The bodies of two U.S. soldiers reported captured last week have been recovered, and an Iraqi defense ministry official said Tuesday the men were "killed in a barbaric way." The U.S. military said the remains were believed to be those of Pfc. Kristian Menchaca, 23, of Houston, and Pfc. Thomas L. Tucker, 25, of Madras, Ore.
Maj. Gen. William Caldwell said U.S. forces - part of a search involving some 8,000 American and Iraqi troops - found the bodies late Monday near Youssifiyah, where they disappeared Friday. The bodies were recovered early Tuesday.
Caldwell said the cause of death was "undeterminable at this point," and that the bodies would be taken back to the United States for DNA tests to confirm the identities.
Al-Qaida in Iraq claimed responsibility for killing the soldiers, and said the successor to slain terror leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi had "slaughtered" them, according to a Web statement that could not be authenticated. The language in the statement suggested the men had been beheaded.
UPDATE: It hasn't taken long for right-wing bloggers to start attacking the family of one of the murdered troops. One of the men's uncles made a television appearance criticizing the war, which mean he's "sick" and has "no shame." In the wake of Ann Coulter's assertion that 9/11 widows were happy their husbands had died, America's neo-fascists march on.