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Journal geoswan's Journal: Take Sergeant Layne Morris's claims with a peck of salt

Layne Morris is a sergeant in the US special forces. On July 27th, 2002 Morris was injured by a grenade, while attempting to capture some suspected al Qaeda trainees. He lost the sight of his eye.

The last eight paragraphs of this story describe the skirmish where he was injured.

Some Bush apologists have accused me of hating American GIs. Hate the war, not the warrior. I think any patriotic soldier who is willing to put his life on the line for his country, while following what they think are lawful orders, deserves respect.

But Sergeant Morris's claims have to be taken with a peck of salt. I am assuming Sergeant Morris was an honourable soldier, that he was obeying lawful orders, or orders he thought were lawful. It sounds like he lead a frontal assault -- that makes him a real hero, doesn't it?

Sergeant Morris says watching the first US broadcast of the frontline episode "Son of al Qaeda" triggered him to He lost the sight of his eye. I think the loss of his eye has lead to him allowing or even encouraging interviewers to misrepresent the events of 2002-7-27.

I have heard interviews with Sergeant Morris. He allows his interviewers to repeat that the same grenade that mortally wounded his colleague Sergeant Christopher Speer was the same grenade that injured him. But, according to the longest and most complete account of his skirmish I have come across Sergeant Morris was wounded early in the skirmish. Then the soldiers called in an aerial bombardment, which reduced the compound to rubble, and which they believed had killed all the suspects. Sergeant Speer was mortally wounded over four hours after Sergeant Morris.

Sergeant Morris has made public statements about the behaviour, appearance, training and mental state of Omar Khadr, the fifteen year old boy who threw the grenade that mortally wounded Sergeant Speer. He implies that his comments are based on personal observation. But from my reading of the various accounts Sergeant Morris would never have had an opportunity to watch Khadr. His comments are based on photos, not first person observation, just like all the rest of us.

Sergeant Morris now claims that he knows, from the statements of Khadr's relatives, that Khadr asserts that he was the one who injured him.

I have google news alert on all the Khadrs. I have had a google news alert on Omar Khadr since September 12th 2004. I think I have seen every news report of every interview with any of the Khadrs since then. I read nothing that would back up this claim of Sergeant Morris. Okay. He was a hero, who suffered a very serious wound that will affect him for the rest of his life. So I won't call him a liar. But I believe what he claims is just not true. He may have misheard something a Khadr said. But his claim is incorrect

Even if, for the sake of argument, a Khadr did assert Omar Khadr was the one who injured Sergeant Morris, that assertion wouldn't be credible.

Khadr's family have had practically no contact with him. Further it is extremely unlikely that Omar Khadr has any idea who Sergeant Morris is. Unless Khadr was the only one throwing grenades when the Americans made their initial assault there is absolutely no way Khadr or Sergeant Morris could tell whose grenade injured Sergeant Morris. Grenades aren't like bullets. We all know, from watching CSI, that a forensic technician could tell, if necessary, which rifle fired which bullet. But there is no way a forensic technician could tell whether it was Omar Khadr, or one of his comrades, who threw the grenade that injured Sergeant Speer.

Now some people may argue that it doesn't matter if it was one of Omar Khadr's grenades which injured Sergeant Morris, if he threw one he was trying to kill Americans. Agreed. If you accept the Bush administration interpretation, this means that Khadr was a terrorist.

But I don't accept that. I'll explain why in my next JE.

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Take Sergeant Layne Morris's claims with a peck of salt

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