Friday, October 13, 2006

Been reading about the death of Brtish reporter

Terry Lloyd, current article here. You'll notice the headline is US 'unlawfully killed' ITN jornalist. Read on a bit and you have "Mr Lloyd was shot in the back after his vehicle - clearly marked "Press" - was caught up in US and Iraqi crossfire, then shot in the head by American forces as he was taken away in a minibus for medical treatment. " Sounds bad, doesn't it? Especially that 'shot in the head' while being 'taken...for medical treatment', almost like he was executed.

Well, I checked back through the other articles linked at the bottom of this one, and find the following:
There was speculation that US troops may have unintentionally shot Mr Lloyd and two members of his team. 04/10/2006

A British soldier said yesterday that he saw the car of the ITN journalist Terry Lloyd burst into flames after being fired on by an American tank during the invasion of Iraq.

The soldier, understood to be a member of the special forces who was carrying out surveillance, said he thought the tank "engaged" first on a convoy which included the reporter's car and an Iraqi pick-up truck with a gun mounted on the top.

He said he saw an exchange of fire between the Iraqi pick-up truck and an American tank for about 30 seconds before the pick-up truck burst into flames. "Vehicle One [Mr Lloyd's vehicle] also ignited and went off to the side of the road to its right and came to rest on the side of a field, burning."
Earlier Nick Walshe, an ITN journalist asked by his company to investigate how Mr Lloyd died, said he had spoken to Iraqi witnesses who said Mr Lloyd had been shot in the head by American forces as he was being evacuated from the firefight.

One "very credible" witness, who said he had driven the minibus which took Mr Lloyd to hospital, said he had picked him up after he had been shot in the shoulder and had his arm broken.

Before he could get to hospital the makeshift ambulance came under fire from American soldiers and Mr Lloyd was shot in the head.

So at this point you've got a reporter who, from the sound of it, was hit while a tank was engaging an enemy vehicle "with a gun mounted on the top", then the minivan somebody had him in came under fire. Do take note of the wording, the nasty American troops shooting him in the head as he was being evacuated.

Then, in an article on 11/10 you get this:
Terry Lloyd, the ITN journalist killed as he reported on the invasion of Iraq in 2003, was deliberately shot by American forces, a solicitor for his family told an inquest yesterday.

The verdict on his death should be unlawful killing, said Anthony Hudson.

Mr Hudson told Andrew Walker, the assistant deputy Oxfordshire coroner, that he could be "satisfied" on the evidence that whoever opened fire on Mr Lloyd did so with the intention of "killing him or causing serious injury".

He said that American forces were willing to open fire on civilians and were not prevented from doing so by their commanders.
Got to have that part about us shooting civilians left & right, now don't we? That's followed with: Witnesses said Mr Lloyd died when the American bullet hit him in the head as he was being driven away in a Red Cross ambulance. Earlier it was just a 'minivan', now it's a Red Cross Ambulance being fired on by the evil American troops. Hmmm... But in the current article, it's just a minivan again.

And just to finish things off we have Speaking after the inquest, Mr Lloyd's family described his death as a "despicable and deliberate" act carried out by "trigger happy cowboys".

In a statement read by solicitor Louis Charalambous, the reporter's widow, Lynn, said: "This was a very serious war crime."

She said the soldiers involved should be brought to trial "under the Geneva Convention" for murder.

Mr Lloyd's daughter Chelsey said: "The killing of my father would seem to amount to murder, which is deeply shocking."

One thing in the 4/10 article that bears on all this is that Lloyd and his team were not "embedded" with British or American military units, but were independent "unilaterals". and "The military did not wish to take any responsibility for unilaterals, to such an extent that in a sense they wouldn't even recognise their existence. In my experience the British and the American military do not want unilateral teams operating full stop."
Ok, first thing, I don't doubt that there are various people who don't like the idea of reporters not having their work scanned(censored) before being released, but guess what? The military DOES NOT have any responsibility for reporters who go out on their own. They get in trouble and call for help, I don't doubt they'll get it; but the military- ANY military- has no responsibility for their safety

Second, I don't have enough facts about some things; how far apart were the convoy and tank when this started, what angles, etc? You can have PRESS in big glowing letters on the side, but if someone is seeing the vehicle from the front or rear or quartering, with other vehicles and dust flying, they may not be able to see it. And if you're travelling with an openly armed enemy vehicle, you're an idiot if you don't know that you're taking a big chance.

Third, we've got two different stories about what vehicle he was being evacuated in, either a minivan or Red Cross ambulance. And in either case, I doubt someone opened up on it 'just because'.

And last, we have the general condemnation of the "trigger happy cowboys"(you'd think they'd get tired of parroting that and call them 'gangsters' or something just for variety) and the 'deliberate' murder of civilians, etc.

I have no idea of the political views of the deceased and his family; I have strong guesses about some of the other people involved. I do know this is a beautiful example of why it's a good thing we didn't sign onto the 'International Criminal Court': it would be mailing subpoenas and demands to everyone in sight and over the horizon to try every U.S. troop within fifty miles of this incident.

Cut through all the BS and you have a reporter who was
Travelling with the enemy, and being 'unilateral' I'd bet nobody knew where he was,
Got caught in shot up in a firefight,
And killed when the vehicle he was being evacuated in was shot up, supposedly by U.S. troops.
There's too many questions unanswered in these articles for any hard & fast conclusion. Except that there's a bunch of people who will take any incident and word it to show the 'eeeeeville trigger-happy American cowboys' will shoot up anything and anybody in sight just because they feel like it. I offer my condolences to his family, no strings or conditions; losing a family member is always hard.

But I think they and his death is being used for political purposes.

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