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Hullabaloo


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

 
Been There, Done That

by tristero


Here is some rightwing loon named Ralph Peters:
Pretending to be impartial, the self-segregating personalities drawn to media careers overwhelmingly take a side, and that side is rarely ours. Although it seems unthinkable now, future wars may require censorship, news blackouts and, ultimately, military attacks on the partisan media.
Sounds crazy, right? Beyond the pale, right? Deliberately killing journalists? That's something we would never do, that's NoKo/Saddam-level totalitarianism, plain and simple.

Well, Mr. and Ms. America, I got some news for you. It's already happened. On April 8, 2003:
...a U.S. tank fired a shell at the Palestine Hotel, which housed most foreign correspondents in Baghdad, killing cameramen Taras Protsyuk of Reuters and José Couso of Spanish television channel Telecinco. U.S. troops claimed that they were responding to hostile fire emanating from the hotel. A CPJ investigative report published in May concluded that the shelling of the hotel, while not deliberate, was avoidable since U.S. commanders knew that journalists were in the hotel but failed to relay this information to soldiers on the ground.

On August 12, U.S. Central Command (Centcom) issued a news release summarizing the results of its investigation into the incident, which determined that the tank unit that opened fire on the hotel did so "in a proportionate and justifiably measured response." Centcom called the shelling "fully in accordance with the Rules of Engagement." While Centcom's summary was mostly consistent with CPJ's findings, it failed to address one of the conclusions in CPJ's report: U.S. commanders knew that journalists were in the Palestine Hotel but failed to convey this knowledge to forces on the ground. CPJ has urged Centcom to make the full report public, but a Centcom spokesperson told CPJ on August 13 that the report is classified. At press time, CPJ was still waiting for the Defense Department to respond to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests related to both April 8 attacks.
We must never forget how seriously criminal the Bush administration's behavior was in 2002 and 2003. And there is only one way for the country to put it behind us and that is by serious investigations and indictments. That, to our everlasting shame, is very unlikely to happen.

PS In case you're inclined to trust the public version of the military's classified report, Reporters sans frontieres called the official version "Two Murders and a Lie". And Amy Goodman has an interview in which we learn that the Palestine Hotel was listed as a military target , ie, it was no accident of war.


Update: from digby

This wasn't the only wacko thing the sick piece of work Ralph Peters said today on Fox. Get this:




"We're dealing with people who aren't human anymore. They're monsters. And monsters deserve to die."



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