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Marine May Call Murtha as Witness

If a Marine under investigation for the deaths in Haditha is charged, he may call Rep. Jack Murtha as a witness:

A criminal defense attorney for a Marine under investigation in the Haditha killings says he will call a senior Democratic congressman as a trial witness, if his client is charged, to find out who told the lawmaker that U.S. troops are guilty of cold-blooded murder.

Attorney Neal A. Puckett told The Washington Times that Gen. Michael Hagee, the Marine commandant, briefed Rep. John P. Murtha, Pennsylvania Democrat, on the Nov. 19 killings of 24 Iraqis in the town north of Baghdad. Mr. Murtha later told reporters that the Marines were guilty of killing the civilians in "cold blood." Mr. Murtha said he based his statement on Marine commanders, whom he did not identify.

Mr. Puckett said such public comments from a congressman via senior Marines amount to "unlawful command influence." He said potential Marine jurors could be biased by the knowledge that their commandant, the Corps' top officer, thinks the Haditha Marines are guilty.

"Congressman Murtha will be one of the first witnesses I call to the witness stand," Mr. Puckett said yesterday.

Mr. Puckett represents Staff Sgt. Frank D. Wuterich, an eight-year Marine who was a key participant in the Haditha operations that resulted in the 24 civilian deaths.

This would be interesting. If Rep. Murtha is going to publicly condemn our Marines in front of God and country before any investigation has been completed, he had better be prepared to disclose who gave him his information.


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Comments (18)

Marines are pissed at Hagee... (Below threshold)

Marines are pissed at Hagee, not Murtha -- if I read it right

Marines want to know who to... (Below threshold)
The Listkeeper:

Marines want to know who to be pissed at before they get pissed at another Marine. Gotta know whose rack to have the blanket party at, and the intel needs to be accurate.

They're plenty pissed at Murtha, but he's a politician, not a Marine.

Not so sure... If Ha... (Below threshold)
Son Of The Godfather:

Not so sure...
If Hagee says to Murtha,
"It appears some Marines MAY have lost control..."

and Murtha reports that as
"Marines killed people in cold blood"

Those are two very different stories. Murtha may be called to explain his version as compared to Hagee's.

I don't know who the Marine... (Below threshold)

I don't know who the Marines are pissed at, but everyone ought to be pissed at Murtha for convicting these guys before trial, or even before charges are brought. Murtha's like Kerry: perfectly willing to crap on our servicemen if he thinks it will buy him a vote or two. What a tool.

Pavel, you are too stupid f... (Below threshold)
Louie Shamarro:

Pavel, you are too stupid for words.

Louie,You think Pa... (Below threshold)


You think Pavel is "too stupid for words" because he thinks that people should be assumed innocent before being proven guilty. Or that a politician who finds it convenient to ignore the innocent until proven guilty right (and it is a right) of the marines may be tromping on other's rights to score political points is not fair to be called a "tool"?

Think about it Louie. The right to be assumed innocent until proven guilty is one of the good things about being a citizen in this country. And because someone wants to stand up for that right, your rebuttal is a personal attack calling them "too stupid for words". Is that the height of your intellectual capabilities?

yetanotherjohn: 1Lo... (Below threshold)

yetanotherjohn: 1
Louie Shamarro: 0

pwnt! :)

Well spoken, John.

Nothing is worth putting th... (Below threshold)

Nothing is worth putting these poor kids on trial for their lives and reputations. But getting Murtha on the stand and making him answer a few pointed questions comes close.

Murtha obviously went over ... (Below threshold)

Murtha obviously went over the top. He may have made a large leap of logic from a Marine commander statement or made it up. Either way, testifying under oath will expose it for what it is. In addition, it will put pressure on politicians to be careful when slandering someone. Of course Congress thinks its above the law so it will have little impact.

Rock on, John. Louie: You... (Below threshold)

Rock on, John. Louie: You lose.

Hey Kim - earlier you wrote... (Below threshold)

Hey Kim - earlier you wrote and suggested this was a hoax. Have you changed your opinion on that?

"One military official says... (Below threshold)

"One military official says it appears the civilians were deliberately killed by the Marines, who were outraged at the death of their fellow Marine."

Why would our troops not support our troops? Shameful! I expect a full attack on this troop.

Republican Representative John Kline of Minnesota:
"There is no question that the Marines involved, those doing the shooting, they were busy in lying about it and covering it up -- there is no question about it."

I expect a full attack on this Republican Representative. Go to work Wizbang!

Three months ago everyone w... (Below threshold)
USMC Pilot:

Three months ago everyone was dead certain that a young black womam was raped at Duke University. Today the whole case is falling apart. There are way too many people that know all the answers before they have all the information. It's OK for fools to show their colors if they want to, but it's a shame that so many people are destroyed because someone sayes they are guilty before the evidence is in.

John Murtha is a politician, which makes it more despicable, since he isn't supossed to be a fool. His motives are selfish and he needs to be held accountable for his words in the future.

jp2, if what you claim is t... (Below threshold)

jp2, if what you claim is true, then I say: a pox on both of them. NO ONE has a right to pass judgement on these guys prior to a full investigation, much less the conclusion of a jury trial before their peers. Period.

Now, Murtha's shennanigans in this case have been reported widely. Care to back up your assertion regarding Kline? A linky would be a good thing to start.

In any case, Murtha is a Marine himself (if you understood the Marines for a half second, you'd understand that there is no such thing as a "former" Marine), having made those claims against his own before the investigation had concluded. If what he knew was true, he had a sworn duty to assist with that investigation. Its outcome demonstrates that he either did not assist, or else his "proof" wasn't strong enough to stand evidential pre-trial scrutiny. And Murtha's words will sway any courts-martial jury because of his position.

By making the statements he did, Murtha acted as shamefully - and as cowardly - as did John Kerry in 1972 during the "Winter Soldier" slander before Congress (you know, the "war crimes and atrocities" things Kerry's little group alleged, but never once provided a shred of evidence to substantiate). Words like libel, slander, and (in Murtha's case) conduct unbecoming all come to mind.

And let's not forget that Murtha was under a cloud for "earmarking" before he became the darling of the MSM last year.

By using his podium to divert attention away from his own political skeletons, Murtha has rendered aid and comfort to a cunning enemy, and in so doing, has put his own fellow Marines' lives in danger, just as Kerry did by weakening American will to win in Vietnam, in 1972.

Therefore I hope Murtha has to take the stand in this young Marine's trial, and I fervently hope it happens BEFORE the November elections.

Wanderlust:In Murt... (Below threshold)
USMC Pilot:


In Murths's case there is such a thing as "former Marine". He has dishonored the service and we don't want him!

I agree, USMC Pilot. Person... (Below threshold)

I agree, USMC Pilot. Personally I hope his father is rolling in his grave over the son's behavior in this instance.

Can you imagine how our parents would have reacted if some political wanker had made statements like his, at the height of WWII?

No one would have made a co... (Below threshold)

No one would have made a comment like that during WWII - no politician, at least - would have said such a thing, because they would have had his scalp.

Right now there's a considerable portion of the left that take any opportunity they can to crap on our troops (all the while claiming to "support" them.) Murtha is pandering to them, and that is contemptible. He'd sell his grandma's soul for a few votes - which is the worst attribute any politician on either side of the aisle can have.

If Kline said what jp2 attributes to him: Bad on him, too.

Murtha has demonstrated to ... (Below threshold)

Murtha has demonstrated to be the lowest of the low. In our modern era only John Kerry has stepped lower then Murtha. These people have been brought to office to represent a portion of the American people. They have taken an oath to uphold the constitution and the laws of this land. Yet, here we stand. In violation of the very rights they took an oath to protect.

How anyone can defend the actions of these individuals is beyond me.






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