Haditha Round Two...A Potential Defense Begins To Emerge

So, how many students do you know are on their way HOME from school at 7:15 a.m in the morning, just happen to have their taxi parked on the side of a road a few meters away from where a marine gets blown up, and then try to flee the scene when they were told to stop? For the first time, the marine Sargent who led that squad spoke, and a potential defense emerges. Are you listening, Jack Murtha?

According to reports this morning from both the Associated Press and Reuters, Staff Sgt. Frank D. Wuterich, 26, the sergeant who led a squad of Marines during the incident in Haditha that left as many as 24 civilians dead , has talked to his attorney and for the first time bits of their version are beginning to emerge.


According to the reports, the incident happened shortly after 7:15 a.m. when the marines left their base and were on the way to drop off Iraqi soldiers at their check-point positions when the first Humvee in a four Humvee caravan was hit.


According to Neal A. Puckett, who represents Wuterich in the ongoing investigations into the incident:


"Wuterich was evaluating the scene, Marines noticed a white, unmarked car full of "military-aged men" lingering near the bomb site. When Marines ordered the men to stop, they ran; Puckett said it was standard procedure at the time for the Marines to shoot suspicious people fleeing a bombing, and the Marines opened fire, killing four or five men."


Looks like those four military-age guys in that fleing taxi were probably on their way home after spending time studying for a final exam, huh? Right. Probably on advanced IED bomb making, it appears.


Anyway, the bigger question is over the rules of engagement that marines are expected to follow, and this line of defense may be used at the trial.


Do you think Murtha knew the time line of the incident and thought about it for more than five seconds before he went public two weeks ago?

Posted by Sicilian Eagle at June 11, 2006 7:54 AM
Comments
Comment #156441

Here’s a link to the story:

linktext

Posted by: SicilianEagle at June 11, 2006 8:09 AM
Comment #156443

SE, given that the Military found that they could not prosecute the civilian contractor who sprayed into innocent civilians, I think we all owe Murtha at least a vote of thanks for bringing Haditha to the forefront of the news so that Americans can evaluate for themselves the inevitable military tactics which our soldiers lives depend upon, by grenading and spraying bullets first and asking if there are any innocents afterward.

Look. The decision was made to take out Saddam Hussein’s regime. We did that. The decision was made to help Iraqis establish a elections and a democratically elected government. We did that. That’s it. From this point forward the mission has been accomplished and every innocent civilian we kill going forward can only be justified by other motives which benefit America, NOT Iraqis.

We can’t run their government for them and call it a democracy. We can’t fight their battles for them and call Iraq an independent state. It is time to withdraw, provide technical and financial support, advocate for UN or NATO assistance as needed. But, to remain there now can only result in more and more charges of murder aimed at our troops and that is not good for America, for her troops, nor for the Iraqis themselves who are more and more divided about our occupation.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 11, 2006 8:21 AM
Comment #156449

Even if this defense is true, that only explains how a few people died. What about the other twenty?

Posted by: Woody Mena at June 11, 2006 9:04 AM
Comment #156452

David

Actually, our positions aren’t that far off. The major difference is that we still need to be there until the Iraqi government can survive on its own…viability..so to speak.

My beef with Murtha is that he jumped the gun..trying marines in the court of public opinion…and his powerful commentary was heard ‘round the world.

There just may be another side to the story..In my last piece about the marines,I articulated a potential defense.This type of stuff is additionial material the MAY help these guys. However, the trial will be a politicial one,unfortunately, at this point.

Woody.
If you read the entire piece, the attorney describes the room to room fighting that led to the other deaths….which, as I said, brings the rules of engagement very much to the forefront.

Posted by: sicilian eagle at June 11, 2006 9:17 AM
Comment #156453

SE:

The students were GOING to school.

I see you support the cover-up of this and Pat Tillman’s.

Nice.

Posted by: Aldous at June 11, 2006 9:24 AM
Comment #156456

Aldous

Do you make up things as you go along, or what?

Here is the original Time piece: They were going HOME:

Note this article says “final” victims….it should say “first”…perception has convicted many, Aldous.

“The final victims of the day happened upon the scene inadvertently, witnesses said. Four male college students — Khalid Ayada al-Zawi, Wajdi Ayada al-Zawi, Mohammed Battal Mahmoud and Akram Hamid Flayeh — had left the Technical Institute in Saqlawiyah for the weekend to stay with one of their families on the street, said Fahmi, a friend of the young men.”

The issue issue, Tillman , has nothing to do with this.

Posted by: sicilianeagle at June 11, 2006 9:35 AM
Comment #156457

I see. But you know, I’ve never heard a defense attorney say, “My client murdered people in cold blood.” It’s just another side to the story.

Keep in mind that Jack Murtha may know more than the rest of us. He was briefed before he made those comments you guys are so upset about. He was probably indiscreet, but he may have known exactly what he was talking about.

If the Marines were really following the rules of engagement, that would obviously work in their defense. But all we have know is what their lawyer is saying.

Posted by: Woody Mena at June 11, 2006 9:38 AM
Comment #156472

Woody

You may very well be correct…..but let me ask you this: If this piece had come out at the same time as the Murtha announcement, would these guys be on the cross the way they are now, or would American public opinion, at least have a chance to hear, ab initio, another version?

Posted by: sicilianeagle at June 11, 2006 10:47 AM
Comment #156485

Eagle

You have the patience of Job my friend! Marines are part of the Armed services. The Armed services are part of the Facist Bush administration, ergo they are guilty. Are they guilty? Maybe. The rules of engagement are such that they have to take casualties before they open fire. Is that the method of murderers? After all the IED’s these guys have seen, all the terrorist’s plotting and executing their plans then fleeing the scene, perhaps we err on the side of the Marines? Never. You can write with all the common sense in the world, but when those who read it have already planned the “I told you the military are all murderous thugs” party, one has to believe that the socialist/leftist anti-military crowd will never be swayed by common sense, or common decency. If Murtha was briefed, and is a veteran, shouldn’t the investigation be allowed to run it’s course? Off course not. When the chance arrives to do any damage to this administration, truth be damned in most cases, the leaks fly like white on rice. Should that be investigated, or should Murtha write an OP-ED piece for the Wash. Post and wait for his Pulitzer?

Posted by: JR at June 11, 2006 11:28 AM
Comment #156491

“Do you think Murtha knew the time line of the incident and thought about it for more than five seconds before he went public two weeks ago?”

So - this is about crucifying Murtha?

Forget the FACT that the original story was a complete lie. Ask yourself why they lied and why their commanders allowed the lie to become official?

I also wonder at so many here who wanted to say “let’s wait for the soldiers to go to trial before making a desiciion” have automatically made their decision when it fits their political agenda.

Is this about finding out what really happened? Or is it more about a rentless witch hunt on a DEM.

Posted by: tony at June 11, 2006 11:46 AM
Comment #156492

JR

You may be right. Bot I intend on fighting tooth and nail every inch for our military.Every inch, and I will ALWAYS give them the benefit of the doubt.

Every one of these military folks are heroes to me, and so are their leaders. That’s the way it is. The good Lord gave me a talent for poking holes in bullshit and painting pictures with words,and if that is the only way I can be of service to my country, again so be it.

I see an opening for the good finally in this war based on the events of this past week, and if I can even give one person pause to think here on Watchblog,then I have done my job, I think.

Posted by: sicilianeagle at June 11, 2006 11:48 AM
Comment #156495

Tony

I am glad you asked that question. I think it’s about both.

First,yes, I am for letting justice play out in a court of law. I am funny in that way,I guess. Innocent until proven guilty, and all that stuff.

However,a picture now has emerged about Murtha.He is rapidly becoming this war’s George McGovern,and as such I will take issue with him.Thankfully,he appears to be shooting himeslf and his party in the foot. On Friday he announced his intention of running for House Majority leader if the Dems get control of the House. This will force the Dems to fight among themselves a bit and further divide an already divided party.

I will however now say that all Murtha’s politicial capital is shot with the military and I want all to know that.

Representative Sam Johnson for Texas is a guy that should be listened to,not Murtha, I think.

Posted by: sicilianeagle at June 11, 2006 12:00 PM
Comment #156496

“Every one of these military folks are heroes to me”

Except those who disagree with Bush… you forgot to mention that.

Posted by: tony at June 11, 2006 12:00 PM
Comment #156497

Innocent until proven guilty refers to an individual’s assumption of innocence. It has absolutely no bearing on the discussion of the facts of any given case or incident.

Murtha’s has never named a single person who is “guilty” but he did point out that teh military had officially covered up the lies with regards to this case and had done nothing to uncover the truth.

Where does truth fit within your scheme of things? Aren’t you willing to discover the truth - to demand to know the truth and convict those who break the law? If we don’t separate out those soldiers who follow the law verses those who break it, we run the risk of the assumption that all our military functions this way.

Posted by: tony at June 11, 2006 12:06 PM
Comment #156498

Tony

Actually no,Tony. If they have served this country,they are my heros,and I thank them for their service. However,if politicially they now speak out against this country’s military mission, then they are fair game and I can disagree with them.

Posted by: sicilianeagle at June 11, 2006 12:06 PM
Comment #156499

Tony

I have full confidence that the NCIS will do a great job and that a military court marshall will do likewise.

Unlike Murtha, I choose to wait until all the facts are in.

Posted by: sicilian eagle at June 11, 2006 12:08 PM
Comment #156501

Last question:

Do you think there would’ve been any investigation (NCIS or other) into this incident without Murtha’s public statements?

Murtha is a decorated war hero who says (after his own investigations into the matter) that there was an official cover up and that innocent civilians were killed. Why do you not give him the benfit of the doubt? Do you think that war-time attrocites are out of the realm of possibility? History seems to suggest the exact opposite.

Posted by: tony at June 11, 2006 12:13 PM
Comment #156503

the investigation was going on as he whined. Not every investgation is meant to be public, until facts can be determined, DUKE LACROSS anyone? Unless you have some affiliation with this administration, then it’s katie bar the door.

Posted by: JR at June 11, 2006 12:20 PM
Comment #156504

“the investigation was going on as he whined.”

Whined? When you have the service, dedication and medals that Murtha has - this might seem like an argument. Right now, it comes of as anti-American sour grapes.

Posted by: tony at June 11, 2006 12:22 PM
Comment #156509

Tony

Time magazine first brought this to light, not Murtha.By the time Murtha went public,two,not one investigations were ongoing….one by the marines and one by the army to make sure the marines were doing an honets investigation.

Let me put it another way: No other official investigations have been started AFTER Murtha made his statements.

And,by the way,the NCIS investigation is still not complete.

Posted by: sicilianeagle at June 11, 2006 12:41 PM
Comment #156512

Tony

Here are the politicial ramifications to his own party:

linktext

Posted by: sicilianeagle at June 11, 2006 12:45 PM
Comment #156515

Of course they were officially underway - sounds better than “ummm, we were waiting for it all to blow over.”

Can you point to a single item that was investigated - a single date where investigation had progressed before all of the public pressure?

Time magazine came out with the story, that’s true - but not a single word against them? This seems to solely a witch hunt for another person embarassing Bush… The problem is you continue to say that love the military and will give them assumption innocence - yet you bias that with political partism. Murtha has some extremely valid complaints, yet you immediately attack him being political. All this before anything is said in court… shame shame shame…

Posted by: tony at June 11, 2006 12:50 PM
Comment #156520

Woody:

Keep in mind that Jack Murtha may know more than the rest of us. He was briefed before he made those comments you guys are so upset about. He was probably indiscreet, but he may have known exactly what he was talking about.

Unless you can change the highlighted words to “undoubtedly knows”, then Murtha should keep his mouth shut. He is making assumptions about the case in advance. As a war veteran, he should be aware of the impact of how statements are viewed by our enemies and what impact they have on our own soldiers. As a politician, he should know that innocent until PROVEN (not assumed) guilty is the standard for American jurisprudence. Unfortunately, he chose to make the politically expedient comments in order to highlight his general disagreement with the war, rather than focusing on the specific situation in Haditha.

tony:

Murtha is a decorated war hero who says (after his own investigations into the matter) that there was an official cover up and that innocent civilians were killed. Why do you not give him the benfit of the doubt

Simply because the American system relies on NOT giving the benefit of the doubt to the accuser. The benefit of the doubt ALWAYS goes to the accused. That is precisely what ‘innocent until proven guilty’ describes. Now, if you want to move away from the American system, then you can give Murtha the benefit of the doubt.

Personally, I want people like Murtha to be active behind the scenes, making sure that the truth comes out. What I don’t want is for them to see the cameras and the audience, and step out from behind the curtain to garner the spotlight. Its not the time for that.

Eagle:

You’ve been remarkably even handed here. You are not claiming innocence, nor are you claiming guilt. You are demanding the investigation move forward unimpeded by politics, so that we have the best opportunity to get the truth.

Its too bad that Haditha has been publicized in such a way, by Murtha and others, that any conclusion other than guilt will be met with the idea that the investigation was whitewashed or covered up. We no longer have a presumption of innocence, but rather a presumption of guilt.

You brought up Duke lacrosse. That case now appears to be leaning far more to the innocence of the players. As more information comes out, the accuser seems less and less reliable. Still a bit too soon to state their innocence, but innocence has far better odds than appeared in the smear of information that came out weeks ago. Haditha may follow the same pattern.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at June 11, 2006 1:05 PM
Comment #156523

“What I don’t want is for them to see the cameras and the audience, and step out from behind the curtain to garner the spotlight. Its not the time for that.”

Sounds like you’re convicting him of something based on your own political bias.

One point no one here has disputed - the military lied (LIED!) about what happened. The official statement says that 15 people were killed by the roadside bomb. We all KNOW that this is not what happened. No one here has yet to question why that lie became an official military report even though it has been widely reported that many higher ranking officials knew that the incident was much more than what was reported.

Or should we just have fun roasting Murtha on propped up assumptions.

Posted by: tony at June 11, 2006 1:12 PM
Comment #156528

Have you no shame, sir?

Posted by: gergle at June 11, 2006 1:29 PM
Comment #156538

Huh.

I don’t know what happened, but the soldiers side of the story sure sounds good to me. A bomb went off. They were being shot at. They went after the shooter and killed many civilians, unfortunately, along the way. This makes more sense to me than the Iraqi side of the story - a bomb goes off, and then our soldiers become unhinged and start shooting women and children who are begging for their lives. I have to admit that in my opinion the Iraqi people have also shown themselves to have a flair for the dramatic. I have trouble always believing them.

At the same time, was there a cover up? Probably. I think the incident was probably reported and then kept under wraps. It is human nature to hide situations that are unpleasant news, especially during wartime. But it is wartime. That means mistakes happen. That means innocent lives are sometimes inadvertantly taken in the process of soldiers doing what’s necessary to protect themselves and fight the good fight.

On the whole, it would have been better had there not been any coverup, or let’s say ignoring of the situation. But if it went down like the soldier says I can’t say I blame them for their actions. And I am certainly not surprised that shit happens in a war. War is ugly.

Posted by: Max at June 11, 2006 2:00 PM
Comment #156553

“And I am certainly not surprised that shit happens in a war. War is ugly.”

Keep in mind that this is the very same argument others use to rationalize the death to innocents as a result of thier jihad.

War isn’t just about how many die on one side verses another - it’s also about who can keep their morals and ideals alive. The terrorist must go, but we also must make sure that we do not adopt their ideals in the process.

Posted by: tony at June 11, 2006 3:17 PM
Comment #156556

JBOD

Another insightful post.I agree with you completely

Max

Terrific post. Sometimes we agree on things, which is great.

Tony
No offense,but Time has a certain bias one way, as Newsweek does the other. That Time story may have holes in it already.

As for me being partisian, that is correct…I am a Republican poster,after all, yet not a fanatic. Evidently guys like myself, JBOD, Jack, plus a whole lot more aren’t wrapped up in our rosary beads can actually debate isues,and at intelligent level, I think.

Posted by: sicilianeagle at June 11, 2006 3:23 PM
Comment #156561

There are a great deal of facts which are coming out that put Haditha in a very different light than what has been assumed.

Posted by: esimonson at June 11, 2006 3:33 PM
Comment #156571

“There are a great deal of facts which are coming out that put Haditha in a very different light than what has been assumed.”

Please - elaborate. If the issue is more of a non-issue, then by all means… post links, make the proof available.

I’ve seen comments from one of the soldiers lawyers. While I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt - I will also ask: why is he going public while an investigation is under way and - by the agreement of many posting here - should stay “active behind the scenes, making sure that the truth comes out. What I don’t want is for them to see the cameras and the audience, and step out from behind the curtain to garner the spotlight. Its not the time for that.”

Posted by: tony at June 11, 2006 4:08 PM
Comment #156572

“As for me being partisian, that is correct…I am a Republican poster,after all, yet not a fanatic. Evidently guys like myself, JBOD, Jack, plus a whole lot more aren’t wrapped up in our rosary beads can actually debate isues,and at intelligent level, I think.”

My point is that every issue that should be discussed in terms of positive or negative representation for all citizens immediately becomes pro-DEM or pro-REP rally for the base. Only the political parties win at that game. I can understand the importance of political parties in our system, but shouldn’t these parties present ideas for bettering American, not continual rationalizations and blame-deflection for our disfunctional government/leadership?

Posted by: tony at June 11, 2006 4:13 PM
Comment #156577

All

After I wrote this piece this morning,some major bloggers have put some serious chinks into this story, and I suspect that in the coming days even more will come out.

Consider this piece first first from the American Thinker:

linktext

Then consider this piece:

linktext

I now believe that MAYBE something is rotten in Denmark

Posted by: sicilianeagle at June 11, 2006 4:22 PM
Comment #156579

Whoops…second link:


linktext


Serious stuff

Posted by: sicilianeagle at June 11, 2006 4:24 PM
Comment #156581

OK.. SE, let me get this straight…

Even the military has omitted that what was originally reported was incorrect and they’ve been investigating to determine exactly what happened there.

But wait - there are two bloggers who disagree… damn. STOP THE PRESSES!!!! (Sorry, but I also heard that Rove was already indicted.)

Posted by: tony at June 11, 2006 4:30 PM
Comment #156582

Has Karl Rove resigned yet? Seems to me that we had “credible evidence” reported by the MSM that indictments were around the corner. How about Denny Hastert? ABC was certain that their SOURCE, (read leak), had old Denny too! Let the investgation go on, there is no need to have every investigation carried out in broad daylight - hence Grand Jury proceedings. Leftists only want tranparency, (read leak), when they think they can make political hay with it. Wm. Jefferson? He doesn’t need to resign his post, until he gets his hearing, Tom DeLay, GUILTY UNTIL PROVEN INNOCENT, get it? Fair play is whatever the leftys TELL US it is. It’s time for the grown-ups to turn to the kids in the back seat screaming “are we there yet?” and calmly tell them to sit down and be quiet for a while.

Posted by: JR at June 11, 2006 4:37 PM
Comment #156583

SE-
You forget to apply the prinicple of presumed innocence to the Iraqis. Should I rant against you for convicting them before they’ve had a chance to defend themselves?

It is no quibble to engage this matter as such, because those are the standards by which we measure the discipline in the responses of our soldiers. If we set the bar so low that the mere speeding of a car away justifies a shooting, rather than an attempt at interdiction and capture, then how many other innocent Iraqis may die, furthering the cause of our enemies.

You should consider that our enemies want our soldiers to be so twitchy and overstressed that they take it out on the population.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 11, 2006 4:39 PM
Comment #156585

Tony

2 bloggers?You kidding or what? HUNDREDS are looking now..as we speak.They may in fact break this story wide open within a matter of weeks.

Stephen
You pose an easy question.Many (all?) Iraqis have hidden agendas….probably all in Haditha.
I think from my chair here in Boston I could impeach their credibility is about 2 seconds flat,frankly.

Stephen…there were no atmospherics on this story…none…by the Iraqis until Time broke the piece.

Have an open mind.

PLUS,the Iraqis aren’t being investigated for “cold blooded murder” now,are they? What presumption of innocence? It goes to credibility,Stephen,and without being too off the wall here,if I have to chose…..

Posted by: sicilianeagle at June 11, 2006 4:56 PM
Comment #156586

“Senior Pentagon officials have said a probe into the November deaths tends to support allegations that Marines carried out an unprovoked massacre after one of their comrades was killed by a roadside bomb.

The military is investigating both the deaths and a possible cover-up.”

CNN (today)

Posted by: tony at June 11, 2006 4:57 PM
Comment #156588

Sicilian Eagle,

Usually I enjoy the quibbling for facts that this side of the site brings, but this is really a matter for the JAG courts to meddle out through due process (which they might do fairly??). I can’t say with any modicum of certainty (as neither can you)whether the claims are true or they aren’t. By atleast the outset of what we are allowed to know it appears that a greater part of the story is missing.

WE don’t know or have assertained who’s at guilt or at innocence in this whole horrible matter really. But to come out and lay claim that it was all just protocol is really stupid especially when many of the facts are unknown and the JAG’s if anything want to shut this all down for political reasons to still appear as the good guys in this fight in full.

I still am a bit angry at the systems in place for Abu Graib and ghow they stallwarted and thwarted the investigation going further up the chain of command. WE know there are docs that say that this was a military strategy over there but the system won’t investigate it further. Almost like Gulf War Syndrome or even further back Agent Orange use in combat.

So who knows what will come ofthis whole thing—really don’tthrow down cards yet until you know with any level of certainty what games the military will be trying to play. But I can guess—it’s called shut-this-thing-up-immediately-before-it-harms-the-status-of-coalition-forces-in-the-region.

Posted by: Novenge at June 11, 2006 5:10 PM
Comment #156596

Remember the video of the security contractor killing and unarmed person as they cowered. The military found no grounds to prosecute. The guy is free. This I find disturbing. This causes some doubt in me as to whether the military is engaged in white washing incidents in order to minimize the blowback by Iraqis, or, there really is sound evidence for their decisions which inexplicably, they won’t share. You see the catch-22 of their not sharing vindicating evidence? It smells of cover-up. But, without any further investigation, nothing can be established as truth one way or another.

I know two things for certain. Our troops have the desire to stay alive and entering unknown rooms involves first grenading and spraying bullets and THEN sticking your face into the room to see who’s left. To do otherwise in Iraq is suicide for our troops. But this practice is also murder when the occupants of the room are innocents. I would not want to stick my head in a room of potential armed adversaries and ask for a show of hands as to how many in the room are innocent and how many are armed, before hand. On the other hand, I would not want to carry the weight of knowing I had killed innocent children and women and men as a safety measure for myself. This situation in Iraq has so many parallels to Viet Nam, it is no longer escapable.

The practice of throwing grenades and spraying entire rooms with bullets IN ORDER to find out if anyone is in there and who they are, although being the only safe way for our troops to enter that room, is cold blooded murder if the occupants of the room happen to be unarmed civilians.

The second thing I know is this: We overthrew Hussein’s regime and helped the Iraqis establish a democratically elected government. To continue entering rooms of unknown persons in the manner described above, which is SOP, is getting harder to justify since our reason for being there is no longer clear.

SE says we must stay until the Iraqis can take care of themselves. But, in a civil conflict, how does one ever know if one side or the other is ever going to be able to take care of themselves until the civil conflict is over? In other words, what if the Iraqis will NEVER be able to keep the nation intact without our presence. Is that sufficient justification for killing innocents in rooms of their homes in order to find out if they are innocent, in perpetuity?

Folks there is only one course of action to take when you are in quicksand. Extricate yourself. The Iraqis have their chance at freedom and democracy. If they haven’t the ability to preserve it, let them fail. We cannot bankrupt our nation and force our military to carry the scars of killing unarmed women and children for the fear that Iraq cannot be responsible for themselves. It only makes us irresponsible for ourselves.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 11, 2006 5:46 PM
Comment #156605

SE-
The impression I get from your sources is that they are looking for holes in the story, and are basically finding them in the form of differing versions of statements, guilt by association, and blanket assumptions about the mainstream media.

If that is all there is to it, why has the investigation gone forward? Why did Marines lie? You’re playing games with rhetoric and logic that I don’t think will add up to reality- a distinction without a difference, one could say.

This is the Right once again raising every possible objection to a story so that it can be viewed through the lense of unfair media treatment. The trouble is, even if you manage to discredit the story amongst yourselves, There’s nothing to guarantee that your implicit story is any truer than the explicit one you pushed aside in your own minds.

Because of that, the Right has allowed a great many problems that they’ve chosen to believe were the product of the MSM liberal bias worsen.

I think the Haditha story is credible, and that people claiming its a hoax are just reading into things what they want to believe.

I’m going to leave you with an article that’s more your direction than mine politically, but which hits one of the major issues right on the head: Belmont article.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 11, 2006 6:11 PM
Comment #156607

David Remer,

Excellent post, your second to the last paragraph is a very real consideration as civil conflict seems to be everpresently rearing. As is the possibility of derailing further (if at all possible as it pretty splintered now)or never consolidating better to a democratic form of government with a needed quality security force to win the peace themselves. So what do we do at that point?—keep slogging??? How much slogging would be adequate before we ditch it? Good questions.

Posted by: Novenge at June 11, 2006 6:18 PM
Comment #156610

Hey SICILIAN EAGLE on the whoops another link—look down to the poster named “Wizbang” and read through his conspiracist notions on “HOW HADITHA WAS ALL A LIBERAL HOAX”.

Great site SE, would that be where you get your news from?

Posted by: Novenge at June 11, 2006 6:29 PM
Comment #156616

Maybe the Eagle should start reading the newspaper at the bottom of his cage.


:-)

Posted by: tony at June 11, 2006 6:51 PM
Comment #156618

Tony,
Lol, that’s too funny.

Posted by: Novenge at June 11, 2006 7:00 PM
Comment #156619

Tony

Fortunately there isn’t a cage big enough for the Mighty Eagle!

David

terrific post, I think also that the Rules of Engagement will be put into play. Seems to me from the original article that those Marines swept room to room as they were trained to do.Question is, when do they employ those tactics.


Stephen

So, this marine thing is a left-right thing? What,we want to find the truth, and you guys are sheep? I don’t think so. These marines are AMERICANS, and politics be damned. I want the truth, and I CAN handle it, believe me.

Steve, in law they say “where’s there’s smoke, there’s fire”. Something in my attorney instincts is up, that’s all.

This I know:the original story by Time has been corrected by them already once.Maybe they will have to do more. Seriously,if the facts out there on the internet are even 20% accurate,these guys will not be found guilty of murder.

Posted by: sicilianeagle at June 11, 2006 7:20 PM
Comment #156627

SE -

I sincerely hope you are right… but if you are and this event did not transpire, can you agree to the enourmous damage done by the time delay in the investigation? This story has become legend in the minds of not only our enemies there, but with the Iraqi people.

Cover up and suspected murder of innocents is not the way to win hearts and minds.

Posted by: tony at June 11, 2006 8:34 PM
Comment #156630

tony:

Sounds like you’re convicting him (Murtha) of something based on your own political bias.

I’ve not convicted Murtha of anything besides what he has publicly done in front of the cameras. There is no dispute in what he has said—I’ve simply stated my disagreement with his statements. Do you really have a problem with that?

My point is that every issue that should be discussed in terms of positive or negative representation for all citizens immediately becomes pro-DEM or pro-REP rally for the base.

I’ve not made it a Dem or Rep issue at all. If you think I have, maybe you can show me what part of my June 11, 2006 01:05 PM post would indicate that. I focused completely on how I think Murtha’s statements will be used by our enemies and how they might hurt our troops morale. Nothing Dem or Rep about that.

David:

Our troops have the desire to stay alive and entering unknown rooms involves first grenading and spraying bullets and THEN sticking your face into the room to see who’s left.

You made this statement as a prelude to your comparison of Iraq to Viet Nam. I’d say this attitude and action has been true in every and every US war. While of course everyone would be against killing innocents, we can be certain it happens. Happens in Iraq, happened in Viet Nam, Korea, WWII, etc. If we focus on this kind of incident, then we must not only oppose this war, but we must oppose all wars. I’m okay if you use this issue to oppose all wars, but it seems unfair to use it to oppose just this one (or even just this one and Viet Nam).

Posted by: joebagodonuts at June 11, 2006 8:43 PM
Comment #156631

Tony

The cover-up is a different story.I think I have been consistent here:If the marines,after due process, are found guilty, so be it. Same with an alleged cover-up. Either way, let’s not prematurely hang anyone and let the facts take us where they may.

By the way, I have enjoyed our discussion today.

Posted by: sicilianeagle at June 11, 2006 8:43 PM
Comment #156636
“And I am certainly not surprised that shit happens in a war. War is ugly.”

Keep in mind that this is the very same argument others use to rationalize the death to innocents as a result of thier jihad.

War isn’t just about how many die on one side verses another - it’s also about who can keep their morals and ideals alive. The terrorist must go, but we also must make sure that we do not adopt their ideals in the process.

I totally agree. In this case, the soldiers were in pursuit of someone who was firing on them. At least, that’s their story.

It’s a tragedy we lost the high road, but I don’t blame the soldiers for that (yet). I blame the administration’s policy of torture. I also believe that the way this administration has reacted to 9/11 has made us a little more like the terrorists, which is tragic. The difference is still night and day though. They’re evil through and through and we can’t forget it.

Posted by: Max at June 11, 2006 9:28 PM
Comment #156637

And we’re all OK with:

it was standard procedure at the time for the Marines to shoot suspicious people fleeing a bombing
You mean “normal” people don’t run away from explosions? Very nice rules of engagement to win “hearts and minds”, eh? Sounds more like “Let’s make less hearts and minds” and “It (life) don’t mean a thing”

Posted by: Dave at June 11, 2006 9:48 PM
Comment #156639

SE -

Thanks - it was fun. I have to go, my 8 yr old has a friend sleeping over tonight, so the house is a zoo.

Posted by: tony at June 11, 2006 10:11 PM
Comment #156649

What is the possibility that those terrorists that ran from the houses shot some or all of the civilians in those houses?

That will come out with the ensuing info.

Posted by: tomh at June 12, 2006 12:44 AM
Comment #156656

Joe,

Its too bad that Haditha has been publicized in such a way, by Murtha and others, that any conclusion other than guilt will be met with the idea that the investigation was whitewashed or covered up. We no longer have a presumption of innocence, but rather a presumption of guilt.

Children civilians were killed. Whatever tricks will be thrown at it, people will always consider guilty someone or something that kill an innocent kid as being guilty.
Maybe these marines actually didn’t break the ROE (Rules Of Engagement), but these kids are still dead, right? And these marines didn’t denied they killed them, right? That was there bullets and frag grenades, not insurgents ones, that killed them, right?

IMHO, if these marines are not found guilty of breaking the ROE (which I think they’ll not BTW), then it means the ROE makers ARE, because someone have to take the responsability for killing innocent children. Or US Army should stop claiming being the “good guys”.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at June 12, 2006 6:04 AM
Comment #156657

tomh
The problem is that Islamic law forids the unearthing of bodies for an autopsy unless a fatwa is issued giving permission. Those bodies will tell the tale, for sure.

Posted by: sicilianeagle at June 12, 2006 6:05 AM
Comment #156658

Max,

But it is wartime. That means mistakes happen. That means innocent lives are sometimes inadvertantly taken in the process of soldiers doing what’s necessary to protect themselves and fight the good fight.

And what if it happens while they protect themselves and fight the wrong fight?
Still nobody to take responsability for innocent lives lost? Who judge it’s a good or wrong fight???
Wars are indeed ugly. But doesn’t the ones who start them should share a responsability about these collateral damages?

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at June 12, 2006 6:21 AM
Comment #156662

Philippe:

I don’t know all the details of what happened in Haditha. I know that sometimes children get killed in wartime. Sometimes its unavoidable, as in the case of a Marine a couple years ago who had to shoot a kid who was retrieving a rocket propelled grenade launcher for a terrorist during a fire fight. The Marine did everything possible to not kill the kid, but eventually had only two choices: allow the terrorist to re-arm with a deadly weapon, or shoot the kid. That kid was perhaps naive, but not innocent.

I don’t know in detail what the ROE are, but I do have faith that our military has done an exemplary job of trying to prevent innocent casualties. It never has nor ever will reach perfection, but the goal is there, whereas our enemy kills wantonly and with utter disregard for civilian life. In fact, they target innocent civilians in many instances.

Any ROE have to measure how far we can allow the enemy to go before we engage. They also have to measure how far we can go in our own engagement. I’m sure there are times in any war where our young men (lets call them all heroes) go too far—they are not perfect. But I will support them until the evidence clearly shows their guilt.

I will not grudgingly give support, nor will my support be mealy-mouthed ( as in those who suggest things like how ‘perhaps the Marines might have possibly maybe murdered innocent women and children in cold-blood, but I support the troops’). My support will be unequivocal until the point that evidence points to guilt; at that point, the punishment should be swift and clear.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at June 12, 2006 8:02 AM
Comment #156671

SE-
There’s nothing Left/Right about it. There never was. It isn’t Terrorist/Soldier here either; that is, this isn’t merely a terrorist sympathizer’s word against ours. Our own soldiers saw what happened, when they came back to clean it up.

What’s it a Left/Right Controversy is the insistence of the GOP of going into denial about any event that could destroy morale and resolve on the homefront. Instead of doing the healthy thing of responding maturely to it, the GOP is attacking anybody who believes the story, it’s media agents spinning everything in sight trying to undermine the story’s credibility and make it look like the Liberal Media is at it again.

And it changes nothing. People can talk ‘til they’re blue in the face, it doesn’t change things. They can fling theories, imagine things- everything will stay as it was.

And it has, everytime the Right has spun something in this war. Unfortunately, once again the media is the messenger getting shot, for only relaying what’s actually going on. Violence has increased steadily. Our soldiers have been sent back for multiple tours of duty, which indicates that despite Administration denials, we are short of troops (they’d be replaced by other soldiers were things otherwise)

We didn’t have enough troops to secure Iraq. We didn’t have a plan for occupation, and wouldn’t have it for some time after the war. That lack of security, as it often has in other times, emboldened our enemies.

It was the Chicken that came before this egg, the gradual slide into violence that started in Summer 2003, and that kept right on going. The media and the politics didn’t catch up until later. I remember because the paucity of real stories on these important matters was part of my motivation for joining up.

This scenario, though, is inconvenient for the politicians in the GOP because it means they screwed it up. Not the vicious lies of the traitorous Left-Wing Democrats, not the made up stories of the Lying sack-of-shit Liberal Media types, but them. And of course, that would lose them votes. Fortunately, there is a minority party and a MSM sensitive to charges of disloyalty to beat up.

Or unfortunately. The trick with problems like a war that started off on the wrong foot, is that if you allow yourself to be aware of the problem sooner rather than later, you can avoid more trouble. If you fail to do that, though, the problem complicates itself. Even now, the GOP resists changing its strategy, and continues to do this believing that people like you will support things as they are indefinitely.

And you will support it because you’ve been taught to distrust the MSM, and trust your true blue conservative sources, which have a habit of confusing the confirmation of what they want to believe, with the unmasking of the truth.

An important distinction is to be had there, because we can often conflate a story around our wishes. This is the difference between the journalism taught to the MSM, and that taught to many conservative journalists. Mainstream journalists are taught a code of behavior which requires the checking of a story back against some sort of confirmable reality. It doesn’t prevent bias, but it prevents bias from becoming the means of establishing credibility.

This is important if your aim is for the press to act like a brake on the excesses of the politicians. If the politicians can feed the reporters and the other media agents out there a line of B.S. and have them uncritically report that, then they can essentially hijack the media to suit their purposes.

The antidote isn’t an intentional reverse bias. I watch NOW on public television and I can hardly stand it, and I like Bill Moyers, typically. The antidote is what we see and have already, but don’t make enough use of: journalistic standards. Standards that require that one weighs the facts of a case rather than the politics.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 12, 2006 9:00 AM
Comment #156680

Stephen:


“What’s it a Left/Right Controversy is the insistence of the GOP of going into denial about any event that could destroy morale and resolve on the homefront. Instead of doing the healthy thing of responding maturely to it, the GOP is attacking anybody who believes the story, it’s media “

Not denial,Stephen, CHECKING FACTS.

That “young journalism student as reported by Time? a 42 year old. That Human Rights “group”?…is a two person outfit that has connections to nothing.

The point is Stephen,that holes are popping up everywhere and more will show up, that I am sure.

Question: Why isn’t the left jumping in and helping to verify the facts?

Posted by: sicilianeagle at June 12, 2006 10:22 AM
Comment #156683

SE, now that the story is out there in the media, thanks in part to Mr. Murtha, being reported on every day, you choose to ignore your own blather about not trying the case in the media. You have already aquitted the accused and villified the victims. Have you no shame, sir? Let the courts proceed, we can all read.

Posted by: gergle at June 12, 2006 10:34 AM
Comment #156689

SE,

Do you remember the “British nanny” case in Boston a few years ago? Do you remember the jury convicting her of murder then the judge throwing out the decision and sending her home?
This is what you’re hoping for. Your waiting for the slimeboaters to come and save Bushes sorry ass one more time.
We all feel compassion for the soldiers and the families there for the horror they see and live every day. We also know you people can’t deal with the guilt of wanting to deny that our men could go-as-low-as “them” while knowing lordBush started this whole mess with your blessing.
Mai Lai happend. It’s likely that Haditha did too. Wake up and realize that this is Viet Nam redux and that blaming Murtha is simply the behavior of lemmings.

Posted by: Dave at June 12, 2006 10:54 AM
Comment #156690

gergle:

What Eagle said: “If the marines,after due process, are found guilty, so be it. Same with an alleged cover-up. Either way, let’s not prematurely hang anyone and let the facts take us where they may.”

What gergle concluded: “You have already aquitted the accused and villified the victims.”

Can you explain how Eagle’s statement led you to conclude what you did? I don’t see how anyone could conclude that Eagle has acquitted anyone. Rather than simply assuming that you are wrong, I’d love to hear the rationale you used in coming up with your conclusion. Thanks. Of course, you might pull an Aldous and simply ignore the question, but then…that speaks volumes for itself.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at June 12, 2006 11:00 AM
Comment #156702

Dave

I was there.That was at Middlesex Superior Court in Cambridge,and Hillar Zobel, a brilliant judge before who I have appeared many times, presided.

As a matter of law, the prosecution didn’t prove it’s case.He took it from the jury as I recall.

But I am not hoping that the marines go off scott free,Dave…where did I say that? Check everything on this thread…I said nothing of the kind.

Gergle
JBOD said it well for me,and I too await your response

Posted by: sicilianeagle at June 12, 2006 12:08 PM
Comment #156705

First and foremost, let me address the AT article’s factchecking:

Point B neglects to mention that al-Mashhadani’s ties to insurgents were alleged, not known. Given what is known about the Abu Ghraib situation, it’s not unreasonable to assert that this is an unproven claim

Point C is a matter of the author’s personal bias. The article in question that McGirk wrote seems to me to be like many written that humanized the enemy. It doesn’t however, neglect to inform us that the author had to lie about his nationality, and that his hosts religious ideology tended towards the extreme.

It also raises the question of whether the author is willing to see McGirk in any kind of even-handed fashion. McGirk is tried and convicted of being sympathetic to terrorists by the author.

It tries to conflate calling Thaer al-Hadithi a budding journalism student with saying that he’s young. A few years back, I could have called my mother a budding Administration student, and she is of course this man’s age or older. Nice try, though. Much of the rest of the material on this item is merely circumstantial, and does not preclude more innocent explanations. Innocent explanations, though, are not what the author of this piece is looking for.

d)Initial reports from incidents are often wrong, or incomplete. This attempts to explain away things in the videotape as being staged. The author claims it’s suspicious, but it’s release is very much inconveniently timed, in relationship to the events themselves. Why wait months for its release? Why not just leak it to the media in December, sit back, relax, and enjoy the show? Why not leak it to al-Jazeera or any number of other Arab stations, so as to inflame sentiments in the Middle East? It wouldn’t be so much different than what normally shows up there. If I were the insurgent arranging the big media to-do on this, I’d have myself shot.

On point E: Okay, the doctor doesn’t like Americans. Does that mean he lies to hurt them, or does it mean he tells the truth to hurt them? As for the witness, just because something similar happened somewhere else, doesn’t mean it happened here. You’d need more evidence to back up that claim.

As for inconsistent recall of events, you should take into mind that eyewitness testimony is flawed at best. The assumption that honest people don’t remember things differently when asked about things months apart is not sound. I studied under a neuroscience professor at Baylor whose specialty was memory. Even memories seared into ones brain by emotional experience can become unreliable. Evidence should therefore be sought to corroborate and moderate testimony.

Which is what I’d tell you about this. This author wants to convict the MSM of badmouthing the troops in collaboration with terrorist efforts to make them look bad. This person isn’t factchecking with a disinterested eye for detail, this person is clawing for faults to find with the reporting. Having done all that, this person then claims that this is a big old media disaster. Well, that’s this person’s opinion.

Now to Riehl World View:

It’s interesting, considering your factchecking attitude, that you missed this item about the Haditha incident in the first linked story:

The final victims of the day happened upon the scene inadvertently, witnesses said. Four male college students — Khalid Ayada al-Zawi, Wajdi Ayada al-Zawi, Mohammed Battal Mahmoud and Akram Hamid Flayeh — had left the Technical Institute in Saqlawiyah for the weekend to stay with one of their families on the street, said Fahmi, a friend of the young men.

A Haditha taxi driver, Ahmed Khidher, was bringing them home, Fahmi said.

According to Fahmi, the young men and their driver turned onto the street and saw the wrecked Humvee and the Marines. Khidher threw the car into reverse, trying to back away at full speed, Fahmi said, and the Marines opened fire from about 30 yards away, killing all the men inside the taxi.

RWV is trying in it’s first paragraph to burst the bubble on Fahmi’s story. But does it? If he were left in the street wounded, he would be in an excellent position to witness the rest of what happened. We don’t know why this detail is left out, and Riehl can’t seem to say. To him, of course, it is one more Suspicious Detail.

I think much of these depend on differences in naming conventions, especially in heavily tribal cultures. These are seized upon as suspicious details, but it’s no more suspicious than Saddam Hussein’s tribal name of Al-Tikriti not showing up in most western news broadcasts.

The differences in the girls account do not seem mutually exclusive. As nobody has found this girl’s relatives alive when they shouldn’t be, we should see these differences for what they are: the natural variations and incomplete relation of a memory that come with even the most traumatic events. Does it matter whose blood spilled where, or whether she recalls being shot in everyone of those events. You could do a medical check on her and clear that up quickly.

As for the separate issue of foreknowledge of the blast, you and him both make the mistake of considering any kind of connection damning evidence. Get real. In an insurgency, especially one this vicious, it’s impossible for the population not to be involved. He didn’t ask the critical question: how did she know? He finds the girl instantly guilty of collaboration, Never eliminating the reasonable possibility that she heard of the information at a remove, like from a helpful neighbor their family knew. The instant assumption of guilt on her part stops RWV from ascertaining critical answers.

The naming conventions pop up once more as RWV tries to disprove witness acounts, and so does uncertainty as to who was in which house. That may be no more than an Error on the Reporters part, but he treats it as proof of the fictional nature of the massacres. A big leap.

All in all, This whole thing seems to me to be an exercise in looking for reasons not to believe, of taking inconsistencies in varying reports and accounts, and using them as an excuse for falling back to a preconceived story: Basically, the massacre never happened.

It’s convenient for the right to claim that ther was no massacre, that the media’s out to get our soldiers, that Jack Murtha took the enemies line for political gain. It would be convenient, but it doesn’t look to be the case. The real concern here is that the Right Wing is basically rationalizing what can only be termed a failure of discipline.

How much of these shocking exposes is this same sort of careless speculation? How long is it going to take you to realize that all this innuendo and media bias BS only serves to make events more unclear?

Questions remain. What is it that officers in the Marine Corp felt it necessary to conceal? What is it that took a Military that scoffed at the charges and accused the Reporters of buying the enemy line, and made sober converts of them on Haditha? Why would a politician even risk going public on a detail like this, if he did not know the full score?

I think the major difference in the thinking of the Left and the Right on this, is that the Left wants this cleared up, and the Right simply wants to muddy the waters, to cast doubt, to sow uncertainty. I see less in the way of solid, cohesive fact-finding and more in the way of searches for inconsistencies in materials that are by nature not entirely consistent. All in all, I think the better approach looks for the facts, and admits their absence, rather than announces their presence on that basis.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 12, 2006 12:20 PM
Comment #156713

SE,

a) The jury felt the case was proven and had unanimously voted to convict. The judge felt otherwise. What I remember was the childs broken wrist showed evidence of prior abuse and, knowing about the parents, there was no chance in hell it was them. This analogy is to show you’re looking for a hail Mary.

b) I never said you were “hoping that the marines go off scott free” You said

Looks like those four military-age guys in that fleing taxi were probably on their way home after spending time studying for a final exam, huh? Right. Probably on advanced IED bomb making, it appears.
Anyway, the bigger question is over the rules of engagement that marines are expected to follow, and this line of defense may be used at the trial.
and
it was standard procedure at the time for the Marines to shoot suspicious people fleeing a bombing, and the Marines opened fire, killing four or five men
You’ve made a case that it is OK for Marines to pursue and kill people who are running away from an explosion with the excuse of “they look suspicious”. You also conveniently over looked the dozen or two women and children who are also dead.

Posted by: Dave at June 12, 2006 12:31 PM
Comment #156718

Stephen

As General Casey said yesterday: Baloney.

I am happy though that YOU are looking, Stephen.

Now,go back onto your own post above: Point E. The doctor doesn’t like Americans.

Do you realized that you yourself are impeaching his credibility? That even a simple-minded defense lawyer can kick a hole a mile long through that one issue alone?

Then take the little girl. Three different stories either in print or on tape. Coached testimony.

Here’s the point,Stephen. BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT. Tha’s the threshold.

Now that you’re on this thread, and have read what “right” wing pundits are looking at, I hope that as this story unfolds ,you…Stephen..perhaps the most gifted mind on Watchblog, will keep an open mind and also look under the rock on each and every fact that comes to light.

According to you, we now have a biased doctor who is a material witness, a 12 year old who has changed her story three times, a “young” journalist (as reported by the initial Time piece) who is 42 years old, and a 2 man “human rights” group. Hmmmmm….

Posted by: sicilianeagle at June 12, 2006 12:35 PM
Comment #156719
What is the possibility that those terrorists that ran from the houses shot some or all of the civilians in those houses?

It’s a very good possibility. They’ve already shown no regard for life with their bombs. Why should they worry about shooting someone in cold blood.

There is always more than one side to a story. There’s the side that wants to bring out the worst in everything. There’s the side that wants to bring out the best. And then there’s what really happened.
I know that it’s possible that our troops shot everyone of those folks. I also know that it’s possible that they shot none of them. I kinda thing that maybe they shot some by accident. And the terrorist shot the rest. I hope our troops didn’t shoot any of them.

In a war where the enemy isn’t wearing a military uniform it’s very hard to tell who the enemy is. I know that in Vietnam it was easy just to consider all the Vietnamese as VC. This of course wasn’t true.
It’s the same in Iraq. It’s hard to tell the terrorist from the rest. I wouldn’t doubt that some of our troops have started considering everyone enemy. It doesn’t justify killing everyone. But I can see how they can start thinking that way.

Posted by: Ron Brown at June 12, 2006 12:36 PM
Comment #156758

SE-
First, you’re analyzing press reports as if they’re sworn testimony under oath. The trouble comes in comparing accounts gathered in the formal proceedings of an investigation, and under oath in formal court proceedings with informally gathered press accounts.

Second, you’re approaching this as if its just a media phenomenon, an intersection of a scandal-hungry press and a viciously propagandistic insurgency, looking to smear our soldiers. This falls apart as the facts start to support the victims account.

The trouble for your “clients” might come when they try and approach this as a media brouhaha, only to find that the formal investigation has documented descrepancies in the Marine’s stories, especially those supported by other Marine’s accounts of that day.

We recently read of other soldiers being acquitted for an alleged atrocity by the investigation, so we can assume that our people don’t just cave to the natives in terms of accounts. That action has been taken to the extent that is, that Rep. Murtha, Sen. Warner, and others have been willing to go on the record and say something happened shows that there is substance to this.

If so, there’s no hiding it. Hiding it doesn’t doing any good. You have to prevent it. Our enemies can’t use the truth against us if its against them.

Innocent people will die in war, and we will make our share of mistakes there. Haditha wasn’t like that, though. Haditha was deliberate. It wasn’t some angry marine spraying a house. It was Marines going house by house, killing people who couldn’t possibly be combatants. If things like this are done, it doesn’t matter whether you successfully keep this quiet, because there’s always the next time, and ultimately, you can’t fool the people who are there. The reality of the situation will continue to reinforce the media problem until it is changed.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 12, 2006 2:11 PM
Comment #156775

I predict both sides will be wrong on this one when all is said and done. First of all I agree with SE that this incident has been tried in the press without so much as a hint of defense from the soldier’s side. Completely unfair, but what’s new? The final story will be completely different from any of the accounts we have now.

Second, according to Col. Hunt on that right wing bastion of Fox News Talk he has seen one of the preliminary reports. His words were “it’s bad”, and while he didn’t disclose any details he said the “event” took place over several hours and the cover-up was unmistakable. It was not a case, he said, of soldiers acting out of emotion from the loss of a fellow Marine.

So while I agree that the politicizing of this incident in advance of the release of the investigation or in advance of charges is deplorable, the final story might not be much better SE. Time will tell though….

Posted by: George in SC at June 12, 2006 2:46 PM
Comment #156818

SE

What are you, a shill for the administration, or do you have your own thoughts? Not once have I seen you take up a conservative issue that is contrary to the Bush administration line. Sure, you lamely admit some small differences with them here and there, but these are never your main issues.

Was a time when conservatives believed that civil rights were paramount, that ill-advised foreign adventures should be looked at askance, and that fiscal responsiblity required raising funds from taxpayers in times of need (like wartime).

Yet your supposedly conservative viewpoints never come out. Only an unrelenting, gleeful defense of whatever this administration pulls out of its ass. What up wid dat?

Posted by: Mental Wimp at June 12, 2006 4:06 PM
Comment #156833

Mental Wimp

Geez…why don’t you tell me how you really feel?
This thread had nothing to with the administration at all, so I am confused as to what you’re talking about.

Regarding other issues, I am a fence guy…that’s different, right? Then again, what is the democratic position,anyway? Does the party know/ Once they make up their mind on which way the wind is blowing, only then can I make an opinion.

I am supporting either Guilliani (my first choice) or McCain (close second) in ‘08 though

Posted by: sicilianeagle at June 12, 2006 4:40 PM
Comment #156851

The Democratic party, kind sir, is for fiscal responsibility, for civil rights, and against unnecessary military adventures.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 12, 2006 5:24 PM
Comment #156853

Stephen Daughtery

Ditto the Republican Party,the party of Lincoln

Posted by: sicilianeagle at June 12, 2006 5:31 PM
Comment #156889

SE

You seem like a guy who’s interested in history. Did you know that Lincoln ran on a platform with a couple of interesting planks besides the anti-slavery one? They address something like a minimum wage and an immigration bill:

“That while providing revenue for the support of the General Government by duties upon imposts, sound policy requires such an adjustment of these imposts as to encourage the development of the industrial interest of the whole country; and we commend that policy of national exchanges which secures to the working men liberal wages, to agriculture remunerating prices, to mechanics and manufacturers an adequate reward for their skill, labor, and enterprise, and to the nation commercial prosperity and independence.”

“That the National Republican party is opposed to any change in our Naturalization laws, or any State legislation by which the rights of citizenship hitherto accorded to immigrants from foreign lands shall be abridged or impaired; and in favor of giving a full and efficient protection to the rights of all classes of citizens, whether native or naturalized, both at home and abroad.”

Posted by: Mental Wimp at June 12, 2006 6:52 PM
Comment #156898

I get confused, is it that many of you on the left really hold the Marines in such low regard or is it just that you see such a great opportunity to attack the administration that you are willing to go with the assumption of guilt regardless of whether all the facts are known?

Posted by: Carnak at June 12, 2006 7:09 PM
Comment #156907

Carnak,

Neither of your assertions is true of those on the left. I hope that clears up the confusion.

Posted by: Introspective at June 12, 2006 7:34 PM
Comment #156957

Carnak-
If you were confused you would not post such a loaded dilemma as your question. You’re quite certain that we’re guilty of disloyalty.

We are willing to wait for the facts to form our final verdict on the matter, but we have plenty of reasonable evidence to believe something happened.

We believe this reflects poorly on our soldiers, so it must be dealt with, and not turned into another divisive political issue. I am sure no Republican advocates policy here with the intention of making our soldier’s mission more difficult. That, however, is mitigated by the willingness to look the other way on issues of military discipline, out of the belief that if we don’t draw too much attention to it ourselves, everything will stay nice and quiet.

Unfortunately, that’s not the way the real world works. Our best alternative is to face this mission with integrity. Where we need soldiers, we get them. Where we err, we deal with it. The persmissiveness on these kinds of policies and the coverups are contributing to an image problem that is hamstringing the larger war on terror by making it more difficult for our cause to be seen as righteous.

You might take the approach that this kind of story getting broadcast in the press does that, but that is a rather dishonest and negligent way of dealing with the problem- these problems are worse because we try to hide it, and act like it never happened. Admit it, prevent it from happening again, and then get to work rebuilding America’s image with the solid building blocks of real action.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 12, 2006 9:25 PM
Comment #156967

Mental Wimp

Of course, he (Lincoln) was president during a war where more Americans were killed than any other war. Facinating guy.

Right now I am deep into reading about Flavius Maximus, the ancient Roman consul who held Hannibal at bay for years.Every year at this time I re-read Plutrach. There’s something about those ancients, I swear.

The best book that I read on American history recently was the bio of John Adams that came out last year followed by the bio of Ben Frannklin. I’m thinking about that George Washington book, but the guy never appealed to me.

I’ll probably stick with ancient Rome through the summer though..much to be learned.

Posted by: sicilianeagle at June 12, 2006 9:38 PM
Comment #157007

SE and JBOD,

Wrong, pretending to hide behind provisos when the clear intent of the piece is to vindicate the Marines won’t protect you. You are guilty of EXACTLY what you accused Murtha of doing. HE actually served in the military. He has the medals to back up his support. HE also added those provisos, SE did not see fit to give him , a patriot and soldier himself, that benefit, and neither will I give a chicken hawk that now. You live and die by your own extremist words. Have you no shame, sir?

Why not be a man and admit to your wild and reckless blather? My point is these are only words to you. A game. Blather that means nothing. You have demonstrated your lack of backbone and willingness to live up to your own words, quite effectivley here. That is why I found your posts about Murtha so disgusting. This is why I disparaged lawyering. It is an honorable profession, some just use their skills badly.

Posted by: gergle at June 12, 2006 10:55 PM
Comment #157014

gergle:

You used an awful lot of words to not answer my question. Good for you.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at June 12, 2006 11:11 PM
Comment #157022

John Kerry had decorations and medals too.

Posted by: tomh at June 12, 2006 11:29 PM
Comment #157055

We are fighting an enemy that HIDES in groups of civilians. They TRY to involve civilians whenever possible. As far as they are concerned, more dead civilians = positive (for them) press coverage. They COUNT ON the American media to report dead civilians as the fault of the US Military, regardless of who actually kills them. Some of those civilians might have been killed by AK-47’s, some might not actually be civilians, or they were civilians who hung out, knowingly, with terrorists. Given all this, it should not surprise anyone that civilians will die. They do in every war. Killing civilians FORCED the Japanese to surrender, which saved hundreds of thousands of lives, and I’m including Japanese lives.

It’s not pretty, it’s not what we want, but it IS war. This is a fight to the death. Islamic terrorists DO NOT accept surrender. Even if you are from San Francisco and never voted for a Republican in your whole life. We HAVE to win. The civilians are turning in 10 times as many tips now as they were a year ago. The Iraqi press cheered at the news of his death. They get it. Why can the left?

Posted by: David C. at June 13, 2006 1:12 AM
Comment #157120

David C.

I agree with you 100%

Telling our military personal that they have to consult with an attorney before they can engage the enemy is just lunicris.

Can someone get me a copy of the enemies “rules of engagement book” ???

Its called “War”

Posted by: MacIrish at June 13, 2006 8:34 AM
Comment #157159

10:37 and STILL no answer from gergle. I guess he IS pulling an Aldous. LOL. Must have coincidentally gotten really busy. My my my.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at June 13, 2006 10:38 AM
Comment #157193

JBOD, how about reading Murtha’s statements and SE’s previous posts about this? You selectively choose to take up his side in this context only, which my words are not about. He chooses to attack Murtha for what he now participates in. He’s a complete hypocrite. You want to support hypocracy, fine. You are a great advocate.

Real people died here. Real people lied here. I’m simply sick of the phoney partisanship. You don’t like Murtha talking about the cover-up. Defend that position, Joe. Calling war heroes jerk’s and traitors for exposing murder and cover-up is the epitome of sleeze. Murtha never once espoused not giving marines their day in court. He never once did not support the Marines. Nothing was being investigated until he began to speak. This is why I hate chicken hawks, all words and no ownership of them.

If you want to call someone a jerk, Wolfowitz would be a great candidate. He has stated his advocacy of invading Iraq is no longer his problem. Too bad about the 20,000 US casualties.

Joe, I realize you entered this midstream. My fury is not directed at your words. I am simply using SE’s petard to hoist him upon. I agree it’s complete BS. Where was your voice when he did this to Murtha? If you did speak up, I missed it.

I frankly find SE’s posts little more than partisan blather, not a great Republican representative, in my opinion. Eric likes to make radical statements , but at least he attempts to support them.

By the way, Aldous did a great Why they hate America Libertarian post.

Posted by: gergle at June 13, 2006 11:47 AM
Comment #157201

Prosecutor says NO CHARGES will be filed against Karl Rove. One of you brave vigilantes wanna please cut the rope and let him down now? Oh and mebbe slack off on the marines ‘til a real jury is heard from?

Posted by: pige at June 13, 2006 11:57 AM
Comment #157207

gergle:

I’ve found what Murtha said to be reprehensible. His words have condemned the Marines in Haditha, rather than supporting them. Check out what John Warner had to say about Haditha and compare it to what Murtha had to say—-you’ll see that both called for investigation, but that Murtha was the only one who claimed guilt already.

If Murtha cannot see that his proclamation of guilt and coverup won’t be used by the enemy, then he is not intelligent enough to be in public office. Murtha is correct in calling for investigation, and dead wrong in claiming that he knows they are guilty of covering up crimes. If he knows that now, then any further investigation is unnecessary.

For my part, I’ve never called Murtha a jerk. I’ve never challenged his military credentials. What I HAVE challenged are his statements. Certainly you don’t have a problem with holding someone accountable to what they say and do.

Murtha should learn to keep his mouth shut. His words have hurt our cause. He could have gotten the full investigation without the vitriolic comments.

By the way, thanks for answering…much appreciated. I guess there is a big difference between you and Aldous.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at June 13, 2006 12:17 PM
Comment #157274

gergle

I called Murtha a jerk. I didn’t call him a traitor. Nice try. Now,I’ll call him a jerk again. The fact that he is a veteran doesn’t preclude him from being one either. He has done great harm to the war effort and the morale of the troops…and continues to do so.


Had America listened to him months ago, that scumbag Jordanain would still be alive today.


Whatever political capital he had with veterans is shot.Walk into any AMVETS hall..they’ll tell you what they think.

I have challanged him on a rudimentary principle of American jurisprudence…innocent until proven guilty.


You regularily spew vitriol here with one liners….which is ok….except this “chicken hawk” will defend his point of view with facts.

And fact number one is that everyone, even you, deserves his day in court.

Posted by: sicilianeagle at June 13, 2006 2:28 PM
Comment #157375

SE and JBOD please site your sources, not a second hand interpretation, of Murtha concluding guilt on the part of the Marines without allowing for a trial and I will apologize. I watched his satements on the Sunday talk shows. They were measured and specific. What Murtha quoted was inside military sources saying it “looked bad” . When you cannot find him concluding guilt and advocating avoiding trial, I expect apologies in kind. The only vitriole I have is for this particular screed of yours, SE. I don’t appreciate your calling our soldiers retired or otherwise, Jerks for speaking truth.

JBOD, I never said you called Murtha a jerk. You simply took up SE’s part. If you think a cover up is Okey Dokey, then I question your values, Joe. I repeat, nothing was happening AT ALL. An obvious conficting statement and still questionable reasons for killing three year olds point blank. Time magazines reporters also deserve credit here. Why do you defend apparent lying? Jail is full of “innocent” convicts. This isn’t patriotism, it’s partisan crap.

I recently had a conversation with my sister who called Pat Tillman a fool. I argued he was a true hero. He may have died in an ignominious way, but that was telling of his fellow soldiers who, in panic, ignored cease fire commands, and good judgement, not his character. Whoever did this may not deserve jail time, but I hope he was removed before he killed more of his fellow soldiers.

SE, by concluding Murtha has aided and comforted the enemy, your lack of using the word traitor is mere formality.

Posted by: gergle at June 13, 2006 6:36 PM
Comment #157383

SE and JBOD, I’ll give you this. I thought Murtha’s statements regarding commitee leadership were premature, although I only saw reports of this, I did not hear his actual statements. They were probably politically stupid, even if truthful. I appreciate his candor.

Posted by: gergle at June 13, 2006 6:50 PM
Comment #157427

gergle

after you read this, say your sorry

linktext

Posted by: sicilianeagle at June 13, 2006 9:33 PM
Comment #157448

Dear, Dear SE, Pathetic. Michelle Malkin, or Ann Coulter II, that’s your sad attempt at a complete transcipt, accurate reporting and not second had interpretation with a far, far right wing slant? Pathetic.

No wonder you have no idea what reality is.

I am sorry for your lack of ability to separate yourself form your manic biases.

Posted by: gergle at June 13, 2006 10:30 PM
Comment #157452

This is classic Republican Echo machine. SE has no idea what Murtha actually said, but has concluded and defended his slur on Murtha to the death, after reading a few pieces by his favorite political hacks. JBOD, who I usually find reasonable, has tagged in as well.

Posted by: gergle at June 13, 2006 10:40 PM
Comment #157507

gergle

..ummmm did you read Murtha’s quotes as you had asked?

Posted by: sicilianeagle at June 14, 2006 6:05 AM
Comment #157519

gergle:

Dont mischaracterize my comments to try to make your case. I’ve said all along that Murtha should not have publicly claimed the Marines were guilty. As a well known politician, he knows that his words will be replayed over and over.

I’ve NEVER EVER even hinted that Murtha doesn’t want a trial. In fact, I’ve stated repeatedly that Murtha and Warner called for a full investigation. The difference is that Murtha said he wants an investigation, but that he already knows the Marines are guilty and that there has been a coverup, while Warner simply called for a complete and thorough investigation.

Also, you accuse me of supporting a coverup. Please show where I said anything that even remotely suggests that. It’s beneath you to make such a statement without any backup proof. For the record, I’ve stated that there should be a full investigation, and WHEN THE INVESTIGATION IS COMPLETE, then it should be fully adjudicated. If guilt is found, fry the guys. If guilt is not found, then so be it.

You were unwilling to accept SE’s transcripts of what Murtha said, simply because they were recorded on Malkin’s website. Silly thing to do, but okay. Would you accept Murtha’s own website? Here’s what it says:

“It’s (Haditha) much worse than reported in Time magazine. There was no fire fight. There was no IED that killed these innocent people. Our troops overreacted because of the pressure on them and they killed innocent civilians in cold blood. And that’s what the report is going to tell.”

Murtha has made his mind up and has publicly said so. He has poisoned the well of public opinion, so that now, if no guilt is found, the hue and cry will go up that there’s been a coverup. Murtha is wrong for his words. If his intent is to get an investigation, that could have been done differently. I’ve repeatedly shown how Warner did it differently and got the same result—an investigation.

Focus on my actual points, gergle, not on the easily defeatable points that you claim I made.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at June 14, 2006 8:07 AM
Comment #157526

JBOD

Murtha’s quote IS referenced on the Malkin site, but because of HER views it isn’t believed by gergle.


Gergle

Now you have it from Murtha’s own website,
you can apologize.

Posted by: sicilianeagle at June 14, 2006 8:22 AM
Comment #157557

JBOD and SE,

You are both mischaracterizing what Murtha stated. You select a few words, not unlike the 16 words from the President’s call to war speech, which I’m sure you both railed against. This is a common attack ploy. Dissect and parse words to avoid the content of what was said. Michelle Malkin is famous for this crap.

“Murtha has made up his mind and publicly said so”

Really, Joe? He said “I’ve made up my mind?” Please show that quote. See how it works?

You both have attacked Murtha for bringing to the public, by CONFIRMING an outrage in Iraq, a rather serious problem ongoing in Iraq. This isn’t the first one. There have been other murders documented. What Murtha WAS talking about was a malfeasance on the part of the administration in conducting this war. Neither of you addressed that. You both electively chose to attack piece meal quotes that do not reflect his message. It’s dishonest and slimy.

It follows that you don’t think the public has any business knowing the truth. Keep them in the dark. It’s only their name and money being dragged throught the mud.

JBOD, generally I agree with you, on this all you do is dispute timing. When did you state that you support a full investigation? Before or after Murtha stated that he did? Did you have inside information before Murtha spoke? This is the BS of these circular arguments. I can accept you disagreed with Murtha’s way of talking about this, but then you didn’t slander him the way SE did.

When it is proven wrong (it won’t be, and you both should know this) Sure I’ll apologize. The one slight problem you have is that Murtha was quoting military sources. I guess the military doesn’t like itself very much. When it’s proven right, I suspect SE will simply avoid it, as always. I choose not to be an apologist for murders. You can make your choices and be known by them.

Posted by: gergle at June 14, 2006 10:24 AM
Comment #157592

gergle:

You are both mischaracterizing what Murtha stated.

This is the single most ignorant and illogical thing I’ve ever seen anyone say. I took Murtha’s words directly from his website. You can go there too, and you can read them in entirety. What will you say then? That he misquoted himself? You can point fingers at Malkin all you want, but you can verify the quotes from her website on other sources…i’m assuming you just haven’t bothered.

Really, Joe? He said “I’ve made up my mind?” Please show that quote. See how it works?

Surely you understand the difference between an actual quote from Murtha and MY comments about his quote. (Hint—Murtha’s words are inside the quotation marks for clarification—that’s how its done). Here are his words:

Jack Murtha: “Our troops overreacted because of the pressure on them and they killed innocent civilians in cold blood. And that’s what the report is going to tell.”

Now…from that statement I made the observation that Murtha has decided already what the report is going to tell. That’s exactly what he says. And he said so in a public forum. Point proven.

It follows that you don’t think the public has any business knowing the truth.

You need to read what I write. You simply have not done so, or you have chosen not to comprehend the simplicity and directness with which I make state my opinion.

Here is what I said: ” For the record, I’ve stated that there should be a full investigation, and WHEN THE INVESTIGATION IS COMPLETE, then it should be fully adjudicated. If guilt is found, fry the guys. If guilt is not found, then so be it.”

How in the world did you conclude from that direct statement that the public shouldn’t know the truth? There is no logical connection between what I wrote and what you concluded.

My point all along has been that Murtha was correct to call for an investigation. I’ve stated that unequivocally. That he has already reached a conclusion on what the investigation will determine is the problem. He’s stated that the Marines killed people in cold blood and that there is a cover up. He’s not raised the possibility of these things—he’s raised them as what actually happened. That is where he is wrong.

By the way, I’ve supported the conccept of investigation even before I heard about Haditha. I support investigations into many things. Why?? Because I want the truth. As far as Haditha, I supported investigation always and I still do. I more strongly support the idea of actually doing the investigation BEFORE reaching the conclusion of guilt. Murtha didn’t do that, and for that I hold him fully accountable.

Posted by: jeobagodonuts at June 14, 2006 11:40 AM
Comment #157711

JBOD,

Thanks for being obtuse. My point was, is and always has been that to isolate one or two sentences that Murtha spoke and to characterize that as the context of what he was speaking about is either retarded or intentionally deceitful, to use similar colorful aspersions. You once again don’t address this, kinda like Aldous, to again use your technique.

Murtha reported on what he had been told by THE MILITARY ITSELF. That’s all those lines you quote are. Interpretations of military reports. They are not conclusions of his own any more than what you so fervently argue aren’t your positions.

JBOD when confronted with BS, I always use the same BS to argue with the initial BS hurler.

How would you know to argue anything if Murtha hadn’t come foward? Did Warner publicize it? Or did he react once he knew there would be a public outcry? When was anything going to happen until Murtha made it known he was going to spill the beans? This occurred last Fall. Tick , tick, tick.

Once again, Joe your argument is with yourself, I had no bone to pick with you. You chose to defend SE’s Jerk slur.

Posted by: gergle at June 14, 2006 4:30 PM
Comment #157722

To state this all again so you can learly understand , my gripe is with the slurs SE used against John Murtha, a decorated war hero, a US Senator, a man I respect. He further irritates me by using these slurs in a political attack accusing Murtha of attacking the military that is baseless. That is beyond convoluted, it’s entirely head up your ass, Republican echo chamber nonsense.

I can handle someone not liking Murtha’s position on Iraq, or his opinions of Bush or Rumsfeld. I can understand someone not liking the way he spoke about Haditha. What I cannot fathom is the idiocy of supporting slaughter in the name of defending the marines or some stupid Republican agenda.

Posted by: gergle at June 14, 2006 4:51 PM
Comment #157726

Oops I promoted Murtha, Us Rep not senator.

Posted by: gergle at June 14, 2006 4:55 PM
Comment #157750

gergle:

I DID in fact address your comments about Murtha’s statements. I showed you where I got them, I put them in context for you, and I got them from the guy’s own website. Yet you still claim that I’ve taken them out of context. The only way they could be out of context is if Murtha put them out of context on his own site.

Read the site for yourself—you haven’t, have you. Then complain to Murtha, not me, for putting his statements out of context.

You don’t even seem to know that Murtha and Warner called for the investigation simultaneously at the same press conference. You should know more about the topic if you are going to reference it.

I’ve not defended SE’s jerk slur, as you say. I;ve defended his point, but not the slur. I have not nor will I slur Murtha, but I will always….always…hold him accountable for his reckless words. That he so willingly claimed guilt in a public forum is reprehensible, and no amount of your circling will change that.

Read his comments in full context, learn the facts about what Warner said and his role in this, and then we can continue. Until then, you are tossing out theories of what you think, rather than what is known.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at June 14, 2006 5:24 PM
Comment #157765

gergle:

For your info, here are articles that deal with Murtha and his comments. The last item is a full and unedited transcript of Murtha’s statements to George Stephanopolous. This should put to bed your concern about the context of the statements that I have used:

http://www.boston.com/news/nation/washington/articles/2006/05/29/murtha_iraqi_killings_worse_than_abu_ghraib/

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1640016/posts

http://www.voanews.com/english/2006-05-28-voa26.cfm

What his website says NOW:

http://www.house.gov/apps/list/press/pa12_murtha/PRhaditha.html

The transcript in full context of his comments on This Week” with George Stephanopolous:

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1640030/posts

Posted by: joebagodonuts at June 14, 2006 5:42 PM
Comment #157793

Joe,
Since we seem to be in dispute as to what Murtha said, I have copied his website text here. Please quote what you dispute.

“Washington D.C. - The following is a statement from Congressman Murtha regarding the incident at Haditha:

I am a Vietnam combat veteran. I understand full well the type of situation those Marines were in. These are allegations. I believe that the case should and will be fully investigated and that the Marines involved will be treated fairly by the military justice system.

I talk to commanders and soldiers all the time about the circumstances they face in Iraq. I talk to not only the brass at the Pentagon, but to the officers in the field and the soldiers I see every week at Bethesda and Walter Reed medical centers with their arms and legs blown off by IEDs. I am acutely aware of the type of situation those Marines were in. Our soldiers are incredibly brave and are fighting in an extremely difficult combat environment with extremely difficult rules of engagement. They perform heroically and have been for going on four years now, with very few exceptions. As a nation, we can be extremely proud of the conduct of our US military.

As I’ve said, I understand the fog of war and the confusion of battle. But we are a nation of laws, including the UCMJ (Uniform Code of Military Justice). The United States of America has never condoned, nor should it ever condone, indiscriminate, deliberate killing of civilians. When we do that, we become no better than the enemy we are trying to eradicate.

Further, to ignore this incident, which happened six months ago and has now been publicized around the world, is to invite criticism that the United States does not practice what it preaches. That will severely undermine our goals of promoting democracy, as did the Abu Ghraib scandal. Again, the United States of America does not condone the deliberate killing of innocent civilians.”

It is beyond me what is disreputable about this statement.

As to Warner’s involvment. I agree he has been helpful. Which came first the chicken or the egg seems to be your big point here. Murtha is the one who addressed this issue. Warner came along for the ride. He is committe chairman though, with real power. Murtha is the one taking the heat because he opposes the conditions that led to this tragedy.

Once again Joe, your dispute seems to be with you. I never addressed you at any time, except in response. You jumped in on my attack of SE’s slur and now you say you don’t defend it. I agree, it’s indefensible. We agree on everything except the dispicable things you keep saying Murtha said. He didn’t say anything dispicable in the FULL context of his statements. How about posting the FULL context of whatever your gripe is about or at least a hyperlink to it. My point is, still is, that Murtha is only being attacked because of his opposition to Bush’s Iraq plans.

Posted by: gergle at June 14, 2006 6:29 PM
Comment #157797

gergle:

I tried to post links, but they did not take. What you read is what Murtha has on his website NOW…it has been cleansed.

Here is the full unedited transcript of his comments on ABC This Week with George Stephanopolous. You will see his comments in total, and I’m sure you will then be able to contrast that with the antiseptic version he has put on his website. Ill be interested in your opinion of the two versions.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1640030/posts

Posted by: joebagodonuts at June 14, 2006 6:37 PM
Comment #157810

By the way,Joe, Full context means beginning to end not cherry picked. Just to be clear.

The reason I am saying this is because for whatever reason’s you wish only to focus on one or two sentences. That is patently unfair. Interview transcripts are already biased because they do not include connotation and nuance that a live interview contains. This is where I believe you’ve made an error. You haven’t read the whole interview and drawn conclusions based on what others have said about it.

I watched the interviews beginning to end. I did not watch Hardball. Matthews usually only allows his guests small responses to his long speeches.

You say you have pulled your quotes from Murtha’s site. I did not find them there.

I don’t care what Warner has said, it isn’t germain to my discussion of Murtha’s statement and SE’s slur. He’s someone I do respect, but again it’s not germain.

Let’s try and stay on topic.

Posted by: gergle at June 14, 2006 7:14 PM
Comment #157824

I read this interview. I think I did view this. I don’t really have a problem with it. The interview that was much longer and more complete was with Tim Russert

Meet the Press

I can understand you having a problem with him stating he has no question in his mind, but when coupled with the following:

“The reports that I have, from the highest level, no firing at all. No interaction. No, no military action at all in this particular incident. It was an explosive device which killed a Marine. From then on, it was purely shooting people inside the houses and a taxi.”

And statements from others that it “looks bad”

And this:

“Well, that’s what we’re trying to figure out. We don’t know how far it goes. I mean, it goes right up the chain of command. Right up to General Pace. When did he know about it? Did he order the cover-up? Who ordered the cover-up? I’m sure he didn’t. But what - who said, we’re not going to publicize this thing? We’re not even going to investigate it. Until March, there was no serious investigation. There was an investigation right afterwards but then it was stifled. So we need to know what happened. And the point is, the pressure, the tremendous pressure on these guys, every day when they go out with an explosive device. Second is, the Marines knew about it. And so, this gets around the Marine community, as I’d heard rumors about it. Then, third is, the Iraqis all knew about it. You can bet.”

What serious person would think that this was a confused incident? He simply is stating the obvious here to me.

Posted by: gergle at June 14, 2006 7:35 PM
Comment #157837

Ignore the link to meet the press. It’s Murtha but not on Haditha.

Posted by: gergle at June 14, 2006 8:11 PM
Comment #157882

gergle:

Its hopeless, I fear. Now that you have the full context of what Murtha said, you still find it acceptable. I don’t.

As a senior member of the House and especially as a veteran, he should know the impact of his words. He should push for the investigation, he should push for it to be done in a public forum at the right time, and he should speak out loudly if this doesn’t happen.

But he calls the Marines guilty over and over again. In the interview, it ceases to even be a question of whether there is a cover-up, but rather becomes a question of who was involved in the cover-up.

When I said Murtha had made up his mind, you took exception to that. I’ve proved it beyond a shadow simply by using Murtha’s own words. You asked for context—I provided the complete text of Murtha’s comments, in which he claims guilt before the investigation is complete. You claim that I defended SE calling Murtha a jerk, yet my comments have always…always been only about what Murtha said.

At every point, I’ve used facts and Murtha’s own words to support my point, and you have continued to find different reasons to take exception. I can do no more. I’ve proven my case as far as it can be proven. I’m done.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at June 14, 2006 9:44 PM
Comment #158187

I disagree that he has “made up his mind” anymore than Bush “made up his mind” to invade Iraq before 911 or thinks that the “terror war is a “crusade”

John Murtha is a plain speaker in the vein of Mr. Bush. He often stumbles, in my opinon, with unfortunate phrasing. It is clear to me what he is saying is that there is overwhelming evidence that a massacre occurred. How else do you explain a girl child kneeling in a photo taken by a soldier, who is then shot at point blank range? The initial explaination given by the Marines was that these deaths were the result of a grenade.

That IS the conclusion of an internal report by the military. It is not the final word on the matter, but when a robber is photographed pointing a gun at his victim, and then claims the person died of a heart attack, even though there are bullet wounds in the head, tends to make me not believe the robber. To do so stretchs incredulity, as do these atttacks on Murtha while defending Bush’s malapropisms. It’s partisan and phoney, in my opinion.

Posted by: gergle at June 15, 2006 6:46 PM
Comment #158198

gergle:

You are plain wrong. I’m sorry but Murtha’s words make you wrong. It’s crystal clear from the following statement that Murtha’s mind is made up. You can say I’m cherrypicking or whatever, but I’ve provided Murtha’s precise statement in total, and its clear, yet you still deny it.

Murtha: “I can understand anybody that feels that you’re denigrating the troops. What I’m saying is, there’s nobody done more for the troops than I have. Nobody’s worked harder than I have, in trying to make sure the troops have what they need. But I will not excuse murder. And this is what happened. There’s no question in my mind about it.

The only way for you to say that Murtha has not made up his mind is to discredit Murtha’s own statement. The point is not whether he’s right or not—its that he’s publicized his opinion before the investigation is conducted.

I want to see justice done. If the Marines murdered people, then they need to be punished according to military law.

You keep trying to change the focus to what happened in Haditha, rather than what Murtha said. The point is that we don’t yet know unequivocally what happened in Haditha, yet Murtha claims he knows it was murder. Marine Gary Wuterich was there and he claims it was not murder. Who to believe? The answer comes at the conclusion of the investigation.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at June 15, 2006 7:22 PM
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