Sitrep from Task Force 1/7 Commander
Diggers Vs. Taliban

Haditha- Who stole my massacre?

BAGHDAD, Oct. 5 — Last year, when accounts of the killing of 24 Iraqis in Haditha by a group of marines came to light, it seemed that the Iraq war had produced its defining atrocity, just as the conflict in Vietnam had spawned the My Lai massacre a generation ago.

I don't know about you, but I read that sentence as an example of a sick bias. Why should a war require a defining atrocity? It almost seems like a wish fulfilled, Abu Ghraib was great and useful but it never had that additional bonus of women and children slaughtered. War is an awful thing, but the idea that it needs and could be known by a "defining atrocity" is awful as well. Now that opportunity has been lost.

But on Thursday, a senior military investigator recommended dropping murder charges against the ranking enlisted marine accused in the 2005 killings, just as he had done earlier in the cases of two other marines charged in the case. The recommendation may well have ended prosecutors’ chances of winning any murder convictions in the killings of the apparently unarmed men, women and children.

Can you feel the disappointment?

Experts in military justice say the Haditha prosecutions were compromised by several factors having to do with the quality of the evidence, including a delayed investigation and the decision to conduct hearings in the United States, far from the scene of the killings and possible Iraqi witnesses.

Do you see the missing factor he completely neglects to mention? Maybe no crimes were freaking committed. Huh? Maybe that is what hampered the effort to win murder convictions, and note the use of the word "win" not obtain. I am unable to read this as anything other than a requiem for the "defining atrocity that should have been".

This writer did a decent job of chronicling the case against MSG Anderson and CPT Staffel so it is a bit surprising to see such a nakedly biased bit like this. It is plenty fair to look at the difficulties faced in gathering evidence to try and prosecute these men. It is low and shameful to fail to note that all charges were dropped against 5 of the 6 and maybe, just maybe that was because they were innocent. I know, I know that's crazy talk.