August 02, 2005

Semper Fi/A Study in How An Event Is Covered

This is an example of why it is essential to take the time necessary to find all the facts surrounding what should have been a straight-forward news story. This is why we do what we do, we bloggers, when we get a piece together and post it on our sites. To do less is simply irresponsible.

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Seven Marines were killed in action Monday, six of them in Haditha, and one southwest of the same town.

According to the radio reports I heard this afternoon before work, the group of six had received intel and orders to take sniping positions within town. When they reached and established their positions, they came under small arms fire from what was catagorized as an ambush by insurgents. Yahoo News, however, is not giving any details on the situation surrounding the deaths.

The UK Guardian, however, is providing a little more information on the battle:

Lieutenant Colonel Steve Boylan, a US army spokesman in Baghdad, said six marines died on Monday during a battle with insurgents in the town of Haditha, 120 miles north-west of Baghdad. A seventh was killed by a suicide car bomber in Hit, about 40 miles south-east of Haditha.

According to WCCO, a CBS affilliate, we get just slightly more information:

Seven U.S. Marines were killed in two separate attacks west of Baghdad, where American forces are trying to seal a major border infiltration route for foreign fighters, the military said Tuesday. The deaths pushed the U.S. military death toll in Iraq past 1,800.

One of the Marines died Monday in a suicide car bombing in Hit, 85 miles northwest of Baghdad. The other six were killed Monday in Haditha, 50 miles from Hit. All were attached to the same suburban Cleveland unit.

“Every single one of them is a hero,” said Lt. Col. Kevin Rush of the Headquarters and Service Co. 3rd Battalion, 25th Marines based in Brook Park, Ohio.

Intrestingly enough, the PakTribune had many more details and wasn't shy about sharing them:

US Marines battled insurgents with tanks and aircraft on Sunday in western Iraq after the Americans came under attack from a village schoolhouse, the US military said, adding eleven insurgents were killed in fighting.


The building was rigged with explosives and fortified with at least three 0.30 caliber machine guns in the windows, a military statement said. US Abrams tanks and jet aircraft attacked the building, setting off secondary explosions from the munitions stored inside, the statement added.

Coalition forces on the scene described the secondary explosions as being larger detonations than the bombs that were dropped," the statement added.

ABC International expands a little further with these details:

The U.S. command said the six Marines were "engaged by terrorists and killed by small-arms fire" in Haditha, which U.S. and Iraqi officials have identified as a major route for insurgents entering Iraq.

After the attack, residents of Haditha said several masked gunmen identifying themselves as members of the Ansar al-Sunnah Army, a major Sunni Arab insurgent group, appeared in the market carrying helmets, flak jackets and automatic rifles they said belonged to U.S. troops.

They distributed fliers claiming they had killed 10 American service members.

"They were on a mountain near the town so we went up, surrounded them and asked them to surrender," the statement said. "They did not surrender so we killed them."

Now, to put this in perspective, let's look at the DOD/AFIS release for the same time period. See if you...

...remember any of these details in the previous items.

Seven U.S. Marines were killed in Iraq Aug. 1, U.S. officials there announced today.

Six Marines assigned to Regimental Combat Team 2, 2nd Marine Division, 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward), were killed in action near Haditha. Elsewhere, a Marine assigned to the same unit was killed by a suicide car bomber while conducting combat operations near Hit.

The names of the deceased are being withheld pending notification of next of kin.

Three U.S. military personnel and two civilian interpreters assigned to a Multinational Security Transition Command Iraq special police transition team were injured today in central Baghdad when their Humvee was struck by a suicide car bomb.

Two soldiers and one interpreter were later transported by helicopter to the 86th Combat Support Hospital, officials said.

In other news from Iraq, coalition forces captured 11 terror suspects and seized weapons and bomb-detonating devices during five separate sweeps through western and southwestern Baghdad on July 31, Task Force Baghdad public affairs officials announced today.

A task force unit securing a roadside bombsite at around 1 p.m. in southwest Baghdad saw two people parked on a nearby overpass. One of the men had a cell phone, and both were acting suspiciously.

As the soldiers went to investigate, another car drove up, and the two men jumped inside and the car sped off. The soldiers gave chase and detained the men. The vehicle was impounded after the soldiers found explosives material inside, and the two men were held for questioning.

At around 2:30 p.m., a U.S. patrol working in the western Baghdad district of Ghazaliya saw four men in a vehicle waving weapons in the air while driving along a major highway. When the unit stopped the vehicle, one of the occupants tried to run away and then pointed a weapon directly at the soldiers. "The patrol then fired and killed the terrorist," stated a release from Task Force Baghdad.

When the unit went back to the car, they detained the other three occupants and searched the vehicle, finding two AK-47 assault rifles and a pistol. The soldiers impounded the car and detained the three men.

In southwest Baghdad, anti-Iraqi forces driving a blue van fired on a Task Force Baghdad patrol at 6 p.m. The unit pursued the van for 10 minutes until the vehicle pulled over and the enemy fighters jumped out and tried to get away by running through a cornfield. The unit caught one of the attackers and took him into custody for questioning.

Elsewhere in Baghdad, Task Force Baghdad soldiers working in the western part of the city saw a car speeding down a road throwing items out the window just before 8 p.m. The unit found two of the items, which were hand-held radios. One of the radios was wired to a motorcycle battery. Other members of the patrol chased the vehicle and detained five terror suspects for questioning.

Shortly after midnight, a terrorist fired on U.S. soldiers working in the Amin district of eastern Baghdad. No one was hit and the patrol returned fire, hitting the attacker in the arm. The soldiers then captured the attacker and brought him in for medical treatment before taking him into custody.

An hour later, the same patrol ran across an Iraqi woman who had injured herself in a fall. The soldiers suspected she was bleeding internally and brought the woman to a military medical facility for treatment.

In northern Baghdad, task force soldiers manning a traffic control point stopped a minivan with four military-aged men just before 4 a.m. The van matched a description of a vehicle that was involved in a roadside-bomb attack earlier in the day.

When the soldiers searched the minivan they found $4,000 in U.S. currency and explosive materials. All four men were taken into custody for questioning.

Later, the soldiers stopped a car in western Baghdad and the driver gave them a fake I.D. card. The driver told the patrol he was from the area, but when the soldiers asked other residents in the neighborhood about him, no one recognized the man or confirmed his story. The soldiers then searched the vehicle, found explosive material inside, and detained the driver.

Just before noon, an Iraqi farmer led U.S. soldiers working in the Ghazaliya district of western Baghdad to a weapons cache hidden in a field. When the soldiers arrived at the site they found nine mortar rounds and two rocket-propelled grenades. A team of explosives experts safely detonated the munitions.

See how it works, people? And isn't it sad that it takes some old chick on dial-up on a busted office chair with nothing but a pig lamp for light to do this, while the journo-types get paid good money to turn out half-assed articles. And don't talk deadlines. I did this in an hour. Most deadlines are more lenient than that, unless one has been hiding in the lounge at the hotel for too long and cut themselves short.

Posted by Mamamontezz at August 2, 2005 10:30 PM | TrackBack

Its amazing the negative spin that gets put on our great troops efforts in Iraq by the MSm.Piss on em.......Glad your back to the Blogosphere....

Posted by: LC.IB NeilV at August 3, 2005 07:32 AM

Thank you for addressing this issue. You always capture a story with more eloquence and grace...I just love to keep coming back time and time again.

By the way, you have been in my thoughts and prayers. I hope that you are doing well.

Posted by: Dana at August 3, 2005 12:33 PM

Thank you for bringing this to light....Good luck in your blogging :)

And by the way....would you like an upgrade to your PC? I might be able to help.


Posted by: Dan at August 4, 2005 07:44 AM

Glad you're back, been gone a week myself, thanks for holding their hands to the flames, it's the only way to get the truth.

Posted by: Jack at August 7, 2005 09:45 AM
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