Thursday, April 22, 2010

US Navy SEAL cleared in Iraq abuse case

Awesome , now Clear the Other two !

BAGHDAD (AP) — A U.S. Navy SEAL was cleared Thursday of charges he covered up the alleged beating of an Iraqi prisoner suspected of masterminding the grisly 2004 killings of four American security contractors.

The Blackwater guards' burned bodies were dragged through the streets, and two were hanged from a bridge over the Euphrates river in the former insurgent hotbed of Fallujah, in what became a turning point in the Iraq war.

On Thursday, a six-man Navy jury found Petty Officer 1st Class Julio Huertas not guilty of dereliction of duty and impeding the investigation. The jury heard too many differences between the testimony of a sailor who claimed he witnessed the Sept. 1 assault at a U.S. base outside Fallujah and statements from a half-dozen others who denied his account.

Smiling and composed as he left the courthouse at the U.S. military's Camp Victory on Baghdad's western outskirts, Huertas said he felt vindicated.

"It's a big weight off my shoulders," said Huertas, 29, of Blue Island, Illinois. "Compared to all the physical activity we go through, this has been mentally more challenging."

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