Presiding officer wants all murder charges against last Haditha Marine dismissed?

posted at 11:37 am on October 4, 2007 by Allahpundit

Shocking or not? Read this Haditha post from last month, including and especially the update, and you’ll see why the investigating officer has such a hard time believing, as Murtha does, that the Marines killed anyone “in cold blood.” Murder charges against two others have already been dismissed based on the same facts; it stands to reason that they’d be dismissed against Wuterich too. On the other hand, Wuterich was the star defendant with 13 counts of murder against him. One of the other Marines, Sanick De La Cruz, made a deal with the government specifically so that he could testify for the prosecution against him. If he walks, there won’t be a single murder conviction to come out of the incident.

A Marine Corps official has recommended that murder charges be dismissed against a Camp Pendleton squad leader accused in the deaths of 17 civilians killed in the Iraqi city of Haditha two years ago.

The official, Lt. Col. Paul Ware, said in a recommendation obtained by the North County Times that rather than face murder charges, squad leader Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich should be tried for the lesser offense of negligent homicide in the deaths of five children and two women.

Ware recommended 10 other murder charges against Wuterich be dismissed.

“I believe after reviewing all the evidence that no trier of fact can conclude Staff Sgt. Wuterich formed the criminal intent to kill,” Ware wrote in reference to the women and children. “When a Marine fails to exercise due care and civilians die, the charge of negligent homicide, and not murder, is appropriate.”

Negligent homicide carries a three-year sentence but with seven counts potentially against him he’s still looking at a long prison stay. The final call belongs to Gen. James Mattis, who can either accept Ware’s recommendation of dismissal or press on. He did take his advice in the case of the other two Marines, which bodes well for Wuterich. As for Murtha, as I recall his line on this has always been that the Marines acted out of “fatigue” or “exhaustion” caused by the stress of extended tours. That’s his way of shifting blame away from the troops, whom the left is always leery about faulting, and over to Bush, who can be safely demonized. If Wuterich is convicted on negligent homicide charges Murtha will simply spin it as vindication of his theory. If he isn’t convicted, well, then Happy Jack’s going to have himself a tough month in the blogosphere, at least.

murtha.jpg

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Could you Murtha’s phone number up there? It’s been awhile since I’ve bugged his staff about this.

PRCalDude on October 4, 2007 at 11:40 AM

Shocking or not?

About as shocking as finding out the Duke lacross players really were innocent.

Some of us smelled a rat in this thing from the very get go.

Oh, and Yuck Foo, Murtha (the translation was garbled, sorry).

thirteen28 on October 4, 2007 at 11:42 AM

Michael Savage out ahead of the curve again.

Joey1974 on October 4, 2007 at 11:42 AM

Someone check the corners of the elevators in the Capitol Building for Murtha and get a interview.

Wade on October 4, 2007 at 11:43 AM

Not guilty. Period.

If any of these men, these patriots, need a safe house I will gladly provide one.

Limerick on October 4, 2007 at 11:44 AM

Could you Murtha’s phone number up there? It’s been awhile since I’ve bugged his staff about this.

PRCalDude on October 4, 2007 at 11:40 AM

800-289-2642 from Western PA
(or)
814-535-2642
(or)
202-225-2065

Fax:
814-539-6229 — District
202-225-5709 — Washington

Wade on October 4, 2007 at 11:46 AM

A decision on whether Wuterich’s battalion commander at Haditha, Lt. Col. Jeffrey Chessani, will face court-martial on dereliction charges is pending, as is a recommendation that murder charges against Lance Cpl. Stephen Tatum be dismissed.

So are these three the only ones left to be cleared in this case?

RushBaby on October 4, 2007 at 11:50 AM

CONGRESSIONAL SWITCHBOARD: 1-800-426-8073 or 1-202-224-3121 if the 800 number is busy.

Wade on October 4, 2007 at 11:50 AM

Hello, Mr. Murtha? I-
*click*

MadisonConservative on October 4, 2007 at 11:52 AM

If the military decides to drop the final charges, would this mean a potential class-action lawsuit against Murtha?

Hope so.

Weebork on October 4, 2007 at 11:53 AM

Even the lesser charge of negligent homicide is tough. I know these guys were doing their job the way they were trained to do it. Civilians were killed but you must always go back to the original act which precipitated the Marines actions. Even here in the US if somebody robs a bank and somebody inside the bank dies of a heart attack the bank robbers are held responsible not the security guard.
There is no room for Monday morning quarterbacking in cases like this.

LakeRuins on October 4, 2007 at 11:57 AM

Hello, Mr. Murtha? I-
*click*

MadisonConservative on October 4, 2007 at 11:52 AM

Just use an accent so you sound like an arab sheik.
Works every time…

Timothy S. Carlson on October 4, 2007 at 11:58 AM

Rat bastard traitor Murtha….. Calling rat bastard traitor Murtha…….. The nation is waiting for your apology!

As if! Being a Democrat is never being in the wrong, never having ethical lapses (William Jefferson), never having to say you are sorry after slandering the troops.

God willing, there will be a special hell waiting people like Murtha.

highhopes on October 4, 2007 at 11:58 AM

If the military decides to drop the final charges, would this mean a potential class-action lawsuit against Murtha?

Hope so.

Weebork on October 4, 2007 at 11:53 AM

I think there is already something of that nature going on.

doriangrey on October 4, 2007 at 11:59 AM

What amazes me the most is that Murtha won’t back down from his statements. He could pull a “Durbin” and get up and say that he’s sorry if anybody was offended that he called the troops cold-blooded murderers. That kind of word play would be enough to spin the far left up with “he apologized already!” whenever the issue were to come up in the future. By remaining steadfast in his hatred of the troops, Murtha is keeping this story alive. Wonder who is paying him.

highhopes on October 4, 2007 at 12:02 PM

Great for our Marines, not so good for the phony patriot Murtha.

tarpon on October 4, 2007 at 12:02 PM

I knew of a lawsuit by one of the formerly accused, but there is, indeed, a class-action going on or in the works?

Fascinating!

Weebork on October 4, 2007 at 12:04 PM

As if! Being a Democrat is never being in the wrong, never having ethical lapses (William Jefferson), never having to say you are sorry after slandering the troops.

highhopes on October 4, 2007 at 11:58 AM

Being a dhimmicrat automatically gives you the plausible deniability card.

Plus a bad case of ‘selective input’ – If what you hear, read, or see doesn’t fit your world view, you can just ignore it.

And a really bad case of short-term memory loss.

Liberalism: the major cause of mental illness in the 21st century.

Timothy S. Carlson on October 4, 2007 at 12:06 PM

That’s his way of shifting blame away from the troops, whom the left is always leery about faulting,

Allah, pulezzz, Who who do you think you’re kidding? Seriously?

Topsecretk9 on October 4, 2007 at 12:08 PM

Anyone know how accountable our senators and representatives are pertaining to statements they make? Can they say anything they want on the floor and get away with it? How about during interviews, or when they are answering ‘ah-ha! caught you by the elevator’ questions?

Who runs the ethics committees for the house and senate? Is it bi-partisan? Why aren’t they going after these buffoons for the smears/lies/evil they pass along? Why isn’t Murtha being censored or smacked on the head or thrown the frick out?

Time for a full scale cleaning – house and senate, and all parties. Start fresh and get some civility back.

So frustrating…

Timothy S. Carlson on October 4, 2007 at 12:19 PM

End game!

Burn in hell Murtha!

SouthernGent on October 4, 2007 at 12:19 PM

Fast forward six months from now I bet we will see the exact same headline with Marines crossed out and Blackwater filled in.

BohicaTwentyTwo on October 4, 2007 at 12:20 PM

It never fails, it’s carved in stone. Just when I think the House can’t get any more stupid, they do. Now they are about to officially discourage any private security from EVER going to Iraq. Upshot: They will have to keep the troops there indefinitely. It’s a wonder they have any feet left since they are so busy shooting themselves in them.

jeanie on October 4, 2007 at 12:40 PM

Every time I see Murtha I think of a good scene in a so-so movie. The scene is from Kingdom of Heaven where the King of Jerusalem tells Balian (Orlando Bloom) that his soul is in his own keeping, and when he faces God, it won’t be acceptable to blame others for his actions or inactions. Murtha strikes me as a man who sold his soul for power and trying to rationalize it come his day of judgment won’t fly.

TheBigOldDog on October 4, 2007 at 12:47 PM

The more salient question is “When will all Murtha charges be dropped?”

Dr. Charles G. Waugh on October 4, 2007 at 12:50 PM

Even negligent homicide is a reach IF they were following both training and SOP.

We have Four enemies we are now fighting…

The Islamic Jihasists…

The Press…

The Dhimicrat Congressfolks…

And the Lawyers…

No politician ever won a war… though they have lost them.
The Press has never won a war, although the helped loose Viet Nam…
No Lawyer has ever won a war…

So… just why are the Press, politicians, and Lawyers running the war?

Romeo13 on October 4, 2007 at 12:56 PM

So… just why are the Press, politicians, and Lawyers running the war?

Romeo13 on October 4, 2007 at 12:56 PM

Because they are sooo smart and brave???

doriangrey on October 4, 2007 at 12:58 PM

Great for our Marines, not so good for the phony patriot Marine Murtha.

tarpon on October 4, 2007 at 12:02 PM

Wade on October 4, 2007 at 12:59 PM

Good news!

gmoonster on October 4, 2007 at 1:00 PM

More phony soldier news. This is Lt Ehren Watada who refused to deploy and now is using all sorts of legal wrangling to avoid a court martial.
Lieutenant: Don’t court-martial me twice

SEATTLE (AP) — A Fort Lewis soldier charged with refusing to deploy to Iraq asked a federal court Wednesday to bar his upcoming court-martial, saying the Army is violating his constitutional rights by trying him twice for the same crime.

First Lt. Ehren Watada is accused of missing his unit’s deployment in June 2006 and of conduct unbecoming an officer for making public comments denouncing President Bush and the Iraq war.

If convicted, he could be sentenced to six years in prison and be dishonorably discharged.

LakeRuins on October 4, 2007 at 1:04 PM

LakeRuins on October 4, 2007 at 1:04 PM

Must…resist… (channeling John Wayne…I’m not gonna hit you, I’m not gonna hit you, like hell I’m not!!!!)Lieutenant: Don’t court-martial me twice taze me Bro…

doriangrey on October 4, 2007 at 1:20 PM

Michael Savage out ahead of the curve again.

Joey1974 on October 4, 2007 at 11:42 AM

God Bless Doc Savage. Gives his own money and is personally responsible for nearly 1/3 of a million dollars to the defense of these fine American soldiers. Name ONE other talk show host whose done the same.

MrC_5150 on October 4, 2007 at 1:20 PM

God Bless Doc Savage. Gives his own money and is personally responsible for nearly 1/3 of a million dollars to the defense of these fine American soldiers. Name ONE other talk show host whose done the same.

MrC_5150 on October 4, 2007 at 1:20 PM

A 1/3 of a million in contributions from his listeners, that is.

MrC_5150 on October 4, 2007 at 1:22 PM

That’s his way of shifting blame away from the troops, whom the left is always leery about faulting, and over to Bush, who can be safely demonized.

I would put it that he was trying to extend a smear of the soldiers to the Administration.

Anyway, the idea that a soldier could be tried for negligent homicide just makes my head spin. Just like the communists had a party apparatchik in every unit, our soldiers need a legal counsel in every unit these days.

Clark1 on October 4, 2007 at 1:23 PM

ok quick question anyone know how i can fax this story to Murtha via the internet for free????

and any news on Murtha holding up inretreating to the elevators so he doesn’t have to answer any question.

Mojack420 on October 4, 2007 at 1:45 PM

Don’t court-martial me twice taze me Bro…

doriangrey on October 4, 2007 at 1:20 PM

Heh

bernzright777 on October 4, 2007 at 2:13 PM

UCMJ is probably the fairest judicial process in the world.

You get punished for what you do wrong, but if you are innocent you’re innocent.

There is no way these Marines would have recieved any kind of fair trial over this in civilian courts. The media and Democrat leaders had them convicted before anyone had any real information about what actually took place.

Lawrence on October 4, 2007 at 2:32 PM

I remember seeing a video a while ago from a spy plane or something like that of the battle between the marines in haditha and the insurgents. I think I saw it on cnn {probably Glenn becks show} Am I thinking of something else or is my bad memory correct and if their is a video anyone know where I can find it?

Mojack420 on October 4, 2007 at 2:33 PM

They may be innocent? Darn the Dems luck, nothing goes their way.

The war is going better, and our soldiers are innocent.

Good news, is bad news to the Dems. Next thing you know North Korea will dismantle the nuclear station, or that boondogle “star wars” missle defense system will work. They just can’t take anymore good news.

right2bright on October 4, 2007 at 2:35 PM

Good news, is bad news to the Dems. Next thing you know North Korea will dismantle the nuclear station, or that boondogle “star wars” missle defense system will work. They just can’t take anymore good news.

right2bright on October 4, 2007 at 2:35 PM

Heh heh, yea I was thinking it’s kind of a Hobsons choice/Pyhrric victory thing they got going on. If the US wins one more battle they are sooo screwed…

doriangrey on October 4, 2007 at 2:39 PM

jackass who do i surrender too murthascum…you disgusting moron…I hope you sleep with the fleas of a 1000 camels…

areseaoh on October 4, 2007 at 2:43 PM

This is still BS. Making the rules after the fact.

He, and his men, should have been killed trying to establish who was in the rooms. Then we wouldn’t be in this mess.

davod on October 4, 2007 at 3:29 PM

PS:

I should have said. Then the generals and their lawyers would not be in this mess.

davod on October 4, 2007 at 3:30 PM

Mojack420:

The video was four 15 minute segments. The investigators “lost” the hours of video from the surveilance drone.

davod on October 4, 2007 at 3:33 PM

davod on October 4, 2007 at 3:33 PM

thanks

Mojack420 on October 4, 2007 at 3:41 PM

The final call belongs to Gen. James Mattis

General Mattis is top-notch, and I’ll accept his judgement on the issue. I have no worries.

This whole thing is BS, and Murtha is a disgrace, to say the least.

bamapachyderm on October 4, 2007 at 5:08 PM

If this is not cause for a congressional censure then nothing is….somehow I do not think that will happan.

robo on October 4, 2007 at 5:37 PM

God Bless Doc Savage. Gives his own money and is personally responsible for nearly 1/3 of a million dollars to the defense of these fine American soldiers. Name ONE other talk show host whose done the same.

MrC_5150 on October 4, 2007 at 1:20 PM
A 1/3 of a million in contributions from his listeners, that is.

MrC_5150 on October 4, 2007 at 1:22 PM

And his Healing Children Naturally book is really good. Even for adults.

NTWR on October 4, 2007 at 5:44 PM

Let’s cut to the chase…. it really just boils down to the fact that most Democrats want to see us lose, doesn’t it? Isn’t that the simple bottom line?

So how long do we put up with that, and what do we do when that tine is up?

drunyan8315 on October 5, 2007 at 12:19 AM

Outstanding!

TheSitRep on October 5, 2007 at 9:12 AM

Finally. Clear these men so we can get back to the task of removing fat, stupid, insane Moonbat Jack Murtha from the public arena.

Jaibones on October 5, 2007 at 9:55 AM

Here’s a cheery thought: if Comrade Hillary is elected President and the Democrats retain control of the House, guess which illustrious Democrat congressman would likely be made Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee?
.
Sickening thought, eh?!

DavePa on October 5, 2007 at 12:09 PM

LakeRuins on October 4, 2007 at 1:04 PM

mistrial first time – can be retried.

two charges – two trials; OK here too.

I really don’t see how he can honestly think double jeopardy. Oh, there’s the problem; honestly.

IrishEyes on October 5, 2007 at 2:14 PM

Even here in the US if somebody robs a bank and somebody inside the bank dies of a heart attack the bank robbers are held responsible not the security guard.

Maybe, but say no bank robbers and the security guard just doing his job accidently startles someone waiting in line and the bank customer dies of a heart attack, should the guard then be charged with manslaughter?

Bob's Kid on October 6, 2007 at 3:40 PM

The only people who should be allowed sit in official legal judgement of soldiers charged with crimes in combat are people who have been in combat themselves. Otherwise the whole “jury of peers” principle is just so much BS.
And any senior officer who tries to crucify his soldiers to cover his own ass when he knows they were in the right should be publicly fired.

Lancer on October 8, 2007 at 11:45 PM