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Re: Marine shooting in Fallujah

by Mac McMullen / November 22, 2004 3:17 AM PST

I've been following this very closely, and from someone who has been there-done that, ie close combat with all of it's confusion/frustration/fear/anger, I cannot completely judge this young marine as I was not inside his head at the moment he pulled the trigger. I don't know what he knew of events leading up to that split second in time with respect to what might have gone on before at that site.

I fully believe it far better a dead Iraqi than a dead US Marine. Monday morning quarterbacking will take it's toll on morale, I'm sure.

If the following article is anywhere close to factual, it would appear there is a lot more to the story of the mosque and the wounded men inside, as well as the shooting that was seen on tape. It would also appear that there was a lot of confusion as to unit/squad missions, as they appear to overlap in some random and non-directed manner.

According to his article:
(Sites is the NBC reporter who filmed the incident)
"Earlier in the footage, as the Marine unit that Sites was accompanying approached the mosque, gunfire can be heard from inside. Marines who were already in the mosque emerge, and a lieutenant in the approaching unit asks if there were insurgents inside and if the Marines had shot any of them. An exiting Marine can be heard responding affirmatively. The lieutenant then asks if they were armed, and the Marine shrugs.

After the Marines that Sites accompanied entered the mosque, the video showed two other men slumped by a wall. Sites? account said the men, who were hurt in the previous day?s attack, had been shot again by the Marines on Saturday.

The Marine seen shooting the insurgent had been wounded in the face a day earlier and quickly returned to action, Sites reported. The Marine has not been identified.

Another Marine in the man's unit was killed the previous day by the booby-trapped body of an insurgent,............."

Full article: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6502452/

Take the time to read this one, an open letter from Sites himself:


And this one just yesterday:


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(NT) (NT) mac i still say better a dead insurgant than a marine
by Mark5019 / November 22, 2004 4:00 AM PST
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While I am uncomfortable with the act and will debate it
by Ziks511 / November 22, 2004 4:26 AM PST

theoretically 'til I'm blue in the face, NO ACTION should ever be taken against this Marine. It is too easy to misjudge everything from half a world away. And, as Mark I think has said, nobody else could have been inside his head at the time to make that decision.

Rob Boyter

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Re: Marine shooting in Fallujah
by John Robie / November 22, 2004 4:57 AM PST

So have I, and thanks for posting.

International Red Cross spokesman Florian Westphal said in Geneva. ?Obviously, we were not on the spot, so we cannot judge the precise circumstances of what was being shown here.?

I agree, and have stayed out of these argumentative posts.

Kevin Sites, the NBC News correspondent who was there gives a detailed account.... updated: 1:37 p.m. ET Nov. 22, 2004 that Del has noted:


Sites also says:

"I can't know what was in the mind of that Marine. He is the only one who does."

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An interesting quote there ...
by Bill Osler / November 22, 2004 8:53 AM PST

This is from a Marine officer, and stands in stark contrast with the attitude of some members of this forum:

"We're the good guys. We are Americans. We are fighting a gentleman's war here -- because we don't behead people, we don't come down to the same level of the people we're combating. That's a very difficult thing for a young 18-year-old Marine who's been trained to locate, close with and destroy the enemy with fire and close combat. That's a very difficult thing for a 42-year-old lieutenant colonel with 23 years experience in the service who was trained to do the same thing once upon a time, and who now has a thousand-plus men to lead, guide, coach, mentor -- and ensure we remain the good guys and keep the moral high ground."

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You could role-play this scenario.
by MarkatNite / November 22, 2004 12:35 PM PST

Armed with a paintball gun, you come upon "an insurgent". Sometimes the insurgent is armed with a paintball gun, sometimes he's armed with a paint-grenade (or you could just have him conceal a baseball on his person and yell, "boom"), sometimes he's unarmed.

Out of, say, ten runs, it would be interesting to know:

How many times you were "killed".
How many times you shot an unarmed man.
How many times you successfully took the insurgent into custody.

And keep in mind, in Iraq, they only get one chance - Mark

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Re: An interesting quote there ...
by John Robie / November 23, 2004 1:24 AM PST

Thanks for that post Dr. Bill. I made some comments here

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Re: Your third link
by Paul C / November 22, 2004 9:20 AM PST

It turns out, Del, that not only do they play dead and try to kill our guys; They also have the old false surrender trick down pat, too:

In Fallujah, where U.S. Marines and soldiers are still battling pockets of resistance, insurgents waved a white flag of surrender before opening fire on U.S. troops and causing casualties, Marine spokesman 1st Lt. Lyle Gilbert said Saturday without elaborating.

One of my late uncles saw all this and more from the Japanese as a Marine in the Pacific during WWII. He once admitted that his buddies and him more than once machine-gunned Japanese troops presenting themselves for surrender after various of those incidents. His opinion: " 'War crimes', my ***! Self-preservation is more like it!"

Of course, the same baying chorus of critics was totally silent when John Kerry admitted to chasing down and killing a wounded, unarmed Vietnamese - an act for which he received a Silver Star (?).

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Re: Your third link
by John Robie / November 22, 2004 9:55 AM PST
In reply to: Re: Your third link

My uncle also in combat with the Japanese. They reverted to having those wanting to surrender to strip down to a small loin cloth to prevent booby traps, etc.
Of course very few surrendered and either fought to death or committed hairy kerry (yes mispelled). I believe out of 20,000 on one island there were only 94 left alive.

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(NT) (NT) well we all know where the bleeding hearts loaltys lie
by Mark5019 / November 22, 2004 10:04 AM PST
In reply to: Re: Your third link
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Re: Marine shooting in Fallujah
by Rolway / November 22, 2004 11:39 AM PST

I maybe interpreting this letter of Kevin Sites wrong, but it seems more like a confession or excuse for releasing what he did report. It appears everyone is pointing the finger at him for his reporting it in the first place.

I say kick the Media out of Iraq. We don't need them dogging our men around reporting every little incident on what they feel should be done, why it was done and how it was done. Let our men do the job they are trained to do, the best way they can to stay alive. If anyone is jeopardizing the moral and efforts to bring peace over there, its this so called freedom of the press.


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Re: Marine shooting in Fallujah
by Dan McC / November 22, 2004 11:50 PM PST

Good lesson for a fledgling democracy.

Thanks, George.


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Re: Marine shooting in Fallujah
by MKay / November 29, 2004 4:31 AM PST
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Your article ?
by TONI H / November 29, 2004 9:48 PM PST

doesn't appear to be the same marine involved in the original post.......I've seen the tape of the person who was shot in the building with the reporter embedded and as I recall, that person was older than 16. I'm assuming this is a separate incident?

Even if so, I don't understand how this particular Marine would be charged with the same crime of murder as the other two in the story just because he was the platoon leader at the time. But then again, even in our civilian criminal courts, they will charge all parties with the same crime just for being there even if they weren't physically involved.

I hope all the facts in this case also come to light and if justice serves, only the guilty will be punished accordingly.


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Re: Your article ? No it's not
by MKay / November 29, 2004 9:54 PM PST
In reply to: Your article ?

He is in the Navy. I posted because there is more of this going on than we realize. Evidently the marines story got headlines because of the photo. Since I posted it, several lawyers fron Northeastern Ohio have offered to help in his representation, free of charge of course. And, like you, I hope justice is served.

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