PEACEKEEPING Kosovo Unit Could Not Temper Combat Mentality : LUSENET : TB2K spinoff uncensored : One Thread

Report: Brutality by US Army Unit in Kosovo 6:25 am PDT, 16 September 2000

The U.S. Army will release a clipped version of a report detailing abuses by a unit in Kosovo accused of beating and intimidating civilians they were sent to protect.

The report, originally introduced as evidence during the trial of convicted killer Staff Sgt. Frank Ronghi, shows that soldiers assigned to Ronghi's unit engaged in beatings, intimidation and illegal detention of civilians in the Kosovar town of Vitina, CNN said on Saturday.

This squad was bad news, a senior Army official told the news service Friday. They were bad apples.

Ronghi was given a life sentence for the rape, sodomy and beating death of an 11-year-old ethnic Albanian girl near Vitina earlier this year.

He pleaded guilty to the charges, a plea that saved him from a death sentence, officials said.

After Ronghis arrest, the Army began an investigation into the conduct of the men in the remainder of his unit, the 3rd Battalion, 504th Parachute Regiment of the famed 82nd Airborne Division.

Army officials found the unit generally abusive toward women.

The investigation was supposed to be an effort to gather evidence against Ronghi, but along the way officials found that other members of his unit had also engaged in misconduct. Nine members of the unit, including four officers, were punished, CNN said.

The other punishments, announced in March and April, were non-judicial or administrative in nature and did not involve jail time for the offenders.

Investigators found that the nine soldiers had threatened civilians with weapons, assaulted people and held people in custody for unreasonable periods of time given their offenses, said CNN.

Though the soldiers punished were not named in the final, 1,100-page report due out Monday, the punishments included reductions in rank, withholding of pay, and in some cases career-ending letters of reprimand.

Some military officials said the report prompted questions about how the unit was trained to deal with its peacekeeping mission.

Kosovo Unit Could Not Temper Combat Mentality 5:52 am PDT, 19 September 2000

The U.S. Army unit cited recently in a recent report for a series of abuses committed against ethnic Albanians living in Kosovo was not properly trained to temper their combat mentality, the Pentagon said on Monday.

The report enumerated several acts of misconduct by members of the 82nd Airborne Division and said their commanders shared blame for not taking action once notified of the acts and misbehavior.

In a written statement accompanying the report, the Army said Chief of Staff Gen. Eric Shinseki had asked Gen. John W. Hendrix, commander of Army Forces Command, to complete the review and "take corrective actions as appropriate" within 30 days.

The Army statement also said the misbehavior "should never have occurred," but adds that the problem was limited to a small number of soldiers and should not detract from the exemplary work being done by the Army as a whole in Kosovo.

U.S. peacekeepers have been stationed there since June 1999.

As reported publicly in August during the rape-and-murder trial of Staff Sgt. Frank J. Ronghi  a member of the same unit  Army investigators found evidence that several other soldiers were guilty of abusing Kosovar Albanian civilians.

Ronghi, of Niles, Ohio, was sentenced to life in prison after being found guilty of raping and murdering an 11-year-old girl.

Nine other soldiers from his unit were given various forms of administrative punishment; the investigator recommended that commanders consider court-martialing some of the nine, but they were not.

A few officers who were also found guilty of violations have had career-ending letters of reprimand placed in their files, the Army report said.

-- Debra (, September 20, 2000


So my question would be:

Does 'Combat Mentality = raping, sodomizing and beating to death an 11-year-old girl? Or was this just a very poor choice of words from this reporter? But wait ... that's a quote from the Pentagon!

And ... what's the point of worrying about women on 'the front lines' in combat? We live our entire lives on 'the front lines'!

-- Debra (, September 20, 2000.

Yes, ALL men are baaaad.

-- (, September 20, 2000.

Do you really think so? ;)

-- Debra (, September 20, 2000.

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