The New York Times has reported that military, Congressional and Pentagon sources have all confirmed that a report will find that unprovoked killings of civilians by US Marines occurred in Haditha, Iraq. Words cannot describe how that makes me feel. Those involved must be given a fair trial, let the chips fall where they may. If anyone tried to cover it up, they also must be tried, let the chips fall where they may. The Marine command should be praised for following up when questions were raised and conducting investigations into the incident and the alleged cover-up afterward. It should also be noted that the Marines were already doing so before the media began printing things about the story.
However, the actions of a few should not be held against the majority of our armed forces. Unfortunately, that is already happening in some circles. The majority – the vast majority – of American troops serve with honor, dedication and courage.
There is also no excuse, whatsoever, for what Representative Murtha did. By pronouncing that the Marines involved were guilty before the investigation is complete, much less the actual trial, is irresponsible. That has been my position on this situation all the way through. (Search Murtha on the sidebar search to confirm, if you'd like). I thought then, and still think now, that Murtha did the wrong thing for the wrong reason. He pronounced guilt strictly for political purposes and jeopardized the right to a fair trial for the accused.
UPDATE: Callimachus at Done with Mirrors has thoughtful words.
Update: In Search of Utopia, who I believe I linked once before for taking a reasonable approach to something or other, has some words up that I wish others would take to heart.
I will not participate in a political pissing contest about all this. This was not American Policy, this was a few perhaps stressed to their limits soldiers, going over to the dark side. While some will use this a football to pass blame. The blame lies squarely on the shoulders of those who pulled the trigger AND those who commanded them. I too hope Conservative bloggers who have supported the war will take the lead on this, but I don't expect it (At least not from people like Malkin). We will see… I have not seen much today, but it's not like I have been looking for it.
I take it those words were written earlier in the day, because later updates show links to right-leaning blogs that have taken a stand. I also do not want this turned into a political issue.