The Washington Post had without a doubt the most important story of the weekend:
A sergeant who led a squad of Marines during the incident in Haditha, Iraq, that left as many as 24 civilians dead said his unit did not intentionally target any civilians, followed military rules of engagement and never tried to cover up the shootings, his attorney said.
Staff Sgt. Frank D. Wuterich, 26, told his attorney that several civilians were killed Nov. 19 when his squad went after insurgents who were firing at them from inside a house. The Marine said there was no vengeful massacre, but he described a house-to-house hunt that went tragically awry in the middle of a chaotic battlefield.
“It will forever be his position that everything they did that day was following their rules of engagement and to protect the lives of Marines,” said Neal A. Puckett, who represents Wuterich in the ongoing investigations into the incident. “He’s really upset that people believe that he and his Marines are even capable of intentionally killing innocent civilians.”
Don’t miss this story, and then check out Mudville Gazette’s timeline of the press coverage.
UPDATE: John H. writes:
Though the article about the Haditha occurrence might seem important to you, I fail to see it. It is the accused’s lawyer stating his client’s innocence. Hardly enough evidence to render any kind of verdict… I hope he is innocent but we should all let justice run its course.
I only meant it’s an important article because it is the first time we’ve heard any kind of statement from the accused, not because it is proof of his innocence. I should have been more clear.