Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Journalists demand probe of taped Iraq shooting

Sometimes, the documents behind a story are videos.

A U.S. military video showing the 2007 slaying of more than a dozen people in Iraq — including two employees of the Reuters news agency — was released this week by the whistleblower Web site WikiLeaks.org.

The video was shot from one of the two Apache helicopters involved in the attack in the New Baghdad district of the capital. It shows the helicopters locating a group of about a dozen men moving down a road, some of whom the aviators say are believed to be carrying weapons. After being told they are "free to engage," the gunships attack the group, apparently killing most of the men, then also destroy a van after more people show up and attempt to evacuate one of the wounded.

On Tuesday, the Iraqi Journalists' Union and other groups called on the Iraqi government to investigate the incident, The Associated Press reports.

The New York Times has a look at WikiLeaks, which calls itself "an intelligence agency of the people." The Times also has a moving photo tribute to the slain Reuters photographer.

See the video below. Warning: explicit content:

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Where are the demands for investigation into the number of non-combatants killed by Obama's drones in Pakistan during the past year? Haven't heard about that? Wonder why?

Corrupter said...

The chilling part is that web site, WikiLeaks, spreading unmitigated misinformation.

There were 8 adult men walking toward the Army patrol position (West of this camera sight). There were visible rifles in possession of several of them (4 that I could count), they were organizing for an attack on an Army patrol headed in their direction. The Apache was there specifically to clear the path for the patrol. That is what they do.

The Reuters cameraman was visible with his camera bag and he then was filming around the building with the camera on his shoulder, but these helicopter gunners identified him as a RPG gunner. Perfectly understandable. It was not possible to make that out at the time. Quite frankly, I don't think it makes any difference now that the truth is known. He was taking his chances, and not very good ones I might add, by putting himself among those insurgents. He knew what he was doing. It finally caught up with him.

1. Why were these armed guys moving toward the Army position and why were they massed on the corner?
2. Why was the Reuters guy with them filming their activities, and what they were about to do?
3. Why did they try to pick up the bodies so quickly?
4. The fact that these insurgents brought two children in that van into a free fire zone brings up a multitude of questions.

I don't see any scandal here. Tragedy perhaps. Lots of people in the wrong place at the wrong time. But, I don't see anyone doing anything wrong.

Read this whole story in the NY Times about what Namir Noor-Eldeen was doing in that neighborhood at the time he was killed and what he was known for. Covering the fighting from the insurgents side. His most famous pictures were of insurgents holding a bullet ridden vest after a firefight.

http://lens.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/04/06/remembering-namir-noor-eldeen/

Namir Noor-Eldeen should have known the risks of what he was doing. I can't spare any sympathy for him. I am fresh out. I used it all for my brother-in-law who just got back from his second tour.

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