Thursday, March 06, 2008

Murtha Gets His Way On Haditha

According to this Thomas More Law Center action alert, Lt. Col. Jeffrey Chessani is being thrown under the bus because the military caved to John Murtha's political agenda. Here's what Richard Thompson said on behalf of his client:

“Military Judge Colonel Stephen Folsom’s, USMC, ruling yesterday refusing our request to take the deposition of Congressman John Murtha, D-PA, is the latest indication that it will be impossible for Marine Lt. Colonel Chessani to get a fair trial regarding November 19, 2005, Haditha incident,” said Richard Thompson, Chief Counsel of the Thomas More Law Center, the Ann Arbor, Michigan based public interest law firm defending Lt. Col. Chessani.

“This entire prosecution is politically motivated and stinks to high heaven. Denying us the right to take Murtha’s deposition so that we could show undue command influence, as well as denial of our request for production of documents in the possession of Lt. Col. Chessani’s superiors makes it impossible for us to render this loyal Marine officer the effective assistance of counsel he deserves — they are attempting to throw him under the bus. In many ways this is a trial like the one in Alice in Wonderland—the verdict first and then the trial.”

Continued Thompson, “In the next couple of weeks we will reveal startling facts tracing the impetus for this prosecution to the highest levels of military and civilian

John Murtha's despicable behavior should turn every American's stomach. He started this in motion because he wanted to be the House Majority, not because he'd found out that the Haditha Marines had "killed innocent civilians in cold blood" but because he's a despicable human being without a hint of integrity.

If Murtha were to repeat under oath the things that he's said on TV, he'd be convicted of perjury in the shortest trial in history. This timeline reveals all the discrepancies in Murtha's evolving story. Here's Rep. Murtha's initial account:

Rep. John Murtha, an influential Pennsylvania lawmaker and outspoken critic of the war in Iraq, said today Marines had “killed innocent civilians in cold blood” after allegedly responding to a roadside bomb ambush that killed a Marine during a patrol in Haditha, Iraq, Nov. 19. The incident is still under investigation by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service and Multi-National Forces Iraq.
“It’s much worse than was reported in Time magazine,” Murtha, a Democrat, former Marine colonel and Vietnam war veteran, told reporters on Capitol Hill. “There was no firefight. There was no [bomb] that killed those innocent people,” Murtha explained, adding there were “about twice as many” Iraqis killed than Time had reported.

First of all, there was a day-long firefight. We know this because it was captured on film by a UAV monitoring the events of that day. Second of all, of the 24 people killed that day, eight were known insurgents.

When first asked by reporters how he got his information, here's Rep. Murtha's explanation:

Murtha confidently replied, “All the information I get, it comes from the commanders, it comes from people who know what they’re talking about.” Although Murtha said that he had not read any investigative reports by the military on the incident, he stressed, “It’s much worse than reported in Time magazine.”

It wasn't long before Rep. Murtha's story started 'evolving':

Murtha, a Pennsylvania Democrat, is being sued by one of the accused Marines for libel. He had told The Philadelphia Inquirer that Gen. Michael Hagee had given him the information on which he based his charge that Marines killed innocent civilians.

But a spokesman for the Marine Corps said Hagee briefed Murtha on May 24 about Haditha. Murtha had made comments on the case as early as May 17. On May 17, for example, he said at a news conference, “Our troops overreacted because of the pressure on them and they killed innocent civilians in cold blood.”

When ABC's Charlie Gibson pressed Rep. Murtha on this, here's the exchange they had:

GIBSON: Jonathan just mentioned, there’s no charges yet filed against any of the Marines that were in this outfit, but Jonathan mentioned a moment ago, defense lawyers are already saying, well, there’s drone video and there is actual radio traffic to higher-ups that will give a different picture than you have been talking about of this incident. What do you know about that?

MURTHA: I can only tell you this, Charles. This is what the Marine Corps told me at the highest level. The Commandant of the Marine Corps was in my office just last week, so you know, I know there was a cover-up someplace. They knew about this a few days afterwards and there’s no question the chain of command tried to stifle the story. I can understand why, but that doesn’t excuse it. Something like this has to be brought out to the public, and the people have to be punished.

"I know there was a cover-up someplace"? You'd think that if Rep. Murtha knew it, he'd be able to point directly to it. It's worth noting Capt. Jeffrey Dinsmore's testimony on what happened that fateful day in Haditha:

Intelligence gathered by Marine S2 officers in advance of the events of Nov. 19th, 2005, revealed that it was known that an insurgent ambush was planned for the day. Although exact details of the planned ambush were not known, some important details were revealed, most importantly, that some 20 insurgents would take part, and a white car would play an important role in the ambush. The intelligence was made available to the officers and men of Kilo Company, including Sgt. Frank Wuterich who has been charged with, among other things, murdering the occupants of a white car that came on the scene following the IED explosion that killed one Marine and seriously wounded another. The evidence will show that Wuterich acted appropriately when he shot the passengers of the vehicle.
Although the media continues to report that 24 innocent civilians were killed that day, the S2’s testimony shows that eight of the dead, including four of the five occupants in the white car killed by Wuterich, were known insurgents and the dead civilians therefore numbered 16, not 24.
The insurgents whose communications were intercepted and which revealed the planned ambush were the same two men who were the sources of the fallacious and dishonest Time magazine story, which was the source of the accusations against the Marines.

By now, it's clear that Rep. Murtha's deposition testimony would expose him as a liar. It's also clear that he threw innocent Marines under his bus strictly for political gain.

This is reprehensible behavior for a man who claims that he's the soldier's best friend. He's nothing of the sort. He's a disgusting, corrupt excuse for a man. Of all the sleazy people I've seen serve in the nation's capitol, John Murtha is easily the most corrupt, most reprehensible man to serve in elected office.

Because of Murtha's influence-peddling, it's now likely that Lt. Col. Jeffrey Chessani will be convicted of the “dereliction of duty” and “orders” violations broght against him. Here's something else that should get everyone's attention:

Murtha also has ties to Navy Secretary Donald Winters. Winters had over 65 NCIS investigators assigned to investigate Lt. Col. Chessani and the Marines charged in the case. The NCIS Director claimed that to be the highest number of investigators assigned to an investigation in the history of the NCIS.

This is extremely strange considering how straightforward this is. All that needs to be done is to look at Capt. Dinsmore's testimony and view the aerial footage shot by the UAV to know that these charges are without foundation or merit.

It's time for this travesty to end. It's time that Rep. Murtha apologized for his treachery perpetrated against the Haditha Marines. Most importantly, it's time to remove him from his position of power.

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