Get with it or Get Smoked
The Tragic Story of U.S. Army Ranger, John Needham
The criminal nature of the US administration pervades the war and the infects the soldiers. In their horrible disregard for human life the soldiers imitating the lawless US administration, which abuses its own people and and ravages the world.
Events in Iraq and the US, as reported by John Needham to his father, Michael Needham, and/or as described in John’s letter to authorities dated December, 18, 2007.
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
It is not known if this individual, when he was alive, was an Iraqi citizen or an insurgent. He had been taken into custody by one of the sergeants, platoon sergeants in the 212 and, uh, nobody saw them afterwards and, about a day and a half later, they found the man’s body and his head, from his neck up, had been cut and he had been skinned. His hands were tied behind his back with the white ties that the Army uses for temporary handcuffs. The man’s body had been found after he had already been taken into custody.
In June of 2007 1st Sergeant 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. Spry was observed dismembering the body and parading 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. This photo shows the victim after 1st Sergeant Spry removed the victim’s brains.
A fifteen year old boy was killed because he happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. He was riding a bike by a stakeout which the Lethal Warriors had some snipers on the roof, one of the sergeants, and after twelve hours of waiting and not seeing anything, one sergeant just shot him. And nobody knows why. The suggestion is that he just got tired of waiting, nothing, nobody knows. Needham and another soldier tried to give him first aid, buy the sergeant told them, “No, let him bleed out.” Needham reported that he tried to give him first aid anyway, but that the boy died before they could get him to a medical cache.
Videos – Interviews with John Needham´s father about the Al Doura incidents
(anyone having difficulty viewing the videos below can find lower resolution versions at: http://vimeo.com/channels/bushindictment )
Part 1 – Interviews with John Needham’s Father
Michael Needham tells how his son, John Needham, joined the army, was stationed with the 2-12 unit known as “The Lethal Warriors” in Al Doura, a suburb of Baghdad, and how John became disillusioned, not only with the war, but with the actions of his unit.
Smoked! The Life and Death of U.S. Ranger John Needham – Part 1 http://vimeo.com/31348855
Part 2 – Interviews with John Needham’s Father
If viewers only have time to watch one segment of this four part series, this is the one most essential to understanding what took place in Al Doura. Michael discusses atrocities witnessed in Iraq by his son, John, and, how the situation in his unit degrades to the point of a life and death situation for John himself.
Smoked! The Life and Death of U.S. Ranger John Needham – Part 2 http://vimeo.com/31669320
*This video contains clips from – On the Dark Side in Al Doura – A Soldier in the Shadows
Part 3 – Interviews with John Needham’s Father
Michael discusses roadblocks to getting care for his combat veteran son. As John finally receives treatment at Walter Reed, he is forcibly removed against medical advice, by armed guards under orders from LTC Stephan Michaels, Battalion Commander 2-12. John is taken back to Fort Carson where he is declared “Fit for Duty” despite serious physical, mental and emotional wounds. Veteran Advocate, Andrew Pogany, intervenes to assist John’s father ensure that he gets treatment. John reveals atrocities committed in Iraq by the Lethal Warriors.
Smoked! The Life and Death of U.S. Ranger John Needham – Part 3 http://vimeo.com/32047542
Part 4 – Interviews with John Needham’s Father
Michael shares the unfortunate story of his son, John, after he was put on out-patient care by the VA. He discusses John’s subsequent arrest six weeks after discharge for the killing of his girl friend, Jacque Villagomez, and John’s own death on February 19th, 2010. John, again was receiving out-patient medical care administered by the VA.
Smoked! The Life and Death of U.S. Ranger John Needham – Part 4 http://vimeo.com/32056475