“…an investigator should be unfailing in his quest for the truth.
He should remember that his job is to conduct an impartial
inquiry, designed to establish all the facts in the case, and not
to perfect a case whether for the government or for the accused…"
--Military Law, Edward M. Byrne
as the Commander of the Multi-National Corps in Iraq and one
of the Combat Commander’s senior representatives in Iraq, I
believe you are guilty of dereliction of duty by
pandering to the Washington, DC political powers. In the U.S.
Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), dereliction of duty is
addressed within the regulations governing the failure to obey an
order or regulation. It means that one willfully, through
negligence or culpable inefficiency, fails to perform one's
expected duties. The dereliction of duty is your failure to follow
regulations and procedures in two investigations (the Watt and
Bargewell Investigations) ordered by you, concerning the November
19, 2005 Haditha incident.
Your Watt report follows the traditional investigation template by
first stating the findings of fact, then presenting opinions by
answering the questions based on the allegations raised by Time
reporter, Tim McGirk, and finishing with recommendations. The
investigation questions, include the intentionally targeting
civilians, failure to use PID (positive identification), and if
the amount of force was proportional.
investigation finds no violations to the Rules of Engagement. The
opinions include statements of:
“No, there are no
indications that CF (Coalition Forces) intentionally targeted,
engaged and kill non-combatants…
indistinguishable from non-combatants…
The amount of
force was proportional…appropriate in nature, scope and duration…
…hostile action set
conditions that made it difficult for CF to PID/discriminate while
executing offensive room clearing techniques..."
other words, the investigation findings state that SSgt Wuterich
and his Marines followed their training and complied with the
Rules of Engagement.
Watt investigation “Recommendations” are as expected, except for
the first lettered paragraph stating:
investigation by CID/NCIS, however given time lapsed, Solatia
payments, RIP/TOAs ,
renovations to House #1 and House #2, obtaining more prosecutable
evidence will be extremely difficult." 
This recommendation is remarkable not only because it is not
supported by facts or opinions but also because it seems
contradictory to the stated opinions. The above statement simply
appears without comments or findings. For this reason, it smacks
of undue command influence and that responsibility failure, as the
convening authority, is yours, General Chiarelli.
the completion of the Watt investigation you must make a decision;
either refer the investigation to General Abizaid, the CENTCOM
Combat Commander or referred it to Major General Zilmer (USMC)
Component Commander, MNF-W (Multi National Forces – West). If you
referred it to General Abizaid, it would have forced him to state
that the Watt investigation found the Marines acted in accordance
with ROEs. At that particular moment, that statement was not the
answer the media, Congress or the Pentagon wanted. Instead you
refer the investigation to your Marine subordinate commander,
General Zilmer, who initiates two other investigations.
referred that investigation to the senior Marine commander because
you know your “subordinate component commanders were reporting
to, and no doubt influenced by, members of a committee in
Washington composed of the Service Chiefs”
In this particular case, it is the Commandant of the Marine Corps.
You knew and learned of this combat command issue years before,
when working for General Wesley Clark, as his Executive Officer,
during the NATO Kosovo war air campaign.
first Zilmer investigation initiates NCIS actions to determine
possible criminal misconduct. Again this is a surprise, because if
the Watt investigation could not determine criminal conduct why
would the Zilmer investigation be able to make a different
second investigation is initiated to examine and evaluate
reporting procedures from squad to MNF-W Headquarters. On March
19, 2006, you start yet another investigation to review official
reporting and Marine training regarding the ROE (Rules of
Engagement) by appointing Major General Eldon Bargewell as the
days after referring the investigation to General Zilmer, NCIS
(sent by the Marine Corps Commandant, General Hagee) arrives in
country and starts their investigation. It is after NCIS’s arrival
that both Zilmer investigations are rolled into your Bargewell
investigation. This “sleight of hand” administrative maneuver is
important to focus on because it empowers the Bargewell
investigation as the primary driver for the charges against the
Haditha Marines. Another way to describe this action is; because
you didn’t get what you wanted in the Watt investigation, and
afraid you were not going to get what you wanted from the Zilmer
investigation; you exerted your influence to initiate another
investigation to support the politically motivated rush to
judgment by Congressman John Murtha and Marine Corps Commandant,
know the primary purpose of an investigation is to establish the
facts free of impartiality; yet, there is no “Finding of Facts”
section, in the report. The Bargewell investigation does not
follow a standard military investigation template and the majority
of the paragraphs contain unsubstantiated opinion and conclusions.
The investigation, instead of establishing the facts without
prejudice, reads like a prosecutor’s grand jury indictment.
Normally, in a civilian case, the prosecutor must convince the
grand jury that there exists reasonable suspicion, probable cause,
or a prima facie case that a crime has been committed.
Suspicion and probable cause are a long way from an investigation
requirement of presenting facts and evidence. Your investigator
appears to be manipulating the system to support the rush to
judgment created by Congressman John Murtha and the Pentagon.
Again, the Bargewell investigation rather than establishing the
facts, instead states opinion. This approach is not surprising
since one of the authors of the report, Col Ewers (a Marine
lawyer), is later found responsible for "unlawful command
influence" in Lt Col Chessani’s Court Martial. The military judge
found that Col Ewers unfairly tainted the case and dropped the
charges against Lt Col Chessani, the 3/1 Battalion Commander. Col
Ewers taint did not start months later while on General Mattis
staff but here in the Bargewell investigation.
good example of a pre-determined opinion can be found in the
Bargewell investigation under the heading “Limitations”. There it
“At the outset of
this investigation the state of the evidence on the underlying
events indicated that Iraqi civilian casualties suffered near the
intersection of Routes Chestnut and Viper in Haditha on 19
November 2005, were caused by a negligent or, at worst reckless
application of ROE by Marines from Company K, 3/1… The Walt
investigation had made preliminary findings on those events and
directly led to a NCIS investigation…” 
Walt investigation does not state, or establish that evidence
exists that the Iraqi casualties were due to negligent or reckless
application of the ROE. In fact, Watt makes for a strong case
against negligence and recklessness. Col Watt at worse, states in
the investigation, for example:
“In House #1 and
#2 hostile actions set conditions that made it difficult for CF to
PID/discriminate while exercising offensive room clearing
techniques in House #1 and #2. Under these conditions individual
PID may have been unrealistic to expect." 
NCIS investigation is recommended in the Watt investigation but
without justification. When you compare the two investigations it
appears that your investigating officer is stating that because an
NCIS investigation is ordered, the accused must be guilty. This is
an example of how the Bargewell investigation uses unfounded
assumptions and perceptions instead of facts to prejudice the case
against the Haditha Marines.
Most commanders, after reviewing an investigation like the
Bargewell report, would have recognized that it does not establish
the facts as required but instead presents opinion. Most leaders
would have issue an immediate and loud verbal counseling
to the investigating officer for this failure. By endorsing this
investigation with your approval you failed to exercise your
proper responsibility as the investigation authority.
General Chiarelli, the Haditha Case has dragged on for more than
three years and two Marines still linger in a legal limbo waiting
for the completion of their cases. Your Bargewell investigation is
the foundation of the Haditha case and it failed to establish the
facts and instead sustains and enhances false assumptions and
perceptions. Bad investigations lead to embarrassing legal
proceeding. You let your investigating officers run amuck using
perceptions instead of facts to manipulation the military legal
system to satisfy the Washington cry for scapegoats. General
Chiarelli, as a war fighter, you have failed in exercising your
responsibilities and duties and that, sir, is a sin.
Reduction in Personal/Transfer
Watt Investigation; para. 5.a.
General Wesley K. Clark ,
“Waging Modern War”, 2001, PublicAffairs, New York; p. 424
politically correct term for a nasty and painful butt crewing
Defend Our Marines
8 February 2009