Small Wars Journal

Frontline's Haditha: "Rules of Engagement"

Jules Crittenden (Forward Movement) has the advance scoop on PBS Frontline's Haditha: "Rules of Engagement"

Airing on PBS Tuesday, Feb. 19. Check your local listings and make a note. Preview trailers here.

I just finished watching a review copy. If you want to know the basics on this political football, see principal participants and witnesses interviewed — Marines, Haditha survivors, reporters and lawyers — and see extensive private and military video footage and stills of 3rd Platoon, Kilo Company, 3/1 Marines in Haditha before, during and after the Nov. 19, 2005 incident, you'll want to watch this.

Like most Frontline treatments, it is well-documented and painstakingly fair. To the extent it can be in the space of an hour, it is the story of the unit and the military, media and political history of the incident. The high points of the investigation, prosecution and defense are woven through...

Much more at Forward Movement.

Haditha: "Rules of Engagement" Preview # 1

Haditha: "Rules of Engagement" Preview # 2

From the Frontline press release:

"A U.S. Marine and 15 Iraqi civilians were killed yesterday from the blast of a roadside bomb in Haditha," read a U.S. military press release in November 2005. Four months later, Time magazine would report that it was U.S. Marines—not a roadside bomb—who were responsible for the deaths of unarmed Iraqi civilians. Soon after, Rep. John P. Murtha (D-Pa.) would claim the Marines killed the Iraqis "in cold blood," igniting a media firestorm which labeled Haditha a "massacre" and one of the worst atrocities of the Iraq war. But what really happened that day reveals a far more complex story that gets to the heart of the war troops are fighting.

Through interviews with the highest levels of the U.S. military, personal accounts from Marines involved, documents obtained by FRONTLINE, never-before-seen unmanned drone footage of the actual day's events, and an exclusive television interview with an intelligence officer who watched the day unfold, FRONTLINE investigates what occurred in Haditha.

In Rules of Engagement, airing Tuesday, February 19, 2008, at 9 P.M. ET on PBS (check local listings), FRONTLINE examines how the rules of war are interpreted in theory and in battle and what that says about the war in Iraq...