HADITHA: CRIME AND PUNISHMENT
|by Sarah Meyer|
Updated 20 March 2009
AP reported on 20 October that two servicemen will face court martials. "Lt. Col. Jeffrey R. Chessani faces charges of dereliction of duty and violation of a lawful order on allegations that he mishandled the aftermath of the Nov. 19, 2005... Lance Cpl. Stephen B. Tatum, was ordered to face a court-martial on charges of involuntary manslaughter, reckless endangerment and aggravated assault." Involuntary manslaughter?
On 22 June 2006, I published The Haditha Doctor and The Media Dissemblers. This research covered the story of the murders in Haditha and explored the sordid media disinformation as well as their wealthy funders.
Following is the story of the Haditha murder cases from 22 June until the present moment. The persistant, ugly and disgraceful media disinformation that accompanied these trials is also included. The worst example of the disinformation was, I think, in the Wall Street Journal , who called the whole incident "The massacre that wasn't, and its political exploitation."
The "exploitation" was by the right-wing press and not by those telling the Haditha story. The media lies are an on-going pattern with the american right wing press. This 'press' gets away with its lies in the same way that the US administration gets away with lies. No one is punished, no one is labeled as a war criminal, no one is impeached. Only occasionally is there "accountability." Not only should all the Haditha rapists and murderers be court martialled; they, and the US administration, should be jailed for WAR CRIMES. If all crimes, including those of security companies - most especially Blackwater, Caci and Aegis - are to be called 'political exploitation' -- then what Mark Danner wrote is a chilling foresight indeed:
"One of the most painful principles of our age is that scandals are doomed to be revealed -- and to remain stinking there before us, unexcised, unpunished, unfinished." Mark Danner (31.03.07).
16.12.04. TomDispatch.com Michael Massing on Iraq coverage and the election.
22.06.06. Yahoo news. ACLU seeks disclosure of Pentagon files on Haditha.
07.07.06. CBS. An investigation into the cover-up of the alleged murder of 24 Iraqi civilians in the town of Haditha last November concludes Marine officers at every level up to and including the colonel who commanded the regiment failed to investigate inaccurate and conflicting reports of how the civilians were killed. Haditha Probe Reveals 'Red Flags.'
08.07.06. Schmitt / Cloud, NY Times. General Faults Marine Response to Iraq Killings.
02.08.06.AP. Source: Haditha evidence implicates marines.
Inquiry Suggests Marines Excised Files on Killings.
18.08.06. D.Cloud, NY Times / uruknet.
Rules of engagement: What were they at Haditha?
10.10.06. R. Whittle, CS Monitor. If marines are charged with killing as many as 24 Iraqi civilians, defense lawyers will argue the soldiers followed the rules.
How the Israeli lobby uses intimidation to prevent academic freedom in the U.S.
11.11.06. Video. At Columbia, the professors in the Middle East department believe there's a civil war under way for the hearts and minds of Americans. Discussion on the watchdog, Campus Watch.
Haditha 'massacre' - one year on
19.11.06. D. Loyn, BBC. Women and children died in the attack in Haditha. The anniversary of the killings in Haditha - the worst single massacre of Iraqis attributed to US troops - could not have come at a worse time for the US forces, with other cases now reaching conclusions in the courts, including one that ended in a life sentence.
Marines likely to face charges in Haditha killings, congressman says
06.12.06. Financial Times. A congressman said Wednesday that about six Marines would be charged in the killing of 24 civilians, many of them women and children, last year in the Iraqi town of Haditha.
U.S., Iraqi troops seal off Haditha - residents
08.12.06. Reuters. The U.S. military said troops were manning checkpoints and building a sand berm to crack down on insurgents in Haditha and in neighbouring Barwana. It said U.S. troops were protecting "the population and good citizens of Haditha".
But residents in Haditha, which is at the centre of a U.S. military investigation into the deaths of two dozen civilians in November 2005 by U.S. Marines, said electricity has been cut off and that no food is being allowed into the city, they said.
Marine To Be Charged in Haditha Case
18.12.06. AP / Yahoo news.
U.S. military to announce Haditha charges Thursday
18.12.06. Reuters. The U.S. military plans to charge Marines in the killing of 24 civilians in Haditha, Iraq, on Thursday, according to sources familiar with the case. The November 2005 killings, which enraged Iraqis, are one of a series of cases in which U.S. service members have been accused, and some convicted, of being involved in killing Iraqi civilians. The charges in the Haditha case could include murder and are expected against at least five Marines, defense officials said.
Iraqis: Marines in Haditha case should be tried in Iraq
21.12.06. USA Today.
Haditha Residents on Charged Marines: Let Us Have Them
22.12.06. NY Times. Dr. Waleed Al-Obeidi, 41, the director-general of Haditha hospital said: If they plan to implement justice, then we welcome this step to refer the eight marines to the court, but we have our doubts in American justice. The verdict will be life sentences for four of them and the other four will be released, according to what we heard in the media. They blamed one soldier in the killing of a whole family, while it was carnage. The Iraqi government should have summoned those soldiers and executed them. (cont )
Human Rights Advocates Not Satisfied with Haditha Charges
22.12.06. A. Glantz. "Not one of the victims' families is represented," he added. "No lawyer from the victims' families is represented. So you can see the basic idea of justice and fairness is actually not available."
Dr. Salam Ismael says many Iraqis would like to see the American soldiers brought to trial in Iraqi courts--a position shared by the country's elected prime minister Nouri al-Maliki, who has demanded an end to the immunity U.S. soldiers currently enjoy under Iraqi law.
"Why are you afraid of being ruled by the law of the country that you're supposedly trying to liberate?" he asked rhetorically. "That's the question--it's a simple question I would like to ask the American people."
International human rights groups have a different concern. They note that since the September 11th attacks five years ago, no officer above the rank of major has been charged in connection with torture or the abuse of detainees in U.S. custody.
Four US marines charged with Iraq murders
22.12.06. S. Goldenerg, Guardian. Eight face life sentence over Haditha killings Court hearing follows admission of cover-up.
Haditha Investigation Finds Military Press Reports Inaccurate
22.12.06. KPBS. A nine month military investigation into what actually happened in Haditha in November 2005 concludes the original military press reports on the event were not true.
When the Press Dropped the Ball on Haditha
22.12.06. G. Mitchell, Editor and Publisher.
RAPID RESPONSE MEDIA ALERT: THE LIBERATED AND THE DEAD
22.12.06. Media Lens. The BBC On The Haditha Massacre
22.12.06. More good links from gentle, wise Musafir.
Haditha charges raise questions
23.12.06. Boston Herald editorial. The lodging of criminal charges against eight Marines in connection with the killing of 24 Iraqi civilians 13 months ago is a sad and absolutely necessary duty for the Marine Corps.
The charging of four officers with dereliction of duty for failure to report what they knew or failure to investigate - in effect, a coverup of what happened in three Haditha homes - is particularly important. It represents a re-affirmation of the important principle of an officers responsibility for what troops under his command do, something the armed forces have not always pursued with rigor in recent years.
Viewpoint: Breaking Haditha
23.12.06. T. McGirk, Time. "During the months after the Haditha story broke, I became the target of bloggers, self-proclaimed patriots, for supposedly dragging the fine reputation of the Marines through the mud. Nothing about this story made me feel good save for one thing: until TIME's investigation, one of the Marines the squad leader, Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich was in line to receive a medal for heroism for what he did that terrible day. According to press reports, the recommenda tion says that Wuterich, 26, displayed "calm and confident decisiveness that day and doubtlessly prevented further injury or death to fellow Marines and innocent civilians." Today, Wuterich faces 13 counts of unpremeditated murder. None of his victims were armed; most were the elderly, women and children."
Haditha: The Mai Lai of Iraq
26.12.06. Sarah Meyer, Index Research. In spite of all the evidence in The Haditha Doctor and the Media Dissemblersabout media who accept vast sums of money from foundations to perpetrate their cover-up P.R., the right wing media is still trying to twist the Haditha facts: specifically, "Heidi" and Robin Boyd / Newsbusters
The Brits Blow Our Cover Pt. 2
27.12.06. "K. Jarrell", Euphoric Reality. "The lady doth protest too much, methinks". (Shakespeare: Hamlet)
Death in Haditha
06.01.07. J. White, Washington Post. graph
Marines' Photos Provide Graphic Evidence in Haditha Probe
07.01.07. J. White, Washington Post. The images -- which investigators tracked down on several laptop computers and digital media drives, some in the United States -- provide visual evidence of a series of shootings outside a taxi and inside three homes that military criminal investigators have alleged were murders.
Chilling new evidence of Haditha massacre
07.01.07. C. Freeman, Telegraph
Haditha and Mai Lai: Lessons from the Law of War
07.01.07. Geoffrey Corn, The Jurist.
Washing War Crimes at the Washington Post
18.01.07. Ahmed Amr, Dissident Voice. "You can read all about the nasty business of washing war crimes at the Washington Post. They start with fixing the headline "Death in Haditha" -- not "Mass Murder in Haditha" or "Another American Atrocity in Iraq." Next, forget the damning details, screw the truth and give the perpetrators all the room in the world to blame their conduct on "mistakes" made in the heat of battle amidst the fog of war."
Censoring Our Educators
01.03.06. M. O-Regan, Utne.com / Truthout. A nationwide effort is underway in statehouses to censor professors. David Horowitz, a right-wing political pundit who penned the "Academic Bill of Rights" as a guideline to intellectual freedom for students, is leading the movement and driving a number of legislative bills that would prevent instructors from voicing potentially controversial opinions. Free Exchange on Campus says, "Censoring what can and cannot be taught and discussed in the classroom, as the misleadingly titled 'Academic Bill of Rights' and so-called 'intellectual diversity' proposals attempt to do, curbs campus debate and limits learning." See also An Attack Dog Coming to a School Near You: The Witch-Hunts of David Horowitz by Dana Cloud (dissident voice 07.03.07).
Natalie Smolenski '07: War: The surest path to war crimes
06.03.07. Brown Daily Herald. "The military's reluctance to critically investigate its own conduct becomes apparent when we hear representatives characterize military operations in Iraq. Sidney Blumenthal described in Salon Magazine how Marine spokesman Jeffrey Pool ridiculed reporters for swallowing "al-Qaeda propaganda" in the Haditha case: "I cannot believe you're buying any of this," he wrote in an e-mail. Furthermore, the military did not even attempt to investigate what happened in Haditha until Time Magazine presented evidence of a massacre in a 2006 article."
Haditha Marine says would make same decision again
15.03.07. Reuters. Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich admitted shooting five unarmed Iraqi men in the back in the interview and said his actions were justified because he believed the men had hostile intent toward the Marines. ... Iraqi witnesses say enraged Marines shot the civilians to retaliate for the death of a colleague, who was killed by a roadside bomb hours earlier.
All charges dropped against Marine in Haditha killings of Iraqi civilians
17.04.07. AP / IHT. 'Sgt. Sanick P. Dela Cruz, 24, had been charged with unpremeditated murder and could have received up to life in prison for the deaths of five Iraqi civilians in the Nov. 19, 2005 killings. He also faced one charge of making a false official statement with intent to deceive. The Marine Corps offered no explanation for the decision made Tuesday by Lt. Gen. James Mattis, the officer overseeing the case. Dela Cruz has been given immunity and must testify at upcoming hearings for other Marines charged in the Haditha case. Still, it is highly unusual for such serious charges to be completely dismissed. In such cases, it is far more usual for a plea deal to be struck where charges and penalties are reduced in return for testimony. ... The Marine Corps announced charges against eight Marines in December but, four months on, there still have been no preliminary hearings and no court dates have been finalized.'
Killings of Afghan Civilians Recall Haditha
20.04.07. Paul von Zielbauer, NYTimes.
Report On Haditha Condemns Marines
21.04.07. J. White, Washington Post / legitgov. Signs of Misconduct Were Ignored, U.S. General Says. 'Maj. Gen. Eldon A. Bargewell's 104-page report on Haditha is scathing in its criticism of the Marines' actions, from the enlisted men who were involved in the shootings on Nov. 19, 2005, to the two-star general who commanded the 2nd Marine Division in Iraq at the time. Bargewell's previously undisclosed report, obtained by The Washington Post, found that officers may have willfully ignored reports of the civilian deaths to protect themselves and their units from blame. Though Bargewell found no specific coverup, he concluded that there also was no interest at any level in investigating allegations of a massacre.' See http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/04/20/AR2007042002309_pf.html">excerpts from report.
Haditha massacre report: US commanders see killing Iraqi civilians as cost of doing business
24.04.07. David Walsh, uruknet. 'An unpublished report commissioned by the US military on the massacre carried out in the Iraqi town of Haditha by American marines in November 2005 is an unintended indictment of the entire war and occupation. In its Saturday edition, the Washington Post published an article on Maj. Gen. Eldon A. Bargewells report, including excerpts from the document, a copy of which the newspaper had obtained. Bargewell makes clear that indifference to the fate of Iraqi civilians is pervasive in the military high command.'
Marines faulted in Haditha killings
25.04.07. aljazeera.net. A US army probe into the killings of 24 Iraqi civilians in Haditha has found US Marine Corp commanders responsible for downplaying the seriousness of civilian fatalities.
Lawyer: Haditha Officer Up for Medal
26.04.07. Lompoc Record. 'Even as the government was investigating whether a Marine officer failed to probe the death of 24 Iraqi civilians, he was being recommended for a Bronze Star medal partly for his actions the day of the killings, his attorney said Wednesday. . First Lt. Andrew A. Grayson, of Springboro, Ohio, was in a team of intelligence operatives that inspected the scene of the Nov. 19, 2005, attack in Haditha. The killings were carried out by a Marine squad in the aftermath of a roadside bomb explosion that left one Marine dead.'
Propaganda Fear Cited in Account of Iraqi Killings
06.05.07. Paul von Zielbauer, NY Times. Recently unclassified documents suggest that senior officers viewed the killings of 24 Iraqi civilians in Haditha in late 2005 as a potential public relations problem that could fuel insurgent propaganda against the American military, leading investigators to question whether the officers immediate response had been intentionally misleading. The documents also show that derailing enemy propaganda was important to senior Marine commanders, including Col. Stephen W. Davis, a highly regarded regimental commander under General Huck, who played down questions about the civilian killings from a Time magazine reporter last year, long after the attacks and the civilian toll were clear to the military.
Marine legal adviser charged with misreporting Haditha faces Article 32 hearing
08.05.07. The Jurist. Col. Randy Stone stands accused of derelition of duty and violating a lawful order to investigate the incident.
Officer at Haditha Describes Reaction
09.05.07. S. Geis /J. White, Washington Post. The first officer (Lt. William T. Kallop) to see the bodies of two dozen civilians killed in a 2005 Marine assault in Haditha, Iraq, testified Tuesday that he saw nothing at the scene that he believed required further investigation.
Testimony: Squad leader told Marines to lie after Haditha shooting
Officer 'shocked' to find civilian bodies
10.05.07. P. Zielbauer, smh. The officer, 1st Lieutenant William T Kallop, said that soon after the killings he inspected one of the homes with a Marine corporal, Hector Salinas, and found women, children and older men who had been killed when marines threw a grenade into the room. "What the hell happened, why aren't there any insurgents here?" Lieutenant Kallop testified that he asked aloud. "I looked at Corporal Salinas, and he looked just as shocked as I did."
Marine says urinated on dead Iraqi at Haditha
10.05.07.Reuters. Sgt. Sanick Dela Cruz, who has immunity from prosecution after murder charges against him were dismissed, also said he watched his squad leader shoot down five Iraqi civilians who were trying to surrender.
Haditha hearing shows leadership mind-set
13.05.07. MARK WALKER, NC TIMES. If the slaying of two dozen civilians 18 months ago in Haditha was a war crime, as prosecutors assert, not a single Marine commander seems to have considered that possibility until questions were raised by a journalist two months after the event.
Marine Refused Staffs Advice on Iraq Deaths, Major Testifies
15.05.07. Paul Zielbauer, NY Times.
Haditha Marine commander faces Article 32 hearing
30.05.07. [JURIST] Lt. Col. Jeffrey R. Chessani, commander of the US Marine battalion that was accused of killing 24 Iraqi civilians in Haditha [USMC timeline; JURIST news archive] in November 2005, went before a military Article 32 hearing [JAG backgrounder] Wednesday that will determine if he will face a court-martial for charges of dereliction of duty and violating a lawful order.
Marine feels killing right thing
31.05.07. Thomas Watkins. Asian Age / ICH. An officer who saw the corpses of Iraqi women and children sprawled across a bed in a home said in recorded testimony that he believed that "my Marines were doing the right thing" when they killed them.
Haditha killings detailed at hearing
01.06.07. LA Times. A prosecutor at Camp Pendleton says some Iraqis were shot by Marines at close range.
Iraqis Sought Probe of Killings
02.06.07. Washington Post. Marine Officers Didn't Report Meeting With Haditha Leaders
General Says Bosses Knew of 05 Killings in Iraqi Town
02.06.07. P. von Zielbauer, NY Times. The general who was in charge of the Marine division in Iraq [Maj. Gen. Richard A. Huck] when infantrymen in the division killed 24 civilians in Haditha in late 2005, said Friday that all his superiors, including Gen. George W. Casey Jr., the top commander in Iraq, knew of the event [war crimes] within hours.
Marines balked at Haditha inquiry
06.06.07. T. Perry, fair use / LA Times. War-hardened attitudes and a suspicion of Iraqis led to a decision not to investigate the slayings of 24, officers testify.
Marine says he erased photos of Haditha victims
07.06.07. Tony Perry, Fair use / LA Times, anti-war.com. The testimony is the first evidence suggesting that any officer may have engaged in a coverup in the 2005 deaths of 24 Iraqi civilians.
At Haditha Hearing, Dueling Views of a Battalion Commander
08.06.07. P. von Zielbauer, Fairuse/ NY Times / antiwar.com . On the other side, Marine prosecutors have used testimony from Colonel Chessanis subordinate and superior officers to portray him as a touchy and incurious field commander who, instead of investigating, sent deceptive reports about the Haditha killings up the chain of command.
Media Covered Up Full Haditha Battle
18.06.07. P. Brennan, Newsmax.
A Marine Tutorial on Media Spin
24.06.07. P. van Zielbauer, NY Times. Excerpts of a 5 page memo of 'talking points' that came to light in a military hearing earlier this month. Answers "display a searing view of American journalists conspiring to undermine the war."
Details surface in Haditha killings
02.07.07. T. Perry, LA Times. Hearings and interviews provide a clearer picture of the day in Iraq when Marines from Camp Pendleton killed 24 civilians.
Marines face scrutiny in Iraqi deaths
T. Perry, LA Times. Investigators are examining allegations that troops wrongfully killed unarmed prisoners in 2004 during the fierce battle for Fallouja.
Murder, resistance and US state terrorism
07.07. Paul Balles, redress. Vicious circles in Iraq. Coalition forces in Iraq kill 100 "insurgents". Families, friends and acquaintances of the 100 dead insurgents become 200 new insurgents, fighting to avenge the first insurgents' deaths.
Center for the Study of Popular Culture becomes David Horowitz Freedom Center
10.07.06. Media transparency.
Court-martial urged in Haditha case
12.07.07. LA Times. A hearing officer issues a recommendation on Lt. Col. Jeffrey Chessani, accused of failing to investigate the 2005 killings.
13.07.06. New York Review of Books. Letter by Daniel Pipes; reply by Michael Massing. Campus Watch.
Hearing begins for U.S. Marine charged in Haditha killings
16.07.07. AP / Herald Tribune.
Witness Testifies Marine Knowingly Shot Children in Haditha
17.07.07. Sonya Geis, Washington Post/uruknet. 'One of the Marines charged with murdering civilians in Haditha, Iraq, in 2005 knew that only women and children were huddled in a back bedroom in a house there, but he opened the door and shot them anyway, a squadmate testified Tuesday. "I told him, there's women and kids in that room," Lance Cpl. Humberto M. Mendoza said of Lance Cpl. Stephen B. Tatum. Tatum's response was, "Well, shoot them," Mendoza said...'
Haditha Marine's hearing called 'sham'
08.08.07. worldnetdaily. Prosecutors putting lid on access to witnesses, evidence
All charges dropped against Marine in Haditha killings
09.08.07. LA Times. All charges were dropped today against Marine Lance Cpl. Justin L. Sharratt, who had been accused of killing three Iraqi brothers in response to a roadside bomb attack in Haditha in 2005.
"The evidence does not support a referral to a court-martial," Lt. Gen. James Mattis wrote in his written decision. Under military law, a commanding general has total jurisdiction over a case.
Haditha charges against two dismissed
10.08.07. T. Watkins, AP - Seattle Times.
U.S. Marine adviser steps aside in Haditha case after criticizing investigating officer's report
15.08.07. AP / IHT.
JUDGES BENDING OVER BACKWARDS
Legal Actions Highlight General's Power
16.08.07. THOMAS WATKINS, AP/Guardian. In recent months, the senior Marine commander on the West Coast has dismissed charges against three troops implicated in the deaths of 24 Iraqis and reduced the sentences of three others in the kidnapping and murder of an Iraqi man. Lt. Gen. James Mattis' actions in two of the war's highest-profile criminal cases underscore one of the wildcards in the military justice system: the sweeping powers of a commanding general to decide the fate of those accused of war crimes. ... His decisions were cheered by those who believe the troops were pursued unfairly by overzealous military prosecutors. But critics said the moves reflected how the justice system is tilted toward the accused, particularly in cases arising from battlefield actions. ... Mattis' combat views have pushed him into the public eye before. In 2005, speaking in San Diego, he said: "It's fun to shoot some people. I'll be right upfront with you, I like brawling." ... Of four enlisted Marines accused of murder, Mattis let prosecutors drop charges against Sgt. Sanick Dela Cruz and give him immunity to testify. / Mattis last week dismissed charges against another rifleman, Lance Cpl. Justin Sharratt, and a Marine lawyer, Capt. Randy Stone, after officers who reviewed evidence recommended against sending them to courts-martial. ,,, Tim Lynch, an attorney for the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank, said Mattis' actions might reflect an institutional bias of Marines looking after their own. He said a similar phenomenon is sometimes seen in police forces. / "When there's an officer-involved shooting, they bend over backward to give him the benefit of all doubt," Lynch said. "It is the same in the military."
Inquiry Urges End to Charges Against Marine
24.08.07. Paul von Zielbauer, NY Times.
Wuterich hearing to address Haditha issues
Marine tells of order to execute Haditha women and children
30.08.07. Raw Story. A US Marine was ordered to execute a room full of Iraqi women and children during an alleged massacre in Haditha that left 24 people dead, a military court heard Thursday.
The testimony came in the opening of a preliminary hearing for Marine Sergeant Frank Wuterich, who faces 17 counts of murder over the Haditha killings, the most serious war crimes allegations faced by US troops in Iraq.
One of 18 murder charges withdrawn against Marine in Haditha case
30.08.07. Raw Story. Prosecutors did not give a reason for the decision to drop the murder charge faced by Sergeant Frank Wuterich, as a preliminary hearing to determine if he will stand trial got underway at the Marines Camp Pendleton base.
Marine in Haditha Ordered to Execute Women, Children
30.08.07. AFP Truthout. Rob Woollard reports for Agence France-Presse, "A US Marine was ordered to execute a room full of Iraqi women and children during an alleged massacre in Haditha that left 24 people dead, a military court heard Thursday."
Haditha Squad Leader in Military Court
31.08.07. T. Watkins, Guardian. While the number of suspected murders makes Wuterich's case the biggest to have emerged against any U.S. service member to have served in Iraq, the hearing comes after a string of setbacks for Marine prosecutors. Mendoza said the killings were within combat rules because the occupants of the homes had been declared hostile [ by whom? ] Ware has already presided over two separate hearings in the case, when he listened to evidence against two of Wuterich's lance corporals - Stephen Tatum and Justin Sharratt - who were charged with murder. In both cases, Ware found prosecutors could not prove the Marines operated outside combat rules, and he recommended the charges be dismissed [ [shame! ]
I was ordered to execute Haditha women and kids: US Marine
31.08.07. Times of India. A US Marine was ordered to execute a room full of terrified Iraqi women and children during an alleged massacre in Haditha that left 24 people dead, a military court heard on Thursday. The testimony came in the opening of a preliminary hearing for Marine Sergeant Frank Wuterich, who faces 17 counts of murder over the Haditha killings, the most serious war crimes allegations faced by US troops in Iraq. Wuterich, dressed in desert khakis, spo! ke confidently to confirm his name as the hearing to decide if he faces a court martial began at the Marines' Camp Pendleton base in southern California. The 27-year-old listened intently as Lance Corporal Humberto Mendoza recounted how Marines had responded after a roadside bomb attack on their convoy in Haditha on November 19, 2005 left one comrade dead. Mendoza said Marines under Wuterich's command began clearing nearby houses suspected of containing insurgents responsible for the bombing (...) During a subsequent search of the house, Mendoza said he received an order from another Marine, Lance Corporal Stephen Tatum, to shoot seven women and children he had found in a rear bedroom...
Marine says accused Haditha leader shot Iraqis
Haditha witness alleges squad leader planned to kill
31.08.07. M. WALKER, NCTimes.
Spy plane video to be evidence in Haditha killings case
31.08.07. cnn. A small, unmanned spy plane called scan eagle: recorded scenes of heavy fighting.
Marines Ordered To Execute Civilians In Nazi-Like Slaughter
31.08.07. Steve Watson, Infowars, net Editorial uruknet. Latest evidence compounds catalogue of war crimes. With evidence having emerged that marines were ordered by superiors to massacre women and children in Haditha in Iraq two years ago, combined with scores of other testimonies and reports of such barbaric demands being forced upon American troops daily, it is clear that organised execution and ritual slaughter is the set policy of the architects of aggression in the middle east.
Marine says accused Haditha leader shot Iraqis
Haditha Probe Limps to a Close
05.09.07. Khody Akhavi, anti-war.com. An official account of the incident, released Nov. 20, said that 15 civilian Iraqis had been killed by a roadside bomb and eight other "insurgents" were gunned down as they fought Iraqi army soldiers and Marines immediately following the blast. But as new details emerged, an investigation was launched, and a more disturbing narrative developed: the 24 Iraqis had been the apparent victims of a vengeful massacre at the hands of Marines. The events of Haditha like the Abu Ghraib detainee-abuse scandal in 2004 outraged the U.S. public, and military officials promised to punish the guilty. But more than one year later, the attempt to hold officers accountable for Abu Ghraib has limped to a close, and the prosecution of the Marines accused in the Haditha killings shows signs of crumbling. Of the four enlisted Marines and four officers charged, murder charges against two of the enlisted men have since been dropped, as have dereliction of duty charges against one of the officers, Capt. Randy W. Stone, a lawyer with the battalion.
US Marine officers censured for handling of Haditha Iraqi murders probe
06.09.07. [JURIST] The Secretary of the Navy on Wednesday handed down letters of censure [press release, PDF] to three US Marine officers for improper performance of duties related to the reporting and investigation of the killings of 24 Iraqi civilians at Haditha [USMC timeline; JURIST news archive] in November 2005. A previous investigation into the officers' alleged misconduct revealed no evidence of a ... [more].
Marines Defense Team Ends Haditha Hearing Abruptly
06.09.07. Paul de Zielbauer, NY Times.
Marines Punish 3 Officers in Haditha Case
06.09.07. P. von Zielbauer, NY Times.
"Shoot first, ask questions later": America in Iraq
08.09.07. Eli Stephens, Left I on the News uruknet. An article about an ongoing in the Haditha massacre case wants us to believe this: Does a U.S. Marine serving in Iraq have the right to shoot first and ask questions later if hostile forces could be nearby? The question is at the heart of the case against Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich, 27, the U.S. Marine accused of leading a November 19, 2005, massacre of 24 Iraqi civilians in Haditha.
U.S. Marine officer accused in Haditha probe rejects 'cover-up' plea bargain
11.09.07. [JURIST] A lawyer for US Marine First Lt. Andrew Grayson, an intelligence officer accused of mishandling an investigation into the killing of 24 Iraqi civilians at Haditha [USMC timeline; JURIST news archive], said Monday that Grayson has rejected a plea offer from military prosecutors requiring him to admit attempting to cover up the killings in exchange for prosecutors dropping all charges. ... [more].
Massacre? What Massacre?--Haditha
12.09.07. Mumia Abu-Jamal, uruknet. The calendar has shed weeks and many months since the name, Haditha, stirred so many people in Iraq, the US, and around the world. Within days of its announcement came the horror of recognition; it reminded us all of the carnage of Vietnam's My Lai massacre, where women, babies, dogs and chickens shared the sleep of death in a tropical ditch. It differed from Vietnam only in its scope, and number, but, in every sense of which the word 'massacre' may be used, this ! was it. For here, in the Iraqi city of Haditha, women, children, old men and young, were swept away from life, by the automatic weapons fire of American guns, held in American hands; an apparent retaliation for an IED blast which killed an American soldier several hours earlier. Here, US soldiers entered Iraqi homes on free fire, unloading on anything moving, or not moving quickly enough. Well, the US military justice system has finished its work, and -- voila! -- except for a few letters of censure (the military form of reprimand) no one has been punished for the Haditha Massacre...
US military pre-trial hearings end in Haditha civilian massacre case
13.09.07. Naomi Spencer, WSWS uruknet. The Haditha prosecution is the largest involving civilian deaths in Iraq, yet the military court proceedings are in one sense a continuation of the whitewashing effort begun in 2005. The trials themselves may set the precedent for the way in which war crimes committed against civilians are handled disciplinarily by the military. As with the Abu Ghraib abuse trials, the aim of the Bush administration and military is to pin! all responsibility for a criminal occupation on lowest-ranking personnel, who are charged with physically carrying out the dirty work. Ultimate responsibility for war crimes, however, lies at the very top
Marine Captain Granted Immunity
Charges dropped against fourth Marine in case of Iraqi deaths in Haditha
19.09.07. timesofindia. Dropped charges against McConnel - granted immunity to speak with authorities. This makes 4th such dismissal In Haditha horror case. The Haditha case has become an embarassement-of-sorts for military prosecutors as charges have been dropped against more and more of the accused.
Charges dismissed against another officer in Haditha war crimes case
21.09.07. Naomi Spencer, WSWS/uruknet. On Tuesday, a US military court dismissed charges against a Marine officer implicated in the whitewashing of the 2005 Haditha massacre. Two years on, only three of the eight original defendants in the Camp Pendleton pre-trial proceedings face possible court martial.
Requiem for Matthis
23.09.07. NC Times.
Senior Marines may face blame for Haditha deaths
23.09.07. Stars and Stripes. Since April, charges have been dropped against half of the Marines facing legal proceedings in connection with the deaths of 24 Iraqi civilians in Haditha. One military law expert said that seems to show Corps leaders are putting the burden of responsibility on senior Marines and those most directly involved in the incident. On Tuesday, the Corps announced that charges had been dismissed against Capt. Lucas M. McConnell, who was in charge of the eight Marines company during the incident. He was granted immunity to talk to prosecutors.
Federal Judge Order Murtha To Testify In Haditha Defamation Case
28.09.07. CBS. Murtha, a former Marine. accused Marines involved in the "cold-blooded murder and war crimes'' during the Haditha incident. Fran Wuterich, a Marine sergeant involved in the incident, has sued Murtha for defamation over his comments. [This is another example of a murder case getting tied up in procedures]
Federal judge refuses to dismiss Murtha defamation lawsuit over Haditha comments
29.09.07. [JURIST] A federal judge has refused to dismiss a defamation lawsuit against US Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) and ruled that Murtha must provide a deposition in the case.
Battle for Haditha film
29.09.07. AP. The award for best director went to British filmmaker Nick Broomfield for "The Battle for Haditha" about the investigation into the 2005 killings of 24 civilians in the Iraqi city of Haditha by Marines the biggest criminal case against U.S. forces in Iraq.
Bush's Global 'Dirty War'
01.10.07. R. Parry, Consortium.
One of the accused Marines, Sgt. Frank Wuterich, gave his account of the Haditha killings in an interview with CBSs 60 Minutes, including an admission that his squad tossed a grenade into one of the residences without knowing who was inside.
Frank, help me understand, asked interviewer Scott Pelley. Youre in a residence, how do you crack a door open and roll a grenade into a room?
At that point, you cant hesitate to make a decision, Wuterich answered. Hesitation equals being killed, either yourself or your men.
But when you roll a grenade in a room through the crack in the door, thats not positive identification, thats taking a chance on anything that could be behind that door, Pelley said.
Well, thats what we do. Thats how our training goes, Wuterich said.
US marines likely to avoid murder charges over killing of Iraqi civilians
05.10.07. E. MacAskill, Guardian. Sergeant may be accused of lesser offence 2005 Haditha shooting left 17 people dead. The case against US marines involved in one of the most infamous incidents of the Iraq war, the killing of civilians at Haditha in 2005, appeared to have fallen apart last night.
NONE of the marines originally accused of carrying out the killings, which ranked alongside the 2004 Abu Ghraib prison abuses in terms of infamy, is likely to face murder charges, after a recommendation from the investigating officer that the last remaining suspect be charged with a lesser offence. Seventeen civilians, including women, children and seven alleged insurgents, were killed at Haditha, about 150 miles north-west of Baghdad. The incident became the most serious case of an alleged war crime by US troops in Iraq.
The Erosion of a Murder Case Against Marines in the Killing of 24 Iraqi Civilians
06.10.07. Paul von Zielbauer, NY Times. Last year, when accounts of the killing of 24 Iraqis in Haditha by a group of marines came to light, it seemed that the Iraq war had produced its defining atrocity, just as the conflict in Vietnam had spawned the My Lai massacre a generation ago.
But on Thursday, a senior military investigator recommended dropping murder charges against the ranking enlisted marine accused in the 2005 killings, just as he had done earlier in the cases of two other marines charged in the case. The recommendation may well have ended prosecutors chances of winning any murder convictions in the killings of the apparently unarmed men, women and children. In the recent case, against Staff Sgt. Frank D. Wuterich, the investigator recommended that he be charged with negligent homicide if the case moved ahead to court-martial. In the other two cases, the investigator recommended dropping all charges. Perhaps nothing handicapped military prosecutors more than the delay in investigating the killings, on Nov. 19, 2005, because battalion officers [sm: WHO?] initially decided the case did not require an inquiry. By the time the Marine Corps announced murder charges against the infantrymen, 13 months had passed. Evidence vanished, witnesses evaporated and memories paled. In an unusual departure from the analysis of the facts in Lance Corporal Sharratts case, Colonel Ware warned that putting marines on trial for murder without having the evidence to prove it could erode public support of the Marine Corps and mission in Iraq. [ what about eroding the confidence of Iraqis and families of the dead? What a revolting end to a tragic story of murder!
Officer recommends dropping last murder charges in Haditha massacre
09.10.07. N. Spencer, wsws. Not a single Marine involved in the massacre of 24 Iraqi civilians two years ago in Haditha, Iraq will be charged with murder based upon last weeks recommendations by an investigating officer. Indeed, the brutal methods of operation employed in Iraq sanction all manner of atrocities. These rules of engagement reflect the attitude of the wars planners and military leaders, who regard the slaughter of civilians as part of the cost of doing business. The criminal and colonialist character of the occupation fosters in troops suspicion, dehumanization, and a shoot first, ask questions later approach to the Iraqi population that inevitably led to Haditha and to many more such massacres for which no one has ever been charged.
Blackwater and Haditha: A Tale of Two Atrocities
19.10.07. RAHUL MAHAJAN, uruknet. The recent public outrage over the conduct of Blackwater Security mercenaries in Iraq, after an unprovoked massacre of at least 17 Iraqi civilians in western Baghdad has been heartening; unfortunately, there has been virtually no attention a far more important concurrent development -- the ongoing collapse of the military prosecution in the Haditha massacre. Paul Bremer's decision at the eleventh hour before his departure in June 2004 to set! all private contractors in Iraq above the law (they are not subject to Iraqi law, U.S. military law, or U.S. civilian law) stands out as one of the more cynical decisions of a war that has redefined cynicism, and attention to that fact is a positive development. At the same time, however, all the attention is being focused on an extremely minor issue. The U.S. military has possibly killed more civilians in a single incident than all the mercenary companies operating in Iraq in the last several years....
Courts-Martial for 2 in Haditha Deaths
20.10.07. AP. The highest-ranking U.S. serviceman to face court-martial involving combat since Vietnam was ordered to trial Friday for failing to investigate the killings of 24 Iraqis, including women and children, in Haditha two years ago. Another Marine was also ordered to face court-martial for charges including involuntary manslaughter. Lt. Col. Jeffrey R. Chessani faces charges of dereliction of duty and violation of a lawful order on allegations that he mishandled the aftermath of the Nov. 19, 2005, shootings, which followed a roadside bombing that killed a Marine driver. One of Chessani's men, Lance Cpl. Stephen B. Tatum, was ordered to face a court-martial on charges of involuntary manslaughter, reckless endangerment and aggravated assault. He is one of four Marines originally charged with murder in the killings.
[They should all be put in jail for war crimes; }
New Haditha Massacre video , Other earlier videos are on this site too.
Now we also have a DOCUDRAMA ABOUT HADITHA.
Battle for Haditha at London Film Festival.
"Fascism" Frame Set Up by Right-Wing Press
09.01.06. IPS / ICH. The aggressive new campaign by the administration of President George W. Bush to depict U.S. foes in the Middle East as "fascists" and its domestic critics as "appeasers" owes a great deal to steadily intensifying efforts by the right-wing press over the past several months to draw the same comparison.
The Right Wing Domination Of Talk Radio And How To End It
20.06.07. Think Progress / Truthout. The new report - entitled "The Structural Imbalance of Political Talk Radio" - raises serious questions about whether the companies licensed to broadcast over the public radio airwaves are serving the listening needs of all Americans.
$200,000 for Haditha Marines From Our Readers
23.07.07. News Max. [wouldn't it be more appropriate to give this money to Iraqi families of those murdered?]
25.07.06. J. Cook, Dissident Voice. "This week I had the pleasure to appear on American radio, on the Laura Ingraham show, pitted against David Horowitz, a Semite supremacist who most recently made his name under the banner of Campus Watch, leading McCarthyite witch hunts against American professors who have the impertinence to suggest that maybe, just maybe, Arabs have minds and feelings like the rest of us." Five Myths that Sanction Israels War Crimes.
Military Atrocities Less Newsworthy Than Right-Wing Fantasies
06.08.07. Fair. Press follows smears of New Republic as Nation's evidence of abuse ignored.
David Horowitz writes me a letter
15.08.07. Tom Paine.
David Horowitz fibbing?
David Horowitz Declares Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week for October 22-26
29.08.07. frontpagemag.com - anti-war.com. Our theme will be the Oppression of Women in Islam and the threat posed by the Islamic crusade [????] against the West.
Marine to sue Murtha over irresponsible Haditha accusations (30.08.07)
The Right's Garden of False Narratives
20.09.07. Phil Rockstroh, Consortium. At the core of the rot that is destroying the American Republic are the many false narratives that have replaced the nation's real history. The Right has proved adept at creating these alluring story lines and selling them through a vast and sophisticated media apparatus, while the mainstream press goes silent or plays along.
The Disinformation Campaign Against the Haditha Marines Continues
23.09.07. R. Boyd, Newsbusters [ who pays these people? ]
Horowitz's "Islamofascism Awareness Week"
05.10.07. A. Hess, Counterpunch. Hate Week Comes to Campus. If you wanted to know what Sen. Joe McCarthy would sound like if he came back from the dead, read David Horowitz's explanation for "Islamofascism Awareness Week," an event he is sponsoring on college campuses across the country from October 22-26.
Spinning Haditha Into A Wall
06.10.07. Strategy Page. "However, the U.S. military will be learning its lessons from this media battle." [this "Media Battle" is focused on clearing US soldiers guilty of the MURDER of CIVILIANS. The US govn. consistently clears their tribe - and upholds their escape from justice while showing a total disregard for Iraqi lives - aka Blackwater]
07.10.07. David Love, newamericamedia. Conservative pressure groups, including David Horowitz and his Students for Academic Freedom (in classic Orwellian fashion, they purport to stand for academic freedom, the opposite of that which they really advocate), are trying to muzzle free speech in academia. In their warped worldview. A McCarthy list of The Disapproved.
NYT Called Haditha a 'Massacre' -- But Murder Case Against Marines Collapsing
09.10.07. Clay Waters, Newsbusters. Paul von Zielbauer of the New York Times has filed 34 stories on the alleged killings by marines of two dozen Iraqi civilians in Haditha since the incident first came to light in July 2006. His story on Saturday may be one of the last, as the murder charges against the marines are falling apart: "The Erosion of a Murder Case Against Marines in the Killing of 24 Civilians." [ Well, newsbusters, Mr. Von Zielbauer is one of our most respected journalists. That is not something that can be said about your paper and its righwingbat nonsense. ]
Another Haditha-style Smear Starts
12.10.07. mypetjawa. [ No, sir, your article is the uneducated smear! ]
David Horowitz: A Nazi mind with a Jewish face
13.10.07. Khalid Amayreh, uruknet. For example, in his book, Mein Kampf, or My Struggle, Hitler uses the main thesis of "The Jewish peril", which speaks of a Jewish conspiracy to control the world. This is exactly, what many Nazi-minded Zionists are doing these days, with their explicit goal being to defame, vilify, demonize and dehumanize the worlds estimated 1.5 million Muslims. the ultimate message of the hate literature is almost identical to that promoted by Hitler and his Nazi cohorts against Jews, namely that Muslims are "evil," "fascist," "racist anti-Semites," and "hell-bent on destroying western civilization." In this context, David Horowitz, a notorious icon of Jewish Islamophobia, is embarking on venomous campaign to make American college students hate everything and anything Muslim and Islamic.
The following article in the Wall St. Journal is APPALLING. Now war crimes are dismissed as "POLITICAL EXPLOITATION."
What Happened at Haditha
19.10.07. Wall St. Journal. The massacre that wasn't, and its political exploitation. "The incident at Haditha--or the massacre, as it is often called [ what else would you call it, then - a wedding? ] --is due for a wholesale rethinking.
The allegations are that in 2005 U.S. Marines went on a killing spree and deliberately executed 24 Iraqi civilians. The casualties have drawn an extraordinary amount of political attention, becoming an emblem for everything critics say is wrong with the Iraq war--in the common telling, another My Lai. Thus Congressman Jack Murtha, a decorated combat veteran, made accusations of war crimes and said the Marines had killed "in cold blood." These are serious charges; and military justice continues to deal with them seriously, though thankfully at a slower pace than politics. Now the prosecutions have mostly unraveled. It seems Haditha, though tragic, was exploited politically, and the allegations were exaggerated, if not unfounded. [ The 'wholesale thinking' needed is jailing of of all the war criminals not only in these horrific murders but also in the US administration ! ] SHAME ON YOU WALL ST. JOURNAL.
Defend Our Marines: An Oscar for Murtha?
Where Does the Right-Wing End and the Media Begin?
26.10.07. Rory O'Conner, alternet. Interview with Paul Krugman on how the right-wing media machine is destroying social progress.
For more information on Newsbusters, seeNewsbusters . see also Haditha, the Mai Lai of Iraq (26.12.06) S. Meyer, Index Research)
More on Daniel Pipes
TE Lawrence had it right about Iraq
14.07.07. Robert Fisk, Independent. I remember how Daniel Pipes - one of the great illusionists of modern American journalism - announced in the summer of 2003 that what the Iraqis needed was (no smirking here, please), a "democratically minded strongman". ... But wait, Pipes is at it again. The director of the "Middle East Forum" has been writing in Canada's National Post about "Palestine". His piece is filled with the usual bile. (cont.) ...
Neocons Embrace Islamic Terror Group
23.10.07. D. Postel, common sense / alternet. Daniel Pipes, one of America's premiere Islamophobes, has a soft spot for one deadly deadly Islamic terrorist organization.
Ernest Lefever and the Ethics and Public Policy Center
11.01.07. Bill Berkowitz, Media Transparency. Part of a larger story about Sen. Rick Santorum and his new Ethics and Public Policy Center) (sic).
Richard and Helen DeVos Foundation. According to Chris Hedges in American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America , "the Richard and Helen deVos Foundation has over the years given nearly $6million to his (D. James Kennedy) church organitions. The drive to bring in new souls is also an open drive to broaden the political base of the movement and impose a theocracy" (a 'christian' fascism).
How the neoliberals stitched up the wealth of nations for themselves
28.08.07. George Monbiot, Guardian. A cabal of intellectuals and elitists hijacked the economic debate, and now we are dealing with the catastrophic effects. The first great advantage the neoliberals possessed was an unceasing fountain of money. US oligarchs and their foundations - Coors, Olin, Scaife, Pew and others - have poured hundreds of millions into setting up thinktanks, founding business schools and transforming university economics departments into bastions of almost totalitarian neoliberal thinking. The Heritage Foundation, the Hoover Institute, the American Enterprise Institute and many others in the US, the Institute of Economic Affairs, the Centre for Policy Studies and the Adam Smith Institute in the UK, were all established to promote this project. Their purpose was to develop the ideas and the language which would mask the real intent of the programme - the restoration of the power of the elite - and package it as a proposal for the betterment of humankind. But as the disasters they have caused unfold, the public will need ever less persuading that it has been misled.
ANOTHER COVER UP
Army Adds Farce to Abu Ghraib Shame
27.08.07. Consortium. The Army officer in charge of the interrogation/torture operation at Abu Ghraib in late 2003 is being court-martialed. My first thought was: Finally an officer is being held accountable. In view of the repeated rebuff to my own attempts to stop the torture and identify those responsible, however, you will perhaps excuse my skepticism that justice will be done.
"One of the most painful principles of our age is that scandals are doomed to be revealed -- and to remain stinking there before us, unexcised, unpunished, unfinished." Mark Danner (31.03.07).
NOVEMBER 2007 UPDATES
Marine withholds plea in Haditha killings case
13.11.07. Reuters. Marine Lance Cpl. Stephen Tatum, who was arraigned on Tuesday, faces trial starting on March 28 in the highly publicized 2005 case in which U.S. Marines killed 24 men, women and children. Tatum, an enlisted man from Oklahoma, faces a maximum penalty of 19 years imprisonment if found guilty.
Justice for victims of attack on Haditha
19.11.07. Guardian. Two years ago today, on November 19 2005, a group of US marines went on a five-hour rampage in the Iraqi city of Haditha, killing 24 civilians - including seven women and three children - after a roadside bomb hit their Humvee, killing the driver. Nine-year-old survivor Eman Waleed later told Time magazine: "First they went into my father's room, where he was reading the Qur'an and we heard shots ... I watched them shoot my grandfather first in the chest and then in the head. Then they killed my granny."
Shockingly, Haditha was not an anomaly. Indeed, according to a 2006 survey - described by the MoD's chief scientific officer as "employing methods ... regarded as 'close to best practice'" - coalition forces have killed at least 186,000 Iraqis since the 2003 invasion.
Consistent with this, a secret 2006 report on the Haditha killings by a US army general (which was subsequently leaked to the press) found that: "Statements made by the chain of command ... suggest that Iraqi civilian lives are not as important as US lives, their deaths are just the cost of doing business", and that "all levels of command tended to view civilian casualties, even in significant numbers, as routine".
To date, legal proceedings against the marines involved in the Haditha killings have been a circus. Two years on, we demand justice for the people of Haditha and an end to British complicity in this murderous occupation.
THE HADITHA DISINFORMATION CONTINUES. APPALLING.
Trial set for Haditha vet targeted by Murtha
09.11.07, worldnetdaily. 'He is being tried for not investigating a crime we now know never occurred'. Richard Thompson of the Thomas More Law Center should be ashamed of himself.
Sarah Meyer is a researcher living in Sussex, UK.
the url to Haditha: Crime and Punishment is http://indexresearch.blogspot.com/2007/10/haditha-crime-and-punishment.html
the small url is: http://tinyurl.com/27qpqr
Related: The Haditha Doctor and The Media Dissemblers This article was also simultaneously published on the BRussels Tribunal website .
We are the Thought Police
Michcael Massing, salon.com. This excellent essay is excerpted from the anthology "What Orwell Didn't Know: Propaganda and the New Face of American Politics," edited by András Szántó. Orwell's Big Brother never showed up. Instead of centralized Iraq war propaganda, we have an America in which the public and the press jointly impose their own controls.
Trial set for highest-ranking Marine in Haditha case
16.11.07. Reuters. Lt. Col. Jeffrey Chessani, 43, is accused of dereliction of duty for failing to properly report and investigate the Nov. 19, 2005 incident at Haditha, which sparked international condemnation of U.S. forces in Iraq. The former battalion commander was ordered to stand trial beginning April 28 by a military judge sitting at Camp Pendleton base in California. If convicted, he could face more than two years [is that all? ] behind bars.
Terrorism Awareness Indeed
19.10.07. Danny Postel, Tom Paine / commonsense.ourfuture.org. During the week of October 22-26, an official announcement effuses, The nation will be rocked by the biggest conservative campus protest ever Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week, a wake-up call for Americans on 200 university and college campuses. Ringmastered by David Horowitz, this circus will be performing under the tent of something called the "Terrorism Awareness Project.
Murdochs Cuckoos Nest: The Wall Street Journals Op-ed Page
27.10.07. Mike Whitney, uruknet. The Wall Street Journals editorial page is the ideological headwaters for far-right fanaticism in the US. It is less of a forum for open debate than it is a breeding ground for noxious ideas that undermine democratic institutions. Every day, theres a whole new slate of extremist opinion pieces defending one absurdity or another. Typically, the articles focus on the two issues of primary importance to all conservatives; war and taxes.
Lt. Col William Russell To Challenge Bin Laden Stooge, Jack "Cold Blood" Murtha In Upcoming Election
29.10.07. pipeline news writes about Bush's "obviously successful war-fighting strategy." [Really? WHAT strategy? How can anyone believe a word in this paper?]
SO MUCH FOR U.S. JUSTICE.
Marine avoids Iraq murder charge
31.12.07. BBC. The alleged ringleader of US troops who killed 24 unarmed Iraqi civilians in 2005 in Haditha will not face murder charges, a US Marines spokesman said. Sgt Frank Wuterich, 27, will stand trial for voluntary manslaughter, aggravated assault, dereliction of duty and other charges, officials said.
Haditha Marine squad leader to face court-martial on lesser charges
31.12.07. The Jurist. US Marine Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich [advocacy website] has been ordered to face court-martial on charges of voluntary manslaughter, aggravated assault, reckless endangerment, dereliction of duty and obstruction of justice in connection to the killing of 24 Iraqi civilians at Haditha. ... Another Marine implicated in the Haditha incident, 1st Lt. Andrew Grayson, will face court-martial for making false official statements, obstruction of justice and attempting to fraudulently separate from the Marine Corps.
Two More Marine Trials in Killings of 17 Iraqis
01.01.08. Paul Von Zielbauer, NY Times. A Marine infantryman accused of killing 17 Iraqi civilians during a combat maneuver in Haditha in late 2005 will be tried by court-martial on charges of voluntary manslaughter but will avoid more serious murder charges originally pressed against him, the Marine Corps announced Monday. The infantryman, Staff Sgt. Frank D. Wuterich, a squad leader whose men killed 24 Iraqis during a house-to-house raid after insurgents attacked their convoy, will also be tried on charges of aggravated assault, reckless endangerment, dereliction of duty and obstruction of justice, the Marines said in a news release.
There Will Be Blood...But No Justice for Iraq Atrocity
05.01.08. Chris Floyd , Empire Burlesque/uruknet. Two years ago, a group of Marines killed 24 Iraqi civilians -- including women and children cowering in their own homes -- in a revenge rampage in Haditha. Once the story emerged from the usual layers of lies and cover-up, the atrocity flared briefly on the public stage and eight of the Marines and their officers were charged "with murder or failing to investigate an apparent war crime," as the Post reports. But public attention moved swiftly on, and over the past few months, the Pentagon's "military justice" system has quietly reduced or dropped charges against most of the men. Yesterday's announcement signaled the final climb-down in the case, leaving only a single Marine, Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich, facing a charge of voluntary manslaughter, and lesser charges against one other enlisted man and two officers.
Two dozen civilians slaughtered, as confirmed by the Pentagon itself -- and yet there was no murder.
In the dock for Haditha
07.02.08. Nick Bromfield, Guardian. My film features both Iraqis and US marines, but the true protagonists are Bush and Blair. "As My Lai is for Vietnam, Abu Ghraib and the Haditha massacre of 2005 will be remembered as the most haunting, symbolic events of the Iraq war. In reality there were countless Hadithas; this kind of thing happens and will always happen in any serious conflict. It is an inherent part of war, and the Tony Blairs and George Bushes know when they embark on such misadventures that countless numbers of innocent people will inevitably be killed. A million Iraqis have died in the last five years, and the responsibility can only be taken by the same politicians who actively chose to create a war. ... After meeting the Time magazine journalist responsible for the article that revealed the massacre, my co-producer, Anna Telford, and I journeyed to Camp Pendleton, San Diego, to meet with marines of Kilo Company, the unit involved in the killing of civilians at Haditha. Initially they supplied a barrage of disgusting humour about the Iraqis, but the bravado had slipped by the second day, revealing traumatised young boys unable to deal with what they had endured. They were all now on tranquillisers, with uncertain futures, haunted by memories that would remain for the rest of their lives."
Haditha defendant ordered to testify against fellow Marine
13.02.08. signonsandiego. In a surprise turn during the Haditha war-crimes case at Camp Pendleton, a Marine [Tatum] charged for his part in the 2005 killings of 24 Iraqi civilians has been ordered to testify against his squad leader under a grant of immunity.
Attempt to Dismiss Charges in Haditha Trial
18.02.08. FOX6. Attorneys for Lance Cpl. Stephen Tatum introduced motions at a pre-trial hearing asking that charges of aggravated assault and reckless endangerment be dismissed. The aggravated assault charge accuses Tatum of shooting at women and children in a house with his rifle. The reckless endangerment charge contends he fired his rifle into a room full of unarmed men, women and children.
US Marine battalion commander seeks dismissal of Haditha charges
20.02.08. Jurist. Lawyers for a US Marine charged in connection with the killings of 24 Iraqi civilians in Haditha [USMC timeline; JURIST news archive] in November 2005 filed motions Tuesday requesting that the charges be dropped [press release]. Lt. Col. Jeffrey R. Chessani [JURIST news archive] faces court-martial on April 28 for dereliction of duty and violation of a lawful order based on the allegations that he failed to properly investigate the shootings, and could serve three years in prison if convicted on all counts.
Prosecutors Seek Footage in Haditha Case
22.02.08. AP. Military prosecutors say unaired footage of a CBS interview given by a Marine squad leader contains admissions of crimes in an attack that killed 24 Iraqi civilians. Staff Sgt. Frank D. Wuterich "apparently admits in an unaired segment that he did in fact order his men to `shoot first and ask questions later,'" Capt. Nicholas Gannon said in response to a motion filed by CBS seeking to quash a subpoena seeking the footage. CBS is set to ask a military judge Friday to throw out the subpoena during a pretrial hearing for Wuterich, who faces voluntary manslaughter and other charges in the Nov. 19, 2005, deaths in Haditha, Iraq. In its motion, CBS says the subpoena would be "unreasonable and oppressive," and turn a news organization into an investigative arm of the government.
Wuterich trial start delayed
26.02.08. nctimes. The court-martial of Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich has been delayed at least a week so recent statements by witnesses and survivors of a group of Iraqi civilians slain in Haditha two years ago can be translated from Arabic to English.
Charges Against Marine in Haditha Case Dropped
28.03.08. D. Whitcomb, Reuters/truthout. The charges against Lance Cpl. Stephen B. Tatum, 26, were dismissed "in order to continue to pursue the truth seeking process into the Haditha incident," the Marines said in a statement. .. A Marine spokesman declined to elaborate on the decision, which was not announced in open court. "To ensure the remaining cases are brought to closure in a fair and just manner [sic, further discussion of this case is inappropriate at this time," Lt. Col Sean Gibson said.
PENDLETON: Haditha battalion commander in court next week
11.04.08. NC TIMES. The highest-ranking U.S. Marine officer accused of wrongdoing in the wake of the slaying of 24 Iraqi civilians in the city of Haditha in 2005 is due to appear in a Camp Pendleton courtroom on Tuesday. / The officer, Lt. Col. Jeffrey Chessani, 44, is charged with dereliction of duty and violating a lawful order for failing to order a full-scale investigation into the civilian deaths. He faces up to 30 months in jail and dismissal from the service if convicted and sentenced to the maximum punishment.
Haditha Marine battalion commander court-martial postponed
16.04.08. THE JURIST. A military judge Tuesday postponed the scheduled April 28 court-martial for a US Marine charged in connection with the November 2005 killings of 24 Iraqi civilians in Haditha [USMC timeline; JURIST news archive], rescheduling the trial for June 17. According to lawyers for Lt. Col. Jeffrey R. Chessani [JURIST news archive], who faces court-martial [JURIST report] for dereliction of duty and violation of a lawful order based on the allegations that he failed to properly investigate the Haditha shootings, the judge postponed the court-martial in order to decide whether several military officials were under "undue command influence" to charge the Marine. Chessani, the former commander of the Third Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment [official website], did not order an immediate investigation into the deaths because he said he did not suspect any wrongdoing. It has been alleged that the civilians were murdered in cold blood [JURIST report], but Chessani said that when he first learned of allegations that the civilians were killed intentionally he thought that the claims were baseless. If convicted on all counts, Chessani could serve up to three years in prison. / Eight Marines were initially charged in connection to the Haditha incident, though charges [text] have since been dropped against five others.
Haditha court martial trial opens
28.05.08. BBC. The first US court martial to arise from the 2005 killing of 24 Iraqi civilians in the northern Iraqi city of Haditha has begun in California. / Lt Andrew Grayson is charged with obstructing justice and making false statements in connection with the case. He rejects the allegations.
Marine was ordered to delete Haditha photos
29.05.08. santafe new mexican. A Marine who took pictures of Iraqi men, women and children killed by U.S. forces testified Thursday that he deleted the photos under an officer's orders and later lied repeatedly to investigators about what happened to the images. / The testimony by Staff Sgt. Justin Laughner came during the court-martial of 1st Lt. Andrew Grayson, who is accused of helping cover up the Nov. 19, 2005, killings in Haditha, Iraq.
[span style="color: rgb(255, 0, 0);"> "justice" (immunity) for the americans but no justice for the dead Iraqis and their families]
Jury acquits Marine of covering up Iraq killings
04.06.08. AP. Grayson was found not guilty of two counts of making false official statements, two counts of trying to fraudulently separate from service, and one count of attempt to deceive by making false statements. He would have faced as many as 20 years in prison if convicted of all counts. / Grayson's attorney, Joseph Casas, said he believed the verdict could influence pending prosecutions. "I think it sets the tone for the overall whirlwind Haditha has been. It's been a botched investigation from the get-go," he said. "I believe in the end all of the so-called Haditha Marines who still have to face trial will be exonerated."
US Marine refuses to testify about Fallujah killings, is jailed for contempt
13.06.08. Jurist. A US District Court Judge Thursday ordered US Marine Corps Sgt. Ryan G. Weemer [JURIST news archive] jailed for refusing to testify about the deaths of Iraqi detainees during the Multinational Force-Iraq's November 2004 offensive [GlobalSecurity backgrounder] in Fallujah [USMC timeline; JURIST news archive]. Weemer reportedly refused to testify about the role of former Marine Sgt. Jose Nazario [JURIST news archive] before a federal grand jury Thursday in the alleged killings for fear of self-incrimination. Weemer, who at the time of the incident was a corporal, was charged [JURIST report] in March with one count of murder and one count of dereliction of duty. Last month, another marine, Sgt. Jermaine Nelson, was also jailed for contempt of court [LA Times report] for refusing to testify about the Fallujah incident. AP has more. The North County Times has local coverage.
Haditha charges dropped against top Marine
18.06.08. Reuters. Military Judge Col. Steven Folsom dropped all charges against Lt. Col. Jeffrey Chessani, who was accused of violating a lawful order and dereliction of duty, at a hearing at the Camp Pendleton Marine base in Southern California.
Folsom's decision means that, out of eight Marines originally charged in the events at Haditha, six won dismissals of their charges and one has been cleared at court martial.
Haditha victims' kin outraged as Marines go free
21.06.08. mcclatchy / ICH. Khadija Hassan still shrouds her body in black, nearly three years after the deaths of her four sons. They were killed on Nov. 19, 2005, along with 20 other people in the deadliest documented case of U.S. troops killing civilians since the Vietnam War. / Eight Marines were charged in the case, but in the intervening years, criminal charges have been dismissed against six. A seventh Marine was acquitted. The residents of Haditha, after being told they could depend on U.S. justice, feel betrayed. VIDEO.
23.06.08. Justin Raimondo, anti-war. The Haditha massacre and what it means to be an empire. When the Marines came into the house they just started shooting, going from room to room, killing all where they found them. When they were done, they went on to the next house in the Iraqi village of Haditha, which they attacked with hand grenades, methodically executing everyone inside. When they were done, they had killed 24 people, including two babies, a 5-year-old, a mother who had recently had an appendectomy, and an elderly couple. An Iraqi child testified:
"I couldn't see their faces very well only their guns sticking in to the doorway. I watched them shoot my grandfather, first in the chest and then in the head. Then they killed my granny." ...
CBS files appeal over Haditha interview
14.07.08. AP Mercury news.
MILITARY: Marine Corps seeks to reinstate Haditha charges
04.08.08. nc times. A judge abused his power when he dismissed dereliction of duty charges against Lt. Col. Jeffrey Chessani in the 2005 slaying of two dozen Iraqi civilians, according to an appeal filed on behalf of the Marine Corps.
Hearing scheduled for Edmond soldiers
13.09.08. Edmond Sun. Cpl. Stephen Tatum, who originally was charged with the murder of Iraqi civilians during a counter-attack in response to an ambush in Haditha, Iraq
US troop immunity main hurdle in security pact: Iraq
MILITARY: Remaining Haditha cases mired in courts
13.09.08. north country times. n the nearly two years since eight Camp Pendleton Marines were charged with killing 24 Iraqi civilians in Haditha, six of the men have been exonerated, and widespread interest in the case has waned. / Still, the final chapters in the 2005 killings that reverberated around the world, affected the military's rules of engagement and played a large role in how the war was viewed have yet to be written. / Appellate court hearings for the two remaining defendants over the next month will establish the outline of how Haditha's story will end.
US soldier trial begins in Iraq
13.09.08. presstv.ir. The trial of US soldier, Hal Warner, has begun at a military base near Tikrit, the hometown of executed Iraqi dictator, Saddam Hussein./ .. The killings in Haditha are the most serious of war crimes charges leveled against US forces since the 2003 invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein.
US troops face Iraq murder charge
17.09.08. BBC. Sgt John Hatley, Sgt 1st Class Joseph Mayo, and Sgt Michael Leahy Jr have been charged with premeditated murder, conspiracy to commit premeditated murder and obstruction of justice. / It was alleged that the killings were in retribution for casualties sustained by the soldiers' unit.
US soldier fails to get judge changed in Iraq murder case
21.09.08. AFP. An American soldier failed on Sunday in a bid to replace the judge at a pre-trial hearing into charges that he murdered an Iraqi detainee, a US spokeswoman said. / First Lieutenant Michael Behenna, 25, is accused of the premeditated murder of Ali Mansur Mohammed, as well as assault, making a false official statement and obstruction of justice.
Chevy Chase Marine remembered for his 'outstanding reputation'
09.10.08. Stahlman, 45, died on Oct. 5 from injuries suffered from a non-hostile incident on July 31 in Anbar Province, Iraq, according to the Department of Defense. He taught at the Judge Advocate General's School earlier in his career. Defense officials have not released details about how Stahlman was injured, but have said the incident is under investigation. / According to a report by the Associated Press, Stahlman was an investigative officer in the case of a Marine accused and later acquitted of murdering 24 Iraqi civilians in Haditha in 2005. Defense officials would not confirm that report.
Iraqi PM: immunity remains sticking point in security pact
'Collateral damage' or targeted killing, the effect is much the same
11.10.08. Robert Fisk, Independent / ICH. When US troops massacre Iraqi civilians in Haditha because their buddy has been murdered, what is the difference between their revenge and that of Saddam?
MILITARY: Wuterich ruling requires tape review
01.12.08. north county times. A military judge must review unaired portions of a CBS "60 Minutes" interview with Marine Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich in which he recounts the slaying of 24 Iraqi civilians following a roadside bombing, a military appeals court has ruled. / Prosecutors contend that Wuterich may make admissions on those tapes, known as outtakes, that could help them prove him guilty of manslaughter and related offenses in the 2005 slayings in the Iraqi city of Haditha.
Judge in Haditha case told to review '60 Minutes' clips
The Haditha Marines: Six dropped cases, one acquittal
28.12.08. AP. Eight Marines were charged Dec. 21, 2006, with crimes related to the deaths of 24 Iraqi men, women and children during a bloody, door-to-door sweep in the town of Haditha. It’s the biggest criminal case against U.S. troops involving Iraqi deaths to come out of the war. / Charges have been dismissed against six defendants, and a seventh was acquitted. The sole remaining defendant is the squad leader, Staff Sgt. Frank D. Wuterich, whose court-martial isn’t yet scheduled. Prosecutors hope to retry Lt. Col. Jeffrey R. Chessani, who was the battalion commander at the time.
MILITARY: Haditha case back in court Wednesday
10.03,09. norrh county times. Attorneys for CBS and the Marine Corps are due in a base courtroom Wednesday to battle over unaired portions of a "60 Minutes" interview with a Marine recounting the slaying of 24 Iraqi civilians following a roadside bombing. Prosecutors contend that segments of the interviews not shown in the March 2007 broadcast may prove their case against the Marine, Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich.
No release for CBS tapes of Marine in Iraqi deaths
13.03,09. anti-war. Military judge rules CBS won't have to turn over interview tapes of officer in Iraq killings
The Tragic End of Justice for Haditha Victims?
IRAQ: Court upholds dismissal of charges against Marine colonel in Haditha killings
17.03.09. LA Times. A military appeals court today upheld the dismissal of war crimes charges against Marine Lt. Col. Jeffrey Chessani, the highest-ranking Marine charged in the 2005 killing of 24 civilians in Haditha, Iraq. The JURIST comments: "An objective, disinterested observer, fully informed of all the facts and circumstances, would harbor significant doubt about the fairness of this proceeding. Thus, we are left to conclude that the Government has failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt there was no apparent unlawful command influence.
Haditha Dismissal Upheld In Court
19.03.09. the bulletin. “We are convinced the government failed to meet its burden of demonstrating, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the proceedings were untainted by the appearance of UCI (Unlawful Command Influence),” reads the court’s decision. “We are similarly convinced that an objective, disinterested observer, fully informed of all the facts and circumstances, would harbor significant doubt about the fairness of this proceeding.” This decision could be appealed to the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces and then even to the U.S. Supreme Court. The government has yet to announce whether it will pursue another appeal.
Savage: Dismissal Of Charges Against Marine Shows 'Power Of Radio'
20.03.09. radio link. Savage and the Thomas More Law Center have long worked for the dismissal of the case against Chessani, who was charged with not launching a war crimes investigation into the deaths of Iraqi civilians in Haditha. Savage said, "Radio has freed an innocent man.
IT IS NOT RADIO THAT HAS ACQUITTTTED THE GUILTY OF THE MURDERS OF WOMEN AND CHILDREN EITHER IN HADITHA OR IN THE BLACKWATER CASES. IT IS PAUL BREMER AND THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT WHO ARE RESPONSIBLE AND PRIMARILY ACCOUNTABLE FOR THESE MURDERS. THE “BREMER LAWS” ENSURED THAT NO ONE WOULD BE ACCOUNTABLE IN SUCH CASES. WAR CRIMES WERE COMMITTED IN IRAQ IN DEFENSE OF "DEMOCRACY AND FREEDOM."
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Tags: Index Research, Haditha, Iraq, Middle East Forum, Daniel Pipes, David Horowitz, news and politics, court martial, media