sep 14, 2009

My Son served in the Army Special Forces for 8yrs we never knew where in the World he was because of his missions.He has seen more than his share of atrocities but now that he's out of the service. He's married & has a daughter he didn't or would never blame or condone the actions of such a low life as this Soldier is.These so called soldiers chose to commit this heinous crime & should be held accountable.This gives people here the wrong idea about our Military who put their lives on the line to keep us safe.

8:48AM PDT on Sep 13, 2009

Side effects of war???
It is horrible !

6:39PM PDT on Sep 9, 2009

War has destroyed that country, this country and that young man. While he committed these evil crimes everyone must share the blame.

8:10AM PDT on Sep 9, 2009

This kind of thing really bothers me. How could he have gotten off so easy - and he didn't seem remorseful at all in his quoted "apology".

I've heard many stories now of soldiers who have tried to go get help for mental stresses and gotten ignored, or told to "man up" or deal with it. It's sickening that there are people in charge who care so little about the mental stability of our soldiers, and even worse that the soldiers feel justified in taking it out on someone else when they don't get the help the deserve. There has to be some way to end the stigma of seeking psychological help in the armed forces. I can only hope that in the future people with more sense and compassion will be commanding the troops.

6:47AM PDT on Sep 9, 2009

I'm so sorry this happened. God, what an awful thing.

3:27PM PDT on Sep 8, 2009

No excuse for this heinous crime. Even less excuse for 9/11, Lockerbie, etc. And Scotland freed that terrorist/murderer on "compassionate" grounds. Where was HIS compassion? Hope he writhes in pain until his final breath.He received far more compassion than he deserved.

12:43PM PDT on Sep 8, 2009

Spain was carried out on a story about Iraqi girls and how they sell her bodies goes beyond anything we can imagine a poor little girls forced to perverted???? that's not what i soo in the report were so many girls in uniform geting out of the school and a guy is the contact between them and the costumer the rates are 30 dlls to a men older than 40 years! and who skilled they are in the art of sex is just so unimaginabel after they steal the customer is just undescribable coldly ........ we can not judge without knowing the two versions and while the soldier was drunk the "girl" had a very important part in these picture too.......... who knows?? all we know is that he commited a crime, but why she end dead will never know the truth is that the way soldiers are living in iraq is too a real crime!
ANY ACTION HAS A REACCION........thats a fact
Is easy to judge when not in the shoes of others but many of the crimes and violations are caused by the attitude of both "to tango it takes two"....................... i'm not army wife or anything to do whit military stuff is just comun sense...........CLEAR?

9:22AM PDT on Sep 8, 2009

Man's inhumanity to man--will it ever end! Just check out the Spanish Inquisition where "Christians were killed by Christians and blessed by Christians for doing so..."

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