7 years, 6 months ago
Staff Sergeant Wuterich (Squad Leader) says, through his lawyer and as reported by the Washington Post on Sunday, June 11, that his fire team followed what they understood to be the rules of engagement. Read the entire story for yourself. This marks the first time that someone involved (I guess it turns out that the pathetic DNC lackey John Murtha should have kept his mouth shut) has told us what happened.
Now, let me be clear. The death of non-combatants is tragic. I do not want to downplay the importance of having well-rehearsed, well-developed and wise rules of engagement (more on this in a minute). Further, one has to make sure that the stories are all consistent — although it appears right now that they are all consistent from the fire team members. This case might also have to be adjudicated through the courts in order to exhonerate the individuals involved. This is not quite over yet, and more information might come out on this incident that causes me to repudiate my current position.
The attorney for Staff Sgt. Wuterich says:
“It will forever be his position that everything they did that day was following their rules of engagement and to protect the lives of Marines.”
If it is true that the Humvee took fire from the home that they went to, and if it is true that they rules of engagement under those specific circumstances included using a fragmentation grenade following by clearing rounds from an M16A2 or M4, and if it is true that the Marines involved felt threatened by the occupants of the house, then here at the Captain’s Journal we agree with Staff Sgt. Wuterich. It will forever by my position that they Marines did what they had to do, sad as this incident is.
I do not for one moment believe that a U.S. Marine … any U.S. Marine … would intentionally or knowingly fire upon non-combatants or take pleasure in the death of women and children.
As to the rules of engagement, who but an imbecile would refuse the Marines the right to defend themselves upon taking fire from a home? Do the rules of engagement include stepping into the home (from which they have been fired upon) to see if there are any non-combatants? If so, then pull our boys out now; we cannot win the war. We are doomed.
Update, 6/12/06: Hat tip to the California Conservative who points out that there was a Presbyterian Minister who was with the Marines in Haditha. This is a MUST READ! The minister said nothing about Marines who felt guilty over any alleged intentional massacre.