Bob Owens has the story over at Pajamas Media of the latest blow against the government's trumped up case against 8 Marines who were involved in the so-called "Haditha Massacre."
The acquittal of Grayson means that of the original 8 Marines charged in the incident, only 2 remain to face a court martial. The other 6 have been acquitted or have had the charges dropped for lack of evidence.
A military jury has acquitted 1st Lt. Andrew Grayson of all charges that he helped cover up the killing of 24 Iraqis in Haditha following the IED ambush of a Marine patrol. Grayson, a Marine intelligence officer, had been accused of having a military photographer erase digital photos of the dead Iraqis. Grayson had turned down a plea deal to face charges on five counts that could have led to a maximum of 20 years in prison. An obstruction-of-justice charge against Grayson had been dismissed by the judge earlier in the week.
One of the sidebars to this story is that before the official Pentagon report was even released, Rep. John Murtha accused the Marines of acting "in cold blood" in the death of the civilians:
What happened at Haditha was a tragedy of war. It happened because the enemy chose to use civilians as human shields - a fact never brought out by most retellings of the incident. These Marines have been through enough and now its time to allow the wheels of justice to turn and give them their day in court.
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.