The trial of Marine Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich, one of the so-called “Haditha Marines” mentioned in the foreword of my book, Three Days In August: A U.S. Army Special Forces Soldier’s Fight For Military Justice, ended today when he agreed to plead guilty to one count of negligent dereliction of duty, according to a report in the North County Times of Escondido, Calif.
Sergeant Wuterich was on trial for manslaughter and related charges for his role in the deaths of 24 Iraqi civilians in 2005. After spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on legal fees, seven other Marines, including LTC Jeffrey Chessani, either had the charges against them dropped in exchange for their testimony or were acquitted entirely during courts-martial proceedings.
Though the collective prosecution of the Haditha Marines can only be described as a “Charlie-Foxtrot” at best, it pales in comparison to what Army Sgt. First Class Kelly A. Stewart went through during three days in August 2009.
You can read the story about Stewart, a highly-decorated combat-veteran Green Beret, in my book, Three Days In August. It’s available in paperback and ebook via most online booksellers, including Amazon.com.