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The Military’s 2007 Response to the Reuters Shooting Incident in Iraq

Last night I posted a link to investigative actions taken by the U.S. military command in Iraq in 2007 after U.S. forces in Baghdad fired upon individuals who do not appear to have been posing a threat, ultimately including two Reuters employees. I’ll be honest: We’re having formatting problems opening the documents that the military disclosed. So consider this post preliminary.

But I’ve been able to open one of the documents, and it’s an important one: the approval of ultimate recommendations to the chain of command after an investigation into the incident. It’s dated July 21, 2007 and signed by Brig. Gen. Vincent K. Brooks, then one of the deputy commanding generals of Multinational Division-Baghdad, the designation for the command responsible for security in Iraq’s capitol. It reads:

I ratify the appointment of the investigating officer, MAJ [illegible, but apparently a major was responsible for investigating the incident]

The recommendation that:

(10a) Members of the press be encouraged or required to wear identifying vests or distinctive body armor within the MND-B AOR [the Multinational Division-Baghdad's Area of Responsibility] is passed to PAO [Public Affairs Office] for coordination through CPIC [the Coalition Press Information Center, then the locus of Baghdad press efforts]

(10b) Coalition Forces be notified when members of the press are operating in their AORs is passed to PAO for coordination with CPIC

(10c) Condolence payments be made to families of the two children wounded in this engagement is [approved and] passed to BCT [Brigade Combat Team, presumably whichever BCT was operating in the section of Baghdad where the incident occurred]

More as I’m (hopefully) able to open more of these documents. I do not yet know if, when and/or how these recommendations were acted upon. And without additional context from the other documents, I’m reluctant to analyze the presumptions or supporting evidence that led to the investigating officer’s judgments and Brooks’ approval.

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