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IRAQ: Marine refuses to testify against 'brother'


A Marine combat veteran from Iraq has been thrown into federal jail after refusing to testify against his former squad leader before a grand jury in Los Angeles.

Although granted immunity, Sgt. Jermaine A. Nelson, 26, refused Wednesday to testify against former Marine Sgt. Jose Luis Nazario (above, without briefcase) in a case involving the battle in Fallouja in late 2004.

Nelson's attorney, Joseph Low, a former Marine, said that Nelson fell to his knees and began to pray as U.S. District Judge Percy Anderson warned that he would be held in contempt and jailed if he refused to testify.

Low said that Nelson will not testify against Nazario because Nazario saved his life on numerous occasions in Iraq.

"He believes in God, country and Corps, and that he is doing the right thing by not testifying against his brother Marine," Low said after spending several hours with Nelson on Friday at the federal jail in Los Angeles. "His view is that if he has to suffer because of this, so be it."

Nelson and Nazario have been charged with killing unarmed prisoners during the battle in Fallouja rather than take time to process them according to Geneva Convention rules.

Court documents say the Marines killed the prisoners after getting a desperate call for help from other Marines pinned down in a firefight.

Under federal rules, a witness who has been given immunity loses his or her 5th Amendment right not to testify. A balky witness can be kept in jail until the grand jury expires, which could be months.

Nazario is charged in federal court in Riverside, Nelson in the military system at Camp Pendleton. Low said Anderson has set a hearing for next week to see if several days in jail can convince Nelson to testify.

"It can't," Low said.

—Tony Perry, in San Diego

Photo: Former Marine Sgt. Jose Luis Nazario, right, enters court with two attorneys. Credit: Associated Press

P.S. The Los Angeles Times issues a free daily newsletter with the latest headlines from the Middle East, the war in Iraq and the frictions between the West and Islam. You can subscribe by registering at the website here, logging in here and clicking on the World: Mideast newsletter box here.

Comments () | Archives (22)

On April 20, 1944, I witnessed (saw) a ship blown up with 680 men aboard, 608 Army Air Force, the rest 72 U.S. Navy Armed Guard and U.S. Merchant Marine, aboard the S.S. Paul Hamilton, all gone in seconds. (

Sgt. Nelson and Sgt. Nazario responded as best they could under the circumstances. Their concern and duty is to their fellow Marines and countrymen in order to ensure their survival, not that of the enemy. A wrong decision might have caused a greater loss of life to their comrades, even the loss of a battle. I respect their decision.

I have a friend who shot three men under similar circumstances rather than risk losing his own life alone and in enemy territory, and I have never questioned his decision. At times I am sure that it bothers him, but I would never judge him. He survived the war; they did not. It's that simple.

Nobody loves a Marine untill the ENEMY is at the gate...I believe Lewis Puller (CHESTY) said it best when giving a personal observation of the state of America's military after Korea. If we don't maintain a strong offensive capability, 'A hardier race will conquer us and breed with our women!' Laugh if you will, but the next 3 years or so will determine...1. whether we can hold our borders 2. whether or not we can repel an assault from within our Nation by prepositioned agents with nuclear capability AND from a leadership which has already sold our sovreignty down the road for baubles 3. whether we can hold what we will have left of this country. War is brutal, lady, and if those two Marines have their way it will never touch you. Wake up.
Semper Fidelis

Semper Fidelis Marine.
God country and corps.
Carry on Marine you serve your brothers well.

To Melanie, Percy (hee hee), and other Robot Marxist Scum:

When they come for you with their Sharia Law, honor killings and misogynistic tyrrany, will you embrace them with your burkha-clad arms? You snivelling twits, how dare you judge a situation that you yourselves would never dare to endure. How dare you judge those who keep evil and evil-doers at bay, far from your elitist enclaves and pseudo-intellectual cafe-klatches. You simpering, elitist snobs...may you rot in your self-inflicted Marxist hell!

The scum vermin who are bringing these men to trial are the real criminals. If the court documents are correct, they certainly did the right thing without question.
"Court documents say the Marines killed the prisoners after getting a desperate call for help from other Marines pinned down in a firefight."

The Geneva and any Rule, Regulation or Law is a GUIDE that should always be tempered with common sense. When rules make criminals out of Honorable men who make the hard decisions under life and death situations then the rules lose.
Suppose they had ignored the pinned Down Marines calls for help and traded their lives for the Terrorist scum, then they'd be no better than the people in the legal system trying them.

In my day there were them and us, U.S. Marines talk the talk these days BUT it is great to see one walk the walk! Sgt Nelson if you or your camp read this, email me, I want to shake your hand & tell you how proud I am of you for this action as well as all you have done for American's, those who deserve you & those who dont.

God, Country, Corps!
Retired USMC
Joshua St.Ives

"All those military robots stick together." - Melanie Sansom

Amen, Melanie! Amen!

Sgt. Nelson, your courage is commensurate with your character, as an ex-Special Forces soldier I admire your ability to conduct your self as a Man, a true American!
C. Burch

Thank God there are still some REAL MARINES left. Mertha is a great example of what a MARINE SHOULD NOT be. Stank by your brother Marines first and always.
There is nobody in the US Government that will. I an ex-Navy (Viet Nam). I knew a lot of real Marines then, and have TOTAL RESPECT FOR THEM.

Excuse me, but The Geneva Convention is a CONTRACT agreed to by NATIONS who have agreed on how their soldiers will conduct themselves, and how they will be treated when captured.

The vermin we are fighting aren't members of an army of a nation that signed. MORE important, they themselves do not follow these rules. They are not entitled to ANY protections.

THEY decided to enter that fight. Those who feel qualified to criticize these brave men do so in safety and comfort. Decisions in battle can be very, very simple. (Thought I was going to say something else, didn't you.)

Somebody is GOING to die in the next few moments, the only question is WHO?, and the decision is YOURS.

Wow! Finally we find someone who undersstands brotherhood and honor. Unlike wars of the past, Americans expect our marines and soldiers to fight a war with no colateral damage. And when there is a death due to colateral damage, we want to charge those who protect us with murder. Why we have allowed those who have no understanding about the military and war weigh in so heavily on these matters I will never understand. Americans must understand, "We have sent young men barely out of shcool into a world of unknown dangers. While they should do all in their power to elliviate colateral damage and mistakes in which civilians may be killed, we must understand they are human and very few have seen situations in which they are put in. We should be very very cautious when making a decision to prosecute a marine or soldier for somehting done while trying to perform their duties."

The socialist and libs are trying to tear this Country apart. My wife and I both served in the Marine Corps. I am proud that we have men like this in these dangerous times.
Prepare folks, get ready, there is a major storm coming and "IF" we come throught it the Country will not look the same. Read your Bible, and get your family ready for the hard times to come.
Thank God for men like these.

And Melanie is correct. It is precisely the act of sticking together that keeps you alive in combat, not that she would have any clue about that sort of thing.

Name, rank, serial number.

Semper Fidelis, Brother!

Thank you Sgt. Jermaine A. Nelson for standing up for what is RIGHT!! Thank you God and give him strength.

Maybe all these civilian trials will stop soon... IF Murtha keeps his yap shut and not say things he knows nothing about.

Melanie Sansom and Percy Anderson (who would name they son percy??) should get down on their knees and thank GOD, and the Corps we have Marines such as this, to allow these two idiots the right of free speech. percy does not realize the fact, it is not himself sitting on the bench that gives anyone freedom, but it is the Marines and fighting men of this country that do. If it was not for our Military he could not sit, and just people in the safety of a court room, but most likely be shot by an insurgent from who ever knows where. And the same goes for miss robot, do you truly believe freedom is just there for asking? What have you done for this country beside degrade the military who protects you? - nothing!

Semper Fidelis



From My Book, GET SOME!


The fact of the matter is, WAR CHANGES MEN'S NATURES. The abominations of war are seldom committed by abnormal men. The tragedy of war is that these horrors are committed by normal men in abnormal situations. The situation in which the ebb and flow of every day life have departed and have been replaced by constant round fear and anger, blood and death.

SOLDIERS AT WAR ARE NOT TO BE JUDGED BY CIVILIAN RULES, AS THE PROSECUTION IS ATTEMPTING TO DO Even though they commit acts that are commonly view afterward can only be seen as unchristian and brutal and if in any war, PARTICULAR GUERRILLA WAR, all the men who committed these acts were to be charged and tried as murders, Courts Marshal like these would be in permanent sessions. Would they not?


Defense for Lieutenant Harry Harbord Breaker Morant.

The nights a trifle chilly,
And the stars are very bright.
A heavy dew is falling,
But the tents are rigged all right.

You may rest your bones till morning,
Then if you chance to wait.
Give me a call about the time,
That daylight starts to break.

In prison cell I sadly sit-
A damned crestfallen chappy
And own to you I feel a bit-
A little bit-unhappy

It really ain't the place or time,
To reel off rhyming diction-
But yet we'll write a final rhyme,
While waiting cru-ci-fixion

No matter what end they decide-
Quicklime or boiling oil, sir,
We'll do our best when crucified
To finish off in style, Sir

But we bequeath a parting tip
As sound advice for such men
Who come across in transport ship
To polish off the Dutchmen!

If you encounter any Boers
You really must not loot 'em-
And if you wish to leave these shores
For pity's sake, don't shoot 'em

Let's toss a bumper down our throats-
Before we pass to heaven.
And toast a trim set petticoat-
We leave behind in Devan.

Lieutenant Harry Harbord Breaker Morant.
Bushmen's Regiment, detached Bush Veldt Carbineers
Australian Army. Boer War
26th February 1902
Written the day before his unjust execution by the British Army Court


Good man, that Marine. We need more like him.

I back this young man's thoughts 100%. How can our courts order fellow GIs to testify against their fellow troops? If you testify against your fellow man, do you think you can trust them to stand by you in combat?

This is not a war as we have known them before. They are not in uniform, how do you know when to shoot? Until you are shot at?

Your fellow GIs are in danger, re-act the best way possible. Kill you enemy? Hell yes!

Either let brothers die, or kill an enemy prisoner..The choice is a no-brainer..

For Melanie, those "robots" give you your freedom..
As has been said, stand behind them, or get out in front..

Semper Fi Marine

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