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Judge for yourself

Post by Scott Fontaine on April 6, 2010 at 9:20 am with 5 Comments »
April 6, 2010 9:25 am

This doesn’t have much to do with Joint Base Lewis-McChord, but I did find this compelling (and because the story won’t be going away anytime soon). Two Reuters photographers were among 12 people who were killed when pilots from two Apache helicopter gunships opened fire in July 2007. The video shows two rounds of attacks: one on guys milling about, the other on a van that shows up to whisk the injured/dead away.

The military has steadfastly refused to release the video. But WikiLeaks, a Web site constantly giving the American and foreign governments headaches for posting sensitive and/or classified material, has posted what it says is the video from the Apache. (Military officials have confirmed to multiple news outlet that the video is legit.)

The New York Times has a nice recap of the allegations from both sides, which you can check out here. But it boils down to this: Military folks say the attack was justified. The relatives and colleagues of the dead disagree.

So what do you think? The video is below, but a warning: It has graphic imagery and rough language:

Leave a comment Comments → 5
  1. tcolegrove says:

    What a tragedy this was. Tragic for any innocent bystanders that joined in the group carrying weapons (clearly seen in the video). Tragic for the wounded children that were brought to the scene. Tragic for the loss of the two journalists. Tragic for helo crews and the grunts that arrived on the ground and what they will relive for a long time.

    It occurs to me however, that with the exception of the children, everyone involved realized the potential of injury or death when in the company of armed people when in close proximity of US Military Forces in a combat zone. There can’t be a soul in that country that isn’t aware of the use of force going on. Press or otherwise – you will be seen as insurgants when you’re near armed people especially if you’re carrying something that can be mistaken as an RPG (Professional Canon zoom lenses are quite large).

    All around a tragedy. But I don’t point blame on the pilots or the US Military.

  2. We are the evil doers. Thank god for wikileaks.

  3. Notorious says:

    this is sick! Did you hear the cowboys talking to each other?

  4. bobbysangelwife says:

    Aside from the gungho chatter that occurred….and remember that most of these people in this choppers and such are younger than 27 years old–how mature and stupid were you at that age, especially men (no offense guys, but it’s true)…
    I can see how these men thought that the cameramen had RPG’s and stuff…. the lens on those things are HUGE.
    I cannot tell how far away these guys are either. Someone else had eyes on what was happening besides them though—-permission to engage was requested and granted several times.
    And unless you’ve been in this sort of position, you have no idea what is going on with our men and women.

  5. bobbysangelwife says:

    “The problem, according to many who have viewed the video, is that WikiLeaks appears to have done selective editing that tells only half the story. For instance, the Web site takes special care to slow down the video and identify the two photographers and the cameras they are carrying.
    * Video Appears to Show U.S. Forces Firing on Unarmed Suspects in Baghdad

    However, the Web site does not slow down the video to show that at least one man in that group was carrying a rocket-propelled grenade launcher, a clearly visible weapon that runs nearly two-thirds the length of his body.

    WikiLeaks also does not point out that at least one man was carrying an AK-47 assault rifle. He is seen swinging the weapon below his waist while standing next to the man holding the RPG.”

    Hanzlik said images gathered during a military investigation of the incident show multiple weapons around the dead bodies in the courtyard, including at least three RPGs.

    “Our forces were engaged in combat all that day with individuals that fit the description of the men in that video. Their age, their weapons, and the fact that they were within the distance of the forces that had been engaged made it apparent these guys were potentially a threat,” Hanzlik said. “

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