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Lt. col. to be arraigned today in Hadithah case

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unhappycamper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 05:57 AM
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Lt. col. to be arraigned today in Hadithah case
Lt. col. to be arraigned today in Hadithah case
By Chelsea J. Carter - The Associated Press
Posted : Friday Nov 16, 2007 12:45:50 EST

SAN DIEGO (AP) The highest-ranking serviceman to face courts-martial related to combat since Vietnam was scheduled Friday to answer charges of failing to investigate the killings of 24 Iraqis, including women and children.

Lt. Col. Jeffrey R. Chessani was to be arraigned on charges of dereliction of duty and violation of a lawful order on allegations that he mishandled the aftermath of the Nov. 19, 2005, shooting deaths in Hadithah.

Earlier that day, the squads convoy was struck by a roadside bomb, killing one Marine and wounding another. In the aftermath, squad members killed 24 Iraqi civilians, authorities have said.

Chessani was commander of the Camp Pendleton-based 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment that has been the focus of the largest prosecution of U.S. troops in the Iraq war.

The decision to send Chessani to trial came after a hearing officer blasted Chessani for failing to go to the scene of the killings immediately after they occurred, even though 24 people had been killed.

To not have made every attempt to be on scene as this action developed, or to not have at least reviewed this action in detail ... is in itself negligent, wrote Col. Christopher Conlin.

Rest of article at: /

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