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Haditha Platoon Leader Testifies: "My Marines Followed the Rules of Engagement"
Defend Our Marines ^ | January 13, 2012 | Nathaniel R. Helms

Posted on 01/14/2012 8:02:28 AM PST by RedRover

Camp Pendleton, Calif. – A former lieutenant, the first Marine officer to testify at the General Court Martial of Staff Sergeant Frank D. Wuterich, took the witness Friday morning and used it to forcefully dispute the Marine Corps’ contention that his former squad leader had committed war crimes.

Wuterich is accused of leading a counter-attack by four Marines that led to the accidental deaths of Iraqi civilians at Haditha, Iraq more than six years ago. Kallop was his platoon commander and the officer who ordered Wuterich to “clear South” before the Marines stormed two houses which they believed were the source of insurgent weapons fire. In the fifth day of testimony, Kallop (now a New York stock broker--then the leader of 3rd Platoon., Kilo Company, 3/1 Marines) disputed government claims that Wuterich violated the ever-constricting Rules of Engagement. Kallop, 32, served four years in the Marines and was twice sent to Iraq. His father is the president and chief executive of Nymagic, a commercial marine insurance company in New York, the New York Times society page says.

The tall, articulate Marine was the first officer to take the stand when he was called Friday morning. During his three-hour interrogation, he had nothing but praise for his men, including Sgt. Sanick Dela Cruz, the Marine fire team leader in Wuterich’s decimated squad who turned on his brother Marines to testify against Wuterich and three other enlisted defendants.

“Dela Cruz was a fine Marine who had some leadership issues as a team leader,” Kallop said.

As usual, testimony began with a reiteration of what happened on November 19, 2005 after a remotely detonated IED broke the calm the Marines had enjoyed for a brief period at the end of Operation Rivergate, a regimental sized operation to wrest control of Haditha from the burgeoning insurgency. Kallop was at Firm Base Sparta about two kilometers away when he heard the roadside bomb erupt and the radio come to life with calls for a medivac and reinforcements.

He told the eight member panel that intelligence reports rolling in prior to the ambush indicated that the al Qaeda-led insurgency was regrouping around Haditha to try and reestablish control of the embattled region.

“There was fire around the city at this time. One time Iraqi soldiers fired and told us they saw insurgents running. One of our Marines had shot an individual running,” Kallop told prosecutor Maj. Nicholas Gannon.

Kallop said he believed the ambush was the beginning of the long anticipated counterattack by insurgents who had infiltrated into the city since being driven out during Operation Rivergate the previous October.

When he arrived at the ambush site on Route Chestnut on the southern edge of the city, Wuterich gave him a brief report. After making sure the squad leader of the Quick Reaction Force began evacuating the two wounded Marines still lying on the road, he gave Wuterich the order to “clear South” to suppress incoming fire the ambushed Marines had observed coming from what later became known as House 1 and 2--where 14 Iraqis would die.

“Did you have any reason to doubt the veracity of the report Sgt. Wuterich was giving you?” Faraj asked.

“No, sir,” Kallop responded.

“If you are taking fire from a structure in your opinion would you try and suppress it,” Faraj continued during his cross examination. “Would you try and identify combatants and non-combatants by risking your life?

“No.”

Faraj used the opportunity to ask Kallop how the investigation was triggered. He said he heard it started after a Time magazine reporter, Tim McGirk, began telling the brass in Baghdad that Marines had massacred Iraqi civilians. There was more. A Marine Public Affairs Officer named Capt. Jeffrey Pool had put out an inaccurate press stating the civilians died in the same IED blast that killed and wounded his Marines. Kallop told Faraj that McGirk suspected the error was actually a cover-up.

“At one point a reporter from Time magazine was supposed to come visit us. We prepared a brief, told our Marines we had done everything properly and to tell the truth. But the reporter never appeared,” Kallop said. "He ended up not coming and put up his story anyway. We had followed the Rules of Engagement and told the truth.”

Kallop thought the inquiry was over after US Army Col. Gregory A. Watt conducted his AR-15-7 “Informal Investigation” that concluded in late February. An Army JAG lawyer who accompanied Watt told the Marines to relax, so neither Kallop nor any of the other men involved sought legal counsel, he said.

In March, while Kallop was helping 3/3 Marines move into the battalion’s area of operations to relieve 3/1, Kallop learned his men were being investigated by the Naval Criminal Investigation Service, he said.

“I was quite angry when I returned to Haditha Dam and found out my Marines were being investigated. I went back to Haditha Dam to discover the NCIS had treated my Marines terribly. I found out they had been interrogated, treated like criminals, questioned in the holding cell where we held suspected insurgents.”

“I believe then and I believe now my Marines followed the Rules of Engagement. I believe it was a tough situation and my Marines handled themselves the best they could.”


TOPICS: Extended News; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: defendourmarines; haditha; wuterich

The trial is now adjourned until Tuesday.

Some witnesses who were called to Pendleton this week didn't end up testifying. They've been told it may be another two weeks so this trial is far from over.

There's a SSgt Wuterich Court Martial MASTER THREAD that has additional news, and links, and conversation.

For other news, see LS' post: Urination Excitation! (Are the Marines Being Set Up?) and more on the "Honor Pissing vs Honor Killing" debate... The Best Mark Levin Rant Ever!.

Have a great weekend, all!

1 posted on 01/14/2012 8:02:42 AM PST by RedRover
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To: Minnehaha NYC; tarheelswamprat; Sergeant Tim; smoothsailing; 4woodenboats; American Cabalist; ...
HADITHA MARINE PING!

2 posted on 01/14/2012 8:04:40 AM PST by RedRover
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To: RedRover

Gee isn’t a coincidence that the urination story now surfaces at the same time that this man is on trial?

Something is fishy about this.


3 posted on 01/14/2012 8:05:51 AM PST by KeyLargo
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To: RedRover
Kallop learned his men were being investigated by the Naval Criminal Investigation Service

Isn't that the show with the pretty boys and the Goth-chick?

4 posted on 01/14/2012 8:06:07 AM PST by Old Sarge (RIP FReeper Skyraider (1930-2011) - You Are Missed)
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To: RedRover

Generally, many people only have respect for the Marines for only the moment the Marines are protecting their dumb weak asses. That’s it. Semper Fi.


5 posted on 01/14/2012 8:06:41 AM PST by hal ogen (1st Amendment or Reeducation Camp?)
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To: RedRover

You’d have to be crazy to join the military today. You’d have to be crazy and an idiot to join the Boarder Patrol.


6 posted on 01/14/2012 8:09:13 AM PST by ArchAngel1983 (Arch Angel- on guard / The democrat party "Can Go Straight To Hell".)
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To: RedRover
This trial should be dismissed immediately.

The good Sgt. should be fully acquitted and restored to previous rank, then promoted.

7 posted on 01/14/2012 8:10:19 AM PST by eCSMaster (Democrats:always looking for someone else to blame)
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To: KeyLargo

Especially with the fake rage shown by this Administration. This could be their indirect attempt to influence the Trial. I am sure the Marine Jury will ignore these distractions.


8 posted on 01/14/2012 8:17:44 AM PST by mortal19440
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To: Old Sarge
Yep, and it's these jokers in real life...


9 posted on 01/14/2012 8:21:14 AM PST by RedRover
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To: hal ogen
Well said, hal.
10 posted on 01/14/2012 8:25:12 AM PST by RedRover
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Click The Pic

Support Free Republic

11 posted on 01/14/2012 8:39:05 AM PST by DJ MacWoW (America! The wolves are here! What will you do?)
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To: AdmSmith; AnonymousConservative; Berosus; bigheadfred; Bockscar; ColdOne; Convert from ECUSA; ...

Thanks RedRover.


12 posted on 01/14/2012 8:45:13 AM PST by SunkenCiv (Happy Friday the 13th, everyone!)
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To: hal ogen

o man, could you imagine fighting and winnig the war in ww two with restrictive rules? Give me a break!


13 posted on 01/14/2012 8:54:32 AM PST by fabian (" And a new day will dawn for those who stand long, and the forests will echo with laughter")
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To: hal ogen

o man, could you imagine fighting and winning the war in ww two with restrictive rules? Give me a break!


14 posted on 01/14/2012 8:54:50 AM PST by fabian (" And a new day will dawn for those who stand long, and the forests will echo with laughter")
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To: RedRover
NCIS has a habit of trying to sweat confessions out of sailors and marines. They keep up with those antics because they are never held accountable.

I had a classmate of mine at Annapolis who was placed on restriction over the Christmas holiday for a conduct violation. Over that holiday somebody came through his area of the dormitory and stole a bunch of computers. NCIS was convinced it was him so they took him out to a hotel room in the middle of nowhere, without legal representation, to question him for 12 hours. He said he sat there for 12 hours repeating the same truth over and over again.

I have met a few agents that were pretty normal people, but as an agency I have never trusted them.

15 posted on 01/14/2012 9:21:48 AM PST by USNBandit (sarcasm engaged at all times)
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To: RedRover

And ya wonder why the US of A cannot win a war. It’s because the political arm chair leaders are too worried about their own butts. Fight a war you fight to win, like in any fight do what it takes get the job done.


16 posted on 01/14/2012 9:27:28 AM PST by JamesA (You don't have to be big to stand tall)
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To: RedRover

Thomas Betro was named Director of NCIS in January, 2006.....just before NCIS became involved with the investigation into Haditha. He left NCIS to become VP of 3i-MIND’s Global Law Enforcement practice (whatever that is).

65 full time agents and millions of dollars later....and what did they accomplish?

Wonder if 3i-MIND is aware of his track record.


17 posted on 01/14/2012 9:27:59 AM PST by Girlene
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To: RedRover; smoothsailing

Another great piece by Nat Helms.

Reading about Lt. Kallop’s testimony I pictured him being called by the defense to testify for SSgt. Wuterich. I almost had it right, the only error on my part was Kallop was called by the prosecution.

I guess the prosecution can’t win them all. Oh wait, they haven’t won any and that’s not going change.

Thanks for the info on upcoming events and the links on the urination fiasco and Mark Levin’s chat. Dear leader, his cronies and the enemedia are making a mountain out of nothing on the urination and Mark Levin was dead on the money.


18 posted on 01/14/2012 9:58:52 AM PST by jazusamo (If you don't like growing older, don't worry. You may not be growing older much longer: T. Sowell)
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To: RedRover

We create warriors then expect them to be suicidal. F*** this crap about worrying about collateral damage above the lives of the warriors we train to do the job that keeps us free.


19 posted on 01/14/2012 10:06:24 AM PST by trebb ("If a man will not work, he should not eat" From 2 Thes 3)
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To: USNBandit
I'll never understand why and how NCIS is empowered as a police force but they operate as a law unto themselves.

The TV show may be to NCIS what the Iwo Jima photo was to the Corps. Only Iwo Jima was real.

20 posted on 01/14/2012 11:09:00 AM PST by RedRover
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To: RedRover

ping. Thank you this.

What a travesty...this man should have been exonerated loooong ago. I pray that day comes for him soon. Let this man get on with his life.


21 posted on 01/14/2012 11:17:45 AM PST by SueRae (I can see November 2012 from my HOUSE!!!!!!!!)
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To: Girlene

Google can be an HR department’s best friend.


22 posted on 01/14/2012 11:51:13 AM PST by RedRover
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To: jazusamo
what puzzles me is, how in the heck did the prosecution not know how Lt. Kallop was going to testify ? and if they did know, they are dumber than a stack of hammers.
23 posted on 01/14/2012 12:20:22 PM PST by stylin19a (obama - "FREDO" smart)
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To: stylin19a

I hear what you’re saying. The only thing I can figure is they knew how he’d testify and decided to call him because they knew the defense would if they didn’t. I might be completely wrong but can’t think of anything else.


24 posted on 01/14/2012 12:33:18 PM PST by jazusamo (If you don't like growing older, don't worry. You may not be growing older much longer: T. Sowell)
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To: RedRover

I don’t see how, the prosecution will be able to pin anything down on Sgt. Wuterich. He did nothing wrong. Only what his ROE indicated he must do.


25 posted on 01/14/2012 12:46:44 PM PST by Marine_Uncle (Honor must be earned.)
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To: jazusamo; RedRover; ConfidentConservative; bevperl
I guess the prosecution can’t win them all.

More Good News...!

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces agreed Friday to hear the appeal of 1st Lt. Michael Behenna

(Hat Tip to Confident Conservative)

26 posted on 01/14/2012 12:47:52 PM PST by smoothsailing (www.FrankWuterich.com)
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To: smoothsailing

Very good news, thanks for linking!

FReepmail.


27 posted on 01/14/2012 1:05:34 PM PST by jazusamo (If you don't like growing older, don't worry. You may not be growing older much longer: T. Sowell)
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To: smoothsailing

Excellent news! Fingers crossed and prayers up!


28 posted on 01/14/2012 4:30:34 PM PST by RedRover
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To: smoothsailing

Yes, this is very good news.

My prayers to both Men and their Lawyers.


29 posted on 01/14/2012 11:36:09 PM PST by ConfidentConservative (If my people shall humble themselves and pray,I will hear from Heaven and heal their land.)
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To: ConfidentConservative

At this stage of a criminal trial in Federal District Court, the Judge would call the counsel to the bench and instruct the District Attorney that, if he has a star witness, to call him next or suffer dismissal.


30 posted on 01/15/2012 11:20:06 AM PST by Mr. Lucky
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