July 11, 2007

Murtha's "In Cold Blood" Slur Fails to Impress Marine Hearing Officer

In November of 2005, Democrat John Murtha (Okinawa), accused American Marines of cold-blooded murder:

A US lawmaker and former Marine colonel accused US Marines of killing innocent Iraqi civilians after a Marine comrade had been killed by a roadside bomb.

"Our troops overreacted because of the pressure on them and they killed innocent civilians in cold blood," John Murtha told reporters. The November 19 incident occurred in Haditha, Iraq.

Today, a Marine hearing officer said that charges against the first Marine coming to trial should be dropped:

The government's case against a Marine accused of fatally shooting Iraqi civilians in the town of Haditha lacks sufficient evidence to go to a court-martial and should be dropped, a hearing officer determined.

The murder charges were brought against Lance Cpl. Justin L. Sharratt for killing three Iraqi brothers in November 2005.

The hearing officer, Lt. Col. Paul Ware, wrote in a report released by the defense Tuesday that those charges were based on unreliable witness accounts, insupportable forensic evidence and questionable legal theories. He also wrote that the case could have dangerous consequences on the battlefield, where soldiers might hesitate during critical moments when facing an enemy.

"The government version is unsupported by independent evidence," Ware wrote in the 18-page report. "To believe the government version of facts is to disregard clear and convincing evidence to the contrary."

A final decision on whether or not to drop the case will be made by Lt. Gen. James Mattis.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at July 11, 2007 10:49 AM

This is NOT getting the coverage it deserves or shall we say the coverage it would be getting if the recommendation was for a court marshal.
Thanks for covering it!

Posted by: DF at July 11, 2007 03:16 PM

Yay! Murtha should be the one court-martialed.

Posted by: DirtCrashr at July 11, 2007 05:30 PM
Yay! Murtha should be the one court-martialed.

F, YEAH! COURT MARTIALED BECAUSE HE...what, now? I missed the memo.

Posted by: Doc Washboard at July 11, 2007 06:04 PM


"In cold blood" is a slur? From what I found of the details, it's a simple description of the situation:

The news came in anticipation of the results of the military's investigation, which found that the 24 unarmed Iraqis—including children as young as two years old and women—were killed by 12 members of Kilo Company in the 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division.

Say what you want about the intent of the soldiers, or what they expected to find, or where they thought the firing was coming from--you can't convince me that the two-year-old was an armed threat.

Posted by: Doc Washboard at July 11, 2007 06:14 PM

Only the naive and the disingenuous use wikipedia for source material.

Posted by: Actual at July 11, 2007 07:20 PM

Holy cow, I didn't realize that Sharratt's parents are Murtha's constituents:

Sharratt said she and her husband also are enraged with Murtha, in whose district they reside, saying they believe he spoke out during his re-election campaign without the benefit of firsthand knowledge. They haven't tried to contact the congressman or his staff, believing that could harm their son's case.

"When this is over and done with, that's another story," Sharratt said.

via Opinion Journal


Posted by: capitano at July 11, 2007 07:29 PM
Only the naive and the disingenuous use wikipedia for source material.

First, Actual, bite me.

Second, point me to the link that proves that the kid was packing heat.

Posted by: Doc Washboard at July 11, 2007 07:35 PM

Ad homs and wikipedia source material.

You're quite the skilled debater, Doc.

I wasn't in Haditha and neither were you.

It's combat. Stuff happens.

Let the Marines sort it out.

Posted by: Actual at July 11, 2007 08:00 PM

No, Actual, if this is the definition of "ad hominem"...

1. appealing to one's prejudices, emotions, or special interests rather than to one's intellect or reason. 2. attacking an opponent's character rather than answering his argument.

...then I'd say that, with "disingenuous" and "naive," you cracked the seal on those. Oh: also with the whole not-answering-the-argument thing.

I've had it up to here with the namecalling bushwah, as well as the condescending "me am smarter" attitude from people who, upon further interaction, I realize wouldn't have been intelligent enough to erase the stray pencil marks on my SATs.

I know that I'm making two big assumptions here--first that you're conservative and, second, that you're a fool. You've had two posts to prove me wrong, though, and you haven't done much in that direction.

Do you have nothing else up your sleeve, Dr. Science? Have you no other retort than the personal attack? I challenged you to produce the link that shows that the two-year-old was armed when this attack happened or hold your tongue.

If you don't like my links, then bring a better one of your own or just pipe down. I come to this site precisely to avoid the kind of crap you're laying down. This neighborhood's better than that.

Also: take your "stuff happens" and stuff it right up your arse. I can't fathom how an actual human being could have that attitude about the death of a two-year-old.

When it comes right down to it, though, I really don't want to understand that kind of mindset.

Posted by: Doc Washboard at July 11, 2007 08:21 PM

I sure hope whoever the Marine suing Murtha is weighs in with both barrels!
..."Murtha, a Pennsylvania Democrat, is being sued by one of the accused Marines for libel. He had told The Philadelphia Inquirer that Gen. Michael Hagee had given him the information on which he based his charge that Marines killed innocent civilians."...

The photo here of Murtha receiving a Bronze Star is prominently displayed on a "Vets For Murtha" website. Question: Why would the award be given in a dimly lit gym with noone looking on?
Copied the photo and lightened it. Nobody but some officer and an aide. Seems real suspicious to me. Like, you think they didn't want anybody to see it awarded? And you know, no copies of his supposed (2) purple hearts can be found.

Posted by: 1st Cav RVN at July 11, 2007 11:19 PM

Nice strawman you got going there. Yes some civilians were killed in the engagement however, the Marines are not to blame but the subhuman scum who use civilians as camouflage and you know it. Because of the so called humanitarians that insist these subhuman’s have Geneva convention protections the terrorist subhuman scum see no reason not to continue to use civilian populations as shields and cover. People like you are the reason terrorists get away with this over and over again with no consequences and will continue to do it, you and those like you are the reason those kids died and why civilian populations are so victimized by terrorists! The minute we start summarily executing these subhuman’s will be when they stop doing what they do. It's your's and all the other bleating libtards fault this continues to happen, how does it feel to have the blood of innocents on your hands?

Posted by: Oldcrow at July 12, 2007 07:55 AM

Oldcrow, you're responding to what you wish I'd said, rather than what I actually said. Had you read my post instead of responding in some Pavlovian snit of "bleating libtards blah blah blah blood on your hands blah blah blah people like you," you would have seen that my argument was with the fact that CY characterized Murtha's description of the killings as a slur.

You may or may not applaud the killing of children, as Actual does up above, but you can't tell me that the two-year-old was a threat. I mean, you can, I guess, but you'd look like a fool if you tried.


he minute we start summarily executing these subhuman’s will be when they stop doing what they do.

You mean kind of like the way there's no violent crime in Texas?

Posted by: Doc Washboard at July 12, 2007 08:11 AM

Listen, people, I'll get off the soapbox if we can, at the very least, agree that the killing of unarmed children is not something to be cheered or shrugged off lightly.

Posted by: Doc Washboard at July 12, 2007 08:20 AM
Listen, people, I'll get off the soapbox if we can, at the very least, agree that the killing of unarmed children is not something to be cheered or shrugged off lightly.

Are you saying you're pro-life, Doc?

Posted by: Confederate Yankee at July 12, 2007 08:50 AM

According to yesterday's LA Times, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service had information that would have cleared the marines before their hearing, but failed to release it to the defense. An Intell officer had a recorded minute-by-minute account of the engagement. Basically, they all got Nifonged.

The whole thing looks like a political set up job, driven by a Time Magazine article based on a doctored stringer video tape. As a member of the House Armed Services Committee, Murtha could be presumed to have had classified knowledge about the incident, making his statements very damaging. At a minimum, he owes these men a public apology.

BTW: Murtha wasn't a real marine. He was a reservist activated for a year at DaNang to get his ticket punched.

Posted by: arch at July 12, 2007 10:11 AM

As soon as the cells actually become a child, I'm right with you, CY!

Posted by: Doc Washboard at July 12, 2007 10:47 AM

"subhuman scum ... these subhumans... the terrorist subhuman scum" - these are the very words, the Nazis used to deny the protections of the Geneva Convention to WW2-POWs and -partisans in eastern Europe 65 years ago. This language reveals an attitude that should be very alarming.


Posted by: he at July 12, 2007 04:23 PM

I served with LtGen Mattis about 12 years ago, when he was CO of the 7th Marine Regiment - he'll review everything and probably have the charges dropped against this Marine. He's one of those that will cut through the BS to get to the truth - and hand you your @$$ if you lie to him.

Posted by: fmfnavydoc at July 12, 2007 08:53 PM

Sorry he but that dog don't hunt.
You see the members of the armed forces who were captured in WWII wore uniforms, were members of the armed forces of a signatory nation and carried Geneva conventions ID cards. AQI is none of these. The partisans in WWII were covered by the Geneva conventions and by the way we the U.S. and allies executed many german soldiers that were caught in the wrong uniform or civilian clothes as spies. And last but not least read this story and tell me AQI members are human beings. Below is a quote from Michael Yon's post:

"At first, he said, they would only target Shia, but over time the new al Qaeda directed attacks against Sunni, and then anyone who thought differently. The official reported that on a couple of occasions in Baqubah, al Qaeda invited to lunch families they wanted to convert to their way of thinking. In each instance, the family had a boy, he said, who was about 11 years old. As LT David Wallach interpreted the man’s words, I saw Wallach go blank and silent. He stopped interpreting for a moment. I asked Wallach, “What did he say?” Wallach said that at these luncheons, the families were sat down to eat. And then their boy was brought in with his mouth stuffed. The boy had been baked. Al Qaeda served the boy to his family."

Still want to argue we are dealing with Human being's here? If you say yes then you are a fool.

Posted by: Oldcrow at July 13, 2007 07:51 AM

DW, yes "in cold blood" IS a slur against those Marines, of the worst kind. Being from one formerly of our own so he presumes to carry the authority of having been-there-done-that, which, ala Sen. John Kerry, he has not. His baseless accusation carries a traitorous sting that will not go unanswered.

Grab your juice box and put your football helmet on, the short bus is here for you kid.

If you think for one effing second that a United States Marine, in combat, saw a two year old, raised his rifle, sighted in and shot a child, you have boldly plunged an entirely new strata of ignorance. Or maybe I just haven't run across you before.

You weren't there, nor was I, and it's damn sure Murtha wasn't. Maybe a grenade blew a refrigerator onto the kid. Maybe he stepped on a detonator for an IED they were making when the raid happened. His mom could have wrapped him in an explosive blanket which would have made him a legal target. We don't know and Murtha sure as hell didn't when he blabbed "murder in cold blood' to a more than willing bloodthirsty media, a week before he could have been briefed.

Commandants of the Marine Corps do not hang around Congressional Offices jabbering details of daily sitreps.

You latch onto the lefty narrative of dead kid =bad Marine faster than a hobo on a ham sandwich. Possessing no knowledge of the real facts. Now that the evidence is exonerating SSgt Werlich and his squad one by one, by facts assembled by the INTELL OFFICER WHO RECORDED THE ENTIRE ENGAGEMENT, the liberal hope of an Iraqi Mai Lai is swirling down the drain, hopefully taking Murtha's political career with it.

When your "viable cells" can do a little more than pass the SAT, maybe you'll have credibility on the subject. Until then, I see an name-tag and a hairnet in your future.

Posted by: Smokin at July 14, 2007 07:27 AM

As soon as the cells actually become a child

And that would be when?

Posted by: Purple Avenger at July 15, 2007 12:43 AM