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Advocates Call Iraq Marine's Court Martial and Conviction Into QuestionTim King Salem-News.com
Former Marines investigating the case say there is far more than meets the eye; the court martial is currently under appeal and review.
(SALEM, Ore.) - A Marine convicted for murder in Iraq is receiving increasing public support by those who believe he is not guilty. Marine Sergeant Lawrence Hutchins has been sentenced to 15-years for the killings in the Al Anbar Province of Iraq.
The particular case in Iraq involves the questionable death of one Iraqi civilian male. Sgt. Lawrence Hutchins III's parents are not taking it in stride; meeting recently with the head of Marine Corps forces in the Middle East in the wake of their son’s conviction for killing an Iraqi civilian. Marine Lt. Gen James Mattis has been asked to look into inconsistencies that emerged during the recent court martial and consider evidence that was not included in the trial.
Tim Harrington is a personal friend of the Hutchins family who has worked tirelessly on the case.
Advocates of Hutchins like Harrington say the Marine is not the only American combat vet dealing with the "scapegoat" issue; the case of an Army Ranger, SSgt. Ray Girouard, bears unusual similarities to Hutchins’.
Girouard was convicted in March of three counts of negligent homicide for the deaths of three detainees after an Army raid in Iraq in May 2006. Girouard maintains that he was only following orders, as does Hutchins.
Lawrence Hutchins has been in solitary confinement in the Camp Pendleton brig since his conviction and sentencing by a military panel last month. He is now out of solitary confinement. It is reported that he will remain in a multi-man cell until the government decides where he will serve his 15-year sentence.
But a lawyer for Hutchins is preparing papers seeking clemency. It seems there were many questionable aspects to his General Court martial. The case was also automatically forwarded to the Navy-Marine Court of Criminal Appeal for review.
The Deloitte connection
Americans are well aware of the billions of dollars of income that the Iraq War has meant for defense contractors. They might be surprised to learn however, that this relatively quiet "accounting" firm Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu has been active in the Al Anbar Province of Iraq for many years. Their psychologists were used to examine Marine Sgt. Lawrence Hutchins.
For the most part, Deloitte claims to be an accounting firm.
Former Marine Warren Bonesteel alleges that they were involved in the outcome of Hutchin's court martial.
"What we do know for certain is that Deloitte was - and is - directly and indirectly involved in Al Anbar province, and, for our present purposes, specifically in Haditha. We also know that NCIS uses contracted Deloitte psychologists. The same psychologists may have been used by both defense and prosecution legal teams in order to examine the Marines in question. We know that NCIS operatives, 'managers', and even the NCIS director himself, have gone to work for Deloitte in the two and some odd years since the incident in question.
Bonesteel says NCIS was in control of intelligence operations in Al Anbar during 2004, including the publishing of propaganda. Problems associated with that effort were later blamed on the platoon/company of combat Marines in question. Bonesteel points out that combat Marines don't do twenty million dollars worth of publishing. "We also know that Deloitte or its subsidiaries and alliances handle the 'auditing' and business 'consulting' for a great many of the contractors and sub-contractors in Al Anbar province as well as in other areas of Iraq.
These include construction, healthcare, Internet Technology, transportation, private security firms, food and facilities management, oil industry manufacturing and experts, hydroelectric, banking, labor, education, etc., and so on. NCIS also has several other contracts with Deloitte and its subsidiaries. He says his research also shows that men like William Delahunt, John Murtha and others, including most of those who sit on various appropriations committees, receive more than half of their campaign contributions from Deloitte and from its subsidiaries or "alliances."
Others on that list include Walter B. Jones, Trent Lott and Nancy Pelosi.
"We know that Deloitte directly or indirectly handles a great many, if not most, of the contracts going into the Pentagon, including retirement, life insurance and healthcare. We know that Deloitte also handles the money and business consulting for most of the companies and conglomerates who contract with the Pentagon. We know that Deloitte and it's subsidiaries and 'alliances' have lobbyists all over D.C. and in every state capitol in America."
He says they have offices and lobbyists in nearly every national capitol and, seemingly, in almost every provincial and state capitol in the world.
"We know that men like Delahunt also have direct and indirect connections to known terrorist supporters and to lobbyists with both direct and indirect ties to Deloitte. Among these groups and lobbyists are individuals, banks, and groups directly and indirectly associated with CAIR, the ISNA, MAS, the Muslim Brotherhood and other Muslim individuals, groups and organizations on a national and international basis. Deloitte is also involved directly and indirectly handling financing for those same groups and organizations."
Bonesteel says most of these individuals, and almost all of the organizations, are known to actively support Hamas, Hezbollah and Al Queda, among other terrorist and jihadist groups. "And we have Delahunt's staff lawyer currently sitting in the courtrooms of these court martials, and allowed to wander about them quite freely, including 'advising' the prosecution's legal teams." He says that Deloitte has had - and continues to have - business dealings with Iran, Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, China, Russia, and others committed to the open or subversive destruction of America.
"We know that several of those nations are actively involved in supporting terrorist operations in Iraq and around the world." He says that what the don't know at the moment, is what specific event or series of events, or series of 'business deal' began what he calls the slide towards having our fighting men and women prosecuted for 'murdering' the enemies of America in known combat zones.
"Killing the enemy is what they get paid for. In a combat zone, on an active battlefield, killing the other guy first has always been considered to be a measure of success by military strategists and tacticians throughout history."
The Marine's friend says that even with the above mentioned issues aside, there are glaring problems with the military justice system.
"For example, there is no outside accountability, and the military's Senior SNCO and staff level officer ranks are relatively small, almost inbred, communities. NCIS has little or no accountability to anyone, anywhere. NCIS has also begun 'civilian' operations within the United States, most notably within the state of Washington. JAG isn't much better."
He says the public needs to be on the lookout over "questionable" principles employed during these Iraq War court martials. That includes future NCIS and JAG officers' promotions, future options regarding choices of military assignments and deployments, and future civilian employment/careers and other forms of "remuneration."
Bonesteel suspects that within two to four years, they and/or their proteges will make surprising leaps in their careers and financial well-being.
"In any case, we well understand why Delahunt, Walter B Jones and a dozen others on both sides of the aisle have completely ignored our efforts to bring to light evidence that will exonerate the Haditha Marines...and prove their innocence. General Mattis is also quite aware of what we have presented." As for the case of Army SSgt Ray Girouard, the town of Sweetwater, Tennessee is maintaining a vigilant show of support. A sign hanging in the middle of town states: “SSgt. Ray Girouard Fought For Us, Now We Fight For Him.”
"This is such a small, close community. He grew up in this community and they just felt responsible for Ray," one of his neighbors said.
In this small Tennessee town fundraisers and cash donations have flowed in, allowing them to hire a private attorney for Girouard and help his family pay expenses. Despite his conviction, the community continues to believe in Girouard’s innocence and say they support his ongoing bid for clemency.
In the meanwhile, citizens of Sweetwater are paying for Girouard to get a college education while serving a 10 year prison term.
Larry Orr is the pastor of the First Assembly of God church in Sweetwater. He says the town is conservative and pro-establishment for the most part, but they quickly sensed something was wrong, based on what they knew of Girouard.
"We all felt pretty early on there we were left with plenty of reason to believe that our guy did not out and out murder anybody," Orr stated.
The local VFW in Hutchin's hometown quietly assisted the family with travel expenses. Friends have provided support through the sale of “Free Larry” T-shirts. Harrington hopes to expand the effort in the weeks to come. Friends of the family hope to generate support for Hutchins with a town meeting that will take a closer look at the case and the inconsistencies that developed during last week’s court martial.
According to the Marine's advocates, "The fight has just begun."
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