Defend Our Marines | July 11, 2007
The investigating officer in the LCpl. Justin Sharratt Article 32 recommends that charges be dropped!
I got the word just before midnight last night from the Sharratt family.
This is wonderful news though the final decision on whether to proceed to a court martial belongs to General Mattis.
LCpl. Sharratt was charged with three counts of murder for his actions in house number (Sgt. Wuterich was charged with one count for his actions in that same house).
Let’s review how the Iraqi “witnesses” (and their media enablers) described the actions of LCpl. Sharratt and Sgt. Wuterich in house number four.
Notice that the media NEVER presented Iraqi “testimony” with a bit of skepticism. Nor did the media ever inform its readers that none of the Iraqi “witnesses” to the events in house number were actually present when the events occured.
Tim McGirk in Time (March 19, 2006):
The Marines raided a third house, which belongs to a man named Ahmed Ayed. One of Ahmed’s five sons, Yousif, who lived in a house next door, told Time that after hearing a prolonged burst of gunfire from his father’s house, he rushed over. Iraqi soldiers keeping watch in the garden prevented him from going in. “They told me, ‘There’s nothing you can do. Don’t come closer, or the Americans will kill you too.’ The Americans didn’t let anybody into the house until 6:30 the next morning.” Ayed says that by then the bodies were gone; all the dead had been zipped into U.S. body bags and taken by Marines to a local hospital morgue. “But we could tell from the blood tracks across the floor what happened,” Ayed claims.
“The Americans gathered my four brothers and took them inside my father’s bedroom, to a closet. They killed them inside the closet.”
The military has a different account of what transpired. According to officials familiar with the investigation, the Marines broke into the third house and found a group of 10 to 15 women and children. The troops say they left one Marine to guard that house and pushed on to the house next door, where they found four men, one of whom was wielding an AK-47. A second seemed to be reaching into a wardrobe for another weapon, the officials say. The Marines shot both men dead; the military’s initial report does not specify how the other two men died. The Marines deny that any of the men were killed in the closet, which they say is too small to fit one adult male, much less four….In all, two AK-47s were discovered.
William Langewiesche in Vanity Fair (November 2006):
Wuterich’s men pursued the search to the north side of Route Chestnut, where they put the women and children under guard and killed four men of another family. There on the north side they found the only AK-47 that was discovered that day —- apparently a household defensive weapon, of the type that is legal and common in Iraq. No one has claimed that the rifle had been fired….
A man cries, “This is an act denied by God. What did he do? To be executed in the closet? Those bastards!….”
Josh White in the Washington Post (January 6, 2007):
A few hours later [after the first houses were cleared], Sharratt, Wuterich and Salinas approached a third and fourth house after noticing men they said were peering at them suspiciously. The investigative reports show that what happened there is unclear. Iraqi witnesses said the Marines angrily separated men and women into two lines before marching the men into the fourth house and shooting them. The three Marines told investigators they were searching for the men they had seen and separated the women into a safe area before Wuterich and Sharratt entered the house.
Sharratt told investigators that he saw a man raise an AK-47 rifle as if to shoot him. Sharratt said his gun jammed, but he grabbed his 9mm handgun and shot the attacker. He told investigators he saw another man with a rifle and shot him and two others because he “felt threatened.” Wuterich also shot at the men, he said.
Defend Our Marines
11 July 2007
In the news…
Investigator: Drop Haditha charges against Sharratt, San Diego Union-Tribune, July 11, 2007.
* Officer advises against trial for Marine, Associated Press, July 11, 2007.