Check out what has evolved into the indispensible source for the good news coming out of Iraq. It’s there, contrary to what our so-called mainstream media would have you believe. Arthur Chrenkoff has another doozy of an update and it’s well worth the time.
Fox News is reporting this morning that the NBC freelancer who filmed the sure-to-be-infamous Marine shooting the wounded terrorist as saying the terrorist “didn’t move” before the shot was fired. That’s the headline. The actual story, however, quotes Sites as saying, “Aside from breathing, I did not observe any movement at all.” I have a problem with Fox’s headlining here. First, they call the wounded “insurgent” a “prisoner.” There were no Coalition forces present guarding him. There was no sign that the area was secure as yet. How is it that this insurgent qualified as a prisoner? Also, Sites was very specific in saying he “didn’t observe” any movement, not that there wasn’t any. All that says is that Sites didn’t see anything, not that there was nothing for him to see.
Site’s implications, however, are quite clear and I’m less upset with Fox over the headline than I would normally be. Sites prefaces his comment with the qualification that he was “not watching from a hundred feet away. I was in the same room.” Yes, he was. Looking through the eyepiece of a camera, if you are to take him at his word. So, he’s got 1 eye glued to a viewfinder which is, at best, a 2-inch square screen and perhaps not even in color. His focus was clearly not directed specifically at the insurgent on the ground, it was on the scene as a whole, including a rather animated Marine. I question Site’s ability to detect small movements at that range, at that angle, with that kind of limited viewing area.
Let’s not lose sight of the issue, however. It could very well have happened exactly as Sites is painting the picture. The Marine, pissed off in general, finds a wounded insurgent and puts a round into him in revenge. Possible? Sure, absolutely. Wrong? You betcha. 110% not sanctioned by the USMC or by the public here at home. Nor should it be, I firmly believe. An investigation should commence, and has commenced. If the Marine is found to have done this shooting in the way I’ve just described, he should be punished for it.
Of course, this presumes we’re going to actually do an investigation and determine the facts. This is my largest problem with Sites to date. He seems quite hell-bent to prove that the Marine shot a wounded, helpless man, not that he was defending himself against a treacherous enemy combatant. He first makes damn sure to provide the tape to the networks – including a network known to be engaged in anti-American propaganda overseas – before providing them to the Marine command structure. Then he takes pains to write on a blog his conclusions on the incident and offers his eyewitness testimony to the public with no chance for the Marine, the Corp, or the public to cross examine. Take this same behavior and place it in context with a criminal case here in the States. Imagine that Sites had seen a police officer shoot a previously armed criminal who was wounded and down. The officer was moving to secure the area and the criminal and, seeing what he believed to be a move for a hidden weapon, fired at close range killing the perp. Now, Sites takes his tape and hands it over to the networks who play it ad nauseum on the air.
Well, you don’t have to be a Law & Order fan to know what happens next. A judge would issue a gag order to the media to not play the tape. The defense attorney would be screaming to have the tape ruled inadmissable because having it aired publicly along with Site’s unpracticed conclusions would represent extremely prejudicial evidence. He’d follow that up with a motion to dismiss, since that was the only evidence available. This all assumes that any District Attorney or Commonwealth’s Attorney would touch the case at that point. Getting an unbiased jury seated would be a nightmare. There’s no way that Site’s behavior would be construed to have been in the public interest. To the contrary, he would have so muddied the investigatory waters as to make seeing justice discovered, let alone seeing it done would be nearly impossible.
The fact is, the networks would likely not have aired the tape even if Sites gave it to them gift-wrapped. Their lawyers know what would happen and they might even face legal issues themselves for being a participant. But this time, it was US Soldiers doing their jobs in a war zone in a war our media clearly doesn’t support. So to hell with any investigation. To hell with the Marine whose name we’re dragging through the mud with no chance to rebut.
The fact is, we don’t know the facts. Until we do, we’re doing no one a service, no one an honor to make unsupported conclusions. Let’s find out what happened, then judge.