March 12, 2012

Addendum to Afghan Meadows Massacre - or Haditha Redux?

Hatched by Dafydd

Anent our previous post, here's my problem in a more succinct nutbag. American military spokespeople are saying this:

Two U.S. defense officials said an investigation has been started by the Army Criminal Investigation Division, but that it was too soon to say when any charges might be filed. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak about the issue. Army officials are reviewing his complete deployment and medical history, the congressional source said.

Seems like our military officials want to look into the accusations a little less cursorily before dragging an American soldier (or soldiers) before the bar. But the American (?) news media, from AP to the New York Times to television networks, are saying this:

A young Afghan man recounted on Monday the harrowing scene in his home as a lone U.S. soldier moved stealthily through it during a killing spree, then crouched down and shot his father in the thigh as he emerged from the bedroom in the deep of night....

"He was walking around taking up positions in the house - in two or three places like he was searching," said 26-year-old witness Mohammad Zahir, who watched the gunman while hiding in another room. "He was on his knees when he shot my father" in the thigh, he told The Associated Press. His father was wounded but survived.... [Do we know for certain he is actually a witness? -- DaH]

Zahir described the scene that unfolded when the assailant came to his house before dawn....

The motives of the shooter and most details about him, including his name, are still not known....

The soldier was not assigned to a special operations unit and has no special operations training, Cummings said.

He attacked two small villages very close to his base in southern Kandahar province. An enraged Karzai called it "an assassination, an intentional killing of innocent civilians" that cannot be forgiven. He demanded an explanation from Washington....

From Balandi, the gunman walked roughly one mile to the village of Alkozai, which was only about 500 meters from the American military base. There the gunman killed four people in one house and then moved to Zahir's house, where he shot his father in the leg.

Not a shred of a doubt; not a hint of uncertainty. No curiosity about justifiable or even mitigating circumstances. Not a single reporter questions whether the Afghans telling the story might have a motive to lie, might have been mistaken, might have been complicit in what might have been an ambush of an American soldier.

Do I know whether any of these factors are present in this case? No, of course not; but neither do the news media, a fact that seems not to perturb them in their rush to accept the atrocity story and condemn the American fighting man. Maybe it's just as bad as it seems; but we have history, including recent examples of massacre-mongering where the press was equally certain and fully as condemning, but which fell apart in the light of proper investigation.

We haven't even heard from the accused, nor any spokesman or defender. Would that the press showed the same solicitude for the niceties of due process that they routinely extend to illegal aliens accused of murder; Occupiers accused of rape, abandonment of children, and extortion; or any of the several dozen members of the Barack H. Obama administration accused of corruption and abuse of authority. (For Obamunists, the press doesn't merely extend the presumption of innocence until evidence shows otherwise... more like the persistence of innocence despite evidence otherwise!)

Where is the presumption of innocence? Instead, the (mercifully unnamed) soldier is portrayed by virtually every article I have read as already proven to be guilty, guilty, guilty... for don't we all know that Afghans in "Talibistan" never concoct fables of American massacres?

The only thing that's missing -- so far! -- is a John Kerry or a John Murtha to spray the atrocity charges through government organs, amplifying and adding piquant inventions of his own; thus crystalizing the accusation as "historical fact," despite a complete lack of impartial investigation up to this point. So far, the Left hasn't picked it up, perhaps because it can't help but reflect badly on the One; thank goodness for small crumbs!

If the man actually committed the heinous acts the Afghans accuse him of, in the manner of the media narrative, then he should be hanged. (Note that the "narrative" includes the fact or factoid that he walked back to the base and "turned himself in," which would imply knowledge of guilt; so he can't get away with an insanity plea.) But do we really know whether this is true yet? If so, then how do we know, based on what?

This is why I have always maintained (usually the lone voice crying in the wilderness) that of the three classical pillars of philosophy -- metaphysics (what we know), ethics (what we do about what we know), and epistemology (how we know what we know) -- the most urgent, and most quickly forgotten, is the last.

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, March 12, 2012, at the time of 5:13 PM


The following hissed in response by: West

I've been looking for the word 'alleged', which de rigeur in any news story about any perp suspected of a crime, no matter how damning the evidence against them is, but in this on case, nowhere to be found. Same with the evidence, for that matter.

This guy has been tried and convicted by the media of his own country on hearsay from another.

I did not think my contempt for the big media could get any more pronounced, but this incident is doing the trick.

The above hissed in response by: West [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 14, 2012 1:12 PM

The following hissed in response by: mdgiles

"This guy has been tried and convicted by the media of his own country on hearsay from another."

And you expected better because? Every war correspondent out there, is looking for the next My Lai. Just as every political writer is looking for the next Watergate - when a Republican President is in office.

The above hissed in response by: mdgiles [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 15, 2012 3:02 PM

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