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.
"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!!!
Oops, make that: "We let them go from fear of losing a public relations battle".
Every military Tactical Operations Center has a lawyer on duty to make the "tough" decision whether to hit a target or not. It's more of the "law enforcement instead of war" problem.
Tell me one time in the past we have bombed or wanted ot bomb at a funeral besides this one? If you can, I would like to see it. If there has not been a time, then how would this particular ROE been scrutinized? It would not have. Since you know all, look into your crystal ball and tell me what stocks to buy next week.
88...89...whatever it takes.
I don't have access to targeting data.
Buy a lot of GE, then they may split again, and my portfolio will be appreciative.
Thanks,, they were lined up real tight too..
Should have been: "Oops, we didn't realize it was a funeral/cemetary."
War is never pretty nor is everything always done as everyone would want it to be. ROE are general but modified or adapted as needs arise. Bombing a funeral procession is not at the top of the list of ROE. Since there is not a time I am aware of that we have bombed or wanted to bomb a funeral, then this particular ROE would have been buried. It would not have been widely known because those in conflict would have only cared about ROE as pertaining to dealing with hostile forces that are fighting or fleeing, not at a funeral. All the arm chair generals that are so willing to lay blame at GW or the the military command should take a break, step back and stand down. If the information I read that Ollie North stated this ROE was drawn up under the Clinton adminstration then GW may not have been aware of it. Since Clinton fought two campaigns during his tenure, they may have added or modified this ROE.
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