This was on my
Yahoo Messenger "Inside Yahoo" when I logged in this morning.
I honestly don't know what these people use for brains. Seriously. The story is basically the same as ever, U.S. troops fired at people they knew were reporters and so knew were not a threat. Thus, they committed a war crime and are guilty of murder.
Witnesses testified during the weeklong inquest that Lloyd — who was driving with fellow ITN reporters from Kuwait toward Basra, Iraq — was shot in the back by Iraqi troops who overtook his car, then died after U.S. fire hit a civilian minivan being used as an ambulance and struck him in the head.
Firstly, please let us realize that Lloyd, who surely did not deserve to die, was shot by *both* sides. By Saddam's forces and then by Americans. What does this tell us?
Yes, children, he was smack dab in the center of a battle ground. Between the two forces who were trying to kill each other.
Now comes the hubris.
Walker said. "There is no doubt that the minibus presented no threat to the American forces. There is no doubt it was an unlawful act of fire."
No doubt? Really? And Walker "no doubt" would like our troops to assume that any vehicle that isn't clearly marked as enemy military is safe. Because if they are wrong and get killed, who the heck cares, huh?
ITN cameraman Daniel Demoustier, the sole survivor, told the inquest that ITN's pair of four-wheel drive vehicles were overtaken by a truck carrying Iraqi forces and that gunfire erupted.
This is at the beginning, when the "clearly marked" (as the article makes pains to point out) ITN vehicles were attacked by Saddam's forces.
(Survivors, except for Lloyd, were picked up by Red Crescent ambulances and taken to a hospital.)
The coroner said Friday that a civilian drove up in a minivan, pulled a U-turn and picked up four wounded Iraqi soldiers, then saw Lloyd with a press card around his neck and helped him into the van.
So Saddam's forces *weren't* trying to kill reporters? They were just shooting at them and were the ones who had shot Lloyd to begin with. Could it be possible that maybe the "clearly marked" ITN vehicles weren't that easy to identify in the heat of battle?
In any case, for some reason, U.S. forces felt that the unmarked minivan was a threat and shot at it, hitting Lloyd in the head and killing him.
When Saddam's forces attacked the ITN vehicles the article quotes ITN cameraman Daniel Demoustier as saying he was ...
Driving blindly in smoke,
Demoustier said after the ruling that the inquest had not made clear whether the bullet that killed Lloyd was fired by a U.S. tank or helicopter. He said the forces in a tank would have been able to see that they were firing at a civilian vehicle, but a helicopter would not.
If someone has limited visibility while driving a vehicle I think it's safe to say that someone driving a tank in the same situation would also have limited visibility. I do appreciate that the one person who was actually *there* realized that at least helicopters wouldn't have a clear view and ability to determine that a vehicle was civilian.
Or even "clearly" marked as ITN.
But in the end... there is no reason whatsoever for our forces to assume that a civilian vehicle is not a threat. That's just a sad fact. Our soldiers wear uniforms and identify themselves. I'd say that Western armies generally do. Other armies *don't*. And we know this. Our forces fired on the ambulance carrying Jessica Lynch, when the doctors tried to return her. They were right to do so because they *had* to assume that the vehicle was a threat.
These "inquests" and other similar B.S. pretend that a battlefeild is a clean, controlled place and they do so for political advantage. Here's another thing that is 100% proper and right...
U.S. authorities didn't allow servicemen to testify at the inquest.
But the coroner has an agenda so...
Several submitted statements that the coroner ruled inadmissible.
The day our government allows any soldier to appear in one of these foreign kangaroo courts is the day America, as a concept, ends.