Tuesday, 6 April 2010

"Collateral Murder"? Leaked Video Shows U.S. ‘Coverup’


Wikileaks via DangerRoom/ here

"... On July 12, 2007, Chmagh and Noor-Eldeen, members of the Reuters Baghdad bureau were killed on a reporting assignment in the neighborhood of New Baghdad. Witnesses said they were struck by gunfire from U.S. attack helicopters; at least nine other people were reportedly killed in the incident, and two children were wounded. Reuters had sought to obtain gunsight video shot by the Apache attack helicopters and other incident reports, but the U.S. military has not released the footage to the news organization.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said the organization was able to obtain a copy of the footage from an unnamed person (credited in the video as “our courageous source”). “The material was encrypted with a code, and we broke the code,” Assange said.
In addition, WikiLeaks sent two correspondents to Baghdad to verify the stories, fill in some blanks and conduct follow-on interviews with eyewitnesses and family members. Assange said WikiLeaks did not check the authenticity of the video with the Department of Defense, however.
Chmagh and Noor-Eldeen had gone to eastern Baghdad while a U.S. military operation was underway (click here to read a contemporary account by an embedded reporter from the Washington Post). It’s clear from some of the footage that there may have been a few — perhaps one or two — armed men in the square where the Apache’s burst of 30mm rounds hit. But the footage here does not seem to show anyone directing gunfire at U.S. troops, as was reported at the time.
It was originally expected that WikiLeaks would release footage of a U.S. air strike last year in Afghanistan that reportedly claimed the lives of dozens of civilians (Assange said the group planned to release that footage, but were still “working on it.”)
WikiLeaks has also claimed this video furnishes evidence of a Pentagon “coverup.” Whether that is the case is open to question: At the time, a military officer said: “No innocent civilians were killed on our part deliberately. We took great pains to prevent that. I know that two children were hurt, and we did everything we could to help them. I don’t know how the children were hurt.”
River to Sea
 Uprooted Palestinian

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