Convicted soldier: ‘You probably think I’m a monster’

CNN  

  • Ex-soldier Steven Green convicted of raping Iraqi teen and killing her and her family
  • Penalty phase begins Monday; Green could face death penalty for war-time crimes
  • Green in court papers: “Joining the Army was the worst decision I ever made” 
  • “Knew you guys were coming,” Green said to FBI agents in 2006

art.green

PADUCAH, Kentucky (CNN) — “You probably think I’m a monster.”

That’s what FBI agents said former U.S. soldier Steven Green told them nearly three years ago about accusations that he had raped a 14-year-old Iraqi girl and killed her and her family.

Green was found guilty Thursday in U.S. District Court in Paducah of the crimes and could face the death penalty.

Green spoke as the agents and he drove from his grandmother’s home in Nebo, North Carolina, where he’d been arrested, to a detention center 45 minutes away in Asheville, North Carolina, authorities said.

According to court documents:

Green had taken his grandmother to dinner, and the two had plans for a movie. Agents asked the former Army private whether they could tell her the reason for his arrest. Green initially said yes, but changed his mind, not wanting to upset her. Agents let him smoke a few cigarettes before putting him in the car for the drive.

Without prompting, Green spoke.

“Knew you guys were coming,” he said.

It was June 30, 2006, a month and a half after his discharge from the military. Green was a former member of the 502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division, based in Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

The agents asked no questions. They listened as Green talked during the drive.

“All of my buddies were getting killed over there. My lieutenant got his face blown off. … George Bush and Dick Cheney ought to be the ones that are arrested.”

Green, a high school dropout, was a product of Bush’s hometown of Midland, Texas. He had enlisted in 2005, leaving the hot, dry, oil-rich land of the Permian Basin for another hot, dry, oil-rich land.

“Joining the Army was the worst decision I ever made,” he said.

Now, Green stands convicted for crimes he committed as a soldier.

Prosecutors said he and others in his unit plotted an attack on an Iraqi family. Green herded the parents and younger sister of 14-year-old Abeer al-Janabi into another room of a house while two accomplices raped her. He then gunned down her parents and her 6-year-old sister, before joining in the rape and killing the teenager.

The crimes happened in the Mahmoudiya area of Iraq, south of Baghdad, in 2006. Last week, a federal jury in McCracken County, Kentucky, deliberated for more than 10 hours before convicting Green for murder, rape, conspiracy and obstruction of justice, according to the court’s Web site. Guilty on all 17 counts.

Four other former soldiers are in prison for their roles in the crime and the cover-up that followed.

Pvt. 1st Class James Barker, Sgt. Paul Cortez, Pvt. 1st Class Jesse Spielman and Pvt. 1st Class Bryan Howard received sentences ranging from 27 months to 110 years, with the possibility of parole in 10 years in the most severe cases.

They were convicted and sentenced in a military court. On Monday, as the penalty phase of his trial begins, Green might become the first former U.S. soldier to face the death penalty for war crimes before a civilian court.

The reason for the distinction: Green was discharged from the military before his crimes came to light.

When the killings became public in 2006, the Iraqi public was enraged and some Iraqi officials demanded that American soldiers accused of crimes against civilians face prosecution in Iraqi courts.

U.S. military and civilian officials condemned the attack and vowed to bring those responsible to justice.

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Convicted soldier: ‘You probably think I’m a monster’

  1. Papa Gino

    This idiot’s biggest mistake was not joining the Army, but joining in on the carnage and mayhem. He’s a loser plain and simple.

  2. Screaming Eagles

    That’s just aint right!! 502nd regiment..god…they some of the worst combat over there..This guy should be given a medal not a death penalty.
    Steven Green is a HERO & true AMERICAN PATRIOT. Even FBI agents understand this, as they let him smoke a few cigarettes & didn’t tell his grandmother reason for arrrest. You know, they wouldn’t do that to any rapist or murderer.

  3. Johnny FYG

    I’m ex-military and proud of it. So, don’t blame the Army for this monster’s personal actions. Patriot my ass. They planned their actions. Their attack on this innocent family is pre-meditated. There are thousands and thousands of other individuals serving over there under GREATER stress, duress (and lack of leadership) than this clown actually had. You don’t see THEM going out and PLOTTING to murder a little girl’s entire family then raping and killing that same innocent little girl. For Christ’s sake man! He shot her in her face after raping her. Then he set her on fire!! What if that was YOUR daughter, “screaming eagles”? Would YOU give him a medal for that? There is absolutely NO EXCUSE for this pricks actions; they should have sentenced this shithole and his buddies to death. They also should have handed them over to the Iraqi courts for their just sentencing. BEHEADING!! Why waste our hard earned tax monies to sustain this monsters life in prison? I say plug a bullet in his brain after HE gets raped several times. We are supposed to be there to PROTECT the people of Iraq from the abuses from their last government and terrorism and this is what this a-hole and his pack of animal buddies went and did? Way to “represent” guys…..sheesh!! Now that he will be a “girlfriend” to several others in prison for the rest of his life, he will now learn what rape is and what it feels like to get violated AFTER getting violated. That little girl and her family did NOT deserve what happened to them and they are the REAL heroes for what they had to go through. Prison life for this guy will be poetic justice in itself as NOBODY likes child killers and rapists in prison, NOBODY!!

  4. Bigdogbrodave

    I agree with Fyg…

    as a representative of the US ARMY as well as the USA, Green has horribly disgraced us Americans/the US ARMY, and our standing in the world with his unthinkable acts… acts that unfortunately were also committed in previous wars in Viet Nam and Korea by American soldiers. Go figure… the evidence exists…

    I am happy that the legal system has worked in this case. Thank GOD!

    I agree with Fyg that the whole bunch of them should be sent to Iraqi prisons/legal systems to better serve justice to the remaining family members of those murdered people.

    and if beheading is the punishment… so be it…

    We as Americans can not afford to tolerate such displays of barbarism the likes of which in the past has resulted in the mobilization of the entire league of Allied forces to stamp out, in foreign nations, during many wars…. to manifest itself in the realm of American thinking as “justifiable under the circumstances” NO… SORRY…

    This “Justifiable” thinking is what has resulted in the torture (unsuccessful) of the Gitmo prisoners as well as the invasions of Americans privacy and loss of civil liberties that has occurred in our recent history.

    In “AMERICA” there is NO torture of captured soldiers (or civilians… combative or not)… PERIOD… OK George… and DICK… exactly…

    That fact needs to remain INTACT in the world’s eyes in order for us to remain the “GOOD GUYS…”

    and according to the UCMJ there will be “no sexual display nor acts that support such sexual display/acts on any field of battle”…

    PERIOD… look it up… NO SEX AT ALL!!!!!!

    it’s a frickin WAR ZONE not a RED LIGHT DISTRICT!!!

    what ever happened to Salt PETER???

    There is no justification, none whatsoever, for the disgraceful acts of these Army men and they deserve the same treatment that they afforded that family in Iraq… no mercy… and a brutal outcome… and sadness of the realization of what has happened to THEIR families here in America.

    There is no “Army training book” that teaches these despicable acts… this kind of thinking… this man is from Texas… as I am…

    I am disgraced by the fact that Texas has produced yet another disturbed mind… To make the news… HEADLINES… great…

    Never again should a Texan be President until this diseased thinking has ended…

    PERIOD…

    God Bless America the land that I love…

    it’s the people that I personally have a problem with…

    Wake up America!

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