Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 103 Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
General News    H2'ed 2/13/12

US Military Leadership Says "Zero Tolerance for Murder, Assault and Hazing," But Marine Corps Courts Rule Differently

By       (Page 1 of 5 pages)   2 comments
Message Ann Wright
Become a Fan
  (46 fans)
Despite US military leadership stating there is zero tolerance for murder, assault and hazing, recent Marine Corps court-martial plea bargains and court-martial panel decisions in manslaughter and assault trials indicate strong institutional "tolerance" for those crimes. 

None of 8 Marines Charged in the notorious 2005 Haditha Murder of 24 Unarmed Civilian Iraqis is Convicted

Six years after a horrific attack in 2005 on unarmed Iraqi civilians in the town of Haditha, Iraq, in which 24 persons, including seven children, a toddler, three women and a 76-year-old man in a wheelchair, were killed by US Marines in retaliation for an IED blowing up a Marine vehicle in which one Marine died, no Marines have been found guilty of murder or manslaughter.

On January 24, 2012, the last of eight Marines accused in the murder of 12 of the 24 unarmed civilian Iraqis, had nine counts of manslaughter dropped for a plea of guilty to a single count of negligent dereliction of duty. Staff Sergeant Frank Wuterich admitted to the court that he had told his squad to "shoot first, ask questions later."

Of the seven other Marines charged for the deaths of the civilians, one Marine was acquitted and the six others in his squad had their cases dropped by Marine prosecutors in exchange for their cooperation and testimony against the other two Marines.

However, when Wuterich's case finally came to trial, the prosecution agreed to a plea bargain after Wuterich's squad members began giving contradictory testimony to what they told investigators during the initial investigation six years before. The changed testimony precipitated the prosecution's plea deal for Wuterich for the Haditha murders.

Lt. Col. Joseph Kloppel, a Marine Corps spokesman, said the plea deal was the result of mutual negotiations and does not reflect how the case was going for the prosecution. He said the government investigated and prosecuted the case as it should have.

After the Marine prosecutors' decision to offer Wuterich a plea bargain and dropped the nine manslaughter charges, military judge, Lt. Col. David Jones, recommended a maximum sentence of three months for Wuterich. Jones said, "It's difficult for the court to fathom negligent dereliction of duty worse than the facts of this case." However, after seeing the prosecution and defense terms of agreement for the plea bargain, Jones said that the deal agreed to by the prosecution prevented any jail time for Wuterich.

Jones recommended that Wuterich be reduced in rank to Private, which would have docked his pay, but he decided not apply this punishment as Wuterich is a divorced father with the sole custody of three children.

Wuterich read a statement apologizing to the families of the victims stating that he never fired on or intended to harm innocent women and children, but that his plea should not be seen as a statement that he believed his squad had dishonored their country.  

Outrage and Anger in Iraq for No Marines Held Accountable for Murder of 24 Unarmed Civilians

As a reminder of the protest and outrage in Iraq with the plea bargain to drop nine manslaughter counts for the Marine brought to a court martial in the deaths of 24 unarmed civilians in Haditha six years ago, these are the names of the unarmed children, women and men killed by the Marines in the village of Haditha:

House #1--7 killed, 2 injured (but survived), 2 escaped

1. Abdul Hamid Hassan Ali, 76--grandfather, father and husband. Died with nine rounds in the chest and abdomen.

2. Khamisa Tuma Ali, 66--wife of Abdul Hamid Hassan Ali

3. Rashid Abdul Hamid, 30.

Next Page  1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5

(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).

Must Read 1   Well Said 1   News 1  
Rate It | View Ratings

Ann Wright Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Ann Wright is a 29-year US Army/Army Reserves veteran, a retired United States Army colonel and retired U.S. State Department official, known for her outspoken opposition to the Iraq War. She received the State Department Award for Heroism in 1997, after helping to evacuate several thousand (more...)
Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Rape in the Ranks: The Enemy Within

Israeli Violence Finally on Trial

Israeli Envoy calls "Estelle" a Provocation While 7 Parliamentarians Sail to Break the Blockade of Gaza

Attempting to Curtail Dissent of Seniors by Stopping Social Security Checks

Disinvited To Be a Passenger on The Swedish Boat to Gaza "Estelle"

U.S. Joins Israel in Blockading Higher Education Opportunities for Students in Gaza

To View Comments or Join the Conversation:

Tell A Friend