on november 19th, 2005 an improvised explosive device hit a marine convoy in haditha, iraq, killing one of the marines. in the aftermath that followed the remaining marines are alleged to have killed 24 civilians in the search for the people who planted the bomb. frank wuterich is one of the marines alleged to be involved in the killings, which some people are referring to as a massacre. as there were no officers present at the scene when the convoy was hit, wuterich was the senior marine on the ground. arguably, the decisions made were his. since returning from iraq frank has been living at camp pendleton outside of san diego. he was supposed to get out of the military following his tour but hasn’t been discharged as of yet, waiting while the military figures out what to do with him. this is frank at home, where he lives with his two daughters and his wife, marisol, who was expecting their third child when i met them. out of the context of war it’s difficult to imagine the guy being capable of any of the things described, but within the context of war i guess all bets are off. it’s always seemed strange to me how during a way certain kinds of murder (essentially what war is) become acceptable and other kinds do not. frank finally got his day in court, in january 2012, and in a plea deal all manslaughter and assault charges were dropped, and he merely pled guilty to “negligent dereliction of duty”.
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staff sergeant frank wuterich, marine accused of war crimes