CNN Perpetuates the Myths of Haditha
CNN has an article up about the Sky Eagle drone that flew over Haditha that dreadful day in November 2005. Attached to the story are actual snips from the drone video. Not content to let the drone video speak for itself, CNN spliced in scenes from the video made famous by TIME's Tim McGirk.
The footage of the bodies wrapped in blankets is labeled "Hammurabi Human Rights Association." There is no such "association" - only two men who have documented ties to terrorist/insurgent activities per Marine Intelligence Reports from the Haditha testimony. CNN failed to note that the bodies were removed from the morgue and the body bags replaced with blankets. The bodies were then put on display in one of the Haditha homes. The scene was a staged production - similar to the lurid photos from Qana II.
Typical of the media reports regarding the incident at Haditha, CNN uses distortions and half truths to perpetuate the myth of a cold blooded massacre. Just count the number of times the word "civilians" is used in an article about Haditha.
"The Scan Eagle arrived about 30 minutes after the initial bomb attack on the Marines and does not show the civilians being killed."
"Shortly after the bomb attack, Marines hunting the attackers killed 24 Iraqi civilians, leading to murder charges against four Marines a year later."
There were 24 Iraqis killed in Haditha that morning. Four were insurgents in the house cleared by LCpl Sharratt and Sgt. Wuterich. The families of the 4 men were not paid solatia payments until after the the media driven investigation began. Too many intelligence reports and too many coincidences conflict with the version of 5 schoolboys on their way to classes that early Saturday morning.
CNN attempts to gin up outrage over the drone footage of aerial bombardments...
"The video appears to show that, throughout that day, Marines engaged in fierce firefights and called in air strikes to level buildings - often with no definitive idea of who was inside."
Of course the Marines did not know the people in the buildings by name. They didn't use the white pages of the phone book to see who lived at each residence. All the Marines knew was they were taking fire from the houses. THAT is as definitive as they needed to take action. CNN also neglected to mention the 11 Marines injured during that day of battle in Haditha.
The myth of "coverup" is perpetuated by CNN...
"The service launched its investigation into the killings in March 2006, after an Iraq human rights group raised allegations that the Marines had gone on a house-to-house rampage after the bombing, and brought charges the following December."
Again CNN gives the Hammurabi Human Rights Assoc credibility despite mountains of evidence to the contrary. There is no mention of the after action reports, the powerpoint presentation of the day's events, and reviews by the chain of command done by the Marines - all of which are well documented. But those don't count since Tim McGirk did not report on them.
What article about the Haditha Marines would be complete without Gary Solis' two cents?
"But while prosecutors may be having a hard time winning convictions, Solis believes someone should be accountable for the 24 civilian deaths in Haditha."
"It would be difficult to say justice has been served if no one is convicted in Haditha," he said."
What? Justice is only served if someone is found guilty of a non-crime? What about justice for the LCpl Terrazas whose murder began the whole incident? How about holding the terrorists who use women and children as human kevlar responsible?
CNN claims that supporters of the Haditha Marines believe the government railroaded these young men. As an ardent supporter of the Haditha Marines, I believe it was the media and John Murtha who did the railroading. The media consistently twists the facts in this case to fit the "bad Marines" template. The media must be held accountable for their complicity in the lies and distortions. Only then will justice be fully served.