IRAQ: Marine standout now accused of crimes


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Marine Sgt. John Winnick II is charged with voluntary manslaughter in the killing of two Iraqi civilians last year in the Lake Tharthar area of Anbar province.

An Article 32 — the military’s equivalent of a preliminary hearing — may be held as early as next week at Camp Pendleton. Winnick is a sniper attached to the 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment.


In 2004, while also serving with the Three-One, his quick thinking and aggressiveness during the battle for Fallouja were extolled by author Bing West in his book ‘No True Glory: A Frontline Account of the Battle for Fallujah.’

From page 291, describing the action as Marines were in a house-to-house fight with insurgents:

‘They rushed down to the street. As they moved up the alley, Lance Corporal John Winnick, a machine-gunner, ran toward (Lt. Jesse) Grapes with an RPG (rocket-propelled grenade) launcher and a bag full of rockets. ‘Sir can I shoot these back at them?’ Winnick yelled.

‘Do you know how to use that thing?’ Grapes asked.

Winnick had never held or fired an RPG. ‘Yes, sir. Fired one in a threat weapons course!’ Winnick said.

‘Then start firing!’’

Winnick fired twice, blowing open a gate and then hitting a fuel drum inside a house as Marines cheered. ‘In minutes the fire had spread through the first floor, and the insurgents had fled.’

— Tony Perry, in San Diego

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