Wikileaks on Monday released a 17 minute video of a US helicopter gunship attack on a group of Iraqi men in New Baghdad in 2007. The pilots mistakenly identified the camera of a Reuters photographer who was with the men as a rocket propelled grenade launcher, and the US attack killed two civilian Reuters news personnel. Two children were also wounded in the firing. A US military man dismissed the children’s death as the fault of those who had been killed, saying , “well it’s their fault for bringing their kids into a battle.”
Reddit.com has a good discussion of the video, in which the main conclusions appear to be these:
1. The cover-up of the pilots’ mistake in killing the Reuters cameramen and mistaking their cameras for an RPG is the worst thing about this episode
2. While the pilots who fired at apparently armed men (and at least 3 were actually armed) thought they were saving US ground troops who had been pinned down from men with small arms, they had less justification for firing on the van. Indeed, the latter action may have been a war crime since the van was trying to pick up the wounded and it is illegal to fire on the wounded and those hors de combat.
3. While many actions of the pilots may not have been completely wrong under their rules of engagement, nevertheless they often acted inexcusably, and their attitude is inhuman and deplorable.
See Glenn Greenwald on why the USG attempt to suppress wikileaks matters.
End/ (Not Continued)