11 April 2007
The Incredible Disappearing Massacre
Time magazine said the Marines in Haditha had committed a massacre. So did Congressman Murtha. “No question about it”, Murtha said numerous times on numerous talk shows.
But then why is the government having such a hard getting its case off the ground? Could it be that a massacre never actually took place?
The government has requested its second postponement of a hearing in the Haditha Marine case. The first postponement was for the battalion commander, Lt. Col. Jeffrey Chessani.
The current request is to delay the April 17th hearing for LCpl. Justin Sharratt. The Pittsburgh-Post Gazette incorrectly reported that the request was granted. As of this writing (4:00 pm EST), Lt. Gen. Mattis has not ruled on the issue. Note: Mattis later ruled in favor of a postponement.]
The delicious bit of irony here is that the government accused four officers of covering up a crime. Yet when the bell rang for the government to prove the crime…they need more time!
Sixty NCIS agents spent hundreds of manhours on the investigation, months and months were spent interviewing countless individuals. If the government isn’t ready now, they never will be.
My hope is that Lt. Gen. Mattis will rule that there be no more delays. The hearing should take place as scheduled.
An Article 32 is an inquiry to determine further action. The eight Haditha Marines have not, at this stage, even been officially charged. I believe the Article 32s must go forward, the system must be allowed to work on behalf of justice.
Additional delays in the hearings will raise justifiable suspicions that the Article 32s are not a search for truth and justice, but a search for politically expedient convictions. And that simply cannot be.