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Marines vs. Murtha / July 13, 2007
Wednesday we told you that a Marine Corps investigator has recommended that murder charges against Lance Cpl. Justin Sharratt be dropped in the killing of three Iraqis at Haditha. Now the Marine's parents say they will ask Congress to censure Pennsylvania Democrat John Murtha for saying that Marines "overreacted" and killed civilians "in cold blood."
Cybercast News reports Darryl Sharratt and his wife plan to visit Murtha's office. Sharratt says Murtha "denied my son — and the other Marines involved — their constitutional rights to a fair trial and a presumption of innocence."
Murtha's office had no comment. Murtha is already being sued by another Haditha defendant who claims the congressman defamed him while discussing the incident.
Should Marine Accused of Killing Three Iraqis Face Charges? / July 10, 2007
An officer investigating murder allegations against a U.S. Marine accused of shooting three of the 24 Iraqis killed in Haditha has recommended the charges be dismissed.
Marine Corps Lieutenant Colonel Paul Ware says the government's theory that Lance Corporal Justin Sharratt executed the three men was "unsupported and incredible" and relied on contradictory statements by Iraqis. Sharratt testified at a preliminary hearing that he fired only after one of the Iraqis pointed a gun at him.
Colonel Ware's recommendation is not binding. A final decision on whether Sharratt will stand trial will be made by the commanding general overseeing the case.
Three other Marines face murder charges in the Haditha incident, which occurred after a Marine was killed in a roadside bombing.
Pennsylvania Democratic Congressman John Murtha refused to comment today when asked by Gary Gross of the Let Freedom Ring blog for a reaction to Colonel Ware's recommendation. You'll recall that Murtha has said the Marines "overreacted" and "killed innocent civilians in cold blood." But today his office said he would not comment because the investigation is ongoing.