The Marine is Lance Cpl. James Crossan, who rode in the passenger seat of the Humvee that was struck by an IED. The driver was Lance Cpl. Miguel Terrazas, whose body was split in two by the attack. Lance Cpl. Crossan suffered a broken back, shattered bones, and perforated eardrums.
You should watch the entire interview (we’ve got a four-minute segment over at Hot Air) and then you should compare it with the selective MSM coverage–which is hyping the parts that damn the Marines most and ignoring the full context of Lance Cpl. Crossan’s remarks. I’ve transcribed a significant portion for you here:
Crossan: We used to go out on patrols and have the little kids count the patrols and all that stuff and we couldn’t really do anything except grab them and throw them inside their houses…
KING 5 TV interviewer: Why would you do that? Because you were afraid that the kids were scouting for the insurgents or you thought they were in danger?
Crossan: There are little kids that scout for ‘em. ‘Cuz later that day we, along the main road there, we cut behind a few buildings and the next patrol that went out got hit. And that little kid that was just there and there was people all around. But the day that I got hit they were planning a major attack and it got spoiled, so, and there was like 20 some people, insurgents, that were gonna attack the cop that day.
Then we got hit by an IED and the cops sent out a squad of Marines, and the insurgents just started attacking then, just right off the bat and we just foiled it. We were just driving back from the cop. I remember taking a left and then a right, and then remember waking up from the ground for a split second. And then waking up in the helicopter and then finally knew what happened in the hospital.
KING 5: So after you were injured, also tell me, you lost one of your guys. What can you tell me about him?
Crossan: We lost Lance Col. Miguel Terrazas. He was a good guy. He was from El Paso, Texas. And he was my point man. He was pretty much the guy I went to if I needed anything.
KING 5: Was he driving the Humvee at the time?
Crossan: Yes he was.
KING 5. And so you were sitting next to me?
Crossan: Yes, I was in the passenger side. I know in my heart if I was there, I possibly could have stopped what happened, so. ‘Cuz I know that the other team leaders and even staff sergeants…they both, they all kinda, listened to me and I just gave ‘em ideas and all that stuff. Things just went smoother. But I just don’t know.
KING 5: How do you feel about the villagers involved? Um, you know, do you have emotion as you think about them or not really?
Crossan: No. Because half of them were bad guys. You just never know, so. It really didn’t cross my mind.
KING 5: There are reports of, you know, little children being killed and women being killed.
Crossan: Little kids I can see being bad and even some of the women, but just over there, you just can’t tell who the bad guy was…
Now, Lance Cpl. Crossan does suggest that Marines crossed the line (the part of the interview that will become the most publicized), though it should be kept in mind that he had been helicoptered from the scene and did not witness the alleged atrocities:
Crossan: …And I know they [the Marines] did something irrational and they’re gonna get the consequences put on them.
KING 5: You think there are other instances like this that have happened with perhaps your squad or other squads?
Crossan: Probably yes in the Marine Corps and in the Army.
KING 5: Why do you think so?
Crossan: Things happen every day that you just don’t hear about. You, I don’t know, America only hears about the bad things over there. And they don’t hear any of the good things. America just doesn’t understand.
I think they [the Marines] were just blinded by hate, when they see T.J. (Terrazas) blown to pieces and me stuck underneath the wheel not knowing what happened. And they just lost control. Bad things happen.
If you watch the interview, you’ll note the KING 5 interviewer sounding perplexed about the idea of children being used by the insurgents. I suggest she and other MSM reporters shocked, shocked by this concept familiarize themselves with LGF’s Palestinian child abuse slideshow. A few photos:
Terrazas’ father backs the Marines.
Milblogs contest: Send Murtha an inscribed book
California Conservative has video of kids throwing grenades at US troops in Iraq.
Read Mark Davis in the Dallas Morning News if you haven’t already:
Anyone with a shred of human decency approaches this with the utmost gravity. Those of us who support the troops and the war they are fighting have a special responsibility not to sugarcoat, minimize or marginalize any wrongdoing by those troops.
But, conversely, those who are exercising their right to speak ill of the war and the Americans fighting it have a responsibility not to allow their anti-war venom to inflame their assessments of bad moments in the war’s history.
That track record is forever blemished by the absurd overreaction to Abu Ghraib, a prison scandal that was bad enough if treated objectively. The wheels of justice turned, and prices are being paid for humiliating detainees outside the protocols of interrogation.
But the day Sen. Ted Kennedy equated American misdeeds at that prison with the unspeakable torture that had happened there under Saddam, the reputation of war criticism was deservedly damaged beyond easy repair.
And now we have Mr. Murtha, barely able to contain the spring in his step as he basks in the grisly particulars.
“This is the kind of war you have to win the hearts and minds of the people,” he said this weekend. “And we’re set back every time something like this happens.”
He should know a thing or two about setbacks, having inflicted so many with his own derisive tongue.
Our troops will face PR hurdles when Iraqis ask how a force they are supposed to trust can have bad seeds that create dark chapters like Abu Ghraib and, perhaps, Haditha. But that pales compared to the sucker punch Mr. Murtha delivered to every man and woman in uniform when he said the mission they still believe in is a “flawed policy wrapped in an illusion.”
And I think I’d rather explain to Iraqis how we are an army of human beings who may sometimes display tragic flaws than explain how a key congressman – and ex-Marine, remember – could say as he did a few months ago that he would not join today’s military, empathizing with those who did not wish to serve.
More on the “core values” training from WaPo:
The U.S. military investigation of how Marine commanders handled the reporting of events last November in the Iraqi town of Haditha, where troops allegedly killed 24 Iraqi civilians, will conclude that some officers gave false information to their superiors, who then failed to adequately scrutinize reports that should have caught their attention, an Army official said yesterday.
The three-month probe, led by Army Maj. Gen. Eldon Bargewell, is also expected to call for changes in how U.S. troops are trained for duty in Iraq, the official said.
Even before the final report is delivered, Army Gen. George W. Casey, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, is expected to order today that all U.S. and allied troops in Iraq undergo new “core values” training in how to operate professionally and humanely. Not only will leaders discuss how to treat civilians under the rules of engagement, but small units also will be ordered to go through training scenarios to gauge their understanding of those rules. “It’s going to include everyone in the coalition,” the official said.
The promotion of a top Marine general also has been put on hold.