John Murtha -
Haditha timeline of events
"Murtha's remarks about the guilt of these
people having killed civilians in cold blood is very reminiscent of John
Kerry's Senate testimony" in 1971, when the current senator from
Massachusetts stated he'd heard Vietnam veterans say they had "randomly shot
at civilians" and "razed villages in a fashion reminiscent of Genghis Kahn."
"That hasn't proven to be true, either. Censure
is too good for Murtha on this alone."
Chairman Roger Hughes
May 17, 2006
"they killed innocent civilians in cold blood"
press conference transcript
REP. JOHN MURTHA:
… on November 19th, we had an incident in Haditha in Anbar province, where a
Marine was killed with an IED. Time magazine reported it, and it's
kind of a puzzling report, because they're investigating экскурсия в Константиновский дворец в Стрельне it right now. Let
me tell you what the consequences of this have been.
It's much worse than
reported in Time magazine. There was no fire fight. There was no IED that
killed these innocent people. Our troops overreacted because of the pressure
on them and they killed
innocent civilians in cold blood. And that's what the report is
going to tell…
May 17, 2006
cites TIME Magazine as source for 'cold blood' charge
on HARDBALL with Chris Matthews
Transcript / May 17, 2006
Mr. Murtha, let me ask you about this accusation that you have come out with
today, that U.S. service people fighting in Iraq killed civilians in cold
blood. What evidence do you have on that now?
"Time Magazine" ...
Was this melee? I mean, was this a case of -- when you say cold blood,
Congressman, a lot of people think you're basically saying you have got some
civilians sitting in a room or out in a field and they're executed just on
exactly what happened.
May 19, 2006
Rep. John Murtha:
calls Haditha a
SITUATION ROOM with Wolf Blitzer
Aired May 19, 2006 - 19:00 ET
There's an investigation of what happened at Haditha. ...you've suggested
this week that there in effect was a massacre. …
Well there was. There's no question about it...
BLITZER: The Marines say they're still investigating. They don't know
what happened yet. The pentagon says the same thing. How do you know what
Wolf, you read the "Time" magazine articles. There are pictures, there
are photos. You don't have to talk to the military about the proof.
June 9, 2006
TIME Magazine finally corrects its Haditha story, no
apology from Murtha
Sweetness & Light. com
The following "corrections" have been added to
the very bottom of Time’s two blockbuster exclusives on Haditha in their
current online versions:
the original version of this story, TIME reported that "a day after the
incident, a Haditha journalism student videotaped the scene at the local
morgue and at the homes where the killings had occurred. The video was
obtained by the Hammurabi Human Rights Group, which cooperates with the
internationally respected Human Rights Watch, and has been shared with TIME"
In fact, Human Rights Watch has not
ties or association with the Hammurabi Human Rights Group. TIME regrets the
In fact, Time had originally reported that it
was Human Rights Watch who had provided the tape. They then retracted that
and claimed that it came from Hammurabi which works with Human Rights Watch.
And now they have backed off even that.
Note that even now Time still does not
correct the intentionally false portrayal of the source of the videotape
that they gave in all of their original stories and interviews.
Time's source, Thaer Thabit al-Hadithi, is not a
"young man." He is not a "budding journalism student." And al-Hadithi is not
separate and apart from the Hammurabi Human Rights Group. Nor is he a man
who wanted to remain anonymous because he feared for his safety.
Al-Haditha (see photo, left) is 43 years
old. He "created" Hammurabi 16 months ago. (Before that he worked directly
under the head of Haditha’s hospital, Dr. Walid al-Obeidi, who pronounced
that all the victims had been shot at close range.)
In fact, al-Haditha is one of Hammurabi’s only
two members. He serves as its "Secretary General" while the only other
member, Abdul-Rahman al-Mashhadani, performs as its "Chairman."
Al-Haditha is the one and only person behind
this tape. He made it. And he sat on it for four months before turning it
over to Time magazine....
Here is another "correction" that is now buried
at the bottom of another Time Haditha story from last month. It is by
Matthew Cooper of Plame/Rove notoriety:
the original version of this story, TIME reported the "one of the most
damning pieces of evidence investigators have in their possession, John
Sifton of Human Rights Watch told Time's Tim McGirk, is a photo, taken by a
Marine with his cell phone that shows Iraqis kneeling -- and thus posing no
threat -- before they were shot." While Sifton did tell TIME that there was
photographic evidence, taken by Marines, he had only heard about the
specific content of the photos from reports done by NBC, and had no
firsthand knowledge. TIME regrets the error.
Never mind that now "one of the most damning
pieces of evidence" has already taken on the mantle of historical fact. Time
regrets the error…
Haditha Marine Sgt. Wuterich files lawsuit against
Murtha in Defamation Suit
Congressman Discussed Killings Involving
Serviceman's Squad in Haditha, Iraq
By Josh White /
Washington Post Staff
August 2, 2006; Page A05
A Marine Corps staff
sergeant who led the squad accused of killing two dozen civilians in
Haditha, Iraq, will file a lawsuit today in federal court in Washington
claiming that Rep. John P. Murtha (D-Pa.) defamed him when the congressman
made public comments about the incident earlier this year.
Attorneys for Frank D.
Wuterich, 26, argue in court papers that Murtha tarnished the Marine's
reputation by telling news organizations in May that the Marine unit cracked
after a roadside bomb killed one of its members and that the troops "killed
innocent civilians in cold blood." Murtha also said repeatedly that the
incident was covered up.
…In the court filing,
obtained by The Washington Post, the lawyers say that Murtha made the
comments after being briefed by Defense Department officials who
"deliberately provided him with inaccurate and false information." Neal A.
Puckett and Mark S. Zaid, suing for libel and invasion of privacy, also
wrote that Murtha made the comments outside of his official scope as a
August 3, 2006
General Hagee denies
being Murtha's info source
briefed Murtha after
murder comment, Corp says
(Reuters) - The head of the U.S. Marine Corps briefed Rep. John Murtha on
the Haditha case after the vocal war critic publicly said Marines had killed
innocent civilians in that Iraqi city, the Corps said on Thursday.
A group of
Marines, while suspected in the killing of 24 Iraqi civilians, has not been
charged, and official results from the military's investigation remain
outstanding. A U.S. defense official said on Wednesday, however that
evidence indicates Marines deliberately shot to death unarmed civilians.
Murtha, a Pennsylvania
Democrat, is being sued by one of the accused Marines for libel. He had told
The Philadelphia Inquirer that Gen. Michael Hagee had given him the
information on which he based his charge that Marines killed innocent
But a spokesman for the
Marine Corps said Hagee briefed Murtha on May 24 about Haditha. Murtha had
made comments on the case as early as May 17.
On May 17, for example, he
said at a news conference, "Our troops overracted because of the pressure on
them and they killed innocent civilians in cold blood."
spokeswoman for Murtha was not immediately available…
Dec. 22, 2006
Investigation: 4 Marines charged with murder
4 Marines Charged In Haditha Killings
Deaths of Iraqi Civilians Also Lead to Dereliction Counts
Against 4 Officers
White and Sonya Geis / Washington Post Staff Writers
Friday, December 22, 2006; Page A01
Four U.S. Marines were charged with multiple counts of murder
yesterday for their alleged roles in the deaths of two dozen civilians in
the Iraqi town of Haditha last year. The accusations set up what could be
the highest-profile atrocity prosecution to arise from the Iraq war ...
... Attention to the case increased earlier this year when
Rep. John P. Murtha (D-Pa.) alleged after briefings from military officials
that the Marines had killed civilians "in cold blood."
July 13, 2007
Hearing officer: drop murder charge against Marine
Marine's Parents Want Murtha
for Haditha Remarks
By Randy Hall /
CNSNews.com Staff Writer/Editor July 13, 2007
- The parents of a U.S. Marine accused of killing three Iraqis
execution-style in Haditha in late 2005 said Thursday they would ask
Congress to censure Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa) for saying that Marines "overracted"
during the incident and killed civilians "in cold blood."
"It's too late for an
apology," Darryl Sharratt of Canonsburg, Pa., told Cybercast News Service
after the hearing officer in the case, Lt. Col. Paul Ware, released an
18-page report recommending that all charges against Sharratt's son, Lance
Cpl. Justin Sharratt, be dismissed because his actions "were in accord with
the rules of engagement and use of force."…
..."We need this man
censured by our Congress," he said, because "he denied my son -- and the
other Marines involved -- their constitutional rights to a fair trial and a
presumption of innocence."
… Lance Cpl. Sharratt,
who was on his second combat tour in Iraq with the 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine
Regiment when the incident took place, was the subject of a hearing at Camp
Pendleton in California last month.
…"We did not execute any
Iraqi males," Sharratt stated. "On Nov. 19, I did exactly as I was trained
to do. I will always be proud of my service in Iraq, and I will always be
proud to be a Marine."…
Ware agreed, stating in
his report that "the government version is unsupported by independent
evidence," and the Marine's actions "were in accord with the rules of
engagement and use of force."
Further prosecution of
Sharratt could set a "dangerous precedent that ... may encourage others to
bear false witness against Marines as a tactic to erode public support of
the Marine Corps and its mission in Iraq," Ware added. "Even more dangerous
is the potential that a Marine may hesitate at the critical moment when
facing the enemy."
Roger Hughes, chairman of
the Presidential Watch Political Action Committee -- the umbrella
organization for the "Boot Murtha" and "Expose Murtha' campaigns -- told
Cybercast News Service that he -- "unlike Murtha" -- would not comment on
the Haditha investigations.
He did say, however, that
"Murtha's remarks about the guilt of these people having killed civilians in
cold blood is very reminiscent of John Kerry's Senate testimony" in 1971,
when the current senator from Massachusetts stated he'd heard Vietnam
veterans say they had "randomly shot at civilians" and "razed villages in a
fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan."
"That hasn't proven to be
true, either," Hughes added.
"Censure is too good for
Murtha on this alone," Hughes said, even without considering such things in
his past as questions regarding his war hero status and involvement in the
August 9, 2007
Hearing officer: drop charges against Marines
dropped for two Marines
in Haditha killings
August 9, 2007
-- Charges have been dropped for two Marines accused in the 2005 killings of
Iraqi civilians in Iraq, the U.S. Marine Corps said Thursday.
Lance Cpl. Justin I.
Sharratt had been charged with shooting three Iraqi civilians in the
aftermath of a roadside bombing in Haditha, and Capt. Randy W. Stone had
been charged with dereliction of duty in failing to properly report facts
connected to the murders.
Stone's error did not
warrant any action under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, said Lt. Gen.
James Mattis, the general overseeing the case.
"I am aware of the line that separates the merely remiss from the clearly
criminal, and I do not believe that any mistakes Capt. Stone made with
respect to the incident rise to the level of criminal behavior," Mattis
...Charges against Sharratt
were dismissed based on the review of the evidence and the recommendation of
the investigating officer, Mattis said...
August 23, 2007
Hearing officer: drop murder charge against Marine
Drop Marine murder case
SAN DIEGO --A Marine accused
of murdering Iraq civilians, including children, in the town of Haditha
should have all charges dropped against him because of weak evidence, an
investigating officer recommended on Thursday.
Lance Cpl. Stephen B. Tatum,
26, is charged
with unpremeditated murder of two girls and negligent homicide on suspicion
that he unlawfully killed two men, a woman and a boy. He is also accused of
assaulting another boy and a girl.
investigating officer, Lt. Col. Paul Ware, said the evidence was too weak
for a court-martial. Tatum, of Edmond, Okla., shot and killed civilians, but
"he did so because of his training and the circumstances he was placed in,
not to exact revenge and commit murder," Ware wrote.
recommendation is nonbinding. Lt. Gen. James Mattis, the commanding general
overseeing the case, has final say about whether Tatum will be
accepts the recommendation to dismiss charges -- as he has with three of
eight Marines who were initially accused -- that would leave one Marine
charged with murder. Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich, the squad leader, is charged
with the unpremeditated murder of 18 men, women and children. He is
scheduled to appear in court Aug. 30 for a preliminary hearing.
Sept. 29, 2007
Judge orders Murtha to testify in Haditha case
Murtha Must Testify in Defamation Case
A federal judge refused Friday to dismiss a defamation case
against Rep. John P. Murtha and ordered the Pennsylvania Democrat to give a
sworn deposition in the case.
A Marine Corps sergeant is suing the 18-term congressman for
alleging ''cold-blooded murder and war crimes'' by unnamed soldiers in
connection with the deaths of Iraqi civilians in the town of Haditha.
The deaths became prominent in May 2006 when Murtha, who
opposes the Iraq war, said at a Capitol Hill news conference that a Pentagon war
crimes investigation will show Marines killed dozens of innocent Iraqi civilians
in the town in 2005.
The Justice Department wanted the case dismissed because
Murtha was acting in his official role as a lawmaker. Assistant U.S. Attorney
John F. Henault said the comments were made as part of the debate over the war
U.S. District Judge Rosemary M. Collyer said the congressman
might be right, but said she won't know for sure unless Murtha explains himself.
She did not set a date for Murtha's testimony but said she would also require
him to turn over documents related to his comments.
''You're writing a very wide road for members of Congress to
go to their home districts and say anything they choose about private persons
and be able to do so without any liability. Are you sure you want to do that?''
Collyer said, adding later, ''How far can a congressman go and still be
Collyer said she was troubled by the idea the lawmakers are
immune from lawsuits regardless of what they say to advance their political
Oct. 4, 2007
Hearing officer: drop murder charge against Marine
Marines recommend no murder charge
in Haditha case
Thu Oct 4, 2007 4:39pm EDT
SAN FRANCISCO, Oct 4 (Reuters) - An
investigating officer has recommended that no murder charges be brought
against U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich in connection with a
massacre of civilians in the Iraqi town of Haditha in 2005
March 28, 2008
Charges dropped against Marine in Haditha
02:11 PM US/Eastern
Charges against a US Marine allegedly involved in the killing
of 24 Iraqi civilians in the town of Haditha were dropped on Friday ahead of
his trial, the military said in a statement.
A court martial for lance corporal Stephen Tatum had been due
to start on Friday on charges of involuntary manslaughter, reckless
endangerment and aggravated assault.
However in a statement released from the Marines Camp
Pendleton base outside San Diego, the military said the charges had been
dismissed "in order to continue to pursue the truth seeking process into the
Marine acquitted of all charges
in Haditha killings
A court martial on Wednesday
acquitted a US Marine for his role in the deaths of 24
civilians in Haditha in Iraq in 2005, the sixth man to be
exonerated in the affair, a military official said...
Lieutenant Andrew Grayson, 27, was declared
"not guilty on all charges" by a jury, said a spokesman for
the Camp Pendleton military base in southern California where
the hearing started on May 28.
Grayson had been charged with making false
statements and attempting to fraudulently separate from the
Marine Corps. He was also charged with obstruction of justice,
but the military judge dismissed this charge Tuesday...
... Six have now had charges against them
dropped, while charges of murder against squad leader Frank
Wuterich were changed to the lesser offense of manslaughter.
Wuterich faces trial later this year, along with Colonel Jeffrey
Chessani, the highest ranking officer accused over the incident who has been
charged with dereliction of duty and violation of a lawful order.
Haditha charges dropped against top Marine officer
Military Judge Col. Steven Folsom dropped all
charges against Lt. Col. Jeffrey Chessani, who was accused of violating a lawful
dereliction of duty, at a hearing at the
Camp Pendleton Marine base in Southern California.
Folsom's decision means that, out of eight Marines
originally charged in December 2006, six have won dismissals of their charges
and one has been cleared at court martial.
The accused ringleader, Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich,
still faces court martial. The proceedings against him, however, have been put
on hold pending the appeal of a pretrial ruling.
Folsom threw out the charges against Chessani, a
44-year-old Colorado native, after finding that a four-star general who oversaw
the case could have been influenced by an investigator who later became his
Haditha Marine prepares
to sue Murtha, Time Magazine over smear
most of the eight
Marines charged in the
Haditha, Iraq, incident now exonerated, the highest-ranking
officer among the accused is considering a lawsuit against
Democratic Rep. John
Murtha, who fueled the case by declaring the men cold-blooded
an interview with nationally syndicated radio talk host Michael Savage, the
attorney for Lt. Col. Jeffrey
Chessani said he and his client will look into suing Murtha and the Time
magazine reporter, Tim McGuirk, who first published the accusations by Iraqi
The Time magazine story, according to Rooney,
was planted by an insurgent propaganda agent.
Publishing of the story was soon
followed by a May 17, 2006, news conference by Murtha. The congressman
announced he had been told by the highest levels of the Marine Corps there
was no firefight and Marines "killed innocent civilians in cold blood."
"All the information I get, it comes from the
commanders, it comes from people who know what they're talking about,"
Murtha told reporters at the time.
Murtha's assertions, however, conflicted with
results from the military's own investigations. An initial probe by
Army Col. G.A. Watt found no
indications coalition forces "intentionally targeted, engaged and killed
noncombatants." Later, Army Maj. Gen. Aldon Bargewell found no cover-up.
Nevertheless, the Marine Corps eventually
brought charges against Chessani and seven other Marines.
But now the cases against Lance Cpls. Stephen
Tatum and Justin Sharratt, Capts. Randy Stone and Lucas McConnell and Sgt.
Sanick P. Dela Cruz have been dropped. First Lt. Andrew Grayson has been
acquitted, leaving only the case of Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich untested in
court and Chessani prosecutors facing the hurdles of the appeal process.
WND previously reported a military jury of seven
officers acquitted Grayson of all charges.
The ruling by Col. Folsom yesterday followed a
previous decision in which he confirmed evidence of unlawful command
The evidence indicated two generals who
controlled Chessani's case were influenced by Marine
lawyer Col. John Ewers, who was
allowed to attend at least 25 closed-session
meetings in which the case was
Rooney was asked by Savage why he thought
Murtha, a former Marine himself, accused the officers and enlisted men.
"In my opinion, it's clear it was done during
the election cycle, it was done to bolster himself in the party," the
attorney said. "He was vying for a leadership position, and if he had to
throw some Marines under the bus to do so, that was the cost of power for
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