Pentagon order the assassintaion of a Journalist in order
to cover up secret mass burials of dead U.S Soldiers in
the desert around Baghdad ?
really behind the killing of my colleague, the Palestinian
Reuters Cameraman Mazen Dana, in Bagdad? Is the Pentagon
really scared of the media telling the U.S public what
is really going on in Iraq? Do the criminals in the Pentagon
want to cover their crimes against their own soldiers by
killing journalists in Iraq? If, then this is what can
be called organized terror.
troops obviously felt themselves threatened and in big
danger of the Palestinian Reuters Cameraman Mazen Dana,
who was developing a story about secret burials of U.S.
mercenaries and soldiers in mass graves in far-away places
in deserts strips around Baghdad, which had obviously been
authorized by the commanders of the U.S. army. Mazen's
scoop began when he realized that that the U.S. troops
were burying human bodies wrapped in plastic in the desert.
He thought that these were the bodies of Iraqi people.
He kept watching and investigating the activities of the
U.S. troops in the desert. He kept developing his scoop,
working around different U.S. units and military jails,
trying to figure out from were the bodies could come from,
wether they belonged to Iraqis or not.
ultimately develop a source, a U.S. mercenary, who told
him that those buried were not Iraqis, but mercenaries
who had been promised green cards and U.S. citizenship
in return for serving in the U.S. army. According to this
source, not few of those interred were americans who had
been killed in combat. Mazen had been able to film the
activities of the U.S. army, and their secret mass graves.
Mazen Dana was experienced in journalistic work in areas
of conflict and under dangerous conditions. In our hometown
Hebron, he had been covering the Israeli Duvdevan units,
essentially death squads of the Israeli army, which can
not normally be filmed. Since he had become aware of what
the americans were doing in the desert, he kept the secret
for himself. The intelligence units of the U.S. army probably
knew that Mazen was beating about the bush, and they must
have feared that their secret desert burials would expose
the Pentagon and the army to a big scandal. The U.S. Army
pride themselves of always bringing home their dead, and
this ultimate disrespect for their own would probably be
frowned upon by the american society at large, even if
not few of them were mercenaries. The story also had the
potential of making foreigns think twice before joining
the U.S. military forces as mercenaries, nobody wants to
be disrespected in this most abject and impious way, not
even those who will sign up as mercenaries.
his last days, Mazen felt that the U.S. Army were observing
him. Ten days before his death, he called home to Hebron
and told his family that he feared for his life because
of the story he was developing, and he promised them to
return as soon as he had finished his investigating work.
On Sunday, August 17, 2003, at noon and under shining sun,
Mazen Dana was assasinated by the U.S. Army outside Abu
Ghraib prison, where they had previously given him permit
to my colleague Nael al-Shyoukhi, who was with Dana at
the time of his death, the camera team was known to the
U.S. military personnel at the prison. al-Shyoukhi said
that they had asked for permission to interview an officer,
what had been denied. The soldiers had seen their I.D.s
and knew about their mission and intentions. 2000 - Nael
al-Shyoukhi, who was with Mazen when he was shot, here
at Gross square in Hebron.
said "after we filmed we went into the car and prepared
to go when a convoy led by a tank arrived and Mazen stepped
out of the car to film, I followed him then, Mazen walked
three to four meters. We were noted and clearly seen at
the mid of the day. The soldier on the tank shot at us.
I lay on the ground, I heard Mazen I saw him scream and
touch his chest with covered bloody hand".
Response: The U.S officials said that the troops mistook
Mazen's camera for an RPG launcher. This was obviously
a lie which nobody, not even naive people will be able
to believe. How can it be that the U.S. troops have the
most tecnologically advanced sensors on their weapons,
but will not be able to distinguish a camera from an RPG
launcher at 50 meters ? Did the U.S. troops learn to lie
from their friends at the IDF ? This killing was a prepared
assassination by the U.S troops in order to cover up their
criminal activities, which Mazen had discovered and was
about to expose.
received the news of killing my colleague Mazen Dana in
Iraq, I thought for the first moment that the Israeli government
was involved or in some way behind it. Mazen Dana had troubled
the israeli occupation more than enough.
occupation targeted Dana several time during the Intifada,
and even before that during the peace time. He was shot
in Hebron in 1998 by the IDF, together with his colleague
Nael Al-Shyioukhi. Mazen Dana had been exposed to the daily
daily crimes of killing and collective murdering in the
Hebron and the occupied territories, and he was shot again
by the IDF during 2001. The Israelis were obviously not
interested in his return from Iraq to Hebron.
know that the U.S Pentagon and the Israeli Defense Ministry
do work together. Maybe we do not realize this, but we
are killed by the IDF soldiers who use U.S. bullets, grenades,
rockets and missiles, airplanes. The U.S is constantly
providing Israel with developed killing machineries. They
U.S soldiers trained the Israeli soldiers to raid the Jenin
refugee camp and other cities, they trained the Israelis
in assassinating, killing and chasing "wanted" people.
They also offered the P.A Minister Muhammad Dahlan to train
his forces to do that. Probably soon the P.A. forces will
be chasing and murdering Palestinians instead of the IDF.
called Hebron to offer my condolences to Mazen Dana's family
and to inquire about his death, I was informed about his
investigation in Iraq about secret mass burials by the
U.S soldiers in Iraqi desert. This made me worry about
my other colleague Nael Al-Shyioukhi, who was still in
Iraq, so I delayed writing this story until after Nael's
safe return to our home town Hebron.
Dana in brief: Mazen Dana held a B.A. in English Literature
from Hebron University. He was remarked as a member of
the Popular Front during his time in the University. For
this he was a targeted and harassed by the Israeli occupation
even after he stopped his political activities.
the first Intifada I worked for a short while with Dana
as a correspondent of Voice of Palestine Radio in Jerusalem.
After that I worked with Al Fajir Newspaper, and Dana continued
his work with the different journalistic offices. He was
requested several times by the Israeli civil administration
in Hebron. He became a peace supporter after the signing
of the Oslo Agreement, and he became a member of Fatah
Peace Wing. He had been employed by Reuters since 10 years
as a Cameraman to cover the conflict in his hometown Hebron.
Mazen Dana and Nael Al-Shyioukhi had been working together
for eight years when Mazen was shot last Sunday.
occupation intelligence continued considering Mazen Dana
as a member of Popular Front party even after he discontinued
his activities with them, and they did not grant him the
an Israeli Government Press "GPO" Card, or a
travel permit to visit the Reuters office in Jerusalem.
Journalists Imad Al-Saidi, Mazen Dana, Majdi Ibedo at a
demo in Ramallah
attacked several times by Jewish settlers and the IDF soldiers
in Hebron. In May 2000, Dana was shot in the leg with a
rubber-coated bullet while filming Palestinian youths throwing
stones towards the Hebron area H2 under Israeli control.
Dana was arrested hundreds of times. In 1997 Dana was arrested
as a result of filming the IDF soldiers arresting me during
an incident at the Halhol bridge border, were the IDF soldiers
had caused the death of a nine year old child death by
preventing him from reaching hospital in hebron during
a curfew which was imposed on the city during the peace
the Journalist House of Hebron during the year 2002 despite
the daily attacks and the constant threat of arrests made
by the IDF soldiers against all Hebronite journalists.
time I met my colleague Mazen Dana was at the end of May
2002 at our colleague's house Hossam Abu Allan, the AFP
photographer who was arrested by the IDF soldiers. At 10:30
at the same night Mazen drove with me in his Jeep to "Al-Beweareh" mountain
to film the IDF war tanks, 54 armed vehicle were arriving
to Hebron on the road 60 as the military was preparing
to re-occupy the city of Hebron, the area H1 under the
Dana had a long experience as a television cameraman, and
he had experienced the hardships and harsh working conditions
of journalistic work under military occupation.
Dana left behind him a wife and four cute children in Hebron.
He left a courageously historical journalistic experience
and signs for other journalists behind him. To most people,
his death is but one more display of the abjectly criminal
behavior of the gang in control at the Pentagon. To those
of us who knew him and who worked with him, he will be
a missed and respected colleague, friend, community and
family member. 1997 - Scans of an article published in
Ma'ariv in Hebrew about the arrest of Mazen Dana who had
filmed my own arrest after I had been subject of sexual
harassment by the soldiers at the border, who had let a
child bleed to death at his checkpoint. The soldier arresting
Mazen in this picture is Shai Sanduri, who caused the death
of a child at his checkpoint and subjected me to sexual
harassment when I was researching the story.