Skip to comments.U.S. military investigates leaked photo (of 190 Taliban militants at funeral/cemetery. MOAB Time!)
Posted on 09/13/2006 9:09:10 AM PDT by NormsRevenge
KABUL, Afghanistan - The U.S. military said Wednesday it is looking into the unauthorized release of a photo purportedly taken by an American drone aircraft showing scores of Taliban militants at a funeral in Afghanistan.
NBC-TV claimed that U.S. Army officers wanted to attack the ceremony with missiles carried by the Predator drone, but were prevented under rules of battlefield engagement that bar attacks on cemeteries.
Lt. Tamara Lawrence, a spokeswoman with the U.S. military in Kabul, said the photograph was released to the network by someone who did not have the clearance to hand it out.
"It is an operational security issue, and the photo was released at an inappropriate level," Lawrence told The Associated Press. "Inquiries are being made into how it was released."
Lawrence declined to provide further details. It was not clear when the photo was taken nor where the gathering took place.
The grainy black and white photo shows what NBC says are some 190 Taliban militants standing in several rows near a vehicle in an open area of land. The black outline of a box apparently the sight of the drone is positioned over the group.
NBC 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.
Taliban militants this year have been waging their bloodiest campaign of violence since their 2001 ouster from power in the U.S.-led invasion launched after the Sept. 11 attacks.
The U.S. military has previously used Predator drones with deadly effect, firing one missile into a Pakistani tribal area near the Afghan border in January in a failed bid to kill al-Qaida deputy Ayman al-Zawahri. The strike killed at least 13 civilians.
the CIA leak again, eeehhhhhhhh.........
I'm thinking we should change the rules of engagement. Terrorists don't play by these rules.
Jail time for anyone who leaks.
THe last line of the story is another example of media bias......At least 13 civilians were killed//////////What about Zawahri's son-in-law and the head of their WMD efforts who was killed in that strike. Does the fact that they hide among civilians so we have to kill 'innocents' to get the bad guys matter to the media?
We seem to be acting like the British in the rev war - we seem to have to march only in a straight line with drums playing and being targets.
Bush says we are suppose to fight these guys but the lawyers won't let us fight.
When al Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah etc. start playing by the rules of battlefield engagement, that's when we should. Until such time, we should put sidewinders into muzzie schools if intelligence tells us Taliban are in there.
Don't really see how this leak is wrong. It exposed the higher up's idiocy for nto attacking. No leak and nobody would have ever known.
Maybe it should be kudos to the leaker and jail time to the one that refused to bomb...
I'm not thrilled with leaks but I'm even less thrilled with the PC warfare crap.
Why didn't we just wait until they left the cemetery and hit them on the surrounding roads ?????????
Yeah, I'd like to see an investigation into why this target wasn't attacked? Because we couldn't, or because we wouldn't?
Exactly. This is the type of leak that those actually doing the fighting have to make in order to get anything done, or so it appears.
We keep fighting this war the PC way, and it will never end....
I think it's wouldn't... since that drone was hellfire equipped.
I wonder if the NYT will do an investigative story on who established a policy that would allow 190 Taliban to go out and terrorize and possible kill American soldiers.
I envison terrorists loading their arms caches, bombs and anyone they want to smuggle into coffins and having "funeral ceremonies" for however long it takes to transport their goodies safely to their destination. Hey Ahmed, we can even trasport that dirty bomb you made right into American turf- just don't forget to put the gladiolas on top.
For example: please suppose that a top US intelligence asset was at that funeral...
That's the kind of concerns that are involved in these decisions. The enemy does not need any insight into those concerns.
I've seen the story but not the photo. Anybody have a link to it?
It was reported on another thread today on FR regarding this photo that LTC Oliver North stated this "no fire policy at a funeral" was put in place under Clinton and was no one realized this as an issue until this funeral occurred. Evidently, Bush has recently changed or going to change this.
Pull the trigger!!!!
1. Another leak.
2. Another missed opportunity to kill our enemies due to some misguided rule.
President Bush needs to prosecute all leakers asap and ensure our troops can do their jobs w/out PC limitations. The last part may involve making some adjustments to the current ROE.
If we have to avoid hitting a funeral or cemetary due to the laws of warfare - ok, but let our guys hit them as they leave. If it's a b.s. rule we've added on our own - repeal it now!
Just an FYI, Sidewinders are infrared guided air-to-air missles. They don't work on ground targets. The Maverick, on the other hand is an air to surface missle. Best choice would be 1,000 pound to 2,000 pound JDAM's.
Geeze, the collatarol damage is already dead.
"killed at least 13 civilians"... last I heard they were ALL civilians. If they were "military" the fight would have been over long ago and the ROE would be significantly less restrictive.
This whole thing sounds like a set up job to ham handedly try to show that the Clinton bunch were no more screwed up than the Bush crew when it comes to whacking terrorist. Nice try but it won't work.
Oh for the good old days when our military had warriors such as Patton and McArthur, who knew what needed to be done and did it in spite of stupid Pentagon rules. Now we have brass that is more worried about preserving their rank and pension bennies than winning wars and protecting their soldiers.
Suicide blast at Afghan governor's funeral (Australian Broadcasting Corporation - Last Updated 12/09/2006)
At least six people have been killed in a suicide attack at the funeral service of an assassinated Afghan governor.
Thanks for that, I am a munitions neophyte... but hey, it's the thought that counts. Perhaps an .88 Magnum ? :)
We keep fighting this war the PC way, and it will never end....
Worth repeating. I hope they never find the leaker and instead change this ridiculous Clintonesque policy. There is no excuse for this crap.
This is absolute madness.
- Releasing classified photos that clearly reveal our capabilities, and possibly methods?
- Or that the military can observe such a target-rich environment and can't shoot to kill because someone might get upset.
Is this a war or a slow suicide by PC?
It is obvious the lawyers are still running the Pentagon.
When we killed Zarqawi, the media wrung their hands because we killed his teenaged wife in that same attack.
Live with a gangster, die by his side. Eva Braun and Bonnie Parker learned this.
No, first I had heard of the story.. it's probably out there somewhere..
I don't want to either if it means ya might end up in jail like a Marine or two have of late, darn those ROE sometimes.
Better yet, destroy all access channels out of the cemetary, and let them die there. Convenient.
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-NY, arrives for the Sept. 11, 2001 commemoration ceremony in New York on Monday, Sept. 11, 2006. This year marks the five year anniversary of the attacks. (AP PHOTO/Justin Lane, pool)
So you have this:
"[american] rules of battlefield engagement that bar attacks on cemeteries"
And then you have this:
"At least six people have been killed in a suicide attack at the funeral service of an assassinated Afghan governor"
Unless they are controlled leaks...
"No one realized this is an issue until THIS funeral"?? Give me a break.
For safety all the Taliban have to do now is to carry a coffin everywhere they go and pretend it's funeral.
We're our own worst enemy. Patton's rolling in his grave.
**I've seen the story but not the photo.**
Yep. Let the outrage build, then reveal the photo was taken during the clinton administration (for example)...
How many of these Taliban will now live to kill Coalition forces or innocent Afghany civilians because of our baffling PC rules of engagement? We can put them in their graves, but we can't "disturb" their graves after we kill them, even if it means letting 190 of the enemy go free to kill us another day? The WOT is a farce with all these limitations we place on our troops, which accounts for why so many of our brave warriors are rotting in military jails, accused of various acts of "brutality" or "murder". The enemy is at war with us, following no rules whatsoever, while we let them go from fear of losing a publications battle. How they must laugh our stupidity.
Right, over 6 yrs and a war, and no one realised this policy was in effect!!??
Not to be able to take out those killers who will kill and murder their own people, is taking "not wanting to be seen as Crusaders" to the limit!
Fight or get out!!!