SUMMARY A military judge on Tuesday recommended 90 days of confinement and reduction in rank for Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich, the remaining Marine charged in a case that shook Iraq and the U.S. -- the gunning down of 24 civilians in Haditha in 2005. However, because of a pre-trial agreement, he will serve no time. Margaret Warner reports. Transcript>>>
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SUMMARY At his sentencing hearing Tuesday, Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich, the remaining Marine charged in the 2005 Haditha killings, expressed sorrow for the victims, and said he hadn't meant for his men to kill innocent Iraqis. Margaret Warner discusses his plea deal with two retired Marines, Lt. Col. Gary Solis and Capt. Bing West. Transcript>>>
January 25, 2012 - In this town which saw 24 unarmed civilians die in a U.S. raid seven years ago, residents expressed disbelief and sadness that the Marine sergeant who told his troops to "shoot first, ask questions later" reached a deal with prosecutors to avoid jail time.
They were outraged both at the American military justice system and at the refusal of Iraq's Shiite-led government to condemn the killings and at least try to bring those responsible to face trial in this country.
"We are deeply disappointed by this unfair deal," said Khalid Salman Rasif, an Anbar provincial council member from Haditha. "The U.S. soldier will receive a punishment that is suitable for a traffic violation."
Haditha, a town of about 85,000 people along the Euphrates River valley some 140 miles northwest of Baghdad, is overwhelmingly made up of Sunni Muslims. Sunnis lost influence in this country with the fall of Saddam Hussein and feel increasingly squeezed out of their already limited political role. read more>>>