Choppers Open Fire on Civilians, Killing Reuters Journalist & 10 Others

Discussion in 'Iraq' started by QUENTIN, Apr 6, 2010.

  1. QUENTIN
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    Calling it a case of "collateral murder," the WikiLeaks Web site today released harrowing until-now secret video of a U.S. Army Apache helicopter in Baghdad in 2007 repeatedly opening fire on a group of men that included a Reuters photographer and his driver -- and then on a van that stopped to rescue one of the wounded men.

    None of the members of the group were taking hostile action, contrary to the Pentagon's initial cover story; they were milling about on a street corner. One man was evidently carrying a gun, though that was and is hardly an uncommon occurrence in Baghdad.

    Reporters working for WikiLeaks determined that the driver of the van was a good Samaritan on his way to take his small children to a tutoring session. He was killed and his two children were badly injured.

    In the video, which Reuters has been asking to see since 2007, crew members can be heard celebrating their kills.

    "Oh yeah, look at those dead bastards," says one crewman after multiple rounds of 30mm cannon fire left nearly a dozen bodies littering the street.

    A crewman begs for permission to open fire on the van and its occupants, even though it has done nothing but stop to help the wounded: "Come on, let us shoot!"

    Two crewmen share a laugh when a Bradley fighting vehicle runs over one of the corpses.

    And after soldiers on the ground find two small children shot and bleeding in the van, one crewman can be heard saying: "Well, it's their fault bringing their kids to a battle."

    The helicopter crew, which was patrolling an area that had been the scene of fierce fighting that morning, said they spotted weapons on members of the first group -- although the video shows one gun, at most. The crew also mistook a telephoto lens for a rocket-propelled grenade.

    The shooting, which killed Reuters photographer Namir Noor-Eldeen, 22, and driver Saeed Chmagh, 40, took place on July 12, 2007, in a southeastern neighborhood of Baghdad.

    The next day, the New York Times reported the military's official cover story:

    The video shows otherwise.

    Washington Post reporter David Finkel described the incident -- and the video -- in great detail in his September 2009 book, "The Good Soldiers". A summary can be found here.

    Finkel also described a review session after Lt. Col. Ralph Kauzlarich, commander of the Army's 2nd Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment and his soldiers returned to base, which "concluded that everyone had acted appropriately." (Kauzlarich was also involved in the Army's Pat Tillman cover-up, and later told ESPN that the reluctance of Tillman's parents to accept the military's story that he was killed by enemy action, rather than friendly fire, was the unfortunate result of their lack of Christian faith.)

    WikiLeaks, a small, independent Web site that invites people to post information and documents that powerful interests would prefer to keep secret, says it received the video and supporting documents from military whistleblowers.

    Julian Assange, the editor of the site, said the killings either violated the the army's rules of engagement, or those rules of engagement "are very, deeply wrong."

    Watch the WikiLeaks video below:

    [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5rXPrfnU3G0[/ame]
     
  2. Douger
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    Douger BANNED

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    Yeah. It's just those wacky comrades of the likes of Sarge, Gunny, Lolly and retarded army guy.
    Heroes.
    Defending FreeDumb and spreading DemoNcracy.
     
  3. RetiredGySgt
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    That video does not show what happened before the incident, it does however SUPPORT the claim by the gun crew in the helo that ARMED men were present in an area that just had heavy fighting. And last I checked Iraqi insurgents and terrorists alike drove pretty much every type of vehicle in the Country and tried to rescue their people at times.

    Further if the crew did not believe they were a threat they would NOT have called in for ground support.

    As for Douger, fuck you asshole, you are a free man because people VOLUNTEER in the military to protect your sorry ass.
     
  4. CrimsonWhite
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    Fuck off.
     
  5. QUENTIN
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    QUENTIN VIP Member

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    Here are the facts, obtained and released by Wikileaks, Reuters, and Washington Post journalist David Finkel who covered the surge and reported on this attack from the scene later that day:

    The 17-minute video shows the most relevant footage, Wikileaks also posted the whole 38-minute video that includes all imaginable context, from the moment the helicopter is anywhere near the area until several minutes after the bodies are picked up. The men who they shot never engaged anyone at any time. Collateral Murder

    Full, unedited video of the entire incident from beginning to end: [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=is9sxRfU-ik[/ame]

    From the moment the helicopter first spots them to the moment they're killed, what the men killed are doing can best be described as "milling about." A few blocks away a few hours before this, there was some fighting and Americans engaged and killed a group of insurgents. The Reuters photojournalist went to take pictures of the aftermath of that scene once the fighting had died down and the area was calm for a few hours. The last series of photos by the Reuters photojournalist suggest the men around him came out to see what he was taking pictures of and perhaps see what had happened once the fighting had died down, they appear to have arrived piecemeal and not in a group.

    In the aftermath of the shooting, one AK-47 and no other weapons were found. Being armed in Iraq is a pretty common safety precaution for obvious reasons (also, what do Iraqis who fight Al Qaeda and the insurgency or protect their families from them carry?). Having a gun in a nation where gun ownership is legal and quite widespread is not justification for opening fire on you and everyone in your vicinity. There were no RPGs. What was called an RPG turned out to be a telephoto lens.

    The van that stopped was found to be a Good Samaritan on his way to taking his kids to a tutor. He stopped when he drove by and saw a wounded man still writhing on the ground. He attempted to put him in his van, presumably to get him medical attention. The two men have no affiliation, the driver of the van was a family man with no affiliation with insurgents, the man he was helping was a driver for Reuters. The dead man's children were both shot but survived, the children and the murdered man's widow were recently found and can be seen here: [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BflAj2txMVQ]YouTube - New background material from Iraq[/ame]

    This is opinion:

    This is important and revealing not because it's aberrational or an unusual tragedy, but because it is exactly the common and routine behavior usually shielded from view and media coverage. Nothing about this video is exceptional or out of the ordinary except that two of the innocent people murdered happened to work for Reuters instead of being random, unknown Iraqi civilians, so the video came to light.

    As the video demonstrates, the soldiers in the Apache did not take a single step -- including killing those unarmed men who tried to rescue the wounded -- without first receiving formal permission from their superiors. Beyond that, the Pentagon yesterday -- once the video was released -- suddenly embraced the wisdom of transparency by posting online the reports of the so-called "investigations" it undertook into this incident (as a result of pressure from Reuters). Those formal investigations not only found that every action taken by those soldiers was completely justified -- including the firing on the unarmed civilian rescuers -- but also found that there's no need for any remedial steps to be taken to prevent future re-occurence. What we see on that video is what the U.S. does on a constant and regular basis in these countries, and it's what we've been doing for years. It's obviously consistent with our policies and practices for how we fight in these countries, which is exactly what those investigative reports concluded.

    The WikiLeaks video is not an indictment of the individual soldiers involved -- at least not primarily. What they did was consistent with their training and orders and the way soldiers behave in Iraq and Afghanistan. The video is instead an indictment of the U.S. government and the war policies it pursues which lead to the casual slaughter of unarmed civilians without cause.

    Precisely the same dynamic applies to the Pentagon's admission yesterday that its original claims about the brutal February killing of five civilians in Eastern Afghanistan were totally false. http://www.usmessageboard.com/afgha...most-important-stories-about-afghanistan.html

    What happened there -- the slaughter of unthreatening civilians, official lies told about the incident, the dissemination of those lies by an uncritical U.S. media -- is what happens constantly (the same deceitful cover-up behavior took place with the Iraq video).

    Nieman Watchdog > Commentary > U.S.-led forces in Afghanistan are committing atrocities, lying, and getting away with it

    The lies about the Afghan killings were exposed in this instance not because they're rare, but because one very intrepid, relentless reporter happened to be able to travel to the remote province and speak to witnesses and investigate the event, forcing the Pentagon to acknowledge the truth.

    The value of the Wikileaks/Iraq video and the Afghanistan revelation is not that they exposed unusually horrific events. The value is in realizing that these event are anything but unusual.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2010
  6. RetiredGySgt
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    Give it a rest. The Government and the military take overall way to many precautions as it is. These precautions endanger the lives of OUR soldiers.

    Are you aware of the incident in Afghanistan where all but one member of a SEAL Team died because of our policies? Had their hands not been tied by restrictive ROE those men would not have died.

    The video highlights that a war zone is a dangerous place.
     
  7. eots
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    its not a war ...its a liberation
     
  8. eots
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    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NYajVWYNPsU&feature=related]YouTube - Immortal Technique - Cause of Death[/ame]
     
  9. MuslimAgorist
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