"On That Day" - the inspiration for the film "Battle For Haditha"
Channel: More 4
Aired 17 March 2008
A damning investigative documentary into the Haditha "massacre" of
24 Iraqis (mostly civilians) in November 2005, in response to the death
of a US marine caused by an Iraqi roadside explosive device.
Here is the current Wikipedia entry:
"The Haditha killings (also called the Haditha incident or the Haditha massacre) refers to the incident where 24 Iraqis were killed on November 19, 2005 in Haditha, a city in the western Iraq province of Al Anbar. At least 15 of those killed were noncombatant civilians and all were killed by a group of United States Marines. The motive for the killings was in retribution for the attack on a convoy of United States Marines with an improvised explosive device that killed Lance Corporal Miguel Terrazas.
A Marine Corps communique initially reported that 15 civilians were killed by the bomb's blast and eight insurgents were subsequently killed when the Marines returned fire against those attacking the convoy. However, evidence uncovered by the media contradicted the Marines' account. The Time magazine reporter's questions prompted the U.S. military to open an investigation into the incident. The investigation claimed it found evidence that "supports accusations that U.S. Marines deliberately shot civilians, including unarmed women and children", according to an anonymous Pentagon official. On December 21, 2006, eight Marines from 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines were charged in connection with the incident. After more than two years of investigation, no Marine has been charged with murder.
In the course of Article 32 hearings, which have not yet concluded, conflicting testimony has been presented, some of it rebutting the case made by prosecutors and widely cited in the media. The investigating officer has told the prosecution so far, "The account you want me to believe does not support unpremeditated murder." He conceded that the central issue was who is to be believed and that he was disinclined to recommend a trial when he thought it was unlikely any Iraqi would agree to come to the U.S. to testify.  On 9 August, LtGen James Mattis dropped the charges against Lance Cpl. Justin Sharratt, who had been accused of murder, and against Capt. Randy Stone, accused of failing to investigate the incident. On 23 August, the investigating officer recommended charges against Lance Cpl. Stephen Tatum be dropped as well but on October 19th, his commanding officer decided the charges should be lowered to involuntary manslaughter, reckless endangerment and aggravated assault.
On October 3, 2007, the Article 32 hearing investigating officer recommended that Staff Sgt. Wuterich be tried for negligent homicide in deaths of two women and five children, and that charges of murder be dropped.
The final article 32 proceedings are expected to resume on October 29th against 1st Lt. Andrew A. Grayson, who could be charged with inadequate reporting of the incident."