Haditha Troops charged

4 Marines Charged In Haditha Killings

This is, of course, very troubling:

Four U.S. Marines were charged with multiple counts of murder yesterday for their alleged roles in the deaths of two dozen civilians in the Iraqi town of Haditha last year. The accusations set up what could be the highest-profile atrocity prosecution to arise from the Iraq war.

In an unusual move, the Marine Corps also charged four officers with crimes related to their alleged failure to investigate and report the Nov. 19, 2005, slayings, which occurred when the Marines conducted a house-to-house sweep and attacked a vehicle after a member of their unit was killed in an ambush.

Something that needs to be remembered and repeated, though, is that the Marines are not charged with premeditated murder.

Let’s say that again.

The Marines are not charged with premeditated murder.

The charging documents indicate that they did not properly identify their targets, did intend to kill the people in the houses and should have known that their actions could lead to the deaths of innocent civilians.

So John Murtha’s (D-PA) very loud public declaration that the Marines killed Iraqi civilians “in cold blood” is officially w-r-o-n-g, by the way. Haven’t seen that mentioned anywhere.

It’s nice to see that, after an initial rush yesterday afternoon, the media has pretty much let this story fall by the wayside. At least for now. My guess, cynic that I am, is that the fact that the “Mindless Marines hell-bent on a murderous rampage for revenge” won’t play is more than a bit disappointing.

Still, the fact that four more US troops have been charged with this sort of crime should not be overlooked. Incidents like this not only tarnish the reputation of the military, they can cause the military’s missions to become much more difficult.

Finally, don’t mistake “charged” with “convicted”. Remember: Three Duke Lacrosse players were charged with rape once upon a time.

Today: Rape charges dropped against Duke lacrosse players

Let’s wait until we have the answers before we make up our minds. (Earlier MO post on making up minds too early: Haditha blah blah blah.)

UPDATE: Uncle Jimbo at Blackfive has a lot more, and he points out Euphoric Reality’s Unraveling Haditha. Both are worth a read and have links to much more.


  1. They killed them alright! Cold blood/ hot blood. Generally when you shoot a kid through the face at a couple of feet they are dead and you are a murderer.Look at pictures of the blood splashes on the wall its a sure sign.Those Arab dinky houses are to small to say it was an accident. Shame on those Marines for letting down the corps.Shame those civilians were murdered because some popular marine was killed. Semper Fi. I think not.

  2. Davea: Could it be the return of Dave Addisson? I’d say it positively was, but no ‘chickenhawk’ card was played so I can’t be sure. In any event, write up the evidence you’ve collected and I’ll post it for you. I want the truth on this out there for all to see, and you seem to have it. So let’s see it. Otherwise I’ll repeat myself: ‘Let’s wait until we have the answers before we make up our minds.’

  3. The damage is done. It doesn’t matter what they ‘find’ in the trial. The message to our troops is clear. We don’t support them. The brass sitting on their fat asses in their air conditioned offices don’t support them. It is total bs.