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Watchdog slams US forces for media deaths in Iraq

Watchdog slams US forces for media deaths in Iraq
1 hour, 2 minutes ago

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A media watchdog criticized the U.S. military on Wednesday for consistently failing to investigate the killing of journalists in Iraq by its forces, and said the Pentagon was losing credibility as a result.

The report by the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists, or CPJ, said U.S. troops had killed 13 journalists since the U.S.-led war started in March 2003, and at least 40 other reporters had been killed in the conflict.

"Several of the 13 deaths suggest indifference by U.S. soldiers to the presence of civilians, including members of the press," the CPJ said in a statement.

The report also examined the deaths of 21 media support staff who were killed in Iraq, two by U.S. forces.

It said that in most cases, the U.S. military had either failed to investigate journalists' deaths or it had not made its inquiries public.

Pentagon spokesman Eric Ruff said he had not seen the report, but rejected the CPJ charges in response to questions from Reuters.

"The U.S. military investigates every credible report of a journalist's death in which U.S. forces may have been involved. To suggest otherwise simply does not reflect the facts," Ruff said.

"The findings from the few investigations that have been released have not credibly addressed questions of accountability for shooting deaths, and whether U.S. forces are taking necessary measures to differentiate between combatants and civilians in conflict areas," the report said.

In the most recent case, Reuters soundman Waleed Khaled was shot by U.S. forces as he was driving with a colleague on an assignment. The U.S. military has said the action of its troops was "appropriate" in the August incident.

Reuters cameraman Haider Kadhem, 24, like Waleed an Iraqi, was slightly wounded but survived in the passenger seat of the car, only to be detained for three days by U.S. troops.

The CPJ report said the U.S. military had not yet published its report on that incident.

"By failing to account for all shooting deaths and demonstrate that it is taking steps to avoid future tragedies, the U.S. military shows an alarming disregard for the safety of civilians, including journalists covering this conflict," CPJ Executive Director Ann Cooper said.

"As far as we know the military has conducted full investigations into only a handful of incidents and made public its reports on just two of them. With such a record the Pentagon needs to address its own serious credibility problem by showing some accountability and by providing real answers to outstanding questions about these shocking deaths."



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If Katrina doesn't wake the American people awaken to George W. Bush's Zio/REICH and our pathetic NeoCon government of 'evil," I don't know what will.

With 150,000 massacred innocent Iraq civlians (6,500 of them allegedly innocent children under the age of 15) and now with the rapes, sodomizing and barbaric behavior of America's finest reappearing after the scurmishes in Tallafar, Iraq, we can only feel ashamed as the "Only SUPERPOWER in the galazy" reduces itself to another 900 lb. gorilla (Like the pariah apartheidnik state of Eretz Ysriol) that the world begins to hate.

Tombstone, AZ.

How else to keep Americans in the dark about the unending death and destruction taking place daily in Iraq. The neocon planners of this war knew that the terrible effects of American agression must remain hidden from Americans, especially the returning dead and maimed soldiers.

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