May 31, 2006

Haditha: A Rush to Judgement?

According to a Time Magazine report back in March, in the early morning hours of November 19th, 2005, a U.S. Marine HUMVEE was struck by an IED in the city of Haditha in Iraq. The blast killed the driver, Lance Corporal Miguel Terrazas. Afterwords, the details become sketchy, but we do know that when the dust settled, 24 Iraqi civilians were reported dead.

The ever outspoken John Murtha appeared on ABC's "This Week" proclaiming that the Haditha incident was worse than Abu Ghraib and even went as far as to accuse those in the higher levels of the chain-of-command of covering the incident up:

"Who covered it up, why did they cover it up, why did they wait so long?" Murtha said on "This Week" on ABC. "We don't know how far it goes. It goes right up the chain of command."

We don't know exactly what happened in Haditha. Many in the MSM are suggesting that these Marines became enraged when one of their own was killed and went on a rampage even though that report is not consistent with how CNN's Arwa Damon described her time spent with the same Marines prior to the incident on November 19th. Although she was not present during the supposed "massacre," she has come out with her own accounts of how cautious the unit was in their duties:

I know the Marines that were operating in western al Anbar, from Husayba all the way to Haditha. I went on countless operations in 2005 up and down the Euphrates River Valley. I was pinned on rooftops with them in Ubeydi for hours taking incoming fire, and I've seen them not fire a shot back because they did not have positive identification on a target.

The White House has reported that two investigations are currently being conducted: one into the killings themselves and the other focusing on the delay in reporting. The findings of the investigations are to be made public, according to Tony Snow.

The bottom line is we don't know what happened. While John Murtha has made a spectacle of this and the MSM has taken the story of the incident well beyond the level of respectable reporting (in my opinion), we do know that something happened. It is not fair to rush to judgement and call this the worst human rights atrocity since the war began when the investigation hasn't even been completed. I still have full confidence in our military members' competence and ability. Now is not the time to turn our backs on those soldiers, marines, sailors, and airmen who are sacrificing themselves daily for our future safety and security.

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Posted by everyman at May 31, 2006 09:52 AM | TrackBack
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