I hope you all have noticed that I am withholding judgment on the entire Haditha story. I wasn’t there, I don’t know what happened, and I can certainly understand (but not approve of) Marines under fire “snapping” and committing the crimes that are alleged.
If anything close to what is alleged to have happened in Haditha, those involved should be punished to the fullest extent of the military and/or civilian laws.
That being said, given our experience in 2004 with Mary Mapes (having an inherent anti-Bush bias and “story” agenda) creating the lies and forged documents delivered to us by CBS News, the idea that Haditha may be a similar media-driven hoax is at least worth discussion. (h/t – The Corner)
Haditha: Is McGirk the New Mary Mapes? – The American Thinker
Evidence accumulates of a hoax in Haditha. The weblog Sweetness & Light has done an estimable service gathering together the articles which cast substantial doubt on the charge of a massacre of civilians at Haditha . Because the blog is too busy gathering and fisking the news, I offered and the publisher accepted my offer to put what he has uncovered in a narrative form.
Having done so, I can tell you that the story has a whiff of yet another mediagenic scandal like the TANG memos or the Plame “outing.” While the Marines quite correctly will not comment on the case pending the outcome of their investigation, I am not bound by those rules, and I will sum up the story for you.
The sum and substance of this thumbnail sketch on the Haditha claims is that it follows so closely the template for the TANG [Texas Air National Guard] and [Valerie] Plame stories. Take a reporter with an anti-Administration agenda, an interested group (think of the Mashhadanis as the VIPs in the Plame case or Burkett and Lucy Ramirez in the TANG case) and a story too good to be checked and circumstances where the people attacked are limited in what they can quickly respond to and you get a story which smells to me like it will soon be unraveled.
A key source for McGirk’s report that US Marines in Haditha had deliberately attacked civilians was Thaer al-Hadithi. whom McGirk inexplicably described as “a budding journalism student”. He is a middle-aged man, and was subsequently described by the AP as an “Iraqi investigator.”
McGirk also failed to note that Hadithi is “a member and spokesman for the Hammurabi.” The chairman of Hammurabi Organization and Hadithi’s partner in publicizing the “massacre” is Abdul–Rahman al-Mashhadani. It is unknown if he is related to Ali al-Mashhadani but their names suggest a possible relationship, and it beggars belief that as Sweetness & Light notes,
“Abdel Rahman al-Mashhadani just happened to be given a video by and unnamed local. And that he then turned it over to Ali al-Mashhadani who just happens to make videos for Reuters.”
Hadithi’s story is that was staying near to one of the two houses where the massacre occurred and saw it with his own eyes. According to his version of events he waited one day to videotape what had occurred, though apparently nothing prevented his doing so from the very window he “watched” it from as it took place. More troubling is why he waited months to turn the tape over to anyone.
Now here this! I am not one to buy into conspiracy theories in order to avoid the truth. However, if our own news media weren’t always rooting for our enemies and against American interests in this War at every turn…. perhaps my reaction would have been to laugh, not to shake my head and think: “not again!?!”