Thursday, July 28, 2005

Reporter Finds U.S. Sniper in Iraq Who Shot Knight Ridder Correspondent

This story is disturbing to me. To be honest, I don't know if I had heard about this event and it appears from this particular article it occurred in June of 2005. I am also thoroughly amazed that a reporter would actually investigate anything since that appears to be a lost art among reporters today. But I guess when it comes to one of their own finding the truth makes a difference or at least the truth which satisfies their perception.

Next is the fact that this "reporter" LIED to get into the US Military embed program. Hmmmm. So, the Media wonders why people in the military don't trust "Reporters"?

Here's the snip from Salon which doesn't require a registration:
The victim and the killer
- - - - - - - - - - - -
By Phillip Robertson
Yasser Salihee was an Iraqi journalist. Joe was an American sniper. On June 24, 2005, fate brought them together on a Baghdad street.

July 27, 2005 BAGHDAD, Iraq -- In the Sunni neighborhood of Amariyah in west Baghdad on June 24, a 33-year-old Iraqi man named Yasser Salihee was driving alone as he approached a small number of soldiers from a mixed U.S. and Iraqi patrol. Salihee was driving west. It was midday and most of the soldiers in the patrol had just entered a four-story building on the south side of the street to search for suspected insurgents on the roof. A few stayed down on the street to provide security. On the north side of the street stood two U.S. snipers; across the street an American from the same unit and at least one Iraqi soldier were posted. The street was left open to traffic: the patrol had not blocked off the street with cones and concertina wire, as they normally would for a cordon and search operation. The soldiers decided to stop cars by standing in the street and aiming their rifles at the drivers.

As Salihee approached the patrol from the east, another car was turning around in front of him. He began to drive around it to the right. Exactly what happened next is in dispute. What is certain is that as Salihee went around the car, the two U.S. snipers, thinking he was a suicide bomber, opened fire. At least four rounds were fired. One blew out the car's right front tire; another ricocheted off the ground and pierced the gas tank. The final 7.62 millimeter round pierced the driver's side of the windshield, entering Salihee's right eye and shattering his skull. Salihee died instantly.

The American troops left the car in the street and moved to a different position. An hour after the shooting, an Iraqi policeman found Salihee's phone and called his wife, Raghad. Raghad arrived at the scene and found her husband's body still slumped in the car, and she called an ambulance. Then she sat down on the curb and wept.

Yasser Salihee was not a suicide bomber. He was a physician and journalist who was going to his house on his day off to pick up his two-year-old daughter Dania and take her swimming.

From E&P:
snip....To find the shooter, Robertson requested an embed slot in western Baghdad. (Butler, the Knight Ridder editor, told E&P that "it bothers me somewhat" that Robertson was "not being totally honest... embedding with the military with the purpose of doing his own investigation into this.") Two weeks later, he was able to find the unit, part of the 256th Brigade Combat Team, that took part in the fatal shooting.

Next, from a young specialist from Louisiana, he learned the names of two snipers with the unit. "The next night, the 13th of July," he writes, "I walked into the command post after dinner and recognized one of the men the young soldier had mentioned. The man was working on a notebook computer at a big table in the front room of the command post. We struck up a conversation."
snip.....Taking a broader look, however, he concludes: "The details may be murky, but in retrospect it is fairly clear what happened... The soldiers were on edge, but they seem to have followed their rules of engagement. It was a typical misunderstanding, of the sort that happens all the time in Iraq." No disciplinary action is likely. Robertson points out that a spokesman for the coalition forces told the Los Angeles Times that he did not know of a single soldier who had been punished for shooting a civilian in a traffic incident or at a checkpoint.

Robertson's story closes: "Before I left Joe at his company headquarters at Camp Victory, he said he wanted to tell the Salihee family he was sorry and that he'd never had to fire to stop a car before the 24th of June. 'If I'd seen his hands up, no way would I have fired a shot. We didn't murder him. No way was it murder,' Joe said. But there was desperation in his voice, as if he wasn't sure."

So the "Reporter" was somewhat bothered about not being totally honest? How about lying? How about perhaps jeopardizing all embeds for future stories? Of course, that doesn't matter since the means justify the ends isn't it! That's the mantra as you know in the "Rules for Radicals" - the Means Justify the Ends. So, this so-called "Reporter" is more than willing to sacrifice this young soldier to get his story. The facts are murky but we'll put just enough doubt into the story to create a scandal perhaps. After all, maybe this "Reporter" will make a significant name for himself while sacrificing another soldier who already is probably tearing himself up about this.

I'm not informed enough to go any further but I'm sure there are those of you out there that could hopefully add some perspective on this for me.

Reporter Finds U.S. Sniper in Iraq Who Shot Knight Ridder Correspondent

H/T - Lucianne.

Thanks Mrs. G. for the Dawn Patrol Link on 7/29.

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