Army calls Ranger's war-crime claims baseless

SR-25

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Shortly after Luke Sommer was arrested in connection with the takeover robbery of a Tacoma bank in August, the former Army Ranger told Canadian police he had orchestrated the heist — and his capture — to expose war crimes by U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

But an Army investigation into Sommer's claims concluded "the offenses did not occur as [Sommer] alleged," according to a recently declassified report.

The inquiry into Sommer's war-crimes claims, conducted by the Army's Criminal Investigative Division (CID) in Fort Belvoir, Va., was completed Oct. 25, 2006. The Seattle Times recently received a copy of the seven-page investigative report in reply to a Freedom of Information Act request.

Sommer, who holds dual U.S.-Canadian citizenship, disappeared last month from his mother's home in Peachland, B.C., where he was on house arrest for his alleged involvement in the robbery of the Bank of America branch on South Tacoma Way. He was scheduled to face an extradition hearing last week.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police have issued a warrant for Sommer's arrest. He was last seen June 27.

Before the Tacoma robbery, Sommer was a specialist attached to C Company, 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment based at Fort Lewis.

Shortly before 5:15 p.m. on Aug. 7, a silver Audi A4 pulled up behind the bank branch. Four masked men wearing body armor got out and stormed the bank.

One of the robbers leaped a glass barrier and collected cash. Another put a gun to a teller's head and ordered her to open the vault. Two men armed with AK-47s kept watch.

Two minutes and 21 seconds later, they left with $54,011.

The FBI would later say the robbery was carried out with "military-style precision and planning."

A witness who saw the car provided police with a license-plate number, which was traced to an Army Ranger at Fort Lewis.

Sommer was arrested in Westbank, B.C., on Aug. 11. Federal prosecutors alleged that Sommer's motive for the robbery was to raise funds to start a crime family to rival the Hells Angels for control of the drug trade in the Kelowna, B.C., area. But Sommer told The Seattle Times in December that his motive was, rather, to gain notoriety that he could use to expose war crimes by U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Shortly after his arrest, Sommer told authorities about a variety of war crimes he allegedly witnessed in Iraq in 2004 and Afghanistan in 2005, according to a transcript of the interview. Sommer said he saw a woman raped by members of the Army's elite Delta Force while guarding prisoners in Baghdad and said some of his fellow Rangers had videotaped evidence that Navy Seals murdered handcuffed prisoners in Afghanistan.

Canadian authorities notified the U.S. military, and an inquiry into Sommer's claims began Sept. 12.

"All investigative activity, including pertinent interviews and thorough review of official reports and documents, did not establish any evidence to corroborate [Sommer's] allegations of rape in Iraq and murder in Afghanistan," according to the report.

Interviews with Rangers

The bulk of the investigation consisted of interviews with 14 current and former Rangers at Fort Lewis on Sept. 26 and 27. Virtually everyone interviewed said that they did not believe Sommer's allegations, they had not heard the stories previously and they did not believe there was evidence to support them.

Sommer's platoon sergeant called Sommer's war-crimes claims "ridiculous and untrue."

Sommer said the rape he witnessed in Baghdad occurred in the back of an empty truck trailer.

But Sommer's platoon sergeant said he "didn't recall any female detainees during that deployment and related there were no 'trailers' at the [site]."

Several sergeants who served with Sommer likewise said they did not remember any female prisoners during their unit's deployment to Iraq.

The investigator later reviewed "operational records and documents" and determined the "only female detainees identified during the month of October 2004" — when Sommer was in Baghdad — "were captured after [Sommer] departed and therefore have no relevance."

Execution story denied

Sommer's allegations of executions by Navy Seals in Afghanistan in 2005 receive scant attention in the report, but a staff sergeant who said he was Sommer's first team leader said he "suspected he was the Ranger [whom Sommer] was referring to as having originated the execution story ... because he is the only one of [Sommer's] peers to have risen to a squad leader."

But the staff sergeant "emphatically denied" telling such a story to Sommer, and "denied ever hearing such a story from anyone and was unaware of any such wrongdoing."

CID did not interview any representatives of Delta Force or the Navy Seals, and no interviews were done in Iraq or Afghanistan.

Nonetheless, the military says it has no doubt that Sommer's war-crimes allegations are groundless.

"We have complete trust and confidence in the abilities of the CID to conduct a thorough and complete investigation, and we are satisfied with the results of their investigation," said Lt. Col. Edward Nye, a spokesman for U.S. Army Special Operations Command at Fort Bragg, N.C.

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2003791084_sommer16m.html
 

104TN

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A criminal and a blue falcon. Nice.
Have fun in jail dude. What goes around comes around.
 

Centermass

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His claims surfaced once he was in Canada.

He did this as a political block to fight extradition back to the US. It worked and was still working until he recently fled and since disappeared while under house arrest.

He's a dumbass, liar and a bonafide POS.
 
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