British film maker John Laurence who directed "I Am An American Soldier" a documentary about the 101st Airborne and their heroics in Iraq, has taken exception to articles written here at AmatoTalk.com.
The 101st Airborne includes Staff Sergeant Raymond Girouard. SSG Girouard was recently sentenced to ten years in prison after being convicted on three counts of negligent homicide for his role in the deaths of three Iraqi detainees on May 9, 2006.
SSG Girouard refused a government plea bargain deal to plead guilty to lesser charges in exchange for a lesser sentence.
We pointed out in an article titled "The Training and Conviction of Staff Sergeant Girouard" that film footage existed of Commanding Officer Col. Steele giving a 'pep talk' , saying things such as:
" Don't let them live to fight another day. They’re going to breed, multiply . . .,’You'll be eaten unless you act like the dominant one on the food chain...rely on your training to do what's right, do not hesitate...you’re the hunted … don't bring any of them back. "
While the defense was unsuccessful in their attempts to call Col.
Steele as a witness in the case (he was eventually reprimanded and
re-assigned out of Iraq by the military) his comments are a part of "I Am An American
John Laurence has pointed out the Col. Steele DID NOT receive financial compensation for his role in the film. Instead Laurence and his film crew spent 14 months embedded with a company of the 101st Airborne and filmed Colonel Steele's deployment speech.
The film will be seen at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York starting April 26th. Listed below is the movie's trailer, and John Laurence's comments to AmatoTalk.com:
"You make an assumption about our film, "I Am an American Soldier" -- that Colonel Steele was paid for his story -- that is not true. We spent 14 months embedded with a company of the 101st Airborne to make this documentary about the lives of ordinary soldiers in Iraq. Colonel Steele happened to be the brigade commander and we happened to film his pre-deployment speech which you have taken totally out of context. We were invited by the Army to make this film. We did not pay a penny for the privilege. The film will be seen at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York starting April 26th.
The last paragraph is a complete lie. Col. Steele was interviewed and filmed during the 14 months filming this movie. It most certainly does not tell his story, but that of a company of the 101st Airborn in Iraq. most was filmed before the subject of the court case".
John Laurence, Director, verite films limited, U.K.
It is our belief that you deserve to know what film maker John Laurence had to say.