There's a story up this afternoon at Gawker claiming that Reuters has spiked a "muscular" story on the alleged "war crimes." See, "Exclusive: Reuters Chief Spikes Story on Killing of His Own Staffers In Baghdad":
David Schlesinger, the editor in chief of Reuters, declined to run a story by one of his own reporters containing claims that the 2007 killings of two Reuters staffers in Baghdad by U.S. troops may have been war crimes.Gawker has published a number of badly one-side stories on WikiLeaks. John Cook is the author of the one above, as well as a previous report on Tuesday, "Wikileaks Video Demonstrates Conclusively That Innocent People Get Killed in Wars." Cook's reporting is riddled with feigned objectivity (even generating a backlash against Gawker in the comments), but he's in fact just another leftist media-enabler attempting to renew the case for prosecutions against former Bush administration officials and former and current military personnel.
Reuters staffers Namir Noor-Eldeen and Saeed Chmagh were killed by U.S. helicopter gunships in Baghdad in 2007. Video of the attack, which shows the journalists standing next to unidentified armed men on a Baghdad street and records the destruction of a van attempting to retrieve a wounded Chmagh, was published this week by Wikileaks.
The video has launched a debate about the legality of the attack, which also wounded two children (you can read our take here). Yesterday, Reuters' deputy Brussels bureau chief Luke Baker filed a muscular story repeating allegations from several human rights and international law experts that the killings may have constituted war crimes. But Reuters chief David Schlesinger, a tipster says, spiked the story because "it needed more comment from the Pentagon and U.S. lawyers." It never ran, but you can read it in full below.
In response, I sent Cook an e-mail Tuesday, titled "WikiLeaks: Why Gunships Were Called In ...":
Sir:Cook and Gawker have not responded to my e-mail.
"It's not discernible from the video what immediately preceded the slayings or why the gunships were called in, but according to a contemporaneous New York Times account, the military claimed that U.S. troops in the area called in air support after encountering small arms fire during a raid."
You should update ...
Gunships were called in for backup for the ground operation against insurgents. Even Reuters' own photos show ground contingents standing by:
CNN, NYT Boost WikiLeaks War Crimes Gambit, Downplay/Omit Key Evidence: MSM Joins Daily Kos, Neo-Communists in Renewed 'BushCo' Recriminations
Jawa Report has all the facts you need to get this story right, and I know you're trying:
MSM Continues False Reporting of Reuters "Murder" in Iraq
And it's safe to say that it's not just Gawker that's actively suppressing available information disproving the war crimes meme. Indeed, it's quite frightening how extensive is the WikLeaks/communist/media alliance. Huffington Post is also running the "Reuters spiked story" report, and the Washington Post features yet another fawning MSM entry on convict Julian Assange, "The Man Behind Wikileaks." And yesterday's New York Times ran a completely lame piece on milblogs covering the story, but refused to link to bloggers who've debunked the WikiLeaks scam. See, "Reaction on Military Blogs to the WikiLeaks Video." The hardline World Can't Wait is cross-posting report's from London's left-leaning Guardian, "Wikileaks reveals video showing US air crew shooting down Iraqi civilians." And the communist Smirking Chimp clearinghouse is running updates, "The F Word: Impossible to Ignore Wikileaks Tape."
And the reports keep coming, not only more biased, but even more strident in their push for war crimes tribunals. See today's Vancouver Sun, "Reuters Families Demand U.S. Troops Be Tried Over Shooting":
The families of two Reuters news agency employees killed in a 2007 U.S. helicopter attack in Baghdad on Thursday demanded justice, telling AFP the Americans responsible should stand trial.The "unarmed" meme has been entirely discredited, in the Pentagon's own internal investigation, and by Doug Ross and Rusty Shackleford, among others. And because of this, the left continues to suppress conflicting information while constantly moving the goalposts. Selective editing is just the beginning. Communist Amy Goodman's Democracy Now! segment today pushed the "civilian murders" meme, and continued with the charge of war crimes. See, "EXCLUSIVE: One Day After 2007 Attack, Witnesses Describe US Killings of Iraqi Civilians." (This entry was cross-posted to communist filmaker Michael Moore's website as well.
Graphic video footage of the shooting, which left several other people dead and wounded two children, was published on the Internet by WikiLeaks, a website that discloses information obtained from whistleblowers.
"The truth came out and the whole world saw. The American pilot should be judged by international justice and we want compensation because the act left orphans," said Safa Chmagh, whose brother Saeed Chmagh, a Reuters driver, died.
"He (the pilot) killed unarmed innocent people, among them a photographer whose camera was very visible. On top of that when they evacuated the wounded they opened fire again," said Safa, whose brother was 44 when killed.
Note how this disinformation then enters into a feedback loop, whereby WikiLeaks incorporates it and disseminates even more falsehoods and allegations:
And this Al Jazeera broadcast from a few days ago gives you a really good sense of what leftists are hoping to achieve. I can't thank Bill Roggio enough for all his reporting, but Glenn Greenwald and the others outflank him. Notice especially at about 22:00 minutes, where Greenwald makes the case that WikiLeaks is the new Abu Ghraib:
Fortunately, we've had a significant pushback among conservative bloggers, although the rebuttals need to gain more traction in the press.
Bob Owens has a couple of entries at Pajamas Media, for example. See, "Shame on WikiLeaks: Framing Lawful Engagement as Anti-American Propaganda (Part One)," and "Shame on WikiLeaks: Framing Lawful Engagement as Anti-American Propaganda (Part Two)."
Also, check the latest at Jawa Report, "For The Idiots Who Still Say There Was no RPG -- UPDATED: Wiki Leak as Left Wing Propaganda," and "59 Seconds of Crucial Reuters 'Murder' Video," which shows -- once again -- insurgent combatants armed with AK-47s and RPGs:
These reports are a much-welcomed corrective to the WikiLeaks/communist/media propaganda machine, but it's not enough at this point. We'll see more stories claiming that U.S. forces attacked "civilians" (Roggio notes that the "rescue" van was patrolling all morning in nearby Baghdad streets while U.S. forces engaged insurgents), and the focus will be increasingly on the children who were wounded.
It'd be a grave miscarriage for U.S. military personnel, who meticulously observed ROE, to be charged with violating rules of war; and it'd be an even greater injustice to truth and common decency should this communist propaganda campaign gain even more domestic and international legitimacy than it already has.
ADDED: Via Steve Schippert, see Mudville Gazette, "War Porn (part three - for the children)."