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November 14, 2005

The WP controversy.

Given the kerfuffle (which I missed, having too much fun at Fort Benning) over the WP allegations, based on Radley Balko's post (which he mostly repudiated, with a manly defense of the appropriateness of the post anyway), pointed out to me by Bob Owens at Confederate Yankee, who has his own in-house artilleryman to give evidence (which I don't *entirely* agree with, but only on geekoid terms).

You can see the video via the link at Confederate Yankee, should you wish - be aware pictures of dead people abound in it.

The "crockumentary" as Bob so succinctly puts it, is flawed from the opening, they started losing me when they were showing the napalm footage from Vietnam, talking about how the canisters already "glowed blue" from friction as they were released. Note to Sigfrido - not much "glows blue" due to friction - and the rest of the aircraft would have, as well - but aluminum does take on the dominant colors - like sky blue - around it. And the cloudy mist around the canisters from release is simply an artifact of airflow in a humid environment - fly into Orlando some muggy afternoon and watch the vortex contrails off the wing.

The two soldiers? Engelhart lived in a vastly different world than most soldiers of his station. Heck, I served on higher staffs and I *never* got orders direct from the Pentagon, as he claims. He may be telling what he feels is the truth - but not credibly to my ears. But, of course, I'm an officer, and fully assimilated by the Borg. Reppenhagen, the other soldier? Did he kill civilians? Quite possibly. But what is obvious upon a close-up examination of a body isn't anywhere near that obvious at 100-300m. I don't know how many civilians died in Fallujah. I have no doubt there were civilian casualties. If those people weren't allowed to flee by the Insurgents, then the onus is on the Insurgents. If those people chose to stay... well, any death is a sad thing, but staying in a town you *know* is going to be the center of a firefight is even less understandable than riding out a hurricane. You make your choice, to take your chances.

The WP. I don't share CPT Robison's (Bob Owen's commenter) view of the video. To me, that looks like current WP projectiles functioning, with the bright lights falling to ground being the night-vision-enhanced view of the burning felt wedges falling to earth. Why shoot a screening agent at night? One thing about the felt-wedge WP vice the old version is that the smoke is much cooler - our night-vision can see through it - the insurgents Mk 1 Eyeball cannot see so clearly. So we used it to screen movements, mark locations, etc. All proper uses of WP.

[Update: Robison pointed out in email if it was NVD video it would likely have the greenish hue to it, rather than being in color - a point I readily concede. I still think the exaggeration of the light source is an artifact of nighttime video -but also acknowledge that I am doing a Wile E. Coyote in the air over a canyon in asserting any techinical knowledge regarding video..., so I'll leave that to the guys who *do* have some experience. ]

The 'bodies with strange injuries' such as burned flesh but unburned clothing. Welcome to nature at work. Putrefaction in unrefrigerated dead bodies. Most of the bodies I saw in the video looked like week-old corpses, not chemical casualties. I've seen bodies like that live, and there was nothing shown in the video that suggests otherwise to me.

The dead animals? Blast concussion kills, and doesn't always leave obvious marks on the surface, such as bleeding from the eyes, ears, nose, etc. The dead rodents in the cage? Certainly possible smoke inhalation from fires now extinguished - or victims of dehydration after the owners fled?

Lastly - in all the videos - to include those shot by soldiers in combat - did anyone see US or Iraqi troops wearing gasmasks or protective gear? D'you think we'd have been using chemicals without MOPPing up?

I doubt it.

I think Bob has the right of it. Crockumentary.

John | Permalink | Comments (31) | Global War on Terror (GWOT)
» Confederate Yankee links with: Arkin Up The Wrong Tree
» Confederate Yankee links with: The Lies of Fallujah: The Hidden Massacre, Part 1