A military jury acquitted a Marine intelligence officer Wednesday of charges that he tried to help cover up the killings of 24 Iraqis.
Cheers erupted as the seven-officer panel cleared 1st Lt. Andrew Grayson, who was the first of three Marines to be tried in the biggest U.S. criminal case involving Iraqi deaths linked to the war. The verdict came just five hours after deliberations began. The judge, Maj. Brian E. Kasprzyk, admonished the noisy courtroom, saying: "There will be no more of that."
Grayson, who has always maintained he did nothing wrong, was not at the scene of the killings of men, women and children on Nov. 19, 2005, in Haditha. He was accused of telling a sergeant to delete photographs of the dead from a digital camera and laptop computer.
Congratulations to 1st. Lt. Grayson. I can only imagine the emotion he felt when the verdict was announced. the fact that it only took 5 hours of deliberations speaks for itself as to how straightforward this case was. This case didn't need deliberations. This case should've been dropped after Grayson's Article 32 hearing.
It's time that the House to officially reprimand Rep. Murtha for his reprehensible behavior. That won't happen because Speaker Pelosi will protect ethically-challenged Democrats. She railed about the Republican culture of corruption but it's batantly obvious that she won't do anything when it comes to the corrupt members of her caucus.
Yesterday, Democracy Project had this to say about the Grayson case:
In brief, Lt. Grayson is alleged to have wrongfully ordered the destruction of photos of the Iraqi casualties at Haditha, lied to an investigating officer and obstructed the investigation, and improperly been separated from the service.
The charges were raised at his Article 32 hearing, and from the evidence presented most were surprised that Lt. Grayson was recommended to court martial at all. During the conclusion of the public Article 32 hearing last November, the inspecting officer said:
he has serious doubts over the validity of criminal charges filed against a Marine lieutenant in the aftermath of the slaying of 24 Iraqi civilians two
The hearing officer, Col. Robert Stahlman, said that if 1st Lt. Andrew Grayson was guilty of dereliction of duty for not ordering an investigation into the slayings, numerous other members of the 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment command staff should have been similarly charged.
It's disgusting that these Marines were wrongly accused. It's obvious that this was a corrupt prosecution that wouldn't have happened if not for Murtha's unfounded accusations. He's one of the most vile, despicable exuses for a human being I've ever seen, ranking only a few paces ahead of Judas Iscariot of thirty pieces of silver fame.
Once Sgt. Wuterich and Lt. Col. Jeffrey Cjhessani are acquitted, I will demand a full apology from Rep. Murtha. This blog's followers know that I called Murtha's office to get his statement after the charges against Justin Sharratt were dropped in july, 2007. Here's what Brit Hume said about my call on that day's Political Grapevine:
Pennsylvania Democratic Congressman John Murtha refused to comment today when asked by Gary Gross of the Let Freedom Ring blog for a reaction to Colonel Ware's recommendation. You'll recall that Murtha has said the Marines "overreacted" and "killed innocent civilians in cold blood." But today his office said he would not comment because the investigation is ongoing.
That day is coming soon.
Technorati: John Murtha, Insurgency, Haditha Marines, Justin Sharratt, Frank Wuterich, Stephen Tatum, Lucas McConnell, Sanick Dela Cruz, Jeffrey Chessani, Andrew Grayson, Article 32, Court Martial, Acquittal, Nancy Pelosi, Military
Cross-posted at LetFreedomRingBlog