Broadcast News Coverage Of Friendly Fire Allegations In 2006 Ramadi Battle

Broadcast News Coverage Of Friendly Fire Allegations In 2006 Ramadi Battle
October 15th, 2008  
Team Infidel

Topic: Broadcast News Coverage Of Friendly Fire Allegations In 2006 Ramadi Battle

Broadcast News Coverage Of Friendly Fire Allegations In 2006 Ramadi Battle
October 14, 2008

Today (NBC), 7:00 AM
MEREDITH VIEIRA: And now to the war in Iraq. More than 4100 Americans have lost their lives there, and this morning some newly uncovered video is raising questions over the deaths of two US soldiers back in December 2006 and whether there was a cover-up. A warning, this report contains some graphic scenes. NBC's Jim Miklaszewski has the story.
Mik, good morning.
JIM MIKLASZEWSKI: Good morning, Meredith. The Army says the two soldiers who died in Ramadi were killed by enemy fire, but today, two years later, a remarkable video first obtained by raises new questions over the possibility the Americans were killed by friendly fire.
December 2006, and soldiers from the 9th Infantry were engaged in a fierce firefight. The action was caught by a camera strapped to the helmet of the platoon sergeant.
SOLDIER: (From video) There's the tank right there.
MIKLASZEWSKI: As an American tank moved into position, there was suddenly a huge blast.
SOLDIER: You all right?
SOLDIER: Yeah, I'm good.
MIKLASZEWSKI: It knocked the sergeant to the floor, and the soldiers had no doubt the shot had come from the US Army tank.
SOLDIER: Yeah, it just took out the...(censored)...roof.
SOLDIER: Who did?
SOLDIER: That tank. I saw him...(censored)...hit it.
MIKLASZEWSKI: On the rooftop, Private First-Class Roger Suarez-Gonzalez was killed instantly. PFC Albert Nelson was mortally wounded.
SOLDIER: Come on, come on. Move, move, move, go, go, go, go!
SOLDIER: Tourniquet's on.
SOLDIER: Tourniquet on?
MIKLASZEWSKI: But his left leg lost in the blast, medics worked feverishly to stem the bleeding.
SOLDIER: Don't you die on me, Nelson!
SOLDIER: Don't die, buddy, come on. Stay with me.
SOLDIER: Keep breathing, Keep breathing.
MIKLASZEWSKI: For nearly 30 minutes, Nelson drifted in and out of consciousness.
SOLDIER: Nelson, Nelson, talk to me, buddy. Come on, stay with me. You're all right, bro. You're OK.
MIKLASZEWSKI: But inexplicably, an armored medevac vehicle left the scene without him and Nelson died before eventually reaching a field hospital. With the cameras still rolling, his fellow soldiers turned their frustration and anger toward that American tank.
SOLDIER: The reason why I was pissed.
SOLDIER: Because he saw that round from the tank.
SOLDIER: I saw it, too.
SOLDIER: That was not an Iraqi.
SOLDIER: It was a tank.
MIKLASZEWSKI: At first, their platoon sergeant agreed. But after talking by radio to his commanders, the sergeant told his soldiers something else.
SOLDIER: It was a 120 mortar, OK? One-twenty mortar, you got it? You...(censored) it? It was a 120 mortar.
MIKLASZEWSKI: Now, the Army's own investigation says this video offers compelling evidence the rooftop was hit by tank fire, but based on all the evidence the Army concluded the two soldiers were killed by mortar fire. The investigation suggests that, under heavy fire, these soldiers didn't have the complete picture. But not everyone's convinced. Meredith --
VIEIRA: Jim Miklaszewski, thank you very much. Such disturbing video. A lot of questions.
MATT LAUER: That's a really disturbing story.
The Situation Room (CNN), 5:00 PM
WOLF BLITZER: Itís called the fog of war: the confusion in combat when things happen so fast itís really difficult to know what actually happened. A video of a battle in Iraq two years ago underscores that confusion and is raising questions right now about how two U.S. soldiers died.
Our senior Pentagon correspondent, Jamie McIntyre, has been following this story for us, has the video. Jamie, what does it show?
JAMIE MCINTYRE: Well, Wolf, this video is a real eye-opener: an unvarnished, close-up look at real combat.
SOLDIER: Yeah? Get in here.
MCINTYRE: The raw video from the helmet camera worn by an American Army private captures a confusing battle nearly two years ago in Ramadi.
SOLDIER: See the tank right there?
SOLDIER: Oh, yeah.
MCINTYRE: But one this is clear from the 52-minute video record, the U.S. soldiers are convinced theyíve just been hit by friendly fire from an American tank.
SOLDIER: You all right?
SOLDIER: Yep, Iím good.
SOLDIER: Jesus ****ing C****!
SOLDIER: What the **** was that?
SOLDIER: Dude, that was a tank.
SOLDIER: Did he shoot at us?
SOLDIER: I think so.
MCINTYRE: The unedited video has been posted on the website, along with a full account of the battle and its aftermath.
SOLDIER: That tankís shooting at us.
SOLDIER: Hey, cease fire! Cease fire! Cease fire!
SOLDIER: Cease fire! Cease fire!
SOLDIER: Dude, Iím almost positive that was that tank Ďcause I saw him flash?
MCINTYRE: Despite the soldiersí certainty, the Army says a thorough investigation after the fact determined that 120mm mortar rounds from the enemy, not a U.S. tank, killed two American soldiers that day.
BRIG. GEN. SEAN MACFARLAND [Investigating Officer]: All of the tank rounds which were fired that day were accounted for in the targeted building, not the building occupied by friendly forces Ė every single one of them. We also found clear evidence of an enemy mortar strikes on the roof of the building.
SOLDIER: Donít you die on me, donít die, buddy. Keep breathing.
MCINTYRE: Among the fatalities, Pvt. 1st Class Albert Mark Nelson, who eventually bled to death after his leg was blown off, but only after a heroic but futile effort to save him.
JEAN FIGGINS [Mark Nelsonís Mother]: This is my baby. I need to know everything. Iím not going to have any closure until I know exactly Ė I donít care how gruesome it is. What happened to him?
MCINTYRE: A reporter showed this video to Nelsonís mother, who says it directly contradicted the official version told her by an Army officer.
FIGGINS: He said to me, quote and unquote, he said, I know as a mother, youíre concerned about whether or not your son suffered. He said, but Iím here to tell you that your son didnít suffer. He said, he was killed instantly. He said, he was killed so fast that he didnít have time to feel pain and he never knew what hit him.
MCINTYRE: On the video, Nelson, whose face was blurred by, can be heard moaning as soldiers tried to get him to a field hospital.
SOLDIER: Okay, heís good. Come on.
MCINTYRE: And Wolf, this evening, the Army cannot explain why Pvt. Nelsonís mother did not get the accurate details of his death, but they say particularly in the wake of the Pat Tillman fiasco, they make every effort possible to make sure that the information given to families is precise as it can be. Wolf?
BLITZER: Such a sensitive, sensitive issue. Jamie, thank you for that report.

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