California A Marine general testified Thursday that he initially saw no reason to investigate the killing of women and children by troops in the Iraqi town of Haditha, and said he didn't learn about allegations that civilians were intentionally targeted until three months later.
Maj. Gen. Richard A. Huck was the top general in charge of Marines in Iraq's Al Anbar province when 24 civilians were killed on Nov. 19, 2005, in Haditha. He testified that he knew about the deaths that day but considered them simply a "truly unfortunate" consequence of war at the time.
"I had no information that a law of armed conflict violation had been committed," Huck said.
The two-star general spoke by video link from the Pentagon at a preliminary hearing for Capt. Randy W. Stone, one of four officers charged with dereliction of duty for failing to investigate the killings. Three enlisted Marines are charged with murder.
Stone, 34, of Dunkirk, Md., had only been in the Marine Corps about a year and was sent to Iraq a few weeks before the killings.