Skip to comments.Haditha Bombshell: Pentagon Had Secret Committee
Posted on 03/26/2008 2:00:03 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
A shadow legal body was set up by the Defense Department to manipulate the prosecutions of U.S. Marines accused of massacring Iraqi civilians in Haditha in 2005.
Thats the bombshell disclosure from the Thomas More Law Center, a national public interest law firm that is representing one of the accused Marines, Lt. Col. Jeffrey Chessani.
And it could prove to be the most damning piece of evidence showing the political motivations behind the ongoing prosecutions of the Haditha Marines.
The hysteria and media firestorm over Abu Ghraib and the Pat Tillman investigations led to fear of a similar media reaction to the Haditha incident, causing the militarys civilian bosses to set up this shadow oversight body, Richard Thompson, president and chief counsel of the Law Center, told Newsmax. This extraordinary action politicized the military justice system and was a clear signal to top generals that they were expected to hold individuals criminally responsible. The investigation turned into a quest for a prosecution not justice.
The shadow legal body, called Legal Team Charlie, was composed of military lawyers reassigned from other units and reserve officers activated to prosecute the Haditha case, a move the Law Center termed highly unusual.
According to the Law Center, the director of the Naval Criminal Investigation Service admitted that more than 65 investigators were assigned, which in his opinion was the largest investigative effort in the departments history.
I am deeply troubled by the fact that the desire to appease the liberal anti-war press and politicians has led to the prosecution of innocent Marines for purely political purposes, Thompson told Newsmax.
He went on to say, These prosecutions will become a scandal of historic proportions unless terminated by independently minded and virtuous military judges.
As Newsmax has been reporting almost from the outset, Marines of Kilo Company are being prosecuted for their house-to-house battle to flush out ambushing insurgents on Nov. 19, 2005.
In the firefight, 15 civilians were killed. Details of the battle and the civilian deaths were dutifully reported throughout the chain of command, including top generals, and all concluded that although this was a tragic and unfortunate consequence of urban warfare, the Marines were justified in their actions.
Months later, however, a Time magazine article later proven to be erroneous called the deaths of the civilians a massacre, setting off a media firestorm and leading the military to initiate investigations.
The secretary of the Navy countermanded a determination by then Marine Lt. Gen. James Mattis that Col. Stephen Davis, Chessanis regimental commander, would receive a 'Non-Punitive Letter of Caution,' which would not be part of his permanent record, according to the Law Center.
Mattis decision was overridden by the Navy secretary, who ordered a 'Letter of Censure,' a more severe punishment, which effectively ended this fine Marine officers career. As the consolidated convening authority in all the Haditha investigations, General Mattis decision, under normal circumstances, would be absolute and final.
Chessani was not personally present at the scene of the ambush in Haditha, but the Marines responding were in his battalion. Chessani is charged with dereliction of duty and orders violations.
The 20-year Marine veteran and father of six faces a maximum of three years in prison, dismissal (an officers equivalent of a dishonorable discharge), and the loss of his retirement benefits.
An Undue Command Influence motion has already been filed on behalf of the two combat Marines facing charges over the Haditha battle. The Law Center said it intends to file its own Undue Command Influence motion on behalf of Chessani, and promised that further startling events will be revealed at that time.
In other developments, the court-martial of one of the combat Marines, Lance Cpl. Stephen Tatum, will commence Friday, March 28. Newsmaxs Nat Helms is in California to cover the trial at Camp Pendleton.
Editors Note: The Michigan-based Thomas More Law Center does not charge for its services and is supported by contributions from individuals, corporations, and foundations. The Center can be reached at www.thomasmore.org.
Again, political expediency - just like when we abandoned the POWs in Viet Nam.
I’m left speechless.
I want the top orchestrator publicly unmasked, stripped, shaved, flogged, and crucified upside down in a splayed posture with a two-handed broadsword at the High-Noon position.
Preferrably on the White House lawn.
THIS is how traitors to Justice need to be treated.
THEN — only THEN — will this kind of bullshit stop.
What did Jack Murtha know about this and when did he know it?
Seems he must have known something. Otherwise, why would he be so quick to condemn these soldiers with the harshest of language...???
ping. If you aren’t aware of this.
Despicable. Heads should roll.
And all of this under our fearless Bush. It makes reason stare.
Doesn’t racebannon follow this closely too?
Ping to the SAVAGE list.
Wonder if Murtha knew about this? Could this be why he was so sure that our Marines were “murderers”?
They are not appeasing just the press. These actions are consistent with an oligarchy bent on subduing the populace to authority. It is imperative to subordinated the military leadership to the Oligarchy as they hold the most power to remove the Oligarchy. Bush is every bit at fault along with the Democrats. He's part of the Oligarchy.
See my post #5
My son wants to be a marine. If they do anything like this again. You can bet your butt that nobody will go in to that branch of the military. Talk about making it even harder to get good people to volunteer
RedRover has been the man on this one. I follow it, too, but depend on Red to ferret out the info on the various cases.
Political correctness is going to destroy America!
If this is true I am going to be very very very upset. Someone needs to hang if so.
Hope the Doc will be live and speaking about this today.
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