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Time Magazine: Hadtiha Marines Will Be Charged

From those champions of Haditha at Time:

The Soldier Who Led the Marine Squad in Haditha

Sunday, Sep. 17, 2006

Frank Wuterich, the central suspect in the notorious massacre of 24 Iraqis, speaks out for the first time
By SALLY B. DONNELLY

Frank Wuterich knew before he finished boot camp that he didn't want to be a Marine for life, but he may wind up one anyway. Wuterich is the central suspect in the Iraq war's most notorious massacre, at Haditha, where 24 Iraqis were killed by U.S. Marines—Marines led by Wuterich. During his first media interview, the former high school band member and honor student is exceedingly polite…

Wuterich is under investigation for what happened on another day, just two months after his arrival in Iraq. On the morning of Nov. 19, 2005, Wuterich's squad, on patrol in Haditha, was hit by an improvised explosive device that killed one of his men. Iraqi witnesses and sources familiar with the two Pentagon investigations under way claim that several of the squad's 12 Marines then went on a rampage of killing in the town, leaving 24 Iraqis dead, including five women and six children. Wuterich's lawyer Neal Puckett would not permit Wuterich to talk about those events…

According to sources familiar with the Haditha inquiries, six to eight Marines will probably be charged in the episode as early as next week. Wuterich is expected to be among those charged with the most serious crimes, which could include murder, for which he could face the death penalty.

"I'm mystified by a lot of this," he says. He wonders, for instance, why the investigators have not pushed harder to speak to him. But it was his lawyer who did not allow him to talk to them, as is common practice among defense attorneys…

We can only hope that Time is as accurate about the Marines being charged as they have been with the rest of their Haditha reporting. Which is to say not at all.

Indeed, they don't seem even confident enough to lead with that as their headline — which it surely should be, if true.

(Thanks to Clarice for the heads up.)

This article was posted by Steve on Sunday, September 17th, 2006. Comments are currently closed.

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