by Chris Floyd
Friday, 09 May 2008
Tell me that this doesn’t sound like something out of a history of Nazi tactics in World War II:
The rules [of engagement] explicitly allowed the killing of unarmed Iraqis under certain circumstances…Specifically, the snipers were allowed to shoot unarmed people running away from explosions or firefights….Of course, it’s not unusual for innocent people to run from explosions.
Didier, who has since been promoted to captain, said that “if that individual makes contact with you and then breaks contact of their own accord and disarms themselves while they are breaking contact, they are still an engageable target because they are not wounded, nor did they surrender.” He explained, “They are only breaking contact so that they can engage coalition forces at a later time.” In court, Sgt. Anthony Murphy, one of the snipers who was responsible for a questionable kill, testified that he interpreted this order about breaking contact so they can engage at a later time as: “Engage fleeing local nationals without weapons.”
In other words, if an innocent, unarmed Iraqi runs away to seek safety from a suicide bombing, a missile attack or a gunfight — which any human being would instinctively do — then he is fair game to be killed by an American sniper.
The excerpt above comes from a story in Salon.com, “Killing by the Numbers,” about an “elite” U.S. sniper squad that murdered a captured, unarmed civilian in cold blood. A more detailed excerpt follows below, but I’d like to deal briefly with one ancillary aspect first.
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