|On this Veteran’s Day, Please Remember the Marine Officer Charged in Haditha Incident
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
ANN ARBOR, MI – Yesterday was the 233rd Birthday of the United States Marine Corps, and today is Veteran’s Day celebrating all Veterans’ service to this great country. The Thomas More Law Center would like to thank all Veterans for their service to this Nation. Through their service, the Thomas More Law Center is able to protect the rights they fought for in our courts.
Almost unbelievably, three years ago Marine Corps Veteran Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Chessani was accused of criminal wrong-doing in the high profile case arising out of a terrorist ambush in Haditha, Iraq, on November 19, 2005, in which one Marine was killed and several others wounded. As Marines moved in on the attacking terrorists who were firing from nearby homes, several civilians were tragically killed.
Months later, after inflammatory media articles and comments by an antiwar politician, LtCol Chessani, the battalion commander of the Marines involved in the fighting, was accused of failing to properly report and investigate the incident.
LtCol Chessani faces a maximum punishment of two and a half years in prison, dismissal (an officer’s equivalent of a dishonorable discharge), and the loss of his retirement benefits.
The Thomas More Law Center, based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, agreed to represent LtCol Chessani at no charge. To adequately defend LtCol Chessani, a legal defense fund was set up to make sure that supporters of this great Veteran could donate directly to his cause.
Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel of the Law Center commented, “LtCol Chessani is a devout family man and Christian, who dutifully defended our country for twenty years, including three tours of duty in Iraq, Panama, and the Persian Gulf War. His wife and six young children should not have to worry about finances to ensure that he receives the best defense possible. I can think of no better way to honor a veteran than by helping in the defense of this worthy veteran. LtCol Chessani has dedicated his life to the service of his country. Had LtCol Chessani hired a private for-profit law firm to represent him, his legal bills would be approaching a million dollars at the end of the day – certainly out of reach for a career military man with six young children.”
The Law Center recently argued in front of the Navy and Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals to keep the charges dismissed against LtCol Chessani. However, even if the charges remained dismissed, the government has privately told people that they will recharge LtCol Chessani.
The Law Center is asking once again for concerned Americans to help defend LtCol Chessani. You can be a direct help in the defense of LtCol Chessani by mailing a donation to the Thomas More Law Center at 24 Frank Lloyd Wright Drive, P.O. Box 364, Ann Arbor MI 48106, or by simply donating to his defense fund through our website. Please indicate your donation is for the ‘Chessani Defense Fund.’
Click here to donate now to LtCol Chessani’s Defense Fund.
The two Law Center attorneys assigned to handle the case, Robert Muise and Brian Rooney, are both former Marine officers. Muise is a former infantry officer and judge advocate who served in the Persian Gulf War, and Rooney is a former judge advocate and Iraq War veteran. Another attorney, Brandon Bolling, is consulting on the case. Bolling is a former Marine Judge Advocate and veteran of Afghanistan and Africa.
Another honorable veteran, Jeremiah A. Denton, Rear Admiral US Navy (Ret.), is the Chairman of TMLC’s Advisory Board. Admiral Denton first came to the attention of the American public during a television interview arranged by his North Vietnamese captors in 1966 by giving the first confirmation that American POWs were being mistreated. Jeremiah Denton was subjected to severe torture during his nearly eight years as a POW. He became the first American military captive to be subjected to four years of solitary confinement. Denton’s extraordinary account of endurance and religious faith while imprisoned in Vietnam is a testament to the courageous spirit of America’s military service men and women.
The Thomas More Law Center defends and promotes the religious freedom of Christians, time-honored family values, and the sanctity of human life through litigation, education, and related activities. It does not charge for its services. The Law Center is supported by contributions from individuals, corporations and foundations, and is recognized by the IRS as a section 501(c)(3) organization. You may reach the Thomas More Law Center at (734) 827-2001 or visit our website at www.thomasmore.org.