The US military has decided that although American troops killed Knight-Ridder reporter Yasser Salihee in Baghdad, no one needs to be punished, because the sniper who shot him in the head as he drove to get gas for his car to take his daughter to a swimming pool had followed the Pentagon's "rules of engagement."

But that's the problem, isn't it?

Those "rules of engagement" that are being used by US occupation forces in Iraq have led to the deaths of 13 journalists--an astonishing toll of slaughter. And these same "rules" have led to tens of thousands of Iraqi deaths in the same manner--deaths we don't even hear about.

The number of journalists killed have led Reuter's global managing editor, David Schlessinger, to write to Senate Armed Services Committee Chair Sen. John Warner (R-VA), saying that the US military in Iraq is "out of control." A total of 66 journalists have died so far, including three from Reuters.

What's needed aren't more investigations--though clearly there should be an investigation of every civilian death, and of every reporter's death. What's needed are new "rules of engagement" that don't lead to the slaughter of innocents.

Better yet, let's bring these uniformed "heroes" home right now before they kill again with official sanction.

For other stories by Lindorff, please go (at no charge) to This Can't Be Happening! .