Shawn Gibson

Shawn Gibson

in April 2003.

The 38-year old Gibson was commanding an M1 Abrams tank, when he was ordered to fire on Baghdad's Hotel Palestine after he reported seeing somebody with binoculars on the rooftop. His single shell hit a 15th floor balcony, killing Couso and Reuters cameraman Taras Protsyuk. He was later quoted as saying "I didn’t fire immediately. I called my chiefs and told them what I’d seen. Ten minutes later they called me and told me to fire and I did." (Tape B, 1:11:45)

, though she made no mention of the high-profile case. The photo captions read :"Htaita Abd and Amera Ktasi’s four children are a little unsure why strangers are in their house. U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Shawn Gibson stopped in the Habbaniyah, Iraq, neighborhood to check on housing conditions." and:"During a stop on a patrol, U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Shawn Gibson, Alpha Company, 4th Battalion, 64th Armored Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division, enjoys a laugh with Adan Ali, the emir of Civilcamp, a neighborhood of Habbaniyah, Iraq."Gibson is mentioned in the article of having recently switched from his role as a tank operator, to a Humvee driver through Cooley Camp and Civil Camp - though there is no indication this was as a result of any investigation into the Hotel Palestine shelling. The article closes with a quote from Gibson "Our motto is "They shoot one bullet at us, we shoot 1000 at them"

In August 2003, all three soldiers were the subject of a US Military investigation, which cleared them of wrongdoing because they believed there were enemy troops stationed at the hotel. Six months later Reporters Without Borders announced that while they did not think there was a case against the 3 ground-level soldiers involved, they wanted to see an investigation launched into their superior officers.

In 2005, Gibson appeared in an interview with a Belgian television station, which appears in the documentary film ""

:Gibson: I was receiving artillery rounds up there in front of my tank, beside my tank, up under my tank. They were shooting up under my tank with RPGs on the bridge. You go over to the bridge right now, you will see holes up under the bridge where my tank was sitting. Want to go look at my tank and see the shots on my tank? Come on, let's take a look at that. Come on.

:Pascale Bourgaux: (overdubbed) He tells me, "I’ll show you my tank, how we were attacked". He takes me all around the tank, and shows me the holes, from all kinds of artillery.

:Gibson: See, they shot my grenade launcher.

:Narrator:(overdubbed) Weeks later, on the bridge, we still find evidence of the battle, although not as much as Gibson asserted.

On March 6th 2006, the charges against Gibson were dismissed by Santiago Pedraz.

External links

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