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U.S. Marine comes forward, says military used white phosphorus in Fallujah.

Italian broadcasting agency RAI has released a documentary "The Hidden Massacre" that clearly indicates that the U.S. military used white phosphorus offensively during their attack on Fallujah in November, 2004. (Click here to watch the documentary, or here to download it. Democracy Now is also providing the documentary, too, along with interviews. Easier streaming.)


The broadcast shows video of a U.S. helicopter repeatedly raining down a bombardment of white phosporus across Fallujah at night. The U.S. State Department had previously released a statement categorically denying all use of white phosporus during the battle of Fallujah except for illumination purposes. This confirms several firsthand reports from news sources at the time of the invasion.

In the video, Jeff Englehart, a Marine who served in Fallujah and who maintains a weblog at http://www.ftssoldier.blogspot.com , claims that there was widespread, indicriminate use of white phosphorus in last year's attack on Fallujah.



The white phosporus hits, burning at over 3000 degrees, effecting an area approximately a quarter of a mile wide -- over a tenth of a mile in all directions. Classified as an incendiary by the US military, modern white phosphorus ordinance is often mixed with rubber or plastic to prevent its fire from being extinguished, even if doused in water. It scatters and burns indiscrimiately -- if it makes contact with skin, it will burn down to the bone.

Englehart heard officers approve requests for use of white phosphorus on a wide scale throughout the assault. "It comes across the radio as a general transmission... we have speakers in our trucks. 'We're going to drop some Willy Pete.' 'Roger. Commence bombing'"

"We were told going into Fallujah that every single person going into the combat area that was walking, talking, breatheing was an enemy combattant. . . It seemed like just a massive killing of Arabs. It looked like just a massive killing. . . Burned bodies. Burned children. Burned women. White phosphorus kills indiscriminately."

Englehart also reported that the invasion of Fallujah was intentionally delayed by the Bush administration until after the election. "It's was definitely the case. Even in the military ranks, we knew what was going on. They told us..."

-----------------------

UPDATE:

More confirmation of non-illumination use of white phosphorus during the Battle of Fallujah, this time from the Army itself, via the article "The Fight for Fallujah - TF2-2 IN FSE AAR: Indirect Fires in the Battle of Fallujah" in the March/April '05 edition of Field Artillery Magazine :

"The munitions we brought to this fight were . . . illumination
and white phosphorous (WP, M110 and M825), with point-detonating (PD), delay, time and variable-time (VT) fuzes."


"WP proved to be an effective and versatile munition. We used it for screening missions at two breeches and, later in the fight, as a potent psychological weapon against the insurgents in trench lines and spider holes when we could not get effects on them with HE. We fired “shake and bake” missions at the insurgents, using WP to flush them out and HE to take them out."

This according to Captain James T. Cobb, First Lieutenant Christopher A. LaCour, and Sergeant First Class William H. Hight, the authors of the article. Their article fundamentally disagrees with the statement by the U.S. State Department on the matter.

There are also numerous reports from embedded journalists that WP was fired on Fallujah, such as this one from the North County Times:

"Bogert is a mortar team leader who directed his men to fire round after round of high explosives and white phosphorus charges into the city Friday and Saturday, never knowing what the targets were or what damage the resulting explosions caused.
...
The boom kicked dust around the pit as they ran through the drill again and again, sending a mixture of burning white phosphorus and high explosives they call "shake 'n' bake" into a cluster of buildings where insurgents have been spotted all week."
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