A preliminary military investigation completed in March found that on Nov. 19 insurgents attacked a Marine convoy near Haditha in Iraq's violent Anbar province with a roadside bomb, killing Marine Lance Cpl. Miguel Terrazas, 20, of El Paso. It said insurgents then opened fire on the Marines from several locations, and during the battle, eight insurgents and 15 civilians were killed, including women and children.
But earlier this week, Rep. John P. Murtha (D-Pa.) said the incident was 'much worse' and had involved no firefight or roadside bomb that killed civilians. 'Our troops overreacted because of the pressure on them, and they killed innocent civilians in cold blood,' said Murtha, who seeks a rapid withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq.
Hunter also indicated yesterday that new facts had emerged on the number of civilian deaths and unfolding of events, but said he would not preempt the investigation and say that murders were committed. 'I think we're going to see those [deaths] in the neighborhood of 20 or so people,' he said. A statement from his committee put the number at 'about 24.'
'The initial reports, obviously, that came up through the command didn't . . . tell the story,' he said. The military's original Nov. 20 statement said an insurgent bomb had killed the civilians and Marine."
if this somewhat familiar: murdered civilian, the initial report being 'incorrect', consider My Lai. colin powell 'investigated' My Lai...:
Initial investigations of the My Lai incident were undertaken by the 11th Light Infantry Brigade's Commanding Officer, Colonel Oran Henderson, under orders from America's Assistant Commanding Officer, Brigadier General Young. Henderson interviewed several of the soldiers involved in the incident, then issued a written report in late April claiming that approximately 22 civilians were inadvertently killed during the military operation in My Lai. The army at this time was still describing the event as a military victory resulting in the death of 128 of the enemy.
Six months later, a 21-year-old soldier of the 11th Light Infantry (The Butcher's Brigade) named Tom Glen wrote a letter accusing the Americal Division (and other entire units of the U.S. military, not just individuals) of routine brutality against Vietnamese civilians; the letter was detailed, its allegations horrifying, and its contents echoed complaints received from other soldiers. Colin Powell, then a young US Army Major, was charged with investigating the letter, which did not specifically reference My Lai (Glen had no knowledge of the events there). Powell wrote: "In direct refutation of this portrayal is the fact that relations between American soldiers and the Vietnamese people are excellent." Later, Powell's refutation would be called an act of "white-washing" the news of My Lai, and questions would continue to remain undisclosed to the public. On May 4, 2004, Powell, then United States Secretary of State, said to Larry King, "I mean, I was in a unit that was responsible for My Lai. I got there after My Lai happened. So, in war, these sorts of horrible things happen every now and again, but they are still to be deplored."