Over the weekend, there have been several reports tending to show that the Marine was justifed in the shooting, including the fact that another Marine in his unit had been killed just the day before by a boody-trapped "dead" insurgent.
More damning, however, is that reporter, Kevin Sites, had actually been in the exact location the day before with another Marine troop and knew that there were insurgents there. It has been widely reported that Sites failed to inform this new Marine troop entering the building of their presence until AFTER the shooting incident. The New York Times today has a "news" item about Sites' webpage, where he claims to have notified the Marines before the shooting:
- His account also raises new questions about another group of marines who entered the mosque just before Mr. Sites and fired on the prisoners - they had been left there, already wounded, after a battle the day before. Mr. Sites was so surprised that the prisoners he had seen there the day before had been attacked again that he informed a Marine lieutenant of the fact before the final shooting - the one he captured on tape - took place.
Notice how the NYT coverage paints them as "prisoners" necessarily implying that the Marine shot a "prisoner of war." Yet if they were truly "prisoners" why weren't they bound or handcuffed? Why would severely injured "prisoners" be left unattended overnight? Wouldn't such treatment itself be a violation of the Geneva Convention? Woulnd't the first group of Marines have called for a medic? The NYT item still fails to point out that the second group of Marines called a medica and that two of the insurgents recevied medical treatment AFTER the shooting.
If the MSM and Sites had presented the whole story up front, instead of editing to for maximum scandal in the hopes of creating a new Abu Gharib, they woulnd't have to play CYA now. Supporting our troops, indeed.
In the fog of war there are many casualties--the first is always the truth.