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Haditha Iraq

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WORLD
July 25, 2007 | Tony Perry, Times Staff Writer
With tears in his eyes and his voice breaking, a Marine lance corporal facing six murder charges told a hearing officer Tuesday that he did not realize there were Iraqi women and children in the line of fire when he began hurling grenades and firing his M-16. "It was dark," said Lance Cpl. Stephen B. Tatum. "I couldn't make out a lot -- just targets.... I didn't know there were women and children in that house until later." Tatum, 26, of Edmond, Okla.
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WORLD
June 20, 2008 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
The Marine Corps is appealing a military judge's decision to dismiss criminal charges against Lt. Col. Jeffrey Chessani in the killing of 24 Iraqis in Haditha in November 2005. The judge, Col. Steven Folsom, ruled Tuesday that the case against Chessani was tainted by the appearance of undue influence brought on the convening authority, Gen. James N. Mattis. Chessani, 44, was charged with dereliction of duty and failure to obey a direct order for not launching a war crimes investigation into the killings.
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WORLD
October 20, 2007 | Tony Perry, Times Staff Writer
A Marine lieutenant colonel and a lance corporal have been ordered to stand trial on charges stemming from the 2005 killing of 24 civilians in Haditha, Iraq, the Marine Corps announced Friday. Of eight initial defendants in the case, they are the only two who have been ordered to court-martial. The case involves the largest number of civilian deaths of any alleged abuse case involving Marines in Iraq. Lt. Col.
WORLD
March 2, 2008 | Tony Perry, Times Staff Writer
This struggling town along the Euphrates River may long be remembered as the place where U.S. Marines killed 24 civilians in 2005, an incident that led to troops being charged with murder and their superiors accused of dereliction of duty for failing to properly investigate.
WORLD
October 5, 2007 | Tony Perry, Times Staff Writer
A hearing officer has recommended that a Marine staff sergeant be tried on negligent homicide charges in the deaths of five women and two children in Iraq, but predicted that the prosecution would fail. Lt. Col. Paul Ware, in a report to a top general, recommended that murder charges against the sergeant be dropped in the deaths of 12 other civilians in November 2005 in the Iraqi town of Haditha. The case against Staff Sgt. Frank D.
WORLD
September 1, 2007 | Tony Perry, Times Staff Writer
A Marine squad leader executed five Iraqi men after a roadside bomb blast killed a Marine and then told squad members to falsely claim that the men were shot while running away, a member of his squad testified Friday. Sgt. Sanick P. Dela Cruz said he saw Staff Sgt. Frank D. Wuterich fire his M-16 at the five as they stood beside a taxi in which they had been riding in the Iraqi village of Haditha, some with their hands locked behind their heads.
WORLD
August 16, 2006 | From Times Wire Reports
Rep. John Kline (R-Minn.) apologized to Marines under investigation in the deaths of two dozen Iraqi civilians in Haditha in a statement his office said spared him from a libel suit. Kline, a retired Marine colonel, issued a three-paragraph statement under a deal with lawyers for Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich, one of the Marines under investigation. Charges have not been filed. Wuterich's lawyers sued Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.) on Aug. 2 after his comments on the case.
NATIONAL
May 9, 2007 | From the Associated Press
A Marine platoon commander who ordered that several houses be cleared in an Iraqi town testified Tuesday that he was shocked to learn women and children were among 24 Iraqi civilians killed in the attacks. But 1st. Lt. William Kallop defended the assaults as a legitimate combat operation during the first day of testimony in the biggest U.S. criminal case involving civilian deaths in the Iraq war.
NATIONAL
May 30, 2006 | From the Associated Press
The chairman of the military's Joint Chiefs of Staff said Monday "it would be premature for me to judge" the outcome of a Pentagon investigation into the killing of as many as two dozen Iraqi civilians by Marines. But at the same time, Marine Gen. Peter Pace said he believed it was crucial to make the point that if certain service members were responsible for an atrocity there, they "have not performed their duty the way that 99.9% of their fellow Marines have."
WORLD
June 10, 2007 | Tony Perry, Times Staff Writer
Lt. Col. Jeffrey Chessani told the investigating officer at his preliminary hearing Saturday that he did not believe he had done anything criminally wrong in the aftermath of a Marine shooting in the town of Haditha that left 24 Iraqi civilians dead. "I would say to you, I do not believe my decisions and actions were criminal, sir," Chessani told Col. Christopher Conlin.
WORLD
October 20, 2007 | Tony Perry, Times Staff Writer
A Marine lieutenant colonel and a lance corporal have been ordered to stand trial on charges stemming from the 2005 killing of 24 civilians in Haditha, Iraq, the Marine Corps announced Friday. Of eight initial defendants in the case, they are the only two who have been ordered to court-martial. The case involves the largest number of civilian deaths of any alleged abuse case involving Marines in Iraq. Lt. Col.
WORLD
October 5, 2007 | Tony Perry, Times Staff Writer
A hearing officer has recommended that a Marine staff sergeant be tried on negligent homicide charges in the deaths of five women and two children in Iraq, but predicted that the prosecution would fail. Lt. Col. Paul Ware, in a report to a top general, recommended that murder charges against the sergeant be dropped in the deaths of 12 other civilians in November 2005 in the Iraqi town of Haditha. The case against Staff Sgt. Frank D.
WORLD
September 6, 2007 | Tony Perry, Times Staff Writer
Three senior Marine officers have been given letters of censure for failing to launch a war-crimes investigation of the killing of 24 Iraqi civilians in Haditha, the Marine Corps announced Wednesday. The letters will go into the personnel files of Maj. Gen. Richard A. Huck, who was commanding general of the 2nd Marine Division; Col. Robert G. Sokoloski, a lawyer who was chief of staff to the division while it was in Iraq; and Col. Stephen W.
WORLD
September 1, 2007 | Tony Perry, Times Staff Writer
A Marine squad leader executed five Iraqi men after a roadside bomb blast killed a Marine and then told squad members to falsely claim that the men were shot while running away, a member of his squad testified Friday. Sgt. Sanick P. Dela Cruz said he saw Staff Sgt. Frank D. Wuterich fire his M-16 at the five as they stood beside a taxi in which they had been riding in the Iraqi village of Haditha, some with their hands locked behind their heads.
WORLD
August 10, 2007 | Tony Perry, Times Staff Writer
The Marine Corps announced Thursday that it had dropped charges against Lance Cpl. Justin L. Sharratt, who was accused of murdering three Iraqi brothers in November 2005. Sharratt was one of eight Marines initially accused in the slayings of 24 civilians in the Iraqi town of Haditha after a roadside bomb killed a Marine. Four enlisted men were charged with the killings and four officers with dereliction of duty for not ordering a war crimes investigation. Lt. Gen. James N.
WORLD
July 25, 2007 | Tony Perry, Times Staff Writer
With tears in his eyes and his voice breaking, a Marine lance corporal facing six murder charges told a hearing officer Tuesday that he did not realize there were Iraqi women and children in the line of fire when he began hurling grenades and firing his M-16. "It was dark," said Lance Cpl. Stephen B. Tatum. "I couldn't make out a lot -- just targets.... I didn't know there were women and children in that house until later." Tatum, 26, of Edmond, Okla.
WORLD
June 21, 2006 | Julian E. Barnes and Tony Perry, Times Staff Writers
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 summary.
WORLD
June 1, 2006 | Megan K. Stack and Raheem Salman, Times Staff Writers
The killing began shortly after sunrise on a November day. As a U.S. patrol rolled through Haditha, a homemade bomb exploded beneath the belly of a Humvee, rocking the sleepy riverside town. "The Americans who were in the first vehicle came back to the damaged car. They started to scream and shout," said a gray-haired shopkeeper who would give his name only as Abu Mukarram. He said he watched the scene unfold from his bedroom window. "After some minutes, everything was quiet.
WORLD
July 11, 2007 | Tony Perry, Times Staff Writer
A hearing officer recommended Tuesday that murder charges be dropped against Marine Lance Cpl. Justin L. Sharratt in the fatal shooting of Iraqi civilians in the western town of Haditha in late November 2005. Lt. Col. Paul Ware said conflicting statements by Iraqis, inconclusive forensic evidence and questionable legal theories used by the prosecution were inadequate to send Sharratt to a court-martial on charges of killing three Iraqi brothers. Ware's recommendation goes to Lt. Gen. James N.
WORLD
July 2, 2007 | Tony Perry, Times Staff Writer
The day that would produce the biggest case of alleged atrocities by U.S. troops in Iraq began simply. On Nov. 19, 2005, a squad of Marines moved out before dawn to take hot chow and a code-changing device to an outpost a few miles away. They planned to get back while the sun was barely rising over the Euphrates River. The Marines from Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 1st Regiment, had arrived in Haditha six weeks earlier from Camp Pendleton.
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