Steven D. Green

Steven D. Green
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Thursday, April 30, 2009


Day 3

The cross of Colonel Kunk got a little more exciting today. Green opted out of the sweater vest and in with a light blue button down(why am I writing about court fashion style?). During the cross, Darren Wolff once again had conflicts with Kunk. Questioned over the burning of the soldier’s FOB(forward operating base), Kunk testified that the soldiers “lost some of their personal property,” with Wolff trying to assert the morale downturn the soldiers would have had after losing their “homely” items. Wolff forced Kunk into agreeing that he did put all involved soldiers in the same place(TCP2) on March 12th. Kunk skillfully evaded saying what Wolff was trying to extrude from him(a la “maybe if I hadn’t put the soldiers there, it wouldn’t have happened”). Wolff then used the technology in the room to diagram the bases(touch screens with projectors, the drawings and exhibits being show to the jury). A re-make of said diagram shown here:

When confronted about his testimony in the other soldier’s Article 32s(courts marshal), Kunk consented to the fact that he had stated that Cortez, Spielman, and Green were all “wallowing in [their] self pity.” Green perked up at this segway in the back-and-forth. Down the hypothetical “road” a ways, proceedings stalled again when Wolff inquired as to whether or not Kunk had identified Green as having combat stress issues. “No I did not,” he denied. In his previous testimony, Kunk stated he had(plot thickens).
Kunk spoke of the time he counseled to Green about his officer’s deaths and the grief that came with it. He spoke of asking Green if he thought “all Iraqis were bad,” to which Green reportedly responded “no not all off the Iraqis are bad.” Kunk said he questioned Green about his meaning of “not all,” and that Green spoke of how frustrating it was to “not be able to tell who was an insurgent and who wasn’t.” One of the larger points in today’s events, Kunk admitted that Colonel Ebel, himself, and Captain Goodwin all knew that Green was having “violent tendencies towards Iraqis and wanted to kill them.”
Next, [former] Sgt. Anthony Yribe(“ya-ree-bay”) testified for the prosecution. Upon entry, Yribe nodded to his former soldier and friend across the courtroom(Green). The then-Sergeant was charged with derelict of duty and falsifying information to a superior officer; once brought to trial, Yribe signed a plea agreement allowing him out of the Army on an “other than honorable” discharge, in addition to truthful testimony in his co-defendant’s cases, obviously including this one.
Yribe spoke of his supervision of four soldiers, and of operations at the various TCPs, stating that TCP life consisted of “primarily guard duty.” He talked about his teamwork with defendant Green in rushing the bodies of Sgt. Nelson and SSgt. Casica back to medical facilities in hopes of saving their lives. Personally, I noticed the militaristic style that Yribe exhibited. Except when directed to explain further, all of Yribe’s answers consisted of short, curt replies of “yes” or “no.” Perhaps not a surprise but more of a formality, his direct examination with Prosecuting Attorney James Lesousky seemed oddly rehearsed at times.
He was questioned on the whereabouts of the bodies upon being called to examine the crime scene. The prosecution unveiled a to-scale model of the Al-Janabi house to assist Yribe with this, murmuring about being “careful” because it “cost a lot of money.”[Note: In general terms, the “United States” has spent or is spending anywhere from $4 to $6 million dollars in prosecuting and vying for the death penalty for Green…there’s your tax dollars at work, America]
Next were pictures that the former Sgt. Took of the crime scene upon his arrival. Skipping over the menial details… Exhibit 7D, a picture of Qassim Hamza Rasheed dead, laying face down on the floor with brain matter scattered in.. multiple places around him… caused several visible and audible grimaces within the crowd, with Green looking down but eyeing the jury. After pictures of all bodies were shown, Green was seen rubbing his eyes/forehead.
Yribe spoke of Green’s “confession” to the crimes, and of Specialist James Barker’s hearing the confession but saying nothing, something that the Defense would later play upon. As he spoke of his realization that Spc. Green was telling the truth, Def. Green anxiously bit his nails.
When attorneys asked Yribe why he didn’t turn Green in, Yribe murmured, “It was kind of….out of sight out of mind? I didn’t understand the gravity of the situation.”
During his cross-examination, Yribe was, for the most part, accepting and cooperative. As previously mentioned, Yribe was questioned on Barker’s presence during Green’s “confession” to the murder. The defense made light of Green’s confessing that he and he alone did the murders, with Barker saying nothing and confessing to nothing, even though he had every opportunity to do so. Scott Wendelsdorf(D) pondered, “Is it true that if Green had said nothing to you, these crimes would have gone unsolved?” to which Yribe confirmed. Wendelsdorf also pointed out that the only lie Pfc. Green told was that he was the only one who committed the crimes, while Barker “stood there, cool as a cucumber.”
When the cross showed pictures of Casica & Nelson’s assailant/murderer(gory…more brains), Yribe stated that what [we in the court] were seeing was “not that bad.” He testified that the deaths of Casica, Nelson, Britt, and Lopez would have “absolutely affected the morale of the troops.” Defense attorneys asked how long a soldier could live in the conditions that the five soldiers involved were living in, before succumbing to fatigue and sleep deprivation. “3 to 4 days,” Yribe answered, “I mean it’s 120ยบ out there, it’s kind of hard to sleep.” Regarding the morning IED searches, Yribe sadly intoned “you get used to the fact that you’re gonna die, you become numb, fatalistic.” The cross inquired: When asked how you could tell if someone was a good guy or a bad guy, Yribe flatly stated “You couldn’t.” “This war didn’t break you did it?” “No.” “Do you know people it has broken?” A curt, definitive “yes.” “Destroyed…?” “Yes.”

On that note I’m going to end this particular blog post. It’s 1 AM. Yes, some CID agent named Terry testified for nearly three hours. But whereas Yribe testified for two and I got seven pages of notes out of him, Terry testified for three hours and I only got half of a page. Minus a legal squabble over a shell casing, the only “important” thing was that an investigation occurred.
Notes: -Many objections today, and much sustainment, causing one Attorney Wendelsdorf much frustration, albeit I think he tried to hide it.
-For those not living in Paducah and unable to see for themselves, the NSA allegedly had watch over the court house for a month prior to the trial’s beginning for fear of bombs/retaliation. Even as the court proceeds, police officers are stationed on three street corners outside the front door of the courthouse.
-Expect the blogs to decrease in size—I, being an almost graduated high school student, must maintain grades so that I can indeed graduate, therefore I won’t be at the courthouse all day everyday as I have been. Don’t worry, I won’t miss anything important, therefore you won’t either. Keep spreadin’ the word, folks!

1 comment:

  1. You are smokin' some mainstream media ass on this gig. Keep strokin' the keys.