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Sunday, July 02, 2006

Media Again Refuses to Give Soldiers Benefit of the Doubt


Here we go again... Another story of atrocities committed by our soldiers being blasted all over the media without one "named" source and before any investigation has been completed.

GIs May Have Planned Iraq Rape, Slayings by Ryan Lenz AP 7/1/06
"Investigators believe American soldiers spent nearly a week plotting an attack in which they raped an Iraqi woman, then killed her and her family in an insurgent ridden area south of Baghdad, a US military official said Saturday."

"The official, speaking on condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing, said the attack appeared 'totally premeditated' and that the soldiers apparently 'studied' the family for about a week before carrying out the attack."

"A senior Army official who also requested anonymity because the investigation is ongoing said one of the victims was a child."

"The senior Army official said the alleged incident was first revealed by a soldier during a routine counseling-type session. The Army official said that soldier did not witness the incident but heard about it."

"A second soldier, who also was not involved, said he overheard soldiers conspiring to commit the crimes and then later saw bloodstains on their clothes, the Army official said."

More heresay and anonymous sources - just like the Haditha incident. I'm waiting on Murtha to chime in on this one...

A few facts that need to be clarified...
Mohammed al-Shekhli (also spelled Mohammed al-Sheikhli) listed as the head of the Transitional Justice Studies Center and an Iraqi human rights activist "pointed to other abuse allegations, in the western Iraqi town of Haditha, and called for international intervention."

There is no information available of Mohammed al-Sheikhli to be found on the Internet except for an article in the Canadian Press from May 6, 2006 about the "propaganda war" in Iraq involving the al Zarqawi blooper video. In the article al-Sheikhli is cited as the "director of the Transitional Justice Research Center, an Iraqi think tank".

Here's was al-Sheikhli said about Zarqawi -
"...said the Internet version showed "a brave person with the abilities of an Islamic superhero. But the unedited one is trying to portray him as a theatre puppet, not the Islamic superhero people are looking for."

Not exactly sympathetic to the plight of innocent civilians killed by Zarqawi and his band of thugs.

Consider this also - Capt. Ihsan Abdul-Rahman, a local police official, told the AP that officials received a report on March 13, 2006 about the alleged incident. But the Capt DID NOT relay the report to American forces. No where in any Internet search (even on the 'dark side of the Internet', ie TruthOut, Common Dreams, etc) can any mention be found of any incident like the media is now reporting. THREE MONTHS LATER the report comes out - despite having an imbedded AP reporter (Ryan Lenz)?

Why do I think this is nothing more than a ploy to deflect the anger at the terrorists that tortured and murdered the two American soldiers especially since this involves the same battalion of soldiers?

I'm doing some more research and will post more later. But for now this looks like another fake story to undermine the US soldiers and America... Stay tuned...

Sweetness and Light is all over this story. DB has a post up about the latest group to decry the brutality of our soldiers, the Association of Muslim Scholars - who just happen to be in cahoots with Zarqawi (before his dirt nap started) and al Qaeda in Iraq. Read more here...

UPDATE 1: Frau Budgie over at Red Hot Cuppa Politics has a great article up about this incident with her usual spot on analysis...

The Washington Post article "Baghdad Market Bombing Kills 66" has some "eyewitness testimony" but it looks strikingly similar to an "eyewitness report" that the Iraqi Resistance Report has posted. I'm still working on that one...

Interesting little tidbit about the WaPo article... The author is Ellen Knickmeyer. Here are a few recent articles that Knickmeyer has penned for the WaPo.

-Iraqis Accuse Marines in April Killing Of Civilian -Disabled Man's Family Disputes Troops' Story
- Baghdad Numb to Reports of Massacre
- In Haditha, Memories of a Massacre -Iraqi Townspeople Describe Slaying of 24 Civilians by Marines in Nov. 19 Incident
- Rights Under Assault In Iraq, U.N. Unit Says
- An Iraqi Mother's Most Dreaded Mission - Search for Missing Son in Baghdad Only Adds to Loss and Uncertainty

See any similarities in the type of story Ellen Knickmeyer writes?

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