Friday, October 21, 2005

Guilty Until Proven Innocent?

I know that there were abuses at Abu Ghraib. They have been proven and the guilty (to a certain extent) have been or are being punished. This latest story of the soldiers burning the bodies of Taliban fighters and then taunting the Taliban hiding in the caves above, really bothers me. I am cynical enough to have my doubts about this reporter's story. For one thing, it is an Australian journalist (Stephen Dupont) and they, like our own MSM, are biased to the left and are, on a civilian level, against the US. For another, he does not back up his allegations with his video. Yes, the video shows something burning, but there are the "American accented" soldiers, the supposed taunting when there is no audio of the taunting on his video, and he claims that the taunting was translated for him by "someone" with Army Psych Ops. There are just so many "he saids."
Shortly after the bodies were burned, the soldiers from the psychological operations unit allegedly read out taunting messages about the act over a loudspeaker to the nearby village, according to a transcript of the program.

"Taliban, you are all cowardly dogs. You allowed your fighters to be laid down facing west and burned. You are too scared to come down and retrieve their bodies," said one message read by a soldier, according to the transcript.

The footage did not show the messages being broadcast, though it did show some military vehicles were fitted with speakers and playing loud music.

Dupont told the AP the messages had been broadcast in the local dialect but were translated into English for him by members of the Army psychological operations unit.

He declined to provide further information, however, saying his agent was now handling all queries about the footage.CNN
It doesn't seem, to me, like this story is on the up and up. Maybe there is a reason the dead had to be cremated, or maybe they weren't even bodies, but just a fire? I couldn't tell, though I am not a forensic scientist, so what do I know? It just doesn't seem legit to me.

I pray that the soldiers didn't do something that will hurt their credibility with the Afghans. But I will wait to find out what the investigation reveals. I just hope this isn't true or that it isn't another case of rumor spread as fact hurting the soldiers and their mission. I feel the same way about the soldiers being charged with murder or being investigated for murder charges. People die in war. People get scared, even soldiers, and they may do something out of that fear. (I am referring to the soldier who shot the man in the mosque because he believed the guy was booby trapped.)

Okay, so I could be completely wrong and these soldiers thought they would use "whatever means necessary" to get the Taliban out of the caves, or they just went "around the bend" because of the war, or maybe it is all a lie to make our soldiers look like inhumane criminals, but I just cannot bring myself to believe Dupont's story.
Bookworm Room wrote about this, too. It's a much better post. Please go read it!

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