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Fmr. Military Intel Officer Reveals US Listed Palestine Hotel As Target Prior To Journalist Killings

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Hissyspit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-13-08 10:22 PM
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Fmr. Military Intel Officer Reveals US Listed Palestine Hotel As Target Prior To Journalist Killings
Edited on Tue May-13-08 10:26 PM by Hissyspit
http://www.democracynow.org/2008/5/13/fmr_military_inte...

Whole Show | Headlines | Next Story
May 13, 2008

EXCLUSIVE: Fmr. Military Intelligence Officer Reveals US Listed Palestine Hotel in Baghdad as Target Prior to Killing of Two Journalists in 2003

Last month marked the fifth anniversary of the US military shelling of the Palestine Hotel in Baghdad. The attack killed two journalists: Reuters cameraman Taras Protsyuk and Jose Couso, a cameraman for the Spanish television network Telecinco. The Pentagon has called the killings accidental, but in this broadcast exclusive Army Sgt. Adrienne Kinne (Ret.) reveals she saw secret US military documents that listed the hotel as a possible target. Kinne also discloses that she was personally ordered to eavesdrop on Americans working for news organizations and NGOs in Iraq. (includes rush transcript)


In a few moments, Ill be joined by an Iraq war veteran who says she has new information that could point to a deliberate US attack on the Palestine Hotel.

But first, I want to turn to the documentary Hotel Palestine: Killing the Witness, produced by Jose Cousos network, Telecinco. It was broadcast on Spanish television. It includes interviews with numerous journalists who were inside the Palestine Hotel and helped rush Jose Couso to the hospital. This clip begins with scenes taken inside the Palestine Hotel moments after the US attack. A warning to our television audience: some footage contains graphic images.
NARRATOR: The shell explodes before hitting the hotel facade and sprays the upper floors with shrapnel. The Reuters room suffers the dramatic consequences. Near the balcony, the cameraman Taras Protsyuk receives the full blast and collapses, mortally wounded. Paul Pasquale finds himself on the floor, covered with blood.
JON SISTIAGA: I couldnt believe that it was the Americans until I reached Couso, who was conscious, who was awake, and he told me it was the tank.
ANTONIO BAQUERO: Suddenly we saw a damaged balcony. It was the fifteenth floor. I started to count. One, two, three, four, fivefifteen. They hit the Reuters room. The first I thought was, Damn it, Couso is right below there.
JON SISTIAGA: It was a tank, because Couso saw how they shot him. He was looking at the tank when he was hit. He was aware of who killed him.

- snip -

ADRIENNE KINNE: I was stationed at Fort Gordon, Georgia, and I was actually mobilized shortly after 9/11 with a group of reservists who were eventually sent to Fort Gordon to work a mission, that it was actually a brand new mission. It was something not like anything I had done in military intelligence previously. And this new mission involved the intercept of satellite phone communications in Iraq and Afghanistan and basically a huge swath of the region around those two countries. It was really brand new, and basically there were about twenty of us who were put in charge of this new mission, to stand it up.
In the very beginning, basically what we did was that we would have a front end, which intercepted satellite phone communications in that region, and then it would transmit the satellite phone conversations back to the United States, where it would just fill up this queue in our computer, and we would just go through. And all the numbers were unidentified. So, at the beginning, it was just a matter of sifting through thousands upon thousands of unidentified satellite phone communications, as we kind of tried to sort out what phone number belonged to who and kind of go through the process of identifying phone numbers in the search for intelligence that might be related to operations in Afghanistan and, later on, Iraq.
AMY GOODMAN: And when were you listening to Iraq?
ADRIENNE KINNE: We started listening to the entire region pretty much immediately. I think this was December of 2001. And I was mobilized from October 2001 through August of 2003. So I was working that mission pretty much from December through August of 2003.
And over the course of my time, as we slowly began to identify phone numbers and who belonged to what, one thing that gave me grave concern was that as we identified phone numbers, we started to find more and more and more numbers that belonged not to any organizations affiliated with terrorism or with militarywith militaries of Iraq or Afghanistan or elsewhere, but with humanitarian aid organizations, non-governmental organizations, who include the International Red Cross, Red Crescent, Doctors Without Borders, a whole host of humanitarian aid organizations. And it also included journalists.
AMY GOODMAN: Journalists where?
ADRIENNE KINNE: I remember bits and pieces of what we listened to while I was activated. Id just like to say that at the time I took my clearance incredibly seriously. I had a very high clearance, military intelligence. And I never took notes. I never brought anything outside of our building. I never talked about my experiences with my friends or family. But there were certain things that happened over the course of our mobilization that struck me as being very wrong, and I remember them very specifically.
One of the instances was the fact that we were listening to journalists who were staying in the Palestine Hotel. And I remember that, specifically because during the buildup to Shock and Awe, which people in my unit were really disturbingly excited about, we were given a list of potential targets in Baghdad, and the Palestine Hotel was listed as a potential target. And I remember this specifically, because, putting one and one together, that there were journalists staying at the Palestine Hotel and this hotel was listed as a potential target, I went to my officer in charge, and I told him that there are journalists staying at this hotel who think theyre safe, and yet we have this hotel listed as a potential target, and somehow the dots are not being connected here, and shouldnt we make an effort to make sure that the right people know the situation?
And unfortunately, my officer in charge, similarly to any time I raised concerns about things that we were collecting or intelligence that we were reporting, basically told me that it was not my job to analyze. It was my job to collect and pass on information and that someone somewhere higher up the chain knew what they were doing.
AMY GOODMAN: Who was the officer in charge? Who did you tell?
ADRIENNE KINNE: My officer in charge for the duration of my mobilization was Warrant Officer John Berry.
AMY GOODMAN: Now, when you saw this list that you say, a list of targets, and Hotel Palestine was on it, why would you see this? Where were you? How did you pick up this piece of paper?
ADRIENNE KINNE: It was actually an email. And I worked in a secure building, and we were given updates about what was going on. I actually am not sure why we were emailed this list of potential targets, and Im not even sure in what context it was mailedemailed to us. I would assume it was just an effort to let people know what was going on in the area, considering our mission. But the only reason now that I really remember that specific email is because I knew, having listened to journalists staying at the Palestine Hotel, talking with their families and loved ones and talking about whether or not they were safe and trying to reassure their family and co-workers and loved ones that they were safe, when I saw that hotel listed, I thought there was something that was going terribly wrong.
AMY GOODMAN: Were talking to Adrienne Kinne, military intelligence, formerly a sergeant. Were going to go to break, and well come back to this conversation. Stay with us.

AMY GOODMAN: Our guest is a former Army sergeant, worked in military intelligence, served for ten years in the military, from 94 to 2004. Her name is Adrienne Kinne, joining us from Vermont.
That list that you saw that you got in an email, what else? What were the other targets on the list? Do you remember?

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klook Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-13-08 10:31 PM
Response to Original message
1. I heard that - this is a must listen
Sgt. Kinne gives a fascinating inside look at the surveillance practices of the U.S. military, as well as a chilling report about the attack on the Palestine Hotel.
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nashville_brook Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-13-08 11:13 PM
Response to Original message
2. holy smokes -- this needs to be investigated and prosecuted. freaking war crimes.
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aint_no_life_nowhere Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-13-08 11:18 PM
Response to Original message
3. Why target it? Was it to intimidate journalists?
To make an example of some so that others would realize they could end up as targets of the U.S. military? What possible reasons could the U.S. military have in targeting it?
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lonestarnot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-13-08 11:22 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. No reports of civil war better than some reports.
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aint_no_life_nowhere Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-13-08 11:28 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. Were these independent, non-embedded reporters?
That might be relevant, if the Pentagon was trying to send a message.
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lonestarnot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-13-08 11:31 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. They were staying at the hotel, so not imbedded, my guess.
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jasmine621 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-13-08 11:40 PM
Response to Original message
7. A lot of us knew this when it happened. nt
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lonestarnot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-13-08 11:43 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. Suspected yes. But did not have a witness to inside the orders.
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Hissyspit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 12:15 AM
Response to Reply #7
9. Yes, I remember, but this is hard evidence. n/t
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Richard Steele Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 08:25 AM
Response to Original message
10. K&R
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Hissyspit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 10:40 AM
Response to Original message
11. .
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