Haditha Massacre of Iraqi Civilians

Massacre at Haditha

A front page article in the December 15, 2011, NY Times about the massacre of 24 civilians on November 19, 2005, in Haditha by U.S. Marines did not make me proud to be an American. Despite the horrific killings of civilians, including children between ages 3 and 16, some in their homes, and a 76-year-old man in a wheel chair, no one has been convicted of misconduct. Charges against six marines were dropped; one was acquitted and staff sergeant Frank Wutterich is scheduled for trial next year.

The NY Times article was prompted by the discovery by a Times reporter of 400 pages of secret documents from the Marines' internal investigation of the Haditha massacre investigation in a junkyard outside Baghdad where an attendant was burning them to cook a meal. The transcripts of the testimony revealed that civilian casualties were common and regarded as unremarkable and "routine" by Marine commanders. Major General Steve Johnson commander of the Marines in Anbar testified that frequent civilian casualties were "a cost of doing business." According to the Times article, "Troops, traumatized by the rising violence and feeling constantly under siege, grew increasingly twitchy, killing more and more civilians in accidental encounters. Others became so desensitized and inured to the killing that they fired on Iraqi civilians deliberately while their fellow soldiers took pictures and were court-martialed."

"We had one where Marines had photographed themselves taking shots at people," Col R. Kelly testified saying that they immediately called the Naval Criminal Investigative Services and "confiscated their little camera."

Marine Colonel Barry Johnson, a spokesman for the U.S. military in Iraq, said that many of the documents from the Haditha investigation remained classified and should have been destroyed. "Despite the way in which they were improperly discarded and came into your (NY Times) possession, we are not at liberty to discuss classified information," he said, adding "We take any breach of classified information as an extremely serious matter." What abouit the killing of 22 civilians?

The high incidence of civilians killed by members of the U.S. military no doubt contributed to the Iraq' government's refusal to grant immunity to prosecution for U.S. troops in Iraq and the celibratory mood of Iraqi citizens over the U.S. troop pullout.

The Haditha massacre and the Marine Corps' apparent failure to deal with its perpetrators brings to mind our failure to punish Lt. Calley and 25 other U.S. soldiers for their role in the massacre of more than 300 civilian My Lai villagers in Vietnam. Calley was convicted and initially sentenced to life for personally killing 22 villagers, but was released after serving three plus years under house arrest. Charges against the other twenty-five soldiers were dropped.




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WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

The truth:

http://archive.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2007/...

And how does the left feel about our great country? Here you are:

"A front page article in the December 15, 2012, NY Times about the massacre of 24 civilians on November 19, 2005, in Haditha by U.S. Marines did not make me proud to be an American"

Of course, Mr. Deeds did not tell you that it was all a lie!


Wizard Of Whimsy profile image

Wizard Of Whimsy 4 years ago from The Sapphire City

From Wikipedia: "Newsmax Media is a conservative American news media organization founded by Christopher W. Ruddy and based in West Palm Beach, Florida. It operates the news website Newsmax.com and publishes Newsmax Magazine.

Christopher W. Ruddy started Newsmax.com on September 16, 1998, supported by a group of politically conservative investors, including the family of the late Central Intelligence Agency Director William J. Casey. Later, Richard Mellon Scaife, Ruddy's former employer at the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and a supporter of conservative causes, invested in the fledging company.[1] One of the initial board members was author James Dale Davidson who edited a financial newsletter, Davidson's co-editor, Lord Rees-Mogg, former editor of The Times and Vice Chair of the BBC, later became chairman of Newsmax Media.[2]"

NEWSMAX? Now there's a real "unbiased" source, Will. Instead of recognizing the fact that innocents were slaughtered . . .

"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.[62][63][64] 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."[65]

WillStar prefers to demonize "the left" with accusations of unpatriotic calumny when, in fact, he is guilty of it himself— just another knee-jerk reactionary filed with hatred, resentment and the malicious propaganda of Rush Limbauugh.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 4 years ago Author

"Of course, Mr. Deeds did not tell you that it was all a lie!"

WillStarr, Just curious, why would you say that. The NYTimes article seemed quite credible to me. What part of it did you disagree with. If you have different facts about Haditha, please come out with them.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

War is hell, Ralph, and civilians do get killed. In World War Two, more civilians died than soldiers.

Barack Obama is currently presiding over the predator drones that are killing hundreds of civilians in Afghanistan, Yemen, and Pakistan, but the leftist media like the NYT ignores it, preferring to talk about unproven, old news allegations in Iraq. That way, they can blame Bush and distract attention from Obama.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 4 years ago Author

Civilians are unavoidably killed in wars. The My Lai and Haditha massacres were not unavoidable. They were cold blooded murder of women and children. And the Marine Corps coverup is inexcusable. The NYTimes has covered the drone operations in Afghanistan and Pakistan fairly thoroughly. However, it's true that the mainstream media hasn't directly criticized Obama's stepped up use of drones and the inevitable civilian casualties that result from their use. More progressive media have criticized their use and criticized the Osama bin Laden operation for not bringing him back alive rather than executing him on the spot.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

Haditha is an unproven allegation. Nowhere in the NYT's article does it claim that it was a deliberate murder, so why are you?


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 4 years ago Author

True that the NY Times article didn't make the accusation of "deliberate murder." Perhaps unnecessary, avoidable civilian casualties would be more accurate. The reporter was more cautious than I am on the subject. The article provided enough credible details to convince me that the Marine Corps covered up the incident and was more interested in avoiding publicity on an incident that had the potential of becoming another Abu Ghraib, photos and all.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

"Perhaps unnecessary, avoidable civilian casualties would be more accurate."

Is it?

Prove it.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 4 years ago Author

It seemed pretty clear to me from the article that the killings were avoidable and the Marine Corps covered up the facts.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

And it seems crystal clear to me that you have it in for the military, and want to believe the worst.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 4 years ago Author

I have nothing but respect and gratitude for our men and women who served in Iraq and are serving in the endless war in Afghanistan. I object to the Marine Corps coverup of the brutality of a few of our soldiers who needlessly killed women and children in Iraq and took pictures of themselves with the bodies as if they were trophies on a Safari in Africa, not to mention the soldiers who slaughtered more than 300 villagers in My Lai. But my greatest contempt is for our leaders who sent them to Iraq and Vietnam, the mainstream media, and the American foreign policy establishment who supported these needless and tragic wars. (FYI, I retired honorably from the Army Reserves with the rank of captain after serving on active duty and in the active reserves in the United States between the Korean and Vietnam wars.)


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 4 years ago Author

"Peace is that brief glorious moment in history when everybody stands around reloading". --Thomas Jefferson


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 4 years ago Author

Thanks for your comment from "down under."


Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

Wesman Todd Shaw 4 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

Hey delete this message, but your first sentence says "December 15, 2012" and I'm sure you meant 2011.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 4 years ago Author

Thanks!


Josak profile image

Josak 4 years ago from variable

HAHAHAH it really shut him up when you told him you served, for another example look at the footage released by John Manning of an American helicopter deliberately machine gunning Iraqi civilians, no one has been convicted of the crime but Manning is now facing a court martial, so ridiculous, what Will fails to understand is that murderers are murderers whether they are in the army or not and justice should apply in the same way I not even harsher because those men are there representing our country and armed with our tax dollars, if they do things like this they disgrace the whole nation, life in jail is what they deserve. And if it was accidental then criminal negligence and armed manslaughter charges should be brought against them.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 4 years ago Author

Camp Pendleton, Oregon--Military prosecutors worked for more than six years to bring Marine Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich to trial on manslaughter charges that could have sent him away to prison for life. Yesterday he was let off in a deal for up to 3 months in the brig.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

Excellent! Justice is served, and the far left did not get their pound of flesh.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 4 years ago Author

And the women and little children got what they deserved??

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_Wuterich


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

War is definitely hell on civilians. Blame it on those who set off the IED.

As I said, the America-hating far left did not get their pound of flesh.


Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

Wesman Todd Shaw 4 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

Unless you just find it entertaining, Sir, then I can assure you that arguing with a closed mind such as ...one person's that I know of, is a total waste of time.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 4 years ago Author

True. I waste a lot of time on the forums and banging my head against stone walls.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

A closed mind would be the one that wanted a conviction despite all charges being dropped for lack of evidence.

Dereliction of Duty was the best they could come up with, despite your fervent, far-left hope for American blood.

They had no case, and neither do you!


Josak profile image

Josak 4 years ago from variable

The case was perfectly clear, there were 4 eye witnesses and his bullets were found in the corpses, where's the lack of evidence? This is just double standards.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

The last Marine accused will serve no time:

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/01/24/marine-to-ser...

Sorry leftists, but you'll get no pound of flesh from America's military this time.


Wizard Of Whimsy profile image

Wizard Of Whimsy 4 years ago from The Sapphire City

Fox Propaganda!

It's about justice not loyalty. More reasons for the rest of the world to hate America. This country will sacrifice yet more "flesh" because nationalistic fools think America can do no wrong.


Josak profile image

Josak 4 years ago from variable

Let me rephrase that for you WillStar, what you mean is "Sorry America but you'll get no justice (yet again) for men in the military becuase they killed foreigners so I dont care" Just like how soldiers who massacred over a hundred in Vietnam at mylai were never punished and only one man got 3 years house arrest. That is called double standars and Will you should be very ashamed of supporting it, also as written above there is no shortage of evidence he is guilty.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

Typical leftists...blame America, even if there's no evidence of wrongdoing! Demand that pound of American flesh.

The evidence has been presented, and it did not stand up. Case closed.

Good for the Marines!


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

I'm laughing at the angry liberal weenies who wanted to see America's military punished, but lost!

You know who you are!

^_^


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 4 years ago Author

1-25-11NYTimes--Iraqis Outraged Over Failure to Try and Convict Haditha Perps

Anger in Iraq After Plea Bargain Over 2005 Haditha Killings - NYTimes.com

Iraqis were outraged to learn that the Marine considered the ringleader of the 2005 killings in Haditha was sentenced on Tuesday to a reduction in rank but avoided any jail time.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

So you think we should have found them guilty to mollify the Iraqis?

Throw them under the bus?


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 4 years ago Author

No. I think we should have found them guilty because they murdered innocent women and children in violation of their duty as US Marines and the Geneva Convention. What they did, as we speak, is being used as a recruiting tool by Al Qaeda and other extremists cells all over the world.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

"No. I think we should have found them guilty because they murdered innocent women and children in violation of their duty as US Marines and the Geneva Convention."

A conclusion the military court obviously does not share! Why are you so sure they're guilty? What's your inside information?


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 4 years ago Author

There was no trial. The facts were reported by the media and never denied. It was a whitewash by the Marine Corps. Shameful. They diddled around with the case for a couple of years or so, hoping everybody would forget about it.

Read this: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/15/world/middleeast...

Actually Wuterich pled guilty and was let off with a slap on the wrist.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/25/haditha-k...


Wizard Of Whimsy profile image

Wizard Of Whimsy 4 years ago from The Sapphire City

What does it matter Will; you'd only refute it and indulge in more bitter projections about people who disagree with your stringent views.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

It was a whitewash by the Marine Corps.

According to you and few other leftists like your buddy Whiz. Sorry, but the case is closed and you lose.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 4 years ago Author

All Americans lose and the Marine Corps loses.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

"All Americans lose and the Marine Corps loses."

Once again, only according to you and a few other sour-grapes leftists. I see no evidence that most Americans or the Marine Corps are unhappy with the verdict.

Just you.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 4 years ago Author

Why Was No One Punished for America's "My Lai" in Iraq? AlterNet

The U.S. military presence in Iraq was marked by the callous American attitude toward civilians, and the thorough lack of accountability in the military justice system....

"The Haditha massacre fits this pattern. There was a coverup by the U.S. Marine Corps, which insisted that 15 Iraqis had been killed by an IED. When reporter Tim McKirk of Time magazine was alerted to the massacre by an Iraqi human-rights group, his reporting sparked a firestorm of attention. Rep. John Murtha, a Pennsylvania Democrat and Vietnam veteran who was a reliable supporter of the military, called the massacre “cold blooded murder” and decried the pressure being put on our troops, pressure that could result in tragedies of this kind."


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

Just like you, Murtha was a good liberal, so he never apologized to the Marines.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 4 years ago Author

The Marines owe an apology to America and Iraq.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

For what? Have you forgotten that they were never found guilty?

Why do you hate the Marines?


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 4 years ago Author

I don't "hate the Marines." But I don't like coverups as in this case in which the Marine Corps covered up the murder of innocent women and children. Also, as I recall, the moron commandant of the Marine Corps was a vocal opponent of his commander in chief's decision to end "don't ask, don't tell."

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Military/2010/1214/Ma...


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 4 years ago Author

“I take that very, very seriously,” Amos said, adding he worried that openly gay troops in Marine Corps combat units would pull focus away from fighting...Surveys in the Pentagon report showed that the majority of troops believed a change in the law would have a positive or no impact on US military effectiveness. Mullen and Secretary Gates cited these findings in recommending a repeal."


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

"...the Marine Corps covered up the murder of innocent women and children."

Only according to leftists like you, who angrily refuse to accept their innocence. You would rather believe them guilty! Shame on you.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 4 years ago Author

Allowing the Marine Corps investigate incidents like this is about the same as having policemen investigate their own misconduct. They both protect their own. The Corps' investigation was a joke, a coverup, an embarrassment to our country. By the way you don't get far on these forums by name calling, ignorant,right wing, moron cretin.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

"By the way you don't get far on these forums by name calling..."

What name calling (other than your own)?


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 4 years ago Author

Did you intend "angry liberal weenies," "leftists," "sour grapes leftists," "your fervent far-left hope for American blood," and so forth as compliments?


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

Is "ignorant,right wing, moron cretin" a compliment?

You can dish it, but you can't take it.

You still have no case, and it's over. So stop whining.


Wizard Of Whimsy profile image

Wizard Of Whimsy 4 years ago from The Sapphire City

Here's an image that describes it all . . .

https://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-sn...


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

What far left site is your source this time, Wiz?


Wizard Of Whimsy profile image

Wizard Of Whimsy 4 years ago from The Sapphire City

It's always "us" vs. "them" with you, Will—you're always so predictably hateful.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 4 years ago Author

I think he may be one of Joe Arpaio's deputy sheriff's in Phoenix.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

Learn some new terms, Wiz...'hateful' is getting old and worn out.

And learn to stay on topic. Ad hom attacks are a logical fallacy. Look it up.


Wizard Of Whimsy profile image

Wizard Of Whimsy 4 years ago from The Sapphire City

Will's been programmed by the same idiots that schooled George W. and his ilk, that is, he thinks loyalty should trump everything else—including the truth, justice and the once upon a time, American way.

Murder and mayhem is okay if OUR Marines did it.


Old Poolman profile image

Old Poolman 4 years ago from Rural Arizona

I suspect that neither The Wizard or Ralph ever served a minute of time in the Military. Their kind rarely does. I would suggest they get together, visit a nearby Marine base, and try convincing a group of Marines face to face on how right they both think they are. It is amazing to me how those who are the most vocal forget who gives them the freedom of speech they so enjoy today with no sacrifice on their part. Sad but true.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 4 years ago Author

Old Poolman, so happens I served in the Army between the Korean and Vietnam wars, retiring with the rank of captain in the US Army Reserves. The Marines who killed the women and children at Haditha besmirched the reputation of the USMC and the United States in my opinion as you and WillStar are doing in this forum. You should be ashamed of yourself. Did you find Abu Ghraib entertaining also? Are you old enough to remember My Lai? How did that strike you?


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

Ralph,

Like all other leftists, you enjoy attacking the US military whenever possible, but I'll bet you the farm that you have never attacked the ememies of the US for any atrocities. Your ilk never does! You attack your own country, but never those who behead Americans, or torture and kill American troops.

That's why you should hang your head in shame.

I know your type all too well. You are willing to forgive the enemy for anything, but never the US military. In this instance, the Marines have exonerated those charged, but you have the audacity to convict them anyway, simply because you are another far left zealot.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 4 years ago Author

You are right. I'm a big fan of Adolph Hitler, Tojo, Stalin and Egg fu Yong.


Old Poolman profile image

Old Poolman 4 years ago from Rural Arizona

Ralph, I guessed wrong then. You and I must have served about the same time, which would make us about the same age. I have no doubt things happen in war time that should never have happened. War really is hell and should be avoided unless that is the only solution. Of course I remember Mi Lai, and that was a disgrace. Thank you for your service Mr. Deeds.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 4 years ago Author

No big deal. I'll check out some of your Hubs. I see you're from Arizona. I'm headed for Tucson next week to see my brother and sister. A little warm weather will be good for a change. It's about 10 degrees here in Detroit right now.


Wizard Of Whimsy profile image

Wizard Of Whimsy 4 years ago from The Sapphire City

For the record, Poolman, I served in the US Air Force (Tactical Air Command) from '69 to '76 and was honorably discharged; so I'm very familiar with war, sacrifice and what it does to people.

Please don't make assumptions that are really more projections of your own bias and bigotry—I expect that kind of knee-jerk ignorance from Will Star, but your post surprises me because I gave you more credit.

Moreover, try to see the distinctions among the military values of loyalty, honor and justice. It's obvious Will Starr can't, nor can anyone who doesn't understand that the actions in Haditha, Abu Ghraib and Mi Lai helped destroy the honor and prestige of the American military, the U.S. and our reputation around the world.

Anyone who has been in combat knows the stress and the exigencies of war, but if you view this video you will see directly how some of these soldiers dishonored this country and the brave men and women who sacrificed their lives for it.

http://youtu.be/iL3HpG4oN2U

Loyalty doesn't trump everything else . . . unless you're an ignorant fool who doesn't know any better.


Ghost32 4 years ago

Hm. Ralph, you and I have long had an unspoken agreement to kind of just "let each other's work be", and I respect that--so if you want to delete this, I'll totally understand. Fair is fair.

That said, it seems to me that the particular case under discussion...well, truth be told, I'd be hesitant to judge it one way or the other. Obviously, BTAT is involved here, that being an acronym for "Both Things Are True".

That is, if the Marine coverup is fact, then yes, we've got a serious problem. And if it's not (and smear campaigns are not totally unknown in this less than perfect world), we have a serious problem in the other direction.

MY problem, though, is that I'm hesitant to accept EITHER the New York Times OR Newsmax as gospel. I've seen them both be right, and I've seen them both be wrong. With something like this controversy boiling, what I'd really like is a serious followup investigation from the top (i.e. the White House on down).

Not that anything of that sort is likely. Heck, we as a nation haven't even sorted out Fast and Furious all that well yet.

It does trouble me to see the emotions running this high on BOTH sides in these Comments. It looks like pretty much everyone posting here has military service. I'm certain every one of us honors our military as a whole, and I'm equally certain none of us condones cruel, wanton behavior from anyone, uniformed or otherwise.

(*sigh*) Guess I'm simply somber tonight. Just finished reading GABBY (by Gabrielle Giffords and Mark Kelly), then struggled to write a book review Hub on it, and the "humanity transcends politics" mood is still upon me.

Bottom line, I'd simply like to see the truth about Hidatha "out there" in a manner so convincing that ALL of us could say, "Yes, this is actually how it went down." If we had that, I doubt we'd have much argument on this page.

But that, unfortunately, is naught but wishful thinking.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 4 years ago Author

Thanks for your comment. The facts would be clearer if there had been a trial. I suspect that the Marine Corps dragged its feet in the hope that the publicity would die down before letting the Hadigtha 7 off the hook. I've found the NYTimes news pages to be quite accurate. They are pretty good at separating their news from their opinion pages. My experience has been that in the corporate, government, church, hospital, drug company, banking and military worlds organizations' investigations of themselves often aren't very reliable.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 4 years ago Author

3-11-12NYTimes--A Massacre of Afghan Civillians by Berserk U.S. Soldier

American Is Held After Shooting of Civilians in Afghanistan - NYTimes.com

A U.S. service member walked out of a military base on Sunday and opened fire on three nearby houses, killing 16 civilians, including several children, local villagers and provincial officials said.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

And your point is...?


Wizard Of Whimsy profile image

Wizard Of Whimsy 4 years ago from The Sapphire City

Leave it to Will to be oblivious to the obvious!


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 4 years ago Author

Will, and your point is?

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