Thursday, June 15, 2006

Haditha: Murtha/Media VS. Marines

A criminal defense attorney for a Marine under investigation in the Haditha killings says he will call a senior Democratic congressman as a trial witness, if his client is charged, to find out who told the lawmaker that U.S. troops are guilty of cold-blooded murder.

Attorney Neal A. Puckett told The Washington Times that Gen. Michael Hagee, the Marine commandant, briefed Rep. John P. Murtha, Pennsylvania Democrat, on the Nov. 19 killings of twenty-four Iraqis in the town north of Baghdad. Mr. Murtha later told reporters that the Marines were guilty of killing the civilians in "cold blood." Mr. Murtha said he based his statement on Marine commanders, whom he did not identify.

The Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) is expected to finish its probe by August, at which time Lt. Gen. John F. Sattler, who commands the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force at Pendleton, will decide whether to bring charges or not.

If the NCIS has done a good job in this investigation, then Marine commanders will not feel compelled to charge these guys with homicide," Mr. Puckett said. "But since Congressman Murtha has already judged these guys in public and folks have alleged a Marine Corp cover-up, I'm afraid that the Marine Corps will feel compelled to put these guys on trial to prove the Marine Corps hasn't done anything wrong in terms of a cover-up.

Attorneys will also likely question the authenticity of a videotape at the heart of the case and the credibility of the group that provided it.

The Marines have always acknowledged that it was likely that some of those killed on that day may have been innocent civilians, but that others were certainly not. They radioed back with an ESTIMATE of the collateral damage. It was first reported as twelve to fifteen. This, in my book, does not a "cover-up" make.

It looks more and more like the Marines did their job and reacted to an attack as trained following the rules of engagement and did not conduct a "massacre" in "cold blood" as the left media in Iraq so vehemently reported.


Blogger bethtopaz said...

Murtha has been unbelievably irresponsible (as have so many liberal democrat politicians) in pronouncing the Marines guilty of cold-blooded murder before an investigation and trial has been completed. I thought in this country people were considered innocent before being proven guilty. Oh, sorry, I forgot, that just applies to the real criminals and terrorists!

16/6/06 10:51  
Anonymous mre said...

Never was a fan of the Marines, you know we always had trouble with them in downtown Savannah, but I am with you on this, Murtha needs to watch what he is saying and just let the NCIS do their job and let the truth come out. He was a Marine once, what happened to Semper Fidelis? I hope they were in the right and were following SOP, if not then let the UCMJ handle them.

20/6/06 08:30  

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