Friday, October 13, 2006

Terry Lloyd: A Political Inquest Ruling

War is hell - literally. Anyone entering a battle zone should be prepared for hell and possible death or maiming. Should troops be held responsible for a reporters accidental death when caught in crossfire? Should troops be held accountable for a death that was willing chanced by a reporter who wanted a story? I think not.

Reporter Terry Lloyd, in the early days of the war in Iraq was traveling by private vehicle in a war zone (as in not traveling as an embedded reporter with troops), is attacked and shot by Iraqi soldiers (remember at this time THEY WERE THE ENEMY), is loaded up in another private vehicle with injured Iraqi soldiers (who had just been shooting at him), and is mortally wounded in the crossfire by US forces who were returning fire to the area. Unfortunate, but realistically his death was the result of a taking chances in a war-time hot zone.

Not so, says a British Coroner. Not so, says his wife. Both believe it is the US forces fault that he died. He had already been shot in the back by Iraqi soldiers (the enemy), he was out of his vehicle and unidentifiable at a distance as anything but a body being scooped up and placed in a vehicle with Iraqi soldiers (they were still the enemy) that were also wounded (this is the "hello, hello" moment), and that although wounded were probably still shooting at the approaching US troops. (But let's just not talk about that...).

Interestingly enough, some US servicemen who were there submitted testimony that the coroner ruled inadmissible at the inquest. Interestingly enough, a tape which the coroner did use as evidence was provided by a US soldier which clearly shows their surprise when they realize that journalists had been caught in the crossfire - but a forensic examiner conveniently says that at least 15 minutes of tape could have been erased at the beginning of the footage eluding that a coverup was in play. Very interesting indeed to call an "informed" opinion who bases his opinion on speculation, not fact. Not exactly a fair and unbiased review of the facts of the situation, is it?

In the meantime, the headlines scream that the US forces once again are in the wrong. The media is the first to condemn us so that's nothing new. But the sheer lunacy based behind the findings in the inquest smacks of an agenda that is politically motivated, not based in fact or reasoning. Resembling a British version of US war protester Cindy Sheehan,
Lloyd's widow, Lynn, in a statement read by her lawyer, said U.S. forces "allowed their soldiers to behave like trigger-happy cowboys in an area in which there were civilians traveling."

She called the killing a war crime "a despicable, deliberate, vengeful act."
The real crime here is that soldiers in a war zone and under fire, are being accused of deliberately killing someone, who was foolish enough to be there of his own volition and was caught in crossfire BEFORE the US troops arrived. The real crime is that these soldiers are being made to look guilty, while that very foolish reporter is made to look like a martyr. The truth is martyr's are not paid to die. Lloyd was accepting money for his chances to write a hot story. Unfortunate for him - he got the headline he was after, but didn't get the byline.

Lynn Lloyd has an attorney and is obviously on her way to suing for compensation - or is preparing to write a book. I sincerely doubt that her squalling is based on the fact that she truly believes her husband died as a result of a war crime, but rather is not dealing well that her bread and butter died as a result of his own foolish greed which helped support her. Harsh words maybe, but sometimes the truth hurts and the people the truth comes out about are just plain ugly.

Share your posts here!

posted by Is It Just Me? at 11:04 AM