Maries said he saw a prisoner beaten repeatedly with an aluminum bar, then kicked in the head. Eventually unnerved by the severity of the beatings, Maries radioed commanders of the Oregon Guard's 2nd Battalion, 162nd Infantry that he was prepared to shoot at least one of the Iraqi guards.
According to his statement, Maries explained that, "If they escalate this to deadly physical force, I will engage within the ROE (rules of engagement). By 'engage,' " his statement says, "I meant that I would kill any individual demonstrating deadly force."
"I would have," Maries replied when asked if he would have actually killed an Interior Ministry employee. But, he added, when he called the base and said he was prepared to shoot, "I did it to get a response."
Maries said he was "disgusted" by the order to withdraw, and he said other Oregon soldiers felt the same way. "The platoon lost motivation" when it was required to return the prisoners to the guards they had disarmed, he said.
Capt. Jarrell Southall, who was part of the group that entered the compound to stop the beatings, said it was painful to see the prisoners returned to their captors. Southall, a Muslim from Newark, Calif., said he is "haunted by memories of these people."