Many editors seem to be going along in “censoring” deaths of U.S. military personnel in Afghanistan by relaying identification terms disseminated in that country such as “international allies,” “international troops” or “coalition service members,” notes Grumpy Editor.
This leads to a headline, over a short story, such as this (from a U.S. newspaper yesterday) that lessens the impact:
Afghan soldier turns weapon on international troops, kills 2
Uniformed Afghan turns weapon on, kills 2 U.S. soldiers
However, broadcast networks such as NBC, CNN and Fox News quickly identified the shooting casualties in Afghanistan as U.S. soldiers.
Holding back prompt identification, an Associated Press dispatch on Monday’s incident reported “An Afghan soldier turned his weapon on international allies...killing two soldiers."
NBC News, for example, promptly pinpointed identification of the uniformed targets, citing, “The shooting deaths of two American soldiers in Kabul by an Afghan colleague are under investigation…”
So far this month, at least 10 American soldiers have been killed by so-called insider attacks by Afghans.
U.S. Marine Gen. John Allen, chief of NATO-led International Security Assistance Force, last week said about one fourth of such attacks are carried out by Taliban infiltrators.
The latest deaths came after last week’s visit to Kabul by U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Martin Dempsey who talked about rogue shootings and urged Afghan officials to take tougher preventative action.