TODAY'S LETTERS: Readers Respond to Haditha Column and Pat Tillman Story

By: E&P Staff A column about the Haditha marines brought in plenty of letters this week, as did an AP story about new information about the Pat Tillman case.

Some Second Thoughts on Haditha

Has it ever occurred to you how many of our troops are killed or wounded because they take an extra second to consider if it is a clean shop within the many rules of engagement they live with?

Those of you who spend so much time and effort in condemning should consider a story based on my question. You may learn something.

Lynn K. Kingsley
Washington, DC

Thank you very much for your article, "Some Second Thoughts on Haditha".

Your conclusion was absolutely correct: "But one need neither be a liberal or a conservative to support the troops enough to await the trials before passing judgment upon them."

As far as I know, you are the first mainstream media person to even have that thought, and I salute you for it.

It is dismaying, however, that you haven't actually learned the lesson that the conclusion implies.

You say that Lt. Cpl. Stephen Tatum admitted to shooting women and children. You didn't say that Lt. Cpl. Tatum denied making this admission to NCIS agents (who do not record their interrogations and denied Tatum the presence of a lawyer). You didn't mention that Lt. Cpl. Tatum has maintained his innocence. By withholding this information, you are misleading your readers into making the very judgment you claim is wrong.

And is it really any wonder that newspapers near military bases report on these cases more accurately than sources such as "Editor & Publisher"? There are at least three factual errors in your article and many more errors of interpretation. It is symptomatic of a press who really doesn't care about the facts when it comes to Haditha.

Again, thank you for your conclusion. But you need to practice what you preach.

David Allender
Bedford Hills, N.Y.

Yesterday, in court, two of the previously plea bargained Marines testified in court how their previous testimony was coerced from NCIS for lesser sentences

In short order, they told the court that NCIS forced them to lie to convict other Marines so they could get a lesser sentence of something that they didn't even do

James Bancroft

I just finished reading your article on the Haditha Marines. There's a couple of things you need to know that weren't included in your article.

The most important information that isn't in your article is the testimony of Jeffrey Dinsmore, the S2 intel officer monitoring the action.

One perspective that I haven't seen written about was the
perspective that I've taken: that John Murtha trampled on these
soldiers' constitutional rights by accusing them of "killing innocent
civilians in cold blood." He also accused them of covering the incident
up. As you can see, there wasn't a cover up because Capt. Dinsmore put together a PowerPoint presentation that included a great deal of
exculpatory evidence that Lt. Cpl. Sharratt's attorneys used to poke big
holes in the prosecution's case.

Gary Gross

Was Tillman Murdered? AP Gets New Documents

I can not believe you would post such an irresponsible title on your website or in your publication. For your staff to state ?Was Tillman Murdered? is outright irresponsible! For you to insinuate that a soldier murder another solider in battle, knowing the situation better as we all do now, is the wrong question to be asking. What your publication did was what all poor journalists do; just throw something up against the wall.

Mark Groves

It's interesting - it says that before he was killed, Tillman was telling a comrade to stop sniveling about being under fire, but it also says there is no evidence of enemy fire.

Also, FYI, I've heard it alleged that Tillman very down on the Iraq occupation, was planning on returning to the US to speak to anti-war people, including Howard Zinn I believe, and he might have been offed for this reason. Any serious reporting on this?

Jim Terr
Santa Fe, N.M.

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