Warner calling for quick Haditha report

Sen. John Warner (R-Va.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, is pressing the Pentagon to disclose its findings quickly from the investigations into a Marine Corps cover up of an alleged murder of 24 Iraqi civilians in the town of Haditha.

Along with the killings in Haditha, the investigations also involve the fatal shooting of an Iraqi man in Hamadiya.

“Congress and the American people are entitled to a timely disclosure of the official findings and recommendations of these inquiries within the protections afforded” by the Uniform Code of Military Justice, Warner wrote in a letter yesterday to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.

“Delays in getting out the official findings of fact due to a protracted review process will mean a mixture of information, misinformation, and unconfirmed facts will continue to spiral in the public domain,” the letter warned.

Warner said his committee plans to hold several hearings on the matter and asked Rumsfeld to tell him the earliest date the Pentagon can provide witnesses to testify before Congress.

Warner suggested Maj. Gen. Eldon Bargewell, a former Delta Force commander, as a possible witness.

Bargewell was in charge of conducting an administrative investigation into the factors that could have led to the alleged incident in Haditha.