Friday, March 28, 2008

Charges Dropped Against Fifth Marine In Haditha Case

The case for the prosecution in the so-called 'massacre' continues to unravel, as all charges were dropped against Lance Corporal Stephen Tatum, the fifth defendant out of eight to have all charges dismissed:

Lance Cpl Stephen B. Tatum became the fifth Haditha defendant out of eight to see charges dropped in a case that brought international condemnation on U.S. troops in Iraq. Three Marines, including accused ringleader Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich, still face court-martial later this year.

Though prosecutors had reportedly offered Tatum, 26, immunity to testify against Wuterich, defense attorneys said no such deal had been struck.

"Lance Corporal Tatum is not trading his testimony for this dismissal," defense attorney Jack Zimmermann told Reuters in an interview. "He may very well be called as a witness for the prosecution or the defense, but he is going to be a neutral witness and will tell the truth, as he's always done."

Zimmermann said he believed the case was abandoned because it was "weak from the start."

Weak it is, in spite of the nonsense spouted by a certain US congressman/buffoon, John Murtha, who referred to the Haditha eight as 'cold-blooded murderers' on national TV before they were even tried.

"I think when the prosecution realized we were going to trial and that he was going to tell the truth, as he has all along, this experienced set of prosecutors realized it wasn't really fair to dump all this on a lance corporal who was responding the way he was trained," Zimmermann told Reuters.

The Marines offered little explanation, saying in a statement only that the case had been dropped "in order to continue to pursue the truth-seeking process into the Haditha incident." A Marine spokesman declined to elaborate.

"To ensure the remaining cases are brought to closure in a fair and just manner, further discussion of this case is inappropriate at this time," Lt. Col. Sean Gibson said.

Sounds like bolshoi to me.

I'd be interested to see what the marine brass has to say to these five brave men that were unjustly smeared and put through hell simply for political reasons. Not to mention the other Haditha defendents, when they're acquited, as they likely will be,although I expect they will probably try to hang some token minor charge on Sargeant Wuterich, just as a face saving gesture.

No comments: