Newsmax readers have now contributed more than $200,000 to help pay the legal expenses of two heroic Marines accused of committing atrocities in Haditha, Iraq, in 2005.
Last year Newsmax readers generously donated more than $250,000 toward the legal bills of Lance Cpl. Justin Sharratt, Lance Cpl. Stephen Tatum, and Staff Sgt. Frank D. Wuterich.
Sharratt has already been exonerated, and now only Tatum and Wuterich face courts-martial.
In total, Newsmax readers have raised over $450,000 for the three legal defense funds. But the ordeal of Tatum and Wuterich is continuing — and they face legal and other costs that could exceed well over $1 million. [Editor’s Note: Help these Marines — Go Here Now.]
The hysteria against these Marines was set off by a Time magazine story claiming that the Marines had massacred 24 innocent civilians in Haditha on Nov. 19, 2005, in retaliation for the death of one of their fellow Marines. The only sources for the Time article were known insurgent propagandists, civilian supporters of al-Qaida, or civilians intimidated by al-Qaida thugs.
Even though Time was forced to retract parts of the story four times, and the presiding officer at an initial hearing recommended strongly that all charges be dropped against the Marines, two of the enlisted Marines still face courts-martial and possible long prison sentences.
Tatum’s court-martial is scheduled to begin on March 28. Wuterich’s court-martial was scheduled for March 10, but has now been indefinitely postponed.
Outrageously, military prosecutors even sought to keep Wuterich’s attorneys from calling a key exonerating witness, Maj. Jeffrey Dinsmore, an intelligence officer who had carefully monitored the engagement in Haditha.
Dinsmore kept a narrative complete with photos from an unmanned aerial vehicle, transcripts of radio transmissions from the scene of the action, and reports from some of the participants all the way up the command ladder.
Dinsmore’s reports proved conclusively that the actions of the Marines were proper and justified in clearing out areas with terrorists.
Nevertheless, a Pentagon prosecutor filed a motion to prevent Dinsmore from testifying. Fortunately, a military judge denied this motion, but the effort demonstrates that the Pentagon want to scapegoat these Marines.
“These courageous Marines have been treated unfairly and our readers recognize that,” said Newsmax.com Editor Christopher Ruddy.
“Newsmax correspondent Phil Brennan has chronicled the Haditha outrage. We are proud of him and the fact our readers have risen up to help these Marine heroes who have given selfless service to our country.”
Please remember that 100 percent of the proceeds go to the Marines’ defense fund. Newsmax pays the credit card processing costs — and has made an additional $15,000 donation to the fund.
You can continue to help these Marines — Go Here Now.
© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.