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FRONTLINE: Rules Of Engagement

Airs Friday, February 10, 2012 at 9 p.m. on KPBS TV

Above: The Marines of Kilo Co. 3rd Battalion 1st Marines and their counterparts in the Iraqi Army carry out a cordon and search, looking for insurgents, weapons and explosive devices in the eastern districts of the al-Anbar Province city of Hit, Iraq, on Tuesday, September 20, 2005.

After years of delays, U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Frank Wuterich went on trial in January 2012 in connection with the killings of 24 Iraqi civilians more than six years ago, one of the worst incidents of its kind of the war. What really happened on November 19, 2005, in the village of Haditha?

The Marines of Kilo Company 3rd Battalion 1st Marines fight through their piece of Fallujah during the November 2004 assault on the city.
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Above: The Marines of Kilo Company 3rd Battalion 1st Marines fight through their piece of Fallujah during the November 2004 assault on the city.

Quiz: The Tough Choices

The scenarios outlined in this quiz are reproduced from a PowerPoint presentation given to Kilo Company 3/1 in an August 2005 class on the rules of engagement (ROE) prior to their deployment to Haditha, Iraq. Try it yourself to test your knowledge of the ROE.

FRONTLINE cuts through the fog of war to reveal the untold story of what some have branded “Iraq’s My Lai.”

With accusations swirling that a squad of Marines massacred Iraqi civilians “in cold blood,” the Haditha killings led to one of the largest criminal cases against U.S. troops in the Iraq war. Yet major questions remain unanswered.

Through interviews with the highest levels of the U.S. military, personal accounts from Marines involved, documents obtained by FRONTLINE, unmanned drone footage of the actual day's events, and an exclusive television interview with an intelligence officer who watched the day unfold, FRONTLINE investigates what occurred in Haditha, how the rules of war are interpreted in theory and in battle, and what the events of Haditha and their aftermath say about the war in Iraq.

FRONTLINE is on Facebook, and follow @frontlinepbs on Twitter.

Video

Video Excerpt: Rules Of Engagement: Kilo Company Is Sent To Haditha

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Watch Rules of Engagement on PBS. See more from FRONTLINE.

Above: Battled-hardened in the second battle of Fallujah, these Marines are ready to face similar casualties in Haditha, where they arrive in fall 2005.

Video

Rules Of Engagement: A Day They Will Never Forget

Your browser does not support this object. Content can be viewed at actual source page: http://video.kpbs.org/video/1082076175

Watch Rules of Engagement on PBS. See more from FRONTLINE.

Above: It starts with an IED attack and ends with 24 Haditha civilians killed. The Marine Corps' press release never mentions many are women and children.

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