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Drone's Video May Aid Marine Inquiry
Washington Post via washingtonpost.com ^ | May 30, 2006 | Thomas E. Ricks

Posted on 05/29/2006 9:45:20 PM PDT by Lancey Howard

Military investigators piecing together what happened in the Iraqi town of Haditha on Nov. 19 -- when Marines allegedly killed two dozen civilians -- have access to video shot by an unmanned drone aircraft that was circling overhead for at least part of that day, military defense lawyers familiar with the case said in interviews.

It is unclear whether the video obtained from that day's flight captured the violence, said the lawyers, who have consulted with Marines who were there. One lawyer said investigators have reviewed surveillance footage taken hours after the shootings, which showed the Marines returning to the town to remove the bodies of the Iraqis.

Yesterday, Marine Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said charges will be issued against troops if the evidence merits it. For now, however, "it would be premature for me to judge" the outcome of the two U.S. military investigations, Pace said on CBS's "The Early Show." "We'll get to the bottom of the investigation and take the appropriate action."

(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: briones; drone; dui; haditha; iraq; peterpace; roelbriones; roelryanbriones; ryanbriones; uav; uavs; wousa
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1 posted on 05/29/2006 9:45:22 PM PDT by Lancey Howard
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To: Lancey Howard

The emphasis in the last paragraph above was added by me.


2 posted on 05/29/2006 9:47:08 PM PDT by Lancey Howard
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To: Lancey Howard

Apparently, too many freepers are falling for this stinkbomb from the MSM/Jihadis


3 posted on 05/29/2006 9:52:00 PM PDT by pissant
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To: Lancey Howard
Less than two days after coming home he [Briones] was charged with stealing a pickup truck, leaving the scene of the accident, driving under the influence of alcohol and resisting arrest, the newspaper said.

Interesting, this is the first I have seen this mentioned. Maybe I missed it. But it does explain his mother's poor, poor baby attitude...it's not his fault, it's Iraq...

4 posted on 05/29/2006 9:54:05 PM PDT by Protect the Bill of Rights
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To: Protect the Bill of Rights

Shades of Jesse Macbeth?


5 posted on 05/29/2006 9:55:06 PM PDT by pissant
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To: Protect the Bill of Rights

Whoa.... yeah I missed that very interesting information, too.
I don't trust Briones as far as I can throw him.


6 posted on 05/29/2006 9:59:19 PM PDT by Lancey Howard
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To: Protect the Bill of Rights

Oh boy. That explains his mother "discussing" the "massacre" with the MSM while frequently mentioning that her little boy was suffering from "post traumatic stress syndrome." Here we go again.


7 posted on 05/29/2006 10:01:00 PM PDT by FlingWingFlyer (Dat you Jesse?)
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To: Lancey Howard

Here's a letter from Marine Lt. Pantano who was courts marshalled last year. He blasts Murtha for convicting these Marines in the media.

Mr. Murtha's Rush to Judgment
Sunday, May 28, 2006; B06
A year ago I was charged with two counts of premeditated murder and with other war crimes related to my service in Iraq. My wife and mother sat in a Camp Lejeune courtroom for five days while prosecutors painted me as a monster; then autopsy evidence blew their case out of the water, and the Marine Corps dropped all charges against me ["Marine Officer Cleared in Killing of Two Iraqis," news story, May 27, 2005].
So I know something about rushing to judgment, which is why I am so disturbed by the remarks of Rep. John P. Murtha (D-Pa.) regarding the Haditha incident ["Death Toll Rises in Haditha Attack, GOP Leader Says," news story, May 20]. Mr. Murtha said, "Our troops overreacted because of the pressure on them, and they killed innocent civilians in cold blood."
In the United States, we have a civil and military court system that relies on an investigatory and judicial process to make determinations based on evidence. The system is not served by such grand pronouncements of horror and guilt without the accuser even having read the investigative report.
Mr. Murtha's position is particularly suspect when he is quoted by news services as saying that the strain of deployment "has caused them [the Marines] to crack in situations like this." Not only is he certain of the Marines' guilt but he claims to know the cause, which he conveniently attributes to a policy he opposes.
Members of the U.S. military serving in Iraq need more than Mr. Murtha's pseudo-sympathy. They need leaders to stand with them even in the hardest of times. Let the courts decide if these Marines are guilty. They haven't even been charged with a crime yet, so it is premature to presume their guilt -- unless that presumption is tied to a political motive.
ILARIO PANTANO
Jacksonville, N.C.
The writer served as a Marine enlisted man in the Persian Gulf War and most recently as a platoon commander in Iraq.
© 2006 The Washington Post Company


8 posted on 05/29/2006 10:02:19 PM PDT by jazusamo (DIANA IREY for Congress, PA 12th District: Retire murtha.)
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To: Protect the Bill of Rights

Cripes, and I POSTED this! I guess I got to the last paragraph and took for granted that it was just a nothing-new closing paragraph. Sheesh! Think I'll link that paragraph to the other Briones threads.

Semper fidelis,
LH


9 posted on 05/29/2006 10:02:22 PM PDT by Lancey Howard
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To: FlingWingFlyer

Okay. I know. I'm "attacking the messenger instead of killing the message" or however that goofy Liberal saying goes. I'll give myself up to the post police now.


10 posted on 05/29/2006 10:03:02 PM PDT by FlingWingFlyer (Dat you Jesse?)
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To: Lancey Howard

The MSM is having orgasms at the thought of this being true. Trust me, they will do all they can to make it true also. I'll wait for the evidence.


11 posted on 05/29/2006 10:05:06 PM PDT by umgud (FR, NASCAR & 24, way too much butt time)
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To: Lancey Howard

Sometimes I read the articles too fast and miss these details, surprised I caught that one.

I think it is very important to the story. I want to believe a Marine who has just returned home from war. I can see an argument being made for Post Traumatic Stress if this had happened 6 months after his return.

But 2 days? Goes to character.


12 posted on 05/29/2006 10:09:05 PM PDT by Protect the Bill of Rights
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To: Lancey Howard

Al Queda accidentally killed two of their allies from CBS today. Where is the outcry? Oh yeah, there was a soldier killed also and several wounded. Where is the outcry?
Oh and wasn't there another 50 or so Iraqis killed today by roadside bombs? Where is the outcry?

And wasn't a Marine killed in that village by a IED? And how is placement of an explosive of that magnitude not witnessed and covered for by the locals? Was there not an ambush set up by the barbarians? Was there a battle that lasted for 5 hours? yes! So what should the focus be on, the people who set up the ambush, or the Marines who finished their job and killed the ambushers?

I side with the Marines here. This whole story behind Murtha smells like a rat.


13 posted on 05/29/2006 10:09:30 PM PDT by o_zarkman44 (ELECT SOME WORKERS AND REMOVE THE JERKERS!.)
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To: Lancey Howard

everyone needs to remember this is "a few people" and not ALL of the military.


14 posted on 05/29/2006 10:22:34 PM PDT by Echo Talon
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To: Protect the Bill of Rights

That is pretty stinking important information to be thrown in at the end of the story. This clown Briones is obviously "the first Marine to speak out" because he is preparing his lame criminal defense.


15 posted on 05/29/2006 10:23:11 PM PDT by Lancey Howard
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To: Howlin; Peach; Dog

lookitdis bito nfo


16 posted on 05/29/2006 10:28:15 PM PDT by piasa (Attitude Adjustments Offered Here Free of Charge)
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To: Lancey Howard

BINGO!!!!


17 posted on 05/29/2006 10:34:35 PM PDT by Protect the Bill of Rights
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To: Lancey Howard
I just don't see a whole platoon of Marines doing this. I know Marines. I am a Marine. This just doesn't pass the smell test. I could be talking from my heart not my head, but this whole thing doesn't make sense.

Semper Fi
18 posted on 05/29/2006 10:51:44 PM PDT by skimask (People who care what you do don't matter.......People who matter don't care what you do.)
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To: skimask

I'm witchoo. Not a Marine, but let's wait until the facts emerge. God Bless You for your service to our country, and God Bless every member of our military doing their duty in Iraq.


19 posted on 05/29/2006 11:07:23 PM PDT by karnage
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To: jazusamo
I was aware of the resolution of the case against Lt. Pantano. As soon as the trial imploded and it became obvious that the Lt. was a target in a political frame up by anti American elements, things got real quiet. Michael Savage, as unusual as he is, pegged it right from the start, anti American operatives fabricated evidence and attempted to frame Pantano. Judging from the MSM glee and the interesting circumstances plus the players, I propose that this is round two, with the same cast in the background.

My main concern is that like IED's, they get better with practice, I don't want to allow this to be the frame that worked.

The MSM are writing in a manner that implies the Marines are already proved guilty, a tactic they seem unwilling to use on, for instance, William Jefferson D-La. I wonder why. Probably Goebbels could explain it to me.

When these Marines are exonerated, Murtha should have to pay under the Patriot act in Gitmo, I would do the honors.

20 posted on 05/29/2006 11:21:43 PM PDT by Navy Patriot (How come Mexican illegals don't sneak into Cuba?)
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To: Navy Patriot
It's not a case anymore of, "Is the MSM lying?"

It's now a case of, "How is it lying: commission (telling us falsehoods) or omission (not telling the whole story)?"
21 posted on 05/29/2006 11:41:37 PM PDT by decal (My name is "decal" and I approve this tagline)
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To: Navy Patriot
I propose that this is round two, with the same cast in the background.

I believe you could very well be right. It's hard for me to believe a platoon of Marines would do this or that a platoon would cover something like this up for a few. It just doesn't smell right.

As for Murtha, I can't see one single reason for him to come forward like he did and crucify the Marines unless he's starting to suffer from the onset of dementia, and I'm serious. He sparked the media's onslaught of this even if they were ready for it.

It's hard to know how it'll play out but much damage has already been done, even if it turns out to be bogus. Murtha should be impeached but the next best thing will be if Diana Irey beats him in November.

22 posted on 05/29/2006 11:44:25 PM PDT by jazusamo (DIANA IREY for Congress, PA 12th District: Retire murtha.)
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To: jazusamo
It's hard for me to believe a platoon of Marines would do this or that a platoon would cover something like this up for a few. It just doesn't smell right.

I make the same assessment, I worked covert insertion/recovery of Marines and they are all about the mission, no wild card stuff.

23 posted on 05/30/2006 12:00:43 AM PDT by Navy Patriot (How come Mexican illegals don't sneak into Cuba?)
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To: Navy Patriot

"I make the same assessment, I worked covert insertion/recovery of Marines and they are all about the mission, no wild card stuff."

Doesn't matter. Those marines are already condemned in the world community. This story is being played world wide and being used for recruitment of more terrorists.

There are two sets of rules in play here. One side is doing their best to comply with the law and behave honorably. The other has no rules and will do anything to further their agenda of hurting Bush and America in general. Remember "its fake but accurate".

The MSM is rapidly becoming more obsolete. Our real agenda should be ways to expedite that and put these traitors out on the street or in jail.


24 posted on 05/30/2006 12:30:14 AM PDT by driftdiver
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To: skimask

I'm not a Marine, but I agree. Perhaps one Marine going around the bend, but several all at once?


25 posted on 05/30/2006 12:49:54 AM PDT by skr (We cannot play innocents abroad in a world that is not innocent.-- Ronald Reagan)
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To: o_zarkman44
Al Queda accidentally killed two of their allies from CBS today.

An absolutely despicable thing to say. Those two people were employees of a legitimate American corporation, who were doing their job the best they knew how. If the military chain of command, at any level, did not want those folks tagging along, they wouldn't have been there. Your comment is disgusting and you should ask that it be removed.

26 posted on 05/30/2006 1:03:10 AM PDT by leadpenny
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To: Lancey Howard; Coop

bump


27 posted on 05/30/2006 1:04:28 AM PDT by RaceBannon (ma(Prov 28:1 KJV) The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion.)
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To: skr; skimask; karnage
Perhaps one Marine going around the bend, but several all at once?

Two word: My Lai.

28 posted on 05/30/2006 1:07:46 AM PDT by leadpenny
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To: driftdiver
There are two sets of rules in play here.

Well, yes. Re my "The MSM are writing in a manner that implies the Marines are already proved guilty, a tactic they seem unwilling to use on, for instance, William Jefferson D-La."

Our real agenda should be ways to expedite that and put these traitors out on the street or in jail.

Well, yes. Re my "When these Marines are exonerated, Murtha should have to pay under the Patriot act in Gitmo, I would do the honors."

While I agree that the Marines have been slandered deliberately worldwide, (and it will be used as a terrorist recruitment tool) they would be hated anyway. We can't please these scumbag foreigners that will make up and believe any lie about an American (with or without MSM help) and we should NEVER try.

The speed of the self destruction of the MSM is largely dependent on them. Unfortunately, they have to screw up and get caught (RaTher) and we won't frame them (two sets of rules). As much as I want it now, I always have to wait.

About all I can suggest is additional training for our military on politically motivated frame ups and how to pro actively frustrate them.

29 posted on 05/30/2006 1:26:50 AM PDT by Navy Patriot (How come Mexican illegals don't sneak into Cuba?)
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To: decal

Agreed.


30 posted on 05/30/2006 1:28:39 AM PDT by Navy Patriot (How come Mexican illegals don't sneak into Cuba?)
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To: Navy Patriot
Unfortunately, they have to screw up and get caught (RaTher) and we won't frame them (two sets of rules).

I was thinking of ways to pave their way and not to frame them. Framing implies we would have to lie about their behavior. Dont htink thats necessary.

31 posted on 05/30/2006 1:31:05 AM PDT by driftdiver
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To: Lancey Howard

Friendly Fire Incident.


32 posted on 05/30/2006 1:36:14 AM PDT by Candor7
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To: Echo Talon

AP is already publishing "analysis" saying this will drive down support for the war and further damage US President Bush.

How can Bush can out in front of this story and not let that happen.

How does a President at 35% approval deal with this?


33 posted on 05/30/2006 2:47:39 AM PDT by Patriot from Philly
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To: Lancey Howard
At Abu Ghrabib, the pictures were released by defense lawyers for the soldiers involved. Why they thought that would help I don't understand.

In fact, the first one who did this got a very tough sentence. Frederick, I believe his name was. His father was whining about how he contacted the military and told them to drop the charges.

The now deceased David Hackworth was involved as was Seymour Hirsh, although most of his reporting turned out to be false.
34 posted on 05/30/2006 2:50:44 AM PDT by Patriot from Philly
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To: Patriot from Philly

Strange how the President is at fault for everything that every member of military does. Especially when his military has investigated and has punished members of the military in the past.


35 posted on 05/30/2006 2:51:55 AM PDT by Echo Talon
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To: leadpenny

CBS as an organization in general is about as much an ally of Al Queda as "Pinch" Sulzberger is...


36 posted on 05/30/2006 3:18:18 AM PDT by rlmorel ("Innocence seldom utters outraged shrieks. Guilt does." Whittaker Chambers)
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To: FlingWingFlyer
From the CNN article:

"...The Wrights declined to say whether their son witnessed the killings or what he thought of the allegations against other members of his unit. He was under so much pressure because of the investigation that he consulted an attorney, they said. He has also experienced psychological trauma...."

Terms like psychological trauma when used by the familes usually indicate close collaboration with lawyers. "This is what you NEED to say..." they are told.

Well, I guess that old saying that Lawyers suck until you need em' is true.

37 posted on 05/30/2006 3:27:08 AM PDT by rlmorel ("Innocence seldom utters outraged shrieks. Guilt does." Whittaker Chambers)
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To: Lancey Howard

There's going to have to be some really compelling evidence before I turn on this Marine unit. None of this so far passes the smell test.


38 posted on 05/30/2006 3:39:59 AM PDT by Kakaze (American: a Citizen of the United States of America........not just some resident of said continent)
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To: skr
Not several gone berserk but a whole Marine unit for three to five hours (and now it has been revealed) under the watchful eye of a predator drone that a commander can use to study the situation and tape all the events as well.

This doesn't smell like a cover up any more this smells like a set up of Muthra and company, that perhaps they have been fed tibbits of info that will make them run off at the mouth, and at the right moment they will be exposed to the truth and will be totally discredited and disgraced.

39 posted on 05/30/2006 4:10:32 AM PDT by usmcobra (Marines out of uniform might as well be nude, since they can no longer be recognized as Marines.)
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To: Lancey Howard

"There's a ton of information that isn't out there yet," said one lawyer, who, like the others, would speak only on the condition of anonymity because a potential client has not been charged. The radio message traffic, he said, will provide a different view of the incident than has been presented by Rep. John P. Murtha (D-Pa.) and other members of Congress. For example, he said, contrary to Murtha's account, it will show that the Marines came under small-arms fire after the roadside explosion.

One of the military lawyers said Nov. 19 was the 3rd Battalion's "hottest day" in Iraq, and was unusually violent even for al Anbar Province, which is where the insurgency began and where it remains extremely active.

In addition to drone surveillance that day, AV-8 Harriers were dropping bombs, helicopters were evacuating wounded, and a large firefight occurred about one-third of a mile from the site of the civilian shootings, said several people familiar with the investigation.

Also yesterday, the Los Angeles Times reported that a Marine said he photographed at least 15 bodies after the attack, which he said he was not involved in. Lance Cpl. Roel Ryan Briones, the first member of the unit to speak publicly about the incident, told the newspaper that after he took the pictures he helped remove bodies, including that of a young girl who had been shot in the head.

Briones indicated that since returning home to Hanford, Calif., he has suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder stemming from the corpses he saw and carried that day. "They ranged from little babies to adult males and females," the Times quoted him as saying.

Less than two days after coming home he was charged with stealing a pickup truck, leaving the scene of the accident, driving under the influence of alcohol and resisting arrest, the newspaper said.

----
Since when do Marines carry bodies in their arms? They have body bags, stretchers, etc. for this task.


40 posted on 05/30/2006 4:14:07 AM PDT by Peach (DICC's - doing the work for the DNC)
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To: piasa

Thanks for the ping; I meant to leave my comment with you.

Don't Marines typically carry bodies out on stretchers or in body bags? This Marine says he carried bodies out in his arms which doesn't ring true, imo.


41 posted on 05/30/2006 4:15:57 AM PDT by Peach (DICC's - doing the work for the DNC)
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To: Lancey Howard
We need to be extremely careful here.

As General Pace says, these are extremely serious allegations and they need to be thoroughly investigated and conclusions drawn based on real evidence.

It is true that Rep. Murtha and the MSM are working overtime to try and convict the accused Marines (along with the Marine Corps in general, the Armed Forces, and ultimately their real objective, the Bush administration) before there is even a trial. That's because they are all about headlines and working their particular political message. If the full truth is known, that's just an inconvenient byproduct of this process.

However, I am amazed by the tone of some of the comments here. They seem to suggest that, when badly provoked, it is somehow an acceptable act to shoot unarmed and unresisting civilians (especially women and children).

Stripped of all the defensive posturing, that's what has been alleged here: the deliberate shooting of unarmed and unresisting civilians. A number of the victims were children, one was only 4 years old. Murder was committed that day in Haditha and whether or not the Marines shoot them, the dead are still victims because SOMEONE shoot them to death that day. Whoever that someone was, it is going to take a heck of a lot of special circumstances to escape being charged with murder for these deaths.

It is true that civilians sometimes get caught in the middle of firefights between rival armed groups. It is true that sometimes civilians sympathize with and actively assist insurgents. It is true that insurgents often hide among the civilian population.

Stating all that only demonstrates how difficult and different fighting an insurgency is from fighting a conventional war. It also underscores the tremendous danger and strain such fighting places on the men and women who are in Iraq and Afghanistan confronting the enemy on our behalf. But we also insist that they be trained in how to lawfully conduct this difficult form of warfare and insist that they show good order and discipline in carrying out their combat tasks. And when discipline fails, as has been alleged here, we can't just shrug our shoulders and say "oh, well." The consequences of indiscipline on the battlefield, both immediate and long term, are just too great to be ignored.

As a retired Marine, I hope the evidence to lead to a dismissal of all charges. However, I also want justice to be done, even if it means owning up to some pretty unpleasant facts about unlawful acts committed by service members.

The reputation of the United States, its armed forces, the Marine Corps, and the profession of arms in general, requires that there be a thorough investigation of the allegations - no matter where that investigation may lead and no matter how ugly the details become. This is exactly what the armed forces is currently doing and should be doing. It is already an embarrassment that it took a TIME magazine report in February 2006 to prompt a DoD level examination of an incident in November 2005. There are allegations of a cover-up - in addition to the deaths - that must the addressed as well.

If there is evidence that real crimes were committed, the offenders must be charged, tried by a courts martial, and if evidence presented at the trial leads to a justly rendered guilty verdict for some (or all) of these Marines, then they must be punished.

We owe nothing less to the millions of Americans who, through their past and present honorable service in the armed forces, have created its reputation for honor, valor, and sacrifice.
42 posted on 05/30/2006 4:27:17 AM PDT by Captain Rhino (If you will just abandon logic, these things will make a lot more sense!)
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To: jazusamo
Murtha as with many in DC has large corruption skeletons in his closet. Those in the congressional rat leadership are calling in their markers on him and he has been told he is the designated hitter in the 'decorated vet attacks Iraq war' phony media drama. With the Billy Jeff problem Murtha has been told to pull out all the stops and scream 'atrocity, atrocity, atrocity' morning noon and night before MSM cameras. His over the top performance style, which actually detracts from the credibility of delivery, is enhanced by Murtha being a drunk who is now under a lot of pressure.
43 posted on 05/30/2006 5:01:01 AM PDT by robowombat
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To: Captain Rhino

Thank you, Captain Rhino.

I'm glad a Marine said this.

Mrs VS


44 posted on 05/30/2006 5:05:42 AM PDT by VeritatisSplendor
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To: Captain Rhino

The Sacrifice part for American soldiers could be lowered considerably, if we could just accept the fact that there is no honor or valor among the thugs we are sending our troops to war against these days.

It's a dirty damn shame that we insist on handicapping our own with rules of conduct, that our enemies never have and never will respect or be bound by.


45 posted on 05/30/2006 6:26:19 AM PDT by F.J. Mitchell (Dear US Senators, Reps. and Mr. President: Why are y'all abetting the destruction of our culture?)
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To: Lancey Howard

Given who is on the Senate Armed Forces Committee, I expect the pictures to show up in the French media.


46 posted on 05/30/2006 6:28:18 AM PDT by Just mythoughts
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To: Captain Rhino
I am amazed by the tone of some of the comments here. They seem to suggest that, when badly provoked, it is somehow an acceptable act to shoot unarmed and unresisting civilians (especially women and children).

I hope the evidence to lead to a dismissal of all charges. However, I also want justice to be done, even if it means owning up to some pretty unpleasant facts about unlawful acts committed by service members.

First, thank you for your previous service. You honor our country.

Secondly, thank you for your words of wisdom. There's too much of the "well they do this, so we sould be able to respond in kind", not only here but throughout our country. And, while there are surely some that hope this is a ding on the Marines and the war effort, the bottom line is we should all be looking for the truth and justice prevailing based on that truth.

There has been far too little of that among those who proclaim themselves as patriots.

47 posted on 05/30/2006 6:36:18 AM PDT by joesbucks
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To: Lancey Howard

My fondest hope is exoneration of the Marines leading to forced retirement of Murtha.


48 posted on 05/30/2006 6:54:53 AM PDT by Dilbert56
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To: jazusamo
As for Murtha, I can't see one single reason for him to come forward like he did and crucify the Marines unless he's starting to suffer from the onset of dementia, and I'm serious.

Either that, or someone told him that he would advance in stature in the House if only he would join the anti-Iraq side.

49 posted on 05/30/2006 7:02:52 AM PDT by SuziQ
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To: Captain Rhino
Less than 36 HOURS after his return from Iraq, Briones got into serious trouble in his hometown.....Briones was charged with stealing a pickup, crashing it into a house, leaving the scene, driving under the influence and resisting arrest. He has a court date in June.

His family is trying to blame Iraq for his mess, I think he's using this story, possibly not true, as a way of defense for his crimes.....with idiot Murtha;s help. Ryan Briones mother, Susie 40, a Hanford community-college teacher......hmmmmmmm wonder if she's anti-war.

50 posted on 05/30/2006 7:17:07 AM PDT by Suzy Quzy ("When Cabals Go Kaboom"....upcoming book on Mary McCarthy's Coup-Plotters.)
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