CommunityPam's House Blend

When sh*t like this is caught on tape, Rummy and Co. must choke. The don’t want citizens to see this side of the war. An unarmed Iraqi was shot and killed in a Fallujah mosque by a Marine.



Image taken from pool video shows a U.S. marine is seen, left, raising his rifle in the direction of Iraqi prisoners lying on the floor of a mosque in Fallujah, Iraq Saturday Nov. 13, 2004. The video, in a version aired by CNN showed the Marine raising his rifle toward the prisoners but neither NBC nor CNN showed the shooting itself. The video was blacked out but the report of the rifle could be heard. The bodies in the foreground are other Iraqi prisoners. (AP Photo/NBC News, Pool)

The dramatic footage was taken Saturday by pool correspondent Kevin Sites of NBC television, who said three other prisoners wounded a day earlier in the mosque had also apparently been shot the next day by the Marines.

The incident played out as the Marines 3rd Battalion, 1st Regiment, returned to the unidentified Fallujah mosque Saturday. Sites was embedded with the unit.

…On the video, as the camera moved into the mosque during the Saturday incident, a Marine can be heard shouting obscenities in the background, yelling that one of the men was only pretending to be dead.

…The events on the videotape began as some of the Marines from the unit accompanied by Sites approached the mosque on Saturday, a day after it was stormed by other Marines.

…Gunfire can be heard from inside the mosque, and at its entrance, Marines who were already in the building emerge. They are asked by an approaching Marine lieutenant if there were insurgents inside and if the Marines had shot any of them. A Marine can be heard responding affirmatively. The lieutenant then asks if they were armed and fellow Marine shrugs.

Sites’ account said the wounded men, who he said were prisoners and who were hurt in the previous day’s attack, had been shot again by the Marines on the Saturday visit.

The videotape showed two of the wounded men propped against the wall and Sites said they were bleeding to death. According to his report, a third wounded man appeared already dead, while a fourth was severely wounded but breathing. The fifth was covered by a blanket but did not appear to have been shot again after the Marines returned. It was the fourth man who was shown being shot.

A spokesman at Marine Corps headquarters in the Pentagon, Maj. Doug Powell, said the incident was “being investigated.” He had no further details, other than to confirm the incident happened on Saturday and that the Marines involved were part of the 1st Marine Division.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding