Steven Green Trial Update

11 05 2009

So the spotlight is on former soldier Steven Green who was convicted last Thursday of planning and leading the gang rape of 14-year-old Iraqi girl Abeer al-Janabi and later murdering her along with her family. The four other soldiers involved in this heinous crime, Pvt. James Barker, Sgt. Paul Cortez, Pvt. Jesse Spielman and Pvt. Bryan Howard, have been convicted as well and have been given long sentences. Pvt. Jesse Speilman was sentenced to 110 years, Sgt. Paul Cortez was sentenced to 100 years and Pvt. James Barker was sentenced to 90 years. In his closing arguments, Green’s defense attorney mentioned that the prosecutor offered the four other soldiers involved help getting out on parole in seven years if they testified against Green. As Gail McGowan Mellor writes in the Huffington Post:

In prosecuting the hate-crime slaughter by U.S. soldiers of the al-Janabi family in Iraq, and the gang rape of the teenage daughter, the five men are in federal custody; by the evidence, there is no question that the crimes occurred nor that it was these men who perpetrated them. Should any of the four men already sentenced be so quickly freed in order to nail the fifth, Green — especially if he has already confessed?

Something is clearly not right here… Yes, Green is the ringleader of the gang but the other men involved should be held accountable as well, not let off the hook for simply testifying against Green.  Green being the ringleader does not negate their involvement and participation in the violence that occurred, and since they conspired with him they were active enablers who are just as guilty.  Soldiers should get more than just a slap on the wrist for participating in heinous, violent war crimes.   Gang rape and murder should not be more acceptable and less punishable just because men in uniforms commit them.  They are still despicable crimes and should be treated as such.

The military is a boys’ club and it does much to legitimize and normalize violence and violent masculinity. Green bragged about the violent crimes immediately afterwards to his cohorts, including Sgt. Anthony Yribe who helped the five men cover up their crimes. Yribe not only conspired with these men in helping them hide the evidence of their crimes, but he also chose not to turn Green in or making any official note or report of Green’s confession to gang raping al-Janabi and murdering her family. Instead he simply gave Green an honorable discharge sending him back into civilian life in the US , noting that Green had an “antisocial personality disorder.” When Yribe’s role in this was revealed, Yribe was just dishonorably discharged.  Utterly disgusting.

It is important to constantly examine and re-examine the military and militarization.  When doing so, we need to focus more on just the military-industrial complex – we also need to factor in the politics of femininity and masculinity, dominant American ideology and the myth of rugged individualism, and the scripts of patriotism and citizenship that militarism inscribes in all of us.


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3 responses

12 05 2009
Jo

Well put. Parole in 7-10 yrs? Out, get on with your life, you’ve learned your lesson. I think not. Just another Laos. Who know’s what else they could’ve done?

12 05 2009
carolo

The others received sentences from 27 months to 110 years with parole after 10 years? What the heck is THAT? This is no different than the My Lai Massacre….. less victims is all. Believe me, this country has it’s share of propoganda, too.

21 05 2009
Steven Green gets lifetime imprisonment « The Gender Blender Blog

[…] gets lifetime imprisonment 21 05 2009 Steven Green (for the background story, see here and here), former US soldier guilty of gang raping 14 year old Iraqi girl Abeer Qasim Hamza al-Janabi and […]

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