Jimmy Massey: Marine staff sergeant tells all

Jimmy Massey: "I have been a psychopathic murderer"
by Rosa Miriam Elizalde*
Rosa Miriam: Before you went to Iraq you recruited youths for the marines. Can you describe a recruiting officer in the United States?

Jimmy Massey: A liar. The Bush administration has forced the US youths to join the armed forces and what the government basically does –and I did too—is trying to get people through economic incentives. During three years I recruited 74 youths who never told me that they wanted to join the armed forces because they wanted to defend their country or due to any patriotic reason. They wanted to get money to go to university or get a health insurance. So, I would first tell them about all those advantages and only in the end I would tell them that they will serve our homeland. I never happened to recruit the son of a rich person. In order to keep our job, we as recruiting officers, could not think of any scruples.
Rosa Miriam: When did you find out you had been deceived?

Jimmy Massey: Once in Iraq, where I arrived in March 2003. My platoon was ordered to go to the places formerly controlled by the Iraqi army and we saw thousands of thousands of ammunitions in boxes bearing the US label; they were there since the US had supported the Saddan government against Iran. I saw some boxes with the US flag on them and I even saw American tanks. My marines—I was a sergeant with E-6 category, a staff sergeant, which is a higher rank and I had 45 marines under my command— would ask me why there were US ammunitions in Iraq. They couldn’t understand it. CIA reports said that the Salmon Pac was a terrorist camp and that we would find chemical and biological weapons there, but we found nothing. In that moment I began to think that our real mission in Iraq was focused on oil.

Rosa Miriam: The most disturbing lines in your book are those in which you describe yourself as a psychopathic murderer. Could you explain why you said that?

Jimmy Massey: I was a psychopathic murderer because I was trained to kill. I was not born with that mentality. It was the Marines that trained me to be a gangster in the interest of US corporations, a criminal. They trained me to fulfill, without thinking, the orders of the President of the United States and bring him what he asked for, without any moral consideration. I was a psychopath because we were trained to shoot first and ask later, as an insane person would act, not a professional soldier that is to face another soldier. If we had to kill women and children, we would do it; therefore, we were not soldiers, we were mercenaries.
Rosa Miriam: You shot at them with your machineguns?

Jimmy Massey: Yes, We expected to see explosions every time we riddle the cars with bullets; but we never heard or see an explosion. Then we opened the car and all we found was people killed or wounded, not a single weapon, not a single Al Qaeda propaganda, nothing. We only found civilians in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Rosa Miriam: In your book, you also described how your platoon machine-gunned peaceful demonstrators. Is that right?

Jimmy Massey: Right. In the surroundings of the Rasheed Military Complex, South of Baghdad and near the Tigris River, there was a group of people staging a demonstration, right at the end of the street. They were youths; they had no weapons. So, when we advanced, we saw a tank parked on one side of the street, the driver told us that they were peaceful demonstrators. If those Iraqi people had had any violent intentions, they would have blown up the tank; but they did not. They were only staging a demonstration. That calmed us down because we thought that «if they were there to shoot at us, they had already had enough time to do so. » They were standing about 200 meters from our patrol.

Rosa Miriam: Who gave the order to shoot at the demonstrators?

Jimmy Massey: We were told by the high command to keep watching those civilians, because many combatants with the Republican Forces had taken off their uniforms and were wearing civilian clothes to undertake terrorist attacks against US soldiers. The intelligence reports we received were known basically by every member in the commanding chain. All marines were well aware about the structure of the commanding chain that was set up in Iraq. I think that the order to shoot at the demonstrators came from high-rank US administration officers, which included both military intelligence agencies and governmental circles.
Rosa Miriam: And when your marines found out that they had been deceived, what was their reaction?

Jimmy Massey: I was second in command. My marines asked me why we were killing so many civilians. « Can you talk to the lieutenant? », the answer was «No». But when they found out that it all was a lie, they were really mad.
Our first mission in Iraq was not aimed at offering humanitarian assistance, as the media said, but to secure oil fields in Bassora. In the city of Karbala, we used our artillery during 24 hours; it was the first city we attacked. I thought we were there to give the population food and medical assistance. Negative. We kept on advancing towards the oil fields.
Before arriving in Iraq we went to Kuwait. We got there in January 2003 with our vehicles loaded with food and medicines. I asked the lieutenant what we were going to do with all those supplies, since we had little room for us with so much stuff. He told me that his captain had ordered him to download everything in Kuwait. Shortly after that, we were ordered to burn everything, all the food and the medical supplies.
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