"Jack Murtha was wrong to prejudge the Marines of Kilo Company, the First of the Third, for their actions in Haditha last November 19. And now the Marines under investigation are saying so directly. For the first time since allegations were made against his unit, the senior enlisted Marine present at Haditha, Staff Sgt. Frank D. Wuterich, is speaking up, through his attorney.Frankly, considering all that he's said, it's long past time for a change in PA CD-12's representation. Murtha's willingness to ignore fundamental jurisprudential rights out the window to score cheap political points is scary and dangerous. It shouldn't be tolerated even for a split second.
"Yesterday, Neal A. Puckett, the lawyer for Sgt. Wuterich, spoke for the first time on the record. He denied that Sgt. Wuterich’s unit deliberately killed any innocent Iraqi civilians, said U.S. troops followed the military rules of engagement, and denied that the unit deliberately tried to cover up the deaths. Moreover, according to this report in the Washington Post, attorneys for two other Marines currently being investigated say that Sgt. Wuterich’s account tracks with what the other Marines in the unit are saying.
"Jack Murtha was wrong to prejudge a case that may or may not be brought against U.S. armed forces. He was wrong to act as prosecutor, judge, and jury before any charges have been filed, before any court martial has been convened, before any Marine has been convicted. Jack Murtha, of all people, should understand and appreciate the presumption of innocence until guilt is proven. His reckless disregard for due process is just one more reason he needs to be retired from active duty in the Congress. It’s time for a change."
As I suspected when I first heard the accusations, there is another side to this story. Frankly, I didn't trust Murtha's declaration of a guilty verdict. I had a strong hunch that his accusations would be discredited. It now appears as though that hunch is exactly right.
It's great seeing people like Diana Irey stand up for every person's constitutional rights. It's a stark contrast with John Murtha's willingness to throw a war veteran's constitutional rights overboard for momentary political gain. The contrast isn't flattering to Mr. Murtha.
Technorati Tags: Diana Irey, John Murtha, Haditha, Marines, Frank Wuterich
Cross-post at LetFreedomRingBlog