Sunday, June 04, 2006  

Denial is not just a river in Egypt...

But is threatening to overflow its banks at the Pentagon.

Apparently, a military investigation has cleared US soldiers of killing a number of people in a raid in Ishaqi. The AP reports the clearance here. Please note that waaaay down near the bottom of the particulars on Ishaqi, is a statement that AP had a cameraman there who took video that shows the several of the victims were shot, not crushed by a collapsing house as the military has claimed.

Today Reuters reports:
But judging by the mood in Ishaqi, Iraqis have learnt not to expect too much from their new U.S.-backed democracy.

"We know these probes never lead to anything," said Kassim Jaafar, 25.

Some of the victims were teachers. So villagers built a school at the site of the attack to honour their memory.

It's therapy for some but others are still looking for protection from any future American operations.

"Our government will just leave us to the mercy of American soldiers," said Dhiya Ahmed.
read the rest here.

And then there is Editor and Publisher, a reputable publication, that isn't buying the verdict, either.
"He said they expected to find bodies under the rubble. Instead, what they found was in one room of the house, in one corner of one room, there was a single man who had been shot in the head. Directly across the room from him against the other wall were ten people, ranging from his 75-year-old mother-in-law to a six-month-old child, also several three-year-olds -- a couple three-year-olds, a couple five-year-olds, and four other -- three other women.

"Lined up, they were covered, and they had all been shot. According to the doctor we talked to today, they had all been shot in the head, in the chest. A number of -- you know, generally, some of them were shot several times. The doctor said it's very difficult to determine exactly what kind of caliber gun they were shot with. He said the entry wounds were generally small and round, the exit wounds were generally very large. But they were lined up along one wall.
Read the rest here.

This report, filed by Red Orbit with material from AP has something very interesting to say on the subject of gathering evidence from the corpses that have to be exhumed...
Despite the Iraqi government's insistence of cooperation between the U.S. and Iraqi investigations, the Rsayefs said they and other victims' families refused the request several months ago to exhume the bodies.

"No way we can ever agree to that," Salam Salem Rsayef said. Under Islamic teachings, exhuming bodies is prohibited, but is allowed on case-by-case basis, sometime after a fatwa, or an edict, from a senior cleric allowing it to proceed.

As relatives and witnesses, the Rsayef brothers met at least four times with U.S. military investigators looking into the killings. The meetings, they said, began in February and were held at Samarra General Hospital. The time and venue of each meeting were relayed in advance to the relatives by doctors at the hospital, they said.

The next meeting is scheduled for Sunday, the two brothers said, suggesting that the U.S. investigations into the 6-month-old affair are not finished.
Bold mine.
You will note in other stories filed- the reason the families refuse to allow the bodies to be exhumed is seldom,if ever mentioned. Not including this information contributes to the impression in the American reader that perhaps the Iraqi survivors have something to hide or their version of the story won't hold water. Not including the cultural context vastly skews the story.

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