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Marine investigation complete: War Crimes in Haditha
Posted by: Jon Henke on Friday, May 26, 2006

I'm glad an investigation took place, but I'm sorry to see the result...
A military investigation into the deaths of two dozen Iraqis last November is expected to find that a small number of marines in western Iraq carried out extensive, unprovoked killings of civilians, Congressional, military and Pentagon officials said Thursday.
Thought it happens in almost every conflict, it's never, ever excusable. Nor is a cover-up, the possibility of which is also being investigated. The military first attributed the deaths to "a makeshift bomb", then to "cross-fire between marines and attackers".

One hopes that heads will roll as far up the chain of command as participation in the cover-up went. That inquiry is "expected to report its findings in coming days."

It's difficult to estimate the kind of damage this does to the United States. For one thing, this may increase the pressure on the Iraqi government to push US troops out of Iraq more quickly and more completely. And of course, the propoganda value of this action to anti-US interests is enormous.

It helps, of course, that we've conducted an investigation and will (presumably) be taking legal action against the guilty soldiers. It also helps that people like Rep. John Murtha — and "[Rep.] John Kline, a Minnesota Republican" — spoke out forcefully against the war crime as soon as they were briefed on the findings of the investigation by Marine officials, who also claimed "the Marine Corps' own evidence appears to show Murtha is right." (though, for what it's worth, I reject Murtha's "overreacted because of the pressure" excuse)

See Allahpundit at HotAir for more links and commentary. Inter alia, he notes that the LA Times is reporting that the investigation has concluded that "Marines from Camp Pendleton wantonly killed unarmed Iraqi civilians, including women and children, and then tried to cover up the slayings in the insurgent stronghold of Haditha".

Apparently, John Murtha was not a "traitor", but simply privy to the outcome of the investigation before the Marine Corps released it to the press. I'd suggest that he's owed an apology if I thought it would do any good.
 
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If he wasn’t just assuming the worse and was privy, its still inappropriate to release details of an investigation.
 
Written By: jpm100
URL: http://
If he wasn’t just assuming the worse and was privy, its still inappropriate to release details of an investigation.
I guess I’m still in the dark as to why it was so important that he announce this first, when it was apparently obvious to everyone privy to the investigation that the military was going to announce the results they just did at the appropriate time.

Unless (gasp) a political agenda is involved.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
Ya mean the brave, honorable Mr Murtha was being politically opportunistic.

Maybe the Democrats have an anti-Rove hidden somewhere. Or were they just lucky in trying to get ahead of this story?

As far as the investigations go, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. There was certainly an attempt to coverup at the squad level. But what do we know beyond that. The military changed stories. I would suggest probably because they were receiving their information from people who had something to hide. At what levels, we just don’t know at this point.
 
Written By: Keith, Indy
URL: http://
As far as the investigations go, let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
No one’s ahead of themselves, Keith. Murtha’s source was obviously the investigation and he was privy to the upcoming conclusion, which, for some reason, he felt compelled to blurt out first.

Try as I might, I’m unable to come up with anything for doing so that doesn’t smack of politics.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
Political motives are behind everything politicians do. That’s a remarkably unsurprising fact.

But whatever deep, inner intentions you may infer, the fact is that he received a briefing and then discussed the briefing. There’s no particular reason why he should have waited. For that matter, WE are discussing the investigation based on limited briefings and before the Marine has released the document to the general public.

Unless Murtha disclosed classified information, there’s nothing at all wrong with speaking out against what a military investigation had determined was murder. On the contrary, the more Americans — and especially politicians — who speak quickly and loudly against this kind of behaviour, the better for all of us.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.qando.net/
Personally, I find it repulsive, although not at all surprising, that Murtha would use the situation for political reasons. It doesn’t make him a traitor, but if he were representing me, I would make sure he was voted out of office because believe it or not I expect more out of people/politicians/etc...

 
Written By: Monica
URL: http://
Unless Murtha disclosed classified information, there’s nothing at all wrong with speaking out against what a military investigation had determined was murder. On the contrary, the more Americans — and especially politicians — who speak quickly and loudly against this kind of behaviour, the better for all of us.
And of course that couldn’t have been done after the investigation was concluded and the military had announced its findings?


In my opinion, it was an attempt to steal a step in order to characterize the military in an unflattering light.

You may be fine with that ... I’m not.

The investigation was completed, the conclusion was obviously known. The appropriate thing was to let the military air its own dirty laundry and explain how it had handled it. That builds confidence in the institution’s ability to do such things.

Then, if Murtha has something to say about it all, he should feel free to do so. No one would say a word.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
If the military was always going to release this info anyway - then I agree with McQ.

But I don’t 100% share McQ’s confidence in that.
It wouldn’t be the first investigation whose results aren’t shown to the public. Although, in fairness, in this particular war, this has been, to my knowledge, less of an issue - that’s no guarantee.

One could argue that releasing the story early could be done out of an interest in the story staying as it was originally heard.

Besides, I trust the descriptions I’ve heard of Murtha being a conduit for military opinions and desires generally, when tradition prevents them from speaking for themselves. Maybe even some people in the military itself wanted some assurance that the story would stay the same.

 
Written By: glasnost
URL: http://
One hopes that heads will roll as far up the chain of command as participation in the cover-up went.
I just meant, let’s not point fingers up the chain of command. Wasn’t an accusation that anyone here had done so.
 
Written By: Keith, Indy
URL: http://
In my opinion, it was an attempt to steal a step in order to characterize the military in an unflattering light.
Y’know, I think the soldiers who murdered women and children in cold blood portrayed the military in an unflattering light, not the guy who called them murderers.

I’m not sure why you think that discussing the results of the investigation before the final report is released last week was wrong, but discussing the results of the investigation before the final report is released this week is just fine. Murtha took a briefing. He’s as free to discuss that briefing as are the reporters who wrote the stories linked in this post.

If he gets some political mileage out of it, big deal. Between a politician condemning cold blooded war crimes and a politician holding his breath, I’ll take the former. I wish more had done that.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net
Y’know, I think the soldiers who murdered women and children in cold blood portrayed the military in an unflattering light, not the guy who called them murderers.
And Y’know, that is totally irrelevant to my point.

Stealing a step for political reasons won’t bring a single solitary one of them back, will it?
I’m not sure why you think that discussing the results of the investigation before the final report is released last week was wrong,
Well then you obviously didn’t read my comment if it remains a mystery to you.
If he gets some political mileage out of it, big deal. Between a politician condemning cold blooded war crimes and a politician holding his breath, I’ll take the former. I wish more had done that.
Another strawman: No one ask him to hold his breath. Like I said in the previous comment:
The appropriate thing was to let the military air its own dirty laundry and explain how it had handled it. That builds confidence in the institution’s ability to do such things.

Then, if Murtha has something to say about it all, he should feel free to do so. No one would say a word.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
Jon,

You are undoubtably one of my favourite bloggers. Thanks for always having the personal integrity to say what you think only after carefully thinking about it. It’s refreshing in a medium where too many of the a-listers simply plough the most extreme version of the party line.

Regards, Cernig
 
Written By: Cernig
URL: http://cernigsnewshog.blogspot.com
If the military was always going to release this info anyway - then I agree with McQ.
The military had already briefed congress. That’s how Murtha found out the details. Do you really think they could have said "Psst! Hey, guys, we’ve decided to hush this thing up, so please don’t mention what we just told you about this incident." There was no way they could hush this up after briefing both parties in congress on it. No, the military was being nice and open on this, having learned their lesson with Abu Graib. Murtha betrayed that openness and embarrassed his fellow soldiers by taking the announcement into his own hands.
 
Written By: BrianOfAtlanta
URL: http://
Stealing a step for political reasons won’t bring a single solitary one of them back, will it?
Nor would waiting another week make it any better
The appropriate thing was to let the military air its own dirty laundry and explain how it had handled it. That builds confidence in the institution’s ability to do such things.
The fact that Murtha was out there a week ago touting their investigation should not detract from their credibility in the least. The Marines did an investigation and reported it to Congressional leaders. That build confidence. I see no benefit at all in Congressional silence after they’ve learned of the report.

Focus: cold-blooded murder (bad) — a Congressman condemned murder based on the initial reports of a Marine investigation. (good) There need be no political subtext to this, except insofar as everything that happens over there has a bearing on the political fight about what should be done.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net
Incidentally, Republicans talked about it last week, too. So did military officials. You remember all the criticism of them, right?
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net
Thanks for always having the personal integrity to say what you think only after carefully thinking about it.
I find that amusing, considering Jon is praising a congressman who does exactly the opposite.

I’m sure Jon will also have no problem with Murtha’s defaming the American bomber crews in WWII either, because those bomber pilots committed evil acts too, didn’t they.

Jon? Jon?

NED
 
Written By: NewEnglandDevil
URL: http://
If the military was always going to release this info anyway - then I agree with McQ.

But I don’t 100% share McQ’s confidence in that.
It wouldn’t be the first investigation whose results aren’t shown to the public. Although, in fairness, in this particular war, this has been, to my knowledge, less of an issue - that’s no guarantee.
Whilst many on the Left don’t seem to want to believe it, not every war is VIETNAM, much less this one. I do believe that the US military has learned a number of lessons from Vietnam. The best of which is, "That bad news is not like wine or cheese, it does not age well with time." The Army was slow to investigate or act on My Lai, because of the publicity black eye it would deal to the Army and the military in general. They got one for My Lai and then one for the attempt to not deal with it.

I think the miltary learned from that lesson. So Glasnost, I’m afraid that you’ll have to agree with McQ; the Marines WERE investigating when Murtha flapped his gums and WOULD have released their report/indictment(s) irrespective of Murtha’s comments. But they are bound to presume innocence and that they have a desire to put THEIR story out, first, as completely as possible to head off "wild speculation". So, No they weren’t going to broadcast that they were investigating, but neither were they NOT investigating nor were they likely to NOT reveal the results. Certainly that would be impossible after the Art. 32 Hearings and the charges were leveled against individual Marines. Their Defense Counsel(s) would certainly have made announcement of the charges and trial.

I also note, with sadness, pride and pleasure that a company commander and battalion commander,IIRC, have been relieved of duty as a result of this investigation. Unlike My Lai were the Army transferred the battalion and brigade commander out of country before an investigation could occur, in order to shield THEM from questions about how Taskforce Oregon had been behaving PRIOR to My Lai. The military wanted Calley and Medina to take the fall as much as possible. Here the Chain of Command IS being held responsible for their actions AND more likley their ommissions and obstructions.

So unless one happens to be Cindy Sheehan, CindyB or possibly MK those responsible ARE being held for their acts, unless these men are merely puppets and that the REAL criminals are the evillllll Neo-Con, Straussian Fascist Oil-Profiteer Robber Baron Merchants of Death that rule this country under the auspices of two stolen elections engineered to place Chimpy McShrubHitlerBurton into power. If that the case, I really can’t help you and really ahve little or no desire to discuss things with you.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
I’m sure Jon will also have no problem with Murtha’s defaming the American bomber crews in WWII either, because those bomber pilots committed evil acts too, didn’t they.
I have no idea. It’s difficult to judge the merits of a nonexistent statement about vague 60 year old events.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net
The fact that Murtha was out there a week ago touting their investigation should not detract from their credibility in the least. The Marines did an investigation and reported it to Congressional leaders. That build confidence. I see no benefit at all in Congressional silence after they’ve learned of the report.
I do, and I’ve made the point repeatedly why I do.
Incidentally, Republicans talked about it last week, too. So did military officials. You remember all the criticism of them, right?
ALL of them should have STFU until the military investigation was officially announced by those concluding the investigation. Clear enough?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
Sorry, no apology to Mr. Murtha.

He was proclaiming their guilt before they’d been convicted, before they were tried, before they were charged, and before the investigation was done. If he’d been content to claim that there was an ongoing investigation ... but he wasn’t.

Shooting off your mouth can be as dangerous as shooting a firearm. Moreso, for some people and some words. He knew better, bragging about how the world sees us, and then smearing his brothers-in-arms with a toxic charge before they have a chance to answer.

You’re going to hear a lot of Marines calling for heads, if they are convicted. But we’re going to do things in proper order ... accusation, investigation , charges, trial, conviction, execution.

Murtha’s brought the condemnation upon himself by his own actions, and has no one, not even those who might be found guilty, to blame.
 
Written By: htom
URL: http://
Can we just agree that there are two separate events here: the atrocity (if that’s indeed what it was), and Murtha & Kline talking about it?
And might I suggest that regardless of whether you think Murtha & Kline were right or wrong to do what he did, one of those two events is much more important than the other? And might I further suggest that it is not the talking?
 
Written By: Mithras
URL: http://mithrastheprophet.blogspot.com
Jon, your infatuation with the left is corrupting you. That corruption is getting to be fugly.
"One hopes that heads will roll as far up the chain of command as participation in the cover-up went."
Which in large measure presumes a cover-up took place. There is no evidence of this at this time.

It is also beyond comprehension that you view Murtha’s comments as being anything other than a contemptible, crass attempt to benefit politically from the crime of these soldiers. He is owed no apology.

"I see no benefit at all in Congressional silence after they’ve learned of the report."
I do not believe the concept of "stealing thunder" genuinely escapes you.
"There need be no political subtext to this, except insofar as everything that happens over there has a bearing on the political fight about what should be done."
And the context of those remarks makes it inherently politicized. It cannot be avoided by the honest, in your comments on this matter you are simply not among them.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
ALL of them should have STFU until the military investigation was officially announced by those concluding the investigation. Clear enough?
Uh huh. Funny, only Murtha was called on the carpet about it at the time, though. I wonder if that also "smacks of politics"?
Which in large measure presumes a cover-up took place. There is no evidence of this at this time.
Are you kidding? The story changed 3 times? At the very least, the squad (or Unit, or whatever) involved tried to cover it up.
And might I suggest that regardless of whether you think Murtha & Kline were right or wrong to do what he did, one of those two events is much more important than the other? And might I further suggest that it is not the talking?
Excellent point.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net
Incidentally, Republicans talked about it last week, too. So did military officials. You remember all the criticism of them, right?
From the first article -
But earlier this week, Rep. John P. Murtha (D-Pa.) said the incident was "much worse" and had involved no firefight or roadside bomb that killed civilians. "Our troops overreacted because of the pressure on them, and they killed innocent civilians in cold blood," said Murtha, who seeks a rapid withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq.
from the second -
Murtha, a vocal opponent of the war in Iraq, said at a news conference Wednesday that sources within the military have told him that an internal investigation will show that "there was no firefight, there was no IED (improvised explosive device) that killed these innocent people. Our troops overreacted because of the pressure on them, and they killed innocent civilians in cold blood."

Military officials say Marine Corp photos taken immediately after the incident show many of the victims were shot at close range, in the head and chest, execution-style. One photo shows a mother and young child bent over on the floor as if in prayer, shot dead, said the officials, who spoke to NBC News on condition of anonymity because the investigation hasn’t been completed
In both cases cited it appears the discussions you’re wishing there was criticism for took place in response to Murtha’s comment.

There-in lies the problem I think McQ has, and the problem I have.
The implication for people like Glasnost is that the military wouldn’t have done the right thing on their own accord with this and made the announcements unless ’Fightin’ Jack Murtha forced them to by revealing it before they could do so officially.
It lends an air of further cover-up, and lends the air that Murtha is the man who smoked further cover-up attempts.

Is Murtha the usual spokesman for the military? Or is this just a job he decided he needed to take on in this particular case?
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Uh huh. Funny, only Murtha was called on the carpet about it at the time, though. I wonder if that also "smacks of politics"?
At the time I was only aware of Murtha’s comments. I’ve since, in the last comment, clarified that, haven’t I?
Excellent point.
Actually as I’ve pointed out before when you made it, it is an irrelevant point.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
And might I further suggest that it is not the talking?

Excellent point.
It would be an excellent point only if the people who did the shooting do not face a commensurate punishment. The ’talking you think Murtha should have an apology for is the least punishment commensurate to his misbahavior.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
Jon Henke wrote:
"Funny, only Murtha was called on the carpet about it at the time, though."
Funny only to people so twisted morally by being a leftist fellow traveller, that they can’t see Murtha was trying to benefit politically from his statements about the crime.

There is no human truth to the left which should be applauded by the good or reinforced by political exercise. Leftism deleda est.

Murtha is of the left.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
The massacre and it’s revelation are two separate incidents.

What happened was not helped by Jack Murtha in any way, shape, size, or form. It did help Jack however.

"Stealing thunder" somewhat describes the situation, but it’s not the same. This is too much like someone trying to own up to something and before they can their annoying sibling jumps up and spills the beans to everyone.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
"At the very least, the squad (or Unit, or whatever) involved tried to cover it up."
Oh good GOD Jon! That is preposterously disengenuous of you!

For the participants in a massacre to attempt to disguise their crimes is no cover-up in the manner the phrase is used in political discourse. For their superiors at increasingly distant strata of the hierarchy to obscure the truth of what happened when they have no first hand participation in the event, that is a cover-up.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
Expose the Left has the audio.

Go to 5:45

Colmes asks Murtha if the US Military was deliberately targetting civilians, suggets that the US military would never deliberately target civilians. Murtha pauses, thinking, then says, "Now wait a minute, in world war II we dropped bombs on them, all these different countries, we killed civilians. This is wartime."

Because of Colmes’ direct reference to the DELIBERATE targetting of civilians, I’m hard pressed to come up with another explanation for his comments.

NED
 
Written By: NewEnglandDevil
URL: http://
"This is too much like someone trying to own up to something and before they can their annoying sibling jumps up and spills the beans to everyone."

An apt description, and given the seriousness of the crime, Murtha deserves all the opprobrium he rec’v’d so far and more.

Yours, TDP, ml, sml, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
I don’t give a crap about Murtha, he is a sad individual who learned all the wrong lessons from Vietnam.
As for the actual killings, of course justice must be done, but let us be aware that these things ALWAYS happen in times of war, have always happened, and indeed American soldiers in every war we ever had have taken part in atrocities.
Humans are not perfect, and war is a horrible condition to thrust young people into. I chalk it up as all of a part of the horrors of war. We are not any worse nor any better as a society because of it.
 
Written By: kyle N
URL: http://impudent.blognation.us/blog
Are you trying to tell me that we didn’t deliberately target civilians in places like Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and Dresden? I’m not saying that we were necessarily wrong to bomb those places, but we very deliberately used weapons that foreseeably and unavoidably killed many, many civilians. It wasn’t an act of carpet bombing an area of high-density military value and killing civilians incidentally; it was an act of total war, to make it as costly for the enemy as possible. So how is Murtha wrong on that? And how, exactly, did he lay any blame at the feet of the bomber crews?

As for the rest, I guess it’s unfair to comment on anything until after the investigation, trial, and appeals have all run their course, eh?
 
Written By: SuinBruin
URL: http://
Boy, an awful lot of people here righteously angry at a politican who talked about an act of war crimes. I don’t see too many people here righteously angry at the people who committed the war crimes.

You might want to look in the mirror and wonder why you, Mr. Audience, are so focused in like a laser on trivial statements by politicians, and so damn silent about the events themselves.

If you think the difference in the meat of this sad set of events is whether Mr. Murtha talks about it before the military does, your universe of perception is pretty warped.

Do a little looking in the mirror. Are reputations and message sensitivity really of such vast importance to you, and human lives such a relative footnote?

Jon, what most people here are really annoyed about was that you posted on this topic at all.
 
Written By: glasnost
URL: http://
Glasnost, are you just trolling? I think my post summed it up pretty well, and I don’t see anyone here making excuses.
But let my try to answer you. the reason we are hard on Murtha, even if he is factually correct, is that he is a opportunistic politician who is opposed to the war no matter what happens, and no matter what good might come out of it.
 
Written By: kyle N
URL: http://impudent.blognation.us/blog
I don’t see too many people here righteously angry at the people who committed the war crimes.
Because they aren’t getting away with it; they are being handled by the military legal system.

If it appears that they committed a crime and get out of paying for that crime, then I’ll get angry.
 
Written By: Mark A. Flacy
URL: http://
Boy, an awful lot of people here righteously angry at a politican who talked about an act of war crimes. I don’t see too many people here righteously angry at the people who committed the war crimes.
There you go making those huge leaps. Why does one necessarily rule out the other.

What’s the subject at the moment, glasnost?


 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
Unless there are outright railroaded confessions, which is highly doubtful, it will not be possible to convict these brave Marines of anything. This was not My Lai, involving hundreds of people and troops, many of whom did not wish to do what they had been ordered to do. This was a very small action, involving a small squad of Marines and a few dozen possible partisans. The incident occurred six months ago, and was only recently thoroughly investigated. In other words, stale and questionable evidence in the middle of a war zone! I am reminded of the action in Afghanistan last summer when medals were awarded to a Special Forces Team for carrying out a raid on a village harboring several dozen Taliban who were protecting a famed Taliban Regional Leader. All twenty of the Taliban bodyguards were killed, and just as the Team was leaving, the Regional Leader was detected and captured. Where was he hiding? Why under two native women who were sitting on him with their clothes spread out over him. Yes, the scumbag was armed, and no the women were not killed in the capture of this senior Taliban thug. But they easily could have been, and justifiably so!
 
Written By: Pat West
URL: http://
Oh how cute....glasnost is trying to play the "moral superiority" card.

Badly of course, but still, I applaud the attempt. "Good try there little feller!!"
trivial statements by politicians, and so damn silent about the events themselves.
His statement hardly "trivial". The event, bad as it is, is being handled properly, and I expect the perps will be facing a bad punishment.
That it happened doesn’t excuse Murtha from happily jumping on it to push his own anti-troops/anti-war agenda.
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
McQ,
That last point is a good one. Glasnost, the subject is Murtha. The reason nobody seems exercised about the Marines is that isn’t the subject. Exactly what is there to debate about their behavior anyway? If what they are accused of actually happened the comments would be zero. Jon says they should all be tried and put in prison for a long time and we all say? Nothing, except maybe an "I agree." McQ and Jon disagree about a few things, but punishing murderers isn’t one of them.

I love you Jon, but I have to side with McQ here. We have to reward the military as an institution for doing the right thing by allowing them to show they are doing it. Murtha tried to act like he was the story to make it seem as if he were doing something. I also don’t see why you find it so great he condemned a terrible war crime. In a case such as this, who won’t (at least anybody whose opinion we should value at least)? Who needed to hear the condemnation? The soldiers? They will be tried. The military? I suspect that is the point Murtha is really trying to make, that the military needed to hear it, but they were obviously not his audience. By condemning it ahead of time he was making sure the country, voters, heard it from him instead of the military so we would believe he was calling someone to account. Obviously it wasn’t the soldiers, it was the military itself and he wanted to act as if his condemnation showed some special moral strength that someone lacks. And who is it who lacks that moral fiber? The Bush adminstration and the military. Whatever they do now will seem as if it was because of him or congress rather than the instituition itself, and therefore undermining it. That was his goal and he has been successful with many.

I am all for attacking the military when it deserves it, and therefore I have long admired this blog’s willingness to do so, even when I disagreed. Murtha’s attack may have been indirect (and therefore easy to characterize, if one wants to, as merely "telling the story") but an attack it was all the same. Not on the guilty soldiers or even potentially their superiors, but on the institution itself. It isn’t the first time Murtha has done this, so I am not sure why you are resisting the complaint. The intelligent criticism of him at the time was on just this basis. That his story turned out to be accurate is therefore irrelevant to that complaint. I myself felt anger at his scenery chewing at the time and I was of the opinion the story was likely true before Murtha ever spoke up. So why would the story turning out to be true change my opinion one way or the other? Neither I or McQ ever said he was lying about the investigation, so our complaint still stands. If we, and Murtha, want to make a statement about this kind of behavior it will be by encouraging (without some implied accusation that the military will not) a stiff punishment.

If they fail us there, and not before, we can all join hands and call for heads to roll. I have no doubt you, Dale and McQ will join me.
 
Written By: Lance
URL: http://
The wingnuts will NEVER, ever apologize to Murtha. This would entail too many acknowledgements of error. Too much assumption of personal responsibility. Too much accountability. Too much truth.

You see, the Christian wingnuts don’t believe the rules apply to them. They are above mere rules, because "God" is on their side. They will ALWAYS come up with some reason to hate the truth.

Give it some time. Soon enough, the wingnuts will find a way to blame Cindy Sheehan, Hillary Clinton and Jane Fonda for the war crimes in Haditha and the subsequent coverup. Which, by the way, would have succeeded but for the uncharacteristic diligence of Time magazine in this one case.

Lord only knows what else lurks.
 
Written By: CW
URL: http://
What’s the subject at the moment, glasnost?
And McQ, what’s the title of the post?

It amazes me that now the US military is ’confirmed’ guilty of war crimes that all that comments/criticism from the right is towards a guy who is deemed hurting America by telling the truth. Oh, the moral outrage of it!

Whilst the political squabbling goes unabated over there the real, uncomfortable truths don’t go away. If you can’t think of reasons to discuss the actions and repercussions of the action of these marines, then you’re in bigger trouble than I thought.
 
Written By: symptomless
URL: http://
And McQ, what’s the title of the post?
The title of the post is incorrect, symptomless. Here’s the lead paragraph to the story cited:
A military investigation into the deaths of two dozen Iraqis last November is expected to find that a small number of marines in western Iraq carried out extensive, unprovoked killings of civilians, Congressional, military and Pentagon officials said Thursday.
That doesn’t even imply, ’complete’.
It amazes me that now the US military is ’confirmed’ guilty of war crimes that all that comments/criticism from the right is towards a guy who is deemed hurting America by telling the truth. Oh, the moral outrage of it!
It amazes me you’re not better informed:
Brig. Gen. David M. Brahms:

"Recent reporting on the events in Haditha, Iraq have included significant factual errors and/or misleading statements. This includes a quote attributed to me in the Washington Post this morning that was taken completely out of context and its meaning distorted. Many facts that are favorable to the Marines involved have not yet been disclosed."
And then there is this from Brahms:
"The worst thing that can happen in a case of this kind is to have it politicized...that’s exactly what has happened here. They’re leaking a story which is yet unwritten."

"It’s not normal to have a Member of Congress to decide to have hearings, at least while this whole business is in flux."

"I think there has been (a rush to judgement)...This has got to impact the fairness of the procedure."

"We’ll get more precise information. Let’s kind of step back, let’s try to realize that there’s another side of this story...People accused may be guys like my son and your brothers."

"The problem is, of course, that everybody’s got a political agenda...in the middle are a group of American Marines."
Whilst the political squabbling goes unabated over there the real, uncomfortable truths don’t go away. If you can’t think of reasons to discuss the actions and repercussions of the action of these marines, then you’re in bigger trouble than I thought.
I think we ought to look it dead in the eye and do what is right and necessary WHEN THE INVESTIGATION IS CONCLUDED.

I capitalized all that for you so you might actually get the point this time.

There is a proper time for everything and I’m only pointing out that those in a rush to politicize this for their own political agenda may make it more difficult for those involved to get a fair trial. But make no mistake, if the investigation finds them to have committed murder, I want them charged and prosecuted to the full extent of the law. But I want the trial to be fair and factual and without prejudice or political pressure.

Clear? Is that too much to ask?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
The title of the post is incorrect, symptomless.
The title of the post is correct. Various organizations stated it variously, but the LA Times (cited in the post) wrote...
Officials who have seen the findings of the investigations ... An administrative inquiry overseen by Army Maj. Gen. Eldon Bargewell found that several infantry Marines fatally shot as many as 24 Iraqis and that other Marines either failed to stop them or filed misleading or blatantly false reports.

The report concludes that a dozen Marines acted improperly after a roadside bomb explosion killed a fellow Marine, Lance Cpl. Miguel Terrazas.
Other aspects of this investigation (the charges) are ongoing, and other investigations are being conducted, but this initial investigation was completed.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net
JOHN MURTHA HAS MORE BALLS THAN ANY OF YOU RIGHT WINGER IDIOTS, IF YOU DONT HAVE THE TRUTH, YOU DONT HAVE ANY THING, THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION IS AS MUCH TO BLAME AS ANY ONE FOR JUMP STARTING THIS WAR, WITH TOO FEW TROOPS( WHICH SEVERAL ADVISORS TRIED TO TELL THE ADMINS) READ ABOUT THE SNIPER IN BAGDAD THAT HAS KILLED 30+ TROOPS THAT WE CANT STOP, JOHN MURTHA IS MORE AMERICAN THAN ANY OF YOU RIGHT WINGING IDIOTS, YOU COULDNT CARRY HIS JOCK STRAP,,,,,,,,,,BUSH THE AIR GUARD FLUNKIE, CHENEY WITH HIS 5 DEFERRALS, ROVE WITH HIS DEFERAL.....THE WHITE HOUSE IS NOW THE YELLOW HOUSE , ITS NOW A CHICKEN COUP, BUSH ADMINISTRATION HAS MADE A HELL OF A LOT OF TERRORIST, US WILL PAY FROM NOW ON BECAUSE OF THE REPOOBLICON IGNORANCE.........YOU JUST DONT JUMP IN A WAR HALF ASSED PREPARED
 
Written By: DUFFEY
URL: http://
LOOKS LIKE JOHN MURTHA IS RIGHT ON ALL ACCOUNTS, I WONDER WHAT HAS BEEN COVERD UP SO FAR THAT WILL NOT BE KNOWN, PEOPLE YOU BETTER BE GLAD FOR PEOPLE LIKE JOHN MURTHA, THE BUSH ADMIN. IS RUNNING THE U.S. IN TO THE GROUND,,,,,,,,FUNNY THING PEOPLE GO AFTER JOHN MURTHA FOR SPEAKING TRUTH, HE IS STANDING UP FOR WHAT IS RIGHT, WE NEED MORE OF THE CHICKEN SH*T POLITICIANS TO DO THE RIGHT THING,,,,,,,FUNNY THING THE RIGHT WINGING ARE THE MOST PARTISAN PEOPLE, THEY CANT SAY ANY THING GOOD ABOUT PEOPLE TOWARD THE LEFT
 
Written By: DUFFEY
URL: http://
YOU JUST DONT JUMP IN A WAR HALF ASSED PREPARED
Rolls on floor laughing

Check your history. That’s pretty much par for the course.
 
Written By: Mark A. Flacy
URL: http://
McQ, thanks for the clarificatin.

What you don’t have to clarify is the entirely predictable nature of the debate. It follows the same template for most political discussion here and on other US blogs, i.e. ignore the issue and focus on partisan bitching.

Mark, can you name a war that wasn’t started with lies?
 
Written By: symptomless
URL: http://
War for a soldier is like climbing down a black hole.Right and wrong are irrelevant in the moment of fear confusion and trying to stay live. Some are unhinged momentarily by it,some frozen, some beserk. It always occurs somewhere. Why do we put soldiers in those circumstanes if we cannot tolerate any error or misdeed. Murtha, and those like him, thinks the citizen is naive and he plays it like a violin, for what he percieves as his own benefit. If the rest of the US Congress plays it the way Murtha and his ilk do, then they should be put in uniform and sent into combat. There is no question that failure to do one’s duty with some judgement should lead to judgement. Judgement in the confines of the circumstances in which it occured. The officer in Charge of those Marines is responsible and after that the Commanding Officer of the Company. These two officers are resposible when their marines are killed therefore they are responsible when things go awry for their marines. It is a matter for the Marines to handle and to see that all parties recieve justice. It is not necessary for our entire Nation to be brought into this problem as Murtha and his politicos would have it. It is one of the very, very sad facts of war and I think most Americans have a vague sense of it. Thus the reason that many wise men have often repeated, do not start a war unless you have thought it thru very carefully. tHANKS.
 
Written By: the old man
URL: http://
Why do we put soldiers in those circumstanes if we cannot tolerate any error or misdeed.
Well, first of all, murder isn’t an "error", it’s a premeditated act. Secondly, we have never considered murder to simply be a "misdeed". To me a misdeed is something from which you can redeem yourself, and that doesn’t fit murder.

The military spends an extraordianary amount of time, especially when deploying troops in a combat zone on reviewing, stressing and ensuring that the troops know the ROE (Rules of Engagement). Murder is never a part of the ROE. Ever.

Now, there are accidents, and we expect them, given the speed and violence in which a situation can develop. So people are going to die in accidents, and we accept that. But cold-blooded murder is never acceptable under any circumstances, and I can assure you every Soldier, Sailor, Marine and Airman knows that and knows the difference.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
An error in judgement can mean murder and I believe that murder is called a misdeed in Othello. Neither of those are to the point. The point is you are calling this event a murder. Sitting in a car,in Iraq, driven by someone who doesn’t stop at a roadblock and an innocent is killed along with the driver is in fact an accidental murder. None of us in this discussion knows enough to call it a murder. It is a military problem and should be resolved by that very organization. Thanks.
 
Written By: the old man
URL: http://
The point is you are calling this event a murder. Sitting in a car,in Iraq, driven by someone who doesn’t stop at a roadblock and an innocent is killed along with the driver is in fact an accidental murder.
I’m not calling it anything. That is what is being alleged. And we do ourselves and those in the military who conduct themselves according to the ROE a disservice when we use euphemisms to avoid calling murder what it is and to attempt to rationalize it as an "error" or a "misdeed".

I have no idea if those Marines murdered anyone. And I’m content to let the military investigation determine that. But I also am unwilling, should the investigation charge them with murder and then find them guilty, to pretend it is and was something other than murder if they killed innocent people in cold-blood. I served 28 years in the military and that’s not what I was there to do.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
I am happy you are willing to let the military determine the end. I hope you are not willing to try them in the political world or the media world , that would only put one crime on top of the other. ROE only works on paper. A former marine.
 
Written By: the old man
URL: http://
I’m the guy on this blog who’s been banging that drum, for heaven sake. That’s why I’m pi*sed at all the politicians, Republican or Democrat, who find it necessary to poltiicize this.

Let the military do their job. Let the investigation conclude, charges be brought and guilt or innocence determined. But let’s keep it out of Senate hearings (what BS) and the political bloviations of those with an axe to grind or an agenda to put forward.
ROE only works on paper.
No, it doesn’t. It works in the real world. That’s what leaders are for.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
It might be useful to define our terms;
murder(n); "The crime of unlawfully killing a person especially with malice aforethought",
murder(vb); "to kill(a human being) unlawfully and with premeditated malice"

Everyone agrees there was killing, the question would seem to be whether it was lawful killing.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
I’m not Mark, but the ’first blush’ answers are simple enough.

"Mark, can you name a war that wasn’t started with lies?"

1) The American Revolution
2) The Undeclared Naval War with France and Great Britain
3) The War of 1812
4) The American Civil War (well, the South lied to itself a lot)
5) The Gulf War, Parts I & II.

I can’t include WWI and WWII, because there was a whole lot of lying involved which was directly contributory to the move to war, and I can’t include the Mexican American War because I don’t myself know the provenance of the land between the Nueces and Rio Grande rivers.

The Spanish American War, was of course, founded on lies.



Also:
Rolls on floor laughing

Check your history. That’s pretty much par for the course.
You got that right.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
1) The American Revolution

So, The Boston Massacre as propogandized by the Patriots was 100% fact???

Anyway...

I don’t think the leaks are presenting the whole case, and so, we should reserve final judgement until a judgement is actually made and officialy released.

Some good points from Hugh Hewitts blog...

http://hughhewitt.com/archives/2006/05/21-week/index.php#a002287
The Haditha story picked up pace this week as Pentagon sources close to the investigation started leaking word that there may be murder charges in the case. The Marine Commandant’s trip to Iraq has also piqued interest.

The Post has been unable to get anyone from the Pentagon on the record on the investigation, using mostly anonymous sources. The one man they did get on the record on Friday was retired Brig. Gen. David H. Brahms, a long-time lawyer with the Marine Corps who has experience with these types of cases. His quote is in the third paragraph. See if you can guess why the prominent first-quote placement:

"When these investigations come out, there’s going to be a firestorm," said retired Brig. Gen. David M. Brahms, formerly a top lawyer for the Marine Corps. "It will be worse than Abu Ghraib — nobody was killed at Abu Ghraib."

I have a feeling someone was lying in wait for an Abu Ghraib reference. I read the quote and was taken aback because I spoke to the same Brig. Gen. David M. Brahms about the case this week, and his sentiments were very different from those presented in the Post. Which explains why he sent me this statement yesterday:

"Recent reporting on the events in Haditha, Iraq have included significant factual errors and/or misleading statements. This includes a quote attributed to me in the Washington Post this morning that was taken completely out of context and its meaning distorted. Many facts that are favorable to the Marines involved have not yet been disclosed."

When Brahms and I spoke, he made it clear that his concern is that the Marine Corps do a thorough investigation and punish severely those who did wrong, if in fact it is found that they did. He feels confident that will happen. His other concern is that the Marines involved get a fair trial in a highly politicized environment:

"The worst thing that can happen in a case of this kind is to have it politicized...that’s exactly what has happened here. They’re leaking a story which is yet unwritten."

"It’s not normal to have a Member of Congress to decide to have hearings, at least while this whole business is in flux."

"I think there has been (a rush to judgement)...This has got to impact the fairness of the procedure."

"We’ll get more precise information. Let’s kind of step back, let’s try to realize that there’s another side of this story...People accused may be guys like my son and your brothers."

"The problem is, of course, that everybody’s got a political agenda...in the middle are a group of American Marines."

Those quotes are all taken from a phone interview I did with Brahms this week.

Brahms confirmed what press reports have said, that charges in two investigations— an NCIS investigation of the incident itself and an Army investigation of whether there was a cover-up of the incident— are likely to come in mid- to late-June or July, with military justice proceedings in August.

Brahms did mention Abu Ghraib during our conversation. He’s hoping Haditha does not turn out to be a similar black mark on the American military and the war effort in Iraq. He’s also hoping press coverage won’t make Haditha a black mark even before the investigations are complete.

If indeed Marines acted out of line, they will be punished, he said, and he’s confident the Corps will be circumspect in its investigations. Three commanders were sacked in the immediate aftermath of the incident.

Folks on the anti-war Left are crowing that Friday’s leaks mean "Murtha was right," as Oliver Willis put it.

Well, no. Murtha said Marines murdered civilians in cold blood. The leaks say Marines may be charged with murder in the case. We’ve got charges and a trial to go before Murtha can be right.
 
Written By: Keith, Indy
URL: http://
"So, The Boston Massacre as propagandized by the Patriots was 100% fact???"

Are you saying it was 0% fact, only 20%, or do you go for 80%? Claiming this or any other war was "started by lies" is not the statement of a person without symptoms.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
There is a certain amount of propoganda that goes into starting any war, would be an accurate statement for me.

That doesn’t mean there aren’t valid reasons for starting a war. Just that sometimes things are sold to the people in order to gain their support.
 
Written By: Keith, Indy
URL: http://
"That doesn’t mean there aren’t valid reasons for starting a war. Just that sometimes things are sold to the people in order to gain their support."

Which, if you really agree it to be true, makes the statement made by "Hardly" Symptomless—Mark, can you name a war that wasn’t started with lies?— which we were discussing, a really pointless rhetorical flourish, doesn’t it?

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://

 
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