Only one Marine still stands charged of actions at the scene of the alleged “Haditha massacre,” and the case against him is in doubt, writes Paul Von Zielbauer of the New York Times:
But now, after months of courtroom examinations, the prosecutions have faltered. Since May, charges against two infantrymen and one Marine officer have been dismissed, and dismissal has been recommended for murder charges against a third infantryman.
In those cases, prosecutors were not able to prove even that the killings were a crime under the U.S. military code of justice.
Now their final attempt to get a murder conviction is set to begin, with a military court hearing today for Staff Sgt. Frank D. Wuterich, the last Marine still facing that charge. He is accused of killing 18 Iraqis, including several women and children, in three homes after the attack on his convoy.
If the legal problems that have thwarted the prosecutors in other cases are repeated this time, there is a possibility that no Marine will be convicted for what happened in Haditha.
Read the entire article at the link provided. The others charged in connection with the incident face allegations for their actions after the fact – none were at the scene.
In related news, another Marine may file suit against the excreable Rep. John Murtha, who pronounced them all “murderers” when the case first came to light. Bryan reports at Hot Air:
In fact, if one thing seems to unite liberal lawmakers and pundits these days, it’s the art of the lazy and counterfactual smear. “Bush LIED!” “All conservatives from the South are raaacists.” Etc. Smear Marines here, bloggers over there, the president just for fun, whatever, whoever and wherever, why bother to do any research when smears are so handy and easy to write and will land you gigs at USA Today and Time magazine?
Well, I’m cheering on any Marine who chooses to sue Jack Murtha over his Haditha comments. He got himself way out ahead of the facts, and now the facts are sneaking up to bite him on the backside. He deserves it, and it’s about time someone got some justice over one of these slanders.
Read his whole post at the link preceding – including copies of the actual investigative reports.
UPDATE 31 AUG 2:42 p.m.: Thanks to reader “mark I” in the comments, a full discussion of the issues at hand by Jim Hanson at Pajamas Media.