Peter Maass, The Toppling

January 11, 2011  |  permalink

Shelling the Palestine Hotel

On April 8, the day before Marines arrived at Firdos Square, an Army tank on the Al Jumhuriya Bridge fired a shell at the Palestine Hotel, killing two journalists and injuring three others. Those killings increased pressure on the Pentagon to secure the hotel, so that no further harm would come to journalists there; the next day, Marines were dispatched to the Palestine. Subsequent investigations revealed that although key officers on the ground, including brigade and battalion commanders, knew the Palestine should not be fired on, they did not know the hotel’s precise location, because it wasn’t marked on their maps; the tank’s crew did not know that journalists were in the building they were firing on. Click here to read the investigation from The Los Angeles Times, and click here to read the report from the Committee to Protect Journalists.

About The Toppling by Peter Maass

On April 9, 2003, American Marines toppled a statue of Saddam Hussein at Firdos Square in Baghdad. Broadcast across the world, the event symbolized what was thought to be an American victory in Iraq. My reconstruction, written with support from ProPublica and the Shorenstein Center, was published in The New Yorker. This section contains documents, photos, videos and links related to the story.

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