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