Tags: Haditha | Truth | Massacred | the | Media

Haditha Truth Massacred by the Media

Thursday, 14 June 2007 12:00 AM

When it comes to the November 2005 Haditha incident, which the media has characterized as a wanton massacre of 24 innocent civilians, it seems it is the truth that has been massacred — by the news media.

As Lt. Col. Jeffrey Chessani, long heralded as one of the bravest and most skillful Marine officers in the Corps, faces charges that could send him to prison for failing to adequately investigate the incident, defense attorneys for both the colonel and the other Marines have been unable to cite in open court the evidence that clearly exonerates him and all of the other accused Marines.

As a result, the media has emphasized all of the erroneous charges leveled by the prosecution, most of which rely on suspect testimony from anti-American Iraqis — some of them insurgents.

That roadblock has been cleared. The full eight hours is declassified, and because it will be available to the public, NewsMax can now break through the paper curtain erected by the media to report what we have long known but have been unable to reveal.

The evidence clearly shows that a great miscarriage of justice has been imposed on a group of some of the bravest and finest of Americans — the men of the Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment.

It told the full story, was supported by photographic evidence, logs of all the day's radio transmissions, and included an almost minute-by-minute narrative of the day's events.

The eight hours of testimony and cross examination offered by Capt. Jeffrey Dinsmore, the S2 officer, gave full details of the intelligence passed on to the officers and men of the 3rd Battalion 1St Marine Regiment including the Marines of Kilo Company. It buttressed previous briefings which alerted the Marines of insurgent tactics such as the killing of seven reconnaissance Marines who were ambushed by insurgents in hospital beds with AK-47s hidden under the bedcovers.

According to Dinsmore, a 20-year up-from-the ranks captain reputed to be one of the best intelligence officers in the Marine Corps, as well as the unit's only officer awarded a Bronze Star for his service in Haditha, the officers and men of 3rd Battalion 1St Marine Regiment were specifically alerted to the possibility of a white car being involved in the planned ambush.

That there existed prior intelligence on the planned ambush was hinted at in a May 30, 2006 interview Lance Cpl. James Crossan gave to KING-TV in Seattle.

Crossan was riding in the Humvee that was struck by the IED in Haditha on Nov. 19. He suffered a broken back, shattered bones, and perforated eardrums. The explosion killed Lance Cpl. Miguel Terrazas.

According to Crossan the Marines had information on the day of the incident that about 20 insurgents were planning a major attack on the command outpost (COP), which he describes as something like a vehicular check post.

Crossan said that he saw a child signal the passing of the Humvee, and that he saw two guys standing not five feet away from where the IED exploded. He said there was no way that they didn't know about the IED. When the IED exploded, he said, the Marines were already ready for something like it that day, thanks to the intelligence provided them the night before.

Sgt. Wuterich was among those alerted to be on the lookout for a white car, and when a white Opal taxi cab screeched to a halt on the Marine's exposed left flank and five men jumped out and began to flee. Wuterich and Sgt. Sanick P. Dela Cruz ordered them to stop. When they didn't, the Marines shot and killed them. Officers later on the scene said that then position of the bodies clearly showed them to have been fleeing when they were shot.

According to Capt. Dinsmore's telephone testimony, given from his post in Iraq for the Article 32 hearing for Capt. Stone, intelligence showed that four of the men in the cab were among the eight identified insurgents killed that day.

It is interesting to note just how erroneous the media's reporting on that incident was as exemplified by Washington Post reporter Ellen Knickmeyer who six months later took the word of a so-called "Iraqi witness" from Haditha and reported that the men in the cab "happened upon the scene inadvertently" while riding in the cab.

Nat Helms is author of a new book, "My Men Are My Heroes" which provides an account of the incredible bravery of Sgt. Brad Kasal in the second battle of Fallujah.

He stated that Knickmeyer wrote about a witness who said that the taxi driver turned onto the street and saw the wrecked Humvee and the Marines, and then the cab driver tried to back away at full speed. The Marines opened fire from about 30 yards away, killing all the men inside the taxi. Dela Cruz reportedly pumped his 30-round M-16 magazine into the car when they tried to run.

Even worse, later media reports said the cab carrying four known insurgents was occupied by four "college students," along with the cab driver, who were on their way to school.

These false reports however, pale in the face of the role played by Time magazine Tim McGirk and Time itself. According to McGirk's first story, a "budding journalism student" had given him a video he had taken after the killing of the civilians in the houses near the site of the IED explosion.

Almost immediately, Time had to correct the story, revealing that the "budding journalism student" was actually 43-year-old Taher Thabet al-Hadithi who just happened to be on hand to videotape the aftermath of the killing in the houses.

Time also identified al-Hadithi as head of something called the Hammurabi Organization for Human Rights and Democracy Monitoring. Time reported that the Hammurabi Human Rights group was affiliated with Human Rights Watch. Human Rights Watch vehemently denied they had any connection or any ties or association with the Hammurabi Human Rights Group, and Time wrote a retraction.

It was then revealed that the Hammurabi Human Rights group was a group of two: Hadithi and Ali Omar Abrahem al-Mashhadani, a Reuters News Service reporter who was previously arrested by U.S. Marines in his home town of Ramadi and underwent weeks of interrogation at the infamous Abu Ghraib Prison. His American warders told Reuters that he was released in a general amnesty in late 2005 along with about 500 other Iraqi prisoners. Reuters also reported that he spent five months in U.S. custody before being released without charges.

Three months later al-Mashhadani was the darling of Time magazine, Nat Helms wrote sarcastically.

NewsMax can now reveal that the battalion S2 knew that the insurgents were following their usual practice of videotaping an ambush. And it was a series of cell phone communications between Hadithi and Mashhadani, both known insurgents, that alerted the Marines to the impending ambush.

The Marine Corps, however, had discovered al-Hadithi more than a year before Nov. 19, among other anti-government, anti-American Sunni insurgent sympathizers inhabiting Haditha. He was still under their microscope in late February when he gave his video to McGirk after shopping it around for weeks. Helms described it as "ugly and inflammatory, full of dead children and women and blood-covered walls."

Al-Hadithi claimed the deaths were the handiwork of out-of-control Marines who wantonly charged through the innocent victims' homes slaughtering women and children in revenge for Terrazas' gruesome death.

In late March, McGirk released al-Hadithi's "evidence" to the world. Marines who specialized in signal interception told Helms they were shocked when they heard al-Hadithi and Mashhadani were mixed up in it.

In his testimony Capt. Dinsmore revealed that both men were operating freely throughout the province before purportedly announcing the creation of their human rights organization in early 2006. Marine intelligence officers were aware of their intelligence activities because their frequent cellular telephone conversations were monitored, they said.

McGirk's sources were known insurgent propagandists and it was McGirk's Time reports that created the Haditha massacre hoax.

Marine sources told NewsMax that when McGirk first contacted the 3rd Battalion and asked to interview the men of Kilo Company, he was invited to come to Haditha and the men were told by Chessani to answer all his questions fully and truthfully.

On the day before he was due to arrive in Haditha from the safety of Baghdad's Green Zone, NBC reporter Bob Woodward and his cameramen were badly wounded. McGirk promptly canceled his trip, saying it was too dangerous. This, incidentally is the same McGirk who partied with the murderous Taliban after 9/11 and proclaimed them to be a fine upstanding bunch of just plain folks.

The courageous McGirk has now refused to testify at Chessani's Article 32 hearing where defense attorneys insist he would have been torn to pieces in cross examination.

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When it comes to the November 2005 Haditha incident, which the media has characterized as a wanton massacre of 24 innocent civilians, it seems it is the truth that has been massacred - by the news media. As Lt. Col. Jeffrey Chessani, long heralded as one...
Thursday, 14 June 2007 12:00 AM
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