Saturday, June 10, 2006

Unraveling Haditha

Sweetness and Light has been all over this issue, and notes that Time Magazine, which had the most in depth coverage and broke the story, is walking back key details in the form of corrections to the original story:
In the original version of this story, TIME reported that "a day after the incident, a Haditha journalism student videotaped the scene at the local morgue and at the homes where the killings had occurred. The video was obtained by the Hammurabi Human Rights Group, which cooperates with the internationally respected Human Rights Watch, and has been shared with TIME." In fact, Human Rights Watch has no ties or association with the Hammurabi Human Rights Group. TIME regrets the error.
In fact, the Hammurabi human rights group is the creation of one person, Thaer Thabit al-Hadithi, who Time magazine has mischaracterized in its reporting as a young man who wanted to remain anonymous because he feared for his safety. In fact, he's a 43 year old man who created the group 16 months ago and worked directly under the head of Haditha’s hospital, Dr. Walid al-Obeidi, who pronounced that all the victims had been shot at close range.

Meanwhile, Time magazine's Matthew Cooper had to walk back from the characterization surrounding a claim that there's a photo showing an Iraqi kneeling and presumably no threat to Marines, but now the provenance of the photo is questionable. A more interesting question is why Time Magazine is relying upon Human Rights Watch for knowing what kind of evidence is in the possession of investigators - was the NCIS unavailable to confirm or deny the existence of such photos? Instead, Time, HRW, and Cooper are all pushing forward with a narrative that has a growing number of problems based on the evidence.

Without an autopsy to obtain the forensic evidence to determine how the individuals died, there's only circumstantial evidence implicating Marines. And that circumstantial evidence is showing signs that all is not what those implicating the Marines in a massacre claim it to be.

This is a separate issue from submitting false reports up the chain of command, which is subject to its own investigation and disciplinary action has already begun against those involved.

Others blogging: Dan Riehl (and here).

AJ Strata also comments, and points to a couple of American Thinker pieces that summarize and take the media reporting of the incident to task.

Still others noting the inconsistencies and massacring of the facts (by overstating the case against the Marines despite a presumption of innocence guaranteed under the US Constitution): Sister Toldjah, Flopping Aces, Wizbang, Mark in Mexico, Hot Air, Fmragtops, and Small Town Veteran.

No comments: