June 2, 2003

JULES CRITTENDEN SAYS THE COMMITTEE TO PROTECT JOURNALISTS IS WELL, BASICALLY LYING, at least by conscious omission, about the tank fire that killed two reporters in Baghdad:

Great weight is given to reporters’ assertions that the tankers, who had been engaged in combat for up to 30 hours, should have been able to recognize them at a distance of three-quarters of a mile. The report doesn’t question how reporters who didn’t realize their own building was hit by a high-explosive tank round can definitively state that no fire was coming from the hotel’s vicinity.

CPJ ignored my remark that French reporter Jean Paul Mari told me he understood fire from an anti-tank battery south of the hotel might have been seen as coming from the hotel’s vicinity.

It is indisputable that the Pentagon should have ensured that units in Baghdad were aware of sensitive sites. By failing to do so, they failed their own soldiers and placed our journalistic colleagues in jeopardy. But a lawsuit by the Cuoso family targeting the soldiers involved, and CPJ’s second-guessing aspersions are not helpful.

All of us who placed ourselves in harm’s way in Iraq knowingly risked death at the hands of the Iraqis and the Americans. Both sides were responsible for journalists’ deaths. Unfortunately, the Committee to Protect Journalists showed its colors early on, when it condemned, protested and demanded answers about U.S. actions against journalists, while mourning, monitoring and voicing concern about Iraqi actions. There was no condemnation of the Iraqi leadership’s decision to use civilian vehicles, clothing and suicide bombers for assault purposes, which unquestionably placed non-embedded reporters in danger. Those tactics forced the tankers to fire on civilian buildings and vehicles in Baghdad.

It’s sad that you just can’t trust these people. And you can’t.

Comments are closed.
InstaPundit is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.