Ex-U.S. Marine: I Killed Civilians in Iraq

Jimmy Massey believes some wars are justified, but not

| May 27, 2004


Jimmy Massey, a 12-year Marine Corps veteran from Waynesville, NC, was fed up with America's fight for democracy in Iraq. He was tired of watching his boys 'light up' cars full of innocent civilians with their 50 cal's and M-16's. He couldn't forget how his paranoid, sleep-deprived soldiers opened fire on a group of unarmed protestors while he walked the lines making sure they had enough food and water. More than enough Iraqi babies had died in his arms after suffering wounds from American machine gun fire. And he shuddered at the thought of unexploded cluster bombs littering the countryside, lying in wait to kill more Iraqis.

So Jimmy Massey committed the big no-no by armed forces standards. As he recalled in an interview with Democracy Now's Amy Goodman on Monday, May 24, Massey told his lieutenant: 'We're not going to have to worry about the Iraq [people] -- you know, we're basically committing genocide over here, mass extermination of thousands of Iraqis, and with the depleted uranium that we're leaving around on the battlefield, we're setting up genocide for future generations within Iraq.' Massey wouldn't settle for the counterargument: 'Better them than us -- they are just casualties of war.' He knew that speaking out would effectively end his career with the Marine Corps. But his psychological ride was just beginning, and he was sent home to receive therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder and major depression. The Marine Corps was trying to discredit Massey by making him out to be a loony.

But the honorable soldier continues to fight -- for himself and for his boys back in Iraq still forced to do the dirty deed of their superiors. Massey hired Washington D.C.-based attorney Gary Myers who, as fate would have it, was involved with the My Lai trials after one of the most publicized massacres in the Vietnam Conflict. A pending case may revolve around Massey's objection to the Marine Corps' attempt to classify him as a conscientious objector. To this he says, 'I told [the Marine Corps] that I believed in war and some wars in our history have been helpful for humanity and society as a whole, however, I do not believe in killing innocent civilians.'
-- Jacob Wheeler

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