Last month I wrote about Haditha, Iraq and allegations that innocent Iraqi civilians had been shot and killed by a unit of U.S. Marines. Today, Rep. John Murtha stated that a military investigation will confirm that over a dozen civilians were indeed murdered.

“There was no firefight. There was no IED (improvised explosive device) that killed those innocent people,” Murtha said. “Our troops overreacted because of the pressure on them. And they killed innocent civilians in cold blood. That is what the report is going to tell.”

Murtha noted the “undue pressure” on the troops because of the “poor planning and allocation of resources by the Bush administration.”

Murtha described the killings as a response to what Nation Institute Fellow Chris Hedges would call an “atrocity-producing situation.”

“One [Marine] was killed with an IED,” Murtha said. “And after that, they actually went into the houses and killed women and children.”

Murtha was tipped to the report’s findings by military commanders. His candor in shedding light on this horrible event is especially needed and courageous given the zeal with which the Bush administration hides the truth, and the smears they direct towards all political opponents.