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thedrifter
08-20-06, 03:44 PM
Consider the Mindset
Jayne Lyn Stahl
Huffington Post

Had enough of Jon Benet Ramsey's killer's most irregular confession to an egregious, and sensational crime? Well then, consider this: Marines Lt. Colonel Jeffrey A. Chessari saw nothing irregular, or out of the ordinary, in the murder, last November, of 24 Iraqi men, women, and children in the village of Haditha.To the lieutenant, this wholesale act of slaughter can be seen only as "a large combat action that had been staged by the enemy." (WaPo)

It boggles the mind to think that any key commander, whether it be in the marines, the army, or the air force, can be so audaciously complacent, and nonplussed, about any operation, under his auspices,that involves the gunning down of civilian "enemy." That there is no sense of responsibility, or desire to pursueat least the prospect of culpability, for what is clearly a shameful act that falls outside of the Geneva Conventions, as well as any civilized notion of battle, makes the notion that any country to whom we're purport to export democracy, and/or respect for law and order, patently and grossly absurd. Such open, and provincial, acceptance of "collateral damage"constitutes blatant conceptual butchery, and far surpasses anything that can be accomplished by a mere bullet.

While testifying, in Iraq, in preparation for a larger military trial in the Haditha matter, it appears that the good lieutenant didn't even bat an eyelash. According to the statement made, under oath, last spring, Chessari said that he did not think what happened in Haditha was in way, shape, or form out of the ordinary nor that it warranted an investigation on his part.Instead, he suggested that the killing of these 24 civilians in late November, in Iraq, was nothing more than a routine combat action. (WaPo)

It will be interesting to see who will walk away from the inquiry into Haditha with a slap on the wrist, what the Lt. Colonel'speers think, and the penalty, if any, this commander, and his subordinates, will face for these what can only be seen as criminal acts. Moreover, what price will society at large pay for training, arming, and rewarding the kind of mindset that unilaterally, and universally, abnegates responsibility both as a critically-thinking commanding officer, and as a moral human being. Moreover, what example can our military hope to set for an evolving Iraqi military?

Arguably, the larger question becomes what kind of skewered logic finds value in a preemptive military action that comes about from leadership that demonstrates no knowledge whatsoever of what the word"proactive" means. Is that what the enemy is to be used for, to cover our collective ass? Or, better still, has the truth itself become our biggest enemy?

More importantly, why is it that the press, in this country, as well as those born again neo-con artists aren't asking the hard questions about over the top, behavior routinely practiced, ignored, and/or sanctioned by commissioned officersin our armed forces? If we don't ask these questions, you can rest assured history will ask them for us as, indeed, with regard to Haditha, Abu Ghraib, and other travesties, we have met the enemy, and it is not terror, it is passive acceptance, blind compliance, and noxious insensitivity to the collective, and unequivocal, value of human life.

Ellie

thedrifter
08-20-06, 03:51 PM
Haditha deaths not unusual, said officer
[ 20 Aug, 2006 2327hrs ISTREUTERS ]

WASHINGTON: The US Marine officer who commanded the battalion involved in the deaths of two dozen Iraqi civilians in Haditha in November did not consider the incident unusual and did not initiate a probe, The Washington Post reported on Saturday.

"I thought it was very sad, very unfortunate, but at the time, I did not suspect any wrongdoing from my Marines," Lt Col Jeffrey R Chessani, commander of the 3rd Battalion of the 1st Marines, said in a sworn statement given to military investigators in March.

"I did not have any reason to believe that this was anything other than combat action," he said in the statement, which was cited by the Post. The newspaper said it was provided with the statement by a person sympathetic to the enlisted Marines involved in the case.

It said it helps explain why there was no investigation of the incident at the time and why the US military chain of command took months to react.

Chessani said he had concluded that insurgents had staged a "complex attack" that began with a roadside bomb, followed by a small-arms ambush intended to provoke the Marines to fire into houses where civilians were hiding.

Because of that conclusion, he said, he saw no reason to investigate, or ask how many women and children had been killed.

US Marines have been accused of killing 24 unarmed Iraqis in Haditha in November 2005, one of a series of incidents in which US troops are suspected of killing Iraqi civilians.

Two investigations were initiated into the Haditha case - a murder inquiry and a probe into the Marines' procedures following the killings.

The New York Times reported on Friday the Pentagon probe into the Haditha deaths found possible concealment or destruction of evidence by US Marines.

ReutersWashington: The US Marine officer who commanded the battalion involved in the deaths of two dozen Iraqi civilians in Haditha in November did not consider the incident unusual and did not initiate a probe, The Washington Post reported on Saturday.

"I thought it was very sad, very unfortunate, but at the time, I did not suspect any wrongdoing from my Marines," Lt Col Jeffrey R Chessani, commander of the 3rd Battalion of the 1st Marines, said in a sworn statement given to military investigators in March.

"I did not have any reason to believe that this was anything other than combat action," he said in the statement, which was cited by the Post. The newspaper said it was provided with the statement by a person sympathetic to the enlisted Marines involved in the case.


It said it helps explain why there was no investigation of the incident at the time and why the US military chain of command took months to react.

Chessani said he had concluded that insurgents had staged a "complex attack" that began with a roadside bomb, followed by a small-arms ambush intended to provoke the Marines to fire into houses where civilians were hiding.

Because of that conclusion, he said, he saw no reason to investigate, or ask how many women and children had been killed.

US Marines have been accused of killing 24 unarmed Iraqis in Haditha in November 2005, one of a series of incidents in which US troops are suspected of killing Iraqi civilians.

Two investigations were initiated into the Haditha case - a murder inquiry and a probe into the Marines' procedures following the killings.

The New York Times reported on Friday the Pentagon probe into the Haditha deaths found possible concealment or destruction of evidence by US Marines.

Ellie