The Madeleine Brand Show

The Madeleine Brand Show is a daily, two-hour program that looks at news and culture through the lens of Southern California. Hosted by Madeleine Brand

Trial for Haditha shooting begins in San Diego

by The Madeleine Brand Show

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Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich walks into court during opening statements in the Haditha murders trial at Camp Pendleton on Jan. 9, 2012 in Oceanside, Calif. Staff Sgt. Wuterich is being charged in the deaths of 24 Iraqis during a military operation in 2005. AFP/AFP/Getty Images

One of the worst incidents during the Iraq War is being examined today at a court martial at Camp Pendleton. The Haditha Massacre - as it's called - took place in 2005. U.S. Marines shot and killed 24 Iraqis after a roadside bomb killed a fellow Marine and wounded two others. The leader of the squad that did the killing is facing life in prison.

At issue - did Staff Sergeant Frank Wuterich lose control in a fit of rage over the death of his comrade or did he comply with the rules of engagement in a murky theater of war where insurgents hid behind unarmed civilians?

Tony Perry of the Los Angeles Times is covering the court martial and he joins me now from Camp Pendleton.

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