Last November, a group of U.S. Marines apparently went on “the worst rampage by U.S. service members in the Iraq war, killing as many as 24 civilians in cold blood.” Today on ABC, Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) said that U.S. officials learned of the alleged massacre in Haditha “a few days” after it happened and organized a cover-up:
MURTHA: This is what the Marine Corps told me at the highest level. The Commandant of the Marine Corps was in my office just last week, so you know. I know there was a cover-up someplace. They knew about this a few days afterwards and there’s no question the chain of command tried to stifle the story. I can understand why, but that doesn’t excuse it. Something like this has to be brought out to the public, and the people have to be punished.
Murtha was also asked whether he thought the alleged massacre would have been made public if not for the Time magazine investigation published in March (read Time’s new follow-up report) His response: “No, I do not think it would have come out, and it’s unfortunate because this is how you lose the Iraqi people.”
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