Zarqawi Said Beaten To Death By Witness Who Could Not Have Seen It
Posted by ssbg on June 11, 2006
The AP has caused quite a stir today by publishing an uncorroborated account by a supposed eyewitness to the death of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. The witness, identified as Mohammed, says that Americans beat and stomped Zarqawi until blood flowed from his nose and he died:
The Iraqi, identified only as Mohammed, said he lives near the house where al-Zarqawi was killed. He said residents put a bearded man in an ambulance before U.S. forces arrived."When the Americans arrived they took him out of the ambulance, they beat him on his stomach and wrapped his head with his dishdasha, then they stomped on his stomach and his chest until he died and blood came out of his nose," Mohammed said, without saying how he knew the man was dead.
Interesting. Of course, Reuters reported earlier tonight that the house could not be seen from any of the local houses, screened off from the roads and other dwellings by the palm groves that hid it from prying eyes:
[T]he house where al-Zarqawi last lived was extremely isolated. It was surrounded by thick palm groves that hid it from mud and cement houses a few hundred yards away.The site is also well hidden from the main road 400 yards away, which cuts through lush green flatlands.
Finding it must have required precise intelligence. The U.S. military has spoken of a painstaking process, including human sources and electronic surveillance, that led them to the house.
So picture this mission as the Americans and Iraqis on the ground must have conceived it. They need to attack a well-hidden house in the middle of a palm grove in Baquba in a way that ensures the occupants cannot escape if the bombing fails to kill them. They know exactly where this house is, drop two bombs on it — and then wait around for the locals to rush into a house they cannot see to dig the bodies out? And having done that, the American soldiers then get around to arriving on scene without any concern about whether their quarry may have escaped, pull Zarqawi out of an ambulance where he is secured, and beat him to death in front of the witnesses?
The logistics of the site appear determinative that the residents of the village could not have seen any of what transpired at the safe house. The sequence of events show that the US had timed their raid for maximum security and efficiency, and that the ground forces of Iraqi and American troops would have acted immediately to secure this very remote site to ensure no one escaped. The AP apparently didn't read the Reuters description of the attack site before publishing this uncorroborated account of a supposed atrocity.
Is the AP now in the business of reporting anything anyone says about any event without doing some rudimentary investigation first? We call that gossip, not news, and we expect better than a National Enquirer standard at the AP.