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The Penalty for Stupidity is Death

| 53 Comments | 5 TrackBacks
Newsday has this story on the killing of a Reuters cameraman by an American tank crew in a Baghdad suburb. It shows the utter stupidity of modern journalistic class when faced with the reality of war involving competent and well equipped troops The key passage from the story:
Mazen Dana, 43, was shot and killed by U.S. soldiers Sunday while videotaping near a U.S.-run prison on the outskirts of Baghdad. The U.S. Army said its soldiers mistook his camera for a rocket-propelled grenade launcher. Press advocacy groups Reporters Without Borders and the U.S.-based Committee to Protect Journalists demanded a full investigation into the shooting. Reporters Without Borders urged Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld to conduct an "honest, rapid" investigation. The group also noted that there have been isolated cases in which soldiers in Iraq have been hostile to the news media. "Such behavior is unacceptable and must be punished. It is essential that clear instructions and calls for caution are given to soldiers in the field so that freedom of movement and work of journalists is accepted in Iraq," the group said in a statement. The film Dana shot showed a tank driving toward him. Six shots were heard, and the camera appeared to tilt forward and drop to the ground after the first shot. Dana was working outside the Abu Ghraib prison after a mortar attack there Sunday in which six prisoners were killed and about 60 wounded. Witnesses said Dana was dressed in civilian clothes. "We were all there, for at least half an hour. They knew we were journalists. After they shot Mazen, they aimed their guns at us. I don't think it was accident. They are very tense. They are crazy," said Stephan Breitner of France 2 television. Breitner said soldiers tried to resuscitate Dana but failed. A U.S. military official said on condition of anonymity that American soldiers saw Dana from a distance and mistook him for an Iraqi guerrilla, so they opened fire. When the soldiers came closer, they realized Dana was a journalist, the official said. "This is clearly another tragic incident, it is extremely regrettable," Central Command spokesman Sgt. Maj. Lewis Matson said.
You see in that passage the utter incomprehension of the international journalistic class in dealing with American troops under combat conditions. It has been well known since 1982 that electronic news gathering equipment looks like a rocket propelled grenade launcher through military gun sights. This was demonstrated when a CBS news crew set up to cover an Israeli column advancing towards Beruit in an orchard after the Israeli column had been ambushed a number of times by PLO RPG crews. The CBS crew was turned to raw hamburger by Israeli firepower as soon as the Israelis came in range. There was a big stink by the international journalistic community until the Israelis produced a side by side picture of a news crew with a camera and an RPG crew through an Israeli tank sight. After that you saw a lot of long range telephoto pictures of Israeli troops. Most of the "combat junkie" international journalists of the current generation are used to being near third world fighting. The combatants being covered have little or no training, are often high on drugs and lack modern fire control on their weapons. The reporters can often bluff or bribe their way through these 3rd worlders to get the shots and quotes they need for the evening news. American soldiers on the other hand are well trained, stone sober and have the latest fire control on their weapons. They are also well disciplined and trained to deal with reporters as a matter of course down to the junior officer level and cannot be bribed. Those American troops that forget their training are dealt with by the American chain of command so reporters as a whole are given very little or nothing to work with. What these reporters refuse to take seriously is that their only protection from American firepower on a modern battlefield is to be part of an American embedded reporter program. Editors who came up through the same 3rd world battlefields of the 1980's and 1990's as their current news crews just cannot understand the orders of magnitude difference in killing power between western troops and 3rd worlders when the former are fighting with serious intent. Americans in Iraq are not Israelis in the West Bank and Gaza. The Americans are out to kill terrorists and anyone that looks like an armed terrorist in their line of sight is going to die. And Al-Qaeda terrorists like to look like reporters to get close to their targets. Massoud, "the Lion of the Panshir," found that out in the days before 9/11/2001. The penalty for stupidity on the modern battlefield in range of American troops is death. The only reason not to nominate Mazen Dana for the Darwin Awards is that he had four kids before he was killed. Any news organization that puts its reporters with camera's near American troops in combat outside of the embed program should be sued by the relatives of the dead cameramen for criminal negligence. UPDATE #1: Go to this link and see an animation that shows modern news gathering equipment nose on compared to modern anti-tank missile launchers. This is via the A.E.Brain blog. To quote one of our commentors: "...the No. 1 rule of engagement for covering conflicts involving American forces is quite simple. Don't Point Things At American Forces In Combat Areas." Update #2 One of the commenters over on Little Green Footballs noticed this picture on Yahoo. It is the body of Mazen Dana wrapped in a Palestinian flag plus what appear to be the the banners of Hamas, the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, with a Hamas shaheed's head band. So much for Mazen's "Press Objectivity."

5 TrackBacks

Tracked: August 19, 2003 4:44 PM
Death of a Reporter from JustLeftOfCenter
Excerpt: Trent over at Winds of Change posts an article about the accidental US killing of a reporter in Iraq. The penalty for stupidity on the modern battlefield in range of American troops is death. The only reason not to nominate
Tracked: August 20, 2003 4:22 PM
About that Reuters cameraman... from Random Jottings
Excerpt: When confronted with mobs or demonstrations, our soldiers don't mow people down. (They could easily, a chain gun can shred hundreds of people in a few seconds.) They try to just shoot at anyone who is using a weapon. So...
Tracked: August 20, 2003 6:51 PM
Mazen Dana from Flame Turns Blue
Excerpt: U.S. troops shot and killed Reuters cameraman Mazen Dana over the weekend. Apparently they thought his camera was a RPG launcher. Tragic accident. Mazen was one of the journalists profiled by Frontline in "In the Line of Fire," a story...
Tracked: August 21, 2003 3:31 PM
More on Mazen Dana from Spartacus
Excerpt: Yesterday was the biggest day ever for Spartacus, with links from both Instapundit and Tim Blair. The link from Instapundit featured an excellent, well-informed analysis by Trent Telenko of the history of journalists operating on their own in a combat ...
Tracked: August 21, 2003 3:34 PM
More on Mazen Dana from Spartacus
Excerpt: Yesterday was the biggest day ever for Spartacus, with links from both Instapundit and Tim Blair. The link from Instapundit featured an excellent, well-informed analysis by Trent Telenko of the history of journalists operating on their own in a combat ...

53 Comments

Who was Mazen Dana? He is identified as a Reuters photographer and journalist. Is this supposed to imply he was impartial? He was said to show the truth from various hot spots. Did he report from Algeria or Sudan or Saddam's jails or Iran's jails or the Bekaa Valley? He was given an award and interviewed on Nightline. He said journalists are neutral, and then criticized Israel 15 times in a few minutes (he criticized the Palestinian Authority and the terror organizations zero times.) He was from a well-known Hebron family. Was he one of those filming the arranged mise-en-scene of the Mohammed al-Dura incident? Reuters and other news purveyors give an unending stream of symbolic pictures which fulfill Western and Arab psychological wishes. Mazen Dana was not a clear witness. He was a worker of the psycho-news dream machine.

Thanks for bringing in the Israeli incident. It adds a little perspective to the situation. When I heard about this yesterday, my first thought was that a camera would appear similar to a RPG from a distance. I'm glad the troops are reacting to perceived threats. I hope they stay on their toes in the coming months.

Great article and commentary. I hope the Defense Dept. follows that same Israeli example and releases side-by-side photos of a man with a video camera and a man with an RPG to demonstrate.

It's tragic, but it's understandable, and other journalists would be well advised to learn and adapt based on this incident.

I think DoD has ended the embed program.

Whether a camerman was critical of the Israeli government is obviously irrelevant, because we're not engaged in a debate over his political viewpoints.

As for the underlying facts of the shooting, I agree that many journalists assume a risk in covering war zones, and I feel no small amount of sympathy for the soldier involved. However, the "from a distance" claim of the anonymous Army soldier has recently been contradicted here:

http://news.independent.co.uk/world/middle_east/story.jsp?story=435156

I'm probably no expert, but I would think that at the distance between home plate and first base, the camera didn't look like a RPG launcher.

Depending on the circumstances, visual identification of equipment can be problematic at even that range.

What this incident really shows is the reason that combatants who don't wear identifying uniforms are subject to none of the protections of the laws of war - because they deliberately imperil civilians.

Thanks for saying exactly what I was thinking when I read the piece in the Times this AM. US soldiers are under threat from snipers, sabotuers, guerilla attacks, suicide bombers etc. They are extremely likely to shoot first and ask questions later. The picture in the Times showed this guy in helmet and black flak vest with a big black camera on his shoulder. And he was an Arab. Expecting tense soldiers to be able to discern that was a camera and not something else in a split second is a farce. Either this man was remarkably stupid or he was suicidal.

> Either this man was remarkably stupid or he was
>suicidal.

Yes.

Given his 14 years experience filming in Hebron and the West Bank he knew the creative license he was afforded by Israel, and the generally benign behavior of the Israeli soldiers. He mistakenly thought it was the same game in Iraq. He was wrong. Iraq is not a psychodrama.

My son started driving a couple of years ago. Here are some basic, common-sense directions I gave him in case a police officer should pull him over:

1) Stay in your car unless the officer directs you to get out. Jumping out and hurrying up to the officer could be interpreted as a hostile act.

2) If it is after dark, turn on your dome light. Police do not like walking up to a dark car.

3) Open your window. Police do not like having doors suddenly open when they approach. That can be interpreted as a hostile act.

4) Put both hands on the wheel, where the officer can see them.

5) Call the officer "officer," "sir," or "ma'am." Let the officer know you are a Good Guy.

6) When the officer asks for your driver's license, explain where it is and ask if it is okay for you to get it: "My license is in my hip pocket. Is it okay if I reach back there with my right hand and get it?"

MY POINT to him, and my point in posting the list, is DON'T SCREW UP. Don't convey the wrong idea to a person carrying a weapon in a hostile situation. COMMUNICATE your status and intentions.

I set standards for how my son should act in an ordinary traffic stop. This cameraman failed to take similar precautions IN A WAR ZONE. He screwed up; he paid the price.

You people are fucking insane.

I am sure I speak for all of us when I thank Henry for his learned and constructive comment.

A week ago we were at the funeral of a young soldier who was killed while guarding a hospital in Iraq. He left for Iraq in February, just after his son was born. Just doing his job, trying to protect those in the hospital, he was killed by the scum remnant of Saddam's terror regime.

I pray that as few of our troops and marines as possible suffer this fate - preferably no more. I realize that this is unlikely, but such deaths will be minimized if the soldiers are allowed to protect themselves from all perceived threats. Those who conciously put themselves in harm's way by doing stupid things - like the unfortunate Mr. Dana - will suffer the consequences.

I don't want any innocents to die, but if push comes to shove I'll choose fools over our soldiers.

A week ago we were at the funeral of a young soldier who was killed while guarding a hospital in Iraq. He left for Iraq in February, just after his son was born. Just doing his job, trying to protect those in the hospital, he was killed by the scum remnant of Saddam's terror regime.

I pray that as few of our troops and marines as possible suffer this fate - preferably no more. I realize that this is unlikely, but such deaths will be minimized if the soldiers are allowed to protect themselves from all perceived threats. Those who conciously put themselves in harm's way by doing stupid things - like the unfortunate Mr. Dana - will suffer the consequences.

I don't want any innocents to die, but if push comes to shove I'll choose fools over our soldiers.

yes, Gator, you do.

That you have not yet understood that you are casting blame on a dead man for (1) doing his job (2) with absolutely no evidence that he was doing anything to endanger himself (3) ample witness evidence that he had in fact NOT been doing anything remotely threatening and had already been in contact with and identified by U.S. forces at the prison for hours --- shows that yes, you people are fucking insane.

Ah, Henry, your apparent belief that there is only one "side" to the story, and that it is in favor of the journalist, is no more "sane".

Look at the facts:

The Yanks and Brits have gone to great lengths to accommodate journalists. The troops have fed them. Sheltered them. Protected them.

To suggest as Henry does that the troops are now picking off journalists for sport, or out of carelessness, is hysterical, speculative, unhelpful, and generally idiotic.

Talk like Henry's belongs on Indymedia or Democratic Underground, not a board where sanity is supposed to prevail.

Oh, forget Henry and his like. He's from that "it's alway's America's fault" school. Henry wants us to fail, and if the rules of engagement can be changed to permit "journalists" to get close enough to our troops to kill them, so much the better for him. He's objectively for the enemy.

Thanks for proving my point, Tim.

RJGator, please quote exactly where I said that. Thanks.

Robin Roberts, also, please quote where I said that there were ANY sides to this story. The only ones out there appear to be the ones you people are picking.

My opinion: A terrible tragedy. Probably some soldiers just coming on the scene mistook the camera and opened fire. They didn't communicate with the Americans who were already on the scene but simply reacted. Accidents happen. But to blame the guy (and since he was a Palestinean who dared to criticize Israel, it's really not that bad he got shot, right Montaigne?) without a single shred of evidence that he was at fault --- yeah, you're nuts.

Evidently Henry, you can't even read your posts. In one breath you claim not to be stating there are any "sides" and the next you claim that there is no evidence for one.

Additionally, while you seem to not appreciate others paraphrasing your comment, you are happy to put words into others'.

I'm not worried about my sanity in light of your comment.

Henry says, "RJGator, please quote exactly where I said [troops are now picking off journalists for sport, or out of carelessness]"

Henry (as Robin noted) does not read well. I did not say that Henry SAID "troops are now picking off journalists for sport, or out of carelessness": I said Henry was "SUGGEST[ING]" it.

Let me make it clear for Henry, by repeating from my post above, and I quote, for Henry's sake: "To suggest as Henry does that the troops are now picking off journalists for sport, or out of carelessness, is hysterical, speculative, unhelpful, and generally idiotic."

Back to DU or Indymedia for you, Henry. They don't care if you can read or reason there, and being hysterical, speculative, unhelpful, and generally idiotic (not to mention foul-mouthed and arrogant) are considered pluses at both sites.

Henry Shieh wrote you people are fucking insane, and then mentioned my name, asking me directly if I believed it wasn't so bad Mazen Dana was shot. When I wrote my initial remarks I was surprised by the depth of my own uncharitable feelings. I said a prayer for this man, and for myself, and us all, who are alive with such volatile feelings within us.

Perhaps respectful silence would be best, but even today there are protests by Palestinian journalists on his behalf, accusing the United States of premeditated murder. His wife has also made this charge.

I began my first post asking who was Mazen Dana. It was a sincere question that I spent several hours after midnight last night trying to answer. All of the articles repeat the same generalties; a Reuters journalist, award winner, covered many hot spots. I found and read his own words where he repeatedly proclaimed his neutrality. However, I couldn't find out which hot spots he covered besides Hebron and the West Bank (and, of course, Iraq). When I read his remarks, his claim of neutrality for himself and all journalists was belied by his vituperation and blaming.

I first approached Islam in the 1960s as a seeker. I did not convert, but I did learn with Islamic and non-Islamic sufis into the 1980s. A consistent message was struggling to overcome the deceit, trickery, pride, hypocrisy, wishful thinking, anger, and laziness which keep us separate from the Divine. So I reacted to the cover-up to the question of who was Mazen Dana.

And this much I believe. Mazen Dana was not neutral or impartial. He was a journalist in the sense of recording what he saw from his subjectivity, setting the scene for others to come around to his way of seeing things. I don't believe he strived for objectivity. I feel tricked by the pictorial images he put out into the world, because they were partial and not truthful. He was not a detached observer, he was a participant in a political struggle with hidden psychological and spiritual meanings. I pray that his death might lead somehow to a greater awareness and consciousness for the rest of us.

I saw somewhere that the deceased had been to some journalism school for covering violent 3rd world events. That may have contributed to this event - journalists are not familiar with American rules of engagement.

We're not 3rd world and we don't go by their rules of engagement. We make our own, and the No. 1 rule of engagement for covering conflicts involving American forces is quite simple. Don't Point Things At American Forces In Combat Areas.

Additionally the newsies need something new to scream at us about, and just sacrificed one of their own to get it. Instapundit has a link to a story about Al Jazeera paying people to shoot at American forces in Iraq so they could film American forces firing into a crowd. Whatever works.

Hi, Tom:

My son is in Army ROTC in college, training to become an infantry officer. I'm going to share with him your Rule #1: Don't Point Things At American Forces In Combat Areas.

Enforcing Rule #1 can save his life. Thanks for articulating it.

Cheers

I thought combat was over in Iraq. Didn't President Bush land a fighter jet and tell us it was all over?

"no thank you" gives an oft-debunked misrepresentation of President Bush's remarks.

President bush did not land a fighter jet. In the speech he gave from the carrier deck he mentioned the hard an dangerous work left to win the peace. He admitted in later remarks he was not piloting the jet when it landed, the jet he landed in was not a fighter. Geeze. Damn.

I was a US Army tanker in the late-80s and early 90s. I was in Kuwait, though in a Bradley Fighting Vehicle, after combat but during Desert Storm, so have some idea of the conditions.

First, there is no time to ponder when your tank is out in the open on the move. If in a defillade position, you would, of course, carefully track the target. But if on an open road, there is no time; if you wait to think, your vehicle can be on fire. Moreover, it is stupidly naive to think there was only one guy in the road. There are suicidal maniacs in Iraq. It is not unlikely that such a maniac would stand in the road to shoot at a tank, while his buddies wait to the side. When in an ambush, there is one battle drill: shoot and fight through the ambush.

Second, I wonder if the tank gunner was using a thermal sight. In thermals, everything is green, and hotspots are dark (or light if you set the sight that way). Gunners often switch between "daylight" sights and thermals to get a full view of what is around. If they were in thermals, they would see the outline of a man's body temperature, and the camera would be cold--but it would be easy to see the man holding something on his shoulder. Perhaps the gunner ought switch to daylight sights, but the time problmes mentioned above kick in and you don't want to wait.

Last, I have problems with Norbizness' post above saying that the "from a distance claim" of the American soldier was contradicted by a news story in the independent, which said, "Mr Dana's colleagues said the tank was 30 metres from him when it opened fire. Television cameras do not look like RPG launchers: at such close range it should have been impossible to confuse the two."

I don't care what the reporters--or the dead man's friend's--opinion is as to whether it should have been impossible to confuse the two. "Close range" could mean 30 meters, or 500 meters for a tank. The pictures I saw looked like 50 meters or so, but I don't know how long the tanks saw the cameraman in the road. I do know that the reporter's sources were, perhaps undestandably in the circumstances, quite biased against the Americans.

Two of his colleagues were quoted as saying that this was deliberate act. Not an accident. Not a careless and tragic mistake. No, they say murder. Dana's driver said: "There were many journalists around. They knew we were journalists. This was not an accident." The reporter shoud not report as fact something said by an emotionally upset guy saying that, out of nowhere after months of opportunities, Americans decided to shoot a reporter WITH A CAMERA, as if that makes any sense.

And the report that the soldiers knew the reporters were there may have been a tragic miscommunication. Perhaps the soldiers guarding the prison knew the cameramen were there, but the guys in the tanks were new on the scene.

I'm sorry. I only watch the nightly news. I saw what looked like President Bush landing a fighter jet on a carrier. Later I found out he was a fighter pilot in Vietnam. I didn't know that before! Also, he gave this speech (I only heard excerpts) in front of a big banner that said "Mission Accomplished". I guess I just assumed he was saying that the war was over. I must have figured that the "hard and dangerous work" was mostly fixing up the oil pipelines.

Really, "no thank you", I would think you would give up with the misrepresentations, but instead you compound them.

Mr. Roberts, I wish you would not take such a condescending tone with me. I am an intelligent (if busy) person, and I do not have time to read much of the newspaper or watch long, boring PBS newscasts to get my news. I watch what little of the national news I can while I am preparing dinner for my family.

President Bush was on an aircraft carrier making a speech. I saw him get out of a jet. Why would they stop everything on a busy aircraft carrier in the middle of a war just so he could make a speech? It only makes sense if he was declaring the war over!

You may have some insider information that I don't, but I sure remember this day. I gathered the kids over to the television so they could see! It was like the president in Independence Day -- he was a fighter pilot too.

Anyway, I wish you would share some of this inside scoop that you have with the rest of us.

Hmmm, my sincere apologies to WoC readers for feeding this troll.

Robin, it's also very possible that nothankyou is sincere. Doesn't hurt your argument in any way for us all to assume that he is sincere, accept his follow-up statements at face value, and move on.

And if you really believed he is a troll, then the apology in your last post does not cancel the fact that its content would constitute feeding the troll AGAIN.

Bottom line: either way, your last post was a bad idea in both tone and execution. C'mon, you've been around here a while. You're better than that.

And Norbizness - yes, at 30 meters a face-on camera and an anti-tank weapon can look very similar indeed. Dude, 30 meters is almost a football field away. In an urban area, even.

30 meters is 98 feet.

Sorry, that's true. End of a long day. Wonder how far away the 2 Israeli photos were, because I remember seeing them and they seemed pretty close and there was still a strong resemblance.

Urban area, war zone with recent attacks, no permission to film request, quick decision required, decider may be inside a tank or otherwise with less than ideal vision... as a few of our posters have pointed out, that's a very risky thing to do with tremendous potential for tragedy. Wouldn't matter whether the cameraman in question was a Palestinian propagandist working for Reuters, or a Republican campaign manager who wanted some footage for the 2004 elections - doing that is a good way to get killed.

Um, Joe, just to quibble with your math.... 30 meters is approximately equivalent to 30 yards. A football field is 100 yards long (not including end zones), not 100 feet.

Beyond that, yes, I think this was obviously a tragic mistake. Those who claim otherwise are committing a vile slander against the character of American soldiers.

Sorry, posted before I saw your most recent post.

Who said 30 yards?
Let's not accept 30 yards as the distance, just because it was listed unattributed where the only two attributed sources believed US soldiers deliberately committed murder. Those sources are biased, and the facts in it should be given scrutiny.

Rather than pontificate about being able to identify anti-tank weaponry vs cameras at a distance, why not try it yourself.

BTW there are plenty of pictures of the RPG-7 available. Taken from the side, it's easy to distinguish from a camera. Taken from the front or rear quarter.... judge for yourself.

Remember, you have 2 seconds, passmark is 100%.

Sorry to have started a metric conversion controversy. As for my original post, which seems like months ago, I believe I was only linking to a news story where an Army spokesperson was revising the original "great distance" story.

I didn't mean to assign blame, convict a soldier without due process, canonize the cameraman, or play armchair soldier. My sympathies are with all parties concerned.

Sorry Joe, it seemed the lesser of evils with respect to responses.

Alan, an excellant comparison, albeit each photo is of closer apparent distance than even 30 meters.

Pointing anything at a cop in an urban, American environement is known within the trade as "suicide by cop." To think that anything less would happen in a combat, or hostile environement, is self-delusion of the highest order.

Several other reporters (not to mention hundreds of civilians) have been shot by american forces. I doubt any of them were deliberate, but it shows how trigger-happy the American soldiers are. fair enough in a war zone, you might say, but the fact is that this is the Iraquis home, and they didn't ask for there to be a tank blocking their usual route to the shops. And the embedded program is a joke, it produces infotainment that is uncritically supportive of the administration line. cool footage of battles is all well and good, but any criticism of the Americans (and they are NOT perfect has to come from independant journalists.

This was a tragedy, but the cameraman should not have pointed his camera at the tank crew without first identifying himself. The gunner probably feels worse about this than anyone of us can imagine, and has to live with it the rest of his life. But still, in a war zone, the soldier has to protect and defend himself and his fellow soldiers, or else they die.

And yes, it is still a war zone. Bush landed on a carrier essentially to thank the men and women who went and removed Saddam from power in Iraq. That was the mission they accomplished. The war, either in Iraq, nor on terrorism, is over.

Mark wants to attribute it to being trigger happy, the fact that so many reporters got killed. (I would like to see numbers of those killed by US forces, vice Iraqi forces) It is simple self preservation. The soldier has to make a split second decision, or else he is dead. Worse, some of his friends may be killed along with, or instead of him.

Sometimes the real world sucks, and that is the way things are. If you point a video camera at someone in a war zone, you best know that they know who you are first.

"Nael told him to be careful because of the Americans. Mazen said he wasn't too worried as long as they don't shoot him." This little tid-bit, combined with the fact that he had previously been shot 3 times, makes it fairly clear that he knew he was engaging in risky behavior.

And as far as the troops being trigger-happy...almost one hundred thousand troops, occupying a country with 20 million people...and only 13 journos killed? During a month long invasion followed by two months of guerilla war? That doesn't sound that bad to me. I'd love to see any stats you have that show this is a particularly bad record.

Patrick says, "I'd love to see any stats you have that show this is a particularly bad record."

While you are obliging Patrick, please also include in your answer the facts that:

1) There are huge numbers of journalists covering this war, probably more than have covered any other war in history, a fact which dilutes the ratio of reporters killed/reporters. I.e., don't look at raw numbers; put the numbers in context.

2) The competition among the news media is causing journalists to take more risks than ever to get the all-important "scoop."

3) A number of journalists have flatly ignored warnings they were given and have paid the price. E.g., the U.S. Army warned journalists NOT to broadcast from unauthorized areas, because intel would pick up their broadcasts and presumptively classify the signals as coming from hostile forces (I'll ignore the obvious comment that the news media ARE IN FACT hostile forces...). Two journalists did exactly what they were told NOT to do...and the two will not have the guts to do THAT again. Literally.

Some additional information:

http://www.boston.com/dailyglobe2/232/editorials/A_cameraman_killed+.shtml

"Despite the fact that Mazen Dana, 43, a father of four, had received permission from a US military official to film on the site, where other newsmen were also working ..."

http://www.cpj.org/protests/03ltrs/Iraq18aug03pl.html

"Reuters quoted Dana's soundman Nael Shyioukhi as saying that prior to the incident both he and Dana had asked for and received permission from U.S. troops in the area to film the prison from a nearby bridge."

Robin Roberts said:

"Evidently Henry, you can't even read your posts. In one breath you claim not to be stating there are any "sides" and the next you claim that there is no evidence for one."

Let's rephrase for the West Coast audience. There are no "sides" in this situation. I never stated that there were, unlike some here. There is no Mazen Dana = Bad / Soldiers = Good or flipside situation here. This is simply a TRAGIC ACCIDENT, as I stated in my post quite clearly.

RJGator --- Please quote where I SUGGESTED any of that. The only thing I remember doing is taking issue with Trent Telenko and the most of of the posters here with assuming instantly that Mazen Dana was a moron for doing his job and getting shot for it.

In neither of your links, Henry, is there "new information". Rather both are just rhetoric. The Boston Globe piece for instance states that there "is no excuse". An obviously false statement since of course there are plenty of "excuses" alledged already.

Henry says, "RJGator --- Please quote where I SUGGESTED any of that. The only thing I remember doing is taking issue with Trent Telenko and the most of of the posters here with assuming instantly that Mazen Dana was a moron for doing his job and getting shot for it."

Here is your answer, Henry:

1) Most of the early posts here reflected some regret at the incident and suggested that, to varying degrees, the cameraman was at fault.

2) You did not "take issue" with us; you called us "fucking idiots" for suggesting that the cameraman was at fault.

3) If you believe we are "fucking idiots" for suggesting that the cameraman was at fault, then you must be suggesting that the cameraman is not at fault. Either that or you agree with us and are calling us "fucking idiots" for being on the same wavelength as you are. If that is what you are saying (we agree with you and that makes us "fucking idiots," well, we can certainly agree with you on THAT).

4) If the cameraman is not at fault, then the soldier must be at fault.

5) If the soldier is at fault, then he must have shot the cameraman: (i) intentionally; or (ii) through carelessness.

Hence, my exact quote: You SUGGESTED that "troops are now picking off journalists for sport, or out of carelessness."

As for the rest of your nonsense, I can hardly respond better than Robin did, so I won't even try.

Well, that's generous of you RJ, but I think you did a better job than I on the part you did cover.

What would have been so difficult for this cameraman to wear a bright orange vest with PRESS emblazoned back and front? Didn't the embedded reporters do something like this?

Granted, the terrorists could pick up on this as well - but such a vest combined with NOT pointing a camera at troops seems like a reasonable thing to do...

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Recent Comments
  • TM Lutas: Jobs' formula was simple enough. Passionately care about your users, read more
  • sabinesgreenp.myopenid.com: Just seeing the green community in action makes me confident read more
  • Glen Wishard: Jobs was on the losing end of competition many times, read more
  • Chris M: Thanks for the great post, Joe ... linked it on read more
  • Joe Katzman: Collect them all! Though the French would be upset about read more
  • Glen Wishard: Now all the Saudis need is a division's worth of read more
  • mark buehner: Its one thing to accept the Iranians as an ally read more
  • J Aguilar: Saudis were around here (Spain) a year ago trying the read more
  • Fred: Good point, brutality didn't work terribly well for the Russians read more
  • mark buehner: Certainly plausible but there are plenty of examples of that read more
  • Fred: They have no need to project power but have the read more
  • mark buehner: Good stuff here. The only caveat is that a nuclear read more
  • Ian C.: OK... Here's the problem. Perceived relevance. When it was 'Weapons read more
  • Marcus Vitruvius: Chris, If there were some way to do all these read more
  • Chris M: Marcus Vitruvius, I'm surprised by your comments. You're quite right, read more
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