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Thomas More Law Center to Government -
Time to End the Haditha "Fiasco"

Press release from the Thomas More Law Center | June 20, 2008

Friday, June 20, 2008

ANN ARBOR, MI – For over two years, the federal government, the Far Left media and anti-war politicians have smeared the names of loyal Marines, spent millions of dollars to uncover the “Haditha massacre” that never occurred, and employed an army of Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) agents in what it described as the largest investigation in that agency’s history.  To show for their efforts military prosecutors have lost 7 of the 8 cases they charged, the eighth case is still awaiting trial. 

Earlier this week, the prosecutors suffered their latest setback when military judge Colonel Steven A. Folsom, USMC, dismissed all charges against LtCol Jeffrey Chessani, USMC, the highest ranking Marine officer facing “Haditha” charges.  Despite this ruling, the government has indicated that it intends to pursue an appeal, which will continue the case and the expense of taxpayer money for many more months, if not longer.

Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel of the Thomas More Law Center, which is representing LtCol Chessani in the court martial, commented, “The investigation and prosecution of the Haditha Marines has been a Fiasco.  A military command decision should end it now—for the sake of the Corps, our nation and the Marines involved.” 

Thompson continued, “Colonel Folsom’s ruling is rock-solid.  If the government wants to continue wasting taxpayer dollars pursuing this case on appeal, we are more than committed to defending the military judge’s ruling, even if it means taking the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.  We intend to fight as tenaciously as LtCol Chessani’s Marines fought in Iraq.   Enough is enough—it’s time to end this fiasco.”

In a detailed ruling, which took the military judge over an hour to deliver from the bench, the judge dismissed the charges on the basis of unlawful command influence, which he described as “the mortal enemy of military justice.”    The government’s appeal will be heard initially by the Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals (NMCCA), which is located in Washington, D.C.  A decision by that court could then be appealed to the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces (CAAF) and then even to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Thomas More Law Center defends and promotes the religious freedom of Christians, time-honored family values, and the sanctity of human life through litigation, education, and related activities.  It does not charge for its services.  The Law Center is supported by contributions from individuals, corporations and foundations, and is recognized by the IRS as a section 501(c)(3) organization.  You may reach the Thomas More Law Center at (734) 827-2001 or visit our website at www.thomasmore.org.

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