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Sunday, August 26, 2007

Convicting the Haditha Marines Without a Trial - Part 2 Tim Harper

I’ve exposed Newsweek’s Evan Thomas and Scott Johnson for the enemy propagandists they are regarding the Haditha Marines. But that was just the tip of the iceberg. The list of those that convicted the Haditha Marines without the benefit of a trial is as long the list of Murtha’s earmarks and pork. It wasn’t just the mainstream media that dumped on the Marines – the usual suspects from the anti-war bottomfeeders got in their digs too.

Next up on the hit parade is Tim Harper from the Toronto Star. In “Blinded by Hate in Haditha” dated 6/3/06, Harper resorted to Murtha-isms to explain the actions of the Marines – “they just snapped”.

“Maybe they just snapped that day in Haditha, going from home to home firing at unarmed women, children, an old man in a wheelchair, then five youths who happened on the scene until, their vengeance finally sated, they began an elaborate cover up that endured against all odds for almost three months.”

Gee – sounds like Harper watched too many Oliver Stone movies. You have to give him credit for the imagery – “vengeance finally sated”. Describing the Marines like a bunch of blood thirsty gangbangers seeking justice for one of their own. But Harper was simply repeating the propaganda spewed from the terrorists in Haditha.

The reality is the Marines did their job in Haditha. It was tragic and unfortunate but a fact of a war fought against cowards that use women and children in place of Kevlar. The Marines followed the rules of engagement that were drilled into them prior to arriving in Haditha. The slide shows and presentations used to teach the ROE to the Marines were part of the evidence in LCpl Stephen Tatum’s Article 32 Hearing. It was this information that was instrumental in the IO’s decision in the hearing.

“The government counsel argued that positive identification of occupants of the room was required under the rules of engagement. Such a theory, requiring positive identification before engaging targets in a room that you hear an AK-47 racking within a home that is declared hostile, would appear to be a rewrite of the rules of engagement and is clearly contrary to the training and experiences of the witnesses that testified. The government did not present even one witness that testified that positive identification under such circumstances is required before employing deadly force.”

Harper was not content to simply convict the Marines on his own. He threw in an Iraq vet for good measure. Jon Soltz (last seen berating a soldier at the Daily Kos convention) couldn’t resist a few Murtha-isms of his own…

“After 12-18 months over there, you can crack. In Iraq, everyone is a killer. No matter how much training you have, after that length of time in that atmosphere you can’t train someone not to crack.”

If I was in a generous mood I would give Soltz the benefit of the doubt on his “In Iraq, everyone is a killer” statement. But his history of trashing the military and serving on the presidential campaign of John “Genghis Khan” Kerry leads me to believe he was not speaking about insurgents milling about among civilians.

Finally Harper tossed in a big old falsehood for good measure…

“A military probe has already concluded those involved on the ground lied to superiors and those superiors did not really study the report of the incident to look for any holes.”

That’s strange. The March 3, 2006 report by Col Gregory Watt had no such findings about Haditha.
There are no indications that Coalition Forces intentionally targeted, engaged and killed non-combatants.
There are clear indications that throughout the Marines' response to the insurgent attack that they attempted to distinguish between combatants and non-combatants.
The amount of force used was proportional and provided overmatch in order to insure mission accomplishment of the task at hand without putting Marines at risk.
Coalition Forces did provide adequate medical care for non-coalition forces casualties when the situation permitted.
Overall, there are indications that positive identification was conducted, in order to, determine with reasonable certainty that the target demonstrated hostile intent and/or hostile action toward the Marines prior to engagement.
Indications are that insurgents fought from homes occupied by non-combatants and used these homes for cover and concealment.
Mr. Harper may want to check his anonymous sources and leakers for credibility.

Based on the results of the Article 32 Hearings, Tim Harper scored a big fat ZERO on the non-partisan journalist meter with his reporting about Haditha. So Tim Harper, the Haditha Marines and their families are waiting for an apology…

**This is Part 2 of a multi-post series exposing those that refused to give the Marines in Haditha the benefit of the doubt**

Previous Posts:
They Convicted the Haditha Marines Without a Trial - Part I Newsweek

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