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  • Marine general to testify at Haditha hearing

    sad incident.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100319/...FyaW5lZ2VuZXJh

    CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. A four-star general will testify at a pretrial hearing in the biggest criminal case against U.S. troops to arise from the Iraq war, a Marine Corps spokesman said Thursday.

    Gen. James Mattis is scheduled to address a military judge Monday on a defense motion to dismiss charges against Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich on grounds of undue command influence, said the spokesman, Lt. Col. David Griesmer.

    The defense argues Mattis was improperly influenced by a military lawyer, Col. John Ewers, who investigated the killings of 24 Iraqis in Haditha in November 2005 and later became a top aide when the general was deciding who should be charged.

    Wuterich, of Meriden, Conn., is the only remaining and perhaps the highest-profile of eight Marines who were charged in connection with the Haditha case.

    The eight Marines were charged with murder or with failing to properly report or investigate the killings. Charges were dismissed against six defendants and one was acquitted.

    Wuterich, a squad leader during the killings, faces reduced charges of voluntary manslaughter, aggravated assault, reckless endangerment, dereliction of duty and obstruction of justice.

    Mattis referred charges against Wuterich when he was both commander of the Marine Corps Forces Central Command and the commander of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force at Camp Pendleton. He was later promoted to commander of both NATO's Supreme Allied Commander Transformation and commander of U.S. Joint Forces.

    A courtroom appearance is rare for such a high-ranking officer but Mattis has done it before in the Haditha case.

    In 2008, a military judge dismissed charges against Lt. Col. Jeffrey Chessani for failing to investigate the killings after deciding that Mattis had been unduly influenced by the aide.

    Wuterich's case is before a different judge, Lt. Col. David Jones.

    Neal Puckett, an attorney for Wuterich, said the judge has told attorneys he will rule on the motion by the end of next week. A trial date has not been set.

  • #2
    Re: Marine general to testify at Haditha hearing

    Hopefully this will put all of this BS to an end.

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    • #3
      Re: Marine general to testify at Haditha hearing

      Judge says burden is on government in Haditha case

      http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100324/...arines_haditha

      CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. – A military judge indicated Tuesday that the burden is on the government to show there was no unlawful command influence in a case involving the deaths of 24 Iraqi men, women and children, a defense attorney said.

      The judge, Lt. Col. David Jones, said he will rule Friday on a motion to drop charges against Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich, the only remaining defendant in the biggest case against U.S. troops to arise from the Iraq war.

      Jones determined the defense met its burden to show unlawful influence by a military lawyer who investigated the November 2005 killings in the town of Haditha and later became a top aide to the general overseeing the case, said defense attorney Haytham Faraj.

      Military policy would prohibit the aide, Col. John Ewers, from offering legal advice on Haditha because he had been an investigator on the case.

      Gen. James Mattis, who brought charges against Wuterich and seven other Marines in the Haditha killings, has acknowledged that Ewers sat in on meetings in 2007 to discuss alleged wartime abuses but insists the aide never gave him advice on the Haditha case. Gen. Samuel Helland, who ordered the court-martial against Wuterich as Mattis' successor, was also at some of those meetings.

      The government will have an opportunity Wednesday to present any additional evidence. Prosecutors must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that there was no unlawful influence.

      Wuterich, 30, faces charges of voluntary manslaughter, aggravated assault, reckless endangerment, dereliction of duty and obstruction of justice. He is currently assigned to administrative work at 1st Marine Division headquarters at Camp Pendleton.

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      • #4
        Re: Marine general to testify at Haditha hearing

        Exonerate this SNCO and drive on. Hopefully his record will be wipe clean and can have a successful career and retire.

        We need more fire p-i-ss-ers like him not bean counters and arm chair quarterbacks that like to second guess or try to make a name for themselves.

        Marines are at there best when it is TOTAL CHAOS. "WE SHOOT TO KILL NOT TO MAIM". OOHRAH!

        *Disclaimer: Of course within the rules of engagement and within the policies and directives of the powers that be.

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