P.C. Prosecution of ‘Haditha Marines’ Nears End

Enough political correctness!  The trial of Marine Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich, one of the so-called “Haditha Marines” mentioned in the foreword of my book, Three Days In August: A U.S. Army Special Forces Soldier’s Fight For Military Justice, ended today when he agreed to plead guilty to one count of negligent dereliction of duty, according to a report in the North County Times of Escondido, Calif.

Sergeant Wuterich was on trial for manslaughter and related charges for his role in the deaths of 24 Iraqi civilians in 2005. After spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on legal fees, seven other Marines, including LTC Jeffrey Chessani, either had the charges against them dropped in exchange for their testimony or were acquitted entirely during courts-martial proceedings.

Though the collective prosecution of the Haditha Marines can only be described as a “Charlie-Foxtrot” at best, it pales in comparison to what Army Sgt. First Class Kelly A. Stewart went through during three days in August 2009.

You can read the story about Stewart, a highly-decorated combat-veteran Green Beret, in my book, Three Days In August: A U.S. Army Special Forces Soldier’s Fight For Military Justice.

To read reviews of the book, click here.

For information about ordering a copy of the book, click here.

Congressman John Murtha Dead at 77

Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.) has died at the age of 77 after succumbing to an infection following gall bladder surgery a few weeks ago.

Aside from the fact that he served his country as a Marine in Vietnam, I can’t say that I liked him much.  Still, his passing is newsworthy.

Congressman Murtha first found its way to the pages of this blog Dec. 6, 2006, as the subject of one of my earliest posts, Anti-War Congressman Earns ‘Warning Label’.  Below are links to 15 other posts in which I mentioned the Pennsylvania Democrat’s name:

  • Nightly Newsers Full of Nightly Surprises — Katie Couric surprised everyone with a “hit piece” on Murtha and the so-called “charities” in his home town of Johnstown that have reaped billions in Department of Defense contracts without having paid any taxes.
  • Headlines Paint Poor Picture of Murtha’s Past — A federal judge refused Friday to dismiss a defamation case against Rep. John P. “Jack” Murtha (D-Penn.) and ordered the Pennsylvania Democrat to give a sworn deposition about his comments alleging “cold-blooded murder and war crimes” by unnamed soldiers in connection with Iraqi civilian deaths.
  • Marine’s Family Wants John Murtha Censured — One week after Marine Corps LCpl. Justin L. Sharratt was acquitted of all charges, his family demanded that Congress censure Murtha for saying Marines over-reacted and killed civilians “in cold blood”.
  • Johnson ‘Dresses Down’ Murtha — Sam Johnson, a Vietnam-era Marine Corps veteran and former prisoner of war who now serves the 3rd District of Texas in the U.S. House of Representatives, gave Murtha a piece of his mind regarding his stance on the war.
  • Marine Faces Bogus Charges, Needs Your Help — Murtha was an outspoken anti-war critic who publicly accused the four Marines of being “cold-blooded murderers” and high ranking officers of “covering it up.”
  • ‘Flying Lincoln Bedroom’ Close to Reality for Pelosi — As chair of the House Appropriations Committee, Murtha was the enabler who helped to make it possible for Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to waste millions of taxpayer dollars via the use of military aircraft for her travel junkets.

I could have written a lot more about Murtha, including the fact that he was caught on tape negotiating bribes with Arab Sheiks during the FBI’s 1980 Abscam investigation and somehow escaped prosecution as an un-indicted co-conspirator.  Instead, however, I would rather use my time and “ink” on better subjects.

Six Important Facts About the Assault Charges Three Navy SEALs Face for Doing Their Jobs

In recent years, I’ve published too many posts about members of the Armed Forces facing undeserved charges:

  • First, it was the so-called “Haditha Marines” who faced trumped-up charges, thanks largely to idiots like Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.) declaring them guilty before a mainstream media eager to paint them in a bad light.
  • Next, it was Army Ranger 1st Lt. Michael Behenna who was wrongly convicted of executing an Iraqi detainee, Ali Mansur, on May 16, 2008, and is now serving a 20-year sentence at Fort Leavenworth, Kan.
  • Now, I’m following the case of three Navy SEALs facing assault charges related to their capture of Ahmed Hashim Abed.  Who is Abed?  He’s the alleged planner of the March 2004 ambush, killing and mutilation of four Blackwater contractors in Fallujah, Iraq.  The SEALS gave this enemy combatant piece of dirt a fat lip while apprehending him.

As my first investigative reporting effort related to the SEALs’ case, I offer six important facts about the case you’re likely not to read about in the mainstream media supplied to me by a source whom I cannot name inside the Pentagon:

1) The charges or accusations against the three Navy SEALs were not made from within the SEAL community.  Sources tell me they came from someone within the Navy’s Master-at-Arm community.

2) The SEALs were presented with the option of going to Captain’s Mast for these charges but declined this form of non-judicial punishment and opted for court-martial instead.  Why?  Because they did not want to be judged by those outside of the SEAL community and believed the court-martial route would assure them the representation necessary to prove their innocence.

3) At no time did anyone within the Naval Special Warfare community have any control over these accusations or events other than providing advice or guidance to the accused SEALs.

4) The integrity of the chain of custody of the prisoner is at question.

5) There are extenuating circumstances that indicate there is questionable evidence in some of the accusations made.

6) Evidence will come out in a court-martial that might not have come out in a Captain’s Mast in favor of the accused SEALs.

* * *

Cross-posted at BigGovernment.com.

UPDATE 12/08/2009 at 3:17 p.m. Central: A Navy SEAL friend of mine advised me of a fund set up to help defray legal expenses of these American heroes. According to this site, You can deposit your donation via PayPal or “directly into the Navy SEALs Fund account by visiting one of the Chase Branches closest to you and providing the Account Name: ‘Navy SEALs Fund’ or Account Number: 834325318.”

Related:

Charges Against Navy SEALs Published

Retired Navy SEAL Questions Nation’s Mental State

Help Boot Jack Murtha From Congress!

Click image to view video.

Click image to view video.

I learned through a comment on this post that an effort has been launched to help Pennsylvania Republican Bill Russell raise $200,000 by Sept. 11 en route to ousting turncoat Congressman Jack Murtha from the 12th Congressional District seat he’s held far too long.

Not familiar with Murtha?  He’s the Pennsylvania Democrat who described the so-called “Haditha Marines” as “cold blooded killers” during interviews and media opportunities over a period of several months.  When the facts were heard, court rulings revealed dramatically different stories of personal courage under fire and true heroism.  Better yet, seven of eight Marines have been found not guilty of all charges.  One has yet to go to court.

Lt. Col. Bill Russell, on the other hand, is a survivor of the Sept. 11, 2001, attack on the Pentagon and is running a grassroots campaign aimed at both setting the record straight and removing one of Washington’s most-entrenched power brokers from his comfortable perch on Capitol Hill.

Click here or on the image at right to view Colonel Russell’s latest campaign advertisement, an effort that spells out clearly the differences between a turncoat Congressman and a modern-day American hero.

Help Bill defeat Congressman Murtha in November. Click Here now!

Another ‘Greatest Generation’ Hero Passes

Eric Dowling

Eric Dowling

When I learned of the passing of Eric “Digger” Dowling, another hero from the “Greatest Generation,” I couldn’t help but think about how his efforts may have been received by anti-war and environmental-extremist liberals had they taken place today.

In case you’re not familiar with his story, Dowling was a British man whose efforts as a prisoner of war in World War II Germany inspired the 1963 film, The Great Escape. He passed away July 21, one day shy of his 93rd birthday, according to this Associated Press report today.

In The Great Escape, which I’ve viewed countless times, Allied prisoners forged documents, made maps and dug three tunnels through which prisoners attempted to escape on several occasions. Had they done the same thing in this day and age, they would probably face courts-martial proceedings (think Haditha Marines) — or worse yet, trial by a War Crimes Tribunal. for committing fraud, producing counterfeit documents and violating terms of some global environmental law that requires individuals to seek permits, conduct surveys and prepare environmental impact statements prior to digging.

Just a thought. For more about the Greatest Generation, read My Father’s War Stories from World War II.

Senior ‘Haditha Marine’ Found Not Guilty

On six occasions during the past two years, I’ve highlighted the case of Marine Corps Lt. Col. Jeffrey Chessani and his fellow Marines making up the group that came to be known in the media as the “Haditha Marines.” Today, I offer more news — VERY GOOD NEWS — about Colonel Chessani: Today, he was found not guilty on all counts, according to news reports like this one.

So much for what Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.) and his contention that the Marines over-reacted and killed 24 Iraqi civilians “in cold blood” in 2005. A military court found otherwise. Goes to show how out of touch liberals like Murtha really are.

Stay involved, folks. Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich, still faces court martial. More on that later.

Hat tip: Gateway Pundit

Blogger to Make Guest Appearance on BBC

A BBC Radio producer called this morning to invite me to appear as a guest during the first hour of today’s WORLD Have Your Say program that airs at Noon (Central) or 5 p.m. (GMT). Today’s topic: When does diplomacy become appeasement?

After turning down several invitations during the past year, I decided to accept today’s invitation because of the subject matter being discussed. This will mark my fourth appearance on the program in the past two years.

During my most-recent appearance in April 2007, I discussed the crisis in Darfur. Prior to that, show topics included Nancy Pelosi, and the case of the so-called “Haditha Marines.”

If you’re interested in participating in the program, there are several ways to do that:

Call: +44 20 70 83 72 72

Send a text message: +44 77 86 20 60 80

Send an e-mail message: worldhaveyoursay@bbc.co.uk

Listen live here.

Listen to the podcast here.

Check back this afternoon as I’ll be posting an update after the show.