If you thought the Iraqi Prison Scandal was bad then you ain’t seen nothing yet. It appears that NBC News may have caught a U.S. marine shooting a wounded Iraqi insurgent in the face inside a mosque in Falluja.
The Iraqi was one of five wounded prisoners left in the mosque after Marines had fought their way in on Friday and Saturday. There was no immediate comment from the Pentagon on the report.
U.S. forces launched an offensive one week ago on Falluja, and have gained overall control of the formerly rebel-held city, although scattered resistance remains.
The pool report by NBC correspondent Kevin Sites said the mosque had been used by insurgents to attack U.S. forces, who stormed it and an adjacent building, killing 10 militants and wounding the five.
Sites said the wounded had been left in the mosque for others to pick up and move to the rear for treatment. No reason was given why that had not happened.
A second group of Marines entered the mosque on Saturday after reports it had been reoccupied. Footage from the embedded television crew showed the five still in the mosque, although several appeared to be already close to death, Sites said.
He said one Marine noticed one of the prisoners was still breathing.
A Marine can be heard saying on the pool footage provided to Reuters Television: “He’s fucking faking he’s dead. He faking he’s fucking dead.”
“The Marine then raises his rifle and fires into the man’s head. The pictures are too graphic for us to broadcast,” Sites said. No images of the shooting were shown in the footage provided to Reuters.
Oh yeah, that’s going to win their hearts and minds alright. Granted these were people that had been shooting at the marines for the better part of the week and the stress levels of everyone involved was probably at the breaking point, but that doesn’t excuse what happened nor will it stop the bad press this is going to get in the Middle East. They’re going to have a field day with this one.
Update: Looks like CNN has picked up the story including the video of the shooting.