Lessons from Haditha's Quiet Denouement

Six years ago, in Haditha, Iraq, in the wake of a deadly insurgent attack on their convoy, a Marine quick reaction force raided several houses from which they were taking fire.  At the conclusion of the action it became clear that a number of Iraqi civilians had been killed, which was duly reported up the Marine Corps chain of command.  The command determined that while the deaths were unfortunate, the engaged Marines had not violated the laws of war.  Then, early in 2006, a reporter from Time Magazine got wind of the incident, and all hell broke loose.  An Army report condemned the Marines, Democrat Congressman John Murtha announced that Marines had killed Iraqi civilians in "cold blood," and the press in general had a field day.  Under this new assault, the Marine Corps changed its tune and preferred court-martial charges against eight Marines, from enlisted men to battalion commander.  These unfortunate men were accused of everything from obstruction...(Read Full Article)

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