The Corrie verdict: New York Times version

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No surprises here.  After three short paragraphs of actual news reporting the verdict, the Times launches into full denial of its findings, starting with a summary of some of the accolades to Corrie's martyrdom, including this:

Numerous books and documentaries have told of how Ms. Corrie, a 23-year-old student, stood in an orange vest with a bullhorn between a bulldozer and the home of a Palestinian family in March 2003 during the height of the second intifada, or uprising.
But, as the court found, after examining extensive evidence,

d.    The mission of the IDF force on the day of the incident was solely to clear the ground.  This clearing and leveling included leveling the ground and clearing it of brush in order to expose hiding places used by terrorists, who would sneak out from these areas and place explosive devices with the intent of harming IDF soldiers.  There was an urgency to carrying out this mission so that IDF look-outs could observe the area and locate terrorists thereby preventing explosive devices from being buried.  The mission did not include, in any way, the demolition of homes.
So the fact that Corrie might have been standing "between a bulldozer and the home of a Palestinian family" is irrelevant.

What follows is a completely one-sided review of the responses to the court's decision.  Guess which side.

A lawyer representing the state said after the hearing on Tuesday that the driver of the bulldozer did not see Ms. Corrie and could not have.

But at a news conference after the verdict, the Corrie family's lawyer, Hussein Abu Hussein, showed pictures of Ms. Corrie taken that day in 2003, pointing out her bright garb that he said "anyone could have seen."

Yes, that "orange vest" again.  But Corrie's "bright garb," as the verdict makes clear, was also irrelevant, because the bulldozer operator couldn't have seen it.

g.    Based on the evidence presented to me, including the testimony of the
expert for the prosecution, Mr. Osben, I hereby determine that at
approximately 17:00, the decedent stood roughly 15 to 20 meters from the
relevant bulldozer and knelt down.  The bulldozer to which I refer was a
large, clumsy and shielded vehicle of the DR9 model.  The field of view the
bulldozer's operator had inside the bulldozer was limited.  At a certain
point, the bulldozer turned and moved toward the decedent.  The bulldozer
pushed a tall pile of dirt.  With regard to the field of view that the
bulldozer's operator had, the decedent was in the "blind spot".  The
decedent was behind the bulldozer's blade and behind a pile of dirt and
therefore the bulldozer's operator could not have seen her.

The Times wanders through laments and promises of appeals by the Corrie family and its supporters, including a representative from Human Rights Watch.  And it concludes with a quote from an anti-Israel protester, part of a small crowd demonstrating outside the courtroom.  All of which leaves the reader with almost no information as to what the verdict actually said and what evidence it was based on.  For that, you can read the English translation of the court's ruling here.


Update (Aug 29 at 11:46AM): The New York Times has substantially revised its story on the Corrie verdict, eliminating the comments of HRW rep Bill Van Esveld and protester Uri Gordon and adding comments by Mark Regev and by Victoria Nuland as well as some nonsensical babbling by Hanan Ashrawi.  To their credit, the Times also added this paragraph:

In his ruling, Judge Gershon said the military's mission that day "was not, in any way, to destroy homes," but to clear brush and explosives "to prevent acts of hatred and terror." He said the bulldozer was moving slowly, about 1 kilometer per hour, and that the driver could not have seen Ms. Corrie, finding "no base to the plaintiff's claim that the bulldozer hit her on purpose."
The revised article, though still slanted, has more balance than the original ... which is to say it now has a modicum of balance where before there was virtually none.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn B. published on August 28, 2012 12:18 PM.

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