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Lawmaker: Marines killed Iraqis ‘in cold blood’

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Navy conducting war crimes probe into November violence in Haditha

By Jim Miklaszewski
and Mike Viqueira
NBC News
Updated: 9:27 p.m. ET May 17, 2006

WASHINGTON - A Pentagon probe into the death of Iraqi civilians last November in the Iraqi city of Haditha will show that U.S. Marines "killed innocent civilians in cold blood," a U.S. lawmaker said Wednesday.

From the beginning, Iraqis in the town of Haditha said U.S. Marines deliberately killed 15 unarmed Iraqi civilians, including seven women and three children.

One young Iraqi girl said the Marines killed six members of her family, including her parents.  “The Americans came into the room where my father was praying,” she said, “and shot him.”

On Wednesday, Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., said the accounts are true.

Military officials told NBC News that the Marine Corps' own evidence appears to show Murtha is right.

A videotape taken by an Iraqi showed the aftermath of the alleged attack: a blood-smeared bedroom floor and bits of what appear to be human flesh and bullet holes on the walls.

The video, obtained by Time magazine, was broadcast a day after town residents told The Associated Press that American troops entered homes on Nov. 19 and shot dead 15 members of two families, including a 3-year-old girl, after a roadside bomb killed a U.S. Marine.

On Nov. 20, U.S. Marines spokesman Capt. Jeffrey Pool issued a statement saying that on the previous day a roadside bomb had killed 15 civilians and a Marine. In a later gunbattle, U.S. and Iraqi troops killed eight insurgents, he said.

U.S. military officials later confirmed that the version of events was wrong.

Murtha, a vocal opponent of the war in Iraq, said at a news conference Wednesday that sources within the military have told him that an internal investigation will show that "there was no firefight, there was no IED (improvised explosive device) that killed these innocent people. Our troops overreacted because of the pressure on them, and they killed innocent civilians in cold blood."

Military officials say Marine Corp photos taken immediately after the incident show many of the victims were shot at close range, in the head and chest, execution-style. One photo shows a mother and young child bent over on the floor as if in prayer, shot dead, said the officials, who spoke to NBC News on condition of anonymity because the investigation hasn't been completed.

One military official says it appears the civilians were deliberately killed by the Marines, who were outraged at the death of their fellow Marine.

“This one is ugly," one official told NBC News.

Three Marine officers — commanders in Haditha — have been relieved of duty, and at least 12 Marines in all are under investigation for what would be the worst single incident involving the deliberate killing of civilians by U.S. military in Iraq.

The Marine Corps issued a statement in response to Murtha's remarks:

"There is an ongoing investigation; therefore, any comment at this time would be inappropriate and could undermine the investigatory and possible legal process. As soon as the facts are known and decisions on future actions are made, we will make that information available to the public to the fullest extent allowable."

Murtha held the news conference to mark six months since his initial call for "redeployment" of U.S. forces from Iraq.

He said U.S. forces were under undue pressure in Iraq because of poor planning and allocation of resources by the Bush administration.

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.
Another outragous comment from Murtha. He has zero proof of any wrong doing and is a disgrace to the Marine Corps. I for one will wait for the result of the investigation.
[size=18pt]Marine Reaches Plea Deal in Haditha Case[/size]

link here http://www.military.com/news/article/marine-pleads-guilty-in-killing-of-unarmed-iraqis.html?comp=700001075741&rank=7

Posted before the actual sentence is handed out - it seems light - but one must bear in mind that the loss of own of his friends yo an IED was a precursor to this

Kudos to the late Rep Jack Murtha, a Former Marine, who had the courage to speak truth to power. RIP Sir.

The media, pretty much like everyone else seems to have forgotten this story.

Hopefully some lessons have been learned.

"After Haditha, Marines commanders ordered troops to try and distinguish between civilians and combatants."

I'm sure thats an oversimplification

The Iraqi's of course are upset about this.

Best wishes to SSGT Wutterich and those involved in a very unfortunate situation

Derilection of duty is a far cry from 8 manslaughter charges.

Kalatzi,  Mom always told me if I had nothing good to say about somone
When I said "Best Wishes" I wasn't being sarcastic

I was trying to say something good.

Don't know if that helps.
Kalatzi said:
Don't know if that helps.
It certainly did; it convinced me to put you back on the <ignore> list.

The list is up to four again  ::) 
Kalatzi said:
When I said "Best Wishes" I wasn't being sarcastic

I was trying to say something good.

Don't know if that helps.

Well to me it looks like you comment on touchy subjects and try to play coy with your comments. You look like you say "something good" mean while your underlying message is a subtle attempt to discredit your own argument.

"Best wishes to SSGT Wutterich and those involved in a very unfortunate situation" screams subtle sarcasm hidden behind an innocent smile and head nod. 
I used to do the exact same thing on left wing forums.
"It's none of the governments business what happens to money we give native communities. It's their land in the first place amiright?! They deserve even more money"
"Cops shouldn't taser an old man with a knife, he's just an old man. That's why cops get self defense training isn't it? Knives aren't dangerous when you have a gun"

Just my opinion but you strike me as someone planted in a crowd who innocently asks leading questions while under the guise of just a random person.
I can see where your coming from.

I sometimes play Devils Advocate  True - But attempt to limit my comments to the politcal and boondoggle, I mean F-35 threads for example.

I think the my main error in judgement in this case was not starting a separete thread focusing on just the outcome.

I managine that the heading and phrqase "cold blood: is what is getting a lot or people's back's up

If I am more or less correct, I acknowledge my error.

I feel it appropraite that the case is being resolved and that there is a admission of guilt, that there was wrongdoing.

I wished them weel for what they have neen through, and for their future success

I also feel that the late Rep Murtha was correct in  applying pressure so this would not vanish from the public eye, though for all practical purposes it seems to have.

I could go on, but don't feel the inclination to wear a hair shirt.

There seems to be two end to the spectrum of Collateral damage - Bugsplat is one end - Full accountability to the local civil power the other.

One would seem to need the wisdom of Soloman to resolve these issues.