A former US Marine said his unit killed more than 30 innocent Iraqi
civilians in just two days, in graphic testimony to a Canadian tribunal
probing an asylum claim by a US Army deserter.
Former Marine Sergeant Jimmy Massey appeared as a witness to bolster claims
by fugitive paratrooper Jeremy Hinzman that he walked out on the 82nd
Airborne Division to avoid being ordered to commit war crimes in Iraq.
Mr Hinzman, 26, claims he would face persecution if sent home to the United
States, in a politically charged case which could set a precedent for at
least two other US deserters seeking asylum in Canada.
Mr Massey told Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) that men under
his command in the 3rd battalion, 7th Marines, killed “30 plus” civilians
within 48 hours while on checkpoint duty in Baghdad”¦
Mr Massey said that in some incidents, Iraqi civilians were killed by
between 200 and 500 rounds pumped into four separate cars which each failed
to respond to a single warning shot and respond to hand signals at a
At the time, US soldiers feared suicide bombers would try to ram
checkpoints, he said.
Searches found no weapons in the vehicles or evidence that those killed
were anything but innocent civilians, he said.
He also said Marines killed four unarmed demonstrators, and more Iraqis the
next day during another spell of checkpoint duty in the occupied Iraqi