US Sniper Program 'Baits' Insurgents

Iraqis who pick up planted weapons shot immediately
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 24, 2007 10:59 AM CDT
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(Newser) – A classified Pentagon program urges snipers in Iraq to “bait” potential militants by scattering weapons and ammunition and shooting anyone who picks them up, the Washington Post reports. The program, detailed in documents from the murder trial of three snipers accused of planting evidence on victims, raises issues because civilians might pick up the items.

A Pentagon warfare group gives snipers “drop items.” If Iraqis pick them up, snipers assume they would use them against US forces. But in armament-heavy Iraq, experts say that’s tantamount to asking “every Iraqi to walk around with a target on his back.” The defense says the program blurred a moral line, opening the door to evidence planting.