This story from Newsmax is making the rounds so I figured I would link to it, even though I usually take what Newsmax says with a grain of salt (sometimes they’re accurate, sometimes they’re not – then again, so is the NYT …).
Some of the claims made:
Although the prosecutors said they needed more time to prepare their cases, there is much more to the story than that NewsMax.com has learned, and it paints a shocking picture of a prosecution that should never have been pursued.
In a nutshell, the case exploded when an intelligence officer dropped a bombshell on prosecutors during a pre-hearing interview when he revealed the existence of exculpatory evidence that appears to have been obtained by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) and withheld from the prosecutors.
This officer, described by senior Marine Corps superiors as one of the best and most dedicated intelligence officers in the entire Marine Corps, was in possession of evidence which provided a minute-by-minute narrative of the entire day’s action — material which he had amassed while monitoring the day’s action in his capacity as the battalion’s intelligence officer. That material, he says, was also in the hands of the NCIS.
Much of that evidence remains classified, but it includes videos of the entire day’s action, including airstrikes against insurgent safe houses. Also included was all of the radio traffic describing the ongoing action between the men on the ground and battalion headquarters, and proof that the Marines were aware that the insurgents conducting the ambush of the Kilo Company troops were videotaping the action — the same video that after editing ended up in the hands of a gullible anti-war correspondent for Time magazine.
When asked by the prosecution team to give his copies of the evidence to the prosecution, he told NewsMax.com that he was reluctant to do so, fearing it would again be suppressed or misused, but later relented when ordered by his commanding general to do so.
Confronted by the massive mounds of evidence that Marine Corps sources tell NewsMax proves conclusively that the cases against the Haditha Marines are baseless, the prosecutors were forced to postpone the Article 31 against Lt. Col. Chessani and two of the enlisted men in an attempt to regroup.
By granting immunity to the officer on the scene of the house-clearing effort, the prosecution, lawyers say, has further weakened its case.
Because the intelligence officer was slated to return to Iraq for another tour of duty, arrangements were made prior to his departure to videotape his testimony for use in the hearings which would take place after his departure.
Those familiar with his testimony, which included masses of classified material, insist that the narratives of the day’s events disclosed by NewsMax.com in a long series of stories about Haditha were accurate presentations of the true facts and a total repudiation of all the slanderous material leaked by the Pentagon to the media.
My question is, if the charges against the accused are dropped, will we see an apology from Rep. John “it looks like it’s the policy of our troops to do something like this” Murtha? I won’t hold my breath.
My prior posts on Haditha can be found here.