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August 25, 2005
Michael Yon's Must-Read

Many people have wondered what happened to war reporting. We had a glimpse of it during the actual invasion of Iraq, when over 700 journalists imbedded themselves in the fighting units and gave straight reporting on the action they witnessed. After the fall of Saddam, however, "embeds" found themselves viewed with disfavor, supposedly biased towards the troops, and the number of reporters attached to fighting units dropped to less than three dozen.

One of those who remained is free-lancer Michael Yon, who publishes his work in blog form at Michael Yon: Online Magazine. A Special Forces veteran, Yon brings unique perspective about the war in Iraq through his words and pictures. What's so unique? His objectivity and immediacy. Try reading his latest article, "Gates of Fire", and find out why Yon may emerge as the best reporter of the war.

Tom Elia at The New Editor notes a passage that also caught my ear when I heard Hugh Hewitt read it on the air this evening. The terrorist who wounded the unit commander had been captured before by American forces in Iraq -- but got released after the US turned him over to the Iraqis:

The terrorist turned out to be one Khalid Jasim Nohe, who had first been captured by US forces (2-8 FA) on 21 December, the same day a large bomb exploded in the dining facility on this base and killed 22 people.

That December day, Khalid Jasim Nohe and two compatriots tried to evade US soldiers from 2-8 FA, but the soldiers managed to stop the fleeing car. Then one of the suspects tried to wrestle a weapon from a soldier before all three were detained. They were armed with a sniper rifle, an AK, pistols, a silencer, explosives and other weapons, and had in their possession photographs of US bases, including a map of this base.

That was in December.

About two weeks ago, word came that Nohe's case had been dismissed by a judge on 7 August. The Coalition was livid. According to American officers, solid cases are continually dismissed without apparent cause. Whatever the reason, the result was that less than two weeks after his release from Abu Ghraib, Nohe was back in Mosul shooting at American soldiers.

LTC Kurilla repeatedly told me of--and I repeatedly wrote about--terrorists who get released only to cause more trouble. Kurilla talked about it almost daily. Apparently, the vigor of his protests had made him an opponent of some in the Army's Detention Facilities chain of command, but had otherwise not changed the policy. And now Kurilla lay shot and in surgery in the same operating room with one of the catch-and-release-terrorists he and other soldiers had been warning everyone about.

Does this demonstrate why we need detention facilities like Guantanamo Bay and should remain firm that terrorists don't get released -- ever? Unlawful combatants need to remain imprisoned for life. Otherwise, we wind up fighting them again, and even worse, they wound and kill America's finest as soon as they get free. Patton once said that he didn't like tactical withdrawals because he didn't like paying for the same real estate twice. We need to change our way of thinking to a war footing and understand that when we let these lunatics go free, we're paying for the same real estate twice or more, and the price we pay are commanders like Lt. Col. Kurilla.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at August 25, 2005 6:55 PM

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» Heroes from Peace Like A River
That terrorist, Khalid Jasim Nohe, wants you dead, too. He can't hurt you now, because brave men chased after him on foot, cornered him, ran into a dark room and with their bare hands took him out. What kind of people do you want speaking for you, de... [Read More]

Tracked on August 25, 2005 7:27 PM

» One Day In The Life Of Deuce-Four from Hard Starboard
I noticed this passage in Mr. Yon's latest post, but since Cap'n Ed highlighted it, I can't not reinforce it: The terrorist [that wounded Lieutenant Colonel Erik Kurilla] turned out to be one Khalid Jasim Nohe, who had first been captured by US fo... [Read More]

Tracked on August 25, 2005 8:09 PM

» Brilliant war reporting from a Non Reporter...via from The Pink Flamingo Bar Grill
Michael Yon former Special Forces current free lancer [Read More]

Tracked on August 25, 2005 9:28 PM

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