Friday, October 13, 2006
What have they got to hide?
Apparently, the American Powers That Be do not like unilateral journalists. I understand that this is because, unlike embedded journalists, they have no control over where they go, what they find out and, more importantly, what they write.
One is forced to ask the question, was this independence-aversion in some way involved in the "unlawful killing," or as I prefer to call it, murder, of I.T.N. reporter, Terry Lloyd? Coroner Andrew Walker made it clear at the inquest that his death did not come about through negligence or foolhardiness.
I think there is a case to answer, yet, according to Paul McLaughlin of the N.U.J., the U.S. authorities not only failed to co-operate with the inquest but actually obstructed it, adding that, "they have not sent anyone to appear at the inquest and have shown complete contempt for the British legal system and it makes a mockery of the so-called 'special relationship.' "
Moreover, Major Kay Roberts, of the Royal Military Police, told the inquest that fifteen minutes of footage - including the moment of his death - appeared to be missing from a film of the incident which was supplied by the US military. Furthermore, it had not been handed over by the American authorities until some months after the incident.
Regarding the circumstances surrounding Terry Lloyd's death, as I understand it, he, two cameramen and an interpreter were effectively kidnapped by armed Iraqis shortly before encountering American tanks. He and his crew were caught in cross-fire and three of the four received survivable injuries. No blame attaches to the U.S. military for that as they were in a 'hot' situation.
The injured crew members were then transferred to a makeshift ambulance. This was stationary while the injured were being transferred into it. Furthermore, it was facing away from the American forces and clearly presented no threat to them.
It was at this point that Terry Lloyd was fatally shot in the head by an American bullet. Evidence strongly suggests that whoever opened fire on Mr Lloyd did so with the intention of "killing him or causing really serious injury."
In response, an anonymous 'Pentagon spokesman' said that their own investigation into the incident had determined that U.S. forces had followed normal rules of engagement, saying that, "The Department of Defence has never deliberately targeted non-combatants, including journalists. We have always gone to extreme measures to avoid civilian casualties and collateral damage."
::cough::choke::splutter::wheeze::yeah right ! ! !Was this a deliberate act to silence an independent reporter? I think we should be told.