AOH :: HELL.TXT|
US Killing of Somalian Civillians during a Humanitarian Effort to FEED STARVING SOMALIANS
From firstname.lastname@example.org Thu Mar 26 18:26:14 1998
Date: Thu, 26 Mar 1998 17:45:46 -0800 (PST)
From: " Neopolitan Z. Burnbridge" <email@example.com>
To: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Cc: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org,
Subject: ***US Massacre of Somalians:::Bloody Hell***
A - I N F O S N E W S S E R V I C E
US massacred 1,000 Somalis
From 'The Observer'
Revealed: how trapped soldiers fired indiscriminately
on crowds and used corpses as shields
By Richard Dowden in Kampala
Thursday March 22, 1998
As president Bill Clinton begins a six- country tour
of Africa today, new evidence has emerged of how
trapped United States troops indiscriminately fired
on crowds of Somalis in Mogadishu in 1993, killing
more than 1,000 - five times the 'official' number.
In a dramatic new account of the battle in central
Mogadishu, collated from hours of interviews with
American and Somali survivors, Mark Bowden of the
Philadelphia Inquirer has revealed that US troops
abandoned their rules of engagement - to fire only
when threatened by fire - and shot down every Somali
they saw, including women and children.
It happened 10 months after US marines landed as
part of a humanitarian effort to feed starving
Somalis cut off by the civil war. On the afternoon of
3 October 1993, a hot sleepy Sunday in Mogadishu, a
group of 40 Delta Force, Special Forces and about 75
Rangers set off to try to capture Somali leaders
supporting General Mohammed Farah Aideed, the
Mogadishu warlord, who were meeting in a house near
the centre of town.
According to Bowden's account, US troops took
hostages and murdered wounded Somalis and a prisoner.
They also used the bodies of Somalis as barricades.
Bowden also reveals that, far from the official
version of the mission (that it was not intended to
kill anyone) helicopter gunships began the ill-fated
raid by firing anti-tank missiles into houses.
While Canada, Italy and Belgium all held inquiries
into the excesses of their troops in Somalia and even
put some of them on trial, the US has never held any
public investigation or reprimanded any of its
commanders or troops although Les Aspin, the then US
Defence Secretary, resigned some time afterwards. Yet
compared with what the Americans did that night, the
excesses of other national forces were child's play.
The revelations of the Mogadishu massacre come barely
a week after America finally laid to rest the ghosts
of the 1968 My Lai massacre in Vietnam by awarding a
medal to the officer who exposed the atrocity.
Bowden's account, now available on the Internet and
to be published as a book in the autumn, threatens to
start a new controversy in the US military. Despite
the debacle, the commander of the mission, Major-
General William F. Garrison, took full responsibility
for what happened, describing it as 'a success',
while US personnel who died were all given medals, as
were many of the survivors. Other key players were
At the time, the world's media concentrated on
dramatic television footage of the naked bodies of US
soldiers being dragged through the streets of
Mogadishu, and the drama of a helicopter pilot taken
hostage. The Somali dead were a sideshow, a bland
figure, estimated at about 200.
Bowden, however, quotes Ambassador Robert Oakley,
the US special representative to Somalia, as saying
that more than 1,000 Somalis were killed. The
incident occurred after the US-led peacekeeping force
had handed over to a multinational United Nations
force under the command of a Turkish General, Cevic
Neither he, nor the UN Special Representative in
Somalia, a retired US Admiral, Jonathan Howe, had
been informed about the Delta Force raid. Nor was the
UN consulted when the US military decided to hunt
down Gen Aideed.
Backed by 17 helicopter gunships, they stormed the
building where the Somali leaders were meeting and
took 24 prisoners. They planned to drive the three
miles back to the US base but could not get out of
the area. First one and then another Blackhawk
helicopter was shot down. Without a back-up force the
convoy ended up going in circles, trapped by hundreds
of Somali gunmen firing AK47s and rocket grenades
from rooftops or moving with the crowds.
Eventually it had to be rescued by units from
Pakistan and Malaysia. But by that time they had been
involved in their biggest fire-fight since the
Vietnam War and their discipline and organisation had
Bowden describes the convoy trying to escape from
the maze of streets in which it was hit by a hail of
rockets and bullets at every corner: 'Some of the
vehicles were almost out of ammunition. They had
expended thousands of rounds. The back ends of the
remaining trucks and Humvees in the lost convoy were
slick with blood. Chunks of viscera clung to floors
and inner walls.
"The second Humvee in line was dragging an axle and
was being pushed from behind by the five-ton truck
behind it. Another Humvee had three flat tyres and
two dozen bullet holes.
"Seal Sgt Howard Wasdin, who had been shot in both
legs, had his legs draped up over the dash and
stretched out on the hood. Yet another Humvee had a
grenade hole in the side and four flat tyres. "They
were shooting at everything now. They had abandoned
their new mission (to rescue the downed helicopter
pilots). Now they were fighting just to stay alive as
the convoy wandered into one ambush after another,
trying to find its way back to base."
Dale Sizemore, a young Ranger, describes "blasting
at everything they saw. Rules of engagement were
off." Sizemore saw young boys, seven and eight-year-
olds, some with weapons, some without. He shot them
In one incident Rangers took a family hostage. When
one of the women started screaming at the Americans
she was shot dead.
In another incident a Somali prisoner was allegedly
shot dead when he refused to stop praying out loud.
Another was clubbed into silence. The killer is not
Richard Dowden works for 'The Economist'
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