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The Iraq War may be "over," but the unfinished business from years of American occupation still lingers. And a particularly grim chapter from that time, reaching all the way back to 2005, was revisited Monday in the trial of Sgt. Frank Wuterich, who entered a guilty plea on dereliction of duty in association with the killing of 24 unarmed Iraqi civilians in Haditha.

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Taking the stand in the murder case of three enlisted Marines, Sgt. Sanick P. Dela Cruz testified Wednesday that he witnessed his squad leader shoot and kill five civilians in Haditha, Iraq, on Nov. 19, 2005 -- the day 24 Iraqi civilians were killed by U.S. troops.

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A year after 24 Iraqi civilians were killed in the town of Haditha, eight U.S. Marines have been charged in the crime -- four with second-degree murder and four others with covering up the slaughter.

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The Marines implicated in the killings of 24 Iraqis in Haditha may have attempted to conceal evidence, according to a secret report. Based on an investigation of the incident, the report suggests that the Marines may have tampered with their unit logbook and withheld incriminating footage captured by an aerial drone.

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Four US paratroopers charged with murdering three detainees in Iraq smiled before shooting them, according to the BBC

  • Separately, in the Haditha massacre, a Pentagon official says evidence supports the claim that U troops deliberately killed some two dozen civilians

  • Atrocities like these are further poisoning America's already toxic image in the Middle East, and a continued occupation is likely to produce more of the same.

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    The new Iraqi ambassador to America, fresh after meeting Bush in Washington for the first time, told CNN that U Marines killed his cousin in cold blood in Haditha five months before the November massacre there (h/t: The Dan Report) This is huge: The ambassador of a newly minted "friendly" country went on national TV to accuse the U of murdering a relative Diplomatically speaking, it's a violent smack across Bush's face .

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  • "They knew the day after this happened that it was not as they portrayed it," Rep) told CNN about the military's response to the November killings of 24 unarmed civilians by US Marines The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said it would be "premature" to judge what actually transpired
  • Meanwhile, Iraq's prime minister said that his patience was wearing thin on America's excuse that it kills civilians by "mistake"
  • Also, a CNN reporter who had been embedded with military units accused in the killings recalls that they usually took great pains to avoid civilian casualties However, she was told that "investigators now strongly suspect a rampage by a small number of Marines who snapped after one of their own was killed by a roadside bomb"
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