War elicits in humans a range of behavior from altruistic to vicious. Steven Dale Green is accused of raping an Iraqi girl, killing her and then her family. The deaths occurred in March, 2006 during heavy fighting in Iraq. Colonel Todd Ebel, one of his commanding officers testified that he had talked with Green about losing soldiers to enemy fire and the soldier said he did not think it was fair that the enemy could dress as civilians and that American soldiers should have the right to kill them. Prosecutors say Green and fellow soldiers attacked the family in their home. After killing the girl, Green burned her body.
Colonel thomas Kunk also testified that he heard from soldiers that Americans might have been involved in the death of the family. “I either needed to prove it or disprove it.” Who knows what Green thought as he killed a girl and her family. Did he view the assault as justified because his comrades had died? Did he believe all Iraqis were responsible for the deaths of Americans? The tortured mind of this young man carries the mysteries of combat and even he may never be able to answer these questions.