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)
HADITHA: SINS OF THE GENERALS
Bob Weimann | December 31, 2011
Strategic legalism the use of laws or legal arguments to further larger policy objectives, irrespective of the facts or laws Law and War: An American Story by Peter Maguire
Peter Maguire defines strategic legalism in his book Law and War: An American Story. His book focuses primarily on the Nuremberg Trials immediately after the Second World War. Mr. Maguire discusses the extraordinary effort the US made to ensure the German war criminal trials are just and legal. In addition, he exposes an implied mission that the trials would do more than render justice; they would also serve to "reeducate" the German people. The strategic legalism occurs when the German war criminals sentences are systematically commuted and the convicted are quietly freed from prison. The United States releases these war criminals because as a nation, we are well into the Cold War and the US needs to curry favor and the loyalty of West Germany people.
I appreciate Mr. Maguires work, especially the crystal clear definition of strategic legalism. For me, it was a bit of an epiphany as I researched the reasons for the unfair political prosecutions of SSgt Wuterich and the Haditha Marines. Bam! There is was in black and white on page nine...it has a name. The definition pulled all the loose ends and rabbit trails together, including the Breaker Morant story which is the British version of strategic legalism....
THE NEVER ENDING BATTLE
by Nathaniel R. Helms | Thursday, December 29, 2011
Three weeks after The New York Times carped about the fellow in Iraq cooking fish with scraps of classified U.S. documents, once closely guarded as secret of war the long declassified observations of the witnesses detailed in the 400 pages of purloined interrogations are finally going to come out maybe. That is if the scuttlebutt is dead wrong and no miraculous last minute intervention by someone on high puts a merciful end to arguably the most divisive event to ever test the honor of the United States Marine Corps.
Whether anyone cares enough to notice either way is a much bigger question than why a New York Times reporter wouldnt bother to actually check the classification status of the documents he was peddling before selling it as fresh fish. He could have found out everything he needed to know just by clicking on Defend Our Marines...
Haditha Marine ping!
One would think that now that we are out of Iraq there would be no need for this politicized redux of Breaker Morant but I guess once the machinery gets going there’s no stopping it. Prayers for the Marine, he’ll need it.
I hope this Marine is cleared of the charges.This has gone on for way too long.
Smooth. Didn’t you post an article on the potential dropping of this case a few weeks back? I am certain, it appeared all charges would be dropped and the case closed. Please do not go to any length in verifying the article you posted. So much gets read, dropped, it is hard to keep track of such things.
Uncle, I think this is the thread...
And this is the article you're referring to...
Yes, that’s Martin Terrazas Jr.—Miguel’s brother. His grave is in his hometown in El Paso.
Thanks smoothsailing. Yes that was the article I was referring to. And obviously I wrote something into it that does not now apply to Sargent Wutrich’s upcoming case, necessarily. May you and yours have a content and healthy new year.
THANK YOU, EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU, FOR YOUR CONTINUED SUPPORT OF OUR SON FRANK!! Don’t think we would have made it this far without all of you. You are an inspiration to our family. God Bless All of You.
Father God, be with SSgt Wuterich, his lawyers and the judge.
Have this end quickly and have this man be set free.
May God Bless You, Frank and the Family, Mom!
WOW...tweets..FB...DOM...FR...so nice to see all the supporters!
WOW...tweets..FB...DOM...FR...so nice to see all the supporters!
It's wonderful, alot of good folks are pulling for Frank! :)
Good to see you Smmooooth!!!!
In motion hearings today, Judge David Jones ruled for the defense by dismissing some of the charges SSgt Frank Wuterich faces in his general court-martial.
Three counts of reckless endangerment by firing a weapon where civilian deaths occurred have been dropped.
The judge also dismissed a charge of obstruction of justice alleging that SSgt Wuterich encouraged one of his Marines to lie to investigators, according to SSgt Wuterich's defense team's website.
Since the case began in 2006, the law has changed regarding how certain charges must be alleged on a charge sheet and the government failed to properly plead those charges.
More news as we have it at Defend Our Marines. Jury selection begins tomorrow.
Jury selection is expected to take most of Thursday. In the pool for the combat-experienced panel are seven enlisted Marines and five officers. The final size of the panel, which must be composed of members of the Marine Corps or Navy, hasn’t been determined and can vary under military law.
The judge said he expects the jury will be selected by the end of the day and opening statements will be heard early Friday, if not late Thursday.
The prosecution’s case will last about 10 days and include nearly two dozen witnesses. Many of the troops who were under Wuterich’s command that day are expected to testify.
I would press the ‘like’ button if we had one!
Before jury selection begins, [Judge LtCol David] Jones is set to rule on whether prosecutors can omit the names of the victims and just use numbers that were painted on their bodies by Marines who reviewed the death scenes shortly after the shooting stopped.
Gannon made that request on Wednesday, saying depositions from victims' family members, which he had planned to introduce to establish the identity of all the dead, will not be used.
Defense attorney Faraj objected, saying it is crucial that prosecutors identify the people who died if they are going to prosecute Wuterich for homicide.
Today the Defense and Government will question prospective jurors to seat a members panel in the general court-martial of SSgt Frank Wuterich. Court is scheduled to begin at 8:30 PST.
For latest updates during the trial follow Puckett & Faraj on Twitter: www.twitter.com/puckettfaraj
To young Marine:
“Marine what were the ROEs in effect at that time?”
“Were you ever ordered NEVER to paraphrase the ROEs?”
“Were you ever ordered that ROEs could be communicated only verbatim without any error whatsoever?”
“Were you ever ordered to memorize the ROEs word for word without mistake or ordered only to refer to them by reading from a card EVEN when under attack or in a continuing combat situation?”
Every combat Marine must have a JAG officer, a NCIS agent, and a TIME magazine reporter present with him when engaging the enemy.
protect yourself when you feel threatened = shoot first, ask questions later
At least to any thinking person and certainly to anyone who has ever been within striking distance of a battlefield.
The Creed of a United States Marine
by MajorGeneral William H. Rupertus, USMC Retired
This is my rifle. There are many like it, but this one is mine.
My rifle is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life.
My rifle, without me, is useless. Without my rifle, I am useless. I must fire my rifle true. I must shoot straighter than my enemy who is trying to kill me. I must shoot him before he shoots me. I will...
My rifle and myself know that what counts in this war is not the rounds we fire, the noise of our burst, nor the smoke we make. We know that it is the hits that count. We will hit...
My rifle is human, even as I, because it is my life. Thus, I will learn it as a brother. I will learn its weaknesses, its strength, its parts, its accessories, its sights and its barrel. I will ever guard it against the ravages of weather and damage as I will ever guard my legs, my arms, my eyes and my heart against damage. I will keep my rifle clean and ready. We will become part of each other. We will...
Before God, I swear this creed. My rifle and myself are the defenders of my country. We are the masters of our enemy. We are the saviors of my life.
So be it, until there is no enemy, but peace!
Prayers for Wuterich.
Thanks for the ongoing pings, links, and updates, gentlemen.
Great post! I loved my M16. (It was an M16A1, actually, with the “forward assist”.) I always said that someday I want to own one exactly like it. Back then they were full auto, not “burst”.
AMEN...No realistic person can argue against that but there are many unrealistic people.
Is the “My Rifle” creed required reading for Marines?
The above from 15 Dec and from the twitter acct of the Faraj Puckett (counsel?) is intriguing.
I'm betting one prong of his attack will be to go after the "Status of Forces" angle made evident by Murtha's old aide, John Hugya. Hugya's words can easily demonstrate that a much higher level was messing in Wuterich's case.
Wuterich needs to be exhonerated, promoted, and given a medal and back pay.
I don't recall having to memorize it (like "General Orders", for example) but we were definitely made very familiar with it in boot camp.
As I understand the real charge against Staff Sergeant Wuterich, he, in the mind of liberals, sent his troops on a killing spree by giving the "shoot first, ask questions later" instructions.
If every Marine is indoctrinated with the above creed "I must shoot him before he shoots me.", and since the ROEs at the time did NOT require positive ID but only a feeling of endangerment, then I see no way he can be convicted on any of the true charges.
There's always the possibility they're trying to salvage face by secretly targeting the "did not clean under his fingernails prior to dress mess" law. Just so they can say, "convicted on one charge....in the killing of 24 innocent civilians".
And you know they'll do it. It's not what's true in their mind; it's what they can spin that matters.
” (It was an M16A1, actually, with the forward assist.)”
I remember it well!
Hey Girlene! Long Time No Lookie!!! :)
Happy you’ll be here for the final round and Frank’s exoneration, that was a good piece by Malkin.