Not A Murderer After All

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Posted on : 2/08/2012 07:00:00 AM | By : Dann | In :

Marine Staff Sergeant Frank Wuterich was accused of leading his squad the slaughter of 24 Iraqi civilians in 2005.

Some may remember of US Representative John Murtha infamously declared that the Marines had overreacted and killed "innocent civilians in cold blood."  In making this pronouncement, Mr. Murtha severely undermined the ability of these Marines to receive a fair trial.

Eight Marines were charged with varying charges that ranged up to unpremeditated murder as well as plain old murder.  The charges against seven Marines were ultimately dropped.

Staff Sergeant Wuterich recently entered into a plea agreement that concluded his case.  He plead guilty to failing to maintain adequate tactical control and making a "negligent verbal order".

In a court martial, only the prosecution may initiate a plea agreement.  Given how poorly the prosecution had fared against SSgt. Wuterich's codefendants, and given the exculpatory evidence presented during his trial, the prosecution was looking at a complete loss on all charges.  They opted to offer an end to the agonizing process that SSgt. Wuterich had been going through.

The facts of the case are that the Marines were attacked by insurgents using an IED.  They further received incoming fire from the houses that they ultimately cleared.

And the "insurgents" were known for employing many tactics that involved secondary attacks following an IED attack, and hiding among the civilian population for the purpose of causing civilian deaths due to American responses.

The Marines at Haditha responded to an obvious ongoing threat in accordance with their training.

This was what war looks like.  It isn't easy, or pleasant, or nice.  It is downright nasty.

People have to make snap decisions.  They get to live with the consequences while the rest of us practice our Monday morning quarterbacking.

Perhaps a bit more appreciation for the perspective of the people we ask to fight for our freedom is in order.

The deaths of those Iraqi civilians remains a horrible tragedy.  The responsibility for that tragedy rests with the "insurgents" that fought using tactics that violated the Geneva Conventions and every decent religious tenet on the face of the planet.

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