Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Haditha and John Murtha

Up until now, I have maintained an extremely low opinion of John Murtha. I do not know what he knows or has been briefed. Perhaps he knows everything about the killing at Haditha. Perhaps he knows the names of the Marines and Iraqis that were killed.

I would like to think that he would not accuse his fellow Marines of murder without being certain beyond a reasonable doubt that they were guilty of it. I would like to think that he, as both a law maker and a retired Marine, would base his accusation only on the results of a trial and use them solely for the governing of our armed forces by due political process.

What I would like and what I see here are vastly different. My experience with military justice has taught me that it is never neglectful, lenient, or timely.

I was one of my previous units' chasers. I escorted a sergeant who had fradulently made a $240 travel claim. His trial took about 3 months from the time of the completion of the investigation. Albeit the investigation probably did not take very long. However he was not on trial for his life and it was not during combat operations. Both conditions demand that only the most careful scrutiny be given to their cases individually.

Since I do not know what John Murtha knows, I cannot say with certainty that he is being quick to judge. Stating that the investigation should have taken a few weeks and then going on to say that as a matter of course, we massacre civilians does not lend credence to the alternative.

Given his view of the war and apparent antipathy toward any military action, it is hard not to slap him with an ad hominem argument and say that he is just using this for his own political gain.

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