U.S. COURT FINDS SYRIA RESPONSIBLE FOR KILLING AMERICAN JOURNALIST MARIE COLVIN | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

U.S. COURT FINDS SYRIA RESPONSIBLE FOR KILLING AMERICAN JOURNALIST MARIE COLVIN

A FEDERAL JUDGE in Washington, D.C. has ordered the Syrian government to pay $302 million in damages for the murders of journalists Marie Colvin and Remi Ochlik in a 2012 artillery strike. The decision, issued on Wednesday, marks the first time in the seven-year conflict that a court has declared Syrian forces loyal to the government of President Bashar al-Assad responsible for deliberately attacking civilians.

“A targeted murder of an American citizen, whose courageous work was not only important, but vital to our understanding of warzones and of wars generally, is outrageous, and therefore a punitive damages award that [multiplies] the impact on the responsible state is warranted,” wrote Judge Amy Berman Jackson.

The Syrian government did not respond to the lawsuit filed on behalf of Colvin’s niece and nephew, leading to a default judgement. The suit followed from a six-year investigation by the Center for Justice and Accountability, which unearthed testimony and documentary evidence detailing how Assad’s commanders tracked and killed Colvin and her colleague on the morning of February 22, 2012 in Homs, Syria. Colvin was among the few Western journalists working from Homs, where she reported on the government’s use of rocket and artillery strikes against the civilian population trapped in the city. Also hurt in the attack that killed Colvin and Ochlik, a French photojournalist, were photographer Paul Conroy, journalist Edith Bouvier, and media activist Khaled Abu Salah.

The Assad government will almost certainly never pay the damages, but the finding establishes a significant precedent for the press, according to Scott Gilmore, the attorney who investigated and litigated the case. The ruling “recognizes that attacks designed to intimidate journalists and stifle reporting cause broad social harm and merit severe condemnation,” he told The Intercept.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

That same bit in that last sentence, should hold just as true for US journalists and bloggers here at home, as it is for reporters abroad.

And she, and the photo journalist with her, had to know that they were operating in a war zone; made the choice to be there; and unfortunately, suffered the consequences.

But what I am seeing here is more demonization of Syria, whether or not this event actually happened, and regardless of whether it can be proven true. It may well be, but that is not the point.

I think that those in foggy bottom are waiting to see what the overnights looked like on this issue, in their quest to martial support for yet another Syrian engagement, even though that may mean fighting Russians on the ground, or in the air, neither choice being a wise one, right now.

We understand by now, that demonization, plus sanctions, are the tell-tale preludes to.... the US military's attempting to kick another country's military right in the proverbial shins.

This would be one of the most vulnerable of all moments to attempt to even be contemplating a US war with Russia on the ground in Syria, and I say this as someone who cares deeply about the current trajectory of the US's foreign and domestic policies.

And the reasons I am saying this are pretty self-evident; our military does not have the weaponry; the troop strength; the money, or the manufacturing to ensure a positive outcome for a US war against Russia in Syria, or anywhere else, for that matter.

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