Iraq: Wikileaks video of US military killing journalists

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292 Responses to “Iraq: Wikileaks video of US military killing journalists”

  1. Roger Wilco says:

    made the rounds right after watching it to see who had picked it up…your foot note says it all.

    seeing the video brings to mind Bill Hicks who said of the first gulf war that he was in the unenviable position of being for the war but against the troops. His fury is sorely lacking at times like these.

    I sincerely hope this blows up into the firestorm it deserves to be. i hope the pilots come forward and talk about it. i hope some heads roll and rules change and that people can have a mature conversation about the realities of war.

    hahahahaha… for a second i thought that might happen.

    so who’s getting a ipad?

  2. Anonymous says:

    This is fucking disgusting. Not much shit makes me angry but this is fucked, Hey Obama, heres something that deserves your attention. HOW ABOUT IT???

  3. A Nonny Moose says:

    Question: Does anybody here have any hands-on experience with these gunsight cameras? I ask because a friend of mine pointed out some rather obvious breaks in the video and cried shenanigans. I also noticed them, but assumed that they were the result of the way the operator was using the sight. My question is, are these cameras always on (which would lend credence to the shenanigans theory) or are they designed only to be active when the sight is activated (presumably by thumbing a stud or exerting partial pressure on the trigger)? Let me also note with some surprise that nobody seems to have addressed this yet in 250+ comments.

  4. Antinous / Moderator says:

    We really ask a lot of our young service people out on the checkpoints because there’s danger, they’re asked to make very rapid decisions in often very unclear situations. However, to my knowledge, in the nine-plus months I’ve been here, not a single case where we have engaged in an escalation of force incident and hurt someone has it turned out that the vehicle had a suicide bomb or weapons in it and, in many cases, had families in it. That doesn’t mean I’m criticizing the people who are executing. I’m just giving you perspective. We’ve shot an amazing number of people and killed a number and, to my knowledge, none has proven to have been a real threat to the force.

    – General Stanley McChrystal

    McChrystal: We’ve Shot ‘An Amazing Number’ Of Innocent Afghans

  5. Anonymous says:

    I am going to be the bad guy here. First though, I am against the War we are waging there. It was done to secure a stooge government on the second richest oil deposits on the planet. The crap about removing a dictator was the weakest excuse given that there are many more, and far worse, dictatorships in the world.
    This is about controlling a resource and that’s it. True, that is a reason for many wars. Japan entered WW2 to control resources in the Pacific.
    That doesn’t make this particular war right.
    OK, now I want to bring up some military stuff. The guys in the aircraft are shot at everyday. This is not a “Grand” war with 2 armies facing off on the field of battle. The insurgents are bad guys who think nothing of throwing human shields (usually women and children) in front of them hoping that some of them are killed. Makes for great propaganda. If you are a simple soldier, not involved with the politics and command, your job is to stay alive and do your duty. If every soldier did a moral search and take it upon themselves to determine if every action they take is “the right one”, our casualties would be countless. The pilots and soldiers who did this did follow the rules of engagement. They passed over and did the best they could at I.D.ing the targets. They asked for permission and were given that permission. I bet my favorite appendage that they had been fired upon by the real bad guys that day and every other day. It is really easy for those who have never had a gun fired at them or been in real fear for their lives to judge. Hand someone who hates you a gun sometime and tell me how it feels.
    Yes, we have done bad things there and to repeat, we should not be there but, there are real bad guys on the ground in Iraq. They want nothing more than to kill our soldiers and will use anything and anyone they can to accomplish that. If we were not there, some of these people would be killing civilians just to gain power. The entire Middle East if full of those who want only to rule, not lead their people.
    I could go on and on with this. War is not “polite”. The regular schmo’s who only want to get through their tours are in very real far for their lives. I personally would rather see Iraqi dead than more Americans.
    Blame the politicians, they are the ones who decided to fight this “war”. The guys in the aircraft and on the ground are just trying to do the best they can and get home to their families.

  6. lewis stoole says:

    that is always possible. but what is evident is a group of men, standing in the open, clustered, and acting secure in the presence of a u.s. gunship helicopter circling overhead.

    unless they are oblivious to its presence, overall they do not seem alarmed. they are not dispersing in various directions, running for cover, aiming rpg’s or raising guns, etc. the van that pulls up is under the same situation, and no one pops out with a raised gun or rpg. the samaritans are not frantically running around, but moving the injured at a moderate pace. everything on the ground looks like these guys feel safe being in the open with a u.s. helicopter overhead.

    which makes me wonder if this ever crossed the minds of the gunner and pilot?

    also, why don’t they ever use loudspeakers like police helicopters? i know, no interpreters, but what about pre-recorded instruction. just curious, as this is supposed to also be a policing effort at this stage of the game (this stage meaning anything after 3 years of occupancy).

    • arkizzle / Moderator says:

      Notice how long it is between the guns firing and the shots hitting their target. At the first fire, it’s 2+ seconds, the helicopters are far away.

  7. Anonymous says:

    the brain washing and intense emotional reversal shows you that our military trains soldiers to disregard human life and actually aim to destroy it… this is not something we as humans are naturally driven to do.. You notice one of the shooters begging to “let us shoot..” as if he was a junky begging for for another taste. Its scary to think that we have figured out how to turn good people in to truly evil beings.

  8. Anonymous says:

    This tape is a “My Lai” moment for the Iraq invasion/occupation/fiasco. Remember, the original invasion was orchestrated and backed by a pack of lies engineered by Dick Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Douglas Feith, and other deeply cynical Neocons, none of whom has been held responsible for his treasonous acts. To this day, after a trillion dollars and several hundred thousand dead Iraqis and millions of Iraqi refugees and tens of thousands of killed/wounded Americans flushed down the Pentagon Portapotty, every one of the disgraced cabal still walks free.

  9. Antinous / Moderator says:

    After initially denying involvement or any cover-up in the deaths of three Afghan women during a badly bungled American Special Operations assault in February, the American-led military command in Kabul admitted late on Sunday that its forces had, in fact, killed the women during the nighttime raid…The admission immediately raised questions about what really happened during the Feb. 12 operation — and what falsehoods followed — including a new report that Special Operations forces dug bullets out of the bodies of the women to hide the true nature of their deaths.

    U.S. Admits Role in February Killing of Afghan Women

  10. arkizzle / Moderator says:

    ^ ‘hatter, was that supposed to be directed to me? I see your point, but am missing the connection..

  11. Anonymous says:

    I can’t believe the people saying that the troops here didn’t do anything wrong. If not this, then how much worse are the incidents where they do make mistakes? Or am I supposed to take it on faith that that’s never happened in the entire decade of war?

  12. OhStevie says:

    Start looking at 3:40 or so, striped shirt is holding an AK, skinny guy next to him turns to the left (our right) and he has the the RPG, and there is a glint off of the rear of the weapon. Now you see who has it, look back while they are walking around and you’ll see it some more, and right before the apache fires. I mean, sure, this isn’t Philidelphia courtroom or anything, unless you were there with them you can say it was a pool cue or something, but in a war zone, with weapons around, there is this thing exactly the size and shape of an RPG…

    • arkizzle / Moderator says:

      I’ll give you your final assessment, size and shape. But there was no threat; they were being observed by two apache gunships, and the local troops were aware of the situation. They had time enough to make sure.

  13. Anonymous says:

    #251, this is a “highlight” video, and is described as such on the page. It is a cut version of the original, full video, which is 40 minutes long, and is also linked from the collateral murder page.

    More to the point, this video has been acknowledged as authentic by the Pentagon. There are no “shenanigans” here.

  14. Anonymous says:

    The level of engagement may be debatable, but the attack on the medical transport and subsequent coverup is, dare I say, a war crime.

    What can we do about this atrocity? Donate to wikileaks? At the very least I encourage all American citizens who are as outraged as I to write their Congressional representatives and request Congressional inquiry into the matter.

    House of Representatives: https://writerep.house.gov/writerep/welcome.shtml

    Sentate: http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

  15. HDN says:

    Using a cell phone in a combat zone isn’t exactly a sign of innocent behavior. You could be coordinating your forces, you could be triggering an IED.

    • Ito Kagehisa says:

      Using a cell phone in a combat zone isn’t exactly a sign of innocent behavior. You could be coordinating your forces, you could be triggering an IED.

      Or, you know, making a phone call.

      If you see me cooking something in my kitchen, I certainly could be building a race of inhuman monsters to take over the world, but most likely I’m just making food. Since that’s what kitchens are mostly used for.

      Humans love war, though, and love to see “bad people” get painfully slaughtered. Almost any excuse will do, from anti-communism to anti-terrorism to shoring up the failing popularity of a politician leader… anything that lets us pretend that satisfying our ingrained lust for blood is morally justified.

    • Paul Jakma says:

      Using a cell phone in the city in which you live is suspicious? Is it your logic that anything that an insurgent might do must be suspicious?

      By your thinking the act of breathing in Baghdad is suspicious, if done by anyone other than Americans..

      This was not a warzone. This was a densely populated city of millions of people which had been under US occupation for 3 years! The US military were meant to be *protecting* the civilians there!

      Stop blaming the civilian victims for the faults of the military. It is not their fault! They have no choice but to continue to live! (And being a photographer is such a choice – working for western companies, e.g. as interpreters, photographers, reporters, etc.. is a means to earn a crust to feed your family).

      It’s *sickening* to hear people blame the civilians! Particularly civilians who happened to be passing by – 4 minutes after the incident, maybe not even aware of how it happened or when! Civilians who clearly are unarmed, and are helping a wounded man. It is a clear cut case of a war-crime.

      What is also frightening is that this incident was reviewed by the US military and found no cause for further action against the crew. This means the US military’s procedures and checks are completely broken. There seems to be a culture of tolerance of overwhelming violence being used on the scantest of evidence. If this attitude is present in the educated officer corps, imagine what it’s like amongst the troops?

      This video therefore suggests there may be pervasive problems in the attitudes of the US military towards the protection of civilians. Indeed, on this same day, there are yet further stories from Afghanistan of US forces killing civilians in a botched raid, and then covering it up.

      FWIW, though reporting of this kind of thing is hidden from the western public – and particularly uncommon in the US, it is not hidden in the middle-east. People there get a fairly uncensored and raw view of what is being done to their kin from their own media (al-Jazeera, al-Arabia, etc). Think about the consequences of that.

  16. Anonymous says:

    AT the start of the war thousands of journalists were “embedded” so we would get “front line” footage. NONE has been broadcast but TONS of footage must exist.

    IT IS TIME FOR ALL OF THE FILM TO BE LEAKED. IF YOU ARE A JOURNALIST WITH FOOTAGE IT IS YOUR DUTY TO RELEASE IT AND SHOW THE WORLD HOW DESPICABLE THE AMERICAN MILITARY IS!

    Civilian Americans must realize that a war of this nature is the equivalent of our leaders spitting in our face. The people of this country/world are against this war, and have been since the largest united protest in the history of the world took place on the eve of the invasion. If we allow it to continue in light of overwhelming opposition how can we say that our government is of the people, by the people, for the people. REVOLT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  17. Anonymous says:

    Why isn’t this on the Reuters site?

  18. Oceanconcepts says:

    Before you demonize the guys in the chopper…
    There is ample evidence that most of us will rapidly begin to behave just like them, given the power, a combat environment, and reinforcement from above. You can’t fight without dehumanizing the enemy, and mistakes are very common.

    This is, and has always been, the reality of war.

    Thousands of these guys are coming back, and some of them will wake up in the middle of the night and be horrified. I know vets who still suffer for things they did almost 50 years ago.

    This is what the American people voted for when we went to war, whether they understood it or not.

    • fausto says:

      and suffer they will. the injustice comes full circle…

    • jackie31337 says:

      “This is what the American people voted for when we went to war, whether they understood it or not.”

      I don’t recall being asked to vote on whether we should go to war. When did you get to vote on that?

    • Anonymous says:

      “This is what the American people voted for when we went to war, whether they understood it or not.”

      Except that Americans did not actually vote on going to war. Already elected leaders made this decision.

    • Anonymous says:

      “This is what the American people voted for when we went to war, whether they understood it or not.”

      Funny, I don’t remember getting to vote on whether or not we went to war. Guess I was sick that day or something. No, wait, now I remember, I was in DC actively protesting any move towards war. Again, I was still never asked to vote on this.

      Can we vote now? If so chalk one up for “get us the fuck out of there ASAP!”

    • Anonymous says:

      But the American people did /not/ vote to go to war. The Bush White House made that decision itself.

  19. khanti says:

    WebSense, which my company uses for Internet filtering (blech…), blocks the collateralmurder.com site as “potentially damaging”. The irony…

  20. moosehunter says:

    a comment from the Israli/lebanon conflict:

    to survive you must not:

    Throw rocks at tanks
    or
    Stand next to someone throwing rocks at tanks

    Standing at niht in the open with a group of People weilding Weapons in a war zone is going to get you shot.

    and not just by helicopters

    reading the trasncript and viewing the vido does not show that the gunners new or suspected the targets to be Media

    as Sherman put it,
    “War is hell” and good men die for no damn reason at all, especially if they are milling about in the dark with guns.

  21. Anonymous says:

    If you still pay your taxes after watching this you can only blame yourselves. Its time to put our feet down and tell our government, no matter what protocol they were following, that its not okay and we wont support this kind of savagery. We pay our taxes so they can brainwash young men and women into believing that this is honourable.

  22. JohnCJ says:

    When we are fighting an enemy which blends into a civilian populace as cover, that civilian populace loses any form of protection. This is unfortunate but is simply reality.

    There is a reason why the west developed a trinitarian system of warfare. A clear distinction between civilian, government and military is necessary to limit collateral damage. A culture which relies on non-trinitarian, AKA “neo-archaic” organizational structures simply cannot claim the same protections for its unmilitarized citizenry and is itself responsible for the losses.

    That our troops depersonalize the battle is a necessary evil required for them to do a their job.

    • Avram / Moderator says:

      JohnCJ, thing is, it’s their country.

      Maybe it’s inevitable that counter-insurgency tactics will blur the line between combatant and civilian, but it’s also inevitable that counter-insurgency tactics will be used when a nation struggles against military occupation by a foreign power. Logic therefore dictates that if we don’t want to be responsible for killing civilians, we should stop occupying foreign nations that don’t want to be occupied.

  23. Anonymous says:

    how can you mistake a camera for a gun? it’s impossible to do, yet here it is clearly illustrated. they wouldn’t even allow them to pick up their murdered in peace. what a load of chumps.

  24. manicbassman says:

    one wonders if this video finally getting out will have the same impact as this photograph did some 38 years ago…

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:TrangBang.jpg

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/4517597.stm

  25. Drew says:

    This is the ugly truth of fighting an insurgency. When the enemy tries to blend in with the civilian population, and when the rules of engagement set a low bar for perceived threats, there are going to be civilian casualties.

    Firing on the rescue group was indefensible. I don’t think you can extrapolate a systemic malice or incompetence from that incident, but in an organization as large as the US military, you can’t expect to categorically eliminate it.

    What really bothers me is covering this stuff up. The military is one organization that shouldn’t be in the business of exaggerating its own competence. If the public is expected to make an informed decision as to when military force is appropriate, we shouldn’t be hiding the collateral damage of doing so.

    Thank Xenu for Wikileaks.

  26. HDN says:

    Those guys carrying their cameras slung like rifles; would have been better to carry around their necks on their chests. I couldn’t really tell if they were cameras or not, even with the helpful “pop up video balloons”, and the aircrew wouldn’t have had that aid, then the gun camera moves to a third guy who’s definitely carrying a gun; so now it becomes three AKs. The gunship rotates around and catches a glimpse of a guy peeking a corner, with some black object in his hand, but it’s mostly covered by his body and the corner, it looks kind of shady. The gunship is talking to “brad” at this point to the east of them I believe it was, as the gunship is providing air cover. From there, it’s just a SNAFU. There’s no time to get additional confirmation, they don’t want these guys to set up an ambush, and so they engage. The commentary of the killing isn’t the worst thing; it’s defensive, they’re crediting each other with a job well done, and if you thought you’d just prevented an RPG smoking a Bradley FV, you’d think so too.

    The shooting of the van is more disturbing, until the very end where it’s highlighted and zoomed in, do see kids in the van. So you can’t really say that the gunship should have known they were there. It’s not a marked ambulance; it could just as easily be more insurgents rolling up to haul off their own, a not uncommon thing I would think. So it’s just more bad luck.

    The whole thing sucks; but worse things in Iraq have happened.

  27. OhStevie says:

    With all that said… the photographers clearly look like photographers to me as well… just don’t think the army was interested in that.

  28. Antinous / Moderator says:

    I simply don’t think it’s realistic to expect them to go against all their training, the entire command structure and the RoE.

    That’s called character. It’s an essential ingredient in courage. It takes courage to put the survival of civilians above your own. Not everyone has it.

    It’s no crime not to be brave. But you shouldn’t become a soldier.

    • duncano says:

      More lofty platitudes – they are gorgeous. But the solution to what is shown in the video isn’t more ‘courage’ or ‘character’ it’s better rules. As a practical solution, the lofty platitudes model falls well short of being effective. If what’s required is that soldiers put the lives of civilians before their own – push for that to be codified into the RoE. As it stands, the RoE puts force protection first, so that is what they’re going to do.

      Force protection will always be the highest priority because citizens don’t like american boys coming home in body bags. The military can control media coverage to an unprecedented extent, but it’s simply not possible to hide dead US soldiers. They have friends and family and all the myriad of human connections back home.

      On another note, I’d like to thank Antinous and everyone who has contributed to this thread. These are exactly the kinds of issues that need to be discussed.

  29. arkizzle / Moderator says:

    ..just don’t think the army was interested in that.

    Half the point. Surely?

    • OhStevie says:

      Yep, agreed. I’ve never been to a war zone. If someone has a rocket grenade, I imagine the troops default to ‘shoot’ as soon as they can before it melts away.
      I really can’t see how it would be ok to carry a RPG around tho. Home defense? I mean there has to be a ‘outdoor use only’ sticker on it somewhere… It is bound to attract this kind of attention.

  30. Antinous / Moderator says:

    To everyone who says that the real tragedy isn’t the death of innocent people, why don’t you try it yourselves and get back to us.

    • Anonymous says:

      Pure speculation on my part… but considering the recent articles about drone-video streams being unencrypted ( http://online.wsj.com/article/SB126102247889095011.html )…is it possible the choppers had a similar vulnerability?…

      It’s not a “vulnerability”, it was the ROVER system by which a platform can choose to transmit unencrypted video to ground stations so that troops can quickly get a video feed from the air. The lack of encryption is because the Army and Air Force have famously never been able to coordinate on encryption keys and schedules. That entire story was a classic clueless journalist babbling about what he does not understand.

      http://www.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123013585

      The source of this video is the onboard data recorder in the helicopter.

  31. aeon says:

    I don’t think the original shooting, horrible though it was to watch, is indefensible – I’m pretty sure I could see an RPG as well [@3:45] and with the best will in the world that’s not a personal defense weapon.

    What was sickening was the obvious desire of the gunner to open fire on the wounded guy on the ground & on the van; the actual destruction of the van and the rescuers; the failure to provide appropriate care to the injured children once they were found and then the subsequent coverup.

    According to wikipedia the Apache gunship uses 30mm M230 Chain Guns with a muzzle velocity of 805m/s. There is about 3-4 seconds between the sound of gunfire and visible impact so they were engaging from 2.4-3.2km away. There is no way the unfortunate rescuers in the van would have heard the helicopter from that distance.

    If I were driving along and saw someone bleeding by the side of the road I’d most probably want to pick him up too, who wouldn’t? That the ROE allow the murder of rescuers tells you much about the lack of humanity in the US military. I suspect if I lived in Iraq I’d be making IEDs too…

  32. Anonymous says:

    Oceanconcepts,

    Thank you. You’re the first person on here to point out that we are all culpable. The pain we are feeling from watching this is only the tiniest bit of what we actually deserve for all the atrocities we have allowed to happen. I hope everyone reading this takes a long look at themselves and asks what they’re going to do differently to stop violence and injustice.

  33. Anonymous says:

    I live about as far from an Army National Guard base as these men were from the gunship that killed them.

    To all the people who are asking why someone was driving around with their kids with Apaches around, I would ask if you’ve ever been near an Apache.

    I see them all the time, but I never hear them. Well, that’s an exaggeration, I don’t hear them until they are close enough to make out registration numbers and insignias. What’s worse is that occasionally I’ll see a pair of them in the distance, following the freeway, and suddenly my radar/laser detector will light up. That means a couple of kilometers away, a gunnery computer has been instructed to designate my car as a target.

    I only freak out a little because I’m pretty sure test flights are unarmed, but all it takes is a single ordinance sergeant having a bad day, or catching his buddy in bed with his wife, to forget all that 30mm ammo is still in the box.

  34. Anonymous says:

    That man in the van was a Hero….no questions asked.. maybe he didn’t have the best of judgment especially with his kids in the Van, but he is a hero nevertheless. And the US asks itself, why is it treated like the great Satan by the Islamic world. Maybe in my lifetime I will have the opportunity of watching America’s downfall. Those who ignore history are condemned to repeat it, and thats precisely what the US is doing now. Shame on you!!

  35. Anonymous says:

    I see nothing particularly wrong with the actions of the soldiers in this video. They were acting according to their training and the situation, and what they did was correct from that vantage point. The amount of intelligence gathered that allowed them to engage is seemingly rather low, but then that’s war for you.

    The war is wrong in general, but this specific incident does not shock or surprise me in any particular manner. It’s the result of the war existing in the first place, not the result of a mistake on any involved individual’s part.

  36. g007 says:

    At 3:44 , the guy in the middle is carrying a long swinging object that looks like it has a bulging head. It looks quite a bit like an RPG actually (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rocket-propelled_grenade). It looks more like an RPG than an AK47 to me.

    The helicopter gunner would have a substantially clearer picture than what we are seeing on YouTube, and is also experienced with recognizing the weapons in use over there. So I am going to give him the benefit of the doubt.

    A group of armed men with an RPG would pretty much have to be regarded as the enemy, and a urgently dangerous threat to a helicopter or a convoy on the ground.

    • Anonymous says:

      The military guy does not shout RPG until after that shot. He doesn’t identify RPG until the camera peeks around the corner, at that very moment. By that logic, he saw what your saw and with his training identified it not as an RPG but an AK-47. He misidentified the camera as an RPG. Which kind of belies benefit of the doubt that his judgement with clearer picture and military training means he’s more likely to be right. He does not identify that object as an RPG (if it were then he mis-dentified it as an AK-47 and if it weren’t then it wasn’t an RPG) and does identify a camera as an RPG. Unless I’m deaf the RPG identification comes at 4:10 NOT 3:45. And no one has mentioned that they told their brass that the guys were firing when they weren’t. The guys in the helicopter lied. AK-47 aside (whether they were common or not) camera for RPG aside (even though on the pass around it became clear that the item they saw looks nothing like an RPG…the helicopter guys got permission to fire based on the report that they were being fired on and they WEREN’T.

      I don’t forgive these guys.

  37. arkizzle / Moderator says:

    Jesus, I just watched the full-length version, with the additional attack with hellfire missiles.. God dammit.

  38. MCZ says:

    This is a fucking disgrace.

    Thank you, Wikileaks and BoingBoing, for performing a public service.

  39. Anonymous says:

    Google “Quadri-Track ZCT”

  40. Anonymous says:

    Take a good look. One day there will be more videos like this, only difference being that the people getting murdered will be american civilians. Think the US military would not fire on fellow americans?, you are just wrong. Those pilots should be imprisoned, of course nothing will ever become of this.

    interesting Captcha: “maturity resisted”

  41. jmnugent says:

    > #6 food_science: “slightly off topic, but how the hell did they break military encryption?”

    Pure speculation on my part… but considering the recent articles about drone-video streams being unencrypted ( http://online.wsj.com/article/SB126102247889095011.html )…is it possible the choppers had a similar vulnerability?…

  42. querent says:

    donating to wikileaks tonight.

  43. Anonymous says:

    It is terrible what happened. The cameras being misidentified as weapons? It happens more than anyone would like it to but when you are in a high stress situation like that it can, and does, happen. Think how many times a cop shot someone because they thought the person had a gun? I watched the video once and it looks like the camera guy positioned himself at the corner of the building and was “aiming” the camera at the chopper or something. For how large that item was I would probably error on the side of caution and shot as well. There were others holding rifles in their right hands.

    There is no reason to cover this stuff up. This is what we are involved in and people need to be aware of all the aspects of war.

    I wonder what the standard procedure is when Journalists are in a war zone? Personally I would be contacting someone to inform them of my intentions and where I would be. If one of those guys did maybe the pilot would have been told of media action in the area and confirm they weren’t friendlies before firing.

    Too easy to watch this on the computer and think of the ways it could have been avoided. Multiple people on both ends made mistakes.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      I would probably error on the side of caution and shot as well.

      You and I have very different definitions of caution. In my universe, caution involves not killing people. But then, I believe that other people’s lives have value. If I lived in a universe where my safety was the only possible consideration, perhaps I, too, would define caution as killing everyone who might pose a marginal threat to me. Apparently, soldiers from your dystopian alternate universe have infiltrated our military.

      Let’s put this in the simplest possible terms: the actions of these military personnel were cowardly.

      • Anonymous says:

        I’m curious about your use of the word ‘cowardly’.

        There has been a fair bit of talk about how they should have ‘gone it to check it out’ from the armchair generals here. Clearly this is coming from people who’ve never been to a war zone.

        Moving troops and armour anywhere in Iraq is fraught with danger, everything from IEDs and ambushes to suicide bombings.

        A good commander minimises the risks to his troops. The Apaches were capable of dealing with the situation with minimal risks to friendly forces. Cowardice isn’t a factor here, War isn’t fair.

        From the video it does look as if weapons are present, while I don’t see an AK-47 as being much of a threat (especially given how commonplace they are in Iraq) an RPG is definitely more so, it’s certainly not a weapon for ‘home-protection’.

        In my opinion the US military should invest in cheap UAVs equipped with high-resolution colour cameras and loudspeakers. Each infantry patrol should be given one and they can be sent forward to recon an area.

        This would allow an accurate and detailed assessment of a situation with no risk to life (and minimal risk to equipment). If enemy troops were present they could be ordered via the loudspeakers to drop their arms and surrender.

        • Anonymous says:

          A good commander minimizes risk to innocent by-standers first, and his troops second, when he’s in a city. That’s why Antinous called these men cowards instead. They are overseas to help civilians, and yet will sacrifice them to their own safety before that is even at risk.

          There’s been a fair bit of talk from armchair generals about what it’s ok to do to civilians. I hope none of them have been in a combat zone as a non-combatant, because I can’t imagine someone being so callously dismissive of human life otherwise.

  44. Anonymous says:

    So who are the terrorists? What the hell is wrong with our country and who is in charge. Was the CO on a coffee break? Is the military trained to disregard human life? The RPG was actually a camera. Whomever is responsible for this should be tried in a military court of law.

  45. Anonymous says:

    If we all agree that war is BAD they is it not our duty to minimize it ? To not let the military get so large and powerful that it develops its own agendas for survival and expansion like any organism ? If you make and sell guns and bullets then they are going to get in the hands of someone somewhere. Why make an entire population trigger happy ?

  46. Anonymous says:

    Words can´t even describe how sick this made me feel!
    Thank you Wikileaks, keep up the excellent work – this is surely just the very tipp of the iceberg (how many drone attacks are happening everyday…?)

  47. Anonymous says:

    I think in every conflict, people who have been programmed to fight, maim & kill eventually lose themselves to the horrors of what they are supposed to be doing. They become War itself & once that happens they cross over to an area they can no longer live with once it’s all over. Why do we have such high rates of suicide in US military ranks? I suspect these soldiers at some point will come face to face with what they have done when they realize they did not kill insurgents but innocent people. They have become callous & inhuman in order to justify what they are doing. Their language shows an extreme immaturity in the face of the gravity of war. They forget they represent an entire country & people and others are judging their every action.

    If that had been my father or brother gunned down, you bet I’d be looking for payback some way some how with blind hatred for the guilty. So escalates the evil…

    The scarier part is having these guys come home & join the Police force! The whole thing is scary as the notion of Hell itself. If any soldier really believes they are still fighting in Iraq to bring liberation & democracy to a people with incidents like this, then they are brain washed as any good soldier is.

    Humanity has failed in so many aspects & after 2000 years we still have wars, poverty, rape, murder, ignorance, genocide & hate. But that’s OK, because we are civilized with out fancy cars, ipods & reality TV shows. We live in the land of the free with free speech. We have God on our side & the mightiest armed forces the world has ever seen. Our flag is sacred yada yada yada! I’m sick of all of it & it’s never going to change…

    Lastly, do you think the people killed in 9-11 would want all the carnage, suffering & blood letting that has ensued to have been done in their name? When is enough enough?

  48. HDN says:

    I’ve been against the Iraq War since before it started; this tragedy is just more of the same since the damn thing started.

    This video doesn’t have any context; what was the status of the battle before we pick up our gunship about to smoke some people? Had there been rpg attacks or other ambushes upon the ground forces nearby?

    Whoever said the ground people could have gone in and checked it out; that’s not how we roll. Our forces, upon notification of a threat ahead are more likely to sit, wait, and call for arty, or mortars, or an air strike. We don’t charge many machine guns or ambushes anymore.

    Whoever said don’t blame these guys, blame the people who put them there said it best.

    • arkizzle / Moderator says:

      Our forces, upon notification of a threat ahead are more likely to sit, wait, and call for arty, or mortars, or an air strike.

      Then what was the goddamn rush in ID’ing the men as “insurgents”? If everyone knew there was a possible threat and the Apaches were checking it out, why the need to attack on such scant evidence of wrong doing?

      I’m not even sure it’s illegal to carry AKs in Iraq. What about body guards, private contractors etc?

      • HDN says:

        “Then what was the goddamn rush in ID’ing the men as “insurgents”? If everyone knew there was a possible threat and the Apaches were checking it out, why the need to attack on such scant evidence of wrong doing?”

        The Apache is both recon and airstrike. They recon the guys on the ground, see at least one AK, (and you’re right everyone is pretty much allowed one for home defense etc.) mistake two shoulder slung cameras for two more, see an RPG clearly visible at 3:45 (two guys top of screen, dude on the right turns around, and you can see it clearly), they request permission to fire, probably from the ground element to confirm that a) it’s not the ground element’s people themselves (stranger things have happened) and b) that they’re likely a threat to the route of travel of the ground element.

        Someone said it earlier, it’s press among fighters. They took their chances. They should have maintained a clear separation with the armed men, it’s a high risk job.

        The van; sneaking people off the battle field, is not what we would or should allow. We absolutely don’t want some random to roll in pick up the bodies and guns and then later try to claim it was all just us blazing down women and children.

        My concern about the audio being faked earlier, was because I misunderstood the source of the video. I thought it was captured via transmission like UAV type video, and someone added audio. I was at that point trying to download it but the site was down because it was boingboinged.

        Blame starts at the top.

        • Anonymous says:

          We absolutely don’t want some random to roll in pick up the bodies and guns and then later try to claim it was all just us blazing down women and children.

          Yeah, that sure would make the US look bad, especially having a video that proved them wrong. Much better to have Iraqis see troops gunning down unarmed men in front of their children, which can be kept secret, at least from people over here.

          I hate how much more people value their image than justice, or human life.

          Using a cell phone in a combat zone isn’t exactly a sign of innocent behavior.

          And it’s a sign of enough guilt to justify immediate execution? This wasn’t a combat zone until the helicopter started shooting. Is this so hard to understand?

        • arkizzle / Moderator says:

          The van; sneaking people off the battle field, is not what we would or should allow. We absolutely don’t want some random to roll in pick up the bodies and guns and then later try to claim it was all just us blazing down women and children.

          No you’re exactly right. Better to kill civilians than be accused of killing civilians. Totally.

      • Anonymous says:

        Everyone carries guns over there. Apparently, it saves a lot of time in having to actually identify “insurgents” from “guy protecting his family” or “guy guarding his employer”. (sigh)

      • Anonymous says:

        I don’t want to necessarily squelch the debate over the legality/morality/validity of the soldiers’ actions, but I really do think the main thrust of the discussion over this should be about the cover up. If the military brass are prevented from enabling this sort of thing by sweeping it under the rug, then there might be far less of this sort of thing happening in the future.

      • joeposts says:

        the US military actually trains security guards on how to machine guns.

        • joeposts says:

          “‘Everything we teach these guys is geared towards making them IP’s, from shooting positions and shooting fundamentals, to the physical fitness test.’

          Today the Marines went over the basics of handling the AK-47 assault rifle, practiced the fitness test, and also gave a short martial arts class to the Iraqis.”

          -US Marine Corps

          People who justify their actions by arguing that Iraqis should never walk around armed might as well just argue to nuke the whole country. Everyone is armed because America fucked up the occupation. Exterminate all the brutes!

        • arkizzle / Moderator says:

          But does that preclude a) non US-approved body guards operating in Iraq, or b) private citizens being allowed to own guns?

          Genuine question.

          • mdh says:

            If you can show me they were taking positions with good sight lines to, and cover from, US soldiers – then I could say this was an error on the side of caution, and justified.

            In the absence of US soldiers (potentially in danger from these ‘insurgents’) in close proximity, then it would be pretty clear cut, and unjustified.

            Not sure we’ll ever know.

  49. Anonymous says:

    Something I quite don’t get it…
    Let’s assume the poor optics inside the apaches gave them a clear go (ha ha).
    When the tanks and Humvees got into the grid, of course they saw that the whole shooting was a big mistake. Why didn’t the infantry/recon team on the ground give that intel by radio and requested that anyone down should be taken to a hospital ASAP? Why can’t they admit a mistake and “kinda” try to fix it somehow?
    As for the so called insurgents that entered the building that got hellfired, well, the assault team could easily stop them and make a check point in like 2 seconds (how long does it takes to a police officer stop you on the street?). They were already deployed.
    Looked like just an excuse to blow up a building. They said it was abandoned. I never saw a soldier inside with that intel.

  50. Anonymous says:

    And Reuters, whose journalists died in this incident doesn’t even have Iraq on their news index page. Guess what replaced it? Ipad.

  51. joeposts says:

    The simple fact is that many Iraqis carry RPGs and machine guns to defend themselves from the Americans. You can see why!

  52. Anonymous says:

    how many deaths must both sides suffer until the Iraqi’s are satifactorily democratized? this video makes me ill and sad, but I don’t believe this was a remarkable event in the course of this war. this is what happens, when we allow the tyrants in power to perpetuate an illegal and unjustifiable war on another sovereign nation. this is murder. my country’s actions make me ashamed to be an American.

  53. Anonymous says:

    I started feeling ill listening to the gunner/pilot while he aimed at the obviously wounded man on the ground. “C’mon buddy. all you gotta do is pick up a weapon.”

    Whatever argument you might have about an attack order against gatherings of people with weapons/the ability to recognise a camera versus an RPG, any defence of the video is lost right there.

    “C’mon buddy.”

    The frustration in the gunner’s voice while he waits for a go on the van is also damning stuff.

    I suppose, though, considering we live in a world where shooting down an airliner full of Iranian civilians earns you a medal I shouldn’t be too shocked.

  54. Anonymous says:

    I see the earth opening up and swallowing us all.

  55. Anonymous says:

    Those morons just killed more people than the Manson family and laughed about it. If they weren’t sociopaths, they’d commit suicide, or at least suffer with a bad conscience for the rest of their sorry lives. This military thing is out of control.

  56. Antinous / Moderator says:

    To various and sundry,

    Yes, I believe that killing people, at great distance, with vastly superior technology, based on a casual and callous appraisal of their possible threat level is utterly cowardly. Look at the number of allied military fatalities in Iraq and Afghanistan and compare that to the number of civilian/journalist fatalities caused by allied action. We have repeatedly bombed wedding parties and murdered dozens of innocents because the cowards who wear our uniforms are willing to slaughter children in order to avoid any possible risk to themselves.

    I have relatives who served in World War II and Korea, and I assure you that they look at these cowardly murderers with horror and revulsion. These cowards are a disgrace to the US military and to the uniforms that they wear.

    • futbol789 says:

      Well, that’s the way to use your words to say what you mean.

      I happen to agree, by the way, that approval for air support has clearly been criminally vague in terms of what constituted actionable intelligence. I disagree in specific with your thoughts on the first engagement in this video. I absolutely agree that killing the drivers of the van who stopped to help an unarmed man is just as criminal as the command passing on emergency medical care for children wounded in the engagement by our soldiers.

      And as far as I’m concerned it is never okay to question the sensibility of a family stopping to help a bleeding man. It’s always the fault of the person who pulled the trigger in that situation. Always. Even if you assume they were acting on a mistaken assumption and doing the right thing, it’s always the fault of the person who pulled the trigger. That’s the responsibility when you deal in lethal force.

      I don’t think that necessairly makes the soldier on the front line making the mistake a coward. Either they’re murderers or they made a mistake. What is cowardly is the motivation for the policy policy that led to putting the soldier in that spot with just enough authority to kill a civilian.

      In general, That’s part of why our armed forces come home so emotionally fucked up. They have just enough authority to live with the responsibility of using the system created to protect them from that. That’s part of why rules of engagement are so important. The mistakes o policy makers, generals, Congress, the president have cost innocent civilians their lives and a piece of each soldiers soul each time they realize they’ve made a mistake.

      In specific, I have no clue if these guys in the helicopters are murderous bastards or not. That’s why we need to be addressing these civilian deaths openly and transparently. It isn’t right that a whistle blower in the department of defense, I assume, had to leak this footage in order to draw attention to it.

      This certainly does explain why McChrystal rewrote the air support rules of engagement shortly after this incident. As I said before, there isn’t anything that can be done to make this right. These people are dead.

    • misterfricative says:

      Antinous, with all due respect to you and your relatives, I’m guessing that they were for the most part engaged in fighting ‘conventional’ battles against opposing forces in uniform. And not, for instance, causing intentional (as opposed to accidental) civilian deaths by firebombing Hamburg, blitzing London, or nuking Hiroshima. Do your relatives also look upon these ‘cowardly murderers’ with ‘horror and revulsion’? Or do they look uncomfortable and start muttering something like, ‘well, after what they’d done to us….’

      War is bad, usually wrong, and always fucked up. Asymmetrical warfare even more so. We just need to get the fuck out of there asap.

  57. theawesomerobot says:

    “All they can think to do is hope he is reaching for a weapon….AS IF anything he could possibly come up with, a pistol at most, is going to somehow do any kind of damage to them in their f*cking helicopters.”

    I believe they were hoping he’d reach for a weapon so they could open fire again; you can’t open fire on an unarmed civilian (which they turned out to be anyway – but you know, minor details).

  58. Anonymous says:

    Crazy shit…

  59. holtt says:

    If the guys on the radio had showed some remorse and humanity I’d have a pretty different opinion about this matter. If there had been, “Oh my god, kids? Oh man” I’d accept it a bit more as the horrors of war.

    Keep in mind the leak came from someone who was “inside” and thought it was wrong. That’s a slight bit of silver lining in this in my book.

  60. Anonymous says:

    Any confirmation on this video’s authenticity?

  61. gtarget says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S06nIz4scvI

    Yea, it may be a movie, but it has some truth to it. Things haven’t changed too much, just more technology. It’s war, and ‘stuff’ happens

  62. thanatomaton says:

    Has anybody here seen combat of any type? Particularly in Iraq? It’s hard as hell to tell who’s doing what. There is an awful lot of armchair-general action going on, and likely by people who don’t know the first thing about *actually fighting in real live combat*. The men in the helo weren’t “out for blood,” they were covering their own asses. I mean, what would you, as a helicopter pilot, think if you saw men with bulky equipment slung over their shoulders standing in groups and/or following you on the ground? And especially during the part of the war in which this took place. It’s very easy to be “morally outraged” about something you don’t know shit about, and it’s very simple to call troops, in combat, shooting at what they perceive to be a threat, bloodthirsty criminals. I’m not even remotely patriotic, and I was there, shooting and getting shot at- I didn’t shoot at anything because I played too many videogames, I did it because it was my job, odious as it might be. And apparently, there *were* found an RPG, RPG rounds, and AK47s. It’s not as though these people opened fire on a crowd leaving a showing of Toy Story. The fact that the journalists were killed is tragic, no question, and killing shouldn’t be the answer to anything… but the fact that they were journalists doesn’t make any more or less tragic. They were somewhere dangerous to begin with, and seemingly in the presence of people with weapons. I think the reflexive “Ooh, what a bunch of baby-killing monsters” is kind of ridiculous, and shows the general public’s ignorance about the kinds of things that went on in Iraq, as well as the difficulty presented by war.

    • arkizzle / Moderator says:

      That’s all well and good in theory (or in a responsibility-vacuum), but most people probably don’t think that the US should be there in the first place, so ideas like “covering their own asses” get responses like “go home then”.

      Of course that is too simplistic a solution, but to give US troops in Iraq equivalence with Iraqi civilians or even those who shoot at US troops, is just nonsense. If you stick your hand in a wasps nest, I’m not going to feel sorry for you when you get stung, and will probably dislike it if you start indiscriminately killing wasps because you don’t like their reaction.

  63. ackpht says:

    The rate of fire fits the M230 chain gun of the Apache, but the slow, circular orbit of the target area suggests that the “platform” here was a C-130 gunship. Whatever it was, it was far enough away from the people on the ground that they did not anticipate an attack, if they noticed the aircraft at all.

  64. holtt says:

    Military can’t find it’s Iraq killing video

    It’s probably on the same backup tape as the old Whitehouse emails.

  65. Antinous / Moderator says:

    More lofty platitudes

    Morals, ethics and character are not lofty platitudes. But at least you’ve outed yourself.

  66. Delaney says:

    “The conquest of the earth, which mostly means the taking it away from those who have a different complexion or slightly flatter noses than ourselves, is not a pretty thing when you look into it too much.”
    -Joseph Conrad
    “Heart of Darkness”

    If these guys were just doing their jobs, their jobs are morally bankrupt, their superiors are morally bankrupt. Don’t vote for anyone who says different.

    End the Empire.

    “We have met the enemy, and he is us.”

  67. _nb says:

    at about 9:20 : “Come on let us shoot !”

    fuck.

  68. voided says:

    Sickening! Why haven’t George Bush and his cadre of mass murderers been brought under an international court of justice and charged with crimes against humanity?

    Each and every american citizen who voted for a leader who accepts state torture and murder of innocent foreigners is themselves partly responsible for these murders. That means all of your reading this who voted for Bush or McCain or Obama.

  69. Chris Owens says:

    The producers of this video do themselves and all of us opposed to this war a disservice by what they left out. What were the objects that looked like weapons in the group? What weapons were found by the soldiers who arrived on the scene?

    You *can* present a compelling story that this was a horrible crime and an indicator that this war is awful and inexcusable. However, you cannot do it by sweeping inconvenient facts under the rug, or your opponents will point out, rightly, that you, too, are only giving part of the story.

    • meatpigeon says:

      yeah, I’d like to hear the whole story. If they (the people fired upon) really did have guns then the US soldiers are more or less in the clear, morally.

      I think it was more of a “I need to protect myself and my friends” rather than a sadistic killing spree. There is a definite tone of distress and compassion when we hear the soldier asking the bradleys for help when he finds the injured little girl.

      On top of that, a bunch of dudes getting together rather quickly outside is pretty suspicious, especially given the military tensions of the region. Certainly more precaution could/should have been taken before engaging, but at the same time the (alleged) civilians could have exercised more caution to avoid arousing suspicion.

      The whole situation just sucks, really. I feel bad for everyone involved.

      • druranium says:

        And extremely sad how quickly the compassionate soldiers request to send the injured girl to a military hospital is stamped out by a higher up.
        If you are an American or just an outsider in approval of this war you are involved. We criticize the Israelis for immoral acts against Palestinians and we must criticize and condemn our country for immoral acts against the targets of our wars. I hope this video heralds the beginning of the end of our occupations in the Middle East.
        It would be hard to fathom our current President not being saddened and disgusted upon viewing of this video.

      • angusm says:

        meatpigeon wrote: “If they … really did have guns, then the US soldiers are more or less in the clear, morally.”

        Really? Lots of people in Iraq own and carry guns. Not all of them are insurgents. A man with an AK-47 on a Baghdad street in 2007 might be an insurgent, he might be a member of a neighborhood watch unit, a private security guard, a journalist’s bodyguard, plain-clothes or off-duty IA or IP, a US-sponsored paramilitary fighting Al-Qaeda, a householder protecting his property, a Sunni (or Shia) protecting his community against Shia (or Sunni) death squads, a member of a Western private security detail, or a bunch of other things.

        We don’t know who the other men were, but from the actions of the photographer and his driver it looks unlikely that they were insurgents. The photographer goes to the corner and kneels down, using the corner of the building for protection, presumably trying to get a look at whatever action was taking place. When he does so, he appears to place himself between the other men and the unseen US unit. Meanwhile, the driver is strolling up and down, talking on his phone. No sane journalist would stand in the middle of a group that was preparing an ambush, or get between the ambushers and a column of armored vehicles that they were about to attack.

        The actions of the Reuters men suggest that they did not believe that there was anything dangerous about being part of that group. Whatever it may have looked like to the US helicopter pilots, it looks as if the journalists had no reason to think that the men they were with were planning to attack the American troops on the ground.

        Incidentally, some of the blame-the-victim posters seem to feel that the people killed should have known they might come under attack, including those in the van. It’s quite possible that they had no idea that the helicopters were even there. I count almost 3-4 seconds between the sound of firing and the impact of rounds on the target, suggesting that the helicopters could have been orbiting as much as two kilometers away. When I see a helicopter that far away, I certainly don’t imagine it’s interested in me. It’s easy to imagine that the people coming on the scene in the van had no idea that the carnage had been caused by a helicopter that was still on the scene looking for more victims. They simply saw an injured fellow Iraqi asking for help and reacted as any humane person should, only to get chain-gunned for their trouble.

        • insertrealname says:

          I think your comments & analysis are reasonable.

          But I really am lacking in detailed knowledge of how the US conducts its war in Iraq and the equipment on these helicopter gunships: surely any sane rules of engagement in a civilian area would require up-close identification of the threat? And surely the helicopter’s gunner would be looking through a precision optical glass aiming device, surely not a low quality video feed, in which almost nothing is clearly identifiable?

          • dag4 says:

            And just how close are YOU going to get to someone carrying an RPG or an AK?
            Yeah, that’s what I thought!

        • lewis stoole says:

          ok, that makes sense. i was wondering how they could seem so oblivious to a circling helicopter.

  70. Anonymous says:

    Wikipedia: The Boston Massacre was an incident that led to the deaths of five civilians at the hands of British troops on March 5, 1770, the legal aftermath of which helped spark the rebellion in some of the British American colonies, which culminated in the American Revolution. A heavy British military presence in Boston led to a tense situation that boiled over into incitement of brawls between soldiers and civilians and eventually led to troops discharging their muskets after being attacked by a rioting crowd. Three civilians were killed at the scene of the shooting, eleven were injured, and two died after the incident

    There was a time in our history when 3 civilian deaths by an occupying force incited our people to revolution.

  71. Anonymous says:

    There must be some middle ground between hero and coward, Antinous.

  72. 13tales says:

    A civil and reasoned response to this fails me.

  73. Anonymous says:

    Well folks, some guys were carrying guns and I saw 1 RPG. This was the press amongst fighters. As for the pilots … well war wounds all. There is no happy outcome from it. This is why one man in the form of the President should not have war powers. This is what is done in war, you need to make sure you really have to do it.

    • joeposts says:

      “Well folks, some guys were carrying guns and I saw 1 RPG. This was the press amongst fighters.”

      Embedded reporters are fair game.

  74. lifeboatb says:

    >Laughing about bodies being run over, complimenting each other on their shooting, that’s such sick shit. They need to be taught some respect.

    I agree. From comments I’ve seen on other websites, many military guys are simply terrified that any kind of sensitivity will ruin their “fighting spirit”. It’s sad, not only for the people who get killed, but for the soldiers and their families, who have to deal with their new “tough” personas after the war. And in Iraq, it seems to make them much less effective, because they haven’t earned the confidence of the populace. Maybe this dehumanizing thing the soldiers are taught is not actually the best system.

  75. duncano says:

    Antinous wrote: “These cowards are a disgrace to the US military and to the uniforms that they wear.”

    Uh, no. These guys followed their training, obeyed the RoE and killed the bad guys. If they hadn’t done so – if they had failed to fire upon the clearly identified enemy, which is what everyone here seems to want – they would have been disciplined by their commanders, ostracized by their peers, and possibly received a court martial. These guys are a credit to the uniform, their unit and to the military. And unfortunately they’re about to be hung out to dry by command.

    Cowardice is sitting safely in front of your computer half a world away passing judgment on the (entirely correct) actions of combat soldiers. By all means disagree with the RoE – I think that’s the real culprit here. But calling soldiers (performing effectively according to their training) ‘cowards’ makes no sense.

    If you think combat – of any kind – doesn’t require courage, please try it sometime and get back to us.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      These guys are a credit to the uniform, their unit and to the military.

      A soldier who puts his own safety before the safety of innocent bystanders is a coward. Always has been, always will be. If those are your priorities, stay out of the military.

      Cowardice is sitting safely in front of your computer half a world away passing judgment on the (entirely correct) actions of combat soldiers.

      I’ve been surrounded by Arabic-speaking soldiers with their assault rifles aimed at my head at point blank range. I was an unarmed civilian. I still don’t want to go shoot their wives and children from a flying fortress. I guess that makes me a crappy American.

      • duncano says:

        Antinous wrote: “A soldier who puts his own safety before the safety of innocent bystanders is a coward. Always has been, always will be. If those are your priorities, stay out of the military.”

        So, in order to avoid being labeled a coward by you a soldier would have to go against his training, ignore the RoE and be disciplined by their commanders, ostracized by their peers, and possibly receive a court martial?

        That’s a strange definition of courage. By your definition most of the US military must be cowards. Is that correct?

    • Anonymous says:

      did they have to fire as quickly as they chose to do? what was the urgency. the description relayed to achieve approval made it seem as if there was a heavily armed band of 20 men when the majority clearly had empty hands. of the 12 people i counted, four had stuff dangling, 2 of which were flopping around like camera bags, and the remaining 2 could have had guns, but who knows from the angles. maybe the rules should require further confirmation before gunning down 12 people, especially from a vantage point that allows a safe distance and immediate responding power.

  76. OhStevie says:

    3:45 -loaded- RPG and AK clearly visible.
    Last place you want to be is standing next to someone carting that kind of hardware around a war zone.
    - The gunshp camera/optics are amazing. Count how many seconds they fire before there are hits. Miles away?
    Everything about this sucks.

  77. annick says:

    “Well it’s their fault for bringing their kids into a battle.”
    Are you *serious*? Rage doesn’t describe my reaction to this… There aren’t words for this.

  78. Anonymous says:

    The pilots stated that someone had opened fire, and that you could clearly see individuals with RPGs. I don’t see any reason to doubt this, and it was clear in the video that they had weapons (and cameras). It is tragic that two journalists were killed, but I cannot find fault with the pilots. They may have been callous, but this is war, these pilots were seeing American and Iraqi casualties every day.

    Don’t blame the pilots, blame the politicians for getting us into a war where something like this was allowed to occur.

  79. Anonymous says:

    No, no, and no. A simple solution to the depicted problem is the lack of military screening. We do not really need more troops per se, but we need better troops. Soldiers who cannot deal with a dangerous solution without going all trigger happy have no place flying some 2mil dollar helicopter killing civilians and giving false reports. We are fighting a coward’s war, shooting first in fear of getting hurt. Jesus, can’t people have the common sense or bravery to verify the situation before making this mess? Anyways, had it been your family caught in the shooting, I’d find it highly likely that you would become a terrorist out of anger. Hell, if you were going to die in a similar fashion, you might as BE an afghan fighting the US. Well, this all ties back to the need for smarter/morally guided soldiers that represent our country. Such incidents will just cause more terrorists to rise up, just another vicious cycle.

    Besides, what is the role of a soldier? IMO, the chances of dying is a responsibility that you should take up before enlisting.

  80. ian71 says:

    I couldn’t even watch it all the way through. It’s just so horrible.

  81. bolamig says:

    May these helicopter pilots find their families standing next to insurgents with big guns.

  82. Melody says:

    Appalling. Ruthless. Disturbing. Shocking. I’ve run out of adjectives to describe the savagely uncivilized video I just saw. I used to be proud to be American. Not so sure anymore.

    • Anonymous says:

      Then get out.

      Being American means you have to own the mistakes of your countrymen. It doesn’t mean you have to condone their actions or validate them. But you have to be proud enough of all the good things our country has done to be willing to stand up and say “This is wrong. Our countrymen have done wrong, and even if they won’t apologize, we apologize, and we do not stand by their actions.” You can’t just run screaming to the Canadian border whenever our military accidentally kills innocent people somewhere. Tragedy is a part of life, and it is sad, and it is sickening, but we are still Americans.

      I am saddened by this, but I also realize that it is not simply a black and white evil empire kills innocent civilians scenario. There are many layers to this sad sad affair.

      Also, there was definitely an RPG at 3:45.

  83. Anonymous says:

    Next time you hear someone use the word “insurgents,” you now have an image to reflect upon. Now we know who they’re talking about.

  84. Anonymous says:

    Looks like a bunch of ignorant kids playing video games. With horrible consequences. Disgusting.

  85. Napkins says:

    But I need oil for gas, so i can drive to the Apple store to buy my ipad.

  86. VICTOR JIMENEZ says:

    Jose Couso, we still remember you in Spain.

    The same old story: a tank sees an RPG (a camera) wielding insurgent (periodist) in a clearly conflictive point (official international press hotel) and shoots…

    Next April the 8th, there will be 7 years since a tank opened fire agaist the international press hotel. 3 journalist dead, dozens injured. None responsible, not the tank gunner nor any official who let them open fire.

    NO JUSTICE. NO SYMPATHY FOR THE U.S.A. ONLY HATE AND FRUSTRATION.
    And that is the real fuel of terrorists.

  87. Neon Tooth says:

    This is what the American people voted for when we went to war, whether they understood it or not.

    I don’t remember getting to vote on it. I remember idiots in D.C. voting on it, but even those idiots were lied to.

  88. Anonymous says:

    I saw this video at wired.com, so sad they engaged people trying to help a wounded man. Not helping the children is unreal, I didn’t think our attack helicopter pilots were such cowboys until I watched this. The commander said he didn’t know how the kids got hurt…oh really, try 30mm through the windshield! We shouldn’t be shooting at unarmed civilians with children in the car…i hope this makes it onto something like 60 minutes.

  89. Anonymous says:

    I don’t have an issue with the original engagement – the group was clearly armed.

    However, engaging the van while they were trying to pick up the wounded man was clearly out of line and I don’t see how it could possibly be argued that this was not a clear violation of the Geneva Convention.

  90. Anonymous says:

    Just absolutely sickening. The gung-ho bravado of the US pilots is beyond the pale. The wounded man trying to crawl away? All they can think to do is hope he is reaching for a weapon….AS IF anything he could possibly come up with, a pistol at most, is going to somehow do any kind of damage to them in their f*cking helicopters.

    FURIOUS.

    • Tamooj says:

      First things first: There were peeps in the group carrying AK-47s (not really a big thing in Baghdad) but also at least one RPG is visible. That means they were insurgents getting ready to attack something nearby. No other reason to have an RPG. If you watch the video (3:45 and others) you can see it clearly. My opinion did a 45 degree shift (not 180) once I saw this detail. This makes the original engagement completely legit. Also, this gunsight video shows only one aircraft’s viewpoint – there were two gunships (not clear if they are Apaches or AC-130s) and as we listen to the voices you are only seeing one POV, not both. The other aircraft is seeing and commenting on things that we can’t always see. It is misleading to portray comments from one aircraft about “I see a weapon” while showing a video from another aircraft with only the photographer in the frame. Remember that this video is actively trying to show only the parts that best make their editorial points (hint: a picture of grieving family is shown first).

      Second: The engagement of the minivan was wrong, even criminal. If they were insurgents (with their kids along?) trying to cover up the crime scene, too bad – we don’t shoot at wounded enemies or those who aid them, after they stop fighting. That’s a war crime, ROE or no.

      Third: The stupid denials and withholding the video without explanations just makes the whole thing like a cover-up. In this age of transparency and accountability we should be cashiering officers who make stupid clumsy mistakes like this. Not handling this openly (even the mistakes) just fuels hatreds and more terrorism. Wake up, DOD.

      Finally: Yeah, as several posters have commented; don’t get too harsh on the punk-assed gunners who are letting their buck-fever impair their judgment and suppressing their empathy – they are a bunch of kids who watch insurgents ambush their friends every day. This is just the face of war, and we are being naive if we don’t recognize that *every* war is like this. We need to tackle this at a much higher, political and cultural level.

      • adammtlx says:

        Tamooj, your comment is logical and well-thought out, unlike the irrational rage of the majority of the others. I agree with you. The original engagement is legit. Whether or not they lied about being fired on (we don’t have the context surrounding the engagement, perhaps this was a group of people that had been firing earlier), there were weapons present and reason to believe that this group was preparing to engage friendly forces.

        Firing on the “rescue van” was inexcusable, but I can understand why it happened. Put yourself in the same situation, you figure these guys are coming to help people you’ve just targeted as enemies. Therefore you assume they are also enemies. You don’t see any children. You request permission to engage and you receive it. It’s a tragic mistake, but that’s what war is.

        Along with that comes the attitude of the soldiers. It’s not admirable. It’s callous and even disgusting, but as has been mentioned, it’s how soldiers do their jobs. They don’t have the luxury of being bleeding heart.

        • Antinous / Moderator says:

          it’s how soldiers do their jobs

          No, it’s how cowardly US soldiers do their jobs. They sit up in the sky and kill anything that might be a threat, without bothering to verify. Remote. Safe. Cowardly.

          • misterfricative says:

            Antinous said

            [I]t’s how cowardly US soldiers do their jobs. They sit up in the sky and kill anything that might be a threat, without bothering to verify. Remote. Safe. Cowardly.

            I have to take issue with this. ‘Remote. Safe. Cowardly.’? Everyone in this video on whichever side is routinely getting shot at and seeing their buddies get killed. Meanwhile we’re judging them all from the far side of the planet. If there’s anyone in this picture who’s ‘remote, safe and cowardly’, dude, it’s gotta be us.

            For the record, I also withdraw and apologize for my earlier comment: I was wrong to condemn the actions of the US military before actually watching the video. Now that I’ve seen it and heard it, I find it impossible to condemn anyone. Deplore, yes; condemn, no. Everyone involved in this is doing pretty much exactly what I’d be doing if I was in their shoes. Except for the reporters: I don’t think I’d ever be brave or crazy enough to walk around in a combat zone armed only with a press card and a camera.

            The real criminals here are the bastards who created this godawful mess, not the poor fuckers from every side and every walk of life who got caught up in it.

          • adammtlx says:

            No, it’s how cowardly US soldiers do their jobs. They sit up in the sky and kill anything that might be a threat, without bothering to verify. Remote. Safe. Cowardly.

            They did verify. They saw weapons. There were friendlies nearby on the ground. What you call cowardly a military leader would call preserving the lives of his troops by giving them the tools to engage without putting their lives at undue risk. There is a price that comes with that, as illustrated by the innocent lives taken in the video. But do you really believe that engaging those same elements on the ground makes identification of innocents much easier? How many times have you been in combat?

            One of my best friends is a Navy Seal. He’s the least cowardly person I know. He’s married to a woman he loves very much, he’s compassionate, educated and intelligent and the number one priority for him every day in a combat zone is to survive. You see an enemy, you shoot it so you can go home. It’s easy to judge from where you are, isn’t it?

          • Antinous / Moderator says:

            You see an enemy, you shoot it so you can go home.

            The “enemy” is already home. They have no place else to go. Their lives, their families, their homes are at constant risk from which there is no escape. Because your compassionate, educated, intelligent friend needs to shoot everything that scares him so that he can go home to his wife.

            Cowardly. You sit up in the sky, at a great distance to keep you safe from harm, and you shoot anything that you find the least bit suspicious. That’s nothing more than a common terrorist sniper who happens to have a rich backer. It’s cowardly and shameful.

            Shoot first and ask questions later. If it moves, shoot it. Kill it with fire.

            Cowardly and shameful.

          • Ugly Canuck says:

            “It”?

            You folks have non-human enemies now? As distinct from inhuman ones?

            You see the enemy, you kill him ,her or them. Not “it”.
            Or is the use of inhumane language concomitant with inhuman acts of violence?

            Sure does de-humanize the people you call “enemies”, though.

          • futbol789 says:

            “Cowardly. You sit up in the sky, at a great distance to keep you safe from harm, and you shoot anything that you find the least bit suspicious. That’s nothing more than a common terrorist sniper who happens to have a rich backer. It’s cowardly and shameful.”

            I dont think I follow, exactly, the logic of the words you’ve put together to express your very strong opinion.

            Do terrorist snipers frequently shoot at “suspicious” people? Because Lee Malvo sure shot at ordinary people doing ordinary things.

            Who backs terrorists? Poor people? It’s rich individuals, organizations used to funnel money and states. Or, do you mean like gadget rich? Because, I don’t think terrorism really works like that.

            And just what is so bad about snipers, sans misused adjective?

            ANd that reminds me. And what is terrorism then? Shooting at suspicious people? The word has a fairly speific definition which doesn’t include gunning people down for fun. They might have fun doing it, but it is an action to accomplish a deliberate objective. And satisfying the adrenaline rush doesn’t qualify.

            I think I understand your point. But, what you said there is nonsense. youre muddying the definition of words in your passion. Tha doesn’t help anyone trying to have a coherent conversation on the subject. Or, are you doing like a reverse fake out misusing the lingo deliberately for snark?

            Either way, it’s pretty tough to argue against the value of air superiority in any type of combat mission. Now, if what you meant to express was that if those chopper pilots were such bloodthirsty maniacs maybe we should put them on the ground where the other uy could fight back. I wouldn’t agree necessarily with your take on the video one hundred percent, but it would certainly be a debatable point. and it would, at the least add to the discussion about the type of people in war and exacty what multiple deployment can do to a service member.

            Or maybe you think that the entire air cav are terrorists. I don’t know. It sounds like you do though.

    • Sarah says:

      Hi,

      On the BBC’s World Have Your Say programme today we are talking about reaction to this video. If you would like to take part in the programme and have a comment about this please get in touch with me on sarah.holmes@bbc.co.uk.

      Thanks, Sarah

      • Wuss Brillis says:

        I don’t trust the BBC.

        The “story” is only visible on the website after several clicks and it is called “WikiLeaks posts video from Iraq “. Starts with: “The website’s organisers SAY they were given the footage, which they SAY comes from cameras on US Apache helicopters.”
        They SAY they decrypted it, but would not reveal who gave it to them. ”

        This morning BBC1 were showing Gordon Brown “boarding a train and headed to Kent to meet voters at a supermarket in Rochester”. One hour live.

  91. OhStevie says:

    Rage about those kids could go either way really, I mean, if your husband/wife was driving around, and there were *apache helicopters* firing a *cannon* down into a crowd, and they went
    ‘Hey! Let’s drive the kids over there to where like 30 seconds ago all hell came down from the sky on anyone who was around!’…
    I’m in no support of anyone shooting at people, but damn… people would get upset with
    ‘hey kids, stay in the car while I go to the liquor store in this bad area’.
    You brought the kids where and left them in the car?!?!

    ‘hey kids, stay in the car while I collect this wounded guy, who is thought to be an insurgent by the trigger happy apache helicopter pilots circling up there…’

    • Anonymous says:

      They live in Bagdad. Everywhere all hell could break loose at any time. There is no place that is safer than any other place. They saw people in trouble, they tried to help. This is not the same as not going to the bad section of town in some U.S. city. Everywhere is the bad section of town. Not everyone is able to get out of Iraq. I’m sure they’d have taken their kids out given the opportunity.

  92. Glossolalia Black says:

    God, the lust in that man’s voice to get to killing. The sickening glee as another drove over a man’s body with a tank. These are devils, this is hell, we are responsible.

    There need to be war crime trials, though the thought also makes me sick. We need to get the hell out of Iraq and Afghanistan somehow, and I much rather would have my tax dollars go towards funding all women getting abortions (a legal medical procedure that kills, in my opinion, nothing of consequence and certainly no one) free and on demand, than have this going on in my hard earned dollars’ name.

    Sign this,
    An American woman.

  93. GrymRpr says:

    It makes me sick that my tax money paid for this “Hit”
    And worse, These morons represent Me/My Country ( At least as others see it )

    WHERE The Hell is that 2nd American Revolution?

    • Anonymous says:

      The people in charge of the military, truly believe they are doing what is right. But when you hear the way these people talk and react like this , it is not hard to believe they are just incompetent and have no rational idea of what they are actually doing.

      With that said, I think it is a good idea to make an example of the individuals, through the courts, who gave authorization or any grunt who gave command false information to gain authorization. What else will wake up the type of soldiers who cause these sorts of incidents?

    • Anonymous says:

      Still worse is more money being spent covering this kind of thing up. I’m all too sure this isn’t the only video or incident. Far from it.

    • Gutierrez says:

      “WHERE The Hell is that 2nd American Revolution?”

      I guess civil war would be effective in getting the troops home, but I was hoping for more of a fast phased withdrawal.

  94. Anonymous says:

    Kill ‘em all and let god sort ‘em out. Americans have no guts for war. Shit happens.

  95. Tynam says:

    What Delaney and Chris Owens and OhStevie said.

    To all the outraged here: If this video makes you want trials, and justice, then you are right. But try the officials who sent the troops in, and the ones who lied about it, and the cowards who yell ‘terrorist’ to make excuses for it. Because…

    The most horrifying part of this video is that the gunship crew very probably didn’t violate their RoE. And if they didn’t, they shouldn’t even be reprimanded. Soldiers work to the rules they’re given; blame the officers (and politicians) who set the rules.

    We don’t get to train people intensively to kill anyone that looks like a threat, then drop them in an area full of weapons, then act surprised that they don’t seem to value human life. Soldiers have to feel detached about the lives they end, or they can’t do their jobs at all. And detachment about killing isn’t something you just switch on and off.
    (Of course, a lot of soldiers suffer nasty psychological complications – afterwards. PTSD doesn’t happen overnight.)

    When you send troops to war – any war – this is what’s being ordered. Anyone who thinks otherwise simply doesn’t understand what war is. Just as anyone who supported the invasion, and yet still sleeps at night, doesn’t understand responsibility.

  96. brazloc says:

    johnphantom#21 said:”… I had (note the word “had”) a neo-con friend who said, flat out, that we need to turn the whole world into a police state. He barely wavered when I asked him where we would get the manpower – I said we can’t even control Iraq, never mind some hugely populated country like China.”

    Is it so difficult to you to see the evil behind your neo-con’s logic? The sickening thought of your friend is disgusting. Your logic in increment it, too. Shame on you. Most americans must control their ambition to dominate “the world” urgently. Do not create new tragedies in the world. Doing nothing is the right decision. We’ll all be in peace.

  97. Anonymous says:

    I am sickened by this!

  98. kaffeen says:

    This is incredibly sad. War is incredibly sad.

    I cannot speak about the integrity of the people involved because we do not know the full circumstances.

    You may question that statement, but what if some of our soldiers were killed 15 minutes prior to this by some of those same persons? Were some of those people to be known operatives for the opposition? What conversations/video/pictures did we *not* get to hear/see?

    We just do not know the full story. Some may say it is not necessary, but it is.

    I am not defending these soldiers, but we cannot judge them either.

    Perhaps you don’t like what they said or the way they acted, but it should not come as a surprise that war dehumanizes those fighting. You should remember that these people are watching their friends and fellow soldiers die and live with the threat of death every minute. I don’t know about you, but that is some serious shit to deal with.

    Yes, innocent people were killed, but unfortunately that is a part of war just as all the other ugly things.

    Having said this, I am firmly against this war. I do not believe we should be there and never have. There is no doubt that it is a waste of life, money, and resources for everyone involved. And just like every war to have ever happened, it is also very very very sad.

  99. Strabo says:

    Absolutely disgraceful. I hate to admit it, but the Rules of Engagement _may_ have actually made it appropriate to fire on the first group, as there were weapons present. Firing on the rescue group, however, was completely unprovoked and should, in a just world, constitute a war crime.

    • tijs says:

      as far as i can tell from the video, and later comments, the first group is -not- carrying weapons but photography gear. Which makes sense since they are journalists not military or bodyguards.

    • Anonymous says:

      Those weren’t weapons- they were cameras

    • Anonymous says:

      there was no guns at all in this film ..are you blind or you want to defend your criminal army

    • ryangoff says:

      That’s the whole idea. The rules of engagement are seriously flawed and, as seen in this video, are very loosely interpreted. Sure, the soldiers were “just doing their job” but it stinks of corruption and bloodlust up and down the whole chain.

    • GIFtheory says:

      I hate to admit it, but the Rules of Engagement _may_ have actually made it appropriate to fire on the first group, as there were weapons present.

      Quick, somebody deploy some gunships to Starbucks!

    • Anonymous says:

      If our rules of engagement are such that they allow killing civilians to protect our soldiers from the possibility of harm, so be it. In that case, though, our army is inherently incapable of protecting civilians and we should never again send it anywhere where it might have to do so.

    • Patient says:

      Actually, according to the ROE, pulling your van over and jumping out to aid wounded insurgents makes you exactly that… someone aiding insurgents. I cannot imagine why you would do something like that with your kids in the frontseat.

      • Foggen says:

        I’m sure those Arabic-speaking civilians had a US Army ROE manual in their glove box so they could properly evaluate the situation.

        • Antinous / Moderator says:

          I’m sure those Arabic-speaking civilians had a US Army ROE manual in their glove box so they could properly evaluate the situation.

          The US military doesn’t have any translators left. They were all discharged under Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.

      • jackie31337 says:

        “Actually, according to the ROE, pulling your van over and jumping out to aid wounded insurgents makes you exactly that… someone aiding insurgents. I cannot imagine why you would do something like that with your kids in the frontseat.”

        Because to you they’re not insurgents, they’re just people in need of help. And maybe you’re a decent human being who isn’t willing to drive off and leave a man bleeding to death in the street.

      • angusm says:

        Patient wrote: “… according to the ROE, pulling your van over and jumping out to aid wounded insurgents makes you exactly that… someone aiding insurgents.”

        Do you think that perhaps someone forgot to give a copy of the rules of engagement to the folks with the van? And then someone else forgot to tell them that the civilian driver for Reuters lying bleeding in the gutter was an “insurgent”?

        Shocking oversight, if so.

        • Patient says:

          I do not think War journalists or civilians alike need a ROE handbook to understand the risk involved when closely following a group of armed insurgents roaming the streets of a warzone.

          Actually, if I happened to be a journalist in Iraq, I am sure I would be quite familiar of the danger that come with the job. Specifically with the alarming number of journalists that are kidnapped, tortured and murdered by insurgents, not Americans.

          The Committee to Protect Journalists: Iraq Statistics
          141 Journalists Killed in Iraq since 1992 (Motive Confirmed)
          • Insurgent/other armed group action: 105 (Includes crossfire, suicide bombings, and murders.)
          • U.S. fire: 16 (CPJ has not found evidence to conclude that U.S. troops targeted journalists in these cases. While the cases are classified as crossfire, CPJ continues to investigate.)
          • Iraqi armed forces, during U.S. invasion: 3 (All are crossfire or acts of war.)
          • Iraqi armed forces, post-U.S. invasion: 1 (Crossfire)
          • Source unconfirmed: 14

          Excuse me for being a bit curious here, but how come I have never seen Aljezeria or any other news outlet dedicate their front page to any of the 105 other journalists that died horrible deaths in Iraq, specifically by Insurgent’s hands?

          Shocking oversight, no?

          These two guys dying in the street like that is horrible stuff, I really mean that, however in my mind not nearly as sickening as those that use their deaths to push an agenda.

          • Antinous / Moderator says:

            Excuse me for being a bit curious here, but how come I have never seen Aljezeria or any other news outlet dedicate their front page to any of the 105 other journalists that died horrible deaths in Iraq

            Since you can’t even spell it, I’m going to go way out on a limb and say that it’s because you’ve never actually read Al Jazeera.

      • Strabo says:

        …except that was a camera man.

  100. Anonymous says:

    Just the tip of the iceberg.

  101. LS says:

    Watching this video left me sick to my heart.

    Barbaric animals, starting with the leaders, then the generals, then the soldiers (on all sides of war).

  102. Anonymous says:

    I was only brought aware of this since the ban on information was lifted, to see just the minor part on the news sickened me.
    I was studying to be a forensic anthropologist in the hope of helping put families minds at rest when such atrocities had occurred to them and their loved ones.
    I now find that our so called allies are as barbaric as they’d like to claim others, and the chain of command just as simplistic!
    Military can spy on us from space and tell how many freckles we have on our ass, yet in a state of the art chopper they can’t actually tell if someone is carrying a camera or a “I’m about to fu*k your day up” bazooka!???!??????
    If the US military is truly this inadequate to be able to use such simple devices like… hmm binoculars (if they are working REAL old school) then maybe these are also the people that they should take fire arms and licences away from on their streets, they may find them much safer!

  103. food_science says:

    slightly off topic, but how the hell did they break military encryption?

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s from 2007, maybe two years of brute forcing?

    • hashashin says:

      Easy, the password was “123456″.

    • Foggen says:

      I think the implied answer is that military encryption is overrated.

    • Anonymous says:

      Not too surprising after word that the Pentagon was hacked numerous times, by numerous different individuals for years, unknowing to our ‘most intelligent’ agencies.

    • ryangoff says:

      They crowd-sourced the CPU cycles, much like SETI@Home and BOINC do it.

      • Anonymous says:

        @ryangoff

        I can’t find where they document that they crowd sourced to break the encryption-can you give a cite?

  104. Anonymous says:

    The soldiers in this video probably went back home and were cheered as heroes in their local 4th of July parades. Onlookers having no idea they are cheering baby killers.

  105. lolbrandon says:

    This really is sickening, there’s really no other word for it. It’s sad and sickening.

    In all fairness to CNN, Reuters and FOX News aren’t covering the video either, and it’s about 11:30 PM EST. American media is pathetic.

  106. cravens says:

    Oh, the irony. On the side column as I type this an ad for military.com about the GI Bill.
    I guess that’s some consolation for putting life and limb at risk for a war that most of us consider a bad idea in the first place.

  107. an0nymous says:

    While the actual incident will be debated endlessly by those who will not acknowledge that which is staring them in the face and the rest of us, there can be no doubt that the spokespeople referring to this incident lied, repeatedly.
    There needs to be consequences.

  108. MrsBug says:

    I can’t even watch the video. I swear my outrage gland has run dry. These people need to be prosecuted.

  109. CLe4R says:

    “Humanity has failed in so many aspects & after 2000 years we still have wars, poverty, rape, murder, ignorance, genocide & hate.”

    Ah, but humanity has existed MUCH longer than 2000 years, and so have all of the wars, poverty, rape, murder, and so on. The seeds of democracy sprout from blood shed upon the soil. The Greeks knew that (well over 2000 years ago). They also knew that by fielding the largest, most powerful army, they could make the rules. The Rules of Engagement are a creation for convenience. They allow for the taking of life as long as you follow the “rules.” (See above for who can make or change these rules.)

    War brings tragedy; that is unavoidable. What is avoidable is entering into a conflict with no purpose, and no plan for ending involvement. I do not hate the soldiers. I do not hate the civilians who rise up against unjust occupation and poor treatment at the hands of aliens (that is what foreign soldiers are – including US soldiers).

    What is the goal? Is this an energy war? Then let’s find our own source of energy, and get out. If there is an enemy to be vanquished, who is it? Saddam Hussein, and his sons, are gone. Osama Bin Laden is, apparently, too difficult to find, even though we have super-copters that can target turbans from miles away. We already know that neither of these forces was the cause of the September 11, 2001 attacks.

    It’s like a child that misbehaves, then gets very indignant when scolded, and becomes combative. I know, I have two toddlers.

  110. Phikus says:

    Yeah, shut down Wikileaks but keep this insane immoral war going, which is bankrupting us. It’s the American way!

  111. angusm says:

    “When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. When all you have is a $15 million helicopter gunship, everything looks like an insurgent.”

    The helicopter crew were looking for ‘insurgents’, so that’s what they saw. From their perspective, even the men in the van trying to save the life of the Reuters driver were not ‘good neighbors’, but additional terrorists.

    On the video, the cameraman’s zoom lens could be a weapon – if you’re expecting to see a weapon – but I’m not sure I can make out the second weapon that they claimed to see.

    The really disturbing part, of course, is not that soldiers sent out with the expectation that they will encounter enemies see everyone as an enemy. It’s not even that they operate under rules of engagement that allow them to fire on anyone ‘convicted’ of hostile intent on the basis of their preconceptions and a grainy black-and-white gunsight video. It’s that, as always, the military reflexively denies any wrong-doing and stonewalls any investigation, and it takes a leak to drag the evidence out into the daylight.

    • Anonymous says:

      My thoughts, exactly! I’m not going to try and defend the soldiers involved in this, but I think that the outrage people feel (justifiably) over this is being directed too much at the soldiers and not enough at the military brass that covered it up, and the authors of the rules of engagement themselves (which are clearly insufficient to prevent this kind of tragedy).

  112. Anonymous says:

    According to the transcript it looks like they misidentified the camera as a weapon, which was a stupid thing to do. It’s also stupid that they opened fire on these people so quickly without a good verification and at least one person showing some doubt about what the object in question was. Blowing a crowd of people away because one “might” have a gun is beyond excessive. All the same, this seems more in line with that misfire around ’04 that happened than a “murder,” which would require some premeditation. This is what happens in any war, and is all the more reason we shouldn’t have been there in the first place at all.

  113. Anonymous says:

    I dont disagree that the video was rather disturbing.
    However who are we, civilians that have never seen war first hand to pass judgement on these soldiers, we do not know the circumstances leading upto and during this moment.
    Given the tension and the information presented to them, they had no option but to fire upon this group.
    I am not justifying their actions, however given that we know that there were members of the press and civilians present in the group it is easy for us to condemn this action, but without that prior knowledge, all they knew was there was a group with clearly visible weapons, possibly an RPG, had they not stopped them then there may have been casualties on the other side.

  114. hacky says:

    wikileaks is not a threat to national security
    the pentagon is.

  115. jowlsey says:

    How utterly revolting.
    I find it depressingly ironic that he was ‘armed’ with a camera, which is is becoming the new gun in the eyes of many in the government.

  116. Eris Siva says:

    Brings to mind Team America: World Police
    “AMERICA! F*CK YEAH!”

    What makes me rather upset (other than the obvious number of points) is how “much” time has passed. How will our leaders deal with this? By not doing much – see, it isn’t their fault. It was the LAST guy who messed up. *shakes head*

    Just remember kids…every one of your votes is important.
    Right?

  117. Anonymous says:

    I’m sick of this support our troops crap. The idea that war is messy and chaotic and mistakes happen is bullshit.
    They knew what they were getting into, they are all volunteers, they should be held accountable for their actions. The “just following lawful orders” and “the rules of engagement” excuses for murdering people went out of fashion 60 years ago.

    Personal responsibility is what the neo-cons call it I believe.

  118. DaveMcJohn says:

    I can’t bring myself to watch the video. I read the synopsis and the transcript, and it’s revolting. I refuse to accept that those soldiers are the same species as I am.

    • fausto says:

      the truth is, they are the same species, and to deny that is to ignore the unfortunate reality that america is responsible for the actions of these hateful individuals. a soldiers job is to kill; a generals job is to tell him who to kill. one of the pillars of the american political system is a civilian controlled military; thus, it is the civilians job to tell the general whether or not they shall be allowed to kill. i believe the actions of these bloodthirsty soldiers are the shame of all americans.

    • jeligula says:

      Don’t get out much, do you? While serving in the US Marine Corps, my friend and I were almost assaulted by a group of fellow Marines on Camp Pendleton. They were looking to extend their drunk by robbing other Marines. On any street anywhere in the world, you can be killed for pocket change. And you refuse to believe they are not of the same species? Dude, this crap is everywhere. Absolutely everywhere. Cruelty is the only human condition that matters, simply because compassion is forgotten the very next day by the recipient, but being wronged never fades. Welcome to the human race, friend.

      • querent says:

        “simply because compassion is forgotten the very next day by the recipient”

        not my experience.

  119. Anonymous says:

    Put yourself in this situation. The US is under invasion and foreign air forces are taking out what they believe to be American insurgents. You are driving in your van with your children and you happen upon a wounded man. All you know is that a battle must have taken place here very recently. Do you A) Keep driving or B) Help your fellow countrymen? Don’t lie to yourself. You know exactly what you would do in this same situation. That said, do you believe this foreign military is justified in shooting at you and your kids?

  120. scifijazznik says:

    Words fail.

    I know we’re not supposed to speak ill of “the troops” but the banter of those epsilon-sub-morons with guns tends to reinforce the movie stereotypes we’re assured don’t exist outside of action flicks. It’s truly disgusting.

  121. mdh says:

    These pilots need to be scapegoated.

  122. Anonymous says:

    There are a couple of important things to keep in mind here:
    The first, and most important, is that as an0nymous said above, “there can be no doubt that the spokespeople referring to this incident lied, repeatedly.” That is the only completely unjustifiable part of this in my mind.

    Secondly, this was occuring during one of the most violent periods of the war. By rules of engagement at the time, firing on the men was completely justifiable. There absolutely were weapons present (which means, in all likelyhood, insurgents), even though it looked to me that the helicopter crew identified the journalist’s camera as a weapon first. It’s important to remember that insurgent fighters are basically indistinguishable from civilians except for when they are carrying weapons, which in this video some of them are.

    Thirdly, this is a case of really terrible judgement on the journalists’ part. Stand in the open with men with rifles and RPG’s while a gunship circles overhead? That is absolutely placing yourself directly in the line of fire.

    Fourth, it was also negligently poor judgement on the “rescuers” part. Drive into the site of a still-hot battle with children in your car to remove the wounded, while the gunship still circles?

    All in all, I think that the helicopter crew was doing exactly what they were trained to do, and what would be expected of them under the circumstances. Which is not to say that it was the right thing to do. They had armored infantry less than a hundred yards away (the “brad” the chopper crew refers to) that could have given better intel and confirmed the weapons, but they fired anyway. But the real problem here is the absolute attempt at coverup and the refusal to mount any sort of investigation. Wikileaks should be applauded, and if you are as outraged at this as I am, supported financially. If this pisses you off or disgusts you or outrages you, make a donation.

    • Anonymous says:

      I have to agree. I know why this would have been kept classified — there are multiple pieces of intelligence in that clip that the military would not ever want to be revealed to the enemy — but flat-out lying about it is criminal and, frankly, stupid. There are ways to deny involvement and knowledge without making knowingly false statements.

      That said, as deplorable as the incident is, and as subhuman as the comments seem, the rules of engagement were almost certainly followed. Note the multiple occurrences of the pilots attempting to get permission to engage. They weren’t randomly shooting — they had what they considered to be actionable intelligence. That they were horribly, horribly wrong doesn’t negate the fact that the script played as it was supposed to. And yes, maybe they were deliberately wrong, or perhaps way too eager to be right. But they weren’t the only ones with eyes on the ground — you can tell that there is at least one field team in the area before the Bradleys arrive.

      Also, absolutely blame leadership for the refusal to treat the children, but clearly the boots on the ground were trying to do the right thing by them once they realized the situation.

      Don’t get me wrong — I’m as sickened by this as all of you. But I’ve been in these types of environments. I can honestly say that most of the men and women who wear the uniform are honest, good people who are put into nightmare situations on a daily basis, often with nothing but each other and a barely-relevant ROE in the field manual to guide them. It’s frankly a testimonial to their skills, training, and technology that this doesn’t happen more frequently.

      Scream, cry, pray for the innocent and for forgiveness as a nation — I do — but just for five minutes, try to put yourself in their shoes. Find a friend or relative who served, now or in the past, and ask them what it’s really like. Don’t be surprised when they refuse to tell you, but don’t be shocked when they break down in front of you either.

    • a_user says:

      The helicopter can be circling anything up to 2km away, hence the people on the ground don’t hear the helicopter opening fire but respond to the shots impacting around them.

    • Anonymous says:

      I did not see any weapons in the video. I saw two guys with cameras, and although I agree with you on some of your points, this still makes me sickened. The men clearly were not firing weapons at anyone or doing anything violent. Hell, I definitely wouldn’t feel safe not having a weapon there with people killing each other left and right. This isn’t just some little mistake. The guys clearly had no respect for life. The children in the van were clearly visible to me and they were trying to help them, not rearm them with weapons to fight.

  123. johnphantom says:

    Well at least there is video proof. Maybe there will be some repercussions, but I doubt it. Things (society) really haven’t changed, despite how advanced we have become…

    ————————————————-
    Eris Siva said:

    Brings to mind Team America: World Police
    “AMERICA! F*CK YEAH!”
    ————————————————-

    I had (note the word “had”) a neo-con friend who said, flat out, that we need to turn the whole world into a police state. He barely wavered when I asked him where we would get the manpower – I said we can’t even control Iraq, never mind some hugely populated country like China.

  124. knoxblox says:

    “Oh, yeah. Look at those dead bastards.”
    “Nice.”

    Sounds like it stopped being a job, and started being an adventure. I hope these people aren’t parents.

  125. wingpig says:

    The circumstances, full story and ROE may have some bearing, but it’s far from being anything like an excuse. Anyone who can take such delight in killing should not be given the tools, nor the opportunity, nor the alleged justification.

  126. misterfricative says:

    It’s easy to condemn — and I do condemn — but this is also a reminder that we are an unlovely species. This is how we behave; this is what we do.

    How many of us could honestly look in their heart and say that, if their circumstances were different, they too would not do exactly the same as the shooters, or the reporters, or the bystanders who tried to help?

    Life’s sometimes a bitch, sometimes a bowl of cherries, sometimes a Milgram experiment run wild. And sometimes you get blown away for some reason that makes absolutely no fucking sense at all.

    Also, I’d still like to know how Wikileaks broke the military encryption. If ‘military encryption’ really means military grade encryption, then crowdsourcing doesn’t even come close. Was the data in fact encrypted, or is that just chaff to help to conceal the source?

  127. hpavc says:

    The ‘rpg’ slung over the shoulder does look odd from that angle while Saaed is walking. Likely the black and white has a lot to do with it. The around the corner stuff equally odd.

    I am not seeing multiple guys with ak47s for sure ever in this video. When he says that he immediately gets his authorization.

    At most there are two guys with items in their hands ever in this video (one guys has something long, its touching the ground and goes up to his chest roughly in length).

    Just prior to the use of weapons, the camera is not over his shoulder and in one hand (after he has likely taken some photos at the corner and is walking back) with the camera strap slacked and off his shoulder it looks like a normal two foot long camera. He is holding the straps and the camera in one hand.

  128. Xenu says:

    You want an omelet , you’re going to have to break some eggs.

    But the question shouldn’t be about the eggs here. It should be whether we should have the omelet in the first place.

  129. arkizzle / Moderator says:

    ..and I saw 1 RPG.

    No you didn’t. You saw some blurry pixels that you interpreted as an RPG.

  130. Anonymous says:

    I believe the question of their perceived threat can be distinguished by their body language. There was too little effort to conceal themselves from a pair of very obvious helicopters training weapons on them,especially in the van’s case. If they felt as if they would have been fired upon would they expose themselves so?
    This is the pure essence of foreign occupation…a process that will excrete hate onto both cultures for generations, all because of an almost forgotten tiff between heads of state and their minions.

  131. pyster says:

    When someone makes a mistake, and they try to cover it up, or lie about it, it doesnt leave anyone liking or respecting that person.

    in war mistakes will be made. fess up. make amends. move on.

    may all those involved in the cover up find nothing but misery.

  132. Anonymous says:

    http://wikileaks.org/#Change_you_can_believe_in

    They’re going to be needing some donations with the amount of traffic that this is going to cause

  133. Anonymous says:

    makes me DISGUSTED to be an American.

  134. Anonymous says:

    Is it not possible to make some type of object recognition software for their video to prevent shit like this from happening? Obviously these kids eyes are bloodthirsty; there has to be some technology to prevent this kind of shit from happening. Higher resolution cameras, etc…

    Pathetic abuse of overpower

  135. Anonymous says:

    It seems youtube is also involved in the media coverup.

    The al-jazeera video has been flagged as inappropiate, when videos showing cannabalism(of the Aghori sect) are perfectly ok for children to watch.

  136. Anonymous says:

    I abhor the concept that a soldier can be so far removed from a battle as to not know who is an enemy and who is not. But I must add that my spidey-senses tingled when I noticed that care was taken (in post-production) to enhance the video to show the children in the front seat of the van, but the same effort to verify what really looked like AK-47s being somewhat concealed at 3:42-3:50 was overlooked.

    In this video, I see errors in judgment.
    In the government response, I see deception.
    Sadly, in the Wikileaks post-production, I see spin.

    Truth is ever only to be had in pieces, it would seem, and we’re left to our own devices to put them together.

  137. Anonymous says:

    CNN/Fox News/MSNBC/etc:

    Hey guys, don’t pay any attention to this! Look over there .. it’s Tiger Woods. And look over there, somebody dropped an iPad on the ground! FREE iPad! Better get it before someone else does!

    • RobbieS says:

      For the Fox News zinger…they do have it on their front page as their top story right now.

  138. nutbastard says:

    and this is just one of probably many more incidents that we actually know about… 3 years after the fact.

    im sitting here literally ashamed of my country.

    you know what happens when you gun down innocent people? you make ‘terrorists’ out of scores of others who, upon hearing of this atrocity, have no choice but to conclude that we are not Good People. you make martyrs and suicide bombers out of their families. in short, so long as you remember to kill a few civilians here and there, you’ll never run out of terrorists to justify your presence there.

    • Anonymous says:

      U described the crux of the terrorist-making phenomenon

    • mdh says:

      in short, so long as you remember to kill a few civilians here and there, you’ll never run out of terrorists to justify your presence there.

      stress disorders don’t just post-traumatize themselves!

  139. Anonymous says:

    No Wonder everyone hates the US.

  140. starfish and coffee says:

    “it’s their own fault for bringing their children into battle”
    exactly. sneaky Iraqis populating their entire country with kids, women and old people and building hospitals and schools and whatnot. just so they could get in the way of Americans saving them.

    • Anonymous says:

      it is time for americans to taste war on their own ground and see what it means. no american should ever voice its oppinion about war as they have never experianced its death taste

    • ratatoskspeaks says:

      I know that if I had my kids in the car, and saw someone get gunned down by a circling helicopter, I wouldn’t drive my kids into the line of fire to rescue an injured man. I would drive the opposite direction, as fast as I could.

  141. Wayne Radinsky says:

    1) The video shows the death of 12 people. Two of these worked for a news organization (Reuters). At most the US invasion of Iraq could be responsible for the deaths of about 2 million people, extrapolating BMJ estimates. The population of Iraq has increased from 24 million to 31 million since the US invasion in 2003. 2) Military organizations lie and use deception and secrecy. Not just the US but all military organizations, everywhere in the world. Truth is less important than success of the mission.

    • Paul Jakma says:

      Wayne,

      a) Those are estimates, not census figures.

      b) The Northern Kurdish area has seen a boom, it also avoided many of the problems of the rest of Iraq. A significant amount of the growth may be confined to there.

      c) There are an estimated 2.5 million Iraqi refugees outside of Iraq (Jordan and Syria particularly), and an estimated 4.5 million displaced in total.

  142. OhStevie says:

    3:45 -loaded- RPG and AK clearly visible.
    Blur comes from compression on youtube. Apache gunner has clear text on the screen. If it isn’t a real RPG then they are handing out plastic replicas.

    • arkizzle / Moderator says:

      1) The commenter I was replying to has only seen the same video you and I have.
      So blurry pixels it is.

      2) “If it isn’t a real RPG then they are handing out plastic replicas.” And you can determine that how? The thing identified as an RPG could be (to us) any number of things, it is a dark grey silhouette and nothing more.

      3) I don’t know what you think you’re seeing at 3:45, but the first sighting of the “RPG” occurs at 4:09.

      • misterfricative says:

        Arkizzle, regarding your point #3 –

        3) I don’t know what you think you’re seeing at 3:45

        I think he’s talking about this. And as g007 also says, if you watch how that guy swings it around, it sure does look and handle an awful lot like an RPG.

  143. js7a says:

    At least it’s apparently not an endless war.

  144. Merek says:

    Glad to see this spreading beyond a few early sources.

    This isn’t just war. This isn’t just unfortunate collateral damage. Collateral damage is accidental; you couldn’t possibly be more purposeful than the acts depicted in this video. I understand that the people making excuses for the pilots and other personnel may simply be trying to comfort themselves, but they gravely wrong. This was a slaughter, and no fair-minded person can see it as anything else.

  145. Antinous / Moderator says:

    So, in order to avoid being labeled a coward by you a soldier would have to go against his training, ignore the RoE and be disciplined by their commanders, ostracized by their peers, and possibly receive a court martial?

    Depending, of course, on the purpose of doing such things, those are all acts of heroism. Being a bully in the army of the biggest bully, playing on the bully’s team by the bully’s rules with the bully’s advanced weaponry isn’t courageous.

    “Once to every man and nation,
    Comes the moment to decide,
    In the strife of truth with false-hood,
    For the good or evil side;
    Some great cause, some great decision,
    Offering each the bloom or blight,
    And the choice goes by forever,
    ‘Twixt that darkness and that light.
    Then to side with truth is noble,
    When we share her wretched crust,
    Ere her cause bring fame and profit,
    And ’tis prosperous to be just;
    Then it is the brave man chooses,
    While the coward stands aside,
    Till the multitude make virtue,
    Of the faith they had denied.”

    • duncano says:

      Essentially I can agree with both of our definitions of courage. I can’t agree, however with your definition of cowardice. Combat requires courage; only a fool thinks otherwise.

      However, poetry aside, if what you’re demanding of soldiers is that they be extraordinary you are bound to be disappointed. They are, after all, only ordinary men. This type of conscientious refusal to fire has happened – just not often. And it normally involves a significant breach of the RoE. If that is the standard that the soldiers in the video are supposed to live up to, there are very few who will measure up. I simply don’t think it’s realistic to expect them to go against all their training, the entire command structure and the RoE. And then crucify them when they don’t.

  146. Anonymous says:

    lord of heaven,

    can Ban ki moon appoint a commission ASAP to investigate, this.
    UN should ban US ASAP.

    can some body send this to UN and Obama( useless talker)

  147. Jorge Gajardo says:

    Is USA army in Irak a ambassador of a civilized country?The “war” was unilateral and invasion based en lies about secret weapons never founded.Afer this world ask if a country considered a democracy could against ONU will invades other with hidden reasons.After this americans has not moral to teach other countries about civil rights.If the masacre was other thing why the events of 2005 were hidden.?What could be happens if a other countries military forces made the same over USA civilian without weapons.If you see video the distance is so short that military must be concient of his action .Was not a mistake was a deliberated masacre.What happens with the relatives of dead people?One thing is have am migthy material developed country.Other the ethic values who rules his society.

  148. OhStevie says:

    Again, in no support of any of this shooting, but that (3:45) is exactly what apache pilots are trained to identify and shoot at.

  149. Anonymous says:

    Hey, I feel bad for the nazi concentration camp guards, they were just doing what their job. Oh, wait…

  150. Anonymous says:

    Now you all go and buy a “Support our troops” bumper sticker. Murderous bastards, every single one of them!

  151. duncano says:

    @Antinous: You got me! I’m gay! Just don’t tell my wife and three children. Heh.

    But really, outed myself as what? A killer? A military apologist? A Canadian? I’m at a loss here . . .

  152. Anonymous says:

    “…they heard that something was happening in the Ameen neighborhood and drove there…”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/13/world/middleeast/13iraq.html?_r=1

  153. Anonymous says:

    I’m curious – whats the ROE justification for blowing up that van?

    Related question, if some ground troops saw a “terrorist” with a medic type insignia dragging a wounded insurgent away – are they cleared to shoot the medic?

  154. Anonymous says:

    Professional killers, killing professionally. Armies are for fighting wars. This is not a war.

    Most of you are too young to remember the last time that war was actually declared, or the fact that only Congress can declare it, or that the president only gets his “war powers” when it has been declared.

    He is only commander-in-chief when we are at war.

  155. Ohhhsnap says:

    I found this just… so gutwrenching and sickening to watch. I’ve seen “strike” videos like this before, but knowing that most of the victims (if not all) were absolutely innocent (journalists and children) really brought it home.

    When he’s crawling away, injured, and they were just circling him… I felt like I was watching people who had no mercy and no compassion. When he was being loaded into a van by unarmed noncombatants, I thought for a moment that he might just get away. He may get driven to safety. All that crawling, bleeding, desperately needing help… to receive it, then get blown to bits (alongside two children) because some gunner had a desire to kill… Is wrong on an order of cosmic magnitude.

  156. indigoskye says:

    This event, and thousands like it where the film will never see the light of day, have been the primary recruiting tool used to create more insurgents. Our disproportional, and likely illegal, response to the 9/11 attacks must stop. To the rest of the world, we are the terrorists now.

    And of course, we, by which I mean the military that represents the US, are covering up the murder of civilians with a total that reaches high into the tens of thousands. If you’re complaining about the Pope deflecting accusations against him, we are 10 times as bad with our deflections.

    Wikileaks has another video, this time in Afghanistan, and this time from the finger trigger of the Obama administration, that is apparently worse.

    Your vote does count and so does your time and effort in electing representatives who will investigate and put an end to the sort of atrocities that sets the world against the US.

  157. HDN says:

    Could it be that the audio is faked?

    • Anonymous says:

      if the audio is fake, is there ANYTHING you could put in its place that would make it any better?

      • stratojoe says:

        “if the audio is fake, is there ANYTHING you could put in its place that would make it any better?”

        Yakety Sax?

    • Anonymous says:

      “Senior Military Official Confirms Authenticity of Video.” – Scroll Up

    • Anonymous says:

      It could be, but the terminology and lingo are pretty spot on.

      In response to the “how did they decrypt it” question, this is undoubtedly from the onboard recorder from one of the Apaches, they didn’t have to haxxor anything to get it.

      And those 30mm chain guns are very, very blunt instruments, “not particularly useful in an insurgency”…

  158. Anonymous says:

    Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

  159. futbol789 says:

    After watching the video and reading the comments, the only thing I would add to the discussion is that arguing that RPGs are carried, you know, for home defense and stuff too is a bit gauche.

    If it was an RPG (and we can’t know I suppose because of the graininess of our copy of the video) then there really isn’t any good meant to come of that.

    The story here seems to be three parts. First, in the shooting of the unarmed individuals helping the unarmed individual from a helicopter half a mile away. The second part of the story is the command from above to pass the childrens medical care off to someone else. And the third is the cover up.

    They did a segment on the ratigan show about this video earlier today. And, whatever the justifiability of the initial engagement, the hotness of the surge in that location and the general goal of the surge, the question remains how many acts of goodness or successes cancel out the killing of civilians? Or at the very least, how many successes to cancel out the decision to pass off emergency medical treatment to children?

    Same for the situation in Afghanistan that came to light. There’s just no making up for a mistake like that. You can’t apologize. They’re dead.

  160. dimka says:

    brutally murderous like any other war, with lots of people pointlessly killed without any remorse or mercy. paid by taxpayers, approved by politicians and earn profits to big corporations, who’s bosses go home and pretend to be good people. military is spreading death all over the world. in iraq and other places. and it’s not only us army, any army is like that.

  161. OhStevie says:

    The guys look very suspicious. There are the weapons visible. Some other vid like this shows people gather around just like this, then run away, and then a missile fires off of something they just put together! It’s on youtube as ‘insurgents fire rocket’ or something like that.

    I would like to agree about that helicopter distance thing but we have been shooting the place up with helicopters for the last 10 years :( . Bunch of bodies, explosions, no one else around…

    They certainly could have fired a ‘warning’ into the square tho.

  162. Razzabeth says:

    Stupid fucking piece of shit Call of Duty playing motherfucking rednecks, I hope they slowly go insane and end up starving on the street with missing limbs and no one to care for them.

    That being said, the armed forces really need to work on improving their troops’ sense of reality. They have obviously transcended the point where they can tell what is real and what is a video game. Laughing about bodies being run over, complimenting each other on their shooting, that’s such sick shit. They need to be taught some respect.

  163. Anonymous says:

    I don’t mean to get off topic, but how come the helicopter crews doesn’t have higher resolution gun sights/video. I would assume a helicopter costs millions of dollars, it would seem trivial to add better quality video. Especially since their jobs is in scouting/patrolling. They may have been able to identify that there were children and photogs.

    • Anonymous says:

      I don’t mean to get off topic, but how come the helicopter crews doesn’t have higher resolution gun sights/video. I would assume a helicopter costs millions of dollars, it would seem trivial to add better quality video. Especially since their jobs is in scouting/patrolling. They may have been able to identify that there were children and photogs.

      Apaches have incredible optics and imaging systems. They can see and engage tanks from 6 kilometers away, at night. They just weren’t designed to tell insurgent from armed civilian. And I don’t think any camera on the planet can tell a journalist’s bodyguard from an Iraqi insurgent.

      I feel bad for the crews, they’ve been told to look for groups of armed men. They found a group of men and shot the hell out of them after being cleared to engage. Don’t get mad at the troops, they’re doing what is being asked of them. Get mad at the people controlling them, mainly the people who can make the decision to finally give up on Americanizing Iraq and shut down GWB’s little middle east fun park ride.

      • holtt says:

        Anon I agree with your post except your forgiveness of the helicopter crew. Imagine what a difference this video would be if they had been more professional. Or if one of them had said, “Wait let’s be sure” Or had expressed remorse. It would give us a whole different perspective I think. It’s the tone and content of their talk that damns this IMO.

  164. Anonymous says:

    I saw at least 3 weapons in that group. Not to mention the equipment the journalists were carrying which looked like weapons slung behind their backs. Under the ROEs in 07 I don’t think they did anything wrong. And as for the laughing and joking, you see what the screen is like. It’s like a damn video game. A very impersonal, detached way of killing.

  165. bobhughes says:

    I don’t know what’s what about this, so many comments so fast. But I did a ctrl+F and failed to see “propa”.

    Maybe this is already obvious to everyone already, but does WikiLeaks have some foolproof system for weeding out the propaganda, obvious lies, and misc. crap that someone could post? What about a skilled agente provacteur, couldn’t they be pushing agendas on places like wikileaks if they know how to do it?

    How does anything on wikileaks get authenticated really? Suppose random witnesses can suddenly account for it, does that mean they’re accounting for what really happened or just being paid/forced to “account” something else?

  166. Anonymous says:

    Absolutely sickening. No one has any right to kill people (who might have been armed, but never shot at you in the first place) like a video game. Soldiers were LAUGHING and were dying to shoot at them. They blamed people who were killed for bringing kids to the place.

    It is 100000% fucked up and I really hope this war ends asap. I am not an American, but I still feel ashamed that one of the most developed and leading countries in the world is doing the most inhumane and nonsense thing in the whole world.

  167. Anonymous says:

    This is pretty shameful. I’ve run into this exact same treatment before with police officers. Give them a gun and a badge or a gun and a uniform, and some people just adopt a different mindset. You could tell these soldiers were itching to fire their weapons. Very chilling stuff.

  168. Anonymous says:

    This war was a greedy mistake, spurred on by those who sought to profit without any regard for human misery. The cost in human life is terrible.

    But… watching this video, I don’t see an outrage, I see an awful mistake. I’m not even sure it could have been avoided, given the nature of the modern battlefield. (Other than to have never entered into this idiotic mess.)

  169. ill lich says:

    I would like to believe that everyone who sees this footage feels bad, even those individuals who would equivocate and explain it away with tired war-on-terrorism cliche’s (in fact they may feel the worst inside, and equivocate because it’s the only way they can feel better about an obvious travesty.)

  170. Anonymous says:

    from cryptome.org:

    ” “Full uncut version of the video primarily intended for research purposes,” about 39 minutes (requires sign-in):

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=is9sxRfU-ik&aia=true

  171. EH says:

    Next time you hear someone use the word “insurgents,” you now have an image to reflect upon. Now we know who they’re talking about.

  172. Day Vexx says:

    Well, I’m full of impotent rage right now.

  173. Sourbasil says:

    The last military to laugh from their hellships were the Ruskies in their Hind helo’s. Look what happened to them…

  174. Yana says:

    I’m sick. Can we stop now? Stop everything. Don’t go to work tomorrow or the next day. Don’t send your kids to school. Don’t go a goddamned thing!

  175. dag4 says:

    Um, yeah, looks like the soldier did exactly what they were supposed to do at that time, shoot people carrying AK’s and RPG’s. I haven’t seen many people walking in any US city with an RPG? And bringing your kids to pickup injured people carrying RPG’s WTF is with that? It’s easy to judge sitting here in the US in a nice warm apartment while there are people half a world away literally laying their lives on the line to allow you to vent this crap. What about the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis killed by Saddam, where are the videos of them, or the thousands of innocent civilians that suicide bombers have killed in markets across Iraq? Where are the protests against those actions? Oh wait there aren’t any cause libs just care about the people killed by the US, other victims aren’t important.

    • druranium says:

      American military is not/cannot sustain an attempt at being the police force of the World. That is something you folks who are fond of calling people “libs” do not seem to comprehend.

    • Brainspore says:

      Um, yeah, looks like the soldier did exactly what they were supposed to do at that time, shoot people carrying AK’s and RPG’s.

      If these soldiers were sent on a mission to shoot anyone spotted with a weapon then we’re in big trouble. Carrying weapons in public is neither illegal nor uncommon in Iraq. This is just one of the differences between our cultures that makes our continued presence there a recipe for disaster.

    • Paul Jakma says:

      You’re a frightening person…

      It’s Baghdad, a densely populated in which millions of people live. It’s 2007 – 3 years after the invasion. People can’t sit in their basements for many years waiting for things to stop, they have to go out and try live at least a little. This was a family man driving along with his kids, bringing them to class according to a followup video.

      I was raised on tales from my grandmother about life under Nazi occupation. She had a new born son (my dad). She and her family *had to* continue to live their lives, they had to find food. Thank fuck the Wehrmacht didn’t have trigger-happy and quite disturbed shits circling overhead in AH-64s, or maybe I’d never have been born.

      I thought I was angry at this video. But I find myself angry again and *really* sickened by the attitude of many commentators who blame the civilian victims! You people need to re-examine your beliefs and try find your missing sense of humanity!

    • synthemesc says:

      Um, yeah, looks like the soldier did exactly what they were supposed to do at that time, shoot people carrying AK’s and RPG’s.

      Then I guess since they shot some people with cameras, a van coming to carry away the wounded, and some kids, they didn’t do a very good job then.

    • Anonymous says:

      The military refusing to release the information is of course proof that the soldiers did the right thing, or else why would they want to protect them from public criticism?

      This is a sickening thing. That anyone could look at it and think “good work” is also pretty despicable.

  176. Zac says:

    To borrow an old phrase:

    War. Is. Hell.

    The biggest tragedy here is not the soldier’s casual attitude about death (who among us doesn’t take a casual attitude towards our everyday jobs?), nor is it the misidentification which resulted in two dead journalists (looks like there were definitely AK-47s present, though I think the “RPG” in question was actually the camera Namir was carrying). No, the real tragedy is the culture of secrecy and deception surrounding the incident that required an independent organization to bring us the evidence.

    I understand that bad news is bad for business, but too bad, you aren’t a business, you are our government. You don’t get to be self serving, you get to serve us, and as far as I am concerned the most important ingredient in serving the people is transparency.

    This info should have been made publicly available as soon as it was strategically viable to do so, and immediately afterwards the military brass should have been upfront about their role in this unfortunate (if not entirely uncalled for) incident.

    We can’t hold our government accountable if you don’t know what they are doing.

    • Anonymous says:

      everyone keeps mentioning the AK’s but if listen to the reports from iraq almost everyone has a AK for protection against the American created lawlessness. So targeting anyone with an “AK” pretty much means targeting everyone in the country. Let’s be frank America caused the death of anywhere from 200,000 to 1 millions iraqi’s by different estimates. Anyways we’ve caused the death of lots of innocence. I don’t those who died would celebrate the “democracy” now.

  177. Wuss Brillis says:

    I suppose that Diana West will write another piece of art about this.

    The title of the article should be corrected to: “US military murdering civilians”.

  178. Adam Stanhope says:

    Killing the group in the van may be the moral equivalent to suicide bombers/roadside bombers setting off one bomb, then waiting until rescuers arrive to set off a second.

    We look upon that as savage, uncivilized behavior. Shooting up the rescue van was a similar act.

  179. grimc says:

    So are you posting from Baghdad or Kabul, internet tough guy?

  180. Antinous / Moderator says:

    He’s posting from the deleted bin.