Fallujah Marine Cleared

Not enough evidence to charge marine in point-blank Fallujah shooting: report,” AFP, http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle.asp?xfile=data/focusoniraq/2005/February/focusoniraq_February173.xml&section=focusoniraq, 24 February 2005 (from Roth Report).

Great news. The Marine who helped retake Fallujah and, horror of horrors, killed an enemy who played possum, won’t be charged.

A US marine, captured on film killing a wounded Iraqi at point blank range during November’s assault on Fallujah, will not be formally charged due to lack of evidence, according to a report Wednesday on CBS News.

A Marine spokesman, Captain Dan McSweeney, told AFP, however, he had been informed by the Navy Criminal Investigative Services, which is investigating the killing, that “the case is still very much open.”

The November 13 shooting occurred during a search of a mosque in a widely broadcast incident that sparked worldwide outrage and was described by the International Committee of the Red Cross as a demonstration of “utter contempt for humanity.”

In the incident, a trooper raised his rifle and shot point blank at an apparently unarmed, wounded Iraqi who was slumped against one of the mosque walls, in footage captured by an embedded camaraman working for the NBC network.

Although the insurgents were found to be unarmed, investigators said the one the Marine believed he had seen moving could have been reaching for a weapon.

The rifleman was withdrawn from combat pending the results of the investigation, but the graphic footage enraged many, months after the scandal over US troops’ abuse of inmates at the Abu Ghraib prison.

CBS News said Wednesday it had learned that military investigators had concluded insufficient evidence existed to formally charge the marine.

The raid on Fallujah, part of an attempt at reclaiming key lawless enclaves across the country ahead of January elections, has been the largest military operation in Iraq since the March 2003.

Of course, the news comes from CBS, so maybe it’s based on fake documents.

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