Posted on January 26th, 2012

Alastair Reynard

A US marine who admitted charges linked to the killing of 24 unarmed Iraqi civilians in 2005 should face no time in detention, a judge has recommended.

Sgt Frank Wuterich faced a maximum of three months after admitting dereliction of duty in a plea deal.

He was one of eight marines charged over the killings at Haditha.

The charges against six were dropped or dismissed, and one was acquitted.

Prosecutors had argued that on the day of the killings Wuterich lost control after seeing a friend blown apart by a bomb, before leading the soldiers under his command on a rampage.

They said his decision to sent his squad to attack nearby homes went against his training.

“That is a horrific result from that derelict order of shooting first, ask questions later,” Lt Col Sean Sullivan told the court.

Among the dead were women, children and elderly people, including a man in a wheelchair.

His former squad members testified during the hearings that they were not fired upon nor did they find any weapons at the scene of the killings.


The Haditha killings (also called the Haditha incident or the Haditha massacre) refers to the incident in which 24 Iraqi men, women and children were killed by a group of United States Marines on November 19, 2005 in Haditha, a city in the western Iraqi province of Al Anbar. At least 19 of those killed were civilians. It has been alleged that the killings were retribution for the attack on a convoy of Marines with an improvised explosive device that killed Lance Corporal Miguel Terrazas.

Charges dropped:

On April 17, 2007, the Marine Corps dropped all charges against Sgt. Sanick P. De la Cruz in exchange for his testimony. Seven other Marines involved in the incident have also been granted immunity.[51]

On August 9, 2007, all charges against Lance Cpl. Justin Sharratt and Capt. Randy Stone were dropped.[38] On October 19, Lance Cpl. Justin Sharratt’s commanding officer decided the charges should be lowered to involuntary manslaughter, reckless endangerment and aggravated assault.[10]

On September 18, 2007, all charges against Captain Lucas McConnell were dropped in exchange for immunity and his cooperation with the investigation.[52]

On March 28, 2008, all charges against LCpl. Stephen Tatum were dropped.[53]

On June 17, 2008, all charges against Lt. Col. Jeffrey Chessani were dismissed by the military judge citing unlawful command influence.[54] The Marine Corps appealed that ruling in 2008.[55] On March 17, 2009, a military appeals court upheld the dismissal of the war crimes charges against Chessani.[56] Facing an administrative Board of Inquiry, it also found no misconduct and recommended that Chessani be allowed to retire without loss of rank.[57]

On June 5, 2008, 1stLt Andrew Grayson was acquitted of all charges stemming from the Haditha incident. He had been charged with deleting photos of the deceased Iraqis in order to obstruct the investigation. He had also been charged with failing to notify the Marine Corps administrative chain of command of his legal status when his term of service was expired and he was discharged from the Marine Corps. [58]

On May 17, 2006, Democratic Representative John Murtha of Pennsylvania, a retired Marine colonel and critic of the war, stated at a news conference that an internal investigation had confirmed the story. He was quoted as saying:

“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.”

The US will never have to face war crimes.

But smaller nations are held accountable.


One Response to “NO WAR CRIMES FOR US FOR HADITHA MASSACRE January 24, 2012”

  1. Vis8 Says:

    The US and NATO have projected themselves as the ‘saviors’ of the world. Third-world countries are portrayed as ‘indisciplined savages’…. All this through the powerful western media. The US hides its crimes and makes a big noise over other countries “crimes”. Thank you , Mr. Reynard, for bravely bringing up this point. Sooner or later, the world will wake up to this mass-deception by the US and NATO, and hopefully, will counter these western countries.

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