Today’s must-read on Haditha
Make sure to check out this piece at the Hawaii Reporter. The writer does a good job of piecing together what is known to have happened, what is alleged to have happened, and takes a closer look at those who are making the claims:
According to a May 27 Washington Post article, “only 13-year-old Safa Younis lived — saved, she said, by her mother’s blood spilling onto her, making her look dead when she fell, limp, in a faintâ€¦.Townspeople led a Washington Post reporter this week to the girl they identified as Safa. Wearing a ponytail and tracksuit, the girl said her mother died trying to gather the girls. The girl burst into tears after a few words. The older couple caring for her apologized and asked the reporter to leave.”
This account differs slightly from an ABC News report which shows a video of Safa Younis. She calmly says yes to leading questions from an off-camera interviewer describing Marines throwing a grenade into the bathroom of her home and killing the other seven members of her family. She responds with amazing composure for one who has witnessed the murder of her parents and siblings. She does not mention her mother’s blood spilling all over her. She says she is 12 years old. Is it staged testimony? This can only be discovered in an investigation or trial.
ITV news March 30 carries yet another interview—this time with a ten-year-old Iraqi girl named Iman Walid. Like Safa, Iman calmly describes the murder of seven members of her family by US Marines in Haditha on November 19. A third person, Aws Fahmi, claims to live next door to the house where the massacre allegedly occurred and also claims to be a friend of the men killed in the taxi. He claims to be an eyewitness.
Ali al-Mashhadani, an Iraqi journalist reporting on the Haditha incident was recently re-arrested by the Marines for suspected insurgent ties. He was held for 12 days. Al-Mashhadani had earlier been held for five months beginning August 8, 2005 and ending in January, 2006. According to Reuters, “Among Mashhadani’s recent stories was reporting from the town of Haditha in March. Following Time magazine’s revelation of accusations that U.S. Marines shot dead 24 civilians there in November, he filmed fresh interviews with local officials and residents that were widely used by international media.” According to the March 19 Time’ article:
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.
This video is the source of all the images being spread across the international media purporting to show the aftermath of the Haditha incident. The “internationally respected” Human Rights Watch (HRW) has been accused of anti-Israel bias and is funded by numerous left-wing foundations including George Soros’ Open Society Institute. HRW accuses US forces of “torture” in Iraq and Afghanistan which, in one report, it defines as, “interrogation techniques including hooding, stripping detainees naked, subjecting them to extremes of heat, cold, noise and light, and depriving them of sleepâ€¦.” HRW advocates putting US soldiers under the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court–a foreign-controlled judiciary.
Read the whole thing, including what the author writes about recent incidents of “blood money” being paid in Iraq – and not just by US forces in Haditha.
Hat tip: Flopping Aces
Update: WOW. Here’s more on other questionable ‘first-hand-accounts’ sources on what allegedly happened at Haditha. Please read all of them, but pay very close attention to this eyewitness account noted in the piece (emphasis added):
CHILCOTE: Eman’s brother, Abdul Rahman (ph), doesn’t say much. The interviewer asks him to show his wounds.
Off camera, a voice in the room is heard asking: “He didn’t have a weapon. What danger did he pose?”
But there is an intriguing variation in Eman’s account the third time she tells it. She says she was expecting the bomb.
WALID (through translator): I was planning to go to school. I was about to get out of bed. I knew the bomb would explode, so I covered my ears. The bomb exploded. The bomb struck an armored vehicle. I don’t know if it was a Humvee or an armored vehicle. When the bomb exploded, they came straight to our house.
CHILCOTE: The question is, was her expectation of the explosion a premonition, a fear based on the sound of the passing convoy? Or was it based on some knowledge? The interviewer does not follow up. He says the 9-year-old got confused and got her story mixed up.
I don’t think she got the story mixed up. She sounded very descriptive to me. How would anyone inside that house have knowledge that a bomb was going to explode on an armored vehicle?
Hat tip: Rebelchick