That is the only polite way of calling what is happening with the media frenzy over what went on last year in Haditha.
A white wash is to cover some wrongdoing up. A brown wash is to cover up something also, but instead of covering misdeeds a brown wash covers innocents in the smelly disgusting offal of character assassination. Neither wash is healthy but the later is wielded with malice towards those who have given no harm.
The innocents in this case being all the brave servicemembers who have been in harm's way, are in harm's way, or going to face harm's way. They are being covered broadly in this ugly brown stain while all the facts are still not know nor has any of the Marines suspected in the incident have been charged.
What is being overlooked, again is the fact the military was already investigating before the 'oh so virtuous media' [TIME Magazine has had reporters chumming with insurgents in Iraq before] ever leaked it out. Just like the Army was investigating Abu Ghraib before it hit the papers and when LTC West was forced into early retirement for personally torturing a suspected insurgent to extract information.
The media has always been late and then when they do report, what is reported is distorted. Now there is even news of another massacre of Iraqis. The only photos of the 'incident' come from insurgents. That is a real prime case with good evidence. But would these allegations have even surfaced if Haditha and Murtha had not already grabbed headlines around the world? The answer is obvious, save Al-Jazeera and Iranian media, nothing would have been heard. Mis-reported incidents like Haditha or the Koran flushing hoax only cause more unrest/harm. One incident of mis-reporting can be explained away as an accident, repeated incidents indicates there is true malice afoot.
The sufferers of this malice will be veterans like Smash. They will bear the stigmata and the unjustified shame. It will be hard for these people not to be demoralized.
To the media and their rabid frenzy, back off. Let the justice system work. These Marines are innocent until proven guilty and they can only be proven guilty if they, who are charged, are given a fair trial and the jury finds them guilty. And it is not the role of the media to cast the guilty verdict nor sentence the wrong-doers. The media should only report facts, not hyperbole and innuendo.