Skip to comments.NCIS misconduct alleged in Haditha probe
Posted on 04/25/2007 12:52:41 PM PDT by TBP
Attorneys for the highest-ranking man charged with wrongdoing arising out of the slaying of 24 Iraqi civilians in 2005 are asking Navy Secretary Donald Winter to conduct an investigation of how his agents treated Marine witnesses and suspects.
"There are disturbing reports that American servicemen were treated like POWs by their own government," said Richard Thompson, president of the Thomas More Law Center, a Michigan group defending Lt. Col. Jeffrey Chessani. "This entire investigation has been nothing but a political witch hunt instigated by insurgent propaganda operatives, anti-war media and anti-war politicians."
Chessani is charged with dereliction of duty and violation of a lawful order for how he handled the initial investigation and reporting of the deaths that occurred in the city of Haditha on Nov. 19, 2005.
Three other officers face similar allegations and three enlisted men face murder charges in connection with the deaths. All the accused are from Camp Pendleton's 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment.
The complaint contends that Naval Criminal Investigative Service agents engaged in what Chessani's attorneys say were improper and unconstitutional interrogation methods.
Some of the interview and interrogation sessions that took place in Iraq in early 2006 lasted as long as 18 hours, during which the men being questioned were not allowed anything to eat, drink or use the bathroom, according to the complaint.
A spokesman for the criminal investigative service in Washington was reviewing the complaint and had no immediate response.
Brian Rooney, an attorney for Chessani, said a letter was sent to Winter today asking for the investigation.
The way the civilian law enforcement agents conducted the probe was like "having the verdict first and the trial second," Rooney said during a telephone interview Tuesday morning.
Leaks and investigative documents throughout the Haditha probe combined with the tactics of investigators pose significant hurdles for attorneys, he added.
"The defense of any of the clients is very difficult and it doesn't help when the interrogation techniques used by NCIS are not proper," Rooney said during a telephone interview. "I was always told by NCIS that they didn't take sides but that's not what happened in this case."
Chessani's attorneys, they say that many of the witnesses said the questioning was accusatorial, confrontational and insulting.
"One officer stated that agents yelled and threw things at him during his questioning," a release from the Thomas More Law Center states. "Witnesses believed that the agents had already concluded that there was wrongdoing and were not interested in information that would tend to exonerate the Marines."
Last week, the Marine Corps dropped murder charges against a sergeant who also had been charged, saying the value of his testimony outweighed his involvement in the incident.
A 1st lieutenant who responded to reports that a roadside bomb had destroyed a Humvee killing a lance corporal and triggering the events that led to the civilian deaths also has been granted immunity, as have as many as six other Marines, according to numerous sources.
A hearing for Chessani to determine if the charges against him move forward to court-martial will take place at Camp Pendleton next month. All the accused maintain they are innocent.
Well, according to the most recent lib talking points:
1. We're not in a war.
2. We've lost the war.
>>So this is what we do to our own troops. How are we supposed to win a war that way?<<
I doubt this will be successful. The government can’t admit that 18 hours of questioning without food or bathroom invalidates the information derived without adressing that we act on information gained by holding people under water to make them think they are drowning and that we interrogate people for months using pain.
Bumping that to the top - it's absolutely spot on.
Where's the proof that we do such things? Just wondering.
Boy is it ever. Bastards.
This a direct result of ambitious JAGs and wanna be cops in the NCIS. You may think the Duke Lacrosse prosecutor, Nifong and his investigators, were an aberration, but rest assured that there are many more Nifongs and corrupt investigators out there. These wastes of skin are not remotely concerned about justice or truth, but about another promotion, another scalp for the record and will lie, make up evidence, hide exculpatory evidence and continue with meritless prosecutions to avoid being exposed for the poxes on the justice system they are.
That's terrible. If this is allowed to stand the next thing we;ll hear is that they're squirting pop up their noses.
Anyone want to add names?
No - Bastions. (LOL!)
I tell ya, I feel for our military members right now. They have to fight against the enemy over there AND over here. At least we can do our best to help them out over here.
>>we act on information gained by holding people under water to make them think they are drowning and that we interrogate people for months using pain
It doesn’t actually qualify as proof to my mind. But I have seen Guantonomo interrogation logs that say we use painful stress positions and forced enemas.
The report issued by the Central Intelligence Agency’s inspector general warned that 10 techniques approved by the administration including painful positions for extended time and water and feigned drowning could violate the UN convention against torture.
The government can’t now come back and say the Haditha interrogations are invalid because they lasted 18 hours and didn’t include food.
So, strategically, I believe this defense approach will fail.
But “proof” that we systematically torture? No, I have not seen that.
< comment would have been deleted by moderator >
@$#@ *%# Murtha
I just hesitate to believe any of that, without seeing it from a source I trust. The news media is NOT one of those sources I trust. (Think the Gitmo Koran flushing thing.) It’s not a slam on you, just a statement that I choose to believe the absolute best about our military unless presented with irrefutable proof to the contrary.
In the Canteen thread here for the last few Monday threads, we’ve been looking at the Geneva Conventions. I’ve been doing a lot of reading on that subject, and the thing that makes my blood boil is to realize that we have signed these documents about how we’ll treat our enemies, POWs, etc. and our enemy hasn’t. IOW, we treat them with kid gloves, and they behead our soldiers and hang their burned carcasses from bridges. So I guess I have a little trouble getting upset if one of our guys might sleep deprive one of their guys a little in order to get some information that might save an American life or two.
So I suppose I could see how this argument WOULD work. If our Marines were treated outside of Geneva convention rules for POWs, then they do have a leg to stand on. IMHO.
LOL. That’s right.
Fortunately, I think some of the uproar has put a dent in the JAGS BS in theatre.
Where’s the Abu Grave crowd when you need them? I guess torturing US servicemen is OK with them.
With a a rough hewn 4x4.
LOL! Are you saying they tortured the Col?
>>I just hesitate to believe any of that, without seeing it from a source I trust. The news media is NOT one of those sources I trust. (Think the Gitmo Koran flushing thing.) Its not a slam on you, just a statement that I choose to believe the absolute best about our military unless presented with irrefutable proof to the contrary.<<
I didn’t take that as a slam - you point out a serious problem - our information comes through the media.
And I don’t want to believe we would use the techniques described in the GST program. But there is enough indication that the techniques were approved at least up through Donald Rumsfeld that I don’t think the government will accept 18 hour interrogations as overly harsh.
Here is a page that allegedly has links to documents with Rumsfeld’s signature authorizing pain and feigned drowning.
There is also the problem of the Attorney General’s statement that “The Office of Legal Counsel concludes that physical pain constituting torture “must be equivalent in intensity to the pain accompanying serious physical injury, such as organ failure, impairment of bodily function, or even death.” Indicating that lesser pain for coercion was legal.
Again, I take this all with a grain of salt but I hope the Haditha lawyers have some other defense planned.
none of these so called "men" should profit politically when they exit from the armed forces for screwing their fellow Marines.
I want a Nifong jihad against every NCIS wannabe jag-off that lists names and hometowns in order for the f'ing cockroach lawyers they are to be exposed.
Murtha, Pelosi, Chet Edwards, and Reid are expected to be quisling cockroaches that stab our troops in the back for political purposes. Naval and Marine officers are supposed to be made of better stuff.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.