Friday, June 06, 2008

Rep. Murtha a Disgrace to Nation and to Marines

An outspoken critic of the Iraq War, Democrat Congressman John Murtha (formerly a Marine), has carried his objections to our policy of hitting the financial supporters of Islamic terrorism on their home bases to the point of actionable comments. It won’t happen in the current climate, but I would wish for Congressman Murtha that he lose his seat, his property and his freedom. His charges were political, and probably led to a politically-motivated court-martial. We want our soldiers held to a high standard, but when they are under fire, they should (and now have been) judged according to the circumstances in which they find themselves.

US Marine acquitted of all charges in Haditha killings

Jun 5 2008 (Excerpts)

“A court martial on Wednesday acquitted a US Marine for his role in the deaths of 24 civilians in Haditha in Iraq in 2005, the sixth man to be exonerated in the affair, a military official said.

Lieutenant Andrew Grayson, 27, was declared "not guilty on all charges" by a jury, said a spokesman for the Camp Pendleton military base in southern California where the hearing started on May 28…..

He was the first Marine to stand trial in connection with the killings of 24 men, women and children in Haditha, the most serious war crime allegations leveled at US forces since the 2003 invasion to topple Saddam Hussein…..

Eight military personnel were originally charged over the incident -- four soldiers faced murder charges and four officers, including Grayson, were accused of covering up and failing to properly investigate the killings.

However, since charges were first announced in December 2006, prosecutors have struggled to make the allegations stick.

Six have now had charges against them dropped, while charges of murder against squad leader Frank Wuterich were changed to the lesser offense of manslaughter.

Wuterich faces trial later this year, along with Colonel Jeffrey Chessani, the highest ranking officer accused over the incident who has been charged with dereliction of duty and violation of a lawful order.

Wuterich told a preliminary hearing at Camp Pendleton last September that he would "always mourn the unfortunate deaths of the innocent Iraqis who were killed during our response to that attack."

But he said: "Based on the information I had at the time, based on the situation, I made the best decision I could have."

Previous statement by Congressman Murtha (and repeated many times and without benefit of any investigation or trial):
WASHINGTON - A Pentagon probe into the death of Iraqi civilians last November in the Iraqi city of Haditha will show that U.S. Marines "killed innocent civilians in cold blood," a U.S. lawmaker said Wednesday. On Wednesday, Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., said the accounts are true.

Federal judge orders Murtha to testify in Haditha defamation case

“A federal judge has ordered Rep. Jack Murtha (D-Pa.) to testify in a defamation case related to the deaths of Iraqi civilians in the town of Haditha in 2005, according to the Associated Press.

Murtha, a former Marine. accused Marines of "cold-blooded murder and war crimes'' during the Haditha incident. Frank Wuterich, a Marine sergeant involved in the incident, has sued Murtha for libel and invasion of privacy over his comments.

According to AP, U.S. District Judge Rosemary M. Collyer wants Murtha to explain why he made this statement and any documents he has related to the incident.

From the AP: 'You're writing a very wide road for members of Congress to go to their home districts and say anything they choose about private persons and be able to do so without any liability. Are you sure you want to do that?'' Collyer said, adding later, ''How far can a congressman go and still be protected?"”

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At 4:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope that Frank Wuterick' lawyers pick Murtha's bones!


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