Now I don't have the backing of an international news agency nor am I fair and balanced or any of those other catchy slogans. All I am is some guy trying to get information, and once you start down that path you are surprised where it can lead you.
This story piqued my interest when I saw it.
Marines differ on deadly shooting
The official inquiry into a shooting incident in Afghanistan involving some Marines and the allegations that they killed several civilians indiscrimantely is under way.
What an overlawyered nation we are? Anybody think we could have won WWII with the climate that exists today with the media ready to pounce and to be used by our enemies as useful tools and more lawyers then warriors on the battlefield.
CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. (Map , News ) - A Marine riding in a Humvee during a shooting that left as many as 19 Afghan civilians dead testified Wednesday that his convoy was fired upon at least three times after it was attacked by a car bomb.Some reporting of the original incident with the allegations that the Americans were grabbing cameras and deleting pictures and footage being shot at the scene and threathening the correspondents.
Sgt. Brett Hayes said the gunner in his vehicle was knocked out of the turret by the blast. The gunner returned to his position and began firing, shouting he was being shot at by small arms fire from both sides of the road near a bridge over a dry riverbed.
"I started hearing fire come at us," Hayes said during a fact-finding hearing at Camp Lejeune , adding that he heard small arms fire from AK-47 rifles and cracks of the bullets passing overhead.
So I started a search going back to the begining, back to when it all happened.
(Mar 4, 2007)
By AMIR SHAH, Associated Press Writer
Some of his work.
From a blog entitled Cao's Blog
Amir Shah may have shaven his beard and cropped his hair, but there is no mistaking, according to my sources, that the Amir Shah of the AP is the Amir Shah in this photograph. He is Hazara, and he is a former member of the Taliban ministry. People claim he’s ‘former Taliban’. Okay, I’ll bite. Just like there were “former Nazis”. Although the Nazis were considered war criminals throughout the world, and no matter how lowly your job was with the SS at the labor camps, the Jews set out to find them and destroy them all, even though the war was long over.You need to read the entire entry.
Other then being mentioned in this article as a photographer who had pictures deleted I could find very little of his work.
Here is a link to the search results of all 12 of his pictures that have been used by the media. Notice they used that one picture a lot. The one of the guy walking up the street with hand out stretched.
I did a search of this name and on one the web sites, EMM News Explorer, which has information about him. I noticed in a sidebar labeled Related people the names Rahmat Gul and David Accetta. Very little other information is available on this name. In most searches the only reason it comes up is because it is mentioned in AP article, so I guess we have to take their word for it that he is a reporter with the Ariana Television. I went to their web site but they don't list their reporters.
Another name mentioned only in the AP story. No other mention of him or any stories he may have written are found. They said he worked for the Afghan television station Tolo.
(Mar 5, 2007) The day after
"They were firing everywhere, and they even opened fire on 14 to 15 vehicles passing on the highway," said Tur Gul, 38, who was standing on the roadside by a gas station and was shot twice in his right hand. "They opened fire on everybody, the ones inside the vehicles and the ones on foot."I wonder if he is any relation to the photographer cited in the report from the previous day? Also notice now how allegations of the Americans deleting photos has now turned into fact.
U.S. forces near Sunday's bombing later deleted photos taken by a freelance photographer working for The Associated Press and video taken by a freelancer working for AP Television News.(Mar 23, 2007) Marines surrender to lawyers
WASHINGTON — Marines accused of shooting and killing civilians after a suicide bombing in Afghanistan are under U.S. investigation, and their entire unit has been ordered to leave the country, officials said Friday.Now Gen. Kearney is an interesting fellow who ought to seriously consider resigning and turning in his stars. He has quite a track record of prosecuting soldiers and marines
Army Maj. Gen. Francis H. Kearney III, head of Special Operations Command Central, ordered the unit of about 120 Marines out of Afghanistan and initiated an investigation into the March 4 incident, said Lt. Col. Lou Leto, spokesman at Kearney's command headquarters in Tampa, Fla.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Defense Department's inspector general has opened an investigation into an Army general who ordered a Marine special forces unit out of Afghanistan after a shooting in March that left as many as 19 civilians dead.The snipers were eventually exonerated, but not before they and their familes had to endure some tough times. As for the General now under investigation himself.
The probe will review whether Lt. Gen. Francis H. Kearney III, deputy commander of Special Operations Command, exercised poor judgment and potentially compromised eventual legal proceedings in incidents involving special forces troops in Afghanistan, according to a Defense Department official.
One incident was the Marine shooting and a second involved two Army Green Berets, who have been charged with premeditated murder in the killing of an Afghanistan man last year.
After the Marine incident, Kearney was promoted to lieutenant general and named to the deputy commander job.So what does all this tell us? Well, if you are a skeptic, and you realize that all too often the press have nothing more then useful pawns in the hands of the jihadists propaganda machine, you begin to doubt the telling of the story has reported by the AP. You begin to see several interwoven ties and connections and things that just don't seem right. But who scratched the surface? Those professional journalists that Helen Thomas is so proud of? I don't think so.
AP reported it, everybody else reported it merely by regurgiatating what the AP fed them, which may have been fed to them by folks less then friendly to our mission in Afghanistan. I understand everybody wants to the first to report, but once the headline is made they need to quit copying off of each others paper and start doing their own work.
I don't know if this was some sort of propaganda effort and that is not what I am saying. What I am questioning is were these reporters there because they expected the Marines to be ambushed and wanted to capture that moment?
When it didn't go as planned, did they then try to turn the incident into an indictment of the US military, as Ayman al-Zarahwiri has told them to do? Advice that Zarqawi didn't heed in Iraq.
Whatever the case is there are a couple of undisputed facts. A bomb was set off and the Marines took fire. Did it last for the 6 miles cited in the story so much but no further corrobation can be found? Were all the people shot from the fire from the Marines or was it a cross fire or indeed did the Taliban trail the convoy or precede it and kill people knowing the Marines would then get the blame?
Well, I was just curious and I hope the military court clears these officers and men and they can get back to doing what needs to be done.
Dan Rather could not be reached for comment.