The Massacre in Haditha

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Based on the latest reports from the Pentagon, Congressman John Murtha--a former Marine--says the massacre at Haditha will do more harm to the US war effort than the torture at Abu Ghraib. The explanation six months ago was that 15 civilians were killed by a roadside bomb, but death certificates show that 24 men, women and children were shot in the head and chest, and Marines quietly made payments to surviving relatives. That might have been the end of the story, until a report by Time magazine. Now those involved may face murder charges. The White House says all details will be made public as soon as multiple investigations are concluded. Did Marines "snap" and retaliate after the death of a comrade? Did officers who authorized payments to victims' families fail to tell higher ups? Can such incidents be prevented or are they inevitable when warfare leads to occupation?
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Warren Olney