Haditha: Marine at the scene corroborated suspects' account

It’ll be three months to the day on Saturday that the first post about Haditha appeared on this site. I wrote in a subsequent post that Gen. Chiarelli had finished reviewing Gen. Bargewell’s findings and hopefully the full report would be released within the week. That was July 8.

Here’s the latest leaked scrap of information:

Laughner’s statement, although just one viewpoint, is further evidence that Marines who were on the ground that day viewed the civilian deaths as accidental rather than the result of a vengeful rampage…

Laughner described taking pictures of each of the bodies while moving from room to room in three houses, as the Marines described what happened in each circumstance. The Marines told Laughner they had taken fire from the houses and believed they heard people “racking AK-47s” — preparing to fire the automatic weapons…

Laughner also said that 30 Jordanian passports and large amounts of cash were found in a home near the shooting scenes…

The colonels interviewing Laughner focused several questions on a white vehicle that approached the Marine convoy just after the roadside blast. The car, which has been a significant subject in both an investigation of leadership failures and the ongoing criminal probe, could figure prominently in any charges lodged against the Marines.

Laughner said five military-age men appeared to have been killed as they ran from the vehicle, which stopped in the middle of the road near the convoy — a spot that could be considered threatening.

You’ll recall that video taken by a drone reportedly contradicts Laughner’s account about the men in the car.

One other point from the WaPo article I want to highlight:

The transcript [of Laughner’s testimony] was provided to The Post by someone who is sympathetic to the enlisted Marines facing scrutiny for the shootings, which Rep. John P. Murtha (D-Pa.) has characterized as a coldblooded massacre.

Has the Post ever issued a disclaimer like this about its sources when writing about some secret Bush administration program — like, say, the big secret-prison expose that won Dana Priest her Pulitzer? Why do they feel compelled to warn their readers about their source’s motives in this case, but not in the umpteen thousand articles they’ve published quoting liberal “dissidents” within the intelligence community?

That’s a rhetorical question, of course.