I got the word just before midnight last night from the Sharratt
This is wonderful news though the final decision on whether to
proceed to a court martial belongs to General Mattis.
Let's review how the
Iraqi "witnesses" (and their media enablers) described the actions
of LCpl. Sharratt and Sgt. Wuterich in house number four.
Notice that the media
NEVER presented Iraqi "testimony" with a bit of skepticism. Nor did
the media ever inform its readers that none of the Iraqi "witnesses"
to the events in house number were actually present when the events
Tim McGirk in
Time (March 19, 2006):
The Marines raided a
third house, which belongs to a man named Ahmed Ayed. One of
Ahmed's five sons, Yousif, who lived in a house next door, told
Time that after hearing a prolonged burst of gunfire from his
father's house, he rushed over. Iraqi soldiers keeping watch in
the garden prevented him from going in. "They told me, 'There's
nothing you can do. Don't come closer, or the Americans will kill
you too.' The Americans didn't let anybody into the house until
6:30 the next morning." Ayed says that by then the bodies were
gone; all the dead had been zipped into U.S. body bags and taken
by Marines to a local hospital morgue. "But we could tell from the
blood tracks across the floor what happened," Ayed claims.
gathered my four brothers and took them inside my father's
bedroom, to a closet. They killed them inside the closet."
The military has a
different account of what transpired. According to officials
familiar with the investigation, the Marines broke into the third
house and found a group of 10 to 15 women and children. The troops
say they left one Marine to guard that house and pushed on to the
house next door, where they found four men, one of whom was
wielding an AK-47. A second seemed to be reaching into a wardrobe
for another weapon, the officials say. The Marines shot both men
dead; the military's initial report does not specify how the other
two men died. The Marines deny that any of the men were killed in
the closet, which they say is too small to fit one adult male,
much less four....In all, two AK-47s were discovered.
William Langewiesche in
Vanity Fair (November 2006):
pursued the search to the north side of Route Chestnut, where they
put the women and children under guard and killed four men of
another family. There on the north side they found the only AK-47
that was discovered that day —- apparently a household defensive
weapon, of the type that is legal and common in Iraq. No one has
claimed that the rifle had been fired....
A man cries, "This is
an act denied by God. What did he do? To be executed in the
closet? Those bastards!...."
Josh White in the
Washington Post (January 6, 2007):
A few hours later
[after the first houses were cleared], Sharratt, Wuterich and
Salinas approached a third and fourth house after noticing men
they said were peering at them suspiciously. The investigative
reports show that what happened there is unclear. Iraqi witnesses
said the Marines angrily separated men and women into two lines
before marching the men into the fourth house and shooting them.
The three Marines told investigators they were searching for the
men they had seen and separated the women into a safe area before
Wuterich and Sharratt entered the house.
investigators that he saw a man raise an AK-47 rifle as if to
shoot him. Sharratt said his gun jammed, but he grabbed his 9mm
handgun and shot the attacker. He told investigators he saw
another man with a rifle and shot him and two others because he
"felt threatened." Wuterich also shot at the men, he said.