U.S. officer ordered Haditha move after Marine died
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  1. #1

    Exclamation U.S. officer ordered Haditha move after Marine died

    U.S. officer ordered Haditha move after Marine died

    By Marty Graham

    The first officer to arrive after a U.S. Marine was killed in Haditha, Iraq, testified on Tuesday that he ordered Marines to clear two houses in a response that ended up killing many civilians.

    Appearing before a military tribunal, 1st. Lt. William Kallop, who has immunity from prosecution, testified he was trying to evacuate two wounded and one dead Marine when the rescuers and survivors came under gunfire attack in 2005.

    Sgt. Frank Wuterich, one of three Marines now facing murder charges for what local Iraqis have called a revenge killing of 24 people, went into the houses on his orders, Kallop said.

    "I pointed to a group of building and said 'Flush them out, try to find the trigger man,"' Kallop testified, speaking in a matter-of-fact tone.

    Minutes later, after Wuterich's squad finished, Kallop walked through the two houses, where the majority of the 24 victims died, either from grenades or gunfire.

    "I thought 'Hey, what the crap, why aren't there any bad guys, any insurgents here?"' Kallop said. "I thought that was within the rules of engagement because the squad leader was about to kick in a door and walk into a machine gun nest."

    Kallop testified at a pretrial hearing in Camp Pendleton for Capt. Randy Stone, who faces three charges related to failing to report and investigate properly an alleged violation of the law of war.

    Stone, who was once praised by U.S. President George W. Bush, is one of four officers charged in connection with the November 19, 2005 killings and the first to appear in court.

    Tuesday's proceeding was an Article 32 hearing in which a military court reviews whether there is enough evidence in a case to bring the matter to trial.

    PRAISE FROM THE PRESIDENT

    A few months before the 2005 incident, Bush singled out Stone in a speech marking the 60th anniversary of VJ Day. "He's guided by the same convictions (the World War Two generation) carried into battle. He shares the same willingness to serve a cause greater than himself," Bush said of Stone.

    After a roadside bomb ripped Lance Cpl. Miguel Terrazas in half, squad members went to several houses in the village, searching for the bombers and leaving a trail of dead Iraqi men, women and children. Marines also shot five men who were riding by in a taxi.

    The Marines charged in the killings contend that they were following procedure while prosecutors have accused them of murder in the town 60 miles north of Baghdad.

    Three Marines are charged with murder, while four officers -- a lieutenant colonel, two captains and a lieutenant -- have been charged with failing to investigate the incident until Time magazine reported on the deaths.

    Ellie

    IN LOVING MEMORY OF MY LATE HUSBAND, SSgt Roger A. Alfano, USMC
    ONE PROUD MARINE
    1961-1977
    Vietnam 1968/69
    Once a Marine...Always a Marine

    https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1204617174

  2. #2
    Lieutenant testifies Haditha assault was proper response to attack

    By MARK WALKER --- Staff Writer

    CAMP PENDLETON ---- The platoon commander in Haditha who ordered his Marines to "clear" four houses he believed insurgents were using as a base of attack that led to the slaying of two dozen Iraqi civilians testified today the actions were entirely within the rules of engagement.

    The testimony from Marine Lt. William Kallop came as the first case in the prosecution of seven Camp Pendleton Marines charged with criminal wrongdoing in the notorious incident got under way in a base courtroom.


    Kallop was called as a witness for Capt. Randy W. Stone, who is charged with dereliction of duty for not fully investigating the incident that generated worldwide condemnation when it came to light.

    Stone's' attorney Charles Gittins asked Kallop what the Marines did wrong that day.

    "Nothing," Kallop said, adding he did not believe the incident required anything more than a standard "after-action" review by commanders in the field.

    Scheduled to head back to Iraq on Wednesday and granted immunity for his testimony, Kallop said he conducted a brief inspection of the homes following the assault and said it appeared that about 15 Iraqi civilians had been killed.

    He said he directed Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich and his unit to attack the houses after seeing a man near one and believing the small arms fire was being directed from inside the residences.

    Wuterich and two lance corporals face homicide charges for the civilian deaths. The pretrial hearings and those for the other accused officers take place it the coming weeks.

    "I essentially told them to try and bust them out ---- find the (bomb) triggerman, find the insurgents," Kallop testified.

    Wuterich later told him the Marines first used grenades to clear rooms and then followed up with small arms fire.

    When it was all over, no weapons were found inside any of the homes and none of the slain were later determined to be insurgents. The men did find passports and other material in one home that they believed were left behind by attackers.

    Kallop said the troops were surprised when they didn't find any insurgent bodies or weapons. He also testified that Cpl. Hector Salinas told him he was certain he had heard AK-47 gunfire coming from one of the homes.

    "Cpl. Salinas looked just as shocked as I was," Kallop said of what they saw in the homes following the assault. Several women and children died in the attack.

    Stone's attorneys are trying to convince a hearing officer that their client did nothing improper in his role as the legal officer for the 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment in Iraq at the time. The 34-year-old Maryland native was not present where the killings occurred but was responsible for conducting an initial review.

    Kallop was the first officer to arrive after a roadside bomb destroyed a Humvee, killing Lance Cpl. Miguel Terrazas and injuring another Marine.

    Kallop said he had complete confidence in Wuterich. He also testified that he told him that in addition to the 19 people killed inside the homes, five men who emerged from a car that drove up moments after the bombing and refused orders to stop running were shot.

    Stone was accompanied into the courtroom by his wife and parents, who sat directly behind him during the proceedings presided over by Maj. Thomas McCann, a legal affairs officer at Miramar Marine Corps Air Station. At the conclusion of the government and defense testimony, McCann will write a report stating whether he believes Stone should be court-martialed.

    The prosecution has given McCann 120 exhibits to consider, and more than 20 witnesses are expected to testify, including Maj. Gen. Huck, the former commander of the 2nd Marine Division who was in charge of the Marines in Haditha when the incident took place on the morning of Nov. 19, 2005.

    Huck will testify later this week via video hookup from the Pentagon where he is now working in a planning position.

    When the hearing broke for lunch, Gittins appeared before more than a dozen reporters covering the hearing from a media center near the courtroom and said Stone had no obligation to order an investigation.

    "My client didn't have any duty to do so," Gittins said. "He would have, but he wasn't ordered to."

    Gittins said Kallop was responsible for telling Marine commanders what had taken place and it was up to higher-rank officers other than Stone to decide if a probe was warranted.

    "Kallop was the first officer on the scene and he set the scene for the reporting that took place that day," Gittins said.

    Stone is one of four officers accused of failing in their duties to conduct a thorough investigation. As the lowest ranking man in that chain, Gittins said Stone should not be facing charges.

    "I don't know how you push it down to Capt. Stone," Gittins said. "He was the junior guy."

    Stone's hearing is expected to last through Friday.

    See tomorrow's North County Times for more on Tuesday's proceedings.

    Contact staff writer Mark Walker at (760) 740-3529 or mlwalker@nctimes.com.

    Ellie

    IN LOVING MEMORY OF MY LATE HUSBAND, SSgt Roger A. Alfano, USMC
    ONE PROUD MARINE
    1961-1977
    Vietnam 1968/69
    Once a Marine...Always a Marine

    https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1204617174

  3. #3
    Hadithah officer told Marines to clear homes
    By Gidget Fuentes - Staff writer
    Posted : Tuesday May 8, 2007 15:47:27 EDT

    CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. — The platoon commander of an infantry squad implicated in the deaths of 24 Iraqis in Hadithah testified Tuesday that he told the squad leader to “clear” the houses in a search for insurgents responsible for a fatal roadside blast.

    First Lt. William Kallop, who has received immunity in exchange for his testimony, said at the preliminary hearing that at least one Marine told him when he arrived on the scene with a quick-reaction force Nov. 19, 2005, that they were taking enemy fire.

    Kallop, who commanded 3rd Platoon, Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines, told then-Sgt. Frank Wuterich “to clear a group of buildings” south of the bomb crater.

    “At the time, I didn’t see any insurgents. … I didn’t see any bad guys,” said Kallop, who was questioned by Charles Gittins, a defense attorney for Capt. Randy Stone.

    Stone, 34, was the staff judge advocate for the Pendleton-based battalion during the Iraq deployment. He is charged with three counts of dereliction of duty and is one of four officers and three enlisted Marines facing charges in connection with the Hadithah incident.

    Kallop said he later went into one of the two houses where 17 civilians, including several women and children, were killed and others were wounded. “I just wanted to see what happened,” he said.

    The severed leg of one person blocked a door that lead into a room where a family lay dead. “I saw a little boy moving in the back corner of the room,” Kallop said. The wounded children refused to leave the room, opting to run back into the corners, he said.

    The scene jarred him but didn’t prompt him to report anything out of the ordinary to his superiors.

    Kallop testified that he thought, “What the crap? Where’s the bad guys? Why weren’t there any insurgents in here?” He looked at one of his corporals, who earlier had reported taking enemy fire, “and he looked shocked.”

    Later, in a brief conversation of “20 to 30 seconds” with Wuterich, Kallop said that the squad leader told him that he had heard noises behind a door in the house that sounded like the bolting action of an AK47 rifle.

    “From what he told me,” Kallop said, “… I thought that [their response] was within the rules of engagement because the squad leader felt he was going to kick in a door and walk into a machine-gun nest.”

    Kallop said he “trusted” the squad leader and considered him a good and proficient Marine.

    Wuterich is facing murder and other charges.

    Ellie

    IN LOVING MEMORY OF MY LATE HUSBAND, SSgt Roger A. Alfano, USMC
    ONE PROUD MARINE
    1961-1977
    Vietnam 1968/69
    Once a Marine...Always a Marine

    https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1204617174

  4. #4
    Marine found live children among Haditha dead

    A US marine who walked through two houses in Haditha, Iraq, minutes after other marines killed occupants with grenades and guns found two wounded children pretending to be dead next to a deceased woman.

    "I saw one breathe. That's how I knew," First Lieutenant William Kallop testified at a military tribunal at Camp Pendleton, California.

    "The little boy who breathed was about six or seven and when I touched him, the little girl jumped up. She was about 11."

    The two injured children were the only survivors of a Marine Corps assault on two Iraqi homes near the site of a bomb attack on a convoy that left one marine dead and two injured. Prosecutors contend that the surviving marines swept through the town on a revenge spree, killing 24 civilians with grenades and guns.

    Defence lawyers for the seven marines charged in the November 2005 killings say the marines were following procedure and orders.

    First Lieutenant Kallop, who led the first rescue team to come to the aid of the marines struck by the bomb, testified he told Sergeant Frank Wuterich to clear two houses near the bomb site because the marines suspected the bomb had been triggered from the houses and that insurgents were hiding within.

    Later First Lieutenant Kallop, who has immunity from prosecution, said he did not question the marines' reports nor wonder if their actions had been proper.

    "At the time I thought my marines had a good understanding of the rules of engagement and when they gave me a back brief, I said 'Roger that, good to go,'" he said.

    First Lieutenant Kallop was testifying at the hearing for Captain Randy Stone, one of four officers - a lieutenant colonel, two captains and a lieutenant - not present at the killings who were charged with failing to report and investigate the killings.

    Three other marines are charged with murder.

    Sgt Wuterich, one of three Marines facing murder charges, went into the houses on his orders, First Lieutenant Kallop said.

    "I pointed to a group of buildings and said 'Flush them out, try to find the trigger man,'" First Lieutenant Kallop testified.

    Minutes later, he walked through the two houses, where the majority of the 24 victims died, either from grenades or gunfire.

    "I thought 'Hey, what the crap, why aren't there any bad guys, any insurgents here?'" he said.

    "I thought that was within the rules of engagement because the squad leader was about to kick in a door and walk into a machine-gun nest."

    A few months before the 2005 incident, Bush singled out Stone in a speech marking the 60th anniversary of VJ Day.

    "He's guided by the same convictions (the World War IIgeneration) carried into battle. He shares the same willingness to serve a cause greater than himself," Mr Bush said of Stone.

    Stone, 34, could face a maximum penalty of two years in prison and a dishonorable discharge. The Camp Pendleton proceeding was an Article 32 hearing in which a military court reviews whether there is enough evidence to bring the matter to trial.

    -Reuters

    Ellie

    IN LOVING MEMORY OF MY LATE HUSBAND, SSgt Roger A. Alfano, USMC
    ONE PROUD MARINE
    1961-1977
    Vietnam 1968/69
    Once a Marine...Always a Marine

    https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1204617174

  5. #5
    May 8, 2007 21:54:02 EDT

    CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. — A military prosecutor on Tuesday hammered an infantry platoon commander who told a squad leader to “clear” houses in an Iraqi town in a search for insurgents, questioning the officer why the deaths of children, women and other civilians by Marines didn’t raise any red flags.

    The lead prosecutor, Lt. Col. Sean Sullivan, asked 1st Lt. William Kallop several times why he didn’t seek out more details and information about the actions of then-Sgt. Frank Wuterich and his squad after they cleared two houses in Hadithah on Nov. 19, 2005, near the site of a roadside bomb that killed one Marine and wounded two other squad members.

    Sullivan, in the opening day of the first preliminary hearing at Camp Pendleton for the battalion’s lawyer, asked Kallop if he ever thought “that there was a possibility that your Marines could have violated” any laws.

    “I thought the Marines had a good understanding of the rules of engagement,” Kallop, who commanded Kilo Company’s third platoon, responded during the preliminary hearing. After they provided some initial information, “I said, Roger that. I said it was good to go.”

    “You didn’t push for details?” Sullivan asked. “No,” answered Kallop, dressed in green digital camouflage uniform and seated in the small second-floor courtroom. A live video and audio feed of the proceeding was aired at a nearby media center.

    “You just didn’t question Sgt. Wuterich at all?” Sullivan asked.

    “No, sir,” Kallop replied.

    Kallop, who is testifying under a grant of immunity, spent nearly four hours on the stand. In questioning him, Marine Corps prosecutors began their attempt to show that the civilians’ deaths would have amounted to violations of the law of armed conflict, thus sounding alarms and prompting questions and investigations from higher commands.

    Sullivan questioned Kallop about the amount and type of law-of-war training that he and his platoon had received by the battalion’s lawyer, Capt. Randy Stone, who was the staff judge advocate for the Camp Pendleton-based 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines during the 2005-2006 Iraq deployment.

    Stone, 34, is charged with two counts of dereliction of duty and one count of violating an order. He is one of four battalion officers charged in the case, although none is charged in the civilians’ deaths. Three enlisted Marines are facing murder and other charges in the incident, which has drawn outcries from international human rights groups after an article in Time magazine recounted the deaths.

    The investigating officer, Maj. Thomas McCann, an infantry officer and staff judge advocate for 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, will hear testimony and weigh evidence before recommending to Lt. Gen. James N. Mattis, who commands I Marine Expeditionary Force and Marine Corps Forces-Central Command, whether the charges against Stone should proceed to a court-martial, be dropped or handled administratively. The hearing was expected to last until week’s end and may include testimony from the senior Marine Corps commander in Iraq at the time, Maj. Gen. Richard Huck, who commanded the Camp Lejeune, N.C.-based 2nd Marine Division.

    During Tuesday’s session, Kallop testified that Stone provided refresher classes on rules of engagement and law-of-war issues during the platoon’s rest period one or two months after the incident. He said he could not recall exactly when. At no time did the Marines discuss the civilians’ deaths from that day, and no one had questions about it, he testified.

    Kallop had responded to the scene of the roadside bomb with a quick-reaction force after they heard the explosion at their base a few kilometers away. At the scene, at least one Marine told him that they were taking enemy fire.

    Kallop told Wuterich, now a staff sergeant, “to clear a group of buildings” south of the bomb crater.

    “At the time, I didn’t see any insurgents I didn’t see any bad guys,” the lieutenant said when questioned by Charles Gittins, Stone’s lead defense attorney.

    Kallop said he later went into one of the two houses where 17 civilians, including several women and children, were killed and others were wounded. “I just wanted to see what happened,” he said.

    The severed leg of one person blocked a door that lead into a room where a family lay, dead. “I saw a little boy moving in the back corner of the room,” Kallop said. The wounded children refused to leave the room, opting to run back into the corners, he said.

    The scene jarred him, but didn’t prompt him to report to superiors anything out of the ordinary.

    Kallop testified that he thought, “What the crap? Where’s the bad guys? Why weren’t there any insurgents in here?” He looked at one of his corporals, who earlier had reported taking enemy fire, “and he looked shocked.”

    Later, in a brief conversation of “20 to 30 seconds” with Wuterich, Kallop said that the squad leader told him that he had heard noises behind a door in the house that sounded like the bolting action of an AK-47 rifle. “From what he told me,” Kallop said, “I thought that [their response] was within the rules of engagement because the squad leader felt he was going to kick in a door and walk into a machine gun nest.”

    Kallop didn’t ask many questions of Wuterich, and the lieutenant said he didn’t think they had anything more to tell him about the deaths.

    “You didn’t even have one question?” Sullivan asked.

    “I had faith in my squad leader, who told me what happened and why,” Kallop replied. “The first team leader also told me the same thing.”

    Neither Marine specifically told them about the civilians killed, including the children, he added, but he didn’t ask about that. “It’s not like they were trying to hide it, sir,” Kallop added.

    Sullivan pressed on, asking Kallop why he didn’t get a post-incident report from Wuterich that noted the civilian deaths as is done in accordance to law-of-war training. “They had been trying to engage the enemy in the best possible way that they can,” he replied.

    Kallop reported by radio “10 to 15” deaths into the Kilo Company operations center, but doesn’t recall if he specified whether they were civilians.

    In questioning by the investigating officer, Kallop said that the company’s response to complaints by local residents was that while the Marines “tried to do the right thing,” “the insurgents created the problem for you.”

    “That was kind of the general consensus” within the battalion, he added.

    IN LOVING MEMORY OF MY LATE HUSBAND, SSgt Roger A. Alfano, USMC
    ONE PROUD MARINE
    1961-1977
    Vietnam 1968/69
    Once a Marine...Always a Marine

    https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1204617174

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