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Group Forces Release of Video Showing Bloody Collateral Attack on Reuter's Crew in IraqTim King Salem-News.com
Unfortunately, the story of Iraq and the U.S. invasion always only really gets worse.
(SALEM, Ore.) - A video clip that recently surfaced of U.S. aviators gunning down a Reuter's media crew in Baghdad in 2007, then attacking a van with children that attempted to evacuate the survivor, may be the most revolting and literally gut wrenching imagery to ever emerge from the U.S. war in Iraq.
You learn a lot about the game plan that was used to divide and destroy Baghdad, a city whose residents had not lifted a finger toward the U.S.A. You hear the fun and enthusiastic voices of U.S. Army helicopter pilots just begging for permission to shoot, repeatedly.
The children are clear in the video from the helicopter's own gun camera, but the pilots apparently didn't see that. What I learned in Iraq the following year, was that any chance for success based on ridding the country of a dictator, was long in the past. So much collateral damage, so many lives wasted, so much heartache, endless burials and martyrs. It is not a winning formula.
But most just wanted to live their lives. That was impossible because U.S. President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney were going to use American taxpayer resources to attack Iraq at any cost. Now Americans have the chance to learn about how good this nation's deeds have actually been.
Wikileaks obtained and decrypted this previously unreleased video footage from a US Apache helicopter that was recorded in 2007.
The attack killed 12, among them a Reuters journalist, 22-year old Namir Noor-Eldeen, driver 40-year old Saeed Chmagh, and several others as the Apache shoots and kills them in a public square in Eastern Baghdad.
They are apparently assumed to be insurgents- their cameras mistaken for guns. One carries something, to the pilots that becomes "five AK-47's and an RPG".
But somewhere along the line, you would think that these soldiers with their deadly weapons fired from a safe distance, high in the sky in their helicopter gunships, would be better than they are. Instead, they were just one more set of Americans itching for a fight over the last several years in Iraq.
People in the states, among them the fat and lazy and sheeplike stupid, rooted for this bastard of a war, and that fact is foul and disgusting, like the scenes left behind by so much conflict.
People in America were actually convinced that slaughtering these people in Iraq was necessary for "their own freedom" which is complete and utter insanity.
As Wikileaks explains, "after the initial shooting, an unarmed group of adults and children in a minivan arrives on the scene and attempts to transport the wounded. They are fired upon as well."
The U.S. government's official statement on this incident initially listed all adults as insurgents and claimed the US military did not know how the deaths occurred. But now this video exists to show the world what this has really been about. On this day I don't believe Americans have a right to ever be critical of any other nation in the world. Death is death, children are children.
If you can make it through this video without vomiting, you will learn that the U.S. Army made the conscious decision to not treat or transport the small kids in the van that had been blasted to smithereens. There is footage of a real American on the ground running with a small girl's damaged form in his arms, trying to help; but then we learn that she was turned away, by Americans.
So when we write about American veterans experiencing PTSD and war trauma, you now have more insight into what is driving them to the depths they sometimes hit.
This is when a person like myself is damned glad to only shoot people with video cameras. I feel like my heart sank today when I saw this video. I will probably never look at an Apache helicopter and think of anything else.
In a different type of helicopter, flying through Iraq late at night in the summer of 2008, I watched American military contractors abuse a group of bound and hooded Iraqi detainees for hours, as the Army CH-47 delivered these alleged terrorists to different bases in Iraq. I recorded video of it and was forced by a U.S. Army intelligence team to erase the video, and came to know a saying in Iraq at the time: "Did you create a terrorist today?"
I can't believe a single Iraqi could support the U.S. mission in their heart, after seeing this video. Unfortunately, the story of Iraq and the U.S. invasion always only really gets worse.
According to collateralmurder.com, the U.S. military did not reveal how the Reuters staff were killed, stating also that they did not know how the children were injured.
"After demands by Reuters, the incident was investigated and the U.S. military concluded that the actions of the soldiers were in accordance with the law of armed conflict and its own 'Rules of Engagement'.
"Consequently, WikiLeaks has released the classified Rules of Engagement for 2006, 2007 and 2008, revealing these rules before, during, and after the killings.
"WikiLeaks has released both the original 38 minutes video and a shorter version with an initial analysis. Subtitles have been added to both versions from the radio transmissions.
"WikiLeaks obtained this video as well as supporting documents from a number of military whistleblowers. WikiLeaks goes to great lengths to verify the authenticity of the information it receives. We have analyzed the information about this incident from a variety of source material. We have spoken to witnesses and journalists directly involved in the incident.
"WikiLeaks wants to ensure that all the leaked information it receives gets the attention it deserves. In this particular case, some of the people killed were journalists that were simply doing their jobs: putting their lives at risk in order to report on war. Iraq is a very dangerous place for journalists: from 2003- 2009, 139 journalists were killed while doing their work."
Wikileaks released this video with transcripts and a package of supporting documents on April 5th 2010 on collateralmurder.com
Here is the timeline:
Tim King is a former U.S. Marine with twenty years of experience on the west coast as a television news producer, photojournalist, reporter and assignment editor. In addition to his role as a war correspondent, this Los Angeles native serves as Salem-News.com's Executive News Editor. Tim spent the winter of 2006/07 covering the war in Afghanistan, and he was in Iraq over the summer of 2008, reporting from the war while embedded with both the U.S. Army and the Marines.
Tim holds numerous awards for reporting, photography, writing and editing, including the Oregon AP Award for Spot News Photographer of the Year (2004), first place Electronic Media Award in Spot News, Las Vegas, (1998), Oregon AP Cooperation Award (1991); and several others including the 2005 Red Cross Good Neighborhood Award for reporting. Serving the community in very real terms, Salem-News.com is the nation's only truly independent high traffic news Website. You can send Tim an email at this address: firstname.lastname@example.org
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