The U.S. military has apologized and paid reparations to the families of Afghan civilians killed by Marines. In March, the Marines reportedly opened fire on cars and pedestrians, killing 19 people, after their convoy was rammed by a car bomb. I stand before you today, deeply, deeply ashamed and terribly sorry, Col. John Nicholson told the families. The death and wounding of innocent Afghans at the hand of Americans is a stain on our honor and on the memory of the many Americans who have died defending Afghanistan. Afghan officials have repeatedly told NATO commanders that civilian deaths are causing Afghans to resent the coalition presence while boosting the popularity of the Taliban. A Pentagon investigation that could result in charges against the Marines is continuing.