[eDebate] surprise: storm trooper commanders missed haditha"red flags"

Jake Stromboli infracaninophile
Wed Jun 21 16:32:28 CDT 2006

the only logical conclusion post-Bargewell report is that more storm trooper 
murder is going on than is being reported and that the military is 
participating in murder cover-ups in a useless attempt to prevent the facts 
of the war from turning public opinion overwhelmingly against the war.   no 
pictures of body bags on the news during this clean war.  no reporters in 
gitmo.   pretty soon only embedded cheerleaders will be allowed in the iraq 
murder zone.   leave it up to the US military to shamelessly kill a bunch of 
civilians and then try to take the american public down the fascist road of 
pyschological denial and numbing with frightening similarities to the gas 
chambers in nazi germany.   the worst part of the whole thing is going to be 
all of those future homeless soldiers on the streets b/c the traumatic mass 
murder they participated resulted in "mental illness".   you would think 
that all of the vietnam vets near your campus would be enough but the 
backward part of the population that seeks periodic fascist interludes needs 
more worms to hate when they drive by...cut and cover up is rove's nazi 

Marines Missed "Red Flags," Study Finds
????By Julian E. Barnes and Tony Perry
????The Los Angeles Times

Wednesday 21 June 2006

Corps failed to inquire further into killing of civilians in Haditha, a 
disclosed summary says.

Washington - A report on the killing of 24 Iraqi civilians by U.S. Marines 
has found that senior military personnel in Iraq failed to follow up on "red 
flags" that should have indicated problems with and potential inaccuracies 
in initial accounts of the incident, according to a portion of the report's 

The report questions why senior military officers in western Iraq failed to 
investigate further what happened in the town of Haditha when they learned 
that civilians there had been killed in the November incident. A portion of 
the executive summary of the report, by Army Maj. Gen. Eldon Bargewell, was 
read to The Times by a Defense Department official who requested anonymity 
because the report had not been released publicly.

"Virtually no inquiry at any level of command was conducted into the 
circumstances surrounding the deaths," Bargewell wrote, according to the 
excerpt provided to The Times. "There were, however, a number of red flags 
and opportunities to do so."

Military officials have said a squad of Marines killed the 24 civilians in 
Haditha after a roadside bomb killed a member of Kilo Company, 3rd 
Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division based at Camp Pendleton.

After the incident, the Marines involved reported that the civilians were 
killed by a roadside bomb or in the crossfire of a battle between the 
Americans and insurgents. In a public report, the Marine Corps attributed 
the deaths to a roadside bomb.

Bargewell was assigned to investigate the actions, or failure to act, of the 
Marines' leadership, in part to determine whether officers sought to cover 
up the incident. A separate inquiry by the Naval Criminal Investigative 
Service is expected to determine whether criminal wrongdoing occurred. 
Commanders at Camp Pendleton, where seven Marines and a Navy corpsman 
allegedly involved in the Haditha incident are being held in the brig, will 
decide whether charges should be filed against the men.

?The Bargewell report has not been released and is still being reviewed by 
Army Lt. Gen. Peter Chiarelli, a top U.S. commander in Iraq. But military 
officials have said that though it suggests there was no deliberate cover-up 
by senior Marine officers, there were many failures in the follow-up.

For instance, the executive summary of Bargewell's inquiry argues that 
problems with the reports submitted by the Marines of Kilo Company should 
have been apparent to leaders of the Marine command in the area, called 
Multinational Force-West, or MNF-West.

"No follow-up actions regarding the civilian casualties were deemed 
necessary by the senior leadership of MNF-West," the report reads. "Initial 
reports of K Company and its subordinate units were untimely, inaccurate and 
incomplete. They were conflicted, poorly vetted and forgotten once

The summary suggested that Marine officers missed several opportunities to 
probe more deeply into the incident. One of those involved the 2nd Marine 
Division comptroller, who would have been re
sponsible for making compensatory payments to the families of the civilians 
who were killed. The comptroller told the staff judge advocate's office - 
which functions as the division's legal counsel - that he believed the 
incident "might require further reporting."

But the advocate's office didn't act on the comptroller's request.

?"The 2nd Marine Division SJA did not forward any reports of the incidents 
to the higher headquarters," the report said.

Top Marine Corps officials have also concluded that the $38,500 in 
compensatory payments made to the relatives of those killed in Haditha 
should have caused the 2nd Marine Division to examine the incident more 
closely. Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Michael Hagee went to Camp Lejeune in 
North Carolina this month to emphasize his disappointment with the top level 
of the 2nd Marine Division, headquartered there, for not examining the 
"after-action" reports more thoroughly.

While deployed to Iraq, the battalion involved in the Haditha incident 
reported to 2nd Marine Division headquarters.

Senior Marine Corps officials have concluded that there was a "failure of 
leadership" in the division, whose officers, it was determined, should have 
launched an inquiry long before they did. A formal inquiry was not begun 
until Time magazine began looking into the incident for an article it 
published in March.

The Corps has not waited for Bargewell's findings. His report is likely to 
make recommendations about how the military in Iraq can improve its 
investigations of incidents in which civilians are killed.

In advance of that advice being made public, the Marines have moved to 
overhaul their procedures. They have also begun to discipline the officers 
who supervised the squad involved in the Haditha incident.

In April, when the 3rd Battalion returned to Camp Pendleton, Maj. Gen. 
Richard Natonski, commanding general of the 1st Marine Division, relieved 
the battalion commander and company commander whose troops were involved in 
the incident because of a "lack of confidence in their leadership."


????Barnes reported from Washington and Perry from San Diego.

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