March 2, 2008 |
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.
May 10, 2007 |
The weather was desert hot. But the Pepsi was nicely cold. After acting as gracious host, the mayor here made his point. "The people of Germany and Japan would not have made progress without the Americans," Mayor Abdul Hakim M. Rasheed told the Marine officers who recently came to his heavily guarded home. "The people of Iraq deserve the same." The Marines, including three generals, quickly assured Rasheed that they had no plans to abandon him and his city.
March 29, 2008 |
Involuntary manslaughter charges were dropped Friday against a 27-year-old Marine lance corporal who had faced trial in connection with the Marine killings of 24 civilians in Haditha, Iraq, in 2005. Stephen B. Tatum, who also no longer faces charges of reckless endangerment and aggravated assault, will be compelled to testify in the court-martial of Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich, his former squad leader. Wuterich led the assault on two houses where most of the deaths occurred.
September 7, 2007 |
A Marine facing murder charges in connection with the shooting deaths of 17 Iraqis in Haditha, Iraq, told a hearing officer Thursday that he shot five men as they ran away from a roadside bomb explosion that killed a Marine and injured two others. Staff Sgt. Frank D. Wuterich, 27, making an unsworn statement at the end of his Article 32 preliminary hearing, denied shooting any of the other 19 Iraqis slain in and around three houses in the Euphrates River Valley town on Nov. 19, 2005.
June 2, 2007 |
A Marine general testified Friday that he probably would have ordered an investigation of the killing of 24 civilians in the Iraqi town of Haditha but for a misleading report filed by the commander there. The testimony by Maj. Gen. Richard Huck is central to the prosecution's case against Marine Lt. Col. Jeffrey Chessani, 43, accused of dereliction of duty and violating a lawful order for not launching a complete investigation of the killings. On Nov.
July 12, 2007 |
A hearing officer recommended Wednesday that Marine Lt. Col. Jeffrey Chessani be sent to court-martial for dereliction of duty in the failure to investigate the shooting deaths of 24 Iraqi civilians in the western town of Haditha. Chessani, 43, a former infantry battalion commander, is the highest-ranking officer charged in what is the largest war-crime allegation involving U.S. troops in Iraq or Afghanistan. If convicted, he could face three years in prison.
June 3, 2007 |
The officer who recommended that Lt. Col. Jeffrey Chessani not inspect the area where Marines had just killed 24 Iraqis testified Saturday that he profoundly regretted his recommendation because it contributed to a false report about the deaths being filed with superiors. "Col. Chessani is not a coward," Maj. Sam Carrasco said, leaning forward and looking directly at the hearing officer, Col. Christopher Conlin. "He'd be the first to go into a house [filled with insurgents] if we needed to."
July 2, 2007 |
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.
June 6, 2007 |
War weariness and a deep suspicion of Iraqis kept Marines from investigating after their troops in the town of Haditha stormed three houses and killed 19 people and yet found no weapons or insurgents, officers testified Tuesday. 1st Lt. William Kallop said that on the night of the incident the U.S. Marines in central Iraq were still reacting to the death of Lance Cpl. Miguel Terrazas, killed earlier in the day by a roadside bomb, and were focused on what they expected to be dangerous days ahead.
June 18, 2008 |
A military judge at Camp Pendleton on Tuesday dismissed charges against Lt. Col. Jeffrey Chessani, the highest-ranking officer accused in the deaths of 24 Iraqis in 2005 in the town of Haditha. Col. Steven Folsom, the judge, made his ruling in response to a motion from defense attorneys charging that undue influence was exercised on the convening authority in the case. Folsom dismissed the charges without prejudice, meaning the Marine Corps could refile them.