I haven’t written about the alleged massacre in Haditha, Iraq, mostly because there’s nothing to write about except rumor, allegation, and hyperbole. It is alleged that a group of Marines went on a rampage in the town of Haditha after one of their own was killed by an IED. The investigation is ongoing right now and the facts of that day are not at all clear.
They are certainly not clear enough for me to say, as did Congressman John Murtha, that our Marines killed people “in cold blood”. As a point of fact if the Marines were acting out of rage or revenge, they were “hot-blooded” not cold, but that’s a semantic point. “In cold blood” sounds better though when you’re out to score the big sound byte and make political hay against the President. That’s Murtha’s game and it’s quite obvious that he could care less for the health or welfare of any of our Marines.
Neither can I say, though, that the Marines are innocent of the charges. There’s evidence to suggest that they’re not. There is also exculpatory evidence out there that would weigh in their favor.
And there’s this personal recollection of some of those troops by a CNN reporter who was embedded with them. It’s quite a remarkable read, I thought, not only to read of the conditions the reporter experienced in Haditha but also because it reads very much like a defense of the Marines. Quite honestly I had not expected anyone in the MSM to mount such a defense.
Even with that personal recollection, all we have right now is supposition and character witnesses for and against the Marines (or Marines in general, or the President, or whomever). We have precious few facts and we will remain in that condition until the investigation is complete. Most of us in the blogosphere would be well advised to cool our jets on this story until then.