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Is the Haditha Story Falling Apart?

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Clarice Feldman at The American Thinker (with assistance from Sweetness & Light) has put together a narrative report of what’s known so far about the Haditha incident—and the story seems to be unraveling at the edges: Haditha: Is McGirk the New Mary Mapes?

And here’s more: US father visiting Haditha saw no sign of massacre. (Hat tip: Geepers.)

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A Presbyterian minister who was an embedded reporter with his son’s U.S. Marine company, which is accused of killing 24 Iraqi civilians in Haditha, said soldiers in private moments gave no indication anything horrible happened in the town.

Rather, the young men in Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment talked about earlier intense fighting in Falluja and other wartime ordeals.

“I would think that if it was as bad as everybody is making it out to be, I’d have heard something about it when I was there,” said the Rev. Ben Mathes, 53, whose son, 1st Lt. Adam Mathes, is Kilo company’s executive officer. …

The father spent 12 days with the unit in January in Haditha as a reporter with the Sacramento, California-based K-Love Christian Radio Network. He also ministered to the troops.

“It was freezing cold and everybody gathered around this kind of metal fireplace where we chopped up wooden pallets and burnt them and we’d sit there and talk about home and family and the deepest things with these kids,” he said in an interview on Thursday. “Not once did anything come up that something horrible had happened.”

“They talked about the first battle of Falluja and things that haunt them. They’d talk about they had mortars land right beside them that were duds and three landed right beside them and a third one went off and it injured the buddy next to them and they didn’t get hit.”

He said he also did not feel animosity from Iraqis he encountered while on patrol with Kilo company in Haditha.

“You would think that if something horrible had happened they would just disappear or just have nothing to do with these folks,” Mathes said. “They came out on the streets and brought us bread and tea and invited us into their homes. The businessmen would have them come into their shops.”

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