DoD Media Censorship in Afghanistan
Witnesses: Rahmat Gul of Associated Press; another AP Television News camerman;
When conducting a preliminary survey prior to a formal war crimes investigation, it is important to review indicators and reports to personnel misconduct.
___ 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
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
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?