In November 2005, Sunni insurgents attacked a U.S. Marine squad en route to Haditha with an improvised explosive device (IED). One Marine died and two others were wounded. Within minutes, squad members killed 24 Iraqi civilians, including an elderly couple, four women and six children. It was the worst incident of its kind in the Iraq War. Thirteen months later, four officers and four enlisted men were accused of crimes ranging from dereliction of duty to murder. The legal proceedings dragged on for five years, longer than any in U.S. military history. The only conviction was that of an NCO who pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor. Unlike other legal actions conducted during the 60-year history of the present military justice system, these proceedings were held mostly in secret. This book investigates the tactics adopted by Marine Corps commanders and the ineptness of the proceedings, which raise serious questions about the need for reform of the Code of Military Justice.