Constant's pations

If it's more than 30 minutes old, it's not news. It's a blog.

Monday, March 05, 2007

DoD Media Censorship in Afghanistan

Witnesses: Rahmat Gul of Associated Press; another AP Television News camerman;

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When conducting a preliminary survey prior to a formal war crimes investigation, it is important to review indicators and reports to personnel misconduct.

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___ Threats of physical violence against civilians

___ Inconsitentent policies

___ Non-standard procedures to engage in public affairs duties

___ Inconsistent applications of policies; non-standard procedures

___ Personnel granted authority to exercise discretion; while similarly situated personnel are not permitted to exercise discretion

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It's a problem when military personnel have inconsistent policies and procedures. Understandably, the Department of Defense attempts to permit access to reporters.

___ What legal requirements does DoD impose on reporters in the combat zone?

___ How many times has this happened?

___ How wold the soldier know that "deleting" the video images would work; and that photographic still images were not available?

Knowing to tell someone to "delete" images implies the soldier was familiar with the equipment to know:

___ What was possible

___ How the equipment worked

___ How the images could be removed without tampering with the equipment

___ That an order to "delete" images would be followed and would respond to the interest of hiding images

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The incident with the AP is curious. The US military generally favors press coverage. The soldier's reaction is unusual.

___ Was the soldier worried that video evidence of illegal activity might be provided?

___ How many times has the US military, after a gun battle, attempted to hide evidence?

___ Could there be a concern that the battle was not against bonafide military targets?

___ Why the inconsistency on whether the images could or could not be retained?

___ What did the solier, who asked for deletions, fear happening if this deletion did not occur?

___ Why did the second soldier not have this concern?

___ What did the soldier who ordered deletions specifically not want to happen, occur, or not be seen?

___ Were both soldiers working for the same or different units?

___ Why would the soldiers have (apparent) inconsistent polices, direction, training, and concerns about whetehr something could or could not be photographed?

___ Is it normal for the US military to threaten photographers with physical violence?

___ What happens to these soldiers when they are lost in Walter Reed?

___ What was the soldier who threatened physical violence hoping to accomplish?

___ Was the soldier who threatened physical violence upset about an issue related to equipment, loss of comrades, lack of sufficient leadership, or inadequate support to do his job?

___ What was the soldier's relationship with 5100.77?

___ How many times has this soldier gone through interrogation school?

___ Where's the written policies from the commanders how they will or will not interact with civlian personel, either Afghan or foreign?