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WAR ON TERRORISM: LATEST WAR OUTRAGE GAINING MEDIA TRACTION

 

 

 

Jim Kouri, CPP
October 24, 2005
NewsWithViews.com

As the week of October 17 ended with the promise of criminal indictments of key White House officials and the Friday morning arraignment of former House Majority Leader Rep. Tom Delay, the elite media once again focused on their favorite subject -- US military misconduct. Of course, they use more colorful terms such as atrocities and abuse.

On October 19, an Australian TV network broadcast showed video footage of US special operations soldiers in Afghanistan appearing to burn two dead Taliban fighters and using the charred remains in an attempt to entice or enrage other terrorist forces in the area to come out and fight or surrender.

According to the Australian photojournalist, who reportedly witnessed the event, the Taliban bodies were "intentionally" laid out on the ground to face Mecca and after their taunting, the soldiers desecrated the dead terrorists. Two US special forces soldiers, trained in psychological operations or PsyOps, were videotaped reading aloud prepared messages aimed at Taliban fighters in the surrounding mountains, calling them too "cowardly" to retrieve the bodies. The obvious goal being to kill the remainder of the terrorist force and to save American and Afghan lives.

The airing of the videotape brought about an instantaneous reaction from the US military hierarchy which ordered an immediate criminal investigation. Central Command or CENTCOM, which commands US combat and support operations in the area, issued a press release condemning any "desecration of enemy combatants as contrary to US policy and the Geneva Conventions."

However, there are members of the military who do not believe enemy fighters were desecrated since the Taliban members were already killed in a fire-fight with US special ops and the soldiers believed their course of action would result in killing or capturing more terrorists.

"This command does not condone the mistreatment of enemy combatants or the desecration of their religious and cultural beliefs," Major General Jason Kamiya, tactical commander in Afghanistan, said in his media release. "This alleged action is repugnant to our common values, is contrary to our command's approved tactical operating procedures, and is not sanctioned by this command."

Some Pentagon officials expressed concern that the video broadcast and statements by Australian journalists could ignite violence and protests in Afghanistan and other Islamic nations similar to the riots that erupted in last spring right after Newsweek reported -- then later, thanks to the US blogosphere, were forced to retract -- that American guards at the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, desecrated the Koran by flushing it down a toilet, which if true would have been an incredible feat of US plumbing ingenuity.

There's a great deal of concern by the Pentagon over these allegations, with officials tripping over themselves to make statements such as: "Given the religious sensitivities in that part of the world, there's a desire to step out in front of the incident and show we're moving quickly to investigate."

The videotape was said to have been shot in early October by Stephen DuPont while he was embedded with a secret US special ops unit in the southern part of Afghanistan. The video was aired on an Australian news show called "Dateline."

The "Dateline" host, who narrated the broadcast, claimed the two terrorists whose bodies were burned had been mortally wounded the night before by US soldiers during combat near the town of Gonbaz, Afghanistan.

The live broadcast displayed two dead terrorists being burned, with their legs and arms in an outstretched position. Five soldiers are viewed standing and watching from an overhead ledge. Two soldiers were then pictured reading messages over loudspeakers toward other Taliban fighters hiding in the mountainous and rugged terrain.

"Attention, Taliban, you are cowardly dogs," read one soldier, identified by the narrator as Sgt. Jim Baker. "You allowed your fighters to be laid down facing west and burnt. You are too scared to retrieve their bodies. This just proves you are the lady-boys we always believed you to be."

Another soldier is seen and heard saying, "You attack and run away like women. You call yourself Talibs but you are a disgrace to the Muslim religion, and you bring shame upon your family. Come and fight like men instead of the cowardly dogs you are."

Trying to show themselves being fair and balanced the "Dateline" host, John Martinkus, reported that the soldiers said they burned the bodies "for hygiene purposes." But Martinkus, a man who's never been in battle or smelled the stench of corpses in blazing temperatures added that given the remote location, well away from the village "This appears to make no sense," he added.

However, many military experts have said that when in combat situations it's not unusual to dispose of the dead bodies of enemy combatants.

One former military officer, now a law enforcement commander, told this writer that "we have to remember these are terrorists and it's an extremely rough terrain with scorching temperatures and we're asking these special ops guys to fight in conditions even rattlesnakes avoid."

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Another former combat veteran, also a police officer, said, "First they make a big deal out of interrogating killers and terrorists. They call it abuse. Now they're worried about how the dead are treated. No one is outraged in the media when it's our guys being tortured, decapitated, desecrated or stripped naked and hung from bridges or trees. The [media] don't even show Americans or Australians footage of those desecrations."

2005 Jim Kouri- All Rights Reserved

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Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police. He's former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed "Crack City" by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. He's also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country.

He writes for many police and crime magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer, Campus Law Enforcement Journal, and others. He's appeared as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, Fox News, etc. His book Assume The Position is available at Amazon.Com, Booksamillion.com, and can be ordered at local bookstores.

E-Mail: COPmagazine@aol.com


 

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However, many military experts have said that when in combat situations it's not unusual to dispose of the dead bodies of enemy combatants.