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DEFEND OUR MARINES

HADITHA: NOTES ON THE
LTCOL CHESSANI FIASCO

by Don Dinsmore

 

Defend Our Marines blog * 20 December 2009

There is a basic rule of buoyancy, that quantities of matter left in a bowl for a long period of time tend to raise to the top if they are of quality and the lesser matter seems to sink. Eventually, it is obvious to all observers which is the sinker and which rises to the top.

My thoughts precisely as I entered the courtroom where LtCol Chessani’s case was being heard.

Almost exactly three years ago the fine Marines of the 3/1 were charged for numbers of crimes for doing their job and keeping us safe. I have maintained that the reason for this ongoing persecution of our protectors has been one basic explanation “Personal Agendas”. 

Some have passed the blame to the next lower rank after emails that they sent, acknowledged that they knew the whole situation and shunned their responsibility. They danced to the tune of the Time magazine article instead of Semper Fidelis

Others passed the responsibility up from the lower ranks after being threatened and frightened of those who called themselves, “The Government”. At Capt. Dinsmore’s Deposition a Marine Corps officer sat down next to me and I asked him if he was defending or prosecuting. He returned, “Oh no, I’m for the Government.” 

I said, “Aren’t we all for the Government?”. I believe that I fought in Vietnam for the Government, Government for and by the people?

Several U.S. Marines said on this day as they have in the past, “Semper Fi”. 

LtCol Chessani said, I stand in my command. 

Major Jeffrey Dinsmore, the Intelligence Officer, said I will stand for my C.O. and I refuse to leave one Marine behind.

I am here and I will stand, Semper Fi, for the truth, was Major McConnell’s obvious intention in the way that he conducted himself under examination and cross examination. 

Other Marines weren’t that believable in their attempt to guard their own. One thing that I do know is that these three fulfilled the training of Semper Fi in this week of these proceedings as well as their whole careers.

I find it impossible to smile and shake hands with prosecutors who have sought to make life miserable for a Marine who should, in all cases, be lifted up in honor as a fast track to general officer, warrior that he is.

It is reprehensible to listen to the prosecution attorneys address themselves as “The Government” as they seek what has to be their own personal agendas. I’ve searched my soul on many occasions trying to place myself in their shoes and always come up to the same conclusion. I would count the cost and stand down, answering to a one word inner-self command, “Ethics”.

As I pointed out to LtCol Atterbury almost three years ago that some Marines seemingly have missed basic instruction concerning Semper Fi, the well established motto of the United States Marine Corps, meaning “Always Faithful”. These pit bull Prosecutors are the epitome of that pattern of thought.

My mind wanders to what it must have been like for jurists who preceded them like, Pontius Pilate, and what they will experience in what the Marine Corps regularly refers to as “After Action”.  They have to look in the mirror and justify that image looking back at them. I wouldn’t want to be in that "Briefing".

The hearing got underway with the first witness giving two colonels and one general  two and one half hours of testimony, with a Power Point presentation, depicting the events prior to, during and after what has been dubbed as the Haditha incident, that Time magazine reported on.

Of interest to me was the defense pointing out the exoneration of Marines in the last three years concerning the events at Haditha. So, the obvious question is, Why does the Government continue dishonoring one described as a great leader, when all others involved were found not guilty? What is the C.O. guilty of?

After several hearings concerning others charged, that I have witnessed, the content hasn’t changed a great deal.  Other then a deposition I haven’t seen Major Dinsmore testify. The Intel presentation that he showed and testimony offered was precise and professional at this hearing for the demotion of LtCol Chessani.

The other witness was Major McConnell who seemed totally honest, giving an impression of working to be clear and precise with a very caring attitude.

The outcome of this, hopefully, last face slapping was again that he did nothing wrong.

Right has surfaced and we are all home to enjoy Christmas. If the pit bulls attack once again as pit bulls do, for no logical reason, we are ready once again. 

In the meantime, have a very Merry Christmas, Chessanis.

Don Dinsmore
U.S. NAVY, PHLT, retired

Aweigh

Defend Our Marines
20 December 200
9 

Footnote: Major Dinsmore was awarded the Bronze Star for Haditha, shoved through the window of his truck as he was driving out of the parking lot. Semper fi.

He’s got more then a Bronze Star in Dad’s heart.