DEFEND OUR MARINES
HADITHA EVIDENCE ROOM
|SCENES OF THE ALLEGED CRIMES|
|Overview: The ambush site, suspected trigger house, house from which Marines received insurgent automatic weapon fire. Houses 1, 2, 3, and 4.|
|STATEMENTS TO INVESTIGATORS|
David Whitt, USN
Whitt (who rode in the third HMV) clearly identifies receiving SAF at the ambush site that morning. States that there were bullet impacts at his feet and as he ran alongside a wall he was using for cover. States he saw rifles on the roof of a house only 100 yards away. States two enemy shooters fired directed at him. States that while he was attending the wounded he heard AK, M-16 and a grenade round going off.
In Watt statement, states that the five Iraqis at the white car ran after the IED went off. States that "we" started shooting and they went down. States the squad was under SAF after the blast, and believes he saw individuals doing the firing. States he shot an individual in house 1 and shot a second individual running from house 1 to house 2. States he threw a grenade into house 2.
In NCIS statement, states that Cpl Dela Cruz shot at the Iraqis fleeing the white taxi. Also states he didn't remember anyone else firing. States that PFC Guzman returned fire from combatants after the IED blast. The fire was coming from house 1 (the first to be assaulted by Marines that morning). Heard the sound of an AK-47 being racked inside the house.
LCpl Rene Rodriguez
States he took cover from AK-47 fire at the ambush site. States he assisted Lt Kallop in evacuating children from house 1.
In the Watt investigation statement, Lt Kallop states: "...we began receiving small arms fire from the south side of the road....I looked out to the south and identified where the rounds were coming from with Sergeant Wuterich. They were coming from a house that was across a wadi on the south side of the road and a little to our west. I could see movement and hear the rounds cracking around me so I pointed at the house and told Staff Sergeant Wuterich to clear south to the enemy..."
The NCIS statement is a summary by Special Agent Robert A. McDaniel.
LCpl Steven Tatum
In his first NCIS statement, he states that Iraqis fled from the white taxi and, after they were fired upon by Iraqi soldiers, fired on the fleeing Iraqis as well. States he doesn't recall if other Marines fired on the Iraqis at the white car.
Dela Cruz was asked to take a polygraph test regarding his actions at the white car. Dela Cruz failed the test.
In his second NCIS statement, states that his previous statement was correct with the exception of events that occurred around the white car. Dela Cruz's new version is that SSgt Wuterich shot the Iraqis as they stood by the car. States that he, Dela Cruz, shot them as well. Claims that SSgt Wuterich told him to blame the Iraqi soldiers for the shooting (this claim is not believable since SSgt Wuterich did not tell such a story to investigators).
Mendoza failed a polygraph test regarding the details of the shooting in house 1.
LCpl Roel Ryan Briones
Arrived with the QRF. Photographed bodies in the houses.
Forensic and witness testimony at Justin Sharratt's hearing corroborated his statement to the NCIS regarding the action in house 4. Sharratt also passed a polygraph test.
SSgt Frank Wuterich
Stated that he and Cpl Salinas engaged the five Iraqis at the white taxi (note: this does not match Dela Cruz's statement that, according to Dela Cruz, SSgt Wuterich asked him to make). Stated the squad was taking fire from houses 1 and 2.
SCAN EAGLE SURVEILLANCE VIDEO--you saw it here first
The IED explosion on 19 November 2005 that killed LCpl Terrazas was the beginning of a complex ambush in Haditha. Some of the action against insurgents that day was recorded by a Scan Eagle drone. Read a chronology of events and see the video here.
THE HADITHA INCIDENT: NO MURDER, NO COVER-UP
The Watt Investigation Report on Haditha, pdf, March 3, 2006.
Bargewell Report, pdf, June 15, 2006.
Memo from General Mattis, pdf, assignment of defense counsel for the accused, December 12, 2006.
Polygraph test results from April 2, 2006: Cpl Dela Cruz, PFC Mendoza, LCpl Sharratt, pdf
NCIS: Pathology Consultation: Haditha Investigation
reconstruction, House 4