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Time Finally “Corrects” Its Haditha Story

This is a now all too familiar pattern with our one party media.

The following "corrections" have been added to the very bottom of Time’s two blockbuster exclusives on Haditha in their current online versions:

Collateral Damage or Civilian Massacre in Haditha?

Last November, U.S. Marines killed 15 Iraqi civilians in their homes. Was it self-defense, an accident or cold-blooded revenge? A Time exclusive

Sunday, Mar. 19, 2006

In the original version of this story, TIME reported that "a day after the incident, a Haditha journalism student videotaped the scene at the local morgue and at the homes where the killings had occurred. The video was obtained by the Hammurabi Human Rights Group, which cooperates with the internationally respected Human Rights Watch, and has been shared with TIME." In fact, Human Rights Watch has no ties or association with the Hammurabi Human Rights Group. TIME regrets the error.

http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1174649-1,00.html

One Morning in Haditha

U.S. Marines killed 15 Iraqi civilians in their homes last November. Was it self-defense, an accident or cold-blooded revenge?

By TIM MCGIRK/ BAGHDAD

Mar. 27, 2006

In the original version of this story, TIME reported that "a day after the incident, a Haditha journalism student videotaped the scene at the local morgue and at the homes where the killings had occurred. The video was obtained by the Hammurabi Human Rights Group, which cooperates with the internationally respected Human Rights Watch, and has been shared with TIME." In fact, Human Rights Watch has no ties or association with the Hammurabi Human Rights Group. TIME regrets the error.

http://time-proxy.yaga.com/time/archive/preview/0,10987,1174682,00.html

In fact, Time had originally reported that it was Human Rights Watch who had provided the tape. They then retracted that and claimed that it came from Hammurabi which works with Human Rights Watch. And now they have backed off even that.

Note that even now Time still does not correct the intentionally false portrayal of the source of the videotape that they gave in all of their original stories and interviews.

Time’s source, Thaer Thabit al-Hadithi, is not a "young man." He is not a "budding journalism student."

And al-Haditha is not separate and apart from the Hammurabi Human Rights Group. Nor is he a man who wanted to remain anonymous because he feared for his safety.

Thaer Thabit al-Hadithi

Al-Haditha is 43 years old. He "created" Hammurabi 16 months ago. (Before that he worked directly under the head of Haditha’s hospital, Dr. Walid al-Obeidi, who pronounced that all the victims had been shot at close range.)

In fact, al-Haditha is one of Hammurabi’s only two members. He serves as its "Secretary General" while the only other member, Abdul-Rahman al-Mashhadani, performs as its "Chairman."

Al-Haditha is the one and only person behind this tape. He made it. And he sat on it for four months before turning it over to Time magazine.

But it looks like Time did not consider these mundane facts about the maker of this tape compelling enough. So they made up additional romantic details and invented the involvement of the "internationally respected Human Rights Watch" to burnish the video’s provenance.

It’s something Time does on a regular basis.

Here is another "correction" that is now buried at the bottom of another Time Haditha story from last month. It is by Matthew Cooper of Plame/Rove notoriety.

The Haditha Scandal’s Other Casualty

With the Pentagon completing its probe into whether U.S. forces massacred civilians one November morning in Western Iraq, the damage to America’s image abroad could take a further hit

By MATTHEW COOPER/WASHINGTON

Posted Friday, May. 26, 2006

In the original version of this story, TIME reported that "one of the most damning pieces of evidence investigators have in their possession, John Sifton of Human Rights Watch told Time’s Tim McGirk, is a photo, taken by a Marine with his cell phone that shows Iraqis kneeling — and thus posing no threat — before they were shot." While Sifton did tell TIME that there was photographic evidence, taken by Marines, he had only heard about the specific content of the photos from reports done by NBC, and had no firsthand knowledge. TIME regrets the error.

http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1198843,00.html

Never mind that now "one of the most damning pieces of evidence" has already taken on the mantle of historical fact. Time regrets the error.

So much so that they once again buried the correction at the bottom of its online archive of the story which few will revisit.

Clearly Time thinks very highly of the Soros-funded (and viscerally anti-American) Human Rights Watch. They use every opportunity to cite HRW to bolster their claims, even if they have to make things up.

Apparently Time believes invoking "the internationally respected Human Rights Watch" gives their questionably sourced facts credibility

And so what it if they aren’t involved?

Time can always sneak in a retraction later when nobody is looking, once the story has "gotten legs."

  Update!

Clarice Feldman actually thought to email John Sifton of Human Rights Watch, to get his side of the story.

Here is the section of his reply that specifically addresses Time’s "corrections":

I told Time magazine in May the same thing I told a whole set of journalists: that multiple sources in the military told Human Rights Watch in [M]ay that Navy NCIS investigators have photographic evidence supporting their conclusion that some of the Iraqi civilians killed on November 19 in Haditha were intentionally murdered, and not accidentally shot.

I also mentioned to Time magazine (as well as several other journalists) a fact which they didn’t know: that NBC Pentagon correspondent Jim Miklaszewski and NPR’s Tom Bowman had been told by NCIS investigators about one photograph in particular, and had described it in reports about the Haditha allegations. As Miklaszewski reported on May 17: “But military officials say Marine Corps photos taken immediately after the incident show many of the victims were shot at close range in the head and chest, execution style. One photo shows a mother and young child bent over on the floor as if in prayer, shot dead. One military official familiar with the investigation says it appears the civilians were deliberately killed by the Marines who were outraged at the death of their fellow Marine.”

It now appears that Time Magazine mixed up their reporting, possibly conflating and then confusing what I said with what others had reported. I wouldn’t know: you would need to ask Time for a further explanation of how they misquoted me.

As for the erroneous reporting on the relationship between Human Rights Watch and Hammurabi – I can’t help you, except to say that journalists and bloggers have often erroneously associated our group with any number of local human rights groups. It happens often, in Iraq and in other countries—and I wouldn’t put a partisan slant to it. In this regard, Fox News has made as many mistakes about us and our relationships as any other media outlets.

Hope this helps,

John Sifton

I’m not sure how much this adds to our knowledge of the Haditha incident. But Mr. Sifton does throw in some more names and details that have not appeared before.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Friday, June 9th, 2006. Comments are currently closed.

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