Like all things in the army - this didn’t work out. The guy I trusted with my life to be covert and notify the authorities went to the Commander. He decided that he was going to conduct his own investigation. In the process, he let everybody know that it was me who accused them of the crimes, and tried to leave me out there with them at a checkpoint in the middle of the Sunni triangle. Lucky for me , one of my friends saved my life and broke ranks and forced the Commander to take me out of there. His name is John Diem - and he is a fucking hero. He saved my life that day. I was extracted and brought for questioning by CID to fob Mahmudiyah. I was kept in confinement for 3 days being interrogated. They thought I was lying, trying to get out of the army. I stuck to my guns, and didn’t budge. I was terrified though - by this time I had realised there was no evidence. There was just my word against theirs. They threatened me with charges - false official sworn statement, perjury etc. They wanted to dishonourably discharge me and put me in jail. I was destroyed. It was hopeless. Because of the commander decision to blow the whole thing up and let everybody know what was happening, all the criminals had time to get their stories straight. It was my word against 5 people.
On the day we did the funerals (we didn’t have the bodies recovered yet, but Al-Qaeda had released videos of them being tortured/killed - so we knew they were dead) for Tucker, Menchaca and Babs, Howard, one of the criminals who covered it up broke during interrogation. He confessed that while he had no part in it, he was there and covered it up for the criminals, Cortez, Barker, Speilman and Green. He also told them that Yribe had covered it up as well.
Yribe copped a plea deal right away for immunity. With their testimony, the story broke and everybody knew I was telling the truth. I would have died, for sure. Murdered by my own men - had it not been for John Diem saving my life, forcing the Commander to pull me off the line at that checkpoint and bring me up to the base he was at.
I would have died if it wasn’t for the CID agent who broke Howard during interrogation. But he did - he broke him, and then everybody knew I was telling the truth. The only part left was owning it to the world. His name was Ryan Lenz. To this day he has protected his source who I think I know; I believe the source knew I was a good soldier - I had many friends die, I had gotten blown up, shot at, and picked up pieces of my friends and never quit once. I never asked for a break. I never felt sorry for myself. The source knew I wouldn’t lie - and knew that I wouldn’t try a stunt like this to get out of the army. I think that when the source found out that they were trying to charge me with crimes they leaked the story to the reporter to keep me safe.
There is no dignity in a violent death, Aqib. You don’t get to tell your wife you love her. You don’t get to say goodbye to your children. There is no music, or slow motion camera pan. You die on a dirty floor, a million miles away from home, bleeding all over yourself - suffocating on your own blood - until you pass out from low blood pressure. He expired when we were trying to save him. I do not know his name.
A professional will always try hard to save his enemy. Intelligence that can be gathered is crucial. Alive enemy are always better than dead. There is also honour in it. We always tried hard to save the enemy we captured.
 The Sunni Triangle (not to be confused with the ‘Triangle of Death’, a separate entity, 90km to the south of Baghdad) is an area defined by its high population of Sunni Arabs (as opposed to Shi’ites in the south east of Iraq and Kurds in the north) located roughly between the cities of Baghdad, Tikrit and Ramadi, and also contains within it the cities of Samarra and Fallujah. These cities were subject to the most intense fighting of the Iraq War, with almost 100 Coalition fatalities in just one month of fighting in Fallujah, and over 1,400 killed in Baghdad alone. The close proximity of the cities, high casualty rates for Coalition soldiers, resistance fighters and civilians, earned the Triangle the title of the ‘most dangerous place on Earth’.
 The NDAA passed by President Obama gives the federal government the power of ‘indefinite detention without charge or trial’ of any civilian suspected of terrorism or plotting against the United States, effectively dismantling the core of western civilisation going back to the Magna Carta.
 The PATRIOT ACT gives US law enforcement agencies unprecedented powers to search, and wiretap, an individual’s phone and allocate their financial transactions without them being notified.
 Guantanamo Bay, see ‘Gulag’.