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"Rules of Engagement", the Haditha film on PBS' Frontline)
DEFEND OUR HADITHA MARINES
"I am not comfortable with the fact that I might have shot a child. I donít know if my rounds impacted anybody. That is a burden I will have to bear."--LCpl Stephen Tatum
"My Marines responded to the threats they
"[After the IED blast] I could
hear some of the firing was directed toward the south and I saw about four
Marines maneuvering north in the direction that I had seen the shooters."
"I will always be proud of my service in Iraq
"Hearing the speech from Murtha saying
"The presence of foreign fighters in town was an immediate indicator that something was in the works and that planning for a major attack was under way."--Major Jeffrey Dinsmore, Frontline
"Haditha, in my judgment, is a
metaphor for how
"The news saying that there
were 24 innocent civilians killed, It's not accurate at all. My case
"On 19 November, the Marines had received
"The need to press on in battle does not
"I had worked with the Hammurabi people before on other stories, and I
think that it's wrong to smear them as pro-insurgent. These are people who
are carrying out human rights work in
"A member of our organization is from Haditha, and by chance during the incident, he was visiting his family there, so he was able to film some of the scenes. When I first watched the film, I couldn't finish it because it was a horrible tragedy, the mutilation of the bodies, the brutal way of killing."--Abdul Rahman al Mashhadani, Hammurabi Human Rights Organization
"The video was horrifying. And I said, Well, who did this? This is terrible. I sort of figured it was, you know, fighting, the usual sort of butchery that goes on between Sunnis and Shias. And they said, No, it was the U.S. Marines based in Haditha that carried this out."--Tim McGirk, Time magazine
"After more than two years of investigating the case, none of the Marines are charged with murder, a reflection of the complexity of the situation on the ground. There are very difficult questions about rules of engagement, about what the intent of these Marines was on that particular day, what they were responding to and how they responded.
While the case initially was
portrayed by Iraqi civilians as a massacre, by Congressman Murtha as
killings in cold blood, what the investigation has revealed since is that
this was far more complicated than some execution. It was far more
complicated than a squad of Marines going on a rampage."
GARY MYERS: The training that the Marines got and applied in Haditha was the training of a blunt force. If a house is declared hostile, you clear it. That's blunt force. If they were a SWAT team, they would have approached the house in a very different way, perhaps identified themselves in a different way, perhaps waited out the insurgents in a different way.
NARRATOR: But Colonel John Ewers, a Marine Judge Advocate who was involved early on in the Haditha investigation, says that all Marines are trained to distinguish civilians from insurgents in a hostile environment.
Col. JOHN EWERS, Staff Judge Advocate, 1st Marine Exped. Force: I think that our Marines were appropriately trained for the mission that we were trying to accomplish. The idea that because we're a blunt force instrument that we're not-we're ill-prepared to do that is a cop-out. The point is, is that we're Marines. We're the-we're the toughest guys on the block. We know how to defend ourselves. We know how to-we know how to aggressively take people down. And to suggest that we can't do the shades of gray in between is a cop-out, and I think it sells Marines short.
For a collection of John Murtha quotes on Haditha, go to: Murtha's Own Words About Haditha
"These crimes are heinous crimes, terrible acts. I would even
call what happened in Haditha a war crime."
"We presented a complete file to the American side about what happened
in Haditha. Less than a week later, the Americans told us that we could
not be a part of the investigation but they would keep us updated."
Prime Minister Maliki responds to news of Haditha, New York Times, June 2, 2006
Samir Sumaidaie responds to news of Haditha, CNN, May 30, 2006
LtGen Peter Chiarelli responds to news of Haditha, USA Today, June 2, 2006
Thomas Betro, director, NCIS, Frontline
"Witness" interview from Frontline