Thursday, December 21, 2006

Frank Wuterich Charged with 13 Counts of Murder in Haditha Massacre

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Haditha is in the news again:

The U.S. military charged four Marines on Thursday with murder and four others on related charges in the November 2005 deaths of 24 unarmed civilians in Haditha, Iraq.

The killings of the men, women and children is one of the most serious allegations of misconduct against civilians by U.S. troops in Iraq. Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has called the Haditha killings a "terrible crime."
Marine Corps squad leader Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich, whose lawyer said was charged with 13 counts of murder, led a squad investigated in connection with the November 19, 2005 shootings in the western Iraqi town.

Wuterich's attorney, Mark Zaid, said the charges carry a maximum penalty of life in prison.

Others charged with murder are Sgt. Sanick Dela Cruz, Lance Cpl. Justin Sharratt and Lance Cpl. Stephen Tatum. The remaining four are charged with failure to properly report and/or investigate the deaths.

"The reporting of the incident up the chain of command was inaccurate and untimely," Col. Stewart Navarre told reporters in announcing the charges.

Allahpundit has a post about the charges that -- to my surprise, I admit -- makes no excuses for the Marines charged with this crime, and even poses the question: "... [D]id they hold the charges until Christmas intentionally, because they knew people won’t be paying as much attention?"

Allah's Comments section is a different story, although in fairness there are a few comments that indicate someone with a conscience might be behind them.

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