The Defense of Lt. Colonel Chessani
ANN ARBOR, MI – It is clear that the Battalion Commander of the Marines charged in the so called “Haditha Massacre” is a political scapegoat of the anti-war efforts led by Congressman John Murtha and Time magazine. This was the conclusion of Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel of the Thomas More Law Center, a national public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
The Law Center is assisting military counsel in the defense of Marine Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Chessani without charge. Chessani is accused of failing to properly report and investigate the battle that occurred on November 19, 2005 in which 15 Iraqi civilians were killed.
Said Thompson, “This is a media-instigated prosecution, influenced by Iraqi propagandists and inflamed by Congressman Murtha’s outrageous public comments prejudging the guilt of Marines to bolster his anti-war agenda.”
Thompson’s public comments are based on his office’s review of thousands of pages of investigative reports, interviews and sworn depositions of key combat officers intimately familiar with the events surrounding the November 19, 2005 ambush of a Marine convoy in the city of Haditha, Al Anbar Province, one of the deadliest cities in Iraq.
The decision to launch a criminal investigation of the November 19 incident was made three months after its occurrence as a result of a Time Magazine news lead, which military commanders in the field suspected was instigated by terrorist propaganda.