Marine Officer to Testify on Iraq Killings

Discussion in 'Middle East - General' started by Superlative, Apr 21, 2007.

  1. Superlative
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    Superlative Senior Member

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    The officer in immediate command of three marines accused of killing civilians in a house-to-house attack in Haditha, Iraq, in 2005 has been granted immunity to testify at his subordinates’ military hearings, lawyers involved in the case said.

    In exchange, the officer, First Lt. William T. Kallop, agreed to answer all questions that prosecution or defense lawyers ask him, the lawyers said. The immunity granted to Lieutenant Kallop, who gave an order to take control of a house where several civilians were killed, could bolster the defense of the three enlisted men charged with murder in the case, lawyers said, because it would show that they were following orders.

    Lieutenant Kallop, 25, is one of at least eight marines granted immunity to testify about the attack on Nov. 19, 2005, that killed 24 people after the marines’ convoy was struck by a roadside bomb that killed Lance Cpl. Miguel Terrazas. Four officers also face charges of dereliction of duty for the way they dealt with the initial report of what happened in Haditha.

    Earlier this month, Lt. Gen. James N. Mattis, the Marine officer overseeing the prosecution of the case, dismissed charges against a fourth enlisted marine, Sgt. Sanick P. Dela Cruz, 24.

    General Mattis granted immunity to Lieutenant Kallop on April 3, days after lawyers for another marine facing murder charges asked the Marine Corps to grant immunity to Lieutenant Kallop so he could testify at hearings for the men, said Kevin B. McDermott, a civilian lawyer for an officer charged in the case. The grant of immunity was first reported in The Washington Post yesterday.

    Several lawyers for the marines charged in the case said the deal strengthened the arguments of the three enlisted men.

    “It’s central to the case if an officer is telling marines to take the house,” said Brian J. Rooney, a civilian lawyer for Lt. Col. Jeffrey R. Chessani, the highest-ranking officer charged in the case.

    Mr. McDermott, who represents Capt. Lucas McConnell, the company commander who was not present during the killings, said the immunity deal bolstered his client’s case.

    “If the government’s not going to charge the lieutenant that was at the scene and gave the order to clear the house,” Mr. McDermott said, “I don’t know how he’s not in the same boat as McConnell.”

    At least seven other marines have also been granted immunity to testify at preliminary hearings scheduled for next month, lawyers said.


    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/21/world/middleeast/21abuse.html
     
  2. Diuretic
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    Diuretic Permanently confused

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    Clever. He takes the blame, he has immunity, they all walk. Clever, very clever.
    Dishonest but clever. Ah, the smell of US military justice, it can cover even the stench of those corpses left out in the sun. Come on, doesn't it make you feel just a little bit proud that such a way out can be found? Just a little bit?

    Hop in and let's hear your point of view on this. I need to be told I'm wrong and better yet, to be shown why I'm wrong.

    I really don't want to believe this shit is happening.
     
  3. Superlative
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    Superlative Senior Member

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    If they ALL talk will they ALL get immunity? Thats a plan.
     
  4. Diuretic
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    :rofl:
     
  5. Gunny
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    Gunny Gold Member

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    BULLSHIT! BULLSHIT! BULLSHIT!

    If that f-ing Lt was any kind of leader his Marines would not have committed war crimes. He is responsible for the actions of his men and he shoul dbe hammered the hardest.
     
  6. Diuretic
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    Diuretic Permanently confused

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    Indeed Gunny, indeed.
     
  7. Gunny
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    Gunny Gold Member

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    I missed this earlier. They aren't all walking. They've given immunity to two eyewitnesses to make their case a slam-dunk. I don't agree with letting the two off the hook; especially, the person responsible for the actions of the Marines.

    However, you can hardly blame that on what you sarcastically call "US military justice." That plea bargain game and offering immunity to turn evidence is played out in every court in this country every day.

    Military justice on average is FAR tougher than civilian courts.
     
  8. Diuretic
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    Diuretic Permanently confused

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    You're right, the sarcasm wasn't justified.

    Now, that aside, I might be misreading the article but this is how it looks to me:

    The officer has been granted immunity in exchange for a full and frank testimony. Now, this is not sarcasm, I'm holding back a comment that says when you're giving evidence you're expected to tell the truth. But there's the 5th Amendment, the right not to self-incriminate. Question - does the 5th apply in a court martial? I don't know. I was under the impression that a member of the military in the US waives certain constitutional rights on entry, but I don't know how far it goes. I'm thinking that if the 5th is available then the deal is that the officer could avail himself of it. If he is granted immunity he doesn't need to take the 5th and the court gets a full and frank on both examination in chief and cross-examination.

    Now if - big speculation here - the officer gives evidence that tends to put himself in a bad light, legally speaking, and removes from the Marines much or all culpability, I think the deal for immunity means that the officer can't be charged even if his own evidence suggests that he committed crimes when he gave orders to his men.

    That was my point (this time sans sarcasm).

    Anyway it remains to be seen.

    If my thinking is correct then I would suggest that that kind of plea bargain isn't that common in the civilian legal system.
     
  9. Gunny
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    Gunny Gold Member

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    http://usmilitary.about.com/od/justicelawlegislation/l/aa091100b.htm

    I don't think the officer was involved until after the fact, and chose to not report the incident. That would make him guilty of dereliction of duty and conduct unbecoming an officer and gentleman and violation of a direct order; which, IMO, are inconsequential charges when held up against murder.

    I think he should be held acountable because those were HIS Marines.
     
  10. Diuretic
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    Thanks for the link Gunny, duly bookmarked.

    On your point about the officer's (I have to say "alleged") culpability - I can't disagree with any of them.

    Justice, hopefully, will be done - and I mean justice.
     

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