Monday, June 12, 2006

Zarqawi Died Of Blast Injuries, Not Beating

Autopsy results show massive internal injuries, but no signs of a beating or gunshot wounds.

Col. Steve Jones, an army pathologist, said at a news conference in Baghdad that medics attempted to treat Zarqawi after they arrived, clearing his airways, but that injuries from the June 7 blast to his lungs were not "survivable."

Zarqawi was "treated better in death than he treated others in life," added Major Gen. William B. Caldwell IV, the military spokesman who presided at today's news conference. He "did lapse in and out of consciousness" but his breathing was shallow and labored all the while, until it stopped, and his pulse deteriorated rapidly.

Zarqawi lived for some 52 minutes after the strike, Jones said.
The unusually detailed and graphic autopsy reports followed unsubstantiated suggestions from an Iraqi at the scene that Zarqawi might have been beaten. Jones said that while Zarqawi had numerous external lacerations caused by the blast, his fatal injuries were caused by shockwaves from the explosions that severely damaged his lungs.

Will this be the last word? Or will some be suspicious of a narrative that doesn't include nefarious actions on the part of U.S. soldiers? Given the choice of the findings of pathologists--true, military ones--and the unsubstantiated claims previously reported, which do you think will be given more credence?

Time will tell.