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)
There are some points Id like to bring to light.
The reason I fired in house 1 is that I knew small arms fire was coming from the south. I didnt see where it was coming from, but I saw an M203 round hit house 1. My squad leader told me on the way to house 1 to treat it as hostile.
I heard a Marine engage a target after entering the house, and I knew Mendoza engaged a target to the right inside the house. I heard an AK-47 being racked in the room to the left, and me and Cpl Salinas threw grenades in that room.
After the grenade went off, I went in and followed my training firing in my sector.
The visibility was horrible. There was dust and smoke. I really couldnt make out more than targets. Someone yelled there was a runner, so I followed my fire team to house 2. Before we entered, Mendoza engaged someone through the door. Inside, I was told to frag a room. When I saw that room was clear, I heard another Marine engage in the next room. My duty was to help that Marine, so I went in and engaged targets.
It was dark, I couldnt make out a whole lot. Just targets. I only went in each room a few steps, and the shooting lasted only seconds in both houses.
I did not tell NCIS I knew there were women and children before I fired. I did not know there was women and children in that house until I went back later in the afternoon with SSgt Laughner. Otherwise, I would have physically stopped everybody from shooting. The conversation Mendoza said happened never happened.
I am not comfortable with the fact that I might have shot a child. I dont know if my rounds impacted anybody. That is a burden I will have to bear.
I agree. We've read about it. Many times. We've also read about the eyes in the sky that observed the battles in Haditha that day. I would not be surprised to learn that the prosecution/government has exhonerating pictures stashed in some vault someplace.
I assume that the court/panel is instructed not to consider what isn't presented, and in some cases they might specifically be instructed not to consider certain information.
It’s a powerful update from Nat, Red. How would you like to handle it, a thread of it’s own?
Please Bump this thread to the top of the sidebar! Thanks!
>> North County Times didn’t bother to point out the two versions.
LH posted a few articles from NCT that exemplifies this ongoing problem with reporting.
And the beauty of it is that it has been entered as sworn testimony by a witness for the prosecution! Gannon and Sullivan didn’t want this!
Thank goodness SSgt. Wuterich has the lawyers he does, it's early but so far this looks to be a blowout for him.
It’s really important that Helms repeatedly interjects the facts of that November day, 2005 into his reporting. Too many have been dismissive of the circumstances.
I thought maybe we’d wait so we don’t bombard people with threads. Let’s see what happens tomorrow! Night all!
Nat Helms is a really, really good writer.
Clear, concise, easy to read. His writing flows very nicely.
Talk atcha tomorrow, looks to have been a good day for SSgt. Wuterich.
Well, obviously NC Times neglected to include Tatum’s memory of an AK-47 being racked....an obvious indication of hostility.
On top of that they keep ignoring the fact that it was Lt. Kallop who ordered the Marines to clear the house. SSgt Wuterich was following HIS orders.
It’s obvious the prosectuion has nothing new except in the way they package/phrase their accusations.
Although they decided to go after 8 Marines for everything from obstruction to murder, since they couldn’t get any convictions, the prosecution has now decided those Marines weren’t really ever guilty.....it was all SSgt Wuterich’s fault because as prosecutor Gannon said, “He (Wuterich) lost control of himself”.
Dela Cruz testifying now. Crucial testimony.
Dela Cruz didn’t provide mixed stories in the past and may have a credibility issue. I hope the defense gets into the original interrogation of Dela Cruz. IIRC, he was treated the way Tatum was and may have said anything the investigators wanted to hear.