Sunday, November 20, 2005

Another Deadly Silence: 'WP' had been used on combatants and civilians alike during the assault that leveled Fallujah,

Why is it that Associated Press has know bypassed reporting at least two major stories inconvenient to the Bush Administration?

First The downing Street Memo, Now the use of Phosphorous as a weapon in the battle of Fallujah. First denied then admitted by the Pentagon.

The italian documentary shows the corpses of civilians. No main Stream Media outlet seems to care to inform the American people about it.

Thoughtfully critiqued: "This seems to me to be another story that got a degree more attention among some observers due in part to speculation about why it wasn't reported. There's been no Downing Street memo-type outcry from readers here, as in the case of the relative silence in the U.S. media regarding the leaked British intelligence documents alleging that the Bush administration fixed facts to promote its predetermined Iraq invasion. But that may be due in part to the plethora of other news subordinating this story.

The caller was referring to what The Washington Post reported this week: 'Pentagon officials acknowledged Tuesday that U.S. troops used white phosphorus as a weapon against insurgent strongholds during the battle of Fallujah last November. But they denied an Italian television news report that the spontaneously flammable material was used against civilians.'

By then, The British Broadcasting Corporation had produced several reports on what it called the 'public relations disaster' for the U.S. of having had to retract its initial denial of using against combatants the so-called new Napalm, which is used to illuminate targets but burns flesh to the bone once it makes contact with skin.

Like the BBC, the British newspaper The Independent cited photographic evidence from the Italian state broadcaster, Rai, showing corpses of women and children with clothes intact and without bullet wounds but with their flesh burned off, described as consistent with the effects of the so-called fire weapons. In the Italian documentary, U.S. troops who had participated in the fighting confirmed year-old claims that 'WP' had been used on combatants and civilians alike during the assault that leveled Fallujah, near Baghdad.
The Pentagon's reversal raises the specter of war-crimes charges. But the caller was correct that the silence on the story raised more credibility concerns for U.S. news organizations. As for why it was not reported here, Mr. Rose explained:

"Unfortunately, we don't get Reuters. We use The Associated Press and some other wire services, but not Reuters. We never saw the story. That's why we didn't use it."

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