In January, the Marines called it Al-Qaeda propaganda. Now, almost 6 months later, it's an American nightmare. An alleged massacre of civilians in the insurgent hotbed of Haditha. Twenty-four in all. An old man in a wheelchair. A begging father. Mothers. Children — girls — aged 14, 10, 5, 3 and 1.
The military's belated investigation of murder and cover- up is not complete, but Marine veteran Congressman John Murtha calls it killing in cold blood, worse than Abu Ghraib, another reason to leave Iraq. And now it certainly is used in Al Qaeda propaganda.
The message in Haditha, U.S. troops under pressure, and should we stay or should we go.
Michael Duffy, assistant managing editor, TIME
Ellen Knickmeyer, Baghdad Bureau Chief, The Washington Post
William Arkin, military analyst. He writes the "Early Warning" blog on national and homeland security for The Washington Post.
Col. Mackubin Thomas Owens, contributing editor to the National Review Online and professor of National Security Affairs at the Naval War College. He led a Marine rifle platoon in Vietnam in 1968-69.
This program aired on May 31, 2006.