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Haditha investigator says drop murder charges

A Marine investigator finds the murder charges against Lance Cpl. Sharrat unjustified by evidence, the Associated Press is reporting:

An investigating officer has recommended dismissing murder charges against a U.S. Marine accused in the slayings of three Iraqi men in a squad action that killed 24 civilians in the town of Haditha, according to a report.

The government's theory that Lance Cpl. Justin L. Sharratt had executed the three men was "incredible" and relied on contradictory statements by Iraqis, Lt. Col. Paul Ware said in the report, released Tuesday by Sharratt's defense attorneys.

"To believe the government version of facts is to disregard clear and convincing evidence to the contrary, and sets a dangerous precedent that, in my opinion, may encourage others to bear false witness against Marines as a tactic to erode public support of the Marine Corps and mission in Iraq," Ware wrote.

Read the rest at the link above. Don't hold your breath waiting for John Murtha to apologize, though - he's still too busy engineering surrender and loading up earmarks for his cronies to be disturbed.


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Comments (50)

There are others besides Mu... (Below threshold)

There are others besides Murtha who did them public harm. People who above all who should have been stressing innocent until proven guilty.

They reached into the Vietn... (Below threshold)

They reached into the Vietnam playbook for the 'My Lai' bombshell, but forgot there were films of the game.

You know I warned him. I t... (Below threshold)
Robert the Original:

You know I warned him. I told him over and over: "Get going before its too late", I said: "Before you know it they'll be lawyers involved, evidence."

But did he listen to me? Did he hire Nifong? No. And now, here you go: videotape evidence, eyewitnesses from military intelligence, proof of terrorists in the house.

You blew it Murtha.

Next time, get out there early. Indict the entire armed forces and specifically use the term "cold-blooded murder."

Take a tip from Nifong, get these guys convicted in the press before the evidence comes in. These things, the story sells itself.

You blew it Murtha... (Below threshold)

You blew it Murtha

Yeah... Rep[rehensible] Murtha blew a lot of things, including the peckers of those that run media matters, moveon and finally lapping at the birth slits of those over at code pink.

I hope the defense attorney... (Below threshold)

I hope the defense attorney sticks to his word here:

Marine may call Murtha as witness

By Rowan Scarborough

June 15, 2006

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.

Link to the whole story here.

Murtha's rush to j... (Below threshold)

Murtha's rush to judgement on Haditha reminds me of
Reid's rush to judgement that the Surge has"failed" and the war is "lost".
Can we question their patriotism yet?

Baxter, you can question th... (Below threshold)

Baxter, you can question their patriotism. The definition of a patriot is one who supports the government AND its policies. Clearly the libbies do not. As far a Abscam Murtha, the darling of the liberals, couldn't wait to get on all the press shows to tell americans how our brave men and women are cold blooded killers. Real nice. The liberals have no sense of shame. No sense of decency. These poor guys and gals went into a town when all hell broke loose and the monday morning quarterbacks think they should have reasoned decisions and debates about what to do regardless if your life was in grave danger. That is what you call a very unrealistic expectation. God Bless the troops. ww

ww:The definiti... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:


The definition of a patriot is one who supports the government AND its policies.

I like you WW. You usually make a lot of sense but I totally disagree with the above statement. Governments can become corrupt and evil. In fact it is happening before our very eyes. A true patriot is one who adheres the the principles in our charter, the constitution. The preservation of life and liberty, the premise that all men are created equal, the balance of power, self government, private property rights, etc. This is not the same thing as supporting the government no matter what. We are fast becoming a nation of socialists. I do not and will not support that ever.

None of this ever would hav... (Below threshold)

None of this ever would have happened if we had just run...eh, redeployed to Okinawa.

Jeff Blogworthy, I should h... (Below threshold)

Jeff Blogworthy, I should have been more clear. In times of war, patriotism comes through when we support the conflict, our government and its policies in Regards to the conflict. I hope that clears it up somewhat. I too, do not support policies that go against the tenents of the constitution like the recent immigration fiasco. I do not support any program that removes the initiative of any individual to achieve of their own. The list goes on, but in times of military conflict, I remain first, foremost and always a patriot. Out troops deserve no less. ww

I just want to know when we... (Below threshold)

I just want to know when we're going to start hanging the traitors....

And lefty heads start explo... (Below threshold)
C-C-G Author Profile Page:

And lefty heads start exploding again... if they can't get Libby, they at least wanted to get a Marine for murder!

As a retired lawyer and ex ... (Below threshold)

As a retired lawyer and ex JAG officer I'm glad to see that military justice is working and I have confidence the truth as it really happened will ultimately be revealed.

But as usual the whizzers don't tell the whole story - of course the link was to Faux, err False, err Fox News so there were a few holes in the story.

The chest thumping, lynch mob bunch here forgot a fact or two related to the printed news article like:

"Ware also recommended that Sharratt be given immunity and be forced to cooperate with investigators looking into what happened in Haditha."

and this:

"Sharratt is one of three enlisted Marines charged with murdering civilians. "

and this:

"Four Marine officers are charged with dereliction of duty for not investigating whether the deaths of the 24 civilians that day constituted a war crime. "

As far as patriotism goes, ... (Below threshold)

As far as patriotism goes, we've got a pretty strong tradition of antagonism toward government.

It's sort of funny, in a way, to be accused of demanding some sort of unquestioning cheerleading of government by those who seem to see government as the answer to our problems rather than the cause of our problems.

I remember being told that when people start slapping down dissent on their own volition that it's proof of a fascist state or some such. Which was sort of a hoot. Dissent is automatically good and dissenting from the dissenters is not?

Murtha is a donkey-butt. Simply put.

I'm pretty sure he knows what he's doing when he slanders Marines and our soldiers. Other people might not. They might actually feel that by being "honest" and bravely facing "the truth" they are taking some higher ground, even if it means the reputation of our military suffers. Facing hard truths, eh?

I've explained before that Murtha is uniquely placed to use his influence within the military to ensure that things are done properly. He is uniquely placed to do this *without* public slander. If it were you, or I, taking our cause to the press is a way to multiply our power, to force action on those who have power. Murtha already had every bit of power and influence he needed to be certain that the Haditha event was investigated properly. The media didn't enhance that for him.

But it made him real popular with those who wanted to hear that our soldiers walked the knife edge of unreason. It played fabulously with those who long for the... romance of south asian massacre and opium dens... prostitution. War Hollywood style. Virtual slumming... touching that shivery and oh so seductive barbarism.

Donkey butts.

Kind of how you passed over... (Below threshold)

Kind of how you passed over this, JFO:
"It is the second time an investigating officer has recommended charges not continue to trial in the killings. In the case of Marine lawyer Capt. Randy W. Stone, the investigating officer recommended his dereliction of duty charge be dealt with administratively."

uh huh , and as i said in m... (Below threshold)

uh huh , and as i said in my very first comment - "...military justice is working...."

As a retired President and ... (Below threshold)
Bill Clinton:

As a retired President and former CNC I agree with JFO, it's good to get the 'truth" out. Of course it depends on what the meaning of "truth" is, but hey, were lawyers and that explains alot.

Colonel Ware is just flat w... (Below threshold)
John Murtha:

Colonel Ware is just flat wrong, and delusional. The stress these JAG officers are under trying to find evidence of attrocities (which we ALL know happen routinely) is overwhemlming causing them to snap. We need to redeploy these people ASAP.

JFO touts his wisdom of wai... (Below threshold)

JFO touts his wisdom of waiting until the military justice go forward, but seems somewhat gleeful that there is guilt. And he was a JAG officer? ww

Two facts came out. 1. The ... (Below threshold)
scrapiron Author Profile Page:

Two facts came out. 1. The marines did not 'murder' anyone. 2. Mad Dog Murtha convicted the marines in the press (they will stay convicted in the brain dead world of liberal democrats) and his words have resulted and continues to result in an untold number of deaths of Americans in Iraq.
Note: 95% of the deaths of allied forces are a result of the democrats support of terrorism from day one of the invasion. That is a fact that history will bear out. The only hope the terrorists have of winning lies in the "United States Congress" and their friends, 'the democrats', who will sacrifice the lives of your family for 'one' vote. Just watch and listen to what is going on today 'July 11, 2007 which will go down in history as a great show by the traitors to America in congress. Want to identify a traitor for trial and execution, watch congress. The founders of this country would have had them shot in the halls of congress.

The definition of a patr... (Below threshold)

The definition of a patriot is one who supports the government AND its policies.

"True patriotism, the only rational patriotism, is loyalty to the Nation ALL the time, loyalty to the Government when it deserves it." - Mark Twain, 1905

"uh huh , and as i said in ... (Below threshold)

"uh huh , and as i said in my very first comment - '...military justice is working....'"

If you believed that, you wouldn't be trying to cherry-pick the parts that support guilt over presumed innocence.

So where in my comments or ... (Below threshold)

So where in my comments or my quotes did the word or concept of guilt come up? Honest to god some of you whiznuts either don't know how to or don't bother reading. The words from the quotes were "cooperate" or "charged'.

Ach, what's the use- it's like trying to have a discussion with a 3 year old you've just told it's time for bed.

JFO - after you are done wi... (Below threshold)

JFO - after you are done with your hissy-fits, please explain why an Associated Press story is less credible because it was hosted on the Fox News site?

Should I have linked the story from some other site so YOU would believe it?

And you deride others' intelligence?

No, Jim I just did a little... (Below threshold)

No, Jim I just did a little bit of extra work - about a minutes worth I'd guess because I looked at your link which was to Fox and I surmised that the whole story wouldn't be there. And presto, voila - I found the actual facts in about another 30 seconds.

Nice try though.

You don't even have the int... (Below threshold)

You don't even have the intellectual honesty to admit to what you did? Not surprising... for a lib OR a 3 yr old.

brainy:Help... (Below threshold)


Help me out here. Using my words tell me how I presumed anyone's "guilt"? Can you do that for me? Or point out what I said that supported guilt over presumed innocence? Please.

"Treason is the highest for... (Below threshold)

"Treason is the highest form of patriotism."

Big Fat Jack Murtha

Can we question t... (Below threshold)
Can we question their patriotism yet? by Baxter Greene

No, you may never question their patriotism, ever. And you're a chicken hawk to boot. So there.

What's with the traitor and... (Below threshold)

What's with the traitor and chickenhawk labels.? Both are silly and stupid. Seems to me when anyone starts tossing those labels around they've lost the argument.

Ach, what's the us... (Below threshold)
Ach, what's the use- it's like trying to have a discussion with a 3 year old you've just told it's time for bed.

So, stop trying and go away. No one will miss you counselor. You have the problem too many lawyers have, you think you're so much smarter than the rest of us. Look what that JAG officer in the Senate, Grahamnesty, did for us.

A true patriot is one who adheres the the principles in our charter, the constitution.

Would that be the Constitution as written and intended, or the one that is a living, breathing Constitution that has been stretched like a piece of plastic wrap?

You're right,I think Sharra... (Below threshold)

You're right,I think Sharratt is innocent as well.

My comment was for JFO,I ag... (Below threshold)

My comment was for JFO,I agree with you,your highness.

JFO, that's the problem wit... (Below threshold)

JFO, that's the problem with Clintonites and 3 yr olds. They think they're smarter than they are.

This post was about some level of vindication for a soldier many of us here thought was unfairly slandered by the left and Murtha, in violation of the presumption of innocence. You quickly jumped in call those of us happy with this bit of news a "chest thumping, lynch mob bunch" and throw up quotes to show that there was still some hope of a conviction. Your intent is clear. If you want to hide behind not actually having the testicular fortitude to say it outright, be my guest.

brainy:let me get ... (Below threshold)


let me get this straight. You accuse me of presuming guilt and supporting guilt over innocence. When challenged by me to show how I did this, you respond with this 3yo-like response and not a peep about your accusation.

In other words you thump your chest and try and yell the loudest because you know you shot off your mouth with nothing to support you.
As for the lynch mob try reading some of the comment from some of the zanier whizzers. You know when you actually read something, you might learn something.

JFO, talking to you and oth... (Below threshold)

JFO, talking to you and other libbers on this site is like herding cats. What we have learned is to plain ignore your rants, accusations and slander. Trying to debate with someone that changes the goal posts constantly is like, well, reasoning with liberals. ww

Well Willie you ought to kn... (Below threshold)

Well Willie you ought to know that I don't care whether you like what I say or not. Feel free to scroll right on by me - I have the "testicular fortitude" to deal with your rejection. In fact the more I am rejected by certain whizzers, the more effective I know I have been.
I've been through the "my country right or wrong" types like you before - you have your beliefs and I have mine.

"types like you" is why we ... (Below threshold)

"types like you" is why we love the liberals. They play like children. The first paragraph of a liberal if usually okay even though I disagree, then the liberal cannot help themselves and add the insult paragraph. JFO, you proved my point. Thanks. ww

JFO:I find it laug... (Below threshold)


I find it laughable that you chide others for being childish while in the same breath (and repeatedly) use some nonsensically term to deride those with whom you disagree (i.e. 'whizzers', Faux News). If you want to be treated like a rational adult, perhaps consider presenting yourself as one.

Will Murtha ever apologize ... (Below threshold)

Will Murtha ever apologize for the slander against this GI? Perhaps admit that he MAY have jumped the gun?

United States congressmen (... (Below threshold)

United States congressmen (and women) who,for unquestionably political motives,slander the good name and rep. of the American fighting man should have to stand in court and defend themselves against the same charges they accused the innocent troops of.(I know that's a terrible sentence, struturally,but you get me.)

I would like this tactic tried because apparently it is not possible to be a traitor in America anymore (even Hugh Hewitt reinforces that stupid notion). Not only that, but wouldn't it be great to see an ally of our enemy, like the treasonous pile of shit I like to call Jack Mytha, have to watch his life hang in the balance of a well funded and publicized lie ?

JFO: "In fact the more I... (Below threshold)

JFO: "In fact the more I am rejected by certain whizzers, the more effective I know I have been."

Bingo! When they call you names and launch ad hominem attacks and tell you to leave you're nailing the center the target. Keep it up.

JFO, I just have one questi... (Below threshold)
C-C-G Author Profile Page:

JFO, I just have one question.

If Sharratt is found innocent, will you still speak highly of military justice, or will you start speaking negatively of it?

I just want you on the record for future reference, you understand.

JFO: "In fact... (Below threshold)

JFO: "In fact the more I am rejected by certain whizzers, the more effective I know I have been."

Bingo! When they call you names and launch ad hominem attacks and tell you to leave you're nailing the center the target. Keep it up.

42. Posted by Lee Ward |

You delude yourselves. You mistake being shunned, derided and ridiculed, with being effective.

In fact, all you are is noisy and a nuisance.

c-c-gThis was my v... (Below threshold)


This was my very first comment: "I'm glad to see that military justice is working and I have confidence the truth as it really happened will ultimately be revealed." It doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand that I was referring to the decision not to prosecute Sharrat.

I have complete faith in the system, having worked in it. Whomever may be found innocent, or even not prosecuted I would stand by that decision.

If you and some of your pals here took just a second to actually read my first sentence you wouldn't have had to ask that question. But of course you and some of the others immediately assumed because I am from the left that I would want these men to be found guilty. I'm not surprised at all though as your history demonstrates your lack of willingness to actually find out what someone from the left is actually talking about.

Right, JFO, what you say is... (Below threshold)

Right, JFO, what you say is one thing and what you insinuate is another.

sophist. spits.

JFO, if you actually... (Below threshold)
C-C-G Author Profile Page:

JFO, if you actually worked in the JAG's office--as anything more than the trashcan emptier--you would know that there is a difference between not going to trial and being found not guilty by the properly constituted authorities.

If Sharatt never goes to trial, Murtha can continue to smear his good name as well as the good name of the United States Marine Corps by saying something like, "we'll never know, will we?"

Either you didn't realize that, in which case you are a buffoon; or you did, in which case you are a slimy worm.

Which is it?

Oh, I almost forgot.<... (Below threshold)
C-C-G Author Profile Page:

Oh, I almost forgot.

I want Sharatt to go to trial.

I want that "not guilty" verdict in his permanent record so he can never be tried for this again.

I want to see Mr. Murtha testify.

I want to see the "case" against him shown to be the fraud that it is.

And then I want to shove it in the face of every anti-war lefty I can.

And that's probably why JFO isn't upset that it may not go to trial. He probably realizes that this trial would be an absolute disaster for the anti-war left, and so he'd rather have the legal status unadjudicated.

C-C-GYou prove you... (Below threshold)


You prove yourself a fool and an idiot. The truth will our. Justice will take it's course and that's about all one should expect. Isn't it? And there are others with charges still pending. Or are you idiot enough not to know that?
As to your threats to "shove'......you have proven yourself both a liar and without balls (if you are a man) in the past when challenged by myself and others to admit lies and errors. So I see your threat as pretty silly. Easy to be tough behind a keyboard for folks like you and steak and the other loonies who inhabit this blog. Tell us what you've done for our country tough guy/woman/person.

typ...the truth will out.</... (Below threshold)

typ...the truth will out.






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