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ACLU releases US Army documents on Iraqi, Afghan civilian deaths

[JURIST] The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) [advocacy website] on Tuesday released new documents describing crimes committed by US soldiers against civilians [press release; document log] in Iraq and Afghanistan which show a pattern of US troops failing to follow the laws of interrogations and deadly actions, but also a pattern of troops believing they were in fact following the law in most instances. The materials were made available in conjunction with a lawsuit the ACLU is filing Tuesday to compel the US military to release all documents relating to the deaths of civilians caused by US troops in since January 2005. The nearly 10,000 pages of documents were produced by the US Army, and include including courts-martial summaries, transcripts and military investigative reports in connection to 22 separate incidents.

The ACLU filed a Freedom of Information Act [PDF text] request more than a year ago to release all documents relating to civilian deaths, but only the US Army responded. The documents obtained by the ACLU included documents from the conviction and reprimand [JURIST reports] of Army Chief Warrant Officer Lewis Welshofer Jr. for his role in the interrogation death of an Iraqi general, the conviction of 101st Airborne Staff Sgt. Raymond Girouard [JURIST report] for his role in the deaths of three Iraqi detainees [JURIST news archive], and documents relating to the death of 24 Iraqi civilians in Haditha [JURIST news archive]. AP has more.

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