30 March 2007
The Truth was
View of Haditha
The media has waged a successful campaign against the Haditha
Marines. With hearings on the horizon, the accused have very
little public support--even among patriots who should know
Nearly a year ago, Congressman Murtha pronounced the Marines
guilty, basing his conclusion on pictures in Time magazine. The
media ran more Haditha stories, quoting Murtha, who was quoting
them, and so a My Lai was made out of nothing.
We did our enemy's work for them. The pictures, and witness
accounts, came directly from the heart of the Iraqi insurgency.
Islamic fascists have become experts at Information Operations,
and the gathering and coaching of Haditha witnesses was just
It will all come out in court.
The Haditha incident was not a massacre. Neither is it
complicated. When civilian-combatants fight Marines, only
civilians and Marines are killed. Insurgents hit and run, taking
their dead and wounded, along with their weapons, to regroup for
another attack. The lack of dead Iraqis in Haditha clearly labeled
"insurgent" is not surprising. And the dead women and children are
a tragic consequence of insurgents shooting at Marines from
people's living rooms.
It's also not surprising that the Corps brought charges. Failure
to do so would have resulted in a media and congressional
firestorm. There would have been extensive hearings about the
military's fitness to police itself. Heads would have rolled.
Easier all round to unleash the NCIS and take the Marines to
Leftists will never be convinced that soldiers and Marines are not
all killers. But normal people who have only followed the case
through the traditional media are in for a surprise when the
The media's case against Sgt. Frank Wuterich and his squad avoids
the real issue: Rules of Engagement.
Murtha and the media have claimed that the result proves the
crime. Not so. ROE does not mean Results of Engagement. The
media lynched the Marines over the deaths of women and children.
This won't work in military court. The results of an action may be
tragic, but are legally irrelevant when the Rules of Engagement
were followed. It can't be any other way. A serviceman or woman
can't be accountable when proper actions lead to bad results.
The coming hearings
The center of the prosecution's case will be testimony by Iraqis.
I personally can't wait until they are cross-examined. Ultimately,
the investigating officer will weigh the word of Marines against
Sunni Iraqis who wish Saddam was still in power.
Iraqis have always had a clear motive to misrepresent what
happened in Haditha. Compensation is only paid for noncombatants.
How many Iraqis would turn down a payday, and a chance to hurt
Americans, by telling the truth about Uncle Waleed?
The facts won't go away. Haditha residents lived in an
insurgent-controlled city. IEDs were paved into the streets. The
US-backed police force had been publicly executed to leave no
doubt about who was in charge. When the Marines were sent back to
Haditha after the battle of Fallujah, a civilian could collect
$1,000 reward for killing a Marine. There was no age or gender
The prosecutors will have none of the media's advantages in
presenting the Haditha case. The prosecution won't be able to
assert, like Murtha, that there was no firefight in Haditha.
Defense JAGs, and civilian attorneys, will bring out the full
circumstances of the ambush, a complex engagement that involved
four Marine platoons and air support.
Truth is, the media made the Marines out to be guilty by being
selective with the facts. All the facts about that day's
engagement will exonerate these eight Marines.
The Marines were facing the enemy in combat.
There was an ambush and a firefight that morning. Multiple
witnesses (including an Iraqi soldier and a Marine
explosives-and-ordnance squad) have told investigators that the
road came under fire after the IED explosion.
Shots came from the first house that Sgt. Wuterich and his squad
would enter that morning. And we don't only have the word of the
accused for that.
Lt. William T. Kallop was the first officer on the scene in
Haditha that morning. He arrived minutes after the IED exploded.
Kallop told investigators he began to receive enemy fire almost
Cpl. Hector A. Salinas spotted a man firing at the squad from the
corner of a house on the south side of the road. Cpl. Salinas then
stated that he could see the enemy so Kallop told Salinas and Sgt.
Wuterich to 'take the house'.
Contrary to rumor, Sgt. Wuterich and his squad did not launch an
attack against civilian residences on their own or without knowing
that the house contained insurgents.
The diagram above shows the approximate position of the convoy,
heading west. The taxi was heading toward them, moving east. The
men in the taxi that Sgt. Wuterich and Sgt. Dela Cruz shot were
military age males, no different from the group killed later by an
air strike. Until the trial, we won't know the full circumstances
of the shooting.
The house at the lower right is the first of several entered by
Marines that day. There were some noncombatant casualties in three
of the houses. The exact number of "innocent civilians" and
"civilian combatants" remains to be proven.
If you only read media reports on Haditha, you’d never know that
insurgents were killed and wounded that day. Four Kilo Company
platoons were engaged in Haditha after the IED blast. One patrol
was fired upon and, in the return fire, reported that they wounded
three of the enemy.
One insurgent was shot and killed as he left a house that had been
searched by Sgt. Wuterich and his team.
A group of ten insurgents were spotted near the ambush by a drone.
The men split up and entered two houses. Cobra helicopters arrived
and fired two AGM-114 Hellfire missiles, one into each house. As
William Langewiesche recounted in Vanity Fair, "Kilo Company
Marines then rushed forward to clear the rooms as required. The
first house was empty, but as they approached the second one they
were greeted by small-arms fire and grenades. The Marines pulled
back—way back—and called in an AV-8B Harrier jet to drop a guided
500-pound GBU-12 Paveway bomb.....directly through the roof,
blowing the whole house and everyone in it to bloody shreds."
The Marine Corps has said that twenty-four
Iraqis were killed in the vicinity of the IED blast. Only Freepers
and The North County Times noticed that there aren't
twenty-four individual murder charges. Both Cpl Salinas Cpl
Mendoza shot or grenaded Iraqis in the houses, and neither has
been charged with wrongdoing. How many of the twenty-four were
insurgents will be just one of the issues in the hearings.
The Marines responded proportionately to the threat they
Thanks to media silence, few people know that the Marines took
prisoners that day in Haditha. The Marines entered a house and, in
a tense standoff, convinced suspected insurgents to surrender.
There were no casualties.
Several other houses were identified as safe and were entered
without incidence. Murtha's accusation of Marines snapping under
pressure is utterly groundless.
A side benefit to the hearings is just how many times Murtha will
be proved to be a liar.
If you support the troops, support the Haditha Marines.
Murtha and the anti-war media love comparing Haditha to My Lai.
And the comparison is instructive. The investigation into My Lai
began because conscience-stricken soldiers could not keep silent.
In the Haditha case, the investigation was driven by accusations
from our enemy in Iraq and our enemy within. They succeeded in
fooling most people. But the truth will come out and this PC-ROE
prosecution of our Marines will only have served our enemy’s
All American citizens are entitled to a presumption of innocence.
Citizens who put on uniforms and fight our nation's wars are
entitled to our support.
an open mind in the months ahead as the hearings commence and
facts become public. If you don't support the Haditha Marines now,
you will wish you had supported them all along.
Defend Our Marines