U.S Soldier Who Raped And Killed 14-Year-Old Girl: “I Didn’t Think These People Were Human”
Steven Dale Green, formerly with the 101st Airborne, is serving five life terms for raping and killing a 14-year-old girl and killing her parents and sister. In his first interview since the 2006 killings, says his actions were fueled by two of his sergeants being gunned down and by a lack of Army leadership.
“I was crazy,” Green said in the exclusive telephone interview from federal prison in Tucson, Ariz. “I was just all the way out there. I didn’t think I was going to live.”
The former soldier, who apologized at sentencing for his crimes, said he wasn’t seeking sympathy nor trying to justify his actions — killings prosecutors described at trial in 2009 as one of the worst crimes of the Iraq war.
But Green said people should know his actions were a consequence of his circumstances in a war zone.
“If I hadn’t ever been in Iraq, I wouldn’t be in the kind of trouble I’m in now,” Green said. “I’m not happy about that.”
Green is challenging the Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act where a military person can be charged in civilian court for a crime committed overseas, claiming it gives too much power to the executive branch. Green says the deaths of two sergeants at the hands of Iraqis “messed me up real bad.”
The deaths intensified Green’s feelings toward all Iraqis, whom soldiers often called by a derogatory term. “There’s not a word that would describe how much I hated these people,” Green said. “I wasn’t thinking these people were humans.”
Spc. James P. Barker of Fresno, Calif., testified that he pitched the idea of going to the al-Janabi’s home to Sgt. Paul E. Cortez of Barstow, Calif., who was in charge of the traffic checkpoint. Green, who talked frequently of wanting to kill Iraqis, was brought along.
Cortez testified that Barker and Green had the idea of having sex with the girl and that he didn’t know the family would be killed.
Green, then a private, told AP he had “an altered state of mind” at the time. “I wasn’t thinking about more than 10 minutes into the future at any given time,” Green said. “I didn’t care.”
At the Iraqi home, Barker and Cortez pulled Abeer [the 14-year-old] into one room, while Green held the mother, father and youngest daughter in another. Pfc. Jesse V. Spielman, of Chambersburg, Pa., stood guard in the hall. As Barker and Cortez raped the teen, Green shot the three family members, killing them. He then went into the next room and raped Abeer, before shooting her in the head. The soldiers lit her remains on fire before leaving. Another soldier stood watch a few miles away at the checkpoint.Click here for reuse options!
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