DEFEND OUR MARINES

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Murtha Still Lying After All These Years

Continues to Misrepresent His Haditha Motives

October 18, 2008–Congressman John Murtha (D-PA)suckered reporters yet again about the motives behind his “Cold-Blooded Killer Media Blitz” of May 2006.

Murtha told reporters at the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that the Marine Corps was sitting on its hands, doing nothing, when the first news of the so-called Haditha incident was published in Time magazine.

In fact, three investigations had already been launched.

Here is the timeline…

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February 10,2006 Time magazine reporter, Tim McGirk, contacts military sources in Baghdad about the circumstances of the Haditha incident.
General Peter Pace, chairman of the Joints Chiefs, later told CNN: “To my recollection, the first we knew about it back here in D.C. was around the 10th of February. And the very next day is when the investigations began. So, from my perspective, as soon as we found out that there were allegations, the investigations began.”

February 14: Army Lt. Gen. Peter W. Chiarelli, commander of multinational forces in Iraq, appoints Army Col. Gregory Watt to head a preliminary investigation into the Haditha deaths.

March 3: Col. Watt completes his preliminary report, which concludes there is no evidence of wanton murder or a cover-up but recommends further investigation.

March 9: Lt. Gen. Chiarelli receives the findings of Col. Watt’s preliminary report and directs further review.

March 16: The Marine Corps officially requests an investigation into the incident at Haditha. The probe began immediately. Within 24 hours, three Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) agents in Iraq went to Haditha to investigate.

March 16: The existence of a criminal investigation into the deaths in Haditha is reported in the media.

March 17: At a press conference, Lt. General Peter W. Chiarelli summarizes the events at Haditha and the preliminary investigation into Marine involvement in the deaths. He says, “We take these allegations of potential misconduct seriously, and they will be thoroughly investigated.”

March 19: After receiving final recommendations from Colonel Watt, Lt. General Chiarelli appoints Army Maj. General Eldon Bargewell to investigate two major aspects of what happened in Haditha: training and preparation of Marines prior to the engagement and the reporting of the incident at all levels of the chain of command.

March 19: Time magazine prints the first major Haditha story: “Collateral damage or civilian massacre in Haditha?”

May 17: Congressman Murtha charges Marines with cold blooded murder in Haditha

Truth is that Murtha used Haditha to boost his standing with the Democrat base, the anti-war Left. His position on Iraq was cited later that year by the newly-minted Speaker Nancy Pelosi in her endorsement of Murtha as House Majority Leader after the Democrats’ victory in November 2006. And Murtha coveted that position.

It can only be hoped that the proceeding against Murtha will at last bring out the truth.