Florida Paper Obtains, Airs ‘Ramadi Madness’ Video

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By: The Associated Press

A Florida newspaper has obtained video footage taken by a unit of the Florida National Guard in Iraq that the Army previously investigated as possible detainee abuse.

The 26-minute video, obtained by The Palm Beach Post on Saturday and posted without audio on its Web site, contains some graphic images, including a soldier kicking a wounded, moaning Iraqi. It also depicts troops feeding rations to a stray kitten.

Army investigators found no cause to charge anyone in connection with the so-called “Ramadi Madness” video, according to documents released last week. The Army investigation, which ended in December, determined that the footage illustrated “inappropriate rather than criminal behavior.”

Excerpts from the video were made available online Monday.

The video was a compilation of recordings taken of the actions of B Company, 1st Battalion, 124th Infantry Regiment, a Florida National Guard unit that was in Iraq in 2003 and early 2004, according to military officials. The company is based in West Palm Beach.

In one video clip, a soldier is shown manipulating a dead Iraqi, shot while trying to run a checkpoint in a truck. The soldier said he only positioned the body so other U.S. personnel could remove it.

Sgt. Chad Shadle, who compiled the video shot by another soldier, said it was meant only to be seen by the circle of soldiers in Bravo Company. He said he put it together late one night out of boredom.

“People see what they want to see,” Shadle said. “They see abuse and want to cry foul. There was no abuse. I’d like to see these critics attacked every night, mortared every day. I’d like to see how they’d feel, how they’d react.”

Other scenes showed soldiers cleaning the head wound of a detainee during an apparent interrogation, and a guardsman showing off his weapon.

Maj. Joseph Lyon, the company’s commander, has said the video led to disciplinary action against a soldier or soldiers, but would not give details.

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