Thursday, September 06, 2007

CNN Tabloid "Doctors" Haditha Video

In an interesting twist on the alleged Haditha abuses it is being reported that both the military video of the events that day and the CNN version broadcast on national TV were doctored and spliced to mislead observers as to what really happened. Nevertheless, so far it appears that the marines' statements have been compelling enough to convince a military court that they acted appropriately under the circumstances.

It's tough call to make from another part of the world. Statements by marines that "civilians" acted in a manner to suggest they were detonating a bomb, and that insurgents held women and children hostage to prevent shelling of their hideout are reminiscent of the stories my dad used to tell of young children forced by North Korean communists to carry to U.S. soldiers bombs hidden in baskets of food. In those cases, it was kill the child or allow an entire platoon to die—not a pleasant position to be in. Even if circumstances had been such to allow a lengthy period of time to debate the decision (which wasn't the case), it wouldn't have been any easier to make. My dad was never tried for killing such civilians—he paid a price far worse that he carried with him the rest of his life. Although most of us would say he did what he had to, it didn't make it any less painful for him.

Nobody wants to see civilians killed, and nobody wants to see inappropriate actions on the part of U.S. troops. But nobody wants to be in their shoes making the same decisions under the same circumstances, either.

Shame on CNN for exploiting the marines involved for tabloid sensationalization. That should be a crime of defamation not tolerated by the general public.


Sirocco said...

If you don't mind, I'll withhold my condemnation until I see this picked up by some more mainstream source.

In particular, the following claim at the NewsMax site about why the video was doctored:

"The reason, according to an inside source: to avoid showing anything that exonerates the Marines who were accused of murdering the victims."

Seems simply ludicrous on the face of it. What does the White House or the military stand to gain by manipulating things to make it appear the Marines are guilty? It seems much more likely the incentive would be in the other direction, I.e., manipulate the video to make them appear innocent.

Still ... why should a little logic put a damper on a good conspiracy theory?

AZAce said...

Fair enough. CNN's actions are hardly defensible (and not without precedent), but why the military would manipulate the results is a tougher issue to reconcile. In any case, it seems that testimony so far is enough to counter the accusations against the marines, which validates the claim that the spliced video (however it got that way) shown was not an accurate representation of events.

x4mr said...

"Charging people with murder in Vietnam was like handing out speeding tickets at the Indianapolis 500."

Apocalypse Now

Determining the reality of the situation in circumstances like these is just about impossible, and trying to second guess these soldiers whose lives are at risk in the heat of the moment is folly.

We mix gunpowder and matches together in a can and then shake it vigorously. The situation is a terrible powder keg for the guilty to get away with murder and the innocent making split second decisions to find themselves accused.

I think these guys are innocent and always have.

Still, you know some wickedness is going on over there.