Defend Our Marines
| Rusty Howell and David Allender [pdf]
September 11, 2008
It’s fitting that the last remaining defendant in the Haditha case
is the squad leader, SSgt Frank Wuterich.
Real leaders take
responsibility, and SSgt Wuterich has taken full responsibility for
the actions of his squad in Haditha. He has also expressed deep
remorse for any civilians who were killed as a result of those
Over the past 18
months, Wuterich, still waiting to clear his name, has seen all of
his squad mates exonerated of all charges. One of those is LCpl
Justin Sharratt, whose parents live in Congressman John Murtha's
PA-12 congressional district
There’s no question that
civilians died in Haditha. But was it murder or the kind of tragedy
that occurs when insurgents fight behind women and children?
maintained the Marines responded to an enemy threat. In every trial
and hearing, the evidence has borne him out.
Wuterich’s own charges have
been reduced to manslaughter as the result of a preliminary hearing.
This means that no one in authority still claims that the incident
in Haditha was “cold-blooded murder”.
No one except Congressman John
Murtha has never apologized or
recanted his remarks that the Marines in Haditha “murdered innocent
civilians in cold-blood”.
In stark contrast to SSgt
Wuterich, Murtha takes no responsibility for anything he has said or
done. Murtha has no remorse for making accusations, now known to be
false, against the Haditha Marines, the American military, and the
United States of America.
Today, the staff sergeant
awaits his day in court. Saddled with legal bills he can’t afford to
pay, Wuterich won’t get his day, in all probability, for another
year due to legal maneuverings.
Our government is doing
everything in its power to delay Wuterich’s probable exoneration.
Which raises the question: why?
A year ago, a young man with a video
camera, Jason Mattera, asked Murtha when he would apologize.
Murtha responded, “Is the trial still
With an apology for his accusations,
Murtha could do much to restore the reputations of the men he
Murtha could also help restore the
reputation of America around the world.
It was Murtha who gave an
official imprimatur to the massacre story and who said, for a
worldwide audience, that American military leaders were liars who
couldn’t be believed.
But Murtha won't apologize. Even when
his charge of "cold-blooded murder" has been disproved, Murtha won't
apologize. His lack of decency and moral scruples is simply both
breathtaking and heartbreaking for anyone who still believes in an
America that is the land of free and home of the brave.
Haditha is still used in anti-American
propaganda around the world, and Murtha is directly responsible for
that. What kind of a man would rather see his country shamed then
admit his own mistake?
Perhaps John Murtha was a patriot once.
But not now. No patriot would put his own petty pride above the
reputation of his country.
In a recent ruling, a military judge
wrote: “Unlawful command influence is the mortal enemy of military
justice, the appearance of unlawful command influence is as
devastating as actual manipulation of a trial.”
Murtha influenced the prosecution of the
Haditha Marines from the start by stating exactly what the
investigation would conclude before investigators had even finished
their work. And Murtha insisted that anyone who said different, up
to and including General Peter Pace, was a liar.
If Murtha hadn’t already killed off his
own conscience years ago, he might recall the words of Our Supreme
Judge: “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.”
Small wonder that many are suspicious
that Murtha is behind the endless delays in the trial of SSgt
Wuterich. After all, Murtha is fully invested in the myth of a
“Haditha massacre” and the last thing he wants is to be majorly
embarrassed in an election year.
Murtha has abused the powers of his
office for far too long. He should be reminded that he doesn’t own
his office. His power is on loan from the voters of PA-12.
The media won't hold Murtha accountable.
But the voters can.
Defend Our Marines