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Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Reuters' Suspicious Missile Attack

On August 26th, an Israeli air strike allegedly hit a Reuters vehicle in Gaza City. But several aspects of this story smell very suspicious, particularly in light of recent events.

Powerline, 8/27, looks at the vehicle photos of this vehicle with a small rusty wound, as well as the circumstances:

The Palestinians noted that the vehicle was marked with Reuters' logo and the word "press," but it is unclear how the Israelis were supposed to see those markings in the middle of the night. ...

So the attack could well have happened as described. However, given the many phony claims about Israeli attacks that have been uncovered in recent weeks, there is no reason to accord any credibility to Reuters' Palestinian stringers.

Powerline, 8/28: Picture of the outside and inside, with comments from various readers like this:

I spent twenty years in both military and civilian bomb disposal. The damage to the ambulance pictured in the article was NOT caused by any missile.

On Israel's apology:

A couple of readers have pointed out that Israel hasn't denied hitting the Reuters vehicle. That's true. But the IDF has a history of apologizing for alleged attacks that later turned out to be bogus.

Caroline Glick, 8/28:

Yet it is unclear why anyone should believe either Shana or Reuters. Shana told Reuters that as he was driving to the battle scene, "I suddenly saw fire and the doors of the jeep flew open." He claims to have been wounded by shrapnel in his hand and leg. These are minor injuries for someone whose vehicle was just hit by a missile.

But then, the photographs taken of his vehicle after the purported missile attack give no indication that the car was hit by anything. There is a gash on the roof. The hood is bent out of shape. But nothing seems to have been burned. Cars hit by missiles do not look like they have just been in a nasty accident. Cars hit by missiles are destroyed.

The vigilance of just a handful of bloggers brought us the knowledge of the corruption of our media and the network of global NGOs that we have come to rely on to tell us the "objective" truth.

It is up to all citizens of the free world, who value our freedom to recognize this corruption, applaud the bloggers and join them in refusing to allow these corrupt institutions to cloud our commitment to freedom.

Powerline, 8/29: More photos, and some confusion as to just what car was hit.

Many obvious questions remain unanswered, and we can't answer them. What is needed is an investigation on the ground in Gaza. Reuters has called for an investigation of the incident; the Israelis should take them up on the offer and closely examine the vehicle (or vehicles) in question, as well as interview the Reuters employees involved.

Blogger Confederate Yankee contacted armored vehicle manufacturers. The damage reported isn't consistent with a rocket strike.

David D. Perlmutter, 8/30: "Reuters has filed updates of its original story. One shows a picture of the "wounded cameraman"--who certainly appears wounded. Interestingly, I could find no updates of the story on the Reuters site since August 27th and pictures of the vehicle do not reappear." [Emphasis mine.]

Mark Steyn:

What's stunning is not that almost all Western media organizations reporting from the Middle East are reliant on local staff overwhelmingly sympathetic to one side in the conflict -- that's been known for some time -- but the amateurish level of fakery that head office is willing to go along with.

Confederate Yankee, 8/31: "The simple fact of the matter is that without a close-up inspection of the vehicle by recognized experts and perhaps metallurgical tests on any shrapnel that can be verified as being recovered from the victims and the vehicle, we may never know exactly what transpired."

In summary, there seems to be at least one person wounded. How it happened, and if it happened in this Reuters vehicle as they describe is unlikely, though possible.

When confidence in reporting is lost as it has been in that region, we're left speculating.

Update, 9/22: Apparently, Israel did attack the vehicle, which was being used very suspiciously.

The vehicle’s presence in Gaza in itself constituted a violation of its license terms, and moreover, the jeep was carrying only Palestinians – one with links to Hamas who was not a Reuters employee.

Very enlightening on a couple levels, including damage possible from such an attack. We still don't know if the hit was direct or secondary (e.g., from falling debris).


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