Monday, October 24, 2005

Here we go again

Echoing these charges, this story was recently all over the news:
A Spanish judge issued an international arrest order today for three American soldiers in connection with the death of a Spanish journalist killed in 2003 when an American tank fired at a hotel in Baghdad during the Army's advance on the Iraqi capital.
Judge Santiago Pedraz Gómez of the National Court in Madrid said that the evidence suggested the three soldiers committed murder and a "crime against the international community" in firing at the hotel, where more than 100 journalists were staying.
Apparently the charges are even more groundless than I had at first assumed (via Tim Blair):
The incident was witnessed by Boston Herald City Editor Jules Crittenden, who was embedded with the unit.
Jose Couso was working for the Spanish television network Telecinco when he was killed April 8, 2003, after the tank crew fired on the Hotel Palestine in Baghdad – where many journalists hunkered down while covering the war. The shell also killed Reuters cameraman Taras Protsyuk.
Crittenden, who was within about 100 yards of Gibson's tank when he fired, said the tankers believed they were firing on an Iraqi forward artillery observer.
"This incident has been investigated by the Pentagon and several media organizations, and no evidence has been produced to suggest this was anything but a tragic accident of war by well-intentioned soldiers who had been in combat for up to 30 hours," Crittenden said.
"The men who were killed accepted the same risk that all of us did who went willingly to Iraq, and unfortunately they paid the full price for their devotion to their professions."
Tim Blair says:
"You can add," writes Crittenden in an e-mail, "that I consider the persecution of the officers misguided and politically motivated."
Too bad most people only read the headlines.

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