Monday, May 14, 2007

Marine: Haditha Didn't Need Probe

The case against the Haditha Marines has been falling apart in recent weeks. Maj. Dana Hyatt testified, as many Marines have, that he didn't feel the scene he witnessed deserved an investigation.

Hyatt said a corporal from the squad involved in the killings told him that he had heard someone in the house loading a machine gun, and that is why they cleared rooms with such aggression.

"It made sense. It sounded OK," said Hyatt, who has been given immunity to testify.

The Marines are saying that all of the 24 dead were civilians, but Hyatt testified that 8 were insurgents. That has not been verified.

He goes on to talk about the compensation paid to the family of those killed at Haditha.

Based on what he saw, Hyatt said he was authorized to distribute more than $40,000 in compensation to relatives of the dead.

Still, Hyatt testified that his understanding of Marine rules was that when civilians died in combat operations, no follow-up investigation was necessary.

Remember that the Marines did, in fact, come under fire after the IED. They were ambushed by gunmen. An event originally cast aside by everyone who wanted to see these Marines hang. Haditha was also well known as an insurgent hotbed at the time, and the video didn't turn up until months later. The guy who recorded the video also turned out to be a terrorist supporter himself.


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