We can open our eyes to death, and feel that it’s real

rowsofdeath.jpg
From the Army Times, Murtha: Marines may have killed Haditha civilians in cold blood

Rep. John Murtha, an influential Pennsylvania lawmaker and outspoken critic of the war in Iraq, said today Marines had “killed innocent civilians in cold blood” after allegedly responding to a roadside bomb ambush that killed a Marine during a patrol in Haditha, Iraq, Nov. 19.

The incident is still under investigation by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service and Multi-National Forces Iraq.

and from the San Jose Mercury News, Pentagon report said to find killing of Iraqi civilians deliberate

A Pentagon report on an incident in which U.S. Marines shot and killed more than a dozen Iraqi civilians last November will show that those killings were deliberate and worse than initially reported, a Pennsylvania congressman said Wednesday.

"There was no firefight. There was no IED (improvised explosive device) that killed those innocent people," Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., said during a news conference on Iraq. "Our troops overreacted because of the pressure on them. And they killed innocent civilians in cold blood. That is what the report is going to tell."

Murtha's comments were the first on-the-record remarks by a U.S. official characterizing the findings of military investigators looking into the Nov. 19 incident. Murtha, the ranking Democrat on the Defense Appropriations subcommittee and an opponent of Bush administration policy in Iraq, said he hadn't read the report but had learned about its findings from military commanders and other sources.

Military public affairs officers said the investigation isn't completed and declined to provide further information. "There is an ongoing investigation," said Lt. Col. Sean Gibson, a Marine spokesman at Central Command headquarters in Tampa, Fla. "Any comment at this time would be inappropriate."

First, one can say that they hope that what Rep. Murtha says is not true, but given that Murtha is and has been under somewhat of a microscope by his critics ever since he dared exercise his right to free speech regarding a redeployment of the troops in Iraq it is unlikely that he would be making such serious claims without some evidence to back it up. While those that have been accused of alleged crimes in Haditha should be accorded the benefit of the usual innocence until proven guilty; it is also true that until Murtha's rabid detractors can offer up some concrete evidence that Rep. Murtha is wrong they have no basis for their invectives other then the usual unfounded knee jerk reactions ( and hypocrisy).

A cowardly blogger named the California Conservative writes, John Murtha, Traitor

Frankly, this is the actions of a traitor or a sellout. He deserves to be ridiculed, excoriated and frog-marched off Capitol Hill, then remanded to jail. No bail. Doesn’t this idiot know the type of damage this inflicts on the Marines? Or is it that he’s so intoxicated with the thought of becoming the next chairman of the House Armed Services Committee that he’ll say anything?

I'm not linking to him because I try not to link to people that are utterly insane, with every breath CC and his supporters exhale the stench of false patriotism fills the air, and their unamerican bile leaves trail of slime. The investigation is not officially complete and while it would be wrong for me or others to make an absolute final judgement one way or the other, there is reasonable evidence available that indicates some wrong doing by a few Marines( It is not a small betrayal of CC's ignorance in these matters when he refers to Marines as soldiers. Marines are Marines or even troops, but not soldiers). So far several officers have been relived of their command. After a report by Time magazine the Naval Criminal Investigative Service and Multi-National Forces Iraq found enough evidence to indicate that an investigation was called for. I have reserved my judgement and would encourage others to reserve their final judgement until all the evidence that Rep. Murtha and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service has is released. Certainly it is bizarre and unhinged for those that have supported the likes of G.W. Bush, Tom Delay,  Duke Cunningham, and echoed the bald faced lies of the Swiftboaters to be calling retired marine Rep. Murtha a traitor. Should the mousey right-wing hypocrite brigade and their chickenhawks bloggers be pulling out these tired Swiftboat tactics against yet another decorated veteran.

The National Enquirer of wing-nut conservative blogs Newsbusters leads with the headline, " Murtha Makes An Outrageous Allegation". As stated previously, while we do not have the benefit of the final report from NCIS Newsbusters offers not a single fact to back up it's claim. What we're seeing here is the assumption that there is nothing to investigate, everyone in camo is not just assumed innocent as a point of law, but is innocent regardless of the findings indicated by the Congressman's inside sources. What a dangerous would view, that no one in uniform may ever be investigated or is ever guilty of a crime or should ever be held accountable for their actions. I'm not going to paste up quotes from the military code of conduct, even these chickenhawk conservative bloggers know that even under battle conditions Marines are held to certain standards of behavior. To take this attitude, to hold as a deeply held conviction that no member of the military is ever guilty of anything is deeply unamerican. I don't use the term loosely. The very foundation of this democracy is that justice is blind and that regardless of our race, creed, color, religion and including our military affiliations all Americans are all equal under the law. Those on the fringe right that believe otherwise have a choice of various military dictatorships to which they are more then welcome to move their pajama clad asses to.

A search of recent news stories that involved the Naval Criminal Investigative Service found these stories,
Sailor to be sentenced after being found guilty of kidnapping, assault

‘Botherder’ Dealt Record Prison Sentence for Selling and Spreading Malicious Computer Code

Military Hearing into Base Murder Closes

The pretrial hearing to investigate whether an American service member charged with the murder of a fellow service member should be court-martialed closed yesterday in Keflavik, Iceland.
Air Force Airman Calvin Eugene Hill, 20, faces five charges, including murder and obstructing justice by allegedly murdering Airman 1st Class Ashley Turner to prevent her from testifying against him. ( My note. The wingnuttery can just ask the military if they're in favor of running a lawless culture and start with Airman Turner)

Marine sentenced to life imprisonment for killing mistress


Members of the military aren't hatched out of some special factory, they are human beings, no better and no worse then any other American. Some commit acts of heroism and some have been found to have commited horrendous acts. The day we as a nation start assuming that any group of people is above criticism or above the law will be the same day that we stopped being a Democratic republic.
These patriotic blogs are also justifiably outraged at the sick reaction of the right-wing noise machine, Conservatives and War Crimes, The Difference Between Left And Right, Haditha Civilian Killings: "This One Is Ugly", and this just in from MSNBC – Lawmaker: Marines killed Iraqis ‘in cold blood

Military officials told NBC News that the Marine Corps' own evidence appears to show Murtha is right.

A videotape taken by an Iraqi showed the aftermath of the alleged attack: a blood-smeared bedroom floor and bits of what appear to be human flesh and bullet holes on the walls.

The video, obtained by Time magazine, was broadcast a day after town residents told The Associated Press that American troops entered homes on Nov. 19 and shot dead 15 members of two families, including a 3-year-old girl, after a roadside bomb killed a U.S. Marine.

Another kind of investigation, A PAINTING’S SECRET

“We tried to clean a section of the painting, what would be the sitter’s left hand,” Williams said. “We applied solvent on black fingers and saw….

You'll just have to go read the rest. Another saga of the truth may set you free, but sometimes it dissappoints.

(note: updated for some grammar and new links) 

I was never mad at Jenny. I would be lying if I said I was. You can't control the thoughts in your head sometimes. And you can't control who you love. It's a strange feeling, loving someone. It can be so sad sometimes. Even sadder than death, I think. Love is something we'll never really understand. We can open our eyes to death, and feel that it's real. We can watch it happen right in front of us, and we can accept it, even though it isn't always easy. But love isn't like that. Love makes us weak and desperate. Love kills parts of us we never even knew we had. I guess I still love Jenny, because I can't remember a day that I ever really stopped. But I do remember the day she told me she didn't love me anymore. The day she told me that she loved someone else.

from the story Connor + Jenny by Kate Peterson