The family of a Marine accused of war crimes in Haditha, Iraq want John Murtha censured for his comments concerning their son. Murtha, a former Marine, accused the Marines of killing civilians “in cold blood”:
“Our troops overreacted because of the pressure on them, and they killed innocent civilians in cold blood,”
When Murtha made those statements, he had yet to read any of the reports on the incident.
“All the information I get, it comes from the commanders, it comes from people who know what they are talking about.” Although Murtha said that he had not read any investigative reports by the military on the incident, he stressed, “It’s much worse than reported in Time magazine.”
The parents of a 22 year old Marine slandered by Rep. Murtha are looking for more than an apology. Their son, Lance Cpl. Justin Sharratt, was found to have acted in accordance “with the rules of engagement and use of force.”
“We need this man censured by our Congress,” he said, because “he denied my son — and the other Marines involved — their constitutional rights to a fair trial and a presumption of innocence.”
“This is what we’ve been fighting for in Iraq,” Sharratt added. “This is what we’ve been fighting for — what soldiers and Marines have been dying for — for the past 200 years.”
I don’t know that he denied anyone’s rights, but he did speak out in ignorance and publicly indicted the Marines without first waiting for the investigation.
“Always faithful,” indeed.