Babylon & Beyond

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IRAQ: The voice of a Marine

July 3, 2008 |  9:39 pm

Johnny A highpoint of press coverage of proceedings at Camp Pendleton involving allegations of Marine misconduct in Iraq comes when the accused makes a statement.

Such statements are usually unsworn, meaning the defendant cannot be cross-examined by prosecutors.

Reporters think it's important to describe not just what the Marine said but how he said it.

Take the preliminary hearing this week for Sgt. Johnny Winnick, the sniper accused of manslaughter and assault in the killing of two Syrians and wounding of two others.

The hearing officer will make a recommendation to the commanding general about whether the case should go to court-martial.

In his statement, Winnick, 24, of San Diego, said he fired on the Syrians because he thought they were planting a roadside bomb that could kill Marines.

And how did he deliver his statement? Take your pick:

North (San Diego) County Times: "in a clear, calm voice."

Los Angeles Times: "in a clear, strong voice."

San Diego Union-Tribune: "in a shaky voice."

— Tony Perry, at Camp Pendleton

Photo: Sgt. Johnny Winnick, accused in killing/wounding of Syrians. Credit: Winnick family