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Important Update On The Haditha Story

Mary Katharine Ham has an important story about her interview with retired Brig. Gen. David H. Brahms about the Haditha incident and how his comments were taken out of context in the story The Washington Post published. Read her post to get the full story of how Brahms' reference to Abu Ghraib was taken out of context. Brahms' main concern is that no one rush to judgment and decide guilt or innocence until a complete and fair investigation and, if necessary, trial, takes place. As Mary Katharine says, this is Memorial Day Weekend and "our men in uniform certainly deserve the presumption of innocence and a little patience from us, no matter our positions on the war."


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Comments (26)

this is Memorial Day Wee... (Below threshold)
mantis:

this is Memorial Day Weekend and "our men in uniform certainly deserve the presumption of innocence and a little patience from us, no matter our positions on the war."

Well that's true on any weekend.

You got that right!... (Below threshold)
Lorie Byrd:

You got that right!

Lorie;I would add ... (Below threshold)
Oak Leaf:

Lorie;

I would add that these men need to be judged by their "peers", no one else.

Their "peers" does not include the MSM, the public or even Congress.

They will eventually be judged be fellow Marines who step away from their regular duties to sit on a Court Martial.

I have the utmost confidence in the military justice system. If they are guilty they will be dealt with. The Military does not protect the guilty.

Well said Oak Leaf!... (Below threshold)
waldo:

Well said Oak Leaf!

"The Military does not prot... (Below threshold)
jp2:

"The Military does not protect the guilty."

Ah, I wish that was true. How many people felt justice after My Lai? Hundreds of innocent people slaughtered, and one person was convicted. (He was later pardoned)

If that's justice to you, than we just disagree on that.

It's telling jp2, that you ... (Below threshold)
Faith+1:

It's telling jp2, that you have to go back to Vietnam to find your example. Guess what, a lot has happened in the 40 years since. Click your red shoes as hard as you want and say you want to go back to 1968 as much as you want but it ain't happening.

Abu Gharib, a much more recent example would be better except, well, it was military people who reported and military people who were convicted. Bad things happen. And once this investigation is finished, the parties involved, if found guilty, will pay the price.

Just try reading one year's worth of UCMJ decisions and actions and I think the stunning magnitude of your ignorance of military justice would surprise you.

Maybe some here were not ar... (Below threshold)
Drew E.:

Maybe some here were not around during Viet Nam..hey you can't control when you were born..these marines troops shot Children in the HEAD at close range. Anyone who has been in the military knows that their training requires the dehumanizing of "the enemy"..anyone believing that at the most evil this is an isolated incident has never been or talked to those who have been in "free fire zones". Those of you with small children think of them with a bullet through their head because some overworked, overamped young person had do to something to deal with the frustration of having a buddy killed.
This is personal to me..been there..done that..there may be reasons but no excuses..the blood of dead Iraqi children stains all our hands..1969-1972...medical discharge Honorable..

So Faith+1, you do agree th... (Below threshold)
jp2:

So Faith+1, you do agree that justice was not served during My Lai? (Yes or no question)

Maybe things have improved. After all, everyone responsible for torture has been convicted right? (Or promoted, as in Gonzales's case)

General Brahms represented ... (Below threshold)
Justin B:

General Brahms represented me during my administrative seperation from the Navy at Camp Pendleton. The military and the UCMJ has an extensive process for dealing with seperating members as well as disciplining members.

I would remind you that our criminal justice system in this country allowed OJ to walk, Michael Jackson to walk, and Robert Blake to walk. We have a presumption of innocence.

I guess that the military should have witch trials to satisfy the bloodlust of the left when an atrocity during a time of war is alledged. Where were the folks that laid the IED tried? What court of law and what rules of war are they bound by?

I have experience with military justice and also with General Brahms. The system there does not work nearly the same as civilian justice, and it certainly is not "A Few Good Men" or "JAG". It is swift, fair, and designed to ensure that military members uphold the highest standards of conduct. And let us not forget that our military is made up of "people" who sometimes make mistakes. We have a criminal justice system in this country that allows folks to claim temporary insanity when they kill someone in a crime of passion that is not premeditated as well as the "self defense" argument. Let's let the facts come in on this before we rush to judgement. Clearly, these Marines did not premediate murder of civilians like the terrorists do, but it is possible that their judgement was clouded by one of their peers being killed by an IED. If your kid or best friend was killed right in front of you, would you not attempt to catch the culprits?

Ah Lorie.....and you were j... (Below threshold)
Luke:

Ah Lorie.....and you were just trying to do your small part to honor our soldiers.

Alas, even that is impossible with types who troll websites for the express purpose of demeaning whatever may be posted that does NOT immediately blame Bush, Blair, soldiers, Gonzalez (why the AG), etc.

You notice no "presumption of innocence" is ever accorded our brave soldiers, just guilty until proven innocent. Old medical-discharge honorable drew speaks as if he was there, "children shot in head at close range". What a louse of a loser.

These types will go on their merry way completely oblivious to the fact they wouldn't last 10 minutes in a hostile situation. Been there, done that too. Vietnam 66-67, honorable discharge, non-medical, and damned proud to have served.

Lorie, thanks so much for l... (Below threshold)
JannyMae:

Lorie, thanks so much for linking to that Hugh Hewitt blog entry. I've been upset today, reading presumptions of guilt, and condemnation on conservative blogs. To me, this latest disclosure is not, "new," news, as it is still accompanied by the factual observation that the investigation is not concluded.

This is starting to remind me of the conjecture that the entire blogosphere engaged in, along with the talk radio shere when Michael Jackson was arrested. Very little was known about the evidence involved, but people went on and on making predictions based, essentially, on nothing.

These Marines are entitled to have all the evidence collected and weighed, before they are condemned.

When you see the drivel wri... (Below threshold)
Oak Leaf:

When you see the drivel written by jp2 and Drew E, it simply re-inforces that these Marines can and will only be judged by their peers, of which the trolls clearly are not.

If these men are found guilty, they will be dealt with more harshly than civilian justice could ever met out. Further, there will not be the endless appeals.

What these trolls do not understand is that the uniformed military has no use for cold blooded killers. They are a threat to those of us that wear the uniform. But these travelers would never understand that.

Justin B. : "I guess that t... (Below threshold)
dan:

Justin B. : "I guess that the military should have witch trials to satisfy the bloodlust of the left"

What?

Is all the political courage to call an atrocity an atrocity on the "left". Is there one single Republican with a set of balls? Probably not.

Murtha spoke out and got trashed. If "some politicians" don't speak out against our troops slaughtering civilians because of the pressure they endure on a daily basis, it tells the world we support, and even condone the murder of non combatants. As far as being presumed innocent, Murtha could make 1 phone call, and find out the facts of the case, and I am sure he did. He wouldn't have spoke out if there was a chance these troops had been "wrongly" accused.

When it comes to blame, I blame the lying sleazebags that put our troops in harm's way, far more than the boys that couldn't hold back any more. I couldn't imagine the stress our troops endure every day, even if I tried.

Just remember it is the troops that have had to pay for all the mistakes of our pathetic leadership. The ones that couldn't forsee an insurgency. Didn't secure all the munitions, keep order, bring enough troops, start rebuilding immediately etc. The troops have to pay for the allowing of torture which goes all the way to the top. Just ask Cheney.

God Bless our Troops!

It comes down to ... (Below threshold)
Tincan Sailor:


It comes down to this, if wern't there it would
be best to keep your M F MOUTH SHUT or mabey
someone will shut it for you!!!!

My My I left out ... (Below threshold)
Tincan Sailor:


My My I left out the you...

Yeah right dan, "Murtha cou... (Below threshold)
Luke:

Yeah right dan, "Murtha could make 1 phone call, and find out the facts of the case..."

You cannot find one honorable person who would give Murtha the correct time of day.

He is despised by everyone who serves honorably in our armed services and is a hollow shell of what a real Marine is. He is suffering from delusions of his own perceived grandeur and should be pitied.

I, as former military, in his era no less, do not pity him but am disgusted with this poor excuse for a human being.

....and as far as your snarky comment about "finding a Republicans with a set of balls", you have no idea of the size of most Republican's private parts. You also disgust me, you wanker.

/rant off, back to my reading....

Murtha spoke out and got... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Murtha spoke out and got trashed. If "some politicians" don't speak out against our troops slaughtering civilians because of the pressure they endure on a daily basis, it tells the world we support, and even condone the murder of non combatants. As far as being presumed innocent, Murtha could make 1 phone call, and find out the facts of the case, and I am sure he did. He wouldn't have spoke out if there was a chance these troops had been "wrongly" accused.

You certainly think you know a lot about Murtha that you couldn't possibly know. How do you know he wouldn't have spoken out if there was a chance they were wrongly accused? How do you know he could get all the facts of the case with a phone call?

Anyway, as far as politicians speaking out against our soldiers wilfully killing innocents, I guarantee that if these men are convicted no one will stand behind them, and plenty of politicians will "speak out" against them and their crimes, including the President. In the meantime most of them will keep their mouths shut and wait for justice to take its course.

While I recognize, as many of his critics have ignored, that Murtha was actually trying to highlight the stress of war that our troops may be suffering in Iraq, especially those on their 2nd and 3rd tours, it does not change the fact that he was condemning a group for crimes for which they have not yet been convicted. This was a political move and a crass one at that, even if he does have insider information the rest of us are not privy to from his connections in the Marines. As a military man he should have let justice take its course, because that is the honorable thing to do.

jp2,My point jp2, ... (Below threshold)
Faith+1:

jp2,

My point jp2, is that my lai is an irrelevent matter. Have military injustices been committed? Absolutely. All throughout history in every nation in every military. But if you are going to go back 30 years for an example of a bad case and skip over thousands of cases where the military dispensed justice appropriately then your entire point is just rendered moot. By the way, did you know it was a fellow Army office that stopped the Mai Lai massacre when he came upon it and knew it was illegal?

The fact that you have no idea whether things have changed or not is also another example of your ignorance of the subject matter. Here is a clue....today's military is fashioned in a form where Vietnam era military organization is held up as an example of how NOT to do things. Most military vets of the last 30 years laugh at you cliche'd hangers-on of the Deer Hunter fanset who think things are still that way.

As for Murtha his error was in outright convicting and hanging the men involved before the investigation is complete it is wrong, as a Congressman, for him to do so. Had he waited to find out the results of the investigation and court martial (and assumming they were guilty) and then lambasted them he would have been fine.

To those saying "well, he only said it because he knew what was going on in the investigation" that isn't a plus---it's a negative. Had he done that with a civil case it would be called jury tampering and most likely lead to a mistrial possibly letting a guilty party get away with the crime.

It was a stupid thing to do on his part but the reality is he doesn't give a damn about the Marines, the dead Iraqis or anything other than he got a microphone and camera time for 15 more minutes. If you really think Murtha cared about anything other than that then you are so far delusional it isn't really worth killing the electrons to discuss it.

ah, sorry jp2, just read yo... (Below threshold)
Faith+1:

ah, sorry jp2, just read your Gonzales comment. Disregard previous message as I see it's wasted attempting to have a discussion with you.

It's obvious you know nothing about Gonzales either and nothing more than another irrelevent shill with no actual knowledge of anything other than what you are spoon fed from far left talking points.

I'd rather have an honest discussion with someone displaying at least a 3 digit IQ.

Mantis you are correct, exc... (Below threshold)
dan:

Mantis you are correct, except for the fact that this story is worldwide, and not just here. Papers in other countries are printing their version of what happened. To just say "wait till the court is over" would not fly. Someone representing our country had to say something. We couldn't just say "ongoing investigation" to our allies, or enemies. This needs to be confronted head on, and not weaseled around.

I wish it never happened, and I wish I wasn't commenting here but reality is sometimes very, very ugly, and we need to admit it in public, rather than saying we have turned a corner for the fiftieth time.

What Murtha did took a lot of courage. I know it was not easy, and I know it needed to be done.

Now get ready for the blowback. I hear it will only make matters worse for our troops. Ignoring the incident would not have worked.

Once again folks, he had to do it. Someone had to do it. I also feel it had to be someone not tied to Bush, because if it was a Bush hack telling the world "what happened" it may have only made the problem worse. Hatred for our president runs hot worldwide, and having Murtha voice outrage lends our troops a lot more credibility than the people directly responsible for the war (I know Murtha was a hawk, and is partially responsible for the invasion too).

Just remember how long the ... (Below threshold)
dan:

Just remember how long the Abu Gharib atrocities were denied. Then they tried a few grunts, when most people think it was a policy decision, not just an isolated event. Just read Gonzales's torture documents. I even heard Condi Rice saying we don't torture, when Cheney was busting Senator's kneecaps to be allowed to torture.

Deferrment Dick = Pro Torture! He just can't find a way to make a buck doing it, damn.

Torture @ Abu Gha... (Below threshold)
Tincan Sailor:


Torture @ Abu Gharib?? My qustion is what
torture,were bones broken,finger nails
removed with plires burns on various body
parts, limbs removed..Rectal flush or a hose
forced into the wind pipe and turned on I
think not...Abu Gharib was a joke, a nasty
joke pulled off by a bunch of retarded white
trash that put our troops in danger but
torture! not in your wildest dreams..

"As Mary Katharine says,... (Below threshold)

"As Mary Katharine says, this is Memorial Day Weekend and 'our men in uniform certainly deserve the presumption of innocence and a little patience from us, no matter our positions on the war.'"

Mary Katherine is absolutely right. As an former serviceman, I really appreciate the sentiment. Thanks, Lorie.

As for the editors of Wizbang: Acquiring Lorie Byrd's talents for your blog is one of the best decisions you have EVER made. Thank you as well :)

BDS Dan :"Just remem... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

BDS Dan :
"Just remember how long the Abu Gharib atrocities were denied. "

Denied by who? The military were the ones who blew the whistle on 'torture' at Abu Gharib, the military initiated the investigation, the military freely announced the investigation to the press, and the military tried and convicted those involved.

Your lying and hyperbole about it is astounding yet sadly predictable.

(I know, I know...don't feed the trolls...)

So Bush's hired Christian t... (Below threshold)
Lindh:

So Bush's hired Christian thugs enjoy killing children? What's new? What's old is the never ending lie - every "incident" is reported as "isolated".
But the numbers don't lie. 150,000 Moslems have been murdered and tortured by the Fascist Christian Bush - most of them women and children - in the past three years. Haditha is unique because there were pictures taken of the thugs holding up little Moslems by their feet while the thugs' companions blew their brains out.
A jolly time for all. The fact is that the average US citizen enjoys the killing and the torture of Moslems. And that's why it continues.

Hmm... I wonder if "Lindh" ... (Below threshold)
Jay Tea:

Hmm... I wonder if "Lindh" is any relation to Johnny Walker Lindh, "American Taliban."

And I'd be curious to see just where "Lindh" gets those statistics about "150,000 Moslems have been murdered and tortured by the Fascist Christian Bush - most of them women and children - in the past three years," and seeing some of those photos "taken of the thugs holding up little Moslems by their feet while the thugs' companions blew their brains out."

At least "Lindh" waited until after Memorial Day to post their tribute to those who have served our nation.

J.




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