This item, by a soldier recently returned from Iraq, is upsetting on many levels:
Better Angels of our Nature: Over the Bridge: On January 2 of this year, a team of soldiers in my brigade stopped a couple of Iraqis near the town of Samarra. We were engaging in counterinsurgency operations there, trying to stabilize the town so the area could begin to recover and rebuild from the rigors of war. And on that day, one of the men I knew and had worked with, CPT Eric Paliwoda, lost his life during a mortar attack.
Four soldiers stopped two Iraqis. In the passion of war, on a day marred by anger and tragedy, the two Iraqis ended up getting thrown off a bridge. The bridge in question was, if I recall correctly, about 15 feet above the Tigris. The river, at that point, was about 6 feet deep.
That much we know; that much is beyond dispute. Beyond that, everything is in dispute. A man may or may not have died—the soldiers claim he lives, the other man who was flung into the waters says he met a watery doom.
But there is one other thing that I haven't mentioned yet that is also beyond a doubt. No matter what happened on that bridge, the soldiers were ordered to lie about it. And they were ordered to lie about it not just by their team leader, but by the entire leadership of their unit, from their company commander all the way up to their battalion commander.
How do we know this? Because at the Article 32 hearing only 2 weeks ago, their commanders, under grant of immunity, said so.
It's wrong it should happen. It's wrong it should be covered up. It is very very wrong that the investigators should give immunity to the high-ranking officers in order to get evidence against the low-ranking ones and the grunts (isn't it supposed to work the other way? Prosecutors get cooperation from the low-ranking members of the conspiracy to get the leaders?)
There's more in this post besides what I quoted, which discusses the more general context in which these things happen, and that's upsetting too.