# Wikileaks releases video of US soldiers killing Iraqi civilians, journalists

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Pangloss, I don't know what to say, besides I can pretty much guarantee you we'll see an investigation into the content of this video, and I predict the outcome for the US military will not be a positive one.

you are probably right about their being an investigation into the military, but i do seriously doubt if there will be any real reprocussions. Many of the reprocussions you hear about on the news and such really dont affect us nearly to the degree as what the media or politics try to portend.

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It's hard to justify "they were threatening me with their AK-47s" when you're in an armored attack helicopter.

Ok then what's the point in building and using an armored attack helicopter if you're just going to sit around waiting for a mightier opponent? The point of building these machines is to create unfair advantage over the opponent. This isn't kids fighting on the playground where there's an expectation of equal mass to be fair - this is war where there's an expectation of overwhelming force on our part. That's the Powell doctrine.

The guys made a mistake. Every war has bunches and bunches of mistakes and not one of them look noble. The same thing we hear on that radio for this screw up is the same thing you'll hear during the successes. It works. If it didn't, we would be losing.

I'm probably always going to side with the troops because I'm not reading this post in a sand bowl, under fire, dodging creative IED's being ordered to kill anyone dangerous. I'm reading this in a climate controlled building with QT coffee, surrounded by friendlies in all directions and donuts a mere 30 feet away.

I don't think we are being intellectually impressive at all by not putting ourselves in their shoes, or admitting that we actually can't. How thoughtful and deep are we that we can't imagine how these people, young men and women, adapt to a hostile based lifestyle for months and months on end? We can't imagine they would talk and operate like that? We can't fathom any adaption technique that might be callous in appearance?

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The Times today is suggesting that the troops violated the rules of engagement:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/iraq/article7088548.ece

It has also plunged the Pentagon into a new scandal over the apparent cover-up of evidence of US forces violating their own rules of engagement.

[...]

“I believe that if those killings were lawful under the rules of engagement, then the rules of engagement are wrong,” Mr Assange said.

Lieutenant-Colonel Shaffer said after viewing the tape that it showed at least two clear violations of the rules.

“You have to use the appropriate amount of force to stop the threat,” he said. “You can’t use [a weapon] as a firehose and just spray the area, and that’s what happened.”

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I don't think we are being intellectually impressive at all by not putting ourselves in their shoes, or admitting that we actually can't. How thoughtful and deep are we that we can't imagine how these people, young men and women, adapt to a hostile based lifestyle for months and months on end? We can't imagine they would talk and operate like that? We can't fathom any adaption technique that might be callous in appearance?

That good people can do bad things in a bad situation is well established -- see the Stanford Prison Experiment. This does not, however, make those bad things any less bad.

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That good people can do bad things in a bad situation is well established -- see the Stanford Prison Experiment. This does not, however, make those bad things any less bad.

I completely agree. As I said, these guys were wrong. My concern is more about us turning a sincere wrong into a nefarious orgy of flippant murder. I don't think we'd hear any accusations about "video-game" killing if every voice on that recording was exceedingly professional.

I think the callous nature of war operations is biasing how people measure this mistake.

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My concern is more about us turning a sincere wrong into a nefarious orgy of flippant murder.

That has to be the most elequent sentence i have ever read. + nefarious orgy of flippant murder, just sounds

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It's hard to justify "they were threatening me with their AK-47s" when you're in an armored attack helicopter.

Weren't they running escort for a ground devision?

----

One thing I'm curious that I haven't seen mentioned anywhere about this video yet is the first firing of a hellfire missile at the building: unless the audio and visual have become desyncd (possible) then the order of events goes like this:

1/ helicopter gets persmission to fire missile on building

2/ a clearly unarmed pedestrian walks in front of the building, clearly visible on-screen

3/ the helecopter fires it's missile

4/ building goes boom, taking pedestrian with it.

That I find incredibly hard to justify: there was no pressing need to take the building out right there and then; surely they could have waited 10-20 seconds for the pedestrian to get out the way?

it's around 34.40 on the long version of the video http://collateralmurder.org/

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One thing I'm curious that I haven't seen mentioned anywhere about this video yet is the first firing of a hellfire missile at the building: unless the audio and visual have become desyncd (possible) then the order of events goes like this:

1/ helicopter gets persmission to fire missile on building

2/ a clearly unarmed pedestrian walks in front of the building' date=' clearly visible on-screen

3/ the helecopter fires it's missile

4/ building goes boom, [b']taking pedestrian with it[/b].

I noticed the same thing! I wondered if it really was a pedestrian or not, if maybe it looked like a passerby. I don't know, it sure looked like someone just walking by to me, completely non-threatening and uninvolved. I didn't understand that.

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After wiping out 10 -15 suspects, and knowing that two of them were children, You think that these maniacs, would care about a pedestrian ?

War sucks !!!!

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I don't know how fast those missiles go, but there's only 5 seconds between when the obvious pedestrian enters the picture and the missile hits. It could be that it was fired before they knew he was there.

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I noticed the same thing! I wondered if it really was a pedestrian or not, if maybe it looked like a passerby. I don't know, it sure looked like someone just walking by to me, completely non-threatening and uninvolved. I didn't understand that.

You won't ever notice the difference between a innocent civilian passerby-er and a insurgent using guerrilla tactics. that's the problem with war now a days, there is not Uniform Versus Uniform war its all insurgency.

but if you think about it, why the hell would some group of individuals be walking into a apparently abandoned building when there was fighting just a few blocks down? isn't most peoples instinct to run?

now i do not know if those were innocents or not, but IMO

IMO i would have fired too. if they were not civilians then were they hiding a cache of weapons there? would those weapons be rpg's that can kill helicopters? or ak's that are going to be used for an ambush?

The truth about war is insurgents use civilians as bullet shields, it doesn't do much for them but it makes a much smaller force much more powerful by playing a game of attrition, but not your normal one. One that is waged on the attacking countries civilian minds. If the insurgents win then they have successfully swayed the minds of the attacking country to stop the war because of civilian deaths. If they loose, then they loose, and their people don't like them due to their insurgent tactics. If their people do not like them then they don't receive support, money, bodies, safe houses, guns, ammo, intelligence...

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The gunner says clearly the moment he was shooting the missile, after the pedestrian appeared in scene, but similar as what I said before, ....

What do you think these maniacs, care for ?

Merged post follows:

Consecutive posts merged

The problem is that you dont want to or cant admitt it. Same as Vietnam.

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I noticed the same thing! I wondered if it really was a pedestrian or not, if maybe it looked like a passerby. I don't know, it sure looked like someone just walking by to me, completely non-threatening and uninvolved. I didn't understand that.

No mention of that on the radio, just that they wanted to take the building out.

After wiping out 10 -15 suspects, and knowing that two of them were children, You think that these maniacs, would care about a pedestrian ?

War sucks !!!!

to be fair, IANA helecopeter pilot, but I also completely missed the two children in the front.

I don't know how fast those missiles go, but there's only 5 seconds between when the obvious pedestrian enters the picture and the missile hits. It could be that it was fired before they knew he was there.

dude says 'firing' and there's an audible click-whoosh, both of which come after the pedestrian comes on screen.

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After wiping out 10 -15 suspects, and knowing that two of them were children, You think that these maniacs, would care about a pedestrian ?
What do you think these maniacs, care for ?

Merged post follows:

Consecutive posts merged

The problem is that you dont want to or cant admitt it. Same as Vietnam.

I guess you just missed the part where the gunner's cross hair travels right over other pedestrians, including a woman walking down the street with a child by her side.

Lost the war? Near as I can tell the Iraqis are, slowly but surely, winning their country back. This video was shot during the height of the insurgency in 2007. There's certainly still violence in Iraq, but nothing at all like what was going on at that time.

Are you sure we're the ones having trouble admitting something?

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IANA ??? what does that mean.

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sorry.

IANA = I am not a.

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Cap Arcona incident - Although it did not involve troops in combat, this incident has been referred to as "the worst friendly-fire incident in history"[22] On May 3, 1945, the three ships Cap Arcona, Thielbek, and the SS Deutschland in Lübeck Harbour were sunk in four separate, but synchronized attacks with bombs, rockets, and cannons by the Royal Air Force, resulting in the death of over 7,000 Jewish concentration camp survivors and Russian prisoners of war, along with POWs from several other allies.[22][23] The British pilots were unaware that these ships carried POW's and concentration camp survivors,[24] although British documents were released in the 1970s that state the Swedish government had informed the RAF command of the risk prior to the attack.[25][26] [/Quote]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friendly_fire

This site, list a good many major incidents and no one could guess how many others were never recorded in History or what may be going on in any war today...

Unintended killing of Civilians, innocents, non combatants or your own, have been happening since history began. No law or agreement, can either justify or make the incident an illegal act. Call them, accidents, misjudgments, errors in judgement or anything you wish, the final results are most often the results of the human instinct for self preservation (whomever makes the final decision) to the objective being pursued...

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No mention of that on the radio, just that they wanted to take the building out.
I thought the same about the vehicle in the beginning, the one that came to rescue the others. They drove kind of slowly, they didn't look hurried. I thought, man, I would be hunkered down as much as possible, moving quickly when I could. Then I thought, yeah, that's exactly what the army guys are targeting, the furtive movements and the guys who look like they're helping terrorists.

to be fair, IANA helecopeter pilot, but I also completely missed the two children in the front.
I did too. Are you talking about the teens who were with the armed guys in the beginning?

dude says 'firing' and there's an audible click-whoosh, both of which come after the pedestrian comes on screen.
Something about the whole procedure tells me that there is some few seconds delay between acquiring a target and firing, and then a few more seconds before the missile hits. Perhaps it was all the radio chatter, the request for permission to fire, the firing from a moving position, etc. And again, this guy may be a pedestrian or he may be someone who has learned not to look like a terrorist. I have to wonder how obvious this gunship was in this area that had been sustaining fire for the last half hour. I'm not sure how many "pedestrians" could be oblivious to the potential for danger there.

It seems clear that there is definitely activity to investigate here. I don't think it's clear there were any monsters involved, and I don't think it's an open and shut case either way.

And I'm not a supporter of this type of war in any way. I think terrorists need to be fought by giving people knowledge before they can become terrorists, not by letting them remain ignorant and then trying to wipe them out with conventional weapons and warfare.

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I wouldn't have noticed the kids if I hadn't seen the edited video that pointed them out. Especially since I wouldn't expect kids in the passenger seat.

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I wouldn't have noticed the kids if I hadn't seen the edited video that pointed them out. Especially since I wouldn't expect kids in the passenger seat.

I would agree, i also missed the children. In fact one of the MAIN dangers to any aircrew member, whether it be a pilot, gunner, or whatever, is task saturation. The environment aboard a plane mentally is very taxing. there are SOOO many things going on at once. between radio calls, keeping the plane in the air, and so on. I would be surprised if these guys were not task saturated.

However in the case of the children, a common fact is that, they too can be/are terrorists. or like i said in a previous comment, they are being used as bullet shields.

IE

If you were manning a DFP (defensive fighting point) and you saw a unauthorized van approach, A) you saw a child in the passanger seat. would you fire?

or

B) you saw 2 or 1 adult(s) in the front. would you fire?

Terrorists/ insurgents aren't dumb people. They know how to distract you, they know how to dance around our laws our LOAC, and our ROE'S.

for the most point they try to use deception tactics to screw with us like that.

Edited by Zolar V
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I thought the same about the vehicle in the beginning, the one that came to rescue the others. They drove kind of slowly, they didn't look hurried. I thought, man, I would be hunkered down as much as possible, moving quickly when I could. Then I thought, yeah, that's exactly what the army guys are targeting, the furtive movements and the guys who look like they're helping terrorists.

Ya, but they at least mentioned the 'people with the bongo van picking up wounded' and asked permission to fire; the 'pedestrian', they just mentioned others who'd gone into the building and requested permission to fire on it, but seemingly ignored the pedestrian completely when he turned up?

I did too. Are you talking about the teens who were with the armed guys in the beginning?

No, I apparently missed them too: where are they please?

I'm talking about the two injured kids (10 and 5) that they mention on the radio and request a medical evacuation for, sitting in the front of the van that tries to pick up the wounded.

http://collateralmurder.com/en/resources.html

kinda makes the "oh yeah look at that: right through the windshield; lol" comment a little tasteless... otoh, I still missed them even tho one waves their hand out the van at 8.15, so i'm not sure how much to blame them...

Something about the whole procedure tells me that there is some few seconds delay between acquiring a target and firing, and then a few more seconds before the missile hits. Perhaps it was all the radio chatter, the request for permission to fire, the firing from a moving position, etc. And again, this guy may be a pedestrian or he may be someone who has learned not to look like a terrorist. I have to wonder how obvious this gunship was in this area that had been sustaining fire for the last half hour. I'm not sure how many "pedestrians" could be oblivious to the potential for danger there.

hmm... maybe.

Although after the 'pedestrian' turns up, they say 'clear' then say 'firing' and then fire, so I don't think you can put this down to having committed to firing before the 'pedestrian' comes onscreen.

I guess i'd've expected that the firer would have his eyes on the camera and could, right to the last second, abort/withold fire if, say, a pedestrian turned up, and that the rules of engagement were to maybe not shoot if in doubt (i'm sure the armoured convoy can tolerate a possible-terrorist that is, at most, armed with a consealed pistol)

And I'm not a supporter of this type of war in any way. I think terrorists need to be fought by giving people knowledge before they can become terrorists, not by letting them remain ignorant and then trying to wipe them out with conventional weapons and warfare.

not killing their non-combattant fathers or shooting their 5-year-old daughters might help too.

Hell, tbh i'd probably join a 'terrorist' organization if i was from there and you'd shot my daughter. And i don't see how that'd be 'ignorant' of me.

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Hell, tbh i'd probably join a 'terrorist' organization if i was from there and you'd shot my daughter. And i don't see how that'd be 'ignorant' of me.
Too often, the ones who become terrorists started out in a small village that had no school of any kind. When you get older, if you're a boy, you travel to the nearest town that has a madrassah school, funded by extremists with lots of oil money, where most of your education is religious, and fills your head with anti-western sentiment. The governments fund (or are supposed to fund) the few schools that teach the basics like reading/writing, maths, science and history, the only schools that teach boys *and* girls. In villages where girls have gone to government schools, the infant mortality rate is cut in half.

So my point is, much of the Middle East is populated by people who don't have the basic education that allows most of us to think for ourselves. This is where we can fight terrorism most effectively, by helping to educate the young people instead of waiting until they grow up to have their daughters shot and their reasons to live dwindle until suicide with a bomb starts to look like a smart thing to do. Many Islamic scholars point out that the Quran encourages education.

Edited by Phi for All
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am i just writing to myself?

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am i just writing to myself?

Nah, I've been keeping up with ya.

It's just that in the case of them using children, I'm not comfortable concluding that therefore we must err on the side of terror kiddies. I think it better that we accept their cruel advantage and be better - it's harder, and complicates everything and will cost us blood as well, but as the invader and occupier announcing and intending a better life for their country, we must demonstrate a moral reverence for them. That's part of the cost in my mind.

You make great points and I do appreciate taking up for the soldiers. I think Phi makes the best, if not depressing, point of focus really about the whole mess in general.

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Nah, I've been keeping up with ya.

It's just that in the case of them using children, I'm not comfortable concluding that therefore we must err on the side of terror kiddies. I think it better that we accept their cruel advantage and be better - it's harder, and complicates everything and will cost us blood as well, but as the invader and occupier announcing and intending a better life for their country, we must demonstrate a moral reverence for them. That's part of the cost in my mind.

You make great points and I do appreciate taking up for the soldiers. I think Phi makes the best, if not depressing, point of focus really about the whole mess in general.

Good point.

I also agree with Phi, His conclusions are right on the money.

The assumption that it is better to accept their cruel advantage payed in blood, only stands on a very sandy foundation.

Morally yes, it is better. But that moral is one that started the hatred between two cultures, that is religion.

But since America is a christian oriented moral land, I and many others, would agree that it is better to pay in blood than kill a child.

I am just terrified waiting for the day when the atrocity of an army of children attack us, forcing our hand.

But lets delve into another aspect of this, Is it morally corrupt to kill the children terrorists for self preservation? Would you consider these soldiers and many many others morally corrupt because they have and will pull the trigger?

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No, I could never ask a soldier to give up self preservation. But I am asking them to take a higher risk, I'll certainly admit that. But yeah, if your hand is forced, self preservation is a moral choice to me.

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