For some reason, the following photo, taken from the scene of a supposed Israeli missile strike that hit a REUTERS truck, does not look like missile damage to me...
I'll be working on pulling more photos off of the wire today, and will post them to this article as soon as I get a chance. Until then, what do my military readers think of this photo?
UPDATE 12:29 EST: I dunno, maybe I'm being a little bit too jumpy here. Is this a normal "missile hole" for a heavily armoured SUV? It still doesn't look like typical damage from an Israeli missile to me, though. Is there any chance that it was fired by one of our typical militants? Noticce what this gentleman is carrying, for instance. This is, to my recollection, a rocket launcher, is it not? And this kind of rocket is capable of puncturing armored cars, but wouldn't be nearly as powerful as a missile would be.
I'm thinking that the Palestinians launched a rocket from a balcony somewhere, just to incite some international condemnation. As usual.
UPDATE 20:50 EST: I've posted the pictures of the "victims" and their entourage on the wires. I don't want to be too rash, but from the looks of these pictures alone, I'm leaning towards this whole event being staged. I've also noted that Powerline is way ahead of me here, not to anyone's surprise. I'm working on catching up with the wires now, so I'll hopefully be able to post some more detailed analysis shortly.
UPDATE 28-AUG-2006 07:20 EST: Another shot was posted to the wire this morning, a different angle of our green-shirted Screamer. Notice the prominent cell phone earpiece in this shot, and ask yourself if you think it's appropriate in this kind of scenario. It strikes me as being a bit odd.
UPDATE 10:49 EST: Reader Will informs us, via e-mail, that my theory of the truck being hit by an RPG is unlikely. To quote Will,
A suggestion that it was an RPG (fired by the Palestinians) that hit the Reuters van isn't likely, (though it is remotely possible).
A shaped charge (which is used in the PG-7s typically carried) usually leaves a melted spot on armored vehicles (they function by forming a jet of plasma that then penetrates the armored vehicles) If the vehicle is unarmored (which the roof doesn't appear too well armored in these photos) the penetration would have been much better...
Will sent the attached photo, which is a standard 55-gallon drum
(ok, the link is an inside joke) that was taken out by an M42 shaped charge, and it definitely looks nothing like our truck's damage. Ah well, so much for that little theory. Will does go on to say,
In an armored vehicle, the roof wouldn't likely be dented, and the melt pattern would be much more apparent on the entry. The Reuters vehicle has none of this.
This certainly isn't from any sort of direct hit, so if I gave them the benefit of the doubt, I would say that they may have caught some stray frag from being too close to an actual target of attack.
Added to the photos of the "injuries" - which are most definitely staged, I would say that this is certainly a fake, with the mechanism of damage being kinetic energy (such as something really large being dropped on it or a stray piece of fragmentation) rather than any sort of munitions "hit".
Thanks for the input, Will! It's letters like this that keep me honest. Many thanks to all of my military readers, who continue to make up for my distinct lack of knowledge on weapons systems!UPDATE 15:37 EST:
Reader Pablo at The Jawa Report
informs us that Getty has a photograph of the interior of the vehicle up and available. Needless to say, if this were really a missile, there'd be considerably
more damage than this. This story is 1000% bogus!UPDATE 29-AUG-2006 11:14 EST:
Allah Pundit has discovered some very interesting information
about the types of weaponry which might
have caused this damage. Nothing definite yet, but it's certainly something to think about.UPDATE 15:37 EST: Ace
and Allah Pundit
are calling for restraint on this story. Yes, the IDF has admitted that it targeted a vehicle (curiously enough, this admission is not listed on their website
at present), and yes, Allah Pundit's previous article regarding possible explanations for the damage are fairly convincing. I'm leaving the story and photos out there, for the record, as I am still confident that the reaction provided in the photographic record is definitely another Pallywood acting production.
Thank you for the words of restraint, Ace. That's the wonderful thing about the blogosphere:âunlike the traditional press, we editorialize in the open
. Our readers see what we're thinking, they see our decision-making process, and they see how a story develops out in the open. As a result, they're getting far more information than they'd ever
get from a more traditional source.
(As a late addition to the above thought, this just occurred to me:âOur corrections during the development of a story are also
public record, front and center. On a story earlier today
, Allah Pundit himself pointed out something that I had missed, and I incorporated the correction into the main story itself. In the press, when a mistake is made and
admitted publically (a rare event), it's placed in a corrections column, buried far away from the actual story itself. Newspapers put them deep in their print editions, television news stories may spend 30 seconds discussing mistakes at the end of a program. Chalk this up as another reason why the "new" media is more open and honest
than more "traditional" sources.)UPDATE 19:16 EST:
It seems that Allah Pundit is signing off from this controversy
. I can certainly understand his point of view, but I think there're too many unknowns about this whole situation to give in so easily. While it's entirely possible that the SUV was hit (directly or not), the reaction of the people surrounding it
is suspicious at best. If you look closely at the photograph of the dashboard, there is clearly
a portion of the vinyl that appears to be melted. So perhaps, there was some breech of the armor, but does that explain the reactions we see around the hospital? I mean, do normal men conveniently scream in agony, when cameras are present? Especially if there's no known relationship between them and someone who's injured? I'd tend to suggest that they do not. Something still smells fishy about the story, and we still
do not have official, public
word from named
officials at the IDF accepting blame for hitting this truck.
Was the truck carrying terrorists, in violation of the neutrality of the press? It's not like the Palestinians have never done something like that before!
Allah Pundit, don't write this controversy off so quickly. I'm not advocating that we jump after controversies that aren't, and I'm not suggesting thatâgiven the full facts and informationâwe continue to blog over something that's disproven. But I do think it's too early for the jury to be out on this one.UPDATE 30-AUG-2006 09:59 EST:
A number of readers have commented that the IDF has admitted to targeting this press vehicle. If you read every article written
about the event, though, you'll quickly discover that we're getting unconfirmed anonymous reports
from the IDF, and not
any form of official statement!AP (via Miami Herald)
: "The Israeli army
said it was checking the report."AP (via Cleveland Plain Dealer)
: "The Israeli army said
no press markings were visible..."UPI
: "An Israeli army spokeswoman
said the vehicle was driving suspiciously and came near Israeli forces during a predawn raid that killed two Hamas militants. The Israeli military was investigating
how the troops failed to recognize the vehicle as being used by the news media."
Are anonymous sources always accurate? If the information is as definite as some of you would have us believe, wouldn't you expect that there would be named sources
making the statements? Wouldn't you expect there to be at least one
In fact, the only named source providing information I could find was this
"During the operation, there was an aerial attack on a suspicious vehicle that drove in a suspicious manner right by the forces and in between the Palestinian militant posts," Israeli army spokeswoman Capt Noa Meir said.
"This car was not identified by the army as a press vehicle. If journalists were hurt, we regret it." [all emphasis mine]
Of course, notice the big if
in this apology. The IDF is not
convinced that it struck a Press vehicle, the facts are not
fully in at this point. So why are we rushing to condemn the IDF for something that we're, once again, not sure they did?
So let's stop the "IDF has already apologized" lie. They haven't.
I don't mean to be blogging a dead horse here, but I still don't think we're getting the full
story. I've approached this story as cautiously as possible from the very
beginning. I'm not out to create controversy out of thin air, and there's no
doubting that some of these men suffered very real
injuries (that leg injury is too genuine to fake, as is the look of shock on the injured man's face). The question is not
"if" there were journalists injured. The question is, and remains, What are the circumstances surrounding their injury?
When the case is definitely proven against the IDF, I'll consider this story closed, and will publically state right here
that I held out in error. If the facts point to the IDF being responsible for injuring journalists, then let the condemnation come out then
, NOT now.UPDATE 11:09 EST:
Alright, I get it. Rather than being reduced to parody
, I'll throw in the towel on this story. There is
enough evidence that the vehicle was hit by something
. There is
enough evidence of actual injury. The actors in this play are unsavory, yes, but that's not reason enough to doubt what has been reported to have happened.
It was a fun run, but I'm just gonna have to say,
Curses! Foiled again!UPDATE 12:00 EST:
I'd be remiss if I didn't at least keep the list of articles related to this story up to date:The Jawa Report
issues a very strong defence of the position I formerly held:ânamely, that the blogosphere exists to question
official reports, to question
the "unquestionable," and to investigate things the "regular" generally will refuse to. I commend Rusty for his stance, even if this story is all but done. Confederate Yankee
says something to the same effect, I think. His website's down at the moment (so much for the stability of mu.nu, huh?), so I can't tell for certain. SeeDub
responds by stating that it absolutely
matters whether a missile or shrapnel hit the truck.Allah Pundit
has provided us with more information on why the truck was hit by something real
. My hat's off, as usual.
The story may be essentially disproven at this point, but let's not turn that into a victory against the blogosphere. We're here to ask the questions the press is uncomfortable with, after all, and I think we've done that very
well in this instance. All too well.UPDATE 15:46 EST: Confederate Yankee
has received information from armoured-car manufacturers indicating that the damage to our vehicle in question is not consistent with any form of traditional weapons systems, and accompanies it with a ringing defence of those who continue to question this story.Blogroll:
Here're the other blogs that are currently talking about this story: Powerline, LGF, Riehl World View, The Jawa Report, Pajamas Media
Notice how we're showcasing the bloody cameras:
Here's a second angle of the first picture, with the exact same pose. Both photographers were doing their best to document a very dramatic, yet almost completely fake moment.UPDATE 28-AUG-2006 07:20 EST:
Here is the latest photo to cross the wires. Notice the guy with the earpiece which is most likely going to his cell phone? It's an odd time to need one of those, but it really stands out in this particular shot.
Pablo, next time why not try posting a comment here at Snapped Shot? We don't bite!
Here's the interior of our "missiled" SUV. I've seen more damage from a cigarette burn, frankly. This story is 1000% bogus, and REUTERS, again, is left with more questions to NOT answer.UPDATE 31-AUG-2006 07:12 EST:
I'm turning on moderation for this article. It seems to have shown up in some Spambot's index, unfortunately.
Tags: ahmad khateib