Skip to comments.The Haditha Marines-The Squad Leader-A Final Chapter (SSgt Wuterich-Master Thread)
Posted on 01/02/2012 10:28:48 AM PST by smoothsailing
January 2, 2012
It certainly seems appropriate that the last defendant in the Haditha case is the squad leader, SSgt Frank Wuterich. Leaders take responsibility, and SSgt Wuterich has taken full responsibility for the actions of his squad in Haditha. His stance from the outset has remained clear:
As the last Marine originally charged in the deaths of Iraqis in Haditha, Iraq in 2005, SSgt Wuterich will be seated at the defense table in his general court-martial two days from now, Wednesday, January 4th. Barring last minute motions or outright dismissal of charges, jury selection will begin Wednesday or Thursday. SSgt. Wuterich will be tried by a jury of combat-experienced Marines, and the panel will include at least two Marines from the enlisted ranks.
Much has been written over the last six years about Haditha, and links to some of the most recent news articles and commentaries are included at the bottom of this post to help bring readers up to date. For older Free Republic postings, please use this link or enter the keyword Haditha in the Free Republic search engine.
The purpose of this Free Republic thread is to serve as a "Master Post" where trial news and updates can be brought together in one place for easy reference by those interested in following the proceedings as they unfold.
Freepers Smoothsailing, Red Rover, and Jazusamo will monitor the thread, post updates, and attempt to answer questions or direct readers to information sources. Jazusamo maintains the Haditha Marine Ping List. Please ask Jazusamo to be added to the ping list if you wish to be alerted to updates.
Recent News and Commentary:
MILITARY TIMES-Haditha Marine Faces Trial
Count Down to the Last Haditha Trial
MILITARY: Two high-profile cases set for Pendleton courtrooms
Remember SSgt Frank D. Wuterich: The last Haditha Marine goes on trial
Dont rewrite Murthas legacy (Haditha Marines)
An eight-member jury was seated at Camp Pendleton on Friday...
The jury of four officers and four enlisted men will hear opening statements on Monday in the trial of 31-year-old Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich.
Just got a report from Nat. A tedious day. Nothing much to report until the trial gets swinging on Monday. But I’ll post it on Defend Our Marines for the record and we can decide if it warrants its own thread.
Roger! Standing by...
Thanks for the ping and the news of the selection of the panel.
Going back and forth between East Coast and West is slow work. I think let’s pack it in for the night, I’ll post on DOM when the story’s done, and post here tomorrow morning.
Things will pick on Monday when opening statements begin. So more tomorrow morning, EST!
Sounds right to me, Red. Doesn’t look to me like they accomplished anything today but the panel selection.
Makes sense to me.
Get some rest big guy, we'll slay some dragons tomorrow!
I always LOVED that graphic!
It’s one of your best, Red! And that’s saying alot, because you’ve got some great ones!
Red, that is absolutely outstanding!
Great piece, this will be excellent material for any wanting to follow this CM.
Red, would you like to do the honors on a free standing thread?
Survivor Safah Yunis Salim Rasif through an interpreter claims a Marine threw a grenade into the room and closed the door. (snip) After the shooting she passed out and remembers pretending she was dead when some Marines came into the room. She heard a Marine say they are all dead. When the Marines left, she went to her uncles house.
She made claims "through an interpreter", but heard and apparently understood a Marine's alleged statement, they are all dead. So, did this Iraqi know English or didn't she?
SSgt Wuterich then went to the damaged 4th vehicle where he met 1stLt William Kallop, who arrived with the quick reaction force. While near the 4th vehicle the Marines received small arm fire from the South. Cpl. Hector Salinas identified a shooter in the vicinity of House 1 (as identified in the investigation). He alerted Kallop to seek cover and fired several M203 40mm grenade rounds at House 1. Wuterich then advised Kallop they should assault House 1. Kallop ordered Wuterich to clear South toward it.
A Marine Corps officer was on the scene pretty quickly, and he was giving orders. It's curious, and it may be that this fiasco has dragged on so long I'm forgetting things, but I don't remember why 1stLt. William Kallop was given immunity from prosecution right from the very beginning.
Sure, I'll post this as a thread and we can add links to it on new threads during the weeks to come.
Nat wants me to share to credit for the piece so I'll add my name to the byline. Other than that the only challenge is getting text to wrap around graphics. So I'm doing this as a test!
(Glad to see it works and I haven't forgotten my html tricks during my layoff!)
Why Lt Kallop wasn't charged is a mystery. The only explanation I ever heard is that his family is connected wealthy and politically connected. Word was his family lawyers pushed back very early on but I never could find any substantiation for that. So it may not be true. But his family's pushback was reported in Vanity Fair magazine.
Excellent...It's concise and will give anyone not familiar with the action a picture of what happened and what the prosecution is trying to prove with the very thin evidence they have, which is practically none.
Nat wants me to share to credit for the piece so I'll add my name to the byline. Other than that the only challenge is getting text to wrap around graphics.
Good for Nat, that's as it should be. I remember the threads with diagrams you posted on this some time back, you put many hours into them.
OK! It will be a valuable resource in the coming weeks, and the visual aids are a real bonus.
Thanks for reading,bk. Check back for daily updates. Opening statements in the trial begin tomorrow. You can find the thread title on the sidebar under activism. We also have a ping list if you want to be alerted to new developments.
Nat’s banging on a piece. Says he has good stuff. Not exactly sure when I’ll get it, standing by.
Great...I’ll be here and looking forward to it. If I can help, let me know.
Just checking in, been watching the BCS Bowl.
With that field goal The Tide just about wrapped it up. Go Tide!
It’s looking good!
SOURCE: Stars and Stripes-January 9,2012
When Wuterich and other Marines from Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, had arrived in Haditha in the fall of 2005, they were warned by intelligence officers that Haditha would be another Fallujah, the site of the bloodiest urban fighting involving Marines since Vietnam.
The battalion that the Three-One had replaced had had two dozen Marines killed in combat. Insurgents had beheaded locals who had been friendly to the Marines.
The Marines were warned that fighters from Syria were flooding into Haditha to mount complex attacks with snipers and buried roadside bombs and that the fighters would hide behind non-combatants.
And so when a roadside bomb exploded beneath a Marine convoy, Marines were convinced that a complex attack was under way, Faraj said. Attacks were under way in other parts of Haditha as well.
The defense will question the competency of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service and suggest that Marine brass panicked and began looking for scapegoats when Time magazine splashed the story of the Haditha killings as a massacre.
A military investigator had concluded that Wuterich and his Marines had done nothing wrong, that the deaths of noncombatants were tragic but not proof of an illegal act.
When there are multiple reports of being under fire from a location, it is unreasonable to expect each Marine to stop to decide whether each individual in that location presents a hostile act, the investigator concluded.
In the weeks after the incident, Wuterich was recommended for promotion and a commendation for having been cool under fire that morning. But within months, after the magazine story ignited a political firestorm in the U.S. and Iraq, Wuterich and seven other Marines were charged.
It sure looks like it and it's all true...Very powerful.
LSU is done for.
It should be the defense’s closing remarks.
Looks like the defense attorneys intend to nail NCIS and the government for all the evidence they ignored. Can't wait.
Tide 21-Zip! :)
Excellent, it's way past time they did. I can't wait either.
I agree, Red, there's been way too much waiting, it's time to nail the NCIS and the rest of those perfumed princes.
[According to Faraj, 30 percent of the expended cartridges found in what is now called House Number Two were Kalashnikov 7.62mm AK-47 cartridges and a number 9mm pistol rounds that werent fired by attacking Marines where eight people died.
The government ignored it, Faraj added incredulously. Where did this come from, where did the 7.62 come from? Who was in the back bedroom, who shot the 9mm rounds?"]
Wow! That’s a nice write-up. If this is the best Gannon can do, I’d say it’s all over but the wailing of the America-hating future Democrat politician wannabes (aka, the military prosecutors). By the way, is Sean Sullivan still around?
Yep, he's in the #2 seat under Gannon.
It’s absurd this “shocker!” is news to anyone that’s been following the Haditha story. It’s good, however, it’s finally getting the blistering light of day. And that can happen without the support of the scumbags in major media.
“The government is represented by veteran prosecutors Maj. Nicholas Gannon assisted by LtCol. Sean Sullivan, well known during the early pre-trial investigations for his fiery temper and forceful court room manner.”
Thanks. I somehow missed that.
It is interesting that the #2 seat outranks the lead prosecutor for this trial.
My favorite quote from Nat's Friday report:
I cant think of a single witness desiring of being helpful to the government, complained chief prosecutor Major Nicholas Gannon at the conclusion the tedious two-day voir dire proceeding.
That Gannon quote is a hoot. My first thought when I saw it was “Gee, I wonder where he got that idea.”
My thoughts are similar. Beyond the sheer idiocy of bringing charges in the first place, this whole nightmare has reeked of the stench of undue command influence from the get go. Anything less than a full and unconditional exoneration is just unacceptable and would forever be an indelible stain on military justice.
The scuttlebutt on the Gannon quote is that he’s calling members of SSgt Wuterich’s squad to the stand. They had just told him that they would only answer “yes” or “no” to his questions.
Some rumors have it that LCpl Tatum may testify today. Others say there be more investigation witnesses. So we’ll see.
By the way, after Col Watt, the other two witnesses yesterday were two members of his team. More of the same from them.
So right, Gene! The media sees what it wants to see—and what they want to see is America and her military in a bad light.
Thanks for the updates, smooth and all. Did atty Faraj get this expended cartridge info from an NCIS investigation of the scene or elsewhere? 9 mm????
As to the PID part of the ROE, I didn’t think this was in play (at the time) once a location was considered hostile.