Monday, June 12, 2006

Haditha, Zarqawi, and the Anti-Iraqi Media

(h/t Mudville Gazette)
It is still too early to insist that Rep. John Murtha and the rejectionist bloggers put away those bloody shirts they've been waving, but some serious discrepancies have arisen in the case against the Marines in Haditha.

You know that famous video tape and the interview that Time magazine founded it's big Haditha story on? Well, maybe its more questionable than Time let on. The War of Words Daily Dispatch says TIME is quietly redacting the most important sources of their story but don't expect to see the correction on their cover while your paying for groceries:

  • TIME initially reported the video everyone has seen on the news came from a journalism student who then then gave it the Hammurabi Human Rights Group.
  • TIME reported that Hammurabi had ties to Human Rights Watch, a well-known agency.
  • ...TIME reported that “one of the most damning pieces of evidence investigators have in their possession, John Sifton of Human Rights Watch told Time’s Tim McGirk, is a photo, taken by a Marine with his cell phone that shows Iraqis kneeling — and thus posing no threat —before they were shot.”

TIME now says:

TIME [says it] regrets the error.”

And now lets hear from the accused Marines....The Washington Post reports:

"A sergeant who led a squad of Marines during the incident in Haditha, Iraq, that left as many as 24 civilians dead said his unit did not intentionally target any civilians, followed military rules of engagement and never tried to cover up the shootings, his attorney said. Staff Sgt. Frank D. Wuterich, 26, told his attorney that several civilians were killed Nov. 19 when his squad went after insurgents who were firing at them from inside a house. The Marine said there was no vengeful massacre, but he described a house-to-house hunt that went tragically awry in the middle of a chaotic battlefield."

The story is too long to do it justice with a summary. Check it out.

(h/t Rubin)

Sweetness & Light has been carefully monitoring this story for a while. Here is a good State of the Scandal report.

American Thinker asks "Is McGirk [author of TIME's Haditha story] the new Mary Mapes?"

[Tim] McGirk seems hardly a neutral reporter. He spent the first Thanksgiving after 9/11 in Afghanistan dining with the Taliban and concluding of this celebratory meal:

Our missing colleagues finally arrive, and I leave thinking that maybe this evening wasn’t very different from the original Thanksgiving: people from two warring cultures sharing a meal together and realizing, briefly, that we’re not so different after all.

Right, Tim.

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