Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

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Sunday, October 7, 2007

Bombshell -- Haditha was an elaborate plot by al Qaeda

Paging John Murtha ....

That's the story burning up the 'Sphere today on a number of sites including Michelle's site, Hot Air, and LGF.
The report is an exclusive from Defend our Marines and it paints a much different picture of Haditha than the media showed to America:

Buried in the mountain of exhibits attached to the once secret Haditha, Iraq murder inquiry prepared by US Army Maj. Gen. Eldon A. Bargewell is an obscure Marine Corps intelligence summary (see pdf) that says the deadly encounter was an intentional propaganda ploy planned and paid for by Al Qaeda foreign fighters.

Veteran military defense attorney Gary Meyers said he never understood why the Naval Criminal Investigative Service special agents leading the Haditha criminal investigation didn’t “examine the linkage” between Al Qaeda, the local insurgency and the events at Haditha. Meyers was an attorney on the defense team that successfully defended Justin Sharratt, a Marine infantryman accused of multiple murders at Haditha.

report – apparently overlooked by a Washington press corps awash in leaked Bargewell documents and secret Naval Criminal Investigative Service reports – shows that Marine Corps intelligence operatives were advised of the scheme to demonize the Marines by an informant named Muhannad Hassan Hamadi. The informant was snared by 3/1 Marines on December 11 2005 and decided to cooperate.

The attack was carried out by multiple cells of local Wahabi extremists and well-paid local gunmen from Al Asa’ib al-Iraq [the Clans of the People of Iraq] that were led by Al Qaeda foreign fighters, the summary claims. Their case was bolstered by Marine signal intercepts revealing that the al Qaeda fighters planned to videotape the attacks and exploit the resulting carnage for propaganda purposes.

Eleven insurgents involved in the attack are identified by name and affiliation in the details of the summary. All of them were killed or captured in the days immediately following the Haditha incident.

During the November Haditha battle, the insurgents secreted themselves among local civilians to guarantee pursuing Marines would catch innocent civilians in the ensuing crossfire. On January 6, 2006 six insurgents who tried to do the same thing at another location in Haditha were turned in to Coalition authorities before they could mount a similar assault, the report says.

On January 18, 2006, almost two months after the infamous Haditha attack, Iraqi insurgents identified as Talal Abdullah Yusif and Omar Ramsey “planned to attack a dismounted C[oalition] F[orces] patrol” along with four brothers named Khalif Muhammad Hassan.

It wasn’t coincidental that brother Sa’ib Khalif Muhammad Hassan lived next to an Al Qaeda “safe house” destroyed on November 19 by Marine jets. Sa‘ib had rented the house to the foreign fighters. That attack was stopped by local Iraqis and Sa’ib Hassan was arrested, the report says.

The summary also details the Marines finding three dead bodies near the Sub Hani Mosque after the November 19 fight was over. The dead men are described as “military-aged males” wearing “chest rigs.” Two of the decedents were “missing parts of lower torso.” The authors opined the victims were foreign fighters killed in one of the Marine bombings during the day-long combat.

Over at Hot Air Allah's got a boatload of questions about this report. Bryan chimes in with this little bit:

To me, one of the more interesting and important questions about this report is whether Murtha knew about it or not when he was prominently accusing the Haditha Marines of murder “in cold blood.” This document is one among many that are related in some way to the case, but it cuts against Murtha’s entire body of statements on Haditha. It suggests, and with some credibility, that Haditha was an enemy op that went well if not according to plan. If Murtha knew of this report, but accused the Marines of murder “in cold blood” anyway, then he had to have been aware of the possibility that he was assisting an enemy op against our troops. If he didn’t know of this report, then his informants inside the Corps were not telling him the whole story. He still should not have been out front accusing the Marines of murder, but he may have been misled by his source or sources. Which raises the question, who were his sources and why would they plant an incomplete accounting of the case with Rep. Murtha?

That is an excellent question, and one we'd hope is covered in his deposition in the slander lawsuit that's been filed against him. But the bigger story is the fact that AQ set this up to purposefully give the Marines a black eye, and turn more of the Iraqi populace against us.

People forget that this isn't just a war where we have to kill or capture the bad guys. This is an information/propaganda war, and AQ is doing a much better job than we are in this respect. Haditha is just one of several incidents that have occurred that helped AQ. We can go back as far as the case against Ilario Pantano and others to see how AQ characterized those incidents. They didn't do it the way we did, which was to wait and see what the court proceedings determined. No, they hyped it as more aggression from the American military.

Let this be a lesson for all the antiwar nuts and their Left-leaning enablers that our enemy uses propaganda just as much as they use IEDs, EFPs, and AK-47s. The only difference is that when they use destructive weapons, people are hurt, maimed, or killed. When they use propaganda, the mission of the US military is what suffers as the tides turn against it back home.

Publius II


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