A little legal note in the shadows of Decider George’s Iraqi adventure.
- Sgt. Jermaine Nelson, in a tape-recorded interview with a Naval Criminal Investigative Service agent, said he and Sgt. Ryan Weemer were ordered by Sgt. Jose Nazario to kill the prisoners as the Marines swept through a neighborhood in Fallouja in late 2004.
Several minutes of the tape were played at the hearing for Weemer, who faces murder and dereliction of duty charges. Nelson faces similar charges, and Nazario faces manslaughter charges in federal court in Riverside.
Nelson and Weemer, in their interviews, said that Nazario ordered the killings after he had radioed a platoon leader to report that they had taken four prisoners and was asked twice, “Are they dead yet?”
Nelson told the investigator that Nazario told him, “I’m not doing all this [expletive] by myself. You’re doing one and Weemer is doing one.”
Nelson said that he watched in shock as Nazario shot a kneeling prisoner at point-blank range: “He hit the dude in the forehead, the dude went down and there was blood . . . all over his [Nazario’s] boots.”
After seeing Weemer and Nazario shot prisoners, Nelson said he lost his reluctance to join in the killings. “I said [expletive] and I shot my dude.”
All this good stuff came out during a hearing yesterday in Camp Pendleton, the sprawling US Marine base in Southern California.
This case is just one of a bunch that has come out of the horror of the Iraqi war and displays clear evidence of what Decider George and his minions have created for US GIs — a nightmare, personality-altering environment.