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Exclusive! Family of Marine Named in Alleged Haditha Killings Speaks Out

This is a partial transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," June 19, 2006, that has been edited for clarity.

SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: Our top story tonight: The general who was leading the Pentagon investigation into whether or not the Marine Corps covered up what happened at Haditha last November has found that Marine officers did not ask the right questions.

The report does not speak to the incident itself, but many in the press and even some members of Congress have seemingly already convicted the Marines of murdering 24 Iraqi civilians.

Joining us tonight in a “Hannity & Colmes” exclusive is the family of Staff Sergeant Frank Wuterich, who is one of the Marines being investigated for what happened in Haditha. And joining us from Connecticut is Sergeant Wuterich's father, David. And in San Francisco tonight is Sergeant Wuterich's wife, Marisol Wuterich.

Thank you both for being with us. Marisol, let's start with you.

DAVID WUTERICH, FATHER OF MARINE INVESTIGATED: You're welcome.

HANNITY: Well, first of all, we're being told that some of the video may not be what it was originally purported to be. Have you heard these reports, Marisol?

MARISOL WUTERICH, WIFE OF MARINE INVESTIGATED: No, I haven't.

HANNITY: David, have you heard that?

D. WUTERICH: No, I haven't.

HANNITY: OK. Let's talk about the fact about a rush to judgment in this particular case. Let me play you the words of Congressman John Murtha, which has gotten so much attention in this case.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. JOHN MURTHA, D-PA.: There was no — there was no firefight. There was no IED that killed these innocent people. Our troops overreacted because of the pressure on them, and they killed innocent civilians in cold blood.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: Mr. Wuterich, your reaction to that?

D. WUTERICH: Well, I think that he's kind of jumping the gun where he's not hearing the Marines' side of the story. The only thing he's hearing is the Iraqi side, and you can't believe the Iraqis all the time.

HANNITY: Well, that's true, and these guys are at war, and they're defending our freedoms. It's amazing to me...

D. WUTERICH: This is true.

HANNITY: ... that so many would rush to judgment. The investigation hadn't even been completed at that particular moment.

D. WUTERICH: That's true.

HANNITY: Marisol, here's what — we do know the following. We know that an IED went off. We know that a Marine was split in two in this incident. We know that there were questions about where this had all come from here. Tell us what you know about the story and about what your husband's role was.

M. WUTERICH: I don't know. Well, I don't know much about, like, what happened there that day. I know I talked to my husband, and I'm just upset with the fact that people are rushing to judgment and they don't know my husband at all.

And — sorry, go ahead?

HANNITY: Mr. Wuterich, let me go to you. We know that your son's attorney, Neil Puckett, gave a version to The Washington Post about what happened there, and they're very, very clear. And they're saying what is being reported, the accusation by Murtha and others could not be more false, that this is a rush to judgment in this case, that there was an IED that went off, that a Marine was cut in two, and that your son led a group of people — they saw four or five people in a white car fleeing the scene.

At that particular point, they followed the rules of engagement. They defended themselves. They also thought that people in nearby housing were involved in the incident, and they went in and they did their job. Have you spoken to the attorney? Have you spoken to your son about it?

D. WUTERICH: I have talked to my son, and the story that he says, that I have to back him 100 percent, that I believe what he did say is the truth, and I think that the report that Neil Puckett has said is also the truth. That we have to support these boys over there, you know, who give their lives every day. You know, they have to look over their shoulder, and they're — you know, it's 24/7.

ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: Hey, Mr. Wuterich and Mrs. Wuterich, we welcome you both to the show. Thank you very much. It's Alan. I appreciate you both being here.

D. WUTERICH: Thank you.

M. WUTERICH: Thank you.

COLMES: Dave, let me ask you, I mean, in terms of Jack Murtha, wasn't it the military who gave him whatever information he has? We don't know what happened. But I'm wondering where he got his information. And were there not people who did preliminary investigations who, for whatever reason, leaked what they knew to get word out there?

M. WUTERICH: Well, I know that the investigation was — sorry. I know the investigation wasn't complete...

D. WUTERICH: Go ahead.

M. WUTERICH: ... so I'm not sure — I mean, I don't know who told him what. But I think that, because it isn't complete, that there shouldn't be anything said about it.

COLMES: Dave, I wonder if you feel that sometimes the glare of media attention keeps everybody honest and, in general, is good for our society, that we have — you know, there's the sunlight that shines on whatever incidents happen so we can eventually get to the truth?

D. WUTERICH: Yes, this is true. And I have to agree that I think that the information that he gave out, and also the sensationalism that he put in Time magazine on May 29, he already prejudged the Marines, where he said that they were guilty, and he also said they killed them in cold blood.

Now, what right does he have to say that when he wasn't there? And I think that he should be accountable for what he said.

COLMES: Well, I presume he's getting his information — John Kline, a Republican from Minnesota, said very similar things. We want to get to the truth here.

Marisol, have you talked to your husband? What has he told you about it?

M. WUTERICH: He's told me basically what his attorney has released, and I believe — I believe him, and I support him 100 percent. And I don't believe the other side that the media is portraying.

COLMES: Mr. Wuterich, part of what I think Jack Murtha was saying was that it's very strenuous conditions, they're horrible conditions that we have our soldiers in, many doing more than one tour, working a lot harder than they thought they would work, many more tours of Iraq than they were told they would do, and it creates a kind of a stressful situation that's practically untenable.

Is that your understanding of the situation?

D. WUTERICH: Yes, I think so. And it's a very tough situation to be in, as far as, you know, these soldiers. You know, they don't know who their friends are, who are their enemies. You know, it's very tough, very tough.

COLMES: And isn't that the problem, that we have a war where it's hard to identify the insurgents, and we don't know in every case who the enemy is, as you just said, who the insurgents are, who's on our side? We're there to defend Iraqis...

D. WUTERICH: This is true. Right.

COLMES: ... and help them have a better way of life, but we don't know, in many cases, which Iraqis and which people there are our allies versus our enemy.

D. WUTERICH: This is true. This is true. And I think that the media should be a little more positive and give a little more information about what the United States is doing over there.

And these boys — and, you know, from all different countries put their life on the line. You know, they're building schools and doing so forth. And I think that, in my opinion, I think that we should stay there. You know, otherwise, all of these 2,500 soldiers who gave up their life, it will all be in vain.

HANNITY: Yes.

D. WUTERICH: I support my son 100 percent, and I believe his story, and because Frank is not that type of person.

HANNITY: All right, we're going to continue to follow the story. Our Marines, our troops deserve the presumption of innocence. After all, that's one of the things your son is fighting for, sir.

Thank you for being with us.

D. WUTERICH: This is true.

HANNITY: We'll follow this story.

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