The Wall Street Journal, today, reminds us of the massacre that wasn’t;

The incident at Haditha–or the massacre, as it is often called–is due for a wholesale rethinking. The allegations are that in 2005 U.S. Marines went on a killing spree and deliberately executed 24 Iraqi civilians. The casualties have drawn an extraordinary amount of political attention, becoming an emblem for everything critics say is wrong with the Iraq war–in the common telling, another My Lai.

Thus Congressman Jack Murtha, a decorated combat veteran, made accusations of war crimes and said the Marines had killed “in cold blood.” These are serious charges; and military justice continues to deal with them seriously, though thankfully at a slower pace than politics. Now the prosecutions have mostly unraveled. It seems Haditha, though tragic, was exploited politically, and the allegations were exaggerated, if not unfounded.


Most despicably, they created and stoked a political atmosphere that exposes American soldiers in the line of duty, risking and often losing their lives, to criminal liability for the chaos of war. This is the deepest shame of Haditha, and the one for which apologies ought to be made.

And I’ll tell you where it should start; Jack Murtha.

McQ seems to agree: 

 The “template” or narrative drove the reaction. John Murtha had been claiming the military was ‘broken’ and under great stress. This incident fit that template perfectly, and Murtha (and others) wasted no time in assuming “facts” not in evidence and judging that the Marines were cold-blooded murderers because of the narrative he wanted believed.

There are some sins which are unforgivable, and Martha has committed at least one of them. These sins are particularly egregious for a Marine.  Martha should have known better.  As it is, he’s been successful in negating his own service by his treatment of those now in uniform, and his misrepresentation of the military and the people in it.  .   It’s time for Murtha to leave office.  The man should be on his knees in front of veterans organizations begging forgiveness.  After he gets removed from his office.  Not as a possible preventative for his being removed.

Others: Memeorandum, Bookworm Room, Fausta’s blog,  and Blue Crab Boulevard

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