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Executed POWs?(5 posts)

Executed POWs?Dwayne Barry
Apr 29, 2003 5:50 AM
Remember the reports when the US POWs from the ambushed convoy were first shown on Al Jazeera TV that some of the dead ones appeared to have been executed? Was this ever confirmed, whatever happened to this story, did I just miss it?

Or was this a mistake, like many of the media's reports of finding chemical weapons that later turned out to not be quite accurate?
blame the mediamohair_chair
Apr 29, 2003 6:13 AM
I don't recall any commanders or administration officials ever saying that they were executed. In fact, they didn't say much at all except that the video was disturbing. Many details about the ambush are unclear as a result. The only first hand statement was from one of the POWs, who said they took fire from all sides and their weapons jammed. Beyond that, it's all speculation, but it's interesting that he said nothing about executions.

Apparently, some of the POWs appear to be shot in the head, which is presumably what the media is calling execution. In early battles against the North Vietnamese army (which is not the Viet Cong), US troops were astonished by their marksmanship and how many of their number were killed by head shots. Apparently, the NVA had been trained to shoot, just like the US Army and Marines were. It's no stretch to think the Iraqi Army had been trained to shoot, too, but the media was probably expecting human wave type tactics like Somalia. Call it lack of respect for the enemy, especially if that enemy is from the third world.
I'm pretty sure...Dwayne Barry
Apr 29, 2003 6:34 AM
I remember the administration or the military, as well, talking about what "appeared" to be execution-style wounds but I could be mistaken.
Blame WHAT? And "media" takes a plural verb.cory
Apr 29, 2003 9:42 AM
Aw, come on--if you're going to toss out a "blame the media," you have to explain WHY the media get the blame. They (meaning "we," I've been a journalist for 30 years) aren't out there making stuff up. They report (hence the term "reporters") what they see and what they're told by the military, which controlled the embedded journalists very tightly.
Having also been a combat soldier in Vietnam, I know how rumors spread under those conditions, how hard truth is to track down and how a minor incident gets blown up. There often are a lot of head wounds in some types of combat, because your head is the only thing sticking out--if you get hit at all, it will be in the part you poked up over the wall to see what's going on. I have no idea if those soldiers were executed, but they were maintenance people, not infantry, and may have screwed up. Additionally, most of our troops in Iraq were new to combat and may have assumed head wounds meant short-range execution-style shootings (it's not something they'd learn in training). I'd be willing to bet the original reports of "execution" came from the PFCs and Spec 4s on the scene, not from the reporters.
Blame the mediamohair_chair
Apr 29, 2003 10:55 AM
The media created the speculation that executions took place. The only information available was video from Iraq aired on al-Jazeera. There were no PFCs or Spec 4s on the scene. The US government and military command said nothing about executions. Therefore, the media is to blame.

Executions have still not been confirmed or commented on by the US Army. The bodies have been buried, so I highly doubt any executions took place.