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March 22, 2005

Apparently We Can't Handle The Truth

Baghdad: American soldiers on Monday night killed an Iraqi man and a boy and wounded four others in a car that was driving behind their convoy after a roadside bomb went off nearby, said witnesses, a police official and relatives of the family in the car.

The soldiers, traveling in a convoy of two Humvees, opened fire on the family, which was riding in a dark blue station wagon, after the bomb exploded on Palestine Street about 300 yards from the Oil Ministry, witnesses said.

The family's driver, a man whose first name was Haider, was killed, as was a 10-year-old boy named Mustafa in the seat beside the driver, said family members, a neighbor and a police officer. Mustafa's mother and two of his siblings and his aunt were injured and taken to local hospitals.

''You want to know the truth?'' said Lt. Muhammad Ali, an Iraqi policeman who was driving away from Al Kindi Hospital with several colleagues after taking one of the women there. ''I'll tell you the truth. The Americans did this. I know after this conversation they will fire me from my job, but that's what happened.''

Just what we need -- more bad news from Iraq. Out of control, trigger-happy American soldiers targeting the people they are supposed to be protecting.

Except that the outside investigation concluded that it never happened: an inconvenient little fact the New York Times' in-depth "investigation" didn't manage to uncover: because they never bothered to talk to the military:

Two weeks ago an incident occurred in the Ready First Combat Team zone that was covered by the New York Times, then picked up by other news outlets as a result of that article. None of the news outlets (to my knowledge) interviewed any of the soldiers involved in the incident, and most of them based their stories on the initial report from the Times, which erred badly.

At 2040 hours on 12 January 2004, a roadside bomb (IED)
exploded on Palestine road just north of the Martyr's Monument. The target was a three vehicle military police (MP) patrol. A dark blue Opel station wagon carrying five Iraqi civilians was traveling between the second and third HMMWV's.

Upon detonation of the IED, the MP patrol responded by moving rapidly away from the explosion site and proceeded to the Martyr's Monument for medical treatment of two wounded soldiers. No soldiers fired their weapons during the incident. A patrol from 1-36 Infantry, hearing the explosion, moved to the site and assessed that the IED had exploded between the second and third HMMWVs, hitting not only the U.S. vehicles but killing the two Iraqi males in the front seat of the Opel and injuring two passengers in the back seat. U.S. medics attended to the wounded before turning them over to Iraqi Police (IP) for transport to a civilian hospital.

On January 13th, The New York Times published the story that appears at the beginning of this post. It was written by a reporter named Edward Wong, who I learned of in the comments section of this post by Greyhawk. Mr. Wong, it seems, has a habit of getting things... well... Wong.

The 1st Armored Division surgeon attended the autopsy of the two dead Iraqi civilians and noted that there was no evidence of wounds caused by rifle or machine gun bullets. The wounds were irregular in shape and caused by shrapnel - pieces of which were removed from the wounds during the autopsy. There were no bullets in the bodies. Wounds to the two injured Iraqi civilians were likewise determined to have been caused by shrapnel.Likewise, visual inspection of the Opel station wagon revealed an irregular pattern of damage but no bullet holes, just what you would expect from damage caused by a large explosion. All the holes in the car were either too mishapen or too large for them to be bullet holes.

And then we have Giuliana Sgrena. And Abu Ghuraib. And Guantanamo Bay. All important stories. All stories where the American people deserve to hear the truth.

All the truth.

Posted by Cassandra at March 22, 2005 09:41 AM

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Comments

Sounds like Mr. Wong is a wanker for the Times.

Posted by: Cricket at March 22, 2005 12:22 PM

Wonder if anybody has checked Mr. Wong's expense account?

Posted by: RIslander [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 22, 2005 12:55 PM

When has the NY Times ever let the truth get in the way of making sure the "reality based community" gets their daily "hate Bush" fix?

Posted by: William Teach [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 22, 2005 10:16 PM

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