Assumption of Command

17 June 2005

SSG Martinez Chagred with Murder (and how the Media reports it)

It is now official, Staff Sgt. Alberto B. Martinez is now being charged with the Murder of 2 officers here in Iraq. This is the tragedy that DadManly has been speaking of, and properly quit for legal concerns. But now it is out in to the main stream media, so I will discuss it.

Task Force Liberty Soldier Charged in Deaths of Unit Officers:
A soldier in Iraq has been charged with two counts of premeditated murder in connection with the June 7 deaths of two other soldiers in his unit, military officials in Baghdad announced today.

The charges were preferred June 15 against Army Staff Sgt. Alberto B. Martinez, 37, a supply specialist assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 42nd Infantry Division (Mechanized), a Multinational Force Iraq statement said.

The soldiers died at Forward Operating Base Danger, near Tikrit, in what was first reported to be an enemy mortar attack. But on June 10, officials announced a criminal investigation was under way in connection with the soldiers' deaths.

Officials said the charge -- two specifications of premeditated murder under Article 118 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice -- along with supporting evidence, will be forwarded through the chain of command for review and recommendations on how to proceed. An attorney from the U.S. Army Trial Defense Service is representing Martinez. He may retain a civilian defense attorney to represent him at his own expense and at no cost to the government, officials said.
If this charges prove to be true, this man needs the Death Penalty. This is something we can not have in the military. A message needs to be sent that if you purposely kill one of your brothers or sisters in arms you will be dealt with.

The article above is from it is an official news service for the military and it does a good job of factual reporting, but this next one is from the Main Stream Media (in Seattle Times/Written by the LA Times)

Army sergeant faces murder charges
The charges against Staff Sgt. Alberto B. Martinez, 37, are believed to represent the first suspected case of "fragging," a military term for the killing of an officer by a subordinate, in Iraq. Allegations of fragging, so named because hand grenades, known to troops as frags, became infamous during the Vietnam War, when some discontented U.S. troops turned on their superiors.
The first thing they want to do is to start bringing up "fragging" reference. Is it really necessary slang, or are they just trying to slant the article to the anti-war crowd. but it gets worse...
Reports about the two deaths have reached the highest levels of the U.S. military in Iraq, where more than 1,700 U.S. troops have died in a war that polls suggest is becoming increasingly unpopular with the American public. Insurgents seeking to oust U.S. forces launch daily attacks on the troops and their allies in the new Iraqi government.
And what exactly does this have to so with the murders of two officers? I can answer that question. ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! I find this practice of inserting derogatory commentary into every story about the war very tiresome and down right unprofessional. Stick to the story.

This is not isolated to just this article. Here is how the game is played, with the Sec. Rice visit a while ago as my example. First tell us of Sec. Rice’s Visits to troops. Second post some nice quotes about her visit from troops. Third, tell us of all of the Car bombs that happened in Baghdad that day even if they have nothing to with Sec. Rice's visit, because we just can't have a completely positive story in the news. Something must be going bad. Just throw that crap in there and see if anybody notices or cares that it isn't relevant to the story we are trying to report upon. Fourth, add some speculation that you can't be held accountable by blaming some poll or saying that it is believed. Fifth, finish the story.

The next time you read a positive story about the war I bet you will find this pattern of reporting. I find it about 80 percent of the time.

Can you tell this bothers me?