Wednesday, February 09, 2005


U.S. Forces Free Egyptian Hostages

Mudville Gazette (via Instapundit) exposes the true story behind recent misreporting of the "escape" of Egyptian hostages.

U.S. forces in Iraq stormed a house in Baghdad on Monday and freed two of the four Egyptian telecommunications engineers who were kidnapped Sunday, the head of their Egyptian parent company said. Naguib Sawiris, chairman of Egypt's Orascom Telecom, said U.S. troops raided a villa, possibly in the mainly Sunni Muslim district of Adhamiya, and freed the two. The other two managed to escape on their own from a car they had been locked in, he added.

And the military account from soldiers on the scene (from John Lucas, Knoxville TN):

It began when my son, leading a patrol, saw a suspicious car. They pulled
it over, captured two of the three kidnappers and found two Egyptians bound and
gagged in the trunk. Interrogation of the two prisoners let to intel re the
location of the other two hostages and another US unit raided that location and
freed them.There is much more to this story, but I wanted you to know that they
were not "released" but were rescued as a result of a heads-up effort by U.S.

Here is what went unreported. I asked my son why they had not just shot
the two who ran away (one of whom was chased down and captured). I thought that perhaps the Rules of Engagement prevented them from shooting them, since they had not been shot at first. He told me, however, that the ROE did permit them to shoot, but he never gave them a "fire" command because the street was too
crowded and he was worried that they might hit civilians. So, instead, they
chased them down.

As a result of that decision, civilian lives were spared and
all 4 hostages were rescued. It's a great example of good decision-making, good
fire discipline, and concern for the people. But, not the sort of thing the
media seems to want to report.

Reuters, LA Times, NY Times, CNN, all report strictly from Egyptian Government reports. Soldiers on the scene and then CENTCOM in a press release describe how the hostages were freed. No corrections, no fact checking, (no bias?)

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