WikiLeaks has released a classified US military video depicting the indiscriminate slaying of over a dozen people in the Iraqi suburb of New Baghdad — including two Reuters news staff.

Reuters has been trying to obtain the video through the Freedom of Information Act, without success since the time of the attack. The video, shot from an Apache helicopter gun-site, clearly shows the unprovoked slaying of a wounded Reuters employee and his rescuers. Two young children involved in the rescue were also seriously wounded.

  1. Thinker says:

    I’m sure if we could see, this is what it was like in Vietnam. When you pit an army against a civilian populace (like Vietnam, and Iraq) this is what can happen. The populace becomes the enemy.

  2. Buzz says:

    Too much macho. Not enough questioning of first impressions.

    The photographers did indeed look like they were carrying weapons. The one looking around the corner appeared to have something dangerous, but the pilot, gunner and other voice on the intercom were WAY too eager to pull that trigger.

    “Shoot first. Let God sort it out,” is amoral.

    The attack on the van was indefensible and unwarranted. There was no indication at all that the van was doing anything except helping the fallen.

  3. jbellies says:

    #51 KMFix “If the Iraqi people want this to stop, they need, as a community, stop hostile behavior.”

    You-know-who disbanded and disarmed the Iraqi police and army after the war was won. Perhaps because the personnel were too closely associated with you-know-who’s former ally, Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.

    So the Iraqi community is to stop hostile behaviour with palm fronds? It seems from the description of the video that some were trying to do just that. They were going to the aid of the wounded, rather than returning fire against the attackers. Quite a few of them quickly became dead. Perhaps there could be a memorial to them. Wouldn’t that be a heart-warming and useful gesture, for the killers to build a school or a hospital after each of the innocent fallen?

    I didn’t watch the video. I’m glad that it is available to those who want to watch it. Thanks to the WikiLeaks people. They are doing their part, in the world community, towards stopping hostile behaviour.

    Not saying that there is blame, but if there is any, shouldn’t it also go up the chain of command? That’s the way it works in civilian life. It’s called something like “accessory after the crime.” Though IANAL.

  4. ben boon cox says:

    They were just doing their job.

    just like the terrorist dose his job ?

  5. mango says:

    the families of the men who died and the kids who got wounded will all hate America now. why shouldn’t they, these people were obviously not trying to shoot down the helicopter and all of them died. If i was a family member i would personally like to put a bullet through barrack obamas head.

  6. Dallas says:

    Comments in here show an interesting perspective. Which group do you fall under?

    (a) Didn’t know war was this bad so this must stop.

    (b) Army should have known better and only shoot the guy wearing “terrorist” on teeshirt

    (c) US should only war on people with uniforms.

    (d) Really hate America for this but next time Hitler comes around, I might change my mind.

    (e) My gut says they were clearly innocent people and picking up a weapon along with a body was just being anti-litter.

  7. bac says:

    #- Dallas — You forgot one.

    f) We are there to give the people freedom so kill anyone or thing that looks suspicious.

  8. Dallas says:

    #98 Nope, that’s too close to (e)

  9. RSweeney says:

    Do you knee-jerk anti-Americans have ANY integrity?

    Listening to the audio, it is clear that the US helo crew identified the group as combatants carrying weapons.

    This was an ERROR, not a murder.

    It’s what happens when the enemy is dressed as civilians in contradiction to the Geneva convention.

  10. jbellies says:

    Dallas wrote:

    “(d) Really hate America for this but next time Hitler comes round, I might change my mind.”

    LOL. Wasn’t America a tiny bit slow on Hitler? By the time America joined, it had already been a World War for over 2 years. But we’re all Nominal Christians here, and I do remember the Parable of the Workers in the Field. Everybody got the same credit, regardless of how long they worked. Or how big they were.

    Perhaps “Saddam Hussein” might be a purer example. The next time Saddam comes around, we’ll praise America for supporting him, then (when he doesn’t pat back) for bombing and wrecking his country, and for killing him. Just as much as we did this time.

  11. Dallas says:

    #101 yeah yeah.. Next time we need to rescue your asses from tyrants we’ll drag our feet even more.

    Good point on Saddam but that’s an oil field protection issue not about terror. We probably agree there.

    What country are your from? (unless you’re embarrassed to say). I’m sure I can Google my way into all sorts of goodies.

  12. bac says:

    #-RSweeney — “It’s what happens when the enemy is dressed as civilians in contradiction to the Geneva convention.” This statement would be nice if the “war” was conventional.

    As far as Geneva knows, in Iraq it is one big wrestling match with Sunnis, Shias, insurgents, terrorist, Iraqis and the USA.

    Did the USA declare war on Iraq? If it did, the USA would have gone in and conquered the place.

  13. smittybc says:

    This video is taken almost totally out of context. What a surprise from Western media. I know this doesn’t matter to most on this blog but I did the work so if someone that can think for themselves wants to know what happened there they can.

    First that area was to have been evacuated of noncombatants by Iraqi security forces, there were no reports to watch for civilians or reporters. Iraqi security forces confirmed civilian evacuation. After an evacuation if you are still there, you are taking a very large risk. So if you are going to stay in the city you should probably stay in the house, not run around with guys with guns shooting at a military force.

    The purpose of the mission was to clear the city to allow follow on forces to find arms caches, because when they came to the city the first time people shot at them. They look for caches because insurgents don’t carry weapons on them because they know they will be shot, rather they stash them around the city and grab them when they need to shoot at US soldiers, and hide them again. They know the ROE guidelines and they know if they are not with people with weapons or have weapons themselves they will not be fired upon. Soldiers don’t get that benefit.

    So Bravo Company, 2-16 Infantry had pushed the insurgents (defined as the guys that were shooting at them since 5am that morning), to a corner of the city, confirmed weapons on the insurgents and requested air support. They were 100M from the camera men and the guys with unconcealed weapons. Air support came re-confirmed weapons, also mistook the cameras for weapons, engaged and killed insurgents and camera men, a follow on Bradley confirmed weapons and ammunition were there, also found the cameras, returned cameras to Reuters.

    In short (2nd brigade combat team investigation, Conclusions, 8.c):

    “I conclude that the two Reuters affiliates were in the company of armed insurgents who had been firing on members of Bravo Company, 2-16 Infantry, at the time of the engagement, as Bravo Company and Iraqi Security Forces attempted to clear Zone 30. 12July, 2007.”

    For all of the aspiring journalists out there. You would be advised that you could be killed if you go into an evacuated city, embed with insurgents and run around with them shooting at US Army soldiers.

    Full report:…-12470AFCD6FD}

  14. MikeN says:

    I can just imagine how this blog would have operated when it got hold of the Rodney King video.

  15. T-Timmy says:

    #102. Dallas- “#101 yeah yeah.. Next time we need to rescue your asses from tyrants we’ll drag our feet even more.”

    Didn’t realize you had served. What outfit were you in BTW…the Panzy Division?

  16. Urotsukidoji says:

    #107 said Panzy Division. Ha ha.

  17. Anon says:

    The real story here isn’t the video content, it is wikileaks. Information like this (weather you agree with it or not) would have never made it to the light of day. Weather you agree with it or not, it shows your tax dollars at work and the real face of war. Trying to stay disconnected from the reality over there isn’t good for any citizen.

  18. bobbo, a student of History says:

    #105–thanks smitty==It makes a big difference if the area was under the declared conditions described in that report.

    I would still be cautious about collection of “evidence” after the dust up. Way too often the military “lies” to keep its reputation as clean as possible==kinda like the Catholic Church in such matters.

    but we have the tape. One person reported above they could see 2 other people with guns in addition to the people with camera’s.

    I DON’T BUY the camera’s could be confused for RPG’s. If so, then the reconnaissance is defective by definition and should not be sent into the field.

    Too many here are viewing this incident as if it was a WAR. This is an insurgency/civil war/occupation. Similar but oh so very different if we want to win by any pragmatic definition.

    Do you have access to the Rules of Engagement?

  19. Dallas says:

    #107 No Timmy, I didn’t serve as I was still a champion sperm swimmer when Hitler was around.

    Did you serve? Was it coffee or tea?

  20. just me says:

    Hey smittybc #105: thanks for taking the time to check this out so well. One question: if everything the US military did was completely reasonable and valid, then why not release the video? Why did the military refuse to release the video?

  21. Awake says:

    #105 SmittyBC

    What’s missing from your misinformation is that the area was so ‘secure’ and ‘evacuated’ that the guy that had his van shot up thought nothing of DRIVING HIS KIDS TO SCHOOL just like any other regular day.

    He was not lost. He was a good Samaritan that came across an deeply injured man and decided to help him, and got shot up in the process.

    The LAST source of information that we should believe in this case is ANY website that ends in “.mil”… they have been PROVEN to be utter liars in this whole matter.

  22. Rick Cain says:

    Clear violation of the rules of engagement, but lets instead wave a flag and sing god bless america like good little North Koreans.

  23. Rick Cain says:

    Let’s examine human behavior when fired upon.

    Insurgent – runs when shot at
    Civilain – runs when shot at

    Insurgent – peeks around corner
    Civilain – peeks around corner

    Insurgent – Wears mask, utility vest, dark clothing, has heavy weapons on his shoulder. Hides immediately when he hears helicopters.

    Civilian – Has white shirt, stands around in the open, has SLR camera and doesn’t seem to notice much the helicopter blades beating in the distance.

  24. John McCain says:

    Time to get some popcorn.

  25. Cheng chang says:

    When something like this happens in a 3rd World country war, it is human rights violation.

    When US does something like this, it is a tragic mistake…..and they are very sorry for that…

  26. bocour says:

    This is propaganda .. been there. It takes a “act of congress to do what they supposedly doing.

  27. Derek says:

    Nice job doing your research, sheep. I swear to God, you moron will believe anything the MSM tells you.

  28. smittybc says:

    Wow Bobbo and I are not fighting. I think hell has frozen.

    In terms of ROE the general rule is that if you see a weapon you can engage. General ROE is defined here: but it varies on the situation. That’s why there is a debrief.

    From a pilots perspective my first priority is that my crew and my airplane are secure (I flew EA6-B’s with the Navy so I had a crew). Secondly my responsibility was to make sure I could support ground assets to the best of my ability. If that means if I pick up a cell phone transmission on the roadside near an approaching convoy; then I’m sorry you are dead meat. I’m going to task that target even if you are calling grandma.

    Beyond that you know as a pilot that if a guy says he needs support you deliver that support as quickly and efficiently as possible. At 1000 feet agl you have a limited idea of what is happening.

    If you think you can decipher a desert camouflaged painted 400mm Canon EOS lens from a painted shoulder mounted weapon, on a 5″ x 5″ crt gun cam in an Apache thumping around for 3 hours while guys on the ground are confirming a weapon then more power to you.

    Were I on the ground my attitude would be if a guy is shooting at me take him out. Get on target and remove the threat. The last thing I would want is a Captain saying “That guy with the RPG is no threat to ME in my Apache as it’s out of range, so I’m not going to engage, figure it out on your own.” Yeah right.

    Finally the military never wants to release information. It’s just not what they do. And yeah know they sometimes have an incentive to make things go away, but they also often times admit when there are problems; ie Abu Grahib.

    It’s never a perfect system. But what about Reuters? What is their responsibility to make sure Cent Com knows they are there? What is their responsibility to make sure their guys are marked as non-combatants or media? What did Reuters do to ensure their employees were not mistaken for combatants? Nobody is asking that.

    And for the van. I would have tasked it, I may have been wrong, but the guys on the ground were taking fire, it had no markings, and

  29. MikeN says:

    Why is the road so empty at this hour? Where are they?

  30. Wolfsbane says:

    Facts not mentioned here.

    1. According to the press’ own regulations, they’re supposed to be wearing outer garments that identify them as press. They weren’t.

    On the flip side, the reason for that is by wearing them, it undoubtedly makes them highly visible as a target for insurgents.

    2. In Iraq, if you’re press, you don’t go anywhere without being in a heavily armed party, ever. If you do, you become unwilling participants in insurgent propaganda videos. The US Army most certainly knows this.

    3. The ninety days leading up to this event happening, saw the highest number of US casualties occurring during any similar length of time. There was therefore a atmosphere of heightened dependence on aviation as a back up for ground troops.

    There’s enough stupidity on the part of both parties, the press and the US Army aviators, to conclude they both share blame for this tragedy occurring.


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