Welcome, Spectator readers and fellow Melanie Phillips fans!
For more information about the references she makes here, please see my followup article. And, if you like what you see here, feel free to subscribe to my feed—I'd love to hear what you think of the craziness that goes on over on this silly website. And if you ever see anything else that looks odd, be sure to let me know about it. We love covering photojournalism over here. One frame at a time!
Final Update on Tank Round: The mystery of the fired round is solved, courtesy "Faux" News?
I'm not sure what my Lightstalking friends are going to think about that little twist, but this is pretty convincing evidence.
I still think the questions regarding what he was doing there and what exactly the IDF was firing at need to be addressed, but this definitely seems to answer any controversy surrounding the circumstances of his death, as the other videos answered the controversy surrounding the "strange" sequence of the wire photos.
Interjection: I think the question that forest asks of our Lightstalkers is important enough to highlight here. He asks, to wit:—
The discussion at Lightstalkers is pretty interesting. I wonder if there could ever be a situation where some of those people would consider that a journalist might have been a bit too chummy with terrorists? Or may actually be a terrorist armed with a camera instead of a gun? I think it's a mindset where advocacy journalism is accepted in place of old fashioned journalistic standards of impartiality.
If they want to advocate, they should get out of professional journalism and start a blog or something.
The highlighted portion is particularly interesting. After all, if professional journalists "embed" themselves with terrorist forces that in the best cases wear no formal uniform—and in the worst, play "dress up"—should we really be surprised if they are eventually mistaken as being a terrorist?Update: The Israeli Defence Forces are denying responsibility for Fadel's death:
An Israeli military official expressed sorrow but said the IDF did not accept responsibility for the killing. The official said that Israeli forces had only fired at armed militants who were shooting at them from close range. It did not know what kind of missile had struck the press vehicle, and it was unaware of reports of a second attack minutes later. The incident is being investigated, the official said.
Journalists had been drawn to the area to cover the aftermath of a bloody air-strike launched in support of Israeli armoured troops, who had crossed into Gaza in the wake of a Hamas ambush which killed three soldiers. Survivors said three militants died along with at least six others - a woman, two children and three members of a non-violent Islamic sect - when Israeli aerial missiles struck a mosque and houses in the hamlet of Johara a'diq, near Bureij in central Gaza.
This definitely bolsters the claim that Shana was in close proximity to a Hamas rocket squad, which the tank was directly aiming for. Whether or not this is true, I would hope that the IDF will make all evidence from their investigation public, so that we can all see the truth surrounding this tragic incident, no matter what the conclusion.
I also hope that the press would learn a valuable lesson from this, and perhaps take the time to think twice about whether they really need to be sending journalists out withopenly hostileterrorists.
Should our press agencies really be in the business of providing them?
[Ed.:—What follows is the original story. I have rearranged the content so that it is in standard chronological order. Hopefully, this will make it a bit easier to read!]
Reader Jordan B. writes in regarding the death of Reuters videographer Fadal Shanaa yesterday, pointing out some very interesting discrepancies with the photographic report.
NOTE: Because this will require the visual inspection of the evidence, I am electing to post a limited set of Associated Press photographs here. I do respect the AP's Copyrights, and have no intention of raising their ire once more, but think that a full discussion of the inconsistencies in this photo series would be nearly impossible without being able to reference the images directly. As always, if any of the wire service legal departments have any problem with this policy, contact me immediately, and I will take the appropriate corrective action.
With the disclaimer out of the way, allow me to relay what Jordan found. In the first picture, Jordan points out:
An ambulance passes by the burning vehicle of Reuters cameraman Fadel Shana after he was killed in Gaza April 16, 2008. REUTERS/Yassir Qdeah (GAZA)
A firefighter shouts near the burning vehicle of Reuters cameraman Fadel Shana after he was killed in Gaza April 16, 2008. A Reuters cameraman and two other Palestinian civilians were killed on Wednesday in what local residents said was an Israeli air strike in the Gaza Strip. Shana, 23, was covering violence in the enclave for the London-based international news agency. REUTERS/Yassir Qdeah (GAZA)
Firefighters hose down the car of Reuters news agency cameraman Fadal Shana after an Israeli strike in southeast Gaza City, which killed Shana and two bystanders Wednesday, April 16, 2008. Israel struck hard against targets in Gaza on Wednesday, killing at least 20 Palestinians in a day of heavy fighting that also saw three Israeli soldiers killed in a brazen Hamas ambush. (AP Photo/Wissam Nassar)
A medic tries to lift a body of a Palestinian boy as the body of Fadel Shana, a 23-year-old Palestinian cameraman for the Reuters news agency lies on the ground at right moments after an Israeli strike hit the area in southeast Gaza City Wednesday, April 16, 2008. Israel struck hard against targets in Gaza on Wednesday, killing at least 20 Palestinians in a day of heavy fighting that also saw three Israeli soldiers killed in a brazen Hamas ambush. (AP Photo/Wissam Nassar)
Bodies on ground
Fire is out
Firefighters still on scene
Ambulance has returned?
Thanks again to Jordan for catching this interesting situation. If it weren't for the fire in the background, I would've written this off as misreading the timing of the photographs—something that I've been guilty of myself. But, when you look at the position of the bodies on the scene, and compare that to the state of the fire in the background, something clearly doesn't add up here.
That being said, the death of Fadal Shanaa is still tragic, and I do offer my condolences to his family. As the Elder said yesterday, it's entirely possible that this unfortunate soul was in the wrong place at the wrong time. But, considering the evidence above, it's also entirely possible that there's another explanation for this. Especially considering the locals' reaction to his passing.
My stink-o-meter is running 75% on this one. What's yours reading?
(Can you believe we actually get to do some actual photojournalism criticism over here this morning? How exciting!)
Update: The intrigue here is multiplying fairly quickly. Fadel is being given a martyr's funeral by the local terrorists today. At the very least, they considered him to be a valuable ally (as pointed out by The Elder yesterday). But, based on these same terrorists' prior performances, I'm starting to lean towards there being some kind of problem with the "official" storyline here.
Also, according to the latest captions, Fadel was killed by:
Palestinians attend the funeral of Reuters cameraman Fadel Shana, 23, in Gaza City April 17, 2008. Shana was covering events in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip for Reuters on a day of intense violence when 16 other Palestinians and three Israeli soldiers were also killed. A medical examination showed on Thursday that metal darts from an Israeli tank shell that explodes in the air caused the death of Shana on Wednesday in the Gaza Strip, doctors said. REUTERS/Said Khatib/Pool (GAZA)
This does not add up with the photographic evidence, and I would wonder if the only doctors being interviewed here are sympathetic to the terrorists' cause.
Also, why was the car totally blown up if the ordnance in question only detonates mid-air?
Is it possible that Fadel was killed by a mis-fired anti-tank round? Based on the evidence, it sure looks like a possibility to me...
Full slideshow is here for your reference, courtesy Yahoo.
Update x2: Another angle of the fire scene, courtesy AFP. The ambulance is at the extreme left of the frame, and no bodies or water are evident on the ground.
Update x3: Anonymous points to the video report of these events provided by Reuters, which shows that the bodies were picked up by ambulance [i]before[/i] the car caught fire. See my commentary in response to this video—While it does clear up the photographic evidence, there are still some lingering questions that I'd love to see addressed. Here's the Reuters video:
For the record, I am inclined at this point to agree with Killgore Trout 100% on this one:
We discussed this yesterday. Snapped shot has the right idea but their analysis is a bit off. Here is Fadel's body with his car in the background. It's smoldering a bit but it's not on fire. After they remove the body then the car bursts into flames. Notice only the interior of the car iis burning, this isn't a gas fire from leaking fuel. Not even the tires are burning. Then they put out the fire and hose down the scene. I think they set the fire in the car to destroy possible evidence and hosed down the scene for the same reason.
Thanks for the succinct analysis, KT!
Line of the day: "It sucks to be a thug hugger," courtesy song_and_dance_man. Sums it all up rather well, I'd say!