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May 25, 2006

Marines may face a court...

...over what can only be called a war crime, if the events are as thus far depicted - remembering the defense has not been presented.

So let it be. If there's sufficient evidence, charge 'em and let them present a defense (since the case is already being tried in the media and halls of Congress). If their defense isn't a good one - they can come take long tours here at Fort Leavenworth, where they would belong. If their defense holds up... well, it won't make any difference to the Usual Suspects anyway, so screw 'em.

I have no problem with it. It *is* a major difference between us and our military foes, even if our political foes can't see that.

A dozen Marines may face courts-martial for alleged Iraq massacre

By Gayle S. Putrich

A key member of Congress said he “wouldn’t be surprised” if a dozen Marines faced courts-martial for allegedly killing Iraqi civilians Nov. 19. Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., told Marine Corps Times that the number of dead Iraqis, first reported to be 15, was actually 24. He based that number on a briefing from Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Mike Hagee on Wednesday.

Hagee visited Capitol Hill in anticipation of the release of two investigation reports, which are expected to show that among the 24 dead civilians, five of the alleged victims, all unarmed, were shot in a car with no warning, Murtha said. The killings took place in Hadithah, 125 miles northwest of Baghdad.

At least seven of the victims were women and three were children.

“If the allegations are substantiated, the Marine Corps will pursue appropriate legal and administrative actions against those responsible,” said Col. David Lapan, a spokesman at Marine Corps headquarters.

“The investigations are ongoing, therefore any comment at this time would be inappropriate and could undermine the investigatory and possible legal process,” he said. “As soon as the facts are known and decisions on future actions are made, we will make that information available to the public to the fullest extent allowable.” Murtha, an outspoken war critic and retired Marine colonel, has maintained for several weeks that the reality of the Hadithah incident was far more violent than the original reports suggested.

Read the rest here, in the Marine Corps Times.

Let the chips fall where they may. In war, shite happens. And when it crosses an admittedly fuzzy, vice bright, line, then you deal with it.