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John Adams Blog

The blog of The Antient and Honourable John Adams Society, Minnesota's Conservative Debating Society www.johnadamssociety.org

Friday, June 02, 2006

Haditha Town Doctor

I was previously under the impression from the media that the 24 men, women, and children who were allegedly gunned down by crazy marines had been examined by "credible" sources. However, now it turns out that the only source for examination of the bodies (from the original Time Magizine story) was the local town doctor. From Time:

Dr. Wahid, director of the local hospital in Haditha, who asked that his
family name be withheld because, he says, he fears reprisals by U.S. troops, says the Marines brought 24 bodies to his hospital around midnight on Nov. 19. Wahid says the Marines claimed the victims had been killed by shrapnel from the roadside bomb. "But it was obvious to us that there were no organs slashed by shrapnel," Wahid says. "The bullet wounds were very apparent. Most of the victims were shot in the chest and the head–from close range."
Wait. I thought there were more sources? Remeber all the doctors at Jenin? I assumed that some military investigator had actually seen the 80 year old man in his wheelchair dead with gunshot wounds, or the young chidren shot in the head from close range with M-16s. I guess not. Apparently, the town doctor has a prior reputation regarding the reporting of incidents.

The lack of sources on examination of the bodies is corroborated by a story in the Washington Post today stating that the bodies are going to be exhumed:

A source close to the inquiry said Naval Criminal Investigative Service officials have interviewed families of the dead several times and have visited the homes where the shootings allegedly occurred to collect as much evidence as possible. Exhuming the bodies could help investigators determine the distance at which shots were fired, the caliber of the bullets and the angles of the shots, possibly crucial details in determining how events unfolded and who might have been involved.

I thought they already had the bodies? The story makes no mention as to whether the bodies have been examined by anyone other than the town doctor. It seems that if the bodies are located by investigators, it should be relatively easy to determine how they were killed and by what kind of weapons. However, it is obvious that the bodies have never been examined.

The article goes on to say:

The gap between the incident and the beginning of the NCIS investigation is going to cause major problems in prosecuting any charges, a Marine officer familiar with the case agreed. "They have huge proof problems," he said, citing the lack of identified bodies.

"The long and the short of it is, until they prove the cause of death," they don't have anything, said one civilian defense lawyer representing a Kilo Company Marine. "Photographs won't be enough to do it. Good luck with that."

Is this implying that the bodies may no longer exist? Is the media realizing that they could be wrong and trying to cover their ass by saying "We know the incident happened, we just can't prove it, because it has been too long..."

It reminds me of "just because the documents are fake doesn't mean the contents aren't true." fake but accurate.