“Haditha” here refers to an incident that occurred in November 2005, where U.S. Marines are alleged to have killed approximately 24 Iraqi civilians. Haditha itself is a city in the Al Anbar province in western Iraq.
The latest out of the Haditha case is the testimony of the battalion intelligence officer, Captain Dinsmore. It appears Captain Dinsmore was irritating the prosecutors during his testimony. This may be both because he was not helping their case and he was irritated at idea of the prosecution. The captain stated “the Marine Corps made a decision to hang Colonel Chessani out to dry.” The lead prosecutor, LtCol Sullivan, was reportedly increasingly incredulous during his questioning. The thrust of the captain’s testimony was that the Marines of 3/1 reacted correctly to the intelligence picture that were given. This picture included aerial surveillance from the previous day when “an insurgent who had been involved in the palm grove firefight [ran] into a nearby house and [emerged] with different clothing and carrying a baby.”
Also not helpful to the prosecution was the fact that the division commanding general, MajGen Huck, received a briefing about the firefight three days later, and not only did he not initiate an investigation, he congratulated the Marines. The general testified that he believed the deaths were combat related. Some may remember that at an earlier and related Article 32 hearing, MajGen Huck’s chief-of-staff Colonel Sokoloski refused to testify, invoking his rights under the 5th Amendment. Colonel Sokoloski is a lawyer and Marine Judge Advocate.
More information may be forthcoming today. What a court-martial this could be. Generals testifying, O-6 Judge Advocates invoking, reconnaissance tapes from flying drones. Not your run-of-the-mill case.