The impact of Murthas unrestrained remarks, coupled with medias specious, sensationalized accounts of the incident, was recently underscored by Iraqi negotiators discussing the future of the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) between Iraq and the US.
The negotiations reportedly came to a screeching halt last week when the Iraqis refused to budge over demands that US service members be denied immunity from Iraqi prosecution for alleged war crimes in Iraq.
US and Iraqi officials reportedly reached the impasse because most of the US Marines accused of massacring civilians at Haditha have been exonerated.
The specious Haditha incident was identified by name during the delicate negotiations in Baghdad to determine whether the United States intends to give up its traditional legal sovereignty over American service members, numerous news reports said.
The Iraqis want assurances they can exact their own brand of justice on American service members trapped in similar situations.
The US has SOFA agreements in 80 countries that give the US autonomy over disciplining American troops.
The Americans military needed to show the Iraqis that it would go balls to the wall in prosecuting Marines and soldiers who were accused of battlefield "atrocities". Winter and the rest of the cowardly perfumed princes of the Pentagon made the ill-advised decision to showcase "the Haditha massacre" aand throw eight heroic battlefield veterans under the bus like human sacrifices rather than man up and tell the Iraqis that the al Queda propaganda wasn't going to work this time.
This level of "diplomacy" was above Mattis's pay grade and he may have found himself between a rock and a hard place. Still, as the case progressed and it became clear that there WAS no case, that the whole thing was really nothing more than a carefully orchestrated propaganda effort, Mattis could have himself manned up and effectively told Winter and the Pentagon to go play with themselves by dismissing all cases without prejudice. To his shame, he didn't. He let the disgraceful fiasco drag on and on and he'll have to live with that.
...And Mattis will surely "live with it" a lot easier than the eight good Marines who were successfully removed from America's war effort thanks to a chain of command that handed a victory to the enemy in an all-too-quick, cowardly fashion.
Girl's paragraph about actual UCI grabs attention:
blockquote>The presiding judge for LtCol Chessanis Undue Command Influence motion hearing found that there was not only an appearance of UCI, but it could possibly be proven if further investigation was made, that actual UCI did occur. Mattis never took responsibility for his error in judgement in how the Haditha case against the 8 Marines was handled.
Girl's reminder that all our military are now hesitant because of possible prosecution, and that that hesitance will cost lives is right on the money.
Likewise is your reminder that these men did not come out of this unscathed. They've lost fortunes and they've lost careers.
And Mattis could have dismissed it.