Monday, January 09, 2006


...towards the people responsible for this decision:

American troops in Baghdad yesterday blasted their way into the home of an Iraqi journalist working for the Guardian and Channel 4, firing bullets into the bedroom where he was sleeping with his wife and children.

That's right. GI Joes went Commando on a sleeping family. Fired three bullets into the room. Fired three bullets into the room where a three year old and a seven-month-old were sleeping. Rolled daddy onto the floor, told him to shut up, tied him up, hooded and hauled him away.

Dr Fadhil (the Iraqi journalist) is working with Guardian Films on an investigation for Channel 4's Dispatches programme into claims that tens of millions of dollars worth of Iraqi funds held by the Americans and British have been misused or misappropriated.

A few days ago, the director of the film had informed "US Authorities" about the investigation, and had asked them for an interview.

And this was the response.

I'm sure Cranky will correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm guessing that the troops had more than one way to accomplish this mission. I'm assumining that the tools that the US troops had--scopes, heat sensors, night vision goggles, et c.-- could give them a pretty good idea of the threat level inside this room where a three-year-old girl and a seven-month-old boy were sleeping with their parents. I imagine that if they wanted to, this could have been handled in a far more gentle way and still maintain a level of personal security for the troops.

Yet, they decided to go in with guns blazing.

They knew what they were doing. They knew the threat level in this house was far lower than the threat level they would have getting this guy back to whatever black bag room they took him to.

This was shock and awe.

Because this reporter was uncovering painful truths.

They released him a few hours later, but they still have his tapes.

And we will be greeted as liberators.



Blogger Cranky Yankee said...

I'd prefer not to comment on the tactical situation. I really don't know what those guys were told they were going to face.

I blame this completely on the leadership at whatever level that either allowed an intel failure or purposely lied to the door kickers.

I can't speak for all military but everyone I ever knew and worked with would not have done that if they knew there was no threat and that kids were sleeping in there, regardless of orders.

I still believe in the U.S. Military, but not in the way they are being used.

7:29 PM, January 09, 2006  
Blogger boni said...

Yep, the puppetmasters are at work in Iraq. This is an amazing story. This administration is so out of control and corrupt it's unbelievable. And Cheney wants MORE presidential power. What can we do about this???

8:01 PM, January 09, 2006  
Blogger Balloon Pirate said...

Yeah, we're pretty much in agreement here--especially about where the blame lies.

And while I agree that a large majority of the military is, by and large, intelligent, kind, and restrained, I believe there is a sizable minority that are--for lack of a better phrase--adrenaline-fueled bullies. Witness Abu Ghraib. But the thing is, these folks can be restrained by strong leadership. I have no doubt that you wouldn't tolerate that sort of behavior with anyone you worked with. I think some of them are let loose in situations like this.

Of course, I'm just a non-serving old liberal, and fully acknowledge that I could be completely off the mark.


8:13 PM, January 09, 2006  
Blogger Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...


But they're winning hearts and minds right?


1:35 AM, January 10, 2006  
Blogger Jessica said...

They're certainly not winning any photo ops in The Guardian.

4:45 PM, January 10, 2006  
Blogger Philip Morton said...

As Cranky said, and as all here I'm sure agree, these soldiers are good kid, in a freakfest - and who know what they were told was behind that door? If you're issuing the command and want to shock and awe the reporter, maybe you tell the troops danger level is high - and nothing about the kids. The soldiers are not to blame, command is. And the administration issues commands to the commanders. Why don't we follow the food chain to the top for once and lay blame where the mis-use of troops starts?

2:23 PM, January 11, 2006  

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