New Photos Released of Iraq Atrocities, With Documents and Video

EDITORS NOTE: Thanks to David Swanson for the article and Cindy Piester for the movie.


Every American should read this letter:

December 18, 2007
To:   Mr. Randy Waddle, Assistant Inspector General, Ft Carson, Colorado
CC:  LTC John Shawkins, Inspector General, Ft Carson, Colorado
Major General Mark Graham, Commanding Officer, Ft Carson, Colorado
Major Haytham Faraj, USMC, Camp Pendleton, California
Lt General Stanley Greene, US Army Inspector General
Subject: Formal Notification of War Atrocities and Crimes Committed by Personnel, B Company, 2-12, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division in Iraq

Dear Mr. Waddle,

My name is John Needham.  I am a member of Bravo Company, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Infantry division, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, (BCo,2-12INF,2BCT,2ID .  I deployed with my unit to Iraq from October 2006 until October 2007 when I was medically evacuated for physical and mental injuries that I suffered during my deployment.  The purpose of my letter is to report what I believe to be war crimes and violation of the laws of armed conflict that I personally witnesses while deployed in Iraq.

Upon arriving in Iraq in October of 2006 my unit was assigned to the ¼ Cavalry unit at Camp Prosperity.  In March of 2007 I was sent back to my unit, B Company 2-12 at Camp Falcon.  It was at Camp Falcon that I observed and was forced to participate in ugly and inhumane acts against the Iraqi citizens in our area of responsibilities.  Below I list some of the incidents that took place.

In March of 2007, I witnessed SSG Platt shoot and wound an Iraqi national without cause of provocation.  The Staff Sergeant said that he suspected the Iraqi be a “trigger” man.  We had not been attacked and we found no evidence on the man to support the suspicion.  As the Iraqi lay bleeding on the ground, PVT Smith requested to administer first aid to the Iraqi.  SSgt Platt said no and “let him bleed out.”  When SSG Platt walked away, Pvt Smith and PVT Mullins went to the Iraqi, dragged him to an alley, and applied first aid.  They then drove him to the cache for further treatment.

In June of 2007 1SG Spry caused an Iraqi male to be stopped, questioned, detained, and killed.  We had no evidence that the Iraqi was an insurgent or terrorist.  In any event when we stopped he did not pose a threat.  Although I did not personally witness the killing, I did observe 1sg Spry dismembering the body and parading of it while it was tied to the hood of a Humvee around the Muhalla neighborhood while the interpreter blared out warnings in Arabic over the loud speaker.  I have a photo that shows 1SG Spry removing the victim’s brains.

On another occasion an Iraqi male was stopped by a team led by Sgt Rogers as he walked down an alleyway.  The Iraqi was detained and questioned then with his hands tied behind his back, SGT Rogers skinned his face.

1ST Spry shot a young Iraqi teenager who was about 16 years old.  The shooting was unprovoked and the Iraqi posed no threat to the unit.  He was merely riding his bicycle past an ambush site.  When I arrived on the scene I observed 1SGT Spry along with SSG Platt dismember the boy’s body.

In August of 2007, I responded to radio call from SGT Rogers reporting that he had just shot an Iraqi who was trying to enter through a hole that the platoon had blown in a wall to allow them observation of the area during a security patrol.  When I arrived, I saw a one armed man who was still alive lying on a barricade.  The man was about 30 years old.   He had an old Ruger pistol hanging from his thumb.  It was obvious to me that the pistol was placed there because of the way it hung from his thumb.  The Iraqi was still alive when I arrived.  I saw SGT Rogers shoot him twice in the back with hollow point bullets.  The Iraqi was still moving.  I was asking why they shot him again when I heard Sgt Hoskins say “he’s moving, he’s still alive.”  SPEC Hoskins then moved to the Iraqi and shot him in the back of the head.  SSG Platt and SGT Rogers were visibly excited about the kill.  I saw them pull the Iraqi’s
brains out as they placed him in the body bag.  CPT Kirsey must have learned something about this incident because he was very upset and admonished the NCOs involved.

I have seen and heard 1SGT Spry brag about killing dogs.  He kept a running count.  At last count I remember he was boasting of having killed 80 dogs.

On many occasions I observed SGT Temples, SSG Platt and SGT Rogers beat and abuse Iraqi teenagers, some as young as 14, without cause.  They would walk into a house near areas where they suspected we had received sniper fire, then detain and beat the kids.

I have photos that support my allegations.  I also have numerous other photos on a laptop PC that the unit illegally seized from me.  I have requested its return but they have refused.

My experiences have taken a terrible toll on me.  I suffer from PTSD and depression.  I had no way to stop the ugly actions of my unit.  When I refused to participate they began to abuse and harass me.  I am still in treatment at the Balboa Naval hospital.  I respectfully request that you investigate these matters, that you protect my safety by reassigning me to a different unit that is not located at Fort Carson, that you return my PC or, at least, seize it to protect the evidence on it, and that you issue a military protective order to prohibit the offending members of my unit from harassing, retaliating, or contacting me.

I have some photographs and some supporting documentation to these allegations.

PFC John Needham
US Army

And every American should view these photographs (warning, extremely revolting).

And then watch this superb video to learn from John Needham’s father what became of him:


On the Dark Side in Al Doura – A Soldier in the Shadows from Pulse TV & Maverick Media on Vimeo.

WARNING: Graphic and disturbing photos between 38:47 and 40:00.


U.S. Army Ranger John Needham, who was awarded two purple hearts and three medals for heroism, wrote to military authorities in 2007 reporting war crimes that he witnessed being committed by his own command and fellow soldiers in Al Doura, Iraq. His charges were supported by atrocity photos which, in the public interest, are now released in this video. John paid a terrible price for his opposition to these acts. His story is tragic.

CBS reported obtaining an Army document from the Criminal Investigation Command suggestive of an investigation into these war crimes allegations. The Army’s conclusion was that the “offense of War Crimes did not occur.” However, CBS also stated that the report was “redacted and incomplete; 111 pages were withheld.”


Salon covered this story too:


Thanks to Cindy Piester for the excellent video and all of this information.

9 Responses to New Photos Released of Iraq Atrocities, With Documents and Video

  • Moving video. Thanks for sharing. I hope his family finds justice.

  • It was heroic to report this but this should have been reported after he first witnessed an illegal act by SSG Platt…straight up to the Bat. Commander, if necessary…

    It’s sad that a few really bad apples, sully the rep. of the rest of the troops who really do a great job…(I spent 4 years in the Navy and saw some GIs acting out of character (non war), but giving us a bad name…And I did turn them in…

  • As bad as what happened we are overlooking the major problem These War,s were illegal in the fırst instance! As a Father how could you allow your son to go fight in a War based upon Lies and Media propaganda these are the esablishments you should rent you Fury at?
    Time we all reflect on this one life lost however what about the Millions of iraqies Slaughterd in some cases just for macabe Fun!
    now 100.000 Libyans Slaughtered not to mention all the Young Kids that were in Military that were just carpet Bombed also based upon Propaganda and Lies?
    We as perants should not send our sons in harms way unless we as a country are threatened and no one has or is threatening USA
    USA you will reap what you sow!

  • You are `shocked´? THIS American & British brutality was de rigeuer in Germanny after the war; during the Normandy invasion Americans, unlike the Germans, took NO prisoners but murdered all of them on the spot. Ditto in the Pacific theatre. Colonel Lindbergh was outraged at the brutality of the Americans, mostly directed and even ordered to commit such crimes by their superior officers. Americans under the direct orders of Eisenhower dumped severely wounded German prisoners in open fields with no protection, no medical attention and no food leaving them there to die. The DANES (!) did the same with over 10.000 German CHILDREN etc., etc. The massive guilt of the Anglo-American world as it regards misstreatment of German POW´s defies description.- Conversely, three American Generals seeked out SS General Berger in 1962 to award him an official certificate of appreciation for the fair treatment Anglo-American prisoners had received at the hands of the German guards under his command! Gerry Frederics

  • There are too many people who will hurt their fellow humans for a mere paycheck. I would die before I murder another human being. The problem with a murderer is that all he can see, is what is in front of him. There is more to life than the naked eye can see. There is evil and there is good. Death is only temporary. Jesus and his apostles proved this when they resurrected many. Satan dosn’t care if you are an atheist, a partriot or a false religious preacher as long as you don’t worship the true God Jehovah.

  • I would like to start out by sending my condolences to the family of PFC John Needham. This is one of the worst and most tragic stories I have ever had to hear and watch. I am a US Marine who believes in standing up for people who are weak and cannot protect themselves. As a Marine I can tell you first hand that we as "Marines, Soldiers, Sailors, Airman, and PROTECTORS," are not taught or trained to commit such violent and disgraceful acts. To commit such an act would fall under the category of insane, psychotic, and serious mentall illness. What those Rangers did was difraceful not only to our military, but us as a nation of people called Americans. Before this war started we were shown how other races and nations enjoy beheadings and such disgusting behavior, but now it is clear that plenty of Americans have stooped to such a low level and enjoy the same way of life. DISGRACEFUL!!! This story and video should be shown to the nation to learn from it. I also suffer from PTSD, and I must say that this country has no idea what is in store in the coming years. There is going to be an epidemic of military members who suffer their whole life from PTSD and it will be horrific. If the American people think this is an isolated incident, I suggest they don’t be so naive and get prepared. When you hear someone tell you they are suffering from PTSD, don’t just ignore it because you don’t understand it. HELP A VETERAN! They will need it now more than ever!

    REST IN PEACE PFC Needham!

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