L.A. Times: Bargewell report finds no cover-up in Haditha

Smells like negligence. But negligence ain’t intent.

The general charged with investigating whether Marines tried to cover up the killing of 24 civilians in Haditha has completed his report, finding that Marine officers failed to ask the right questions, an official close to the investigation said Friday.

Nothing in the report points to a “knowing cover-up” of the facts by the officers supervising the Marines involved in the November incident, the official said. Rather, he said, officers from the company level through the staff of the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force in Baghdad failed to demand “a thorough explanation” of what happened in Haditha…

In the Haditha case, military officials have said that photographs of the scene contradicted the initial reports of Marines that the civilians were killed in the crossfire of a battle that erupted after a roadside bomb went off.

Bargewell’s inquiry was believed to have looked into who knew about the photos, and why those military men did not question the initial report.

“No question about it,” Murtha said.


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