Report: Libyans Rush To Help Pilots After Crash . . . U.S. Helicopters Shoot Libyans

I was a bit astonished this morning in watching CNN to see a story on the rescue of U.S. pilots after their F-15E Eagle crashed in Libya. The story did not mention what would appear the most newsworthy aspect of the story: the allegation that our helicopter mowed down Libyans who ran out to help the pilots.

Various news organizations are reporting that six Libyans were shot after coming to the rescue of the pilots in a field outside of Benghazi. The helicopter strafed the people running to the site. One young boy may have to have his leg amputated. CNN is reporting the “harrowing tale” of how various planes had to “drop bombs” to protect them. There is no mention of the people mowed down, though it reports that one pilot was taken into safety by Libyans. The entire story is about the close call behind enemy lines, though one anchor said that it is very difficult to tell the difference between hostile and friendly individuals. They make no mention of the allegations and shot civilians.

CNN’s coverage is entirely on the risk of the operation. I just saw another exchange with the anchors where one anchor finally noted at the very end that some civilians may have been hurt, but the interview was cut off before the reporter could answer the question due to technical problems. It is not clear why this story is being given such limited coverage. The concern is that there is a chilling effect in the media when reporting stories when reporters can focus on the more popular account of a heroic rescue. The fact is that both stories are worthy of equal coverage.

Source: Daily Mail

Jonathan Turley

13 thoughts on “Report: Libyans Rush To Help Pilots After Crash . . . U.S. Helicopters Shoot Libyans”

  1. When you engage in “war” with an “enemy” that doesn’t wear a uniform as the US has been doing for over a decade, these tragedies are inevitable if sickening. Military strategists have long debated the ability of the US to wage war on three multilateral fronts simultaneously. I hope we are not about to settle the question once and for all.

  2. Well said Mr. Turley.

    Rafflaw, “standard procedure” doesn’t make the story less newsworthy, which is what I think prof was getting at in his article – the spin that CNN and other media outlets are putting on the story instead of raw unbiased reporting of the facts. Standard procedure or not misses the point.

  3. I will second Woosty and Buddha. Get out now and save some money and more importantly, some American lives. (and Libyan civilians)

  4. “can someone explain to me just why this is in fact, necessary?”

    Plainly spoken, W=c, it is neither necessary nor proper.

  5. “I don’t like the outcome or our “need” to attack Libya,….”~rafflaw
    what exactly is our NEED to attack Libya? can someone explain to me just why this is in fact, necessary?

  6. What raff said.

    And as always, the best way to avoid trouble is not to be there when it starts.

  7. I think it should be noted that it is standard procedure for the rescue team to drop bombs to scare off potential enemies before they land the helicopters or other rescue vehicles. If the pilot(s) was/were not made aware of the intent of the Libyans on the scene, I can understand why they were shot. I don’t like the outcome or our “need” to attack Libya, but I can understand what happened at the scene of the rescue.

  8. “It is not clear why this story is being given such limited coverage.”

    Well, we certainly wouldn’t want the populace to know all the facts when the media can dazzle the masses with bullsh*t. Can’t divulge the truth – that citizens were trying to help and the military shot them down in cold blood.

    Must make sure the citizens are sufficiently stupid – brown skin, very bad; white skin, very good. Even if those with brown skin were actually trying to help those with white skin …

  9. “It is not clear why this story is being given such limited coverage.”

    The media has been trained to think that if you report the US caused casualties of war you are un-American. The American news media reports with an allegiance to US military operations, not fact based analysis. I believe this has been the most successful aspect of journalist “embedding.” You are far more likely to report in a kinder light when you feel like one of the team.

    Ex: NY Times own admission on the Pakistan/Raymond Davis story –
    “The New York Times had agreed to temporarily withhold information about Mr. Davis’s ties to the agency at the request of the Obama administration, which argued that disclosure of his specific job would put his life at risk. Several foreign news organizations have disclosed some aspects of Mr. Davis’s work with the C.I.A.. On Monday, American officials lifted their request to withhold publication, though George Little, a C.I.A. spokesman, declined any further comment.” (source: glenn greenwald,

  10. President Barack Obama should be impeached for approving air strikes against Libya, Rep. Dennis Kucinich said in an interview Monday.

    “President Obama moved forward without Congress approving,” the liberal Ohio Democrat told Raw Story. “He didn’t have congressional authorization, he has gone against the Constitution, and that’s got to be said.”

    I think I like this guy.

  11. “…..let slip the dogs of war …”-frank
    poetic phrase, ugly reality….in thinking back on the civilian death toll in ALL the countries the US has invaded this past decade (and seems determined to continue in the same vein…)I would say that the cost and loss has been born in its entirety by the civilians who apparently are just in the way….(abroad and at home…)….

  12. One of the things that all the macho “more war now!” types seem to ignore is that once you have let slip the dogs of war people get killed. Not just the bad guys of the moment, not just the heroic Sargent Slaughters of Our Homeland Defense Force but just people. Young, old, boys, girls regular people doing things regular people try to do. Nobody ever counts them when they list the costs but there are many lives destroyed on purpose or by accident does not matter.

  13. Now that is a true act of something…Heroism…Faith…wow… What would I do under similar circumstances….

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