Friday, October 13, 2006

Journalist Terry Lloyd Murdered by US Troops

via Lenin's Tomb:
What else do you call a verdict of unlawful killing? A war crime, possibly. The ITN reporter was first shot as he was "caught in the crossfire" between US and Iraqi soldiers. But then, being taken away in a vehicle marked 'Press', the US soldiers shot at him and put one through his head. It also seems that the US army unit involved edited about fifteen minutes out of their footage of the incident in order to 'prove' that they were not even at the scene - not the behaviour of innocent people. The British army, for their part, witnessed the event, and kept schtum about it.

The NUJ is rightly demanding the prosecution of those involved. A staggering number of journalists have been killed in Iraq: 22 this year alone, 24 last year, 19 in 2004 and 12 in 2003. The occupiers, having deliberately attacked reporters in the Palestine Hotel, exhibit a murderous propensity toward independent journalists. Blunkett's explicit call for the bombing of al-Jazeera, (and whatever is in the al-Jazeera memo) highlight this. Giuliana Sgrena was lucky to survive (and that too involved a cover-up). Because these deaths make up only a small fraction of the total deaths in Iraq doesn't make them trivial. There is an explicit attempt to regulate the kinds of information coming in and going out of Iraq by killing journalists which (yes, Mr Blunkett) is indeed a war crime, besides everything else that it is.

If we ever start prosecuting the crimes of this war, the 'war on terror', I fear it will take some decades. And, like their old friend Saddam, the culprits will be so defiant about it, so full of affronted dignity.
I caught some of the press conference with Terry Lloyd's widow just before one of my daughter returned home from school. It's a safe bet that she wants justice served pronto.

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