Thursday, August 09, 2007

Is John Murtha Going to Apologize to the Haditha Marines Now?

Cross posted from Wake up America

Somehow I doubt it. The problem with lawmakers and the press convicting people, including our military, in the press, is the original story gets so much more attention than when those people are vindicated.

What ever happened to innocent until proven guilty in a court of law or in this case a military court?

Background:

WASHINGTON - A Pentagon probe into the death of Iraqi civilians last November in the Iraqi city of Haditha will show that U.S. Marines "killed innocent civilians in cold blood," a U.S. lawmaker said Wednesday.

From the beginning, Iraqis in the town of Haditha said U.S. Marines deliberately killed 15 unarmed Iraqi civilians, including seven women and three children.

One young Iraqi girl said the Marines killed six members of her family, including her parents. “The Americans came into the room where my father was praying,” she said, “and shot him.”

[...]

A videotape taken by an Iraqi showed the aftermath of the alleged attack: a blood-smeared bedroom floor and bits of what appear to be human flesh and bullet holes on the walls.

The video, obtained by Time magazine, was broadcast a day after town residents told The Associated Press that American troops entered homes on Nov. 19 and shot dead 15 members of two families, including a 3-year-old girl, after a roadside bomb killed a U.S. Marine.


Real big surprise here that the AP had their grubby mitts in this one, huh?

Murtha's words:

On Wednesday, Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., said the accounts are true.

[...]

Murtha, a vocal opponent of the war in Iraq, said at a news conference Wednesday that sources within the military have told him that an internal investigation will show that "there was no firefight, there was no IED (improvised explosive device) that killed these innocent people. Our troops overreacted because of the pressure on them, and they killed innocent civilians in cold blood."

[...]

The Marine Corps issued a statement in response to Murtha's remarks:

"There is an ongoing investigation; therefore, any comment at this time would be inappropriate and could undermine the investigatory and possible legal process. As soon as the facts are known and decisions on future actions are made, we will make that information available to the public to the fullest extent allowable."

Murtha held the news conference to mark six months since his initial call for "redeployment" of U.S. forces from Iraq.

He said U.S. forces were under undue pressure in Iraq because of poor planning and allocation of resources by the Bush administration.


Today (Hat Tip to memeorandum again)we find out that all charges against against a Marine who had been accused of killing three Iraqi brothers in response to a roadside bomb attack in Haditha in 2005, have been dropped.

"The evidence does not support a referral to a court-martial," Lt. Gen. James Mattis wrote in his written decision.

Lance Cpl. Justin L. Sharratt, 22, had been charged with the murder in the deaths of three of those killed after the bomb attack Nov. 19, 2005.

The decision to drop the charges followed an earlier recommendation from a hearing officer who listened to evidence in the case. Under military law, a commanding general has total jurisdiction over a case.

In his recommendation, Lt. Col. Paul Ware said murder charges brought against Sharratt were based on unreliable witness accounts, poor forensic evidence and questionable legal theories.

"The government version is unsupported by independent evidence," Ware wrote in an 18-page report. "To believe the government version of facts is to disregard clear and convincing evidence to the contrary."


Now back on July 24, 2007, we brought you a letter from Lance Cpl. Justin L. Sharratt's father, Darryl Sharratt,, that stated his intention to ask the Congress of the United States to censure Representative John Murtha and hold hearings to explain his conduct in respect to the Haditha incident.

Here is the letter in full:

Throughout this Haditha investigation our family has believed in the innocence of our son L/Cpl Justin Sharratt- we knew he was innocent. There are things I do not understand and I would like to find the answers. We do not seek revenge, but we would like to see justice. In a conversation with Congressman John Murtha, my questions still remain unanswered. With the help of the American people, I hope to find justice.

On Wednesday morning, July 17th I spoke with Congressman John Murtha via telephone from his Washington, DC office. We had a courteous conversation. I knew what to expect from a career politician and Congressman Murtha did not disappoint. Mr. Murtha avoided answering the hard questions and I was unable to press him for the answers. I wanted the conversation to remain amicable and decided to let him speak and avoid a heated confrontation.

At no time during the dialogue would Mr. Murtha acknowledge the impending exoneration of my son. I pressed him to use the word exoneration but the best I could get was “things seem to have gone well in your son’s Article 32. The General is a fair man and I believe he will do the right thing.” I replied, ” Lt. Col Paul Ware presented a strong recommendation for exoneration and we are anticipating Lt. Gen James Mattis following this recommendation.”

Mr. Murtha asked me if I had served in the military. He recalled his visits with injured Marines, soldiers and sailors. He said he supports our troops and it is the war he does not condone. Mr Murtha believes combat operations in Iraq have put an enormous strain on our Armed Forces. The stress of combat situations has led our troops to kill innocent civilians. I pointed out to Mr. Murtha, ” Our Haditha Marines are innocent until proven guilty.” It seems he is again denying our Marines their Constitutional rights of due process and the presumption of innocence. Mr. Murtha replied that we have a Marine (Mendoza) testifying that innocent women and children were killed in Haditha. I retorted that he is again believing the reports of the media and Mendoza was granted immunity for his lies. Mendoza has changed his testimony at least two times. NCIS may have threatened him with deportation and denial of US citizenship. This time I scolded him, ” I witnessed their (NCIS) conduct first hand in my son’s Article 32.”

I questioned Congressman Murtha as to his statements of 17 May 2006. On national television, in front of millions of Americans, he stated ” Marines killed innocent civilians in cold blood.” I asked him why he denied these Marines their Constitutional rights of due process and the presumption of innocence. Again the Congressman used his experience to side step the answer. Mr. Murtha stated his intentions were to point out the stress our military was under in Iraq. He replied we would not win the hearts of the Iraqi people by killing women and children. I again snapped, ” Our Haditha Marines have not been convicted of killing innocents and are innocent until proven guilty.”

I believe this conversation was the first step in obtaining justice for Our Haditha Marines. I did not expect Mr. Murtha to admit to or apologize for any wrongdoing in his role to railroad my son and his Marine comrades. The American people now know that his unfounded and untruthful allegations were used to further his political agenda. It is my intention to ask the Congress of the United States to censure Representative John Murtha and hold hearings to explain his conduct in respect to the Haditha incident. I will ask the American people to question his blatant disregard for the Constitutional rights of Our Haditha Marines. I will campaign to the voters of Pa Congressional District 12 to oust Representative Murtha from his elected office. The American people deserve better, we must demand better representation from our elected officials.

Darryl Sharratt
Proud American, Proud father of L/Cpl Justin L. Sharratt


I suggest that everyone join Mr. Sharratt in his campaign for justice for his son.

The only thing I disagree with Mr. Sharratt about, is he may not "expect" John Murtha to apologize, but I believe we should all expect him to apologize immediately!!!!!

For those that agree that John Murtha owes this Marine and the others a huge apology for making statements about their guilt without a benefit of a trial and having now found out that all charges have been dropped, below I am listing the ways for you to contact him.

Via the Web:

His Web Contact Form.

Call him:

800-289-2642 from Western PA (or) 814-535-2642 (or) 202-225-2065


Fax him:

814-539-6229 -- District
202-225-5709 -- Washington

Write him or Visit him:

647 Main St, Suite 401
Johnstown, PA 15901

For those that want to visit him, here are some directions, right from his website.

Directions to Congressman Murtha's Main District Office

People sometimes need or want to find our main office in Johnstown for various reasons. We can't offer directions from every community in this sprawling new 12th District, but these should be sufficient for most people to find their way.

From Uniontown, the fastest route is:

  • Take US-119 North.
  • Turn Right onto PA-31 East.
  • Turn Left onto PA-711 at Donegal and proceed through Ligonier.
  • Turn Right onto PA-271 about five miles north of Ligonier.
  • Remain on PA-271 into the City of Johnstown -- the Route becomes Menoher Boulevard, makes a right turn onto Haynes Street at a traffic signal, passes through 3 traffic signals and turns left at the 5th traffic signal onto Bedford Street.
  • Proceed one block on Bedford Street and turn Right onto Main Street
  • 647 Main Street is called the Feeder Canal Building and on the left immediately past the railroad tracks. Parking is available on Feeder Street across from the building.
  • Estimated Time: 1 hour and 40 minutes; Total Distance: 67 miles.

From Washington , PA , the fastest route is:

  • Take I-70 E toward New Stanton .
  • Take Exit-9 at Donegal.
  • Turn Left onto PA-31 east for a very short distance.
  • Turn Left onto PA-711 North, and follow 711 through Ligonier.
  • Turn Right onto PA-271 about five miles north of Ligonier.
  • Remain on PA-271 into the City of Johnstown -- the Route becomes Menoher Boulevard, makes a right turn onto Haynes Street at a traffic signal, passes through 3 traffic signals and turns left at the 5th traffic signal onto Bedford Street.
  • Proceed one block on Bedford Street and turn Right onto Main Street
  • 647 Main Street is called the Feeder Canal Building and on the left immediately past the railroad tracks. Parking is available on Feeder Street across from the building.
  • Estimated Time: 1 hour and 50 minutes; Total Distance: 90 miles.

From the New Kensington area, the fastest route is:

  • Take PA-366 East.
  • Turn Right onto PA-66.
  • Merge onto US-22 East toward Blairsville.
  • Turn Right on PA-56 East.
  • After entering the City of Johnstown , remain on Route 56 through several turns and a series of traffic signals on Broad Street , which is both PA-56 and PA-403.
  • The road turns right and follows the Conemaugh River under a railroad overpass.
  • Turn Left at the next traffic signal onto Washington Street .
  • Turn Right at the fourth traffic signal onto PA-271/Clinton Street .
  • Turn Left at the second traffic signal onto Main Street .
  • 647 Main Street is called the Feeder Canal Building and on the left immediately past the railroad tracks. Parking is available on Feeder Street across from the building.
  • Estimated Time: 1 hour and 40 minutes; Total Distance: 60 miles.

From most places in Cambria or Somerset Counties , the fastest route is:

  • Take Route 219 North or South toward Johnstown .
  • Merge onto Route 56 West/Johnstown Expressway.
  • Take the first Downtown Johnstown exit -- Bedford Street .
  • Turn Right at the end of the exit ramp onto Adams Street .
  • Proceed one block and turn Left at the stop sign onto Main Street
  • 647 Main Street is called the Feeder Canal Building and on the right immediately past Feeder Street (just before the railroad tracks). Parking is available on Feeder Street across from the building.



What is everyone waiting for, lets tell John Murtha exactly how we feel, shall we?


Others discussing this:
Take Our Country Back, protein wisdom, Pundit Review, BLACKFIVE, Sister Toldjah, QandO, michellemalkin.com and UrbanGrounds

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