From Bruce Kesler at The Democracy Project:
As I predicted yesterday, due to a weak and crumbling case, Lt. Andrew Grayson has been found by the jury in his court martial as not guilty on all counts.
The Haditha prosecution has so far shot maggies drawers on all those Marines targeted. These JAG prosecuters are not Marine marksmen, and some should question their other qualifications.
Here are some of the details of what happened in the courtroom when the not guilty verdict was announced:
A Marine intelligence officer accused of trying to cover up the killings of 24 Iraqis appeared stunned at first when a jury acquitted him of the charges.
For more than two years, 1st Lt. Andrew Grayson had been under suspicion, accused of ordering the destruction of evidence in the biggest U.S. criminal case involving Iraqi deaths to come out of the war.
“I didn’t really believe it was going to end until they said not guilty,” Grayson said in his first public comments following the verdict. “The case was so volatile, you didn’t know which way it was going to go.”
Grayson had always maintained his innocence. On Wednesday, a military jury agreed with him.
Cheers erupted as the jury found him not guilty of ordering a sergeant to delete photographs of the bodies from a digital camera and laptop computer.
Bob Owens at Pajamas Media on where this goes from here:
Early in the investigations, based upon unknown evidence, Democratic Rep. John Murtha (PA) stated that “there was no firefight, there was no IED that killed these innocent people. Our troops overreacted because of the pressure on them, and they killed innocent civilians in cold blood.”
Barack Obama, asked about Murtha’s charge by Alan Colmes in June of 2006, stated, “I would never second guess John Murtha… I think he’s somebody who knows of which he speaks.”
Murtha’s “in cold blood” statement and the Democratic Presidential nominee’s unquestioning acceptance came seven months before the military charged eight Marines with various offenses in December of 2006. Charges against five of the eight Marines have since be dropped for lack of evidence, and in the first of three scheduled trials, Grayson has been acquitted. It remains to be seen if Rep. Murtha or Senator Obama will offer Lt. Grayson an apology, cold-blooded, or otherwise.
Of the two cases remaining, only Staff Sergeant Frank Wuterich faces charges directly related to the killings. The most serious charges he faces are nine counts of involuntary manslaughter. Curiously, his case has been postponed indefinitely, and was not expected to resume until after both of his military defense attorneys had retired, weakening his defense in a complex case. Late-breaking information from Bruce Kessler of The Democracy Project, who has been covering the Haditha cases in detail, states that Lt. Col. Colby Vokey will delay his retirement again to stay with Wuterich’s defense.
Interesting. The media took Murtha’s comments and ran with them, essentially finding them guilty before any of them got their day in court.