] The colonel in charge of the tank that fired said they
] had reacted after seeing enemy "binoculars" being used in
] the hotel.
I didn't really think that was realistic until I saw the pentagon press conference yesterday, which I felt was rather "spinny." Instead of being matter of fact about it they went to alot of effort to talk about how Americans are really good guys and they avoided directly answering questions about the incident other then to say that "war zones are dangerous."
My own take on the press conference was that the Pentagon spokespeople were well aware what a messy situation this is, and that they just didn't have enough information themselves yet to know what had really happened, so they were being deliberately vague.
Personally, I sincerely doubt that the hit was any kind of "directive from the top: make it look like an accident or justified response" attack. Unfortunately though, I *do* think it's possible that a rogue commander or gunner who was pissed off at Al Jazeera over the POW situation might indeed have taken the shot deliberately. We've got thousands of troops there, and though it would be nice to say that every single one of them was clear-headed, well-informed, emotionally stable and never made a mistake of judgment, I know that's just not true. Mistakes have been made, and I'm sure that more mistakes will continue to be made. So far though, the Pentagon seems to have a pretty good track record of owning up to its mistakes. There have been plenty of "friendly fire" casualties of our own troops (and of at least one reporter) that have been acknowledged as what they were: Screw-ups. As for the reasons behind the Palestine Hotel shooting and the Al Jazeera bombing (and as screw-ups go, these are both huge -- those places should have both been labeled as sacred as mosques), I'm relatively confident that if the truth *can* be known, that it will be reported -- Error in entering coordinates, a disgruntled soldier, bad intelligence, technical glitch, battlefield misjudgment, or whatever it turns out to be.
I've got another rant brewing about the screw-ups that I've seen in the recent press reporting about other occupation issues in Baghdad, but I'll save that for another meme . . .