The Wall Street Journal has published some new information on the December 28, 2011 disaster in the southeastern Turkish city of Uludere, when Turkish jets targeted and killed 34 citizens who were under suspicion of being PKK terrorists. The report says that the US provided images of Kurdish smugglers to the Turkish military, but our Chief of Staff official declared that the intelligence came from our own “national sources.”
Either the US paper is lying, our military command is lying, or our Chief of Staff considers US to be “our national source.”
It gets worse. In the report, which cites US military officials, the newspaper writes: “U.S. military officers at the Fusion Cell in Ankara couldn't tell whether the men, bundled in heavy jackets, were civilians or guerrilla fighters ..." and that "additional surveillance from the Predator might have helped the Turks better identify the convoy.” Our military denied the Americans’ proposal and ordered the drone to fly away.
Why did our command reject their suggestion to acquire more information? Why did they not want to be sure of the identity of the people it was going to kill? Why did it decide to move the Heron away? Why did our command refuse an opportunity to more clearly see the people they were preparing to kill? And why did they fail to ask our ground units in the region to identify the Heron’s images?
Why did they commit a massacre based on incomplete information? Why do they refuse to identify the one who gave the order to kill? Why are they withholding information from the investigating prosecutor? Why isn’t the government making any effort to find those responsible?
The Wall Street Journal report tells us that someone in the Chief of Staff desperately wanted to kill those 34 people — the fact that they did not want to know the true identity of those people meant that their deaths were intentional. It tells us something else as well: that some Americans are unhappy with how Turkey is handling the Uludere massacre, and that they want the truth made public.