Al Qaeda's Haditha propaganda ploy

Defend Our Marines:

Buried in the mountain of exhibits attached to the once secret Haditha, Iraq murder inquiry prepared by US Army Maj. Gen. Eldon A. Bargewell is an obscure Marine Corps intelligence summary (see pdf) that says the deadly encounter was an intentional propaganda ploy planned and paid for by Al Qaeda foreign fighters.

Veteran military defense attorney Gary Meyers said he never understood why the Naval Criminal Investigative Service special agents leading the Haditha criminal investigation didn’t “examine the linkage” between Al Qaeda, the local insurgency and the events at Haditha. Meyers was an attorney on the defense team that successfully defended Justin Sharratt, a Marine infantryman accused of multiple murders at Haditha.

The report – apparently overlooked by a Washington press corps awash in leaked Bargewell documents and secret Naval Criminal Investigative Service reports – shows that Marine Corps intelligence operatives were advised of the scheme to demonize the Marines by an informant named Muhannad Hassan Hamadi. The informant was snared by 3/1 Marines on December 11 2005 and decided to cooperate.

The attack was carried out by multiple cells of local Wahabi extremists and well-paid local gunmen from Al Asa’ib al-Iraq [the Clans of the People of Iraq] that were led by Al Qaeda foreign fighters, the summary claims. Their case was bolstered by Marine signal intercepts revealing that the al Qaeda fighters planned to videotape the attacks and exploit the resulting carnage for propaganda purposes.

Eleven insurgents involved in the attack are identified by name and affiliation in the details of the summary. All of them were killed or captured in the days immediately following the Haditha incident.

During the November Haditha battle, the insurgents secreted themselves among local civilians to guarantee pursuing Marines would catch innocent civilians in the ensuing crossfire. On January 6, 2006 six insurgents who tried to do the same thing at another location in Haditha were turned in to Coalition authorities before they could mount a similar assault, the report says.

...

This strikes me as a blockbuster report that the media over looked or ignored because it did not fit their story line. It turns the whole case on its head. If this report is accurate, it appears that the Time reporter who "broke" the story was duped by an al Qaeda information operation and papers like the NY Times embraced this false narrative, because it fit their own narrative of the war. As I mention elsewhere the media's search for a "defining atrocity" for this war ignores the many atrocities of the enemy and they then focused on a false story about our troops. They should be ashamed. Hat tip to Clarice Feldman.

Comments

  1. So what exactly is the evidence? The blogger you link to cites only a single power point document, produced by the Marines in justification for the operation. Obviously they have a bias in the matter.

    In any case, the one document cited does not state any of the extraordinary things the blogger claims, viz. that ...

    "The prisoners claimed the multi-pronged assault on the Marines was intended to garner local support by discrediting the Marines among the civilian population. If the coordinated attack had gone off as planned all three IED ambushes would have been sprung on the patrolling Marines almost simultaneously, the prisoners said. The insurgents plan depended on the Marines aggressively responding to the assaults to create as much carnage as possible."

    There are no prisoners' statements in that power-point presentation. There is no evidence I can see to back up the central assertions of the blog post.

    Even if prisoners did claim that, can their testimony be corroborated? How were those confessions obtained?

    I find particularly strange the blogger's implicit claim that the Marines should be excused for shooting up and grenading several houses and killing lots of civilians because (allegedly) Al Qaeda was hoping they would over-react. Even if the blogger does actually have evidence for his seemingly unsupported claims, how does that justify shooting up civilians? It was either a bloodbath of revenge, or it wasn't. If the former, it's a crime.

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