Tuesday, April 06, 2010


Challenge to local newspapers: How will you cover Collateral Murder revelations?

by Larry Geller

It takes newspapers a bit of time to catch up with breaking world events, especially when they have little space and no foreign correspondents to do original reporting. And when the news doesn’t fit their politics.

Collatoral Murder has gone from nothing to over 1,746,000 views on YouTube overnight, with no end in sight. It’s everywhere on the web—but not yet in the Honolulu Advertiser. (I don’t subscribe to the Star-Bulletin.)

Sorry – missed the small box on the left of page A3. That is a truncated version of a denial of what is seen in the video. The headline is “Killing of Reuters employees shown”, but it’s a massacre of civilians.

“Some of whom were unarmed” is just a lie. So is “intermingled among the insurgents.”

So I revise my challenge to the Advertiser to produce a truthful story about the incident. Repeating the words of the coverup “investigation” report by the US military itself does not substitute for news on the incident or on the release of the video.

How will they treat the story? How will the local papers run it? How would Peer News run it?

Commercial media don’t like stories that reflect badly on US troops or US military operations. So let’s see how (if?) this story is covered.

The revelation of our troops laughing after killing innocent civilians is not something I expect to see on newsprint:

    US SOLDIER 1: We saw two birds. We’re still firing.

    US SOLDIER 2: Roger.

    US SOLDIER 1: I got ‘em.

    US SOLDIER 3: Two-six, this is two-six, we’re mobile.

    US SOLDIER 2: Oops, I’m sorry. What was going on?

    US SOLDIER 1: God damn it, Kyle.

    US SOLDIER 2: Sorry, hahaha, I hit ‘em—Roger. Currently engaging approximately eight individuals, KIA, RPGs and AK-47s. Hotel two-six, Crazy Horse one-eight.

    US SOLDIER 1: Oh, yeah, look at those dead bastards.

    US SOLDIER 2: Nice. Good shootin’.

    US SOLDIER 1: Thank you.

Or this one, shooting at a van picking up wounded:

    US SOLDIER 1: Let me engage. Can I shoot?

    US SOLDIER 2: Roger. Break. Crazy Horse one-eight, request permission to engage.

    US SOLDIER 3: Picking up the wounded?

    US SOLDIER 1: Yeah, we’re trying to get permission to engage. Come on, let us shoot!

    US SOLDIER 2: Bushmaster, Crazy Horse one-eight.

    US SOLDIER 1: They’re taking him.

    US SOLDIER 2: Bushmaster, Crazy Horse one-eight.

    US SOLDIER 4: This is Bushmaster seven, go ahead.

    US SOLDIER 2: Roger. We have a black SUV—or Bongo truck picking up the bodies. Request permission to engage.

    US SOLDIER 4: Bushmaster seven, roger. This is Bushmaster seven, roger. Engage.

    US SOLDIER 2: One-eight, engage. Clear.

    US SOLDIER 1: Come on!

    US SOLDIER 2: Clear. Clear.

    US SOLDIER 1: We’re engaging.

    US SOLDIER 2: Coming around. Clear.

    US SOLDIER 1: Roger. Trying to—

    US SOLDIER 2: Clear.

    US SOLDIER 1: I hear ‘em—I lost ’em in the dust.

    US SOLDIER 3: I got ’em.

    US SOLDIER 2: Should have a van in the middle of the road with about twelve to fifteen bodies.

    US SOLDIER 1: Oh yeah, look at that. Right through the windshield! Ha ha!

Both excerpts above are from the transcript of today’s Democracy Now coverage, Massacre Caught on Tape: US Military Confirms Authenticity of Their Own Chilling Video Showing Killing of Journalists, (4/5/2010).

The massacre shown in the video took place some time ago (2007) but an argument that it’s no longer news won’t wash. The release of the video is hot news. Let’s see how it’s covered.


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