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“Unlawful killing” by U.S. soldiers

October 13, 2006

There’s an article on Aljazeera that reports on charges of the “unlawful killing” by US soldiers of one of the UK’s most well-known journalists, Terry Lloyd.  The murder occurred early in the Iraq war in March 2003.  The reporter apparently was injured by cross-fire, but when he was taken by ambulance to seek medical attention, things took a turn for the worse:

Lloyd, who had reported from Cambodia, Bosnia and Kosovo during his award-winning career, was initially injured in the stomach. He was then shot in the head by U.S. forces after he had been picked up and put in an Iraqi minibus, the court heard.

His Lebanese interpreter Hussein Othman, was also killed while French cameraman Fred Nerac, is still missing, presumed dead. The other cameraman Daniel Demoustier was the only one to survive.

This story is hard to understand at first glance – why the heck would US soldiers kill a man who is obviously injured and who wasn’t identified as an “enemy combatant”?  The explanations don’t help, but Lloyd’s lawyer concludes that

“It was a despicable, deliberate, vengeful act,” Charalambous said.  He added that the unlawful killing verdict had been “inescapable” and had come about because “U.S. forces appear to have allowed their soldiers to behave like trigger-happy cowboys in an area where civilians were moving around.”

A union of journalists and Lloyd’s lawyer are pushing for murder charges.  118 journalists or reporters have been killed in Iraq since 2003, and over 50 have been abducted or kidnapped including 5 who are still held hostage today, according to the article.

Terry LloydI don’t think any formal charges are going to be filed for this war crime.  Like so many deaths, counted and uncounted, Mr. Lloyd is collateral damage in our “fight for freedom and democracy”. 

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One Comment leave one →
  1. October 13, 2006 9:49 am

    I should add that this is just one example of all the “unlawful” killing in Iraq and beyond…what would make any of it truly “lawful”, and who legislates that boundary?

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