Saturday, May 20, 2006

Iraq now has it's My Lai?

In November 19 of 2005, 24 Iraqi civilians died in the town of Haditha. Initially the marines involved told their command, and the Navy believed, that the civilians died when their bus was destroyed by a roadside bomb that also killed Lance Corporal Miguel (T.J.) Terrazas, 20, from El Paso, Texas.

In fact, it now appears that the civilians were killed when Lance Corporal Terrazas' enraged fellow soldiers went on a killing spree after his death, breaking into homes near the road and riddling men, women and children with bullets.

Exactly four months later Time Magazine broke the story, reporting a death toll of fifteen civilians and sparking an investigation with the evidence they provided the Pentagon.

On May 17 Congressional Representative Jack Murtha, a senior House Democrat with close ties to the military said "It's much worse than reported in Time magazine." describing overwhelmed soldiers committing mass murder in "cold blood". Murtha was attacked by the usual suspects among the braying mouthpieces of the right-wing media. A cacophony of hatred, including demands for charges of treason and execution.

Now House Armed Services Committee Chairman Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) is holding oversight hearings over the military's two investigations. Hunter denounced Murtha's claim of overwhelmed marines cracking under the pressure, but raised the death toll from Time's initial fifteen civilians to twenty-four.

The Navy's investigation has found evidence that explicitly contradicts the marine's version of events.

My Lai was 500 murders that were deliberately covered up, Haditha is 24 suspicious deaths that are apparently being seriously investigated. The effects on public opinion both in America and abroad can be expected, in the current climate of opinion, to be just as destructive to the government's narrative of progress and victory.

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