Sunday, June 04, 2006

Hold the mayo


From Saturday’s NYT:
Marine commanders in Iraq learned within two days of the killings in Haditha last November that Iraqi civilians had died from gunfire, not a roadside bomb as initially reported, but the officers involved saw no reason to investigate further, according to a senior Marine officer.
So the Pentagon decided to pretend to believe the marines’ second story, knowing the first one had been a cover-up and, therefore, that there was something to be covered up. If they were ignorant of the Haditha Massacre, it was wholly wilful. Remember the initial “investigation” into My Lai, in which Colin Powell concluded “relations between American soldiers and the Vietnamese people are excellent”? Indeed, the WaPo informs us that the Captain Jeffrey Pool who dismissed the Haditha story as Al Qaeda propaganda, emailing reporters “I cannot believe you’re buying any of this,” was the very person who first released the roadside bomb story. Last paragraph of the WaPo story: “The Marine Corps still has not corrected its misleading Nov. 20 statement asserting that the Iraqi civilians were killed in a bomb blast. A Marine Corps spokesman didn’t return calls on Friday asking why it had not.”

Incidentally, Lance Corp. Ryan Briones, who took pictures at Haditha that were later erased, who spoke to reporters about carrying out bodies, and who 36 hours after returning stateside stole a pickup and crashed it spectacularly into a house, has just been charged not only for that, but also for pot possession from 2003. To a suspicious mind, this might suggest that the government is bringing the hammer down on him for... some reason.

And little 9-year old Iman Walid Abdul-Hameed, Haditha survivor and media voice par excellence, is demanding that the marines be executed.

Among the latest things banned by Iraq’s religious militias: falafel stands. Also, mayonnaise. And ice. Anything they didn’t have in Mohammed’s time (unless it shoots or blows up, of course) or which Bill O’Reilly... no, I won’t go there. The Sunday Times has the latest of what’s sure to be a long series of articles on how Iraqi women can’t leave their homes anymore. Freedom, ain’t it grand?

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