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wikileaks' post of a video showing the murder of a journalist in iraq

Discussion in 'Serious' started by barndoor101, 5 Apr 2010.

  1. PureSilver

    PureSilver E-tailer Tailor

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    This is very much true.

    Murderers, of course, are trialled, and punished. Even military law provides for courts martial to try soldiers for acts committed in wartime. By virtue of their employment in a force that trained and armed them to kill a great number of people with considerable ease in a very short period of time, these soldiers are apparently going to escape the punishment even the most common murderer would suffer.

    Criticism doesn't kill people, it saves people. If soldiers the world over were held accountable for their actions, those actions would certainly enjoy a greater legitimacy. Israeli soldiers shooting American 'human shields' or bulldozing the homes of suicide bombers? American spies using barbaric interrogation methods on illegally abducted suspects? English soldiers shooting up Northern Ireland of a Sunday afternoon? If these events regularly ended in trial, rather than denial and coverup, we might send a much-needed message to our troops that though we understand their situation and support them, that does not give them carte blanche to do as they like and nor are they immune to the most basic rule of law. It might even encourage trigger-happy Americans to ask questions first and shoot later. For as long as the US covers up reckless manslaughter or outright murder by it's soldiers, it deserves all the criticism we can dish out. How else are we expected to consider them capable of accepting responsibility?
     
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  2. brave758

    brave758 Minimodder

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    Please delete :)
     
    Last edited: 7 Apr 2010
  3. boiled_elephant

    boiled_elephant Merom Celeron 4 lyfe

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    I'd like to know more about the initial engagement, i.e. whether people walking in the street with weapons is sufficient grounds for engagement, particularly given that they were interspersed with unarmed people. It just seems like very little to go on. As for firing on the van - I can't see any justification for that at all. At most you'd try to disable the vehicle, but they showed no restraint at all.
     
  4. brave758

    brave758 Minimodder

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    with the 30mm chain gun you don't disable the vehicle you take it apart.:sigh:
     
  5. Dude111

    Dude111 An Awesome Dude

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  6. docodine

    docodine killed a guy once

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    (removed by me)
     
    Last edited: 7 Apr 2010
  7. Jumeira_Johnny

    Jumeira_Johnny 16032 - High plains drifter

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    You, sir, are an idiot. There was no cover up. All combat footage is classified, until release by the DoD. Most footage isn't released, so there are 1000's of hours still classified. Nothing unsual there. The only story worth noting is that it took them 3 years to crack the encryption.

    This happened in 2007 and there was an official investigation that was opened at the request of the Reuters news agency and included them from the beginning. Read the comments from the Reuters editors on how they had asked for, and received the report (not the video, which is still classified and is exempt from the FOIA) under the FOIA with in 48 hours of the request. Do you actually know anything about this story other then what you saw on youtube?

    Was this right? no. Were the gunners gung-ho? yes. Did they ask for and receive clearance to engage under the standing ROEs? yes. The reporters weren't supposed to be there. They were listed as being blocks away doing a story on weight lifting. From the gunners' stand point, and as seen on the footage, they looked to be carrying something on a sling. Was it clear? no. Should the gunners' perhaps waited and confirmed? sure.

    None of us were there, and second guessing young men under stress in a combat zone is silly. You have no idea what it's like there. Did they sleep the night through or were they shelled? Did they take fire earlier? Was there intel in the pre flight that suggested there would be targets in the area? Did his new wife miscarry days before? Was he supposed to rotate home only to find out he'd be there another year?

    Journalists -Photo or other wise- accept that there is a level of risk when they take these assignments. They are not, usually, targeted by the military. This was a mistake, a grave one. But even the editors express the sentiment that, while avoidable, it wasn't premeditated. If you are expressing shock at these 2 incidents, try looking up the number of journos that have been killed since 2003. Extremists have killed more then the military has on accident, in both Iraq and Afghanistan. That is a fact.

    Think before you put on the aluminum foil hat and use the google news search function. You look less stupid when you do.
     
    Last edited: 7 Apr 2010
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  8. cjmUK

    cjmUK Old git.

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    We know enough: http://www.collateralmurder.com/en/timeline.html

    And we want to know more - but unfortunately the US don't want us to know more. There is nothing secret or sensitive about this information. It's simply embarrassing to the US because it demonstrates their casual disregard for civilian life.

    You, sir, are an apologist.

    From the horses mouth: Reuters asked for an investigation and they were told that 9 militants and 2 civilians (the Reuters reporters) were killed in action. There was no involvement from Reuters other than being told the cover-up story.

    Unfortunately, the local civilians and the city police all claim that a) there was no fighting in that part of the city anywhere near that time and that b) all the dead were residents of that neighbourhood or had good reason to be their and c) they had no links to any sort of militia.

    The US initially confiscated Namir Noor-Eldeen's camera (which subsequently showed shots of the neighbourhood with a conspicuous absence of weapons) and provided no evidence other than their account of the incident. No photos, no gun-camera footage and no voice recordings, no evidence of any weapons recovered at the scene.

    Do you?

    It is clear that thanks to Wikileaks and Reuters, we know a damn sight more than we did thanks to the US.

    The reporters are supposed to be wherever the hell they want to be. Iraq is nominally a free country now. But this line betrays your US thinking - if they hadn't been there, they would still be alive - yes, perhaps, but a number of other civilians would still be dead. Except that we wouldn't have an organisation like Reuters trying to find the truth.

    Iraqi civilians are murdered like this routinely, but we simply don't get to hear about them.

    The absence of stress is the most conspicuous part for the footage. There is no tension, no pressing urgency...

    Did you seriously intend to argue that having a bad nights sleep is justification for murdering 11 civilians and injuring two children?

    A fact? Sources please.

    Do you know, I could quite believe it. But I don't take the next step and use it to justify our murders. "We murder less than the bad guys" isn't the best defence.

    Which is worse: an over-enthusiastic desire to believe in any scandal or conspiracy story, or a steadfast refusal to face facts in the light of convincing evidence.

    People will make up their own minds as to who they think is stupid, but I think Dude111 is fairly safe.
     
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  9. Stewb

    Stewb What's a Dremel?

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    They received clearance, yes. But they lied in the process in order to obtain it. 4:21 in the youtube video "Yeah, we had a guy shooting". That's a downright lie, unless you try to argue a person taking a photo is in fact "shooting".

    Additionally, from the rules of engagement reference card for 2007 it says that targets may only be engaged if they are committing hostile acts, or are displaying hostile intent. Neither of these were the case by any stretch of the imagination in this scenario.

    However, for me this is not the point. What is the point is their blatant disregard for human life. All they want to do is kill people. They wanted the man who was injured to pick up a weapon - so they could kill him. After they had killed people they laughed and joked about it, and then laughed again when someone drove over a dead body. When the van arrived they simply wanted to kill people again, "Come on, let us shoot!".
     
  10. boiled_elephant

    boiled_elephant Merom Celeron 4 lyfe

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    Word.
     
  11. liratheal

    liratheal Sharing is Caring

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    I've been watching how the world has reacted to this for a while, and it's getting to the point where I don't think I can hold my tongue over one aspect of the entire thing.

    Disregarding whether the pilots lied to obtain clearance to fire, disregarding whether the footage clearly shows weapons - If only because it's of such pisspoor quality, thanks to the youtube version, that what I see as a weapon, someone else could see as a gnarly stick.

    All I'm getting annoyed about is the number of people complaining that the pilots showed no remorse.

    I'm sorry, but anyone who expects that from a soldier immediately after the engagement, regardless of the target, is an absolute fool. They were not told they were civilians, they were not aware of the Reuters employees (By the Reuters employees own mistake), and were given clearance to fire.

    A soldier is built, mentally, from the ground up to kill, move on, and if necessary, kill again. They drill, time and again, to be able to make a kill and move on. What good would a soldier be if they broke down and cried every time they made a kill?

    Stress, nerves, fear and so on, can manifest in more ways than just tone of voice. Pilots especially have to be perfectly clear with their speech, incase you didn't notice, and typically have to repeat call signs and requests. What good would they be if they were a jabbering ass under stress? None. They have to be clear, all the time, and they were.

    Yes, they were wrong. It's not possible to argue that they weren't. In the situation, though, they followed standing ROE.

    However, the two reporters claimed they were going to be somewhere else - That's why they weren't flagged up as being in the area when the pilots were told there were no friendlies in the zone. Granted, it wouldn't be the first time that a negative has been offered in terms of localised friendlies, but the fact that the reporters activity log states they were supposed to be elsewhere?
     
  12. smc8788

    smc8788 Multimodder

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    It's not that the guy didn't show remorse, and I wouldn't expect that - it's that they seem excited by the very act of killing people. You could tell from the dialogue that the guy wanted nothing more than to blow the people's brains out right from the start, even though they clearly weren't hostile and he had no idea who they were. A soldier should be calm, cool and methodical even in times of high stress (which this clearly wasn't), not some hyped-up redneck who wants a chance to play with the big gun on the helicopter because he's bored. Judging from the video, these aren't the people I'd want in control of multi-mullion pound death machines when people's lives are at stake.
     
  13. cjmUK

    cjmUK Old git.

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    I'm not after remorse... well, not until after the event anyway.

    What I would like to have seen would be *any* consideration at all that there might be civilians around or that they might have been mistaken about the hostile intent.

    After the initial attack, we could have done without the glee and without the praying that the photographer would reach for a weapon.

    And why attack a van attending to the injured survivors? There was no red cross painted on the side but it was clear that the van was their to help the wounded - the could be no ambiguity about the lack of hostile intent.

    No, it was the joyful, ruthless bloodlust that really turned my stomach.

    This also sums up the attitude of the US army: 99.9% of the Iraqi population are supposed to be f*cking friendlies!

    The reporters presumably felt quite safe know that they were in the middle of a friendly, peaceful neighbourhood.
     
  14. liratheal

    liratheal Sharing is Caring

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    Out of interest, which video did you watch? The short one, or the ~40 minute one? There are mentions from soldiers other than the Apache pilots of weapon carrying people in their area, and I can see at least one person carrying a weapon (Either that, or it's one long thin camera.. with a magazine).

    I wouldn't argue that the gunner does seem keen to fire a second time, when the injured man is moving, but until I see the footage in a decent resolution where I can ID something other than possibles..

    There are a lot of cases of "guilty by association" when it comes to Iraq/Afghanistan. With a 30mm cannon there's not much chance of a single precise shot, especially when the gunner is trying to compensate for a moving helicopter.

    If 99.9% of Iraq was a friendly zone, then there wouldn't need to be such a military presence, nor would there be such heavily guarded green zones, nor would there be such a regular "show of force" approach.

    Even in grainy footage, I can tell you;

    [​IMG]

    That is not a camera.

    Trained eyes would probably have seen it sooner, which IMO, was what was reported by the other troops, and then reported by the pilot/gunner as an AK47. 4:52, from the short footage, immediately after the camera stops shaking through the 30mm being fired.

    Personally, I believe they mistook the camera for an RPG, and potentially lied about taking fire, but an Apache is a big thing, and there is only one angle covered by the camera. We can't know every detail from this footage.

    As for hoping the photographer went for a weapon? I'd say that wasn't entirely bloodlust, there have been ground troops moving in during this entire piece of footage, if the pilot sees the wounded man go for a weapon, he can prevent his fellow soldiers taking fire - Something that seems perfectly reasonable to me.
     
    Last edited: 7 Apr 2010
  15. thehippoz

    thehippoz What's a Dremel?

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    wikileaks did a al jazeera tv interview, not sure what's up with that other than to incite more hate.. the cover up was wrong- the commanders in charge need to learn they can't twist facts to suit their agenda.. they did the same thing with pat tillman's friendly fire incident..

    I can't fault the guys in the chopper.. not saying they are the brightest tools in the shed and maybe there needs to be another check in place.. I'm not one to say though, I'm sure if you've seen enough experience would take over- just looks to me they could have used another set of eyes before go
     
  16. wst

    wst Minimodder

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    Sorry to burst your bubble, dude, but it's not covered up any moreso than any of the other thousands of hours of combat footage.

    Basically, they had some weapons (I see at least one rifle). And they were right next to a battle. They weren't US Military (or allied to them), so there's no way to know that they're neutral (even then, they aren't really. If the US troops started shooting at them on the ground, I doubt they'd shoot back... anyway). It takes ~3 seconds to shoulder a weapon, aim, and fire. Sometimes you've just got to make the call, you're also trying to avoid other aircraft that are doing their own orbits, keep an eye out for other threats... the guy in the command centre is having to relay information through layers of bureaucracy, etc etc. Nothing is clear, and all the command centre, who give the word, can figure out is that these guys in the chopper could have no tail rotor any moment now and there'll be a massive operation to get the guys out, generally causing even more problems. Everything the command centre can make up in the shitton of info they are getting is saying to engage. They just say that word, and their problem is over, and they have put some work in the 'outbox' and they can deal with the next issue that's coming in from Bobby out in heli 4....

    The guys in the heli sort out that problem. They have neutralised the threat. THe 'pick up a weapon' bit, when the guy is crawling away, is because ROE will not permit him to fire until he is holding a weapon.

    The guy driving in in the van is... stupid. There's not a lot of sense in running into a spot which is obviously well covered by guns, or taking children into it. Again, he could have been retrieving armaments, or anything, he's a fair target. Remember, all they can see is a man in a van helping out what they believe to be combatants (or former-combatants). That van could be packing all sorts of weapons. Etc. Fair game.

    Those guys in the helicopter have just killed some people. They're going to need all the good humour they can muster to sleep at night. The military has already rewired their brains with coping mechanisms. They've been in training for months, they're actually out their doing what they've been trained to do. They're on an adrenaline high, doing a dangerous job and keeping their buddies alive. They're the happiest guys in the world. They have to be. If they're not, they die.
     
  17. smc8788

    smc8788 Multimodder

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    I watched the short one linked at the beginning of the thread. I wasn't aware there was another one.

    But (assuming that is a weapon, I can't really tell) just because one guy has an AK-47, that doesn't make him a threat worthy of laying waste to him and a group of civilians around him, who clearly aren't armed, and then to a van (with children in no less) trying to rescue the wounded. Surely the response should be proportional to the threat?
     
  18. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    +1.

    Having reviewed the video, the pilots sound to me: psyched up for a fight, then eager and excited as they let rip and exultant survey the results. There is depersonalisation of the "enemy", there is a nice escalation of jumps-to-conclusions, with each one building on the previous assumption as if it was suddenly fact (first they report "weapons", then they report an "RPG", then they report "shooting", then they report "AK-47's, an AIK and an RPG no less!), there is gung-ho aggression.

    When children are mentioned their tone of voice changes to a more despondent one with hesitancy in the words, which suggests heavy cognitive dissonance reduction at work (note the slip of "civilians -uh- children". They have already concluded that they probably just shot civilians, not insurgents). Eventually they resort to rationalisation: "Well, they shouldn't have brought children into a battle". What battle? The shooting was one-way: it was a massacre.

    Jumeira_Johnnie, Sloth et al. can rationalise all they want: they are soldiers in a theatre of war, they may have had a bad week, they may have personal problems. Boo-friggin'-hoo. These are not some young army grunts brutalised by war fighting for their very survival under up-close-and-personal grenade fire; these are highly trained and experienced combat pilots flying one of the most advanced and deadly gunships in existence. They are meant to be professionals. If a bad hair day is all it takes to make them lose control over a flying 30mm chain gun and missile launcher, perhaps it is time that they quit their job.

    Hovering at a safe distance in their fully-armoured cockpit with state-of-the-art weaponry, a few guys with what they assume to be guns are hardly an imminent threat. Journalists should not have to declare their every move in what is supposed to be a democratic, free city. And even if they had not been there, was it OK to shoot at some Iraqi civilians? Or should they start filing their daily errands for approval with the occupying forces just to be sure?

    Sorry, but it was an unprovoked massacre. Are we winning hearts and minds yet? I bet Al-Qaeda is.
     
  19. liratheal

    liratheal Sharing is Caring

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    There is indeed a longer one. It opens before the ~17 minute one, and has another voice, IE not a pilot or gunner, that announces "Target fifteen" and that there is at least one with a weapon. The man with the striped shirt even appears to be carrying a hand gun of some sort, but I've not had enough training in IDing weapons from grainyvision to confirm that.

    http://www.collateralmurder.com/

    Links to both the short and long versions on youtube, download links for the two videos, and several screenshots with comments.

    It is also mentioned that there are ground troops en-route to the location. One guy with an AK does not mean the others aren't carrying concealed weapons. Granted, given most are t-shirt/shirt wearers, they would have to be carrying hand guns if they were carrying at all, but I'm sure you're aware that a 9mm or .45 can do significant damage to a persons head.

    As a side note, the more I listen to the gunner requesting permission to engage a second time it doesn't sound entirely lacking in stress. For all he knows, the van driver is clearing evidence (As the van does block their view for a period), which is something they can prevent at that stage.
     
  20. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    If you had to live in Baghdad, with battles going on on a regular basis, would you perhaps carry a gun? I thought Americans were all for personal and home defence?

    The question is: where is he pointing it? Not at the chopper (not that it could do any damage). Not at other people. It is naive to assume that just because someone in a volatile region carries a gun he must be an insurgent. Some people are just trying to protect themselves.

    You are right, but what you don't stop to think is that basically this means that we have psychopaths in charge of gunships. See the logical consequence.

    Yeah, because we all know that after every skirmish with insurgents in Baghdad they get in CSI: Baghdad (cue The Who <Yeeeaaaahhh!!>) to sift the forensic evidence for clues. :rolleyes:

    You're all not getting it. All these people did was walking in their neighbourhood, with probably one gun that we know of --which is perhaps not unusual given that there is a fair bit of terrorism, kidnapping and fighting going on in the area since, you know, we totally destabilised things in 2003. And out of the blue they get mowed down by a gunship without provocation. Just like that. A van comes to assist the wounded --it too gets shot to pieces. No questions asked.

    Now, is this the best approach to winning the hearts and minds of the locals whose country you invaded and occupy?
     
    Last edited: 7 Apr 2010

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