The first rumors that this video existed came fully 15 months ago in a report by WaPo about A/V communications from that day that might either prove the Marines’ guilt or exculpate them. Newsmax picked it up a month later and claimed that the tape showed four jihadis fleeing the neighborhood, circumstantial evidence that the Marines’ belief that they had to use deadly force in clearing houses was reasonable. CNN says it doesn’t show the actual house-clearing operations for which the Marines are on trial, but…

The video appears to show that, throughout that day, Marines engaged in fierce firefights and called in air strikes to level buildings — often with no definitive idea of who was inside.

That could buttress defense arguments that Marines clearing buildings on the ground with guns and grenades were just following rules of engagement.

“The defense can say, ‘Hey, look, you had to do this later in the day, what’s the difference between what happened later in the day and what our guys did earlier in the day?’ ” asked retired Marine Lt. Col. Gary Solis, a former prosecutor and military judge who teaches law at Georgetown University and West Point.

The last Marine to be tried, whose hearing just began, in fact, is Sgt. Wuterich, currently facing 13 counts of murder. Pay attention to the shot of the white sedan here — it’s Wuterich’s alleged shooting of the five men in that car, not the house-clearing operations, from which the crux of the case against him derives. According to Cpl. Sanick De La Cruz, Wuterich gunned them down in cold blood and then urinated on one of the bodies in evident retaliation for the IED that killed Lance Cpl. Miguel Terrazas an hour or so before. Click the image to watch.

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