Tod in der Moschee: Kevin Sites bloggt Offenen Brief
--- Kevin Sites, der "eingebettete" Freelance-Reporter und Weblogger, der die Erschießung eines Unbewaffneten in einer Moschee in Falludscha filmte, hat gestern seine Beweggründe zur Veröffentlichung des Tapes in Form eines Offenen Brief an "seine" Marines-Einheit in seinem Online-Tagebuch dargelegt. Ein lesenswertes Stück: Since the shooting in the Mosque, I've been haunted that I have not been able to tell you directly what I saw or explain the process by which the world came to see it as well. As you know, I'm not some war zone tourist with a camera who doesn't understand that ugly things happen in combat. ... This week I've even been shocked to see myself painted as some kind of anti-war activist. Anyone who has seen my reporting on television or has read the dispatches on this website is fully aware of the lengths I've gone to play it straight down the middle -- not to become a tool of propaganda for the left or the right. But I find myself a lightning rod for controversy in reporting what I saw occur in front of me, camera rolling. It's time you to have the facts from me, in my own words, about what I saw -- without imposing on that Marine -- guilt or innocence or anything in between. Den Rest selber lesen, nur soviel: es wird klar nach Sites Erklärung, dass die verwundeten Männer in der Moschee eigentlich schon von einer früheren Marines-Gruppe "gefilzt", aber dann doch nicht versorgt oder verhaftet worden waren. Bei einem der Marines des zweiten Trupps brannten dann die Sicherungen durch. Interessant dann Sites weitere Abwägungen: We were part of a video "pool" in Falluja, and that obligated us to share all of our footage with other networks. I had no idea how our other "pool" partners might use the footage. I considered not feeding the tape to the pool -- or even, for a moment, destroying it. But that thought created the same pit in my stomach that witnessing the shooting had. It felt wrong. Hiding this wouldn't make it go away. There were other people in that room. What happened in that mosque would eventually come out. I would be faced with the fact that I had betrayed truth as well as a life supposedly spent in pursuit of it.
Und der Hinweis auf ein Vorgespräch mit einem Offizier, das zu der "moralischen Versuchung" im Posting von gestern passt: I interviewed your Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Willy Buhl, before the battle for Falluja began. He said something very powerful at the time-something that now seems prophetic. It was this: "We're the good guys. We are Americans. We are fighting a gentleman's war here -- because we don't behead people, we don't come down to the same level of the people we're combating. That's a very difficult thing for a young 18-year-old Marine who's been trained to locate, close with and destroy the enemy with fire and close combat. Link via Weblogsky bzw. boing boing.
Update: Das war wohl unvermeidbar: Ein texanischer Congress-Abgeordneter will in Reaktion auf Sites' Aufnahmen die "eingebetteten" Reporter noch stärker an die Kandarre nehmen: While some charge that embedded reporters are often too protective of the military, Sylvestre Reyes (D-Texas) feels they are dangerous loose cannons, and says it's time to consider revoking their privileges. During a hearing of the House Armed Services Committee, Reyes compared the conflict it to a football game, saying, "We don't want to know everything that's going on on the field." Reyes says this is not censorship. In his words, "We should not be providing the Al-Jazeera the kind of propaganda they've had the last couple of three days."