A Marine officer shouted that “my men are not murderers” after learning of allegations that his troops targeted civilians during an assault that left 24 Iraqis dead. Lt. Col. Jeffrey Chessani apologized for his outburst, and said the slayings of men, women, and children would be reviewed. Four officers, including Chessani, are charged with dereliction of duty, and three enlisted Marines are charged with murder.
At the time, Chessani told his superiors that allegations of murder were “absolutely false,” according to court documents. The killings occurred after a roadside bomb killed one Marine. The Marine Corps assert the 24 people slain were civilians, but the defense has witnesses who argue eight of the slain were insurgents, a claim that as of yet has not been verified.
This is one of the sad outcomes of the Bush folly in Iraq. Young American men and women were placed in dangerous situations, which invariably in any type of war result in the deaths of innocent civilians. It was bound to happen once we became entangled in guerrilla war waged in urban settings. It is unfortunate the real guilty parties will not be seen at this court-martial. We all know their names – Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld.
Information from Marine Corps Times