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Military Misconduct

NATIONAL
January 26, 2008 | David Zucchino, Times Staff Writer
An Army explosives expert testified Friday that a Humvee was hit by small-arms fire after a suicide car bomb attack last March on a Marine convoy whose gunners have been accused of killing as many as 19 Afghan civilians. Sgt. 1st Class Jason Mero offered the first definitive support for testimony by Marines on the convoy, who said their gunners fired because the Marines believed enemies were shooting at them. Attorneys for the Marines have said they fired on gunmen, not civilians.
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NATIONAL
January 24, 2008 | David Zucchino, Times Staff Writer
In May, Army Col. John Nicholson created an uproar when he said he was "deeply ashamed" that U.S. Marines had killed Afghan civilians during an incident two months earlier. Marine commanders said Nicholson was wrong to denounce the Marines while investigations were still underway. On Wednesday, Nicholson again criticized the Marines, this time during a Marine Corps court of inquiry investigating the March 4 incident.
NATIONAL
January 23, 2008 | David Zucchino, Times Staff Writer
Two Afghan men testified Tuesday that a Marine special operations convoy fired on their vehicles without provocation during an incident last March in which as many as 19 Afghans were reported killed. Testifying from Afghanistan by video link, the men told a court of inquiry that they had pulled their vehicles to the side of the highway when the Marines suddenly opened fire. They said they did not see anyone fire at the convoy, which had been struck by a van packed with explosives moments before.
NATIONAL
January 18, 2008 | David Zucchino, Times Staff Writer
An investigator expressed frustration Thursday at what he said were incomplete and sometimes inconsistent accounts by Marines involved in a March shooting in Afghanistan that left up to 19 Afghans dead. "We were trying to put pieces together and some of them just don't fit," David Kurre, a Naval Criminal Investigative Service agent, said on the eighth day of testimony in a court of inquiry reviewing the incident.
WORLD
January 10, 2008 | From Times Wire Reports
An Israeli army psychiatrist was convicted of trying to sell military secrets to Iran, Russia and the Islamist group Hamas, a court official said. In a plea bargain, Maj. David Shamir, a 45-year-old reservist, told Tel Aviv District Court that he contacted "foreign agents" with the intent to pass on information about Israel's wartime evacuation and medical plans, the official said. Iran and Hamas, the Palestinian group that controls the Gaza Strip, are avowed enemies of the Jewish state.
NATIONAL
January 10, 2008 | David Zucchino, Times Staff Writer
Three Marines and an Afghan translator testified Wednesday that their convoy came under fire in Afghanistan after a car bomb attack in March, prompting return fire as the Marines tried to escape what they called the "kill zone." As many as 19 Afghans were reported killed. The testimony came on the second day of a court of inquiry examining the incident.
NATIONAL
January 9, 2008 | David Zucchino, Times Staff Writer
A former Marine counter-intelligence sergeant testified Tuesday that special operations Marines fired into oncoming civilian traffic in Afghanistan last March even though he saw no evidence that their convoy was fired upon. Appearing before a rare military court of inquiry, Nathaniel Travers, a former staff sergeant, said Marines in his convoy were rushing back to their base after a car bombing when Marine Humvee gunners fired into civilian vehicles on a highway in eastern Afghanistan.
WORLD
January 1, 2008 | Tony Perry, Times Staff Writer
A Marine staff sergeant was ordered Monday to stand trial on charges stemming from the 2005 killing of 24 Iraqis in the town of Haditha. Staff Sgt. Frank D. Wuterich is being charged directly with the deaths of several of the Iraqis and indirectly with the other deaths for failing to supervise his Marines as their squad leader. Under a decision by Lt. Gen.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 18, 2007 | Tony Perry
A military jury Monday sentenced former senior Marine drill instructor Sgt. Brian Wendel to a reprimand and reduction in rank to corporal for drinking in the barracks and failing to report abusive treatment of recruits by a junior drill instructor. The same jury found Wendel, 30, guilty of those charges but not guilty of abusing recruits. He is the third former drill instructor to be convicted in recent weeks on charges linked to maltreatment of recruits. -- Tony Perry
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 15, 2007 | From a Times Staff Writer
A military jury Friday convicted a senior drill instructor of failing to report abusive treatment of recruits by a junior drill instructor at the Marine boot camp. He also was convicted of drinking in the barracks. Sgt. Brian Wendel is the third drill instructor convicted recently of a charge linked to abusive treatment. He was found not guilty of charges alleging that he abused recruits. A fourth drill instructor goes on trial in January.
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