Daily Archives: September 28, 2007

Boy, 12, booked and dragged through court system for flicking rubber-band at classmate

Daily Mail | Sep 28, 2007

A 12-year-old schoolboy was dragged through the courts after being charged with grievous bodily harm for flicking a classmate with an elastic band.

He was summoned to his local police station after the school-room incident and not released on bail until four hours later.

He had to appear in court twice and he and his family endured an anxious four-month wait before the Crown Prosecution Service finally dropped the case yesterday.

It was brought after a child was hit in the eye as the 12-year-old and some friends were playing around in school, firing pieces of paper at each other with elastic bands.

The failed prosecution is estimated to have cost the taxpayer at least £10,000.

Today the boy’s mother, who lives in south London, told how the “ludicrous” ordeal had taken a heavy toll on the family.

Her son, who does not want to be identified, suffered stress-related epileptic fits and has moved schools, and she nearly lost her job because she had to take so much time off work.

“I’m just glad it’s all over. What happened is ridiculous and wrong,” said the 33-year-old hospice manager from Balham.

“Yes, it was a silly game and yes, he hurt someone. But he didn’t mean to – they were playing.

“Afterwards he did everything I would have expected him to: he apologised, looked after the boy, took him to the bathroom and then to a teacher.

“He shouldn’t have been flicking but he is a 12-year-old boy and looking at today’s world I think that’s quite mild.”

The incident in June happened in the school computer room as eight boys, all aged 12, indulged in horseplay.

The victim’s eye was bruised by a bit of paper but he is said to have made a full recovery.

The boy who fired the shot was suspended from school for three days. But the other parents went to the police.

“We were called to Brixton police station where they formally arrested him for GBH and threatened to put him in a cell,” said his mother.

“The police should have spoken to the headmaster and the other pupils but they didn’t.”

The family’s solicitor Richard Conley, said: “After murder and attempted murder, GBH is the third most serious offence.

“It’s the kind of charge they lay against people who commit stabbings and glassings in pubs.

“This 12-year-old schoolboy’s case was put in the same category as those kind of cases which is absurd.”

A CPS spokesman said: “An alleged attempt to cause an eye injury has to be taken very seriously. The CPS brought the initial charge because we were informed that the boy had lost sight in one eye. There also appeared to be an intention to cause harm. As with all cases, it was kept under review. “When the medical evidence confirmed that there was no permanent damage to the eye, the charge was downgraded to assault. After further review a decision was taken to discontinue the case as not in the public interest in view of the boys’ ages, the effect of a court case on them and the fact that the harm caused was only minor in the end.”

Shocking New Revelations On 9/11 Ground Zero Cover-Up

First responder heard WTC 7 demolition countdown, was warned to “shut up” when he reported secondary explosions

Prison Planet | Sep 28, 2007

by Paul Joseph Watson

A 9/11 first responder has shed new light on how he heard a countdown before the demolition of Building 7, how he was told to “shut up” by superiors when he tried to report secondary explosions and why “vicious security” measures were enacted to prevent people from accessing certain areas of ground zero.

Former Air Force Special Operations for Search and Rescue expert, Kevin McPadden traveled to ground zero completely of his own accord and spent the next four days searching through the rubble and nearby buildings for survivors.

In a video interview with Alex Jones, McPadden describes the moments before the collapse of WTC 7.

“When we saw the firemen pick up their equipment and start bustling back and forth they were getting ready to do something, we started asking questions,” said McPadden.

Despite numerous attempts to glean information from Red Cross officials, McPadden and other first responders were told nothing while one official, shortly after talking to firemen, held his hand over his radio and told them to “just sit tight” and “calm down” before admitting “they’re thinking about bringing the building down.”

McPadden and his colleagues were miffed as to what the official meant by this statement, initially thinking the building next to them was possibly being brought down.

“He took his hand off for the last three seconds of it – and you hear three, two, one,” said McPadden, adding that the official then gave a heartfelt look and told the first responders, “just run for your life.”

McPadden got the impression that the Red Cross official had been ordered not to give the first responders a warning that the building was coming down.

“And you heard – boom, boom, boom,” said McPadden, describing the sound of bombs tearing down the building.

McPadden explained that the reason Democracy Now host Amy Goodman and others were captured on video (watch above) running from the scene and reaching stationary onlookers as the building started to collapse is that they were able to hear the full countdown on the radio further own the street.

Later in the interview, McPadden reveals how he witnessed up close steel beams from the twin towers that had been symmetrically cut at perfect angles as is shown in this image – a clear sign that explosives were used. McPadden said that officials were acting very suspiciously and subsequently prevented people from getting near the beams.

He also highlighted the fact that “vicious security” was quickly set up around certain areas of ground zero and that people were barred from accessing certain areas for no reason and also had their cameras confiscated.

When McPadden attempted to report that secondary explosions were heard by numerous people, he was harshly ordered to “shut up” and “don’t repeat it” by superiors.

He also talked to numerous firefighters who acknowledged that they also heard secondary explosions, but said that “Obviously somewhere in their command structure, they were told to shut up.”

Condoleezza Rice urges UN climate change consensus

condi

Ms Rice said the US supported the goals of the United Nations

BBC | Sep 27, 2008

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has said climate change is a real problem, and world leaders should forge a new global consensus on tackling it.

At a meeting of the top 16 polluting countries, Ms Rice said the US was “a major emitter” and was not “above the international community on the issue”.

She said that the “growing problem” should be resolved under UN auspices.

Critics voiced concern that the US was trying to rally support for voluntary rather than binding emission cuts.

This would dilute attempts to reach a global agreement through the UN, ahead of the expiry of the Kyoto Protocol in 2012.

Motives behind Bush’s summit

US President George W Bush, who rejected the Kyoto Protocol in 2001, has opposed mandatory cuts, calling instead for voluntary approaches – echoed by China and India.

At the talks in Washington, Ms Rice said: “Though united by common goals and collective responsibility, all nations should tackle climate change in the ways they deem best.”

She challenged leaders to reduce their dependence on fossil fuels by moving toward energy sources that would reduce global warming – but without harming their economies.

Delegates will seek agreement on global goals for “energy security and reducing greenhouse gas emissions”, the White House said in a statement.

President George W Bush is expected to address the meeting on Friday.

Small practical steps

Representatives from the EU and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change are also attending the US-sponsored meeting.

The BBC’s environment analyst Roger Harrabin says Europe’s political leaders do not anticipate much from these talks – most have sent junior ministers or even civil servants.

However, our correspondent says they hope that perhaps some small practical steps may emerge to help share best practice between industrial sectors and they are relieved that publicly, at last, America is saying that climate change is really a problem that needs tackling.

The top UN climate official, Yvo de Boer, said he believed the discussions could feed back into the UN process.

The UN is to hold a meeting in Indonesia in December, where representatives will consider ways to tighten a mandatory clampdown on carbon emissions after the Kyoto pact expires.

Mr de Boer said it was crucial that industrialised nations committed to an approach that went “well beyond present efforts, given their historic responsibilities and economic capabilities”.

Many scientists say political action is falling behind what is needed to avert lasting damage to Earth’s climate.

“Childrens do learn,” Bush tells school kids

Reuters | Sep 26, 2007

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Offering a grammar lesson guaranteed to make any English teacher cringe, President George W. Bush told a group of New York school kids on Wednesday: “Childrens do learn.”

Bush made his latest grammatical slip-up at a made-for-TV event where he urged Congress to reauthorize the No Child Left Behind Act, the centrepiece of his education policy, as he touted a new national report card on improved test scores.

The event drew New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Education Secretary Margaret Spellings plus teachers and about 20 fourth and fifth graders from P.S. 76.

During his first presidential campaign, Bush — who promised to be the “education president” — once asked: “Is our children learning?”

On Wednesday, Bush seemed to answer his own question with the same kind of grammatical twist.

“As yesterday’s positive report card shows, childrens do learn when standards are high and results are measured,” he said.

The White House opted to clean up Bush’s diction in the official transcript.

Bush is no stranger to verbal gaffes. He often acknowledges he was no more than an average student in school and jokes about his habit of mangling the English language.

Just a day earlier, the White House inadvertently showed how it tries to prevent Bush from making even more slips of the tongue than he already does.

As Bush addressed the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday, a marked-up draft of his speech briefly popped up on the U.N. Web site, complete with a phonetic pronunciation guide to get him past troublesome names of countries and world leaders.

Navy to spend $600,000 to mask ‘hateful’ swastika-shaped barracks

 coronado_swastika

RAW STORY | Sep 26, 2007

“The U.S. Navy has decided to spend as much as $600,000 for landscaping and architectural modifications to obscure the fact that one its building complexes looks like a swastika from the air,” Tony Perry reports in Monday’s edition of the LA Times. “The four L-shaped buildings, constructed in the late 1960s, are part of the amphibious base at Coronado and serve as barracks for Seabees.”

The article continues, “But once people began looking at satellite images from Google Earth, they started commenting about on blogs and websites about how much the buildings resembled the symbol used by the Nazis.”

The shape of the barracks was first noticed and commented upon at a Google Earth Community bulletin board as early as February 2005. As the oddity became more widely known, however, calls arose for the Navy to do something about it. Now the prevailing tone in blog comments is one of scorn for the waste of $600,000 on something that can only be seen from space.

Excerpts from LA Times article:
#

When contacted by a Missouri-based radio talk-show host last year, Navy officials gave no indication they would make changes. But early this year, the issue was quietly taken up by Morris Casuto, the Anti-Defamation League’s regional director in San Diego, and U.S. Rep. Susan Davis (D-San Diego).

As a result, in the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1, the Navy has budgeted up to $600,000 for changes in walkways, “camouflage” landscaping and rooftop photovoltaic cells.

The goal is to mask the shape. “We don’t want to be associated with something as symbolic and hateful as a swastika,” said Scott Sutherland, deputy public affairs officer for Navy Region Southwest, the command that is responsible for maintaining buildings on local bases.

Democrat Plan Uses “Painful” Taxes to Fight Climate Change

Associated Press | Sep 26, 2007

By H. JOSEF HEBERT

WASHINGTON — Dealing with global warming will be painful, says one of the most powerful Democrats in Congress. To back up his claim he is proposing a recipe many people won’t like _ a 50-cent gasoline tax, a carbon tax and scaling back tax breaks for some home owners.

“I’m trying to have everybody understand that this is going to cost and that it’s going to have a measure of pain that you’re not going to like,” Rep. John Dingell, who is marking his 52nd year in Congress, said Wednesday in an interview with The Associated Press.

Dingell will offer a “discussion draft” outlining his tax proposals on Thursday, the same day that President Bush holds a two-day conference to discuss voluntary efforts to combat climate change.

But Dingell, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee that will craft climate legislation, is making it clear that he believes tackling global warming will require a lot more if it is to be taken seriously.

“This is going to cause pain,” he said, adding that he wants to make certain “the pain is shared in a way that is fair, proper, acceptable and accomplishes the basic purpose” of reducing greenhouse gases, mainly carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels.

Dingell said he’s not sure what the final climate package will include when the House takes it up for a vote. The taxes measures he’s proposing, in fact, will be taken up by another House committee. And the Senate is considering a market-based system that would set an economy-wide ceiling on the amount of carbon dioxide that would be allowed to be released.

Dingell says he hasn’t rule out such a so-called “cap-and-trade” system, either, but that at least for now he wants to float what he believes is a better idea. He will propose for discussion:

_A 50-cent-a-gallon tax on gasoline and jet fuel, phased in over five years, on top of existing taxes.

_A tax on carbon, at $50 a ton, released from burning coal, petroleum or natural gas.

_Phaseout of the interest tax deduction on home mortgages for homes over 3,000 square feet. Owners would keep most of the deduction for homes at the lower end of the scale, but it would be eliminated entirely for homes of 4,200 feet or more.

He estimates that would affect 10 percent of homeowners. He says “it’s only fair” to tax those who buy large suburban houses and create urban sprawl. Historic and farm houses would be exempted.

Some of the revenue would be used to reduce payroll taxes, but most would go elsewhere including for highway construction, mass transit, paying for Social Security and health programs and to help the poor pay energy bills.

In the interview Wednesday, Dingell acknowledged he’s tackling some of the most sacred of political cows. He’s not sure if they will end up in the climate legislation, but he wants to open them for discussion.

“All my friends tell me you can’t do this, it’s going to be political poison,” said Dingell, 81, who has served longer in the House than any of his colleagues and heads one of the chamber’s most powerful committees.

Widely known for protecting the automakers who are so prominent in his state, the Michigan Democrat first raised the tax ideas this summer. Some people immediately suggested he was offering proposals he knows won’t pass to sidestep other issues such as automobile fuel economy increases.

Dingell rejects such criticism and said he wants to trigger “an intelligent discussion of the whole question.”

Many economists have long maintained that a carbon tax is a more-efficient, less-bureaucratic way to reduce the emissions of carbon dioxide than a cap-and-trade system, which could be difficult to administer.

A carbon tax would impact everything from the cost of electricity to winter heating and add to the cost of gasoline and other motor fuels. But economists say a cap on carbon also would raise these costs as burning fossil fuels becomes more expensive.

Such tax proposals have gained little traction.

Rep. Pete Starke, D-Calif., has been trying unsuccessfully to get a carbon tax for 16 years. In the early 1990s the House passed a modest “BTU” tax on the heat content of fuels, only to have it die in the Senate. Dingell acknowledged that there are still people who blame the Democrats’ loss of Congress in 1994 on the ill-fated tax.

The federal 18.4-cent gasoline tax also has been a subject of discussion, but not about increasing it. As gasoline prices soared above $3 a gallon last year a chorus of lawmakers called for suspending the tax.

CFR’s Hart Suggests False Flag Event For Iran War

Tacit warning to Iranian government suggests staged event may be used to ensure “bombs fall on your head”

gary_hart_painting
“There is a chance for the President of the United States to use this [9/11] disaster, to carry out, what his father called a ‘New World Order’.”  

– Gary Hart, speaking at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, D.C. Sept 14, 2001

Infowars.net | Sep 27 , 2007

by Steve Watson

Council on Foreign Relations member Gary Hart , famed for stating that Americans will die en- mass on home soil this century, and for declaring 48 hours after 9/11 that it should be used “to carry out a new world order”, has written a scathing letter to the leaders of Iran clearly warning that the U.S. government has a history of staging provocations in order to initiate conflict with other nations and that Iran could be next.

Hart references the sinking of the USS Maine in Havana harbor in 1898, which led to the Spanish American war, as well as the Gulf of Tonkin incident, which was ultimately the catalyst for airstrikes on Vietnam.

Why does Hart reference these two cases? Because they are both examples of staged managed events that were used to coerce the American public into supporting war.

The sinking of the Maine was immediately blamed on the Spanish, with the innovator of yellow journalism William Randolph-Hearst enflaming anti-Spanish sentiment in his papers by definitively claiming that it was a Spanish plot. No reliable evidence was ever produced linking Spain to the event and it is now widely believed that the event was at best a mechanical failure or at worst a false flag operation.

Similarly the Gulf of Tonkin incident saw President Johnson accuse North Vietnamese PT boats of attacking strike carries in the gulf, the USS Maddox and the USS Turner Joy. Documents and tapes released via the Freedom of Information Act have since shown that Johnson knew that there were no PT boats and no attacks, but still went ahead with lying to the American public on national TV to garner support for escalating the war in Vietnam. Johnson also had the NSA fake intelligence data to make it appear as if the two US ships had been lost.

Hart, one of the instigators of the Homeland Security apparatus that has evolved since 9/11, then goes on to state that American people are reluctant to go to war unless provoked and coldly remarks “For historians of American wars the question is whether we provoke provocations.”

He then mentions the Iraq war and refers to how the public were duped into accepting the invasion via the spectre of 9/11. Hart writes “even in this instance, we were led to believe that the mass murderer of American civilians, Osama bin Laden, was lurking, literally or figuratively, in the vicinity of Baghdad.”

To those who do not read history Gary Hart’s letter makes for a confusing read, but to those who know anything about staged provocations, the intent is clear. Hart is declaring that the elite controlled US government has attacked countries based on false pretenses in the past and will gladly do so again.

Hart’s declarations carry the same sentiment as those of fellow globalist Zbigniew Brzezinski earlier this year. The Former National Security Advisor and founding member of the elite policy making group the Trilateral Commission implicitly warned a Senate Foreign Relations Committee that an attack on Iran could be launched following a staged provocation in Iraq or a false flag terror attack within the U.S.

Brzezinski alluded to the potential for the Bush administration to manufacture a false flag Gulf of Tonkin type incident in describing a “plausible scenario for a military collision with Iran,” which would revolve around “some provocation in Iraq or a terrorist act in the US blamed on Iran, culminating in a ?defensive’ US military action against Iran that plunges a lonely America into a spreading and deepening quagmire eventually ranging across Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan.?

Texas Congressman and Presidential candidate Ron Paul has also recently warned that a “Gulf of Tonkin like event” may be used to provoke air strikes on Iran as numerous factors collide to heighten expectations that America may soon be embroiled in its third war in six years.

Here is Gary Hart’s letter in full:

Unsolicited Advice to the Government of Iran

Presuming that you are not actually ignorant enough to desire war with the United States, you might be well advised to read the history of the sinking of the U.S.S. Maine in Havana harbor in 1898 and the history of the Gulf of Tonkin in 1964.

Having done so, you will surely recognize that Americans are reluctant to go to war unless attacked. Until Pearl Harbor, we were even reluctant to get involved in World War II. For historians of American wars the question is whether we provoke provocations.

Given the unilateral U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, you are obviously thinking the rules have changed. Provocation is no longer required to take America to war. But even in this instance, we were led to believe that the mass murderer of American civilians, Osama bin Laden, was lurking, literally or figuratively, in the vicinity of Baghdad.

Given all this, you would probably be well advised to keep your forces, including clandestine forces, as far away from the Iraqi border as you can. You might even consider bringing in some neighbors to verify that you are not shipping arms next door. Tone down the rhetoric on Zionism. You’ve established your credentials with those in your world who thrive on that.

If it makes you feel powerful to hurl accusations at the American eagle, have at it. Sticks and stones, etc. But, for the next sixteen months or so, you should not only not take provocative actions, you should not seem to be doing so.

For the vast majority of Americans who seek no wider war, in the Middle East or elsewhere, don’t tempt fate. Don’t give a certain vice president we know the justification he is seeking to attack your country. That is unless you happen to like having bombs fall on your head.

Catholic thumbs-up for AIDS drugs after “infected” condoms claim

Digital Journal | Sep 27, 2007

The Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SACBC) reaffirmed its support for the use of antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) in treating HIV/AIDS Thursday after a Mozambican bishop sensationally claimed some condoms and ARVs were “deliberately HIV-infected.”

The Roman Catholic Church in southern Africa is the second-largest provider of ARVs for HIV/AIDS treatment (after the state), SACBC spokesman, Chris Townsend told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa.

Between 10,000 and 12,000 people in the region were receiving ARVs daily from church-based clinics, he said.

The church’s ARV distribution scheme was “most successful” because the church also provided home-based care of HIV patients and compliance monitoring to ensure they took their ARVs at the same time each day, he further added.

Townsend was reacting to sensational remarks by the head of the Catholic Church in Mozambique, Maputo Archbishop Francisco Chimoio, about condoms and ARVs.

Chimoio in an interview with the BBC Wednesday claimed some European-made condoms and some anti-retroviral drugs were deliberately infected with HIV “in order to finish quickly the African people.

Townsend declined to comment directly on the BBC report, saying he had yet to hear it first-hand.

Some church sources have, however, expressed surprise at the bishop’s remarks, describing them as “uncharacteristic.”

Chimoio’s attitude come against the background of a rapid rise in HIV infection in Mozambique in recent years to around 16 per cent.

The Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, which funds HIV prevention and treatment in Mozambique to the tune of 185 million dollars over five years, refused to comment on Chimoio’s remarks.

The head of the Mozambique’s National AIDS Council Diogo Milagro also refused to be drawn on the matter, saying he had to discuss the matter with the council’s working group on condoms first.

The council was trying to expand the use of condoms to prevent HIV transmission, he said, adding that while the HIV awareness level in the country was high this was not necessarily reflected in sexual behaviour.

Some 17 per cent of Mozambique’s population of around 19 million inhabitants are Roman Catholics.

Chimoio’s remarks have drawn comparisons with South Africa’s past denialist stance on HIV/AIDS, where President Thabo Mbeki once questioned the link between HIV and AIDS and Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang has downplayed the role of ARVs in treatment.

Soldier describes executing unarmed Iraqi

One of three members of sniper team accused of murder makes a surprise confession during testimony in the court-martial of a colleague.

Los Angeles | Sep 28, 2007

By Ned Parker

BAGHDAD — U.S. Army Sgt. Evan Vela spoke in a low voice Thursday at the court-martial for his fellow soldier. Tears slid down the 23-year-old’s cheeks and the judge prompted him to talk louder.

On May 11, Vela’s sniper team had detained an Iraqi man near Jarf Sakhr, Vela testified. Staff Sgt. Michael A. Hensley undid the ropes that had pinned the prisoner’s arms and asked Vela whether he was ready, he said.

The dark-haired Idaho native told the court he wasn’t sure what his superior meant at the time. Hensley then cradled the Iraqi’s head, straightened his headdress, then moved away from Vela, who gripped a 9-millimeter pistol.

“I heard the word ‘shoot.’ I don’t remember pulling the trigger. I just came to and the guy was dead. It took me a second to realize the shot came from the pistol in my hand,” Vela said.

Vela is one of three soldiers from the same sniper team who are accused of premeditated murder in three shooting incidents this spring. Their cases have provided a picture of mentally exhausted troops and the role they allegedly played in a “baiting program,” in which snipers are believed to have planted fake weapons and bomb-making materials, then killed anyone who picked them up.

The alleged operation was revealed in a hearing in July that eventually sent Hensley and Spc. Jorge G. Sandoval Jr. to face court-martial on murder charges. The Pentagon refuses to speak publicly about baiting or other such tactics, but insists that military practices are within the law.

“My client is no murderer. He is a victim,” said James Culp, Vela’s civilian defense attorney, who suspects that baiting contributed to the slaying of the Iraqi man on May 11. “The rules of engagement are difficult on the best day. The rules for snipers are twice as difficult. You can’t expect to muddy the waters of the rules of engagement for snipers without consequences.”

Vela made his surprise confession Thursday on the second day of Sandoval’s court-martial on charges of murder, dereliction of duty and poor conduct. Sandoval also faces murder charges, accused of shooting an Iraqi man and then placing a detonation wire on the body in the same region south of Baghdad. Like Vela and Hensley, he faces a possible life sentence.

Vela, who was flown from a detention facility in Kuwait to testify in Sandoval’s defense, told the court that Sandoval was standing guard at a nearby pump station at the moment of the Iraqi man’s execution.

Vela has been promised that his statements in the Sandoval case won’t be used against him when he faces legal proceedings in connection with his alleged role in the slaying.

But Vela’s first hearing has been delayed by his struggles with post-traumatic stress disorder. He said he suffers flashbacks and hallucinations, and is taking anti-psychotic and anti-depressant medications

Vela’s account Thursday portrayed a unit that had lost sleep and lost control. In three days, he said, he had closed his eyes for less than four hours.

The mission, to watch the house of a suspected militant and to support nearby troop operations, started on May 8, Vela said.

The terrain south of Baghdad near Jarf Sakhr is a mix of swamps, sewage-filled canals and tall grass. The five men carried rucksacks, which they called “sucks,” weighing up to 150 pounds. After two days, Vela said, one soldier was sent to the rear after twice receiving intravenous treatment for heat exhaustion.

Vela said he was in a daze the morning of May 11. He couldn’t recall Thursday how the Iraqi had shown up where the men were sleeping. The man seemed to just materialize, he said.

Vela didn’t know what to do, so he woke up Sandoval, who told him to hold the man at gunpoint while Sandoval woke the others, Vela testified. They placed the man on the ground and searched him, he said.

Hensley appeared agitated after waking up, and slammed his knee into the man’s back, Vela said. Then Hensley grabbed the man by the mouth and threatened to kill him, he said. Hensley then strung the Iraqi’s arms behind his back, and sent Sandoval and his colleague off to guard a pumping station nearby.

Vela said he heard Hensley call his platoon commander on the radio and say he had seen a man running, carrying an automatic rifle.

A child wandered up to their camp, and Hensley briefly held the child on the ground, with a poncho over his head, Vela said. He eventually released the boy, who looked at the Iraqi man and called him “father.” Then the boy fled.

Vela said he thought they were going to free the man, but Hensley called their platoon commander and said he saw a “suspicious national” moving toward their position. Hensley then asked for permission to shoot to kill, Vela recalled.

“At this point, I was really confused about what he was saying,” Vela said.

The only other soldier on the scene was so exhausted that he slept through the commotion, Vela said.

Hensley then gave Vela the order to shoot the Iraqi, Vela said.

Once it was done, Vela testified, he watched Hensley grab an AK-47 rifle from his backpack and place it beside the dying man. Hensley radioed his captain and told him that they had engaged AIF, military jargon for firing on insurgents.

The Iraqi man convulsed. Blood covered his face and beard.

“Sgt. Hensley was kind of laughing about it. He hit him in the throat and said shoot him again, which I did,” Vela told the judge.

Addressing the court, Vela’s voice dropped nearly to a whisper and his tears continued to stream, so the judge gave him a break.

The court called Sgt. 1st Class Tarrol Peterson, the man in charge of the U.S. Army sniper school in Fort Benning, Ga.

“As snipers we look through a scope, we see a face,” he said. “It’s a lot different than shooting someone 100 meters away with an ordinary rifle. When snipers break, they break bad.”