The Wood Shed

You never know what you're going to find in the pile.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Trial by Media

Haditha, Iraq, is all the buzz lately. If you’ve had your head in the sand, a few months back Lance Cpl. Miguel Terrazas was killed when an IED took out his Humvee. Allegedly some of his fellow Marines took revenge on some civilians. The media and its poster child, Rep. John Murtha (an ex-Marine), have been loudly condemning the accused prior to guilt being determined. They have tried, convicted, and all but executed these Marines. Trial by media. Not appropriate here or anywhere else for that matter. Brings to mind images of witches burning at the stake. I’ll stand by the concept of innocent until proven guilty that this country was founded upon.

Did these Marines actually do what they are accused of? I don’t know.
Were they simply returning fire in a hostile area where death was behind every door? I don’t know.
Were insurgents in the mix, using the civilians as cover? Again, don’t know.
What really happened that day? I’m not sure, (pay attention, Murtha) I WASN’T THERE and neither were you, John.

If the Marines involved did indeed unleash lethal force inappropriately then they will be held accountable in accordance with the UCMJ. The media, with its insatiable appetite for the negative, is certainly assisting the anti-war movement with their coverage. I’m sure the enemy is also taking notes and will work yet another of our sensitivities into their tactics.

Our soldiers walk a fine line in an extremely difficult environment where it is often difficult to distinguish the enemy from the non-combatants. I can't imagine being in an intense fire-fight in an urban area and having to make snap decisions on who is and is not a threat. Not an easy situation by any stretch of the imagination. Let's let the military justice system work through this incident and keep the emotional media at bay so the truth can be uncovered. The leaks coming out of the investigation are also inappropriate, much like throwing meat to wolves in hopes that they will have their fill and move on.

For more:
http://michellemalkin.com/archives/005300.htm
http://www.neptunuslex.com/2006/05/31/haditha/
http://www.neptunuslex.com/2006/06/01/fighting-the-good-fight-part-i/

For a clinical look at urban combat and house clearing etc. read Uncle J:
http://www.madison.com/post/blogs/militarymatters/85715

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