In a September 5th story “Haditha Video Doctored by Investigators” by Phil Brennan, NewsMax.Com reported that a video taped from a Scan Eagle unmanned aerial vehicle that purported to show the action that took place in Haditha when 24 Iraqi civilians and insurgents were killed was heavily edited by government investigators and the entire video withheld from the defense.
We further alleged that what we termed “The deliberate editing of the video to show the defendants in the worst possible light,” as a Marine intelligence expert told Newsmax.
These allegations are incorrect and NewsMax regrets having reported them.
In a letter to NewsMax., Marine Lt. Col, Sean Gibson wrote that "all of the footage of Scan Eagle surveillance of the area that day was provided to all defense counsel teams involved.”
The focus of our story was a CNN broadcast that used a small, carefully edited part of what a unmanned aerial vehicle known as a Scan Eagle transmitted during its day-long surveillance flight over the battle scene on Nov. 19, 2005.
According to CNN, “The video appears to show that, throughout that day, Marines engaged in fierce firefights and called in air strikes to level buildings - often with no definitive idea of who was inside."
We believe the video did indeed show that the Marines had encountered insurgents and had taken appropriate action. We believe the video evidence was important in helping exonerate several of the Marines present from charges they engaged in misconduct during the incident.
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