Thursday, June 19, 2008

From Prosecution to Persecution?

At what price, saving face?

The Murtha-inspired, media trumped so-called "Haditha Massacre" has had its share of casualties long after the event had transpired. Eight Marines, whose only crime was to follow Rules of Engagement (ROE) and to execute their mission of weeding out terrorist elements in the town of Haditha, have had their reputations and their honor dragged through the mud, not to mention having had the "honor" of treatment that would make Guantanamo detainees look like they're being put up at the Waldorf Astoria in comparison.

On Tuesday, Military Judge Colonel Steven Folsom, USMC made the right decision when he saw through the undue command influence and dismissed all charges against Lt. Col. Jeffrey Chessani without prejudice.

Said Richard Thompson, resident and Chief Counsel of the Thomas More Law Center, who has been defending Chessani,

“This case has turned into the persecution of one of the Marine’s finest combat commanders. LtCol Chessani devoted his life to the Corps and his Nation. He served three tours of duty in Iraq, away from his wife and children in defense of us all. In their attempt ‘to get’ Chessani, prosecutors granted immunity to seventeen Marines, including one they had charged with murder. Still they failed. Sadly, in the process they have destroyed the career of an outstanding officer. Enough is enough.”

WND just had a story published today that Chessani rightfully planned to sue Congressman John Murtha over his slanderous pronouncement of the Haditha Marines guilt of murder in cold blood. I wouldn't be surprised at all if there is more "undue influence" coming from Murtha to pressure prosecutors to make an example out of Chessani. Murtha, after all, is in charge of defense appropriations in the House and is certainly in a position to exert such influence. Given Murtha's long history of what was, in my opinion, influence peddling in the form of a legion of earmarks and defense contracts, there is in my opinion nothing too low for the King of Pork to resort to save his sorry fat backside from the consequences of his actions.

The military powers that be, along with the politicians that be, know that the Haditha prosecutions will be considered by historians as one of the largest travesties of justice in military history; a time when the interests of politicians and military leaders were put far ahead of the interests of justice itself. Their pitiful attempts to continue to prop up a false set of charges against one of the great military leaders in the Corps as a means of salvaging face serves neither the honor of the military nor the interests of justice.

It is nothing less than reprehensible.

Lots more on the background of this case here, here and here.

Read more on Murtha's role in this travesty here, here, and here.