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Investigation clears Marine

Posted by Richard on July 12, 2007

Remember the Haditha Marines? The media covered the charges in a frenzy, calling it the worst atrocity of the Iraq war. Time magazine called the three enlisted Marines accused of shooting Iraqi civilians "symbols of a war gone bad," and Congressman John Murtha called them "cold-blooded murderers." Four officers were accused of covering up the "atrocity."

Well, the first Article 32 investigation (analogous to a civlian grand jury investigation) of one of the accused murderers has concluded, and the investigating officer recommended dismissal of the charges against Lance Cpl. Justin Sharratt. A previous Article 32 investigation of one of the officers, Capt. Randy Stone, also recommended dismissal of charges.

Defend Our Marines has tons of information about the Haditha case and related matters. Gateway Pundit quoted the Fox News report, adding emphasis and editorializing a bit, and then asked what I assume is a rhetorical question about those who had so loudly trumpeted the charges:

The conclusion of the investigation was reported on Tuesday.
FOX News reported:

An investigating officer has recommended dismissing murder charges against a U.S. Marine accused in the slayings of three Iraqi men in a squad action that killed 24 civilians in the town of Haditha, according to a report.

The government's theory that Lance Cpl. Justin L. Sharratt had executed the three men was "incredible" and relied on contradictory statements by Iraqis, Lt. Col. Paul Ware said in the report, released Tuesday by Sharratt's defense attorneys.

"To believe the government version of facts is to disregard clear and convincing evidence to the contrary, and sets a dangerous precedent that, in my opinion, may encourage others to bear false witness against Marines as a tactic to erode public support of the Marine Corps and mission in Iraq," Ware wrote. (Ya think?)

… 

Do you suppose any of the media outlets will beg forgiveness for slandering this marine?

One of the problems with this kind of conflict and enemy is that it's difficult at best, and often impossible, to determine who is a "civilian." The enemy aren't "soldiers" wearing uniforms and marching under a battle flag. They can be shooting or planting explosives one minute and unarmed "civilians" the next. Or the "civilians" could be the family members, lookouts, and logistical support for the people doing the shooting.

I'm sure there are some bad apples among U.S. troops doing things for which they should be punished.

But I'm also certain that the Islamofascists, who've beaten us badly in the public relations war, have long been encouraging their partisans to bear false witness against U.S. troops in order to erode public support for the mission.

I'm just wondering if Rep. Jack Murtha and the others who aided and abetted our enemies in this matter cynically did so as a tactic to erode puplic support, or if they're merely what the communists used to call "useful idiots"?

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2 Responses to “Investigation clears Marine”

  1. formergeek said

    This blog as well as the next one “Snatching Defeat” really made my blood boil! I completely agree that the politicians and the mainstream media are hell-bent on defeat. This is our kids we are talking about and they deserve better! I wrote a blog about this which you can read at: http://boomerlife.blog-city.com/in_harms_way__our_children_going_off_to_war.htm

  2. yojoe said

    LtCol Chessani is not out of the woods. His IO recommended charges.

    http://dreadnaught.wordpress.com/2007/07/13/haditha-update-ltcol-chessani-and-cpl-sharratt-results-of-the-article-32/

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