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Friday, July 11, 2008

The Pentagon Versus the British Media

posted by on July 11 at 12:27 PM

BBC News and The Guardian confirm the U.S. air strike that killed 47 Afghan civilians that the Pentagon continues to deny.

From The Guardian:

A US air strike killed 47 civilians, including 39 women and children, as they were travelling to a wedding in Afghanistan, an official inquiry found today. The bride was among the dead.

From the Pentagon, via VOA News:

The Pentagon says no civilians were killed in an air strike Sunday in a remote area of eastern Afghanistan, which local officials say killed 27 people who were walking to a wedding. U.S. military officials in Kabul say they believe the air strike hit its intended target, a group of militants. Pentagon Spokesman Bryan Whitman confirmed that view. “I can only tell you I talked to Afghanistan this morning, and they are very clear with that particular strike that they believe they struck the intended target and that there were not innocent civilians involved in that particular strike,” said Whitman.

The reports of civilian casualties came from Afghan officials, who said they spoke to people in the remote area by telephone. The U.S. military says Taliban militants often pressure villagers into claiming civilian casualties after air strikes.

Alrighty then.

RSS icon Comments


Geez, are you implying that our leaders would somehow lie to us? That's hard to believe.

Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty | July 11, 2008 12:39 PM

*peeks out*

Is it January yet?

Posted by Non | July 11, 2008 12:41 PM

And really... who are you going to believe? Some FOREIGN media or our very own honorable, trustworthy pentagon?

Posted by monkey | July 11, 2008 12:46 PM

Remember, President Obama will now be able to wiretap all Treasonous Neocons phones, internet, and call up their cable pr0n viewing habits and use them to ensure passage of his bills, once our fine troops are home.

Payback's a bitch.

Posted by Will in Seattle | July 11, 2008 12:47 PM

i want to 'talk to afghanistan'. i didn't know you could just call up a geographical location like that.

Posted by douglas | July 11, 2008 12:54 PM

We keep winning those hearts and minds in the Middle East. Isn't war wonderful?

Posted by tco | July 11, 2008 1:02 PM

Without photographs, everyone is lying.

Posted by Greg | July 11, 2008 1:07 PM

Why is it always a wedding that these airstrikes hit? It's like they're using bride-seeking missiles.

Posted by mattymatt | July 11, 2008 1:10 PM

God bless you, Mattymatt.

Posted by David "I just blew tomato soup out my nose" Schmader | July 11, 2008 1:13 PM

"Bride-seeking missiles" is nice.

Posted by Fnarf | July 11, 2008 1:25 PM

I have a bridesmaid-seeking missile.

Posted by THAT guy | July 11, 2008 1:31 PM

missiles are attracted to weddings like tornadoes are attracted to mobile homes

Posted by mickey in AR | July 11, 2008 1:38 PM

Winning hearts and minds. Go U.S.A.!!!

Posted by Vince | July 11, 2008 1:43 PM

It's not really bride-seeking missiles - many of the drones are operated from Cali - my guess is some in-the-closet military type in the USAF remotely operating the drones has a problem with straight people getting married who are Muslim.

Posted by Will in Seattle | July 11, 2008 2:05 PM

Somebody put WiS in a bridal gown, stat.

Posted by PuhLease | July 11, 2008 2:34 PM

Lol, I can't see any drones around my building, so you're wasting your time. Mind you, I suppose I'm visible on Satellite ... but that's not as fun as GPS guided "smart" dumb bombs with a target assist from a drone.

Posted by Will in Seattle | July 11, 2008 2:44 PM

maybe they were militant gays going to a wedding?

Posted by nos | July 11, 2008 2:52 PM

An Afghani government official I know quite well has indicated 2 possibilities:

1. One Afghani tribe, opposed to the one that lost the 47 civilians, helped the US call in the airstrike - either from near to where the tragedy occurred, or actually in the US or NATO regional command centre, & persuaded the US/NATO commander that the targets for the three single LGB (laser-guided bomb) attacks were legitimate targets (ie Taliban).

2. Alternatively or also, either the pilot or the mission control commander at base (more likely the latter) were new to Afghanistan & therefore inexperienced - both in real-life warfare, & also in how things can work out very unexpectedly for well-meaning non-Afghanis!

Interestingly, I saw a BBC video clip in which their reporter & his camera crew walked totally without escort all around the area, which allegedly had been full of Taliban a few days before & therefore deserving of the airstrike that had killed the 47 civilians in the 3 separate LGB bomb strikes. The tribes people were digging graves, but there were not enough bodies for all the graves because (as they said) very few body parts had survived the bomb blasts & therefore were needing burial. That surely is pointless in a place where the ground is rock-hard, unless perhaps the whole thing was contrived anyway!

Posted by Liberty Valence | July 16, 2008 4:07 AM

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