Video Shows U.S. Soldiers in "Ramadi Madness" Abuse

March 13, 2005

On March 7, Reuters reported that U.S. Army soldiers in Iraq filmed themselves abusing Iraqi prisoners and dead bodies in the town of Ramadi.

In the video, soldiers are seen kicking a gravely wounded prisoner in the face and making the arm of a corpse appear to wave. The film was titled "Ramadi Madness," after the city where it was made.

It was shot by Florida National Guard soldiers who then edited and compiled it into a DVD in January 2004. Section titles included "Those Crafty Little Bastards" and "Another Day, Another Mission, Another Scumbag." One section of the video showed a bound and wounded prisoner sprawled on the ground, and showed his bullet entry and exit wounds. At one point, a U.S. soldier kicked the prisoner in the face. Army documents quoted a soldier at the scene as saying he "thought the dude eventually died. We weren't in any hurry to call the medics." In another part of the video, a soldier grabbed the arm of a truck driver who had just be shot dead and makes the corpse wave to the camera.

The video's existence had been revealed in Army documents obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union under court order through the Freedom of Information Act.

The Pentagon did not release the video, saying it believed it had been destroyed. But a Florida newspaper, The Palm Beach Post, obtained it and posted some of it on its Web site on Monday.

Soldiers depicted in the new video would not face criminal charges, the Pentagon said. Army criminal investigators looked into the matter and decided no criminal charges were warranted against the soldiers. "It didn't rise to the level of criminal abuse, according to the investigations," said Lt. Col. Jeremy Martin, an Army spokesman at the Pentagon.