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Military Declined to Bomb Group of Taliban at Funeral
 

By LOLITA C. BALDOR
Associated Press Writer September 14, 05:25 PM EST

WASHINGTON (AP) - The U.S. military acknowledged Wednesday that it considered bombing a group of more than 100 Taliban insurgents in southern Afghanistan but decided not to after determining they were on the grounds of a cemetery.

(ap) - This should be Positive News for the American Leftist Media, shouldn't it?... We did not Attack a Funeral @ a Cemetery. Why is this "Controversial"?... If we had Bombed it, there would have been Controversy over that also. This story, that should have been over yesterday, is a Prime Example of why no matter what the US Military does, it will be Spun into something Controversial. - tha malcontent)

The decision came to light after an NBC News correspondent's blog carried a photograph of the insurgents. Defense department officials first tried to block further publication of the photo, then struggled to explain what it depicted.

(Seriously... Say what you mean, AP. - tha malcontent)

NBC News claimed U.S. Army officers wanted to attack the ceremony with missiles carried by an unmanned Predator drone but were prevented under rules of battlefield engagement that bar attacks on cemeteries.

(Again, a good Policy in according to the Left, yet it is being Spun as something far less than Good. - tha malcontent)

In a statement released Wednesday, the U.S. military in Afghanistan said the picture - a grainy black-and-white photo taken in July - was given to a journalist to show that Taliban insurgents were congregating in large groups. The statement said U.S. forces considered attacking.

(And had they, it would have been wall-to-wall Coverage and there would have been Protests Worldwide over it. We would have had Statements from John Kerry and Dick Durbin Condemning the Action with Comparisons of our Soldiers to Nazis and Saddam's Military. - tha malcontent)

"During the observation of the group over a significant period of time, it was determined that the group was located on the grounds of (the) cemetery and were likely conducting a funeral for Taliban insurgents killed in a coalition operation nearby earlier in the day," the statement said. "A decision was made not to strike this group of insurgents at that specific location and time."

(More good 411, yet I get this Tone from the AP that they are being Critical of the Military for not Killing these "Alleged Insurgents"... Interesting. - tha malcontent)

While not giving a reason for the decision, the military concluded the statement saying that while Taliban forces have killed innocent civilians during a funeral, coalition forces "hold themselves to a higher moral and ethical standard than their enemies."

(Uh, yeah!... Of course, the AP doesn't believe a word of it, as their Wire Copy Illustrates on a Daily. - tha malcontent)

The photo shows what NBC News says are 190 Taliban militants standing in several rows near a vehicle in an open area of land. Gunsight-like brackets were positioned over the group in the photo.

("What NBC News says"?... When are they the Authority? - tha malcontent)

The photo appeared on NBC News correspondent Kerry Sanders' blog. Initially military officials called it an unauthorized release, but they later said it was given to the journalist.

(For what Purposes, is the Question... By the way, Sander's is one of my Children in the Blogosphere... They all are. - tha malcontent)

NBC News had quoted one Army officer who was involved with the spy mission as saying "we were so excited" that the group had been spotted and was in the sights of a U.S. drone. But the network quoted the officer, who was not identified, as saying that frustration soon set in after the officers realized they couldn't bomb the funeral under the military's rules of engagement.

(I really, REALLY Hate Unnamed Sources... It Stinks of Dishonesty, and always has. - tha malcontent)

Defense Department officials have said repeatedly that while they try to be mindful of religious and cultural sensitivities, they make no promises that such sites can always be avoided in battle because militants often seek cover in those and other civilian sites.

(It's called Collateral Damage, AP... You Know this. Deliberately Targeting Civilians is what Clinton had the Butcher of Belgrade do back during his Tenure... That would be Former General Wesley Clark (D-Failed Presidential Candidate) - tha malcontent)

Mosques and similar locations have become frequent sites of violence in the U.S.-led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and they have often been targets of insurgents and sectarian fighting in Iraq.

(That has an Insinuation that the US is Responsible for Violence @ Mosques... Just what our Enemy wants from you, AP. Quality work as usual! - tha malcontent)
 


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