Frontline embedded with Kilo Company this past summer in an effort to get to know guys doing the fighting, to intuit what it’s like to find oneself wading through oppressive heat, bullets flying, bombs exploding, friends lying dead or wounded, unsure who’s civilian or insurgent, and faced with a lightning choice: to engage or not to engage. Whether the Haditha Marines will be convicted of the deliberate massacre of innocents will be decided this spring. In the meantime, the lessons of Frontline’s report couldn’t be more disheartening. As one Marine says, in the heat of combat one may find oneself to be “judge and juror in a split-second.” And, sometimes, executioner.
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