Interesting Controversy Surrounding CBS’s Lara Logan
You can read all the details here on IraqSlogger.com (...an anti-Bush website).
What I'm interested in is the footage of dead Iraqi soldiers that Lara Logan claims was “obtained by CBS.” But this footage was first released by Al-Qaeda!
Al-Qaeda’s Islamic State of Iraq released 8 minutes of cell phone footage through its media arm, the Al-Furqan Institute for Media Productions, under the title ‘Some of the Casualties of the Heretics in Haifa Street After Sunday’s Fighting, January 7, 2007, in Baghdad.’ The grainy images were of six or seven bodies wearing Iraqi military fatigues with ‘carry-out’ lunch boxes strewn about them. The images were probably taken by a cell phone, judging by quality. In one scene, a close up is shown of a soldier shot through the head, probably executed.
At the time, the Iraqi military claimed that some of its soldiers were cornered on Haifa Street and killed after running out of ammunition. This incident set off the subsequent battles there. Al-Qaeda also released written statements at the time taking credit for the initial phase of fighting.
The video released by Al-Qaeda two weeks ago moves on from the bodies (referred to in the caption as the ‘rotten carcasses of the Pagan Guard’) to show burnt out cars on Haifa Street, and the following caption reads that these vehicles belonged to ‘plain-clothed’ Mahdi Army militiamen who had arrived to relieve the Iraqi soldiers. Bloodied walls were also shown, seemingly to indicate that the militia members were shot.
These may have been the executions of civilians that Dr. Kassir, who is quoted in the CBS story, was referring to.
The footage “obtained by CBS” is identical to that put out by Al-Qaeda. But Logan makes no mention of Al-Qaeda’s video and does not address the implication that the footage she used was off an Al-Qaeda video. And if it’s not off the Al-Qaeda video, then how did she get footage identical to the one used by Al-Qaeda? This needs to be explained.
Furthermore, and this is the most damning indication of journalistic incompetence, Logan makes no mention about the affiliation of these insurgents fighting on Haifa Street. Not even the slightest mention is made that Al-Qaeda is taking credit for the fighting there. On the contrary, the audience is treated to a blanket accusation by an anonymous civilian (wearing a headdress in the insurgent manner) denouncing the Americans and the destruction they’ve brought to bear on Haifa Street. Hey Logan, how about tempering your report with something about insurgent activity? The report sounded as if the American and Iraqi forces were pounding Haifa Street for the fun of it.
It would seem that the Al-Furqan propagandists exhibited more journalistic accuracy than CBS News on this count.