The Haditha prosecution does not impress. The North County Times, a little paper, close to Camp Pendleton carries the best, most extensive coverage of the Haditha case, which was ginned up by Time Magazine and which has cost the charged Marines and their families endless heartache and certainly hurt morale of the troops. Quote:
CAMP PENDLETON ---- The officer in charge of a military hearing expressed serious doubts Friday about the government's prosecution of Lance Cpl. Justin Sharratt, one of three Marines charged in the November 2005 shooting deaths of Iraqi civilians in the city of Haditha.
Lt. Col. Paul Ware, who will recommend whether to send Sharratt to trial, challenged the prosecution, saying the government's theory of the case does not warrant the three counts of unpremeditated murder filed against Sharratt in December.
"The account you want me to believe does not support unpremeditated murder," Ware told the lead prosecutor, Maj. Daren Erickson. "Your theories don't match the reason you say we should go to trial."
Ware's comments came as the government and defense presented him with summations of the case on the fifth and final day of a hearing that will determine if the 22-year-old rifleman from Camp Pendleton's 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment will be ordered to stand trial.
Sharratt is accused of the civilian equivalent of second-degree murder for shooting three Iraqi brothers inside a home. A fourth man was shot by Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich, who also faces murder charges.
Ware also suggested he is inclined to believe Sharratt, who maintains the first two men he shot were pointing AK-47 rifles at him, and that the killings were carried out in self-defense