Evidence of Military misconduct

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This is a recently released video from 2007 taken in New Baghdad, a suberb of Baghdad. This attack by U.S. military people killed what appeared to be totally innocent people walking around, including two Reuters news employees carrying cameras that were mistaken for weapons. Two children were also wounded. Very shocking is the attitude towards human life and the wounded.

It's a brutal video but things like this should be made public. Should be on the nightly news, IMO.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5rXPrfnU3G0

Related Military.com story here: http://tinyurl.com/ybxf9mt

ShellyT's picture
ShellyT
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

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Ah, another critique of our brutal soldiers in combat. Just shocking, the attitude toward human life. Of course this critique is just another in a long line of critiques from people who've never been in combat, don't have a clue about war and it's effects on people who are trying very hard not to die. The newsies put themselves in an area that was hot, they got sloppy in front of troops who were engaged in an urban brawl, and they paid the price. My suggestion? If you haven't been down that road, you aren't competent to pass on anything connected with it. I don't want you or anyone like you making decisions about troops in combat. The idea of prosecuting people who act in the heat of battle is not only wrong, it is stupid.

cpp224's picture
cpp224
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

One needn't have been in combat to offer a valid critique.

jeffbiss's picture
jeffbiss
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm
Quote ShellyT:This attack by U.S. military people killed what appeared to be totally innocent people walking around, including two Reuters news employees carrying cameras that were mistaken for weapons.
"appeared" being the operative term in that sentence.

stwo's picture
stwo
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

Appeared to be unarmed - it is operative or instructive that essentially all the people killed had nothing in their hands. The lone RPG could not have even reached the helicopter they weren't protecting anyone by wasting unarmed people - the helicopter guided in the ground troops after the attack the ground forces said they couldn't help but drive their Bradleys over the bodies. What arms were there would have been outgunned by your average Tea Party. The long targeting sequence has the crosshairs on a guy with a camera or maybe a purse or a first aid kit. Targeting civilians is a war crime.(period). The really sad parts are that 1) this video is the exception requiring whistleblower leak and decryption to become visible and 2) release only happened because employees/contractors of Reuters got killed, and 3) these attacks were and likely are SOP under the rules of engagement. While the soldiers do share some blame, the responsibility is on the 'cowboy' President W who created this war on a country that was >50% children when we invaded.

LeMoyne's picture
LeMoyne
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

This is deeply disturbing — most of all because, after I had hopped on the bandwagon over at Raw Story and posted some dozen comments including the lyrics to Universal Soldier, I noticed a comment or two at Rachel Maddow's blog saying there really were weapons, which totally contradicted the sense of the video and virtually all the commenters there.

I had to run to work, but I downloaded the video before I left, and when I got home, I converted it and stepped through parts of it frame by frame in Windows MovieMaker. I'm convinced there were indeed weapons.

As the president recently said in a speech, quoting Lincoln, "We are not bound to win, but we are bound to be true."

So I ask you to look at this clip I made up out of a section from time=3:39:07 to 3:46:43, repeated seven times, to help me clarify my mind about it.

If those are not AK47s those two men are swinging, what are they? Camera tripods?

Right click the video and choose Zoom >> Full Screen.

Just as a reference for shape and size, compare this image

ProudPrimate's picture
ProudPrimate
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

Keen eye there.

I reviewed your clip and agree there are indeed firearms. But put yourself in the position of the Reuters photographers. Either they were getting images within a insurgent sect. Or they they possibly had a few gunned locals as a mock security detail. This is a war. In my best assumption one of these scenarios is correct.

I watched the original without the captions and noticed other things as well. They pilot said he had an RPG. I watch him walk to the corner without one. Then I watched him raise something. Then just prior to engagement that something was indeed a camera being shouldered.

I think one weapon was at the corner.The guy thrown against the wall after taking fire.

It is clear that the gunner assumed they were all weapons. It is clear he followed protocol. He asked for permission to fire and was granted it by his commanding officer whom can only go by what he is told they are seeing. Hence THE FOG OF WAR.

It indeed was a hard thing to watch but no one here knows exactly what the rules of engagement were at that time. They change regardless what your told.

The part that bothered me the most was seeing that van get shot up. These (3) additional persons and (2) children were clearly not armed and posed no threat. In his correspondence with his commanding officer the gunner never stated that, but rather stated, "they are picking up weapons." I looked and saw none being secured and none being in the vicinity of the Reuters injured employee. Prior to the van approaching

If in fact the RULES OF ENGAGEMENT Stood and never changed. Then the whole incident may have been avoided. They are as follows:

  1. (U) Deadly force may be used only when--

    (a) (U) Fired upon.

    (b) (U) Clear evidence of hostile intent exists.

  2. (U) In situations where deadly force is not appropriate, use the minimum force necessary to accomplish the mission.

In closing I believe The Reuters photographers new the risk, accepted the risk and in this incident paid the ultimate price.

This is the very reason to have troops on the ground.

This is proof that support from air units should be just that, SUPPORT. Called in when ground troops request assistance and have eyes on target.

But in THE FOG OF WAR we can only expect things like this to happen. There are too many variables. We can only hope to learn from this.

RITTERBY's picture
RITTERBY
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

Very good reply Ritterby! I wonder about that van too.

maraden's picture
maraden
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

Since posting here on this topic. I noticed this topic was already being addressed. I have continued here. I have also Since re-evaluted some of my views from my original post. This is a great community and the feed back is always constructive.

RITTERBY's picture
RITTERBY
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

I am positive that there was an RPG at the scene.

A few in this community are ridiculing me terribly at the thought, they just wont see that there is an RPG...just all civilians. they wont even re-review for me.

Im trying to show something most have only glanced at and looked away in disgust. trying to show that there are details that even wikileaks wont acknowledge.

...and a few, even mods, are just so close minded . i cant believe it!

xen's picture
xen
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

Xen,

I saw what you thought you saw as well. Of the two guys standing together in the start of Primates clip. Guy to the right has what appears as an RPG. Shape is consistant (cone shaped head). Size as well (3ft including the stock). But you never see that again in the camera footage (full version). Those men run across the street but aren't carrying that 3ft RPG. So was it really an RPG. Unknown.

But the shape of the thing pointed around the corner was not that same shape at all. More the shape of a large telephoto lens.

Watch the entire footage to account for all men and their positions.

What was pointed around the corner was a camera. He shouldered it just prior to engagement as he was walking through the center of the small crowd. We have discussed this on the other board follow the link from my last post.

RITTERBY's picture
RITTERBY
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

Yes that is an RPG

and yes that is telephoto lense camera , nobody is disputing that. Hes probably taking pictures of Americans...there is man showing him where to look, and then, he shows the image to the group of guys.

My problem is people think ALL of these guys are civilians. but RPGs can destroy a bradley one hit.

I know journalists have armed guards alot, and there is ROE... but people just are not seeing the 3 times the RPG is verifiably seen, just as you have not. I am watching full version btw.

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xen
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

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