Skip to comments.General calls for investigation of leak
Posted on 01/27/2007 8:20:47 AM PST by pinkpanther111
By: WILLIAM FINN BENNETT - Staff Writer
NORTH COUNTY ---- Marine Corps officials confirmed Friday that Lt. Gen. James Mattis has called for an investigation into who leaked documents recently from a massive investigation of the 2005 deaths of 24 Iraqi civilians in Haditha, Iraq.
An attorney representing one of eight Camp Pendleton Marines charged in connection with the incident said Friday it was essential Mattis order the probe given the notoriety caused by a Jan. 6 Washington Post article. The newspaper cited interviews with eyewitnesses who allege four of the Marines had gunned down five men.
"A lot of people already think the Marines accused in this case are not going to get a fair shake," said Jack Zimmerman, an attorney representing Lance Cpl. Stephen Tatum.
The Naval Criminal Investigative Service, a civilian agency under the control of the Department of the Navy, conducted the investigation.
Last month, charges ranging from unpremeditated murder to negligent homicide were filed against four enlisted Marines from Camp Pendleton in the case that generated worldwide outcry when first reported in March. Four officers have been charged with dereliction of duty and related offenses for the way they handled the initial investigation.
The eight men are with Camp Pendleton's 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment. The enlisted men are: Tatum, 25; Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich, 26; Sgt. Sanick Dela Cruz, 24; and Lance Cpl. Justin Sharratt, 22. The officers are: Lt. Col. Jeffrey Chessani, 42; Capt. Randy Stone, 34; 1st Lt. Andrew Grayson, 25; and Capt. Lucas McConnell, 31.
The civilian deaths occurred Nov. 19, 2005. After a roadside bomb exploded beneath a Humvee and killed one of 13 Marines in a convoy, four Marines are alleged to have shot five men who drove by the scene. Members of the squad then stormed several nearby homes in search of insurgents, and by the time it was all over, 19 other civilians ---- including women and children ---- were dead.
On Friday, Zimmerman and Neal Puckett, who represents Wuterich, stated they had received copies of the letter from Mattis, who is commander of U.S. Marine Corps Forces Central Command and Camp Pendleton's I Marine Expeditionary Force. Mattis is also the convening authority over the case.
Earlier this month, after stories began running in the Washington Post based on portions of the report, both attorneys sent letters to Mattis in which they called for him to initiate the investigation. Not doing so, they said, would pose a threat to their clients' ability to receive a fair trial.
On Friday, Puckett sent a prepared statement to the North County Times saying it was good to see that Mattis understands how important it is to investigate the leak.
"He (Mattis) wrote that he shares our concerns and that he has requested a Marine Corps Inspector General investigation into the source of the leak," Puckett stated.
The attorneys and Marine officials all declined to provide a copy of the letter to the North County Times.
However, Marine Corps spokesman Lt. Col. Sean Gibson did confirm that the letter had been sent and its general contents.
Contact staff writer William Finn Bennett at (760) 740-5426 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Important development. General Mattis is on the same side as the defense on this issue.
Darn! It's about time. Find the leaker and hang him/her for all I care. What's been done to our Marines is horrible!
Excellent news and good for General Mattis.
May the first Rat investigated by the Inspector General be Fat Jack Murtha.
Mattis wa a Captain when I served with him off Iran in 1980, me and Flightline.
We corresponded a few times recently, and he did something wonderful to help us support our guys over there.
He has the power and authority to makes things happen in these cases.
I just wonder what the hell is going on.
Everything I knew about him, and from people who know him for years after being his troops, all tell me he is an honorable guy, yet all the eveidence I have heard shows he is ignoring the defense.
Our government is like a sieve. Apparently, the people who work for it think that journalism is a higher calling.
* January 26: NCIS agent testifies notes don't fully match statement
* January 18: Haditha accusations unmasked
* January 17: Haditha attorney accuses Pentagon of deception
* January 15: Marine Lawyers Want Probe After Leak To Media
* January 14: Moonbats Want Blood! [Haditha Marine Photos]
* January 11: Guilty Until Proven Innocent
* January 6: Official: Evidence doesn't back Marines
* January 6: US marines killed unarmed Iraqis: report
Let's see--the NCIS investigative files in the Haditha case get leaked to the WaPo(obviously to build up public support for a conviction) and in the Hamdania case, defense counsel (with some apparent evidence to back the claim) charge that NCIS investigators filed false statements of eye witnesses.
Of course, it made the Leftwingers insane with rage. But what else is new?
"It's fun to shoot some people. I'll be right up front with you. I like brawling."
No PC speak in that sentence. I'm with him on that, there are some people that need to be killed for all our sakes.
Lieutenant General James N. Mattis
Notice any similarity?
Lieutenant General Patton
For instance, JAG Hunter recommends, "start by lookin' at NCIS Executive Assistant Deputy Director for Criminal Investigations Ernie Simon, Special Agent James Conolly, NCIS IG L. B. Beyer, and other NCIS officials".
There's also a blogger doing great work at Conservative Thoughts.
Remember, if we don't spread the word, no one else will. And the NCIS will walk away from this whistling, just as they always have in the past.
Good to see you, radar. My only comfort in all this mess is that General Mattis has the final say, not some pinko clown on the 9th Circuit.
Thanks-Proud to be here.
I always think of Patton when hearing Mattis' name. He has the attitude, looks and straightforwardness of Patton.
All the challenges about the leaks and the NCIS falsification of evidence are not coming from JAGs appointed to defend the Marines.
Those civilian lawyers are paid for by the defendantsnot by the government. As long as the accused can keep writing checks to lawyers such as Jack Zimmermann, Neal Puckett, Gary Myers, and David Sheldon, justice may be served.
So if you care about justice for the men and women serving our country, please consider a donation to one of the Marine defense funds.
You can find more information at Defend Our Marines. For your convenience, heres a summary:
Marine Iraq Legal Defense Fund, Inc.
In California, near Camp Pendleton, a distinguished group of concerned citizens have agreed to serve as board members and will administer the fund. It has been established specifically to provide monies to service members who face criminal charges as a result of their service in combat zones.
The name of the fund is the Marine Iraq Legal Defense Fund, Inc. It has been set up as a charitable, non-profit 503(c) corporation. The members of the fund have volunteered to give their time to ensuring our Marines receive the best legal defense available. The board members, most are retired or former service members, include Judge Victor Ramirez , Rickard L. Borg, David Black, Stan Smith, Tom Humphries, and Jack Kelly.
Donations can be sent to:
Marine Iraq Legal Defense Fund, Inc.
c/o Judge Victor Ramirez
P.O. Box 1255
Solana Beach, CA 92075
Your donation can be earmarked to one or all of the accused. Write your preference on the memo line of the check.
You can also find out more about the fund online at MarineDefenseFund.com.
The Warrior Fund
Led by retired Marine, Timothy Harrington, this fund is actively involved in the defense of servicemen and women charged with crimes as a result of their service in Iraq. Donations by check can be earmarked to the Haditha Marines or other Marines being ruined by the NCIS inquisition. To donate or learn more about the fund, go to Warrior Fund.
What is the Navy and the Marine Corp doing prosecuting these fine warriors?! Don't they know this is the kind of men we want doing the job they have to do?
The whole scene is bunch of bogus Hotel Sierra.
BTTT Thanks for keeping on top of it RedRover.
24 Iraqi "civilians"
Prove this, FIRST.
And--HIS GUYS WOULD GO INTO HELL WITH/FOR HIM!
Post #12 is incredible!!
You think so?
Maybe Mattis was simply embarrassed into reluctantly ordering an investigation. (Took him long enough....) Now we shall see if this "investigation" turns into a coverup or just a regular old whitewash. For some reason, I am not real confident about anything anymore when it comes to military "justice" for our warriors.
But after today's spectacle of a MARINE being arrested for telling the truth on the witness stand, I'm not even sure what country I'm living in anymore.