A new report suggests Al-Qaeda was behind the Haditha media campaign.
John Murtha and the mainstream media were their willing dupes.
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October 6, 2007 – 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.
The 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…
Our media, the enemy within
The prosecutors in the case against eight Marines charged with murder and cover up at Haditha still maintain the besieged infantrymen acted solely out of malice and poor judgment when they killed 24 Iraqis there. The prosecution’s investigation was launched after a story by Time magazine reporter Tim McGirk on March 6, 2006 accused the Marines of cold blooded murder in retaliation for the death of a brother Marine.
McGirk received his video “evidence” and contacts from two known Iraqi insurgent operatives already under observation by Marine Corps counter intelligence teams. One of the Iraqi witnesses McGirk relied on had just been released from almost six months captivity for insurgent activities and the other witness was considered a useful intelligence tool by Marines listening to him talk on his cell phone. McGirk never interviewed the Marines, who ironically had prepared a similar intelligence summary in anticipation of his canceled visit.
The captured insurgents revealed the attack was planned in Albu Hyatt, a nearby town where numerous Marines have been killed and wounded since the beginning of the war. The two main elements of the attack were the IED-initiated ambush on Route Chestnut and two IED ambushes planned along the so-called River Road that parallels the Euphrates River about 1.5 kilometers north of the Chestnut location.
The prisoners claimed the multi-pronged assault on the Marines was intended to garner local support by discrediting the Marines among the civilian population. If the coordinated attack had gone off as planned all three IED ambushes would have been sprung on the patrolling Marines almost simultaneously, the prisoners said. The insurgents plan depended on the Marines aggressively responding to the assaults to create as much carnage as possible.
Thankfully for Al-Qaeda, Rep. John Murtha and the American media took the bait after the collaboration between Al-Qaeda and Time Magazine.
They must have been looking for their “war defining atrocity.”