Throughout this Haditha investigation our family has believed in the innocence of our son L/Cpl Justin Sharratt, we knew he was innocent. There are things I do not understand and I would like to find the answers. We do not seek revenge, but we would like to see justice. In a conversation with Congressman John Murtha, my questions still remain unanswered. With the help of the American people, I hope to find justice.
On Wednesday morning, July 17th I spoke with Congressman John Murtha via telephone from his Washington, DC office. We had a courteous conversation. I knew what to expect from a career politician and Congressman Murtha did not disappoint. Mr. Murtha avoided answering the hard questions and I was unable to press him for the answers. I wanted the conversation to remain amicable and decided to let him speak and avoid a heated confrontation.
At no time during the dialogue would Mr. Murtha acknowledge the impending exoneration of my son. I pressed him to use the word exoneration but the best I could get was “things seem to have gone well in your son’s Article 32. The General is a fair man and I believe he will do the right thing.” I replied, “Lt. Col Paul Ware presented a strong recommendation for exoneration and we are anticipating Lt. Gen James Mattis following this recommendation.”
Mr. Murtha asked me if I had served in the military. He recalled his visits with injured Marines, soldiers and sailors. He said he supports our troops and it is the war he does not condone. Mr Murtha believes combat operations in Iraq have put an enormous strain on our Armed Forces. The stress of combat situations has led our troops to kill innocent civilians. I pointed out to Mr. Murtha, “Our Haditha Marines are innocent until proven guilty.” It seems he is again denying our Marines their Constitutional rights of due process and the presumption of innocence. Mr. Murtha replied that we have a Marine (Mendoza) testifying that innocent women and children were killed in Haditha. I retorted that he is again believing the reports of the media and Mendoza was granted immunity for his lies. Mendoza has changed his testimony at least two times. NCIS may have threatened him with deportation and denial of US citizenship. This time I scolded him, “I witnessed their(NCIS) conduct first hand in my son’s Article 32.”
I questioned Congressman Murtha as to his statements of 17 May 2006. On national television, in front of millions of Americans, he stated “Marines killed innocent civilians in cold blood.” I asked him why he denied these Marines their Constitutional rights of due process and the presumption of innocence. Again the Congressman used his experience to side step the answer. Mr. Murtha stated his intentions were to point out the stress our military was under in Iraq. He replied we would not win the hearts of the Iraqi people by killing women and children. I again snapped, “Our Haditha Marines have not been convicted of killing innocents and are innocent until proven guilty.”
I believe this conversation was the first step in obtaining justice for Our Haditha Marines. I did not expect Mr. Murtha to admit to or apologize for any wrongdoing in his role to railroad my son and his Marine comrades. The American people now know that his unfounded and untruthful allegations were used to further his political agenda. It is my intention to ask the Congress of the United States to censure Representative John Murtha and hold hearings to explain his conduct in respect to the Haditha incident. I will ask the American people to question his blatant disregard for the Constitutional rights of Our Haditha Marines. I will campaign to the voters of Pa Congressional District 12 to oust Representative Murtha from his elected office. The American people deserve better, we must demand better representation from our elected officials.
Proud American, Proud father of L/Cpl Justin L. Sharratt
Editor’s note: Mr. Sharratt lives is Pennsylvania’s 12th Congressional district which John Murtha represents.
Related previous posts:
July 18, 2007: Father of slandered Marine emails Congressman Murtha
July 13, 2007: Marine’s Parents Want Murtha Censured for Haditha Remarks
July 12, 2007: Congressman John Murtha should apologize or resign, or both