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OP/ED: Dead Reporters and Mass Graves - Jihad Respun?

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posted on May, 23 2005 @ 02:33 PM
As far back as March 2003, skeptical yet disturbing reports have leaked out of Iraq telling of the discovery of mass graves containing the corpses of Westerners, and of black body bags being dumped from U.S. helicopters into rivers under cover of darkness. In August 2003, a Reuters reporter investigating these claims was shot and killed by "friendly fire". Then, in September 2004, Islamic websites posted photographs of an apparent mass grave containing what were claimed to be the bodies of 16 Western soldiers. Finally, in November 2004, a video taken at the scene of the same mass grave was published on the Web. The reports are, at best, difficult to believe and have generally been dismissed as propaganda spread by Islamic websites affiliated with insurgents in Iraq. Let's take a closer look.


In August 2003, award-winning Reuters cameraman-reporter, Mazen Dana, was shot and killed by the U.S. military. Dana was a veteran of conflict reporting, much of his career spent focusing on the Israel-Palestine conflict. In the course of reporting on the Intifada uprisings, he was shot and wounded several times by Israeli forces.

external image
Click images for award description and biography respectively.

According to family and colleagues, before his death Dana related to them how he had discovered and filmed mass graves dug by the U.S military containing the bodies of soldiers killed in battles with Iraqi insurgents, as well as the bodies of U.S. troops in plastic bags in remote desert areas of Iraq. A piece by colleague, Kawther Salam, describes the discovery:

Secret Burials in the Desert
Mazen's scoop began when he realized that that the U.S. troops were burying human bodies wrapped in plastic in the desert. Initially, he thought that these were the bodies of Iraqi people. He kept watching and investigating the activities of the U.S. troops. He kept developing his scoop, working around different U.S. units and military jails, trying to figure out where the bodies had come from, and whether they were Iraqi or not.

Ultimately he found a source, a U.S. mercenary, who told him that those buried were not Iraqis, but mercenaries who had been promised green cards and U.S. citizenship in return for serving in the U.S. Army. Besides, according to this source, not few of those interred were Americans who had been killed in combat. Mazen had been able to film the activities of the U.S. army, and their secret mass graves.
Alt. source

Just days before his death, Dana supposedly contacted his family and told them he felt the U.S. army intelligence was watching him, and that he feared for his life.

Secret Burials in the Desert (cont...)
Since he had become aware of what the Americans were doing in the desert, he kept the secret to himself. The intelligence units of the U.S. Army probably knew that Mazen was uncovering, and they must have feared that their secret desert burials would expose the Pentagon and the Army for involvement in a big scandal.
During his last days, Mazen felt that the U.S. Army were observing him. Ten days before his death, he called home to Hebron and told his family that he feared for his life because of the story he was investigating, and he promised them to return as soon as he had finished his research.


At noon on Sunday August 17, 2003, just days after a U.S. tank fired on the Palestine Hotel killing two Reuters journalists (video - relevant report at 6:00 mark), Dana and sound technician Nael al-Shyoukhi were filming just outside the now infamous Abu Ghraib detention facility. The two journalists apparently had been cleared to film the area by military officials, and had just left the base after asking for permission to interview an officer there. Dana got out of the vehicle to film a U.S. tank approaching the base. It was then that the tank's machine-gunner shot at Dana, striking him in the chest and killing him. Following the event, spokespersons for the Pentagon stated that the tank crew mistook Dana's camera for a shoulder-mounted grenade launcher.
external image

Journalist's Death Sparks an Outcry -
Dana's camera apparently was mistaken for a grenade launcher, even though he and his crew had been cleared by military officials.

Dana, the 15th journalist killed in the Iraq conflict, was the second Reuters journalist to die by U.S. tank fire in Iraq. His death came days after a controversial military investigation cleared U.S. forces of improper conduct in the deaths of two journalists in a Baghdad hotel in April. The military released selected portions of that report, prompting Reuters to demand a "full and public disclosure" of whatever any investigation into Sunday's shooting reveals. "We want the public to be able to see the report," spokesman Kyle Arteaga says.

"I saw Mazen. He screamed one time, and he was putting his hand on his chest and fell down," Nael al-Shyoukhi, who had been working with Dana as a sound technician, told the Associated Press.

"I saw the American soldiers around us, and I screamed to the same soldier who shot him ... 'You see him with a camera; why did you shoot him?' "

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

Below - A frame capture from Dana's camera of the U.S. tank just
before the soldier on top opened fired and killed him.

Dana's family suspects that he was murdered by the U.S. military to prevent his investigations on the mass graves being made public.

Reuters Cameraman Killed For Filming U.S. Graves: Brother -
AL-KHALIL, West Bank, August 19 ( - The brother of Reuters cameraman Mazen Dana said he was deliberately murdered for discovering mass graves of U.S. troops killed in Iraqi resistance attacks.

"The U.S. troops killed my brother in cold blood," Nazmi Dana told in exclusive statements.

"The U.S. occupation troops shot dead my brother on purpose, although he was wearing his press badge, which was also emblazoned on the car he was driving," he said.

He also recalled that his brother had obtained a prior permit from the U.S. occupation authorities in Iraq to film in the site.
"Mazen told me by phone few days before his death that he discovered a mass grave dug by U.S. troops to conceal the bodies of their fellow comrades killed in Iraqi resistance attacks," Nazmi said.

"He also told me that he found U.S. troops covered in plastic bags in remote desert areas and he filmed them for a TV program. We are pretty sure that the American forces had killed Mazen knowingly to prevent him from airing his finding."


Dana's death, and his purported investigations faded into the fog of war until September 2004, when images began circulating on Islamic websites, such as, showing an unearthed mass grave which contained the bodies of - they allege - sixteen foreigners. The corpses appeared to be at an advanced state of decay and somewhat mummified by the dry sand.

The hyperlinks below link to websites showing the images. Discretion is advised as the images are of a graphic nature.



The images show mummified corpses in black body bags, stripped of all clothing and any items by which they might be identified. The least decayed of the bodies appears to possess Western features and complexion, and shows a Western-style tattoo on the upper right arm. Another photograph, however, shows a corpse that, if not wrapped in a sheet, is wearing what could be traditional Muslim robes.

Two months after these images were released, an apparent video of the event was published on, and later picked up by other Islamic websites. A link to the video is provided below. Discretion is advised as the video images are of a graphic nature. (4.4Mb - Windows Media)


According to notorious website,, the narrator lists reasons why the corpses can be identified as foreigners:

•The bodies are tall, unlike Iraqis or many other Middle Eastern nationalities.

•The bodies were wrapped in the type of plastic bags used only by Americans.

•Their complexions when the bodies are not completely burned and could be inspected are mostly white.

•Their teeth are well maintained unlike those of individuals in poorer countries like Iraq.


The jihadunspun article also states that the report accompanying the video mentions that:

...interviews with some soldiers and officers who refused to give their names confirmed the identity of soldiers and the validity of the findings, in addition to the Iraqi fishermen who witnessed the dumping of bodies into the river by copters in the early hours of the morning over a long period of time.


Comparing the video with the photographs originally published, an inconsistency is apparent. The photograph of the Western-looking body and the photograph of the body in a white sheet/robes do not appear in the video. This, combined with the much less decayed appearance of both of those two corpses, would perhaps indicate that those images were deliberately added in with the real pictures of the mass grave in order to give a false impression, and thereby attempt to corroborate the claim that the corpses were of foreigners. Without the image of the tattooed body, the only evidence possibly pointing to the bodies being of Western origin lies in the body bags, and the condition of the corpses' teeth. Conclusions based on apparent complexion could most likely be ruled out due to the state of decay, plus the bleaching effect of the sand and mummification. Conclusions based on height are too vague to be considered evidence. The claim that Iraqis are shorter than Westerners is a gross generalization.

So, it seems that without further examination of the corpses, or further evidence coming to light, the bodies unearthed at Fallujah will remain John Does. Are they coalition soldiers? Are they, as Internet rumour says, amateur mercenaries - illegal aliens from the United States promised a green card in return for service on the front line? Or are they Iraqi victims of one of Saddam Hussein's previous massacres?

A few more questions need to be asked; some of which admittedly do not rule out the "green card mercenary" theory, and they are:

1. How often do soldiers make contact with their families? Some of the Islamic websites publishing this content have cited the Pentagon's attempts to hide casualty rates as motivation for the mass graves and alleged body dumps. The claim that these are U.S. soldiers seems impossible, since the casualties would be impossible to hide. You can't make a soldier "not be dead" by hiding the body. When a soldier failed to contact his/her family or failed to return from a tour of duty, the military would have to declare that soldier either KIA - body not retrieved, or MIA, thus precluding any attempt to hide casualty figures.

2. Would American or coalition soldiers seriously do this to their own comrades in arms? I should imagine officers would have a "mutiny" on their hands if they asked soldiers to commit such an act.

3. If Mazen Dana actually did film the U.S. military digging such graves an/or bodies in bags in remote regions of Iraq, then what happened to the film? Who has it now?

I must admit, if it weren't for the death of respected journalist Mazen Dana combined with the mention of the nature of his investigations as made by his colleagues and family, I would have rapidly dismissed these claims of mass graves and body dumps as mere fictional propaganda. As it stands, I am still undecided. I realize that I have set myself up to be scorned and derided for even spending the time to investigate claims made by "the enemy". So be it, my only agenda is the truth.

Your thoughts, observations or findings?

EDIT: Fixed video link.


Recipe For Terror: Assassinated Reuters Cameraman Uncovered Evidence of Mass US Casualties in Iraq

Calls for Probe into Killing of Cameraman

Soldiers found in shallow graves

New Report, Footage Surfaces On Mass Graves Of US Soldiers

Cameraman Killed While Filming the Truth in Iraq?

Weapons of Mass Deception: New Film Documents How the Corporate Media Muzzled the Truth About Iraq

Green-Card Soldiers

Dead recruit's father wages campaign against 'green card Marines'

US attacked over green card soldiers

[edit on 2005/5/23 by wecomeinpeace]

posted on May, 23 2005 @ 02:53 PM
This seems to be a case of 2+2=100.
The graves and photos are those of the dead servicemen that were discovered a few years ago and were internationaly televised. There were no 100's, the death toll has not come anywhere near the number of americans lost during the Vietnam war.
if there were anywhere close to that number, don't you think that it would not have been noticed? Don't you think that the families of the "missing" soldier's bodies would have caused a huge outcry from the families?
Common now, let's be realistic here.

posted on May, 23 2005 @ 03:01 PM
Although its a great write up, I have to conclude its mostly propaganda. As the person above said, if so many people were dead and unaccounted for, their relatives would be yelling everywhere.

Besides a camera and a bazooka may look the same if they are pointed directly at you and you are jumpy and wired from just being on patrol.

posted on May, 23 2005 @ 03:31 PM
hmmmm, I wonder who submitted this article...

I have my guess.... but won't say anything..

posted on May, 23 2005 @ 03:36 PM
This isn't Russia where you can just make people disappear, and this isn't a century ago when such blatant information could be covered up. Information proliferates at an incredible speed in this day and age. If the sum of the Islamist propaganda were correct we would have sustained over 40,000 casualties at this point if I understand correctly.

You can't hide something like that for 2 years. Eventually mom and dad figure out that Johnny isn't coming home and the army has to pay out the 250,000 dollar death benefit. Of course the Jihadists would probably say that the Army is murdering the families of the fallen soldiers and burying them in the desert too. I've got some ocean front property in arizona for everyone who would buy that.

posted on May, 23 2005 @ 04:13 PM
OK so the theory of U.S mercenaries has been disproven. Who then are these people and what did that reporter actually film? Are they U.S issue body bags?

Although the mercenaries theory has a lot of holes in it it doesnt mean all the evidence disappears.

posted on May, 23 2005 @ 04:18 PM
If memory serves me ( I will do a search on it later), the bodies used in the pics were only a few americans and they had been a detachment of special ops who were captured just before or at the beginning of the iraq was. It made international news and was not covered up by any means.
The number of bodies that the article reports is extremely exagerated. Something in the neighborhood of 1 X 100.
I will be off-line for a boit but when I get back I will post a link or 2 to back the documentation of the discovery of the bodies as well as the number of bodies discovered.

posted on May, 23 2005 @ 08:09 PM
Of the world ay?

I have to say, alot of your articles people have been talking about for god knows how long.

Oh and btw, that isn't the ONLY US massgrave that was found.

There exists footage of another one, and if you ask me Rrrreeeally nicely, then i'll go looking for it.

How can the hide the numbers you ask, well, quite simply really. You know while the vietnamn war was going on, they listed the dead as about 15 000, after the war ended they admited the dead where more like 50,000. The US government doesn't care about US lives all they care about is oil and profit. They keep the US cassuality numbers down by hiring mercinaries, and something called green card seekers. People who are not US citizens, but joined the US armed forces in the hope of getting a green card. I guess mama didn't ever teach these people, that there is no honour among thieves.

Mazen Dana, heroic Truth seeker, you are not dead, you are alive among the hearts of the righteous.

How come this article doesn't talk about the horific way in which he was killed?

posted on May, 23 2005 @ 09:02 PM

Syrian Sister There exists footage of another one, and if you ask me Rrrreeeally nicely, then i'll go looking for it.

Oh God here we go again if it existed I am sure you would have posted it at once, yeah right and I am the toothfairy.

News Flash don't hold your breathes waiting, also you can be assured if it does get posted it will come from a non-crediable source of that you can be sure

posted on May, 23 2005 @ 09:58 PM
I was the first person to actually post the photos of the mass graves on this website.

But only after people asked me reallll nice.

So i suggest you be silent, unless you want the footage to silence you.

posted on May, 23 2005 @ 10:53 PM
Hmmm. how long have you been a member here Syrian Sister ? NOt long. There have been pictures of mass graves posted here before so what. It's hardly something to be proud of as you seem to be,

Anyway as usual you rant and make no sense.

posted on May, 23 2005 @ 11:16 PM
Seemingly not Rogue.

Becausewhen i mentioned them in the spiders thread, everyone was shocked and awed, and had no idea about the photo's of the mass graves.

Proud? It is you that should be ASHAMED. This is how you treat your own comrades? disgusting. But i guess there was never any honour among thieves.

No one asks how these graves where found, but the fact is, civilians heard lots of howling, in areas where wolfs where not ussually there. Wild dogs where digging up these graves.

So let it be known people, if you go off and fight for the capitalist NWO devils in the US administration, who are only after iraq's oil. All that will happen is that iraq is going to be your graveyard, the very people your fighting for, are going to burry you in the desert for the dogs to eat you. And in a thousand years time, it is your rotting carcas that is going to make up iraq's new oil supply.

[edit on 23-5-2005 by Syrian Sister]

posted on May, 23 2005 @ 11:23 PM
How do we know for sure how many American service men have lost their lives?

We know that the KIA count is around 1600 now and counting. When you add those who were classified as WIA on the ground, died later and were tallied seperately it adds up to what?

No public record of how many coffins are coming back? How hard would it be to send 3 or 4 dead guys home and only report one? You hear on the news one killed and it is your brother/son/husband and grieve. Meanwhile 2 or 3 other sisters/mothers/wives are grieving as well, thinking that one is also their Johnny come home.

Added to that these apparent mercenaries? Anyone care to guess the real death toll of American (though not necc. from America..) forces?

It might be hard to pull it off at a 10 "actually dead" to 1 "reported dead", but the lower the numbers and the easier it becomes. War ends, years later the public attention elsewhere and you can revise the numbers upward, just like after Vietnam.

posted on May, 23 2005 @ 11:29 PM
"No public record of how many coffins are coming back? How hard would it
be to send 3 or 4 dead guys home and only report one? "

You are really bright you know that? this has actually happened before, also some parents opened up the coffin of one of the soldiers that died in the war, to put in a little keep sake, and then they discover that it isn't even there kid that was in the coffin they where given.

posted on May, 23 2005 @ 11:59 PM
syrian sister are you always so easily fooled by propoganda and lies? sheep like you only spread hate and lies about america and you dont even bother to prove anything you say.

posted on May, 24 2005 @ 12:13 AM
I think most of the time Syrian Sister makes up her own propaganda. As usual she has no evidence of what she claims, yet dismisses evidence when it proves her wrong.
I really laugh sometimes when I read some of her rhetoric, talk about a paranoid ramble.

posted on May, 24 2005 @ 12:14 AM
You have photographs.

The man is dead.

You are calling mazen dana, who has died over this , a liar. And you would belive the US administration over him, an administration that has lied many many many times before. About the WMD's for one.

Open your eyes to who are the liars here.

posted on May, 24 2005 @ 12:22 AM
Hmmm, if you bothered to read the original post in this thread, those photographs are hardly what you'd call evidence.
There is plenty which doesn't ad up as has been previously stated. It seems people are just so paranoid these days.

posted on May, 24 2005 @ 12:25 AM
"I think most of the time Syrian Sister makes up her own propaganda. As usual she has no evidence of what she claims, yet dismisses evidence when it proves her wrong.
I really laugh sometimes when I read some of her rhetoric, talk about a paranoid ramble."

Yeah, like those WMD, eh? No evidence of what was claimed, not even a decent photo like the one above over which we could argue!!! The evidence that there was none proves the current administration wrong. Have they embraced or dismissed this evidence?

So we need rhetoric and paranoid ramble to justify why that man, and thousands like him, are dead.

posted on May, 24 2005 @ 12:41 AM
Whatever, I didn't think this thread was about WMD's.
If more people were like you and all it took was a suspect picture at best to believe in something, then I'm sure the US would have come up with a picture of WMD's to convince people like you.

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