For those who don’t know, WikiLeaks has released a classified video that purports to show American Troops committing cold-blooded murder. They even added a cute little prologue and epilogue to their video, and set up an unbiased, even-handed site “Collateral Murder.” Releasing such a video, a classified one at that, can do nothing but slander our troops—especially when all the facts aren’t in yet. Despite the fact that all soldiers are taught to disobey unlawful orders, liberal assholes accuse said soldiers of committing atrocities to indirectly cast guilt upon their leaders. This mindset has been with us since Vietnam and probably earlier. Slander the troops in order to slander their leaders. But I digress.
* I have embedded the video, along with a transcript of the video, after my commentary. Regarding the transcript, I only omitted the call signs. I urge everyone to watch the video and/or read the transcript and come to your own conclusions.
To summarize the incident:
• A group of Apache Helicopters, responding to reports of gunfire in the area, arrive on scene and find a group of insurgents milling about the street. Unbeknownst to the Apaches, two Reuters employees, Saeed Chmagh and Namir Noor-Eldeen, are embedded with the terrorists. Let me repeat that. The Reuters employees are embedded with the terrorists.
• The troops notice what appears to be weapons among the insurgents. They may have mistaken some of the weapons for photographic equipment, as the WikiLeaks video claims, but additional AK-47′s and at least one RPG were clearly visible. A subsequent military investigation (and photos) confirmed this.
• At about 4:09, an Apache notices what appears to be an insurgent, armed with an RPG, peeking around a building. WikiLeaks claims that this is one of the Reuters employees with photographic equipment. In any case, the Apaches decide to open fire.
• The Apaches come around the building, and at about 4:51, open up. Some of the insurgents go down immediately, while others scatter.
• We see dead bodies, as well as a wounded man (identified as Saeed by WikiLeaks) crawling around.
• An unmarked van arrives to pick up the body. Unbeknownst to the Apaches, the terrorists had brought along two children (in the van) to observe the action. The Apaches open up on the van, disabling it.
• At about 12:46, the ground element arrives, and a Bradley can be seen driving over a body. Dismounted soldiers locate the two kids and run with them, across the street, towards their Bradleys. The medic requests permission to evac them to the local U.S. base of Rustamiyah. However, this request is denied, as the kids were to be handed over to the Iraqis.
WikiLeaks gets all huffy for three principle reasons:
1) Two Reuters employees were killed in the attack, and some of their camera equipment may have been mistaken for weapons. The Apaches engage the unmarked van, which had arrived to retrieve their casualties and weapons.
2) The troops compliment their own marksmanship (“Good shootin”, “Oh yeah, look at that, right through the windshield!”), employ gallows humor (“Oh yeah, look at those dead bastards,” “I think they just drove over a body.”), appear, in WikiLeaks’ and the NY Times’ opinion, to be “hoping” the guy crawling around picks up a weapon so he can be engaged (“All you gotta do is pick up a weapon.”), and comment on the precense of the kids (“Well it’s their fault for bringing their kids into a battle.”), making them, according to Julian Assange of WikiLeaks “callous,” and the shootings “another day at the office.”
3) The request for medevac was denied, and the troops were ordered to hand over the kids to the Iraqis.
So to summarize the situation: Apaches, responding to reports of gunfire, arrive on scene, spotting what appears to be insurgents, armed with AK-47′s and at least one RPG, setting up an ambush for approaching ground forces. They open up. And WikiLeaks has the fucking balls to call this murder???
An unmarked van arrives to evacuate insurgent casualties and weapons. The Apaches open up on them. It turns out the terrorists were nice enough to bring their kids along. Why the fuck would they do that, other than to score a propaganda victory if, and when, the kids became victims of collateral damage?? The “callous” soldiers can then be seen running through dangerous Baghdad streets, carrying the two wounded kids.
As for the “callous” remarks, they lack any sort of context. I’ve never been in combat, but I’m guessing that when one witnesses such events, they don’t go all quiet and solemn, with dramatic music playing in the background. In other words, it’s not a fucking movie. It’s war, and in war, and under such circumstances, the troops would probably say the first thing that comes to mind. And to assume that the soldier is hoping that guy picks up a weapon (“All you gotta do is pick up a weapon”) betrays WikiLeaks’ and the NY Times’ clear anti-military bias. What is clear is that the soldiers were following the rules of engagement to a “T”, and wouldn’t engage the wounded man while he was unarmed (“Maybe he has a weapon in his hand?” “No, I haven’t seen one yet.”). In any case, soldiers (and other professionals in stressful situations) probably utter some pretty grim stuff in the course of their duties, stuff they wouldn’t want mom and dad to hear. Showing this to the world can do nothing more than embarrass and slander our troops.
WikiLeaks takes every opportunity to point out Saeed Chmagh and Namir Noor-Eldeen, along with the kids (using instant replay, zoom, and carefully inserted arrows). But we see no mention of weapons or the location of the ground element. In this way, WikiLeaks purposely manipulates the viewer, making it difficult to follow the action. We focus on what they want us to. This not journalism, and it’s definitely not courageous. It’s propaganda.
And this deserves repeating–the Reuters employees were embedded with fucking terrorists. What the fuck did they expect??
To the question of insurgent weapons, the NY Times acknowledged the following:
“Late Monday, the United States Central Command, which oversees the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, released the redacted report on the case, which provided some more detail.
The report showed pictures of what it said were machine guns and grenades found near the bodies of those killed. It also stated that the Reuters employees “made no effort to visibly display their status as press or media representatives and their familiar behavior with, and close proximity to, the armed insurgents and their furtive attempts to photograph the coalition ground forces made them appear as hostile combatants to the Apaches that engaged them.”
And allow me to educate these liberal fucktards on the Rules on Engagement (ROE). Although there were specific ROE in this case, there are general ROE guidelines that one can follow. The enemy needn’t be shooting at you for you to engage them. Not anymore, anyway. They need only show “hostile intent.” If soldiers see insurgents planting a roadside bomb, lethal force is authorized. If they shoot an insurgent, and the insurgent no longer has a weapon (and isn’t making aggressive actions), he’s no longer considered a threat (thus, they didn’t engage the wounded man in the video). If the insurgent is crawling away, they’re fair game. But to liberals and all those who’d slander the military, every death is murder, and every soldier is suspect.
I urge everyone to watch the video, even with the indoctrination before and after. WikiLeaks feels it is evidence of a war crime, but it clearly exonerates our troops.
One more thing: journalists in a war zone are fully aware of the risks they’re taking. And if they don’t, then they’re fucking idiots. And embedding with terrorists is just plain suicidal.
0:00-2:46 WikiLeaks’ agitprop, including their fabrication, *er *interpretation* of what happened, a picture of Saeed Chmagh’s grieving son, and quotes from fellow Reuters journalists relating to Saeed and his colleague, Namir Noor-Eldeen.
2:47 “this location and there’s more that keep walking by and one of them has a weapon.”
2:51 “Roger received target fifteen.”
2:56 “See all those people standing down there.”
3:04 “Stay firm.”
3:07 “And open the courtyard.”
3:09 “Yeah roger.”
“I just estimate there’s probably about twenty of them.”
3:14 “There’s one, yeah.”
*video indicates Saeed w/camera*
3:17 “Yeah roger.”
“Hey ——- element, copy on the one-six.”
3:20 “That’s a weapon.”
*video indicates Namir w/camera
3:31 “Fucking prick.”
3:35 “Have individuals with weapons.”
*shows group of insurgents and two journalists walking
3:41 “He’s got a weapon too.”
3:45 “Have five to six individuals with AK-47s.”
3:47 “Request permission to engage.”
3:52 “Roger that.”
“Uh, we have no personnel east of our position.”
3:55 “So, uh, you are free to engage. Over.”
3:59 “All right, we’ll be engaging.”
4:02 “I’m gonna…I can’t get ‘em now because they’re behind that building.”
4:09 “He’s got an RPG.”
*shows man peeking around corner.*
4:10 “All right, we got a guy with an RPG.”
4:11 “I’m gonna fire.”
“No hold on. Lets come around.”
4:17 “Behind buildings right now from our point of view.
…Okay. We’re gonna come around.”
4:19 “Have eyes on individual with RPG.”
“Getting ready to fire. We won’t…”
4:23 “Yeah we had a guy shooting.”
—and now he’s behind the building.”
4:25 “God damn it.”
4:28 “Uh, negative, he was, uh, right in front of the Brad.”
4:32 “Uh, ‘bout there, one o’clock.”
4:34 “Haven’t seen anything since then.”
4:35 “Just fuckin’, once you get on ‘em just open ‘em up.”
4:38 “I see your element, uh, got about four Humvees, uh, out along…”
4:43 “You’re clear.”
“All right, firing.”
4:46 “Let me know when you’ve got them.”
4:49 “Light ‘em all up.”
“Come on, fire!”
4:51 *firing starts, some insurgents go down immediately. Others scatter.
4:56 “Keep shootin’. Keep shootin’.”
4:57 “Keep shootin.’”
5:00 “Keep shootin.”
5:00-5:03 *more gunfire.
5:07 “We need to move, time now!”
5:09 “All right, we just engaged all eight individuals.”
5:11 “Yeah, we see two birds, and we’re still fire.”
*video indicates Saeed trying to “escape”
“I got ‘em.”
5:19 “God damn it, Kyle.”
“All right, hahaha, I hit ‘em.”
5:28 “All right, you’re clear.”
“All right, I’m just trying to find targets again.”
5:39 “Got a bunch of bodies layin’ there.”
5:41 “All right, we got about, uh, eight individuals.”
5:47 “Yeah, we got one guy crawling around down there.”
“but uh, you know, we got, definitely got something.”
5:50 “We’re shootin’ some more.”
5:55 “Hey, you shoot, I’ll talk.”
6:05 “Roger. Currently engaging about eight individuals.”
“uh KIA, uh RPGs, and AK-47s.”
6:13 “——-, you need to move to that location once ——– is done and get pictures. Over.”
6:20 “Sergeant Twenty is the location.”
6:28 “Oh yeah, look at those dead bastards.”
*shows dead bodies
6:43 “Good shootin’”
7:07 “Uh, location of bodies” (*gives location)
7:27 “There’s one guy movin’ down there but he’s uh, he’s wounded.”
7:32 “All right, we’ll let ‘em know so they can hurry up and get over here.”
7:38 “we also have one individual, uh, appears to be wounded trying to crawl away.”
7:47 “Roger, we’re gonna move down there.”
“Roger, we’ll cease fire.”
7:51 “Yeah, we won’t shoot anymore.”
*indicates Saeed crawling
7:57 “He’s getting up.”
7:59 “Maybe he has a weapon in his hand?”
8:00 “No, I haven’t seen one yet.”
8:01 “I see you guys got that guy crawling right now on that curb.”
8:05 “Yeah, I got him. I put two rounds near him, and you guys were shooting over there too, so uh, we’ll see.”
8:21 “Roger, I’m just trying to make sure you guys have my turf. Over.”
8:28 “Roger, we got your turf.”
8:32 “Common buddy.” (indicating Saeed crawling)
8:34 “All you gotta do is pick up a weapon.”
8:46 “We are right below you right time now, can you walk us onto that location? Over.”
8:51 “Roger, I’ll pop flares.”
8:54 “We also have one individual moving. We’re looking for weapons.”
8:57 “If we see a weapon, we’re gonna engage.”
9:03 “Yeah, we have a van that’s approaching and picking up the bodies.”
9:11 “Where’s that van at?”
“Right down there by the bodies.”
9:14 “We have individuals going to the scene, looks like possibly uh picking up bodies and weapons.”
*shows unmarked van arriving.
9:21 “Let me engage.”
9:25 “Can I shoot?”
9:30 “Request permission to, uh, engage.”
9:32 “Picking up the wounded?”
9:35 “Yeah we’re trying to get permission to engage.”
9:38 “Common, let us shoot!”
9:46 “They’re taking him.”
*shows men carrying body to van.
9:55 “Roger, we have a black SUV-uh Bongo truck…”
9:59 …picking up the bodies. Request permission to engage.”
10:06 “Roger, engage.”
10:18 “We’re engaging.”
10:32 “I hear ‘em co… I lost ‘em in the dust.”
“I got ‘em.”
10:37 “I’m firing.”
“Got any BDA on that truck? Over.”
10:44 “I can’t shoot for some reason.”
10:47 “I think the van’s disabled.”
“Go ahead and shoot it.”
10:51 “I got an azimuth limit for some reason.”
10:54 *more shooting
11:16 “A vehicle appears to be disabled.”
11:19 “There were approximately four to five individuals in vehicle moving bodies.”
11:24 “Your lead Brad should take the next right. That’s cruisin’ East down the road.”
11:30 “No more shooting.”
11:37 “We’re moving a dismounted element straight south through the Bradleys.”
11:43 “I have your Elem…uh, Bradley element turning south down the road where the engagements were.”
11:59 “Should have a van in the middle of the road with about twelve to fifteen bodies.”
12:10 “Oh yeah, look at that, right through the windshield!”
12:13 “All right. There were uh approximately four to five individuals in that truck, so I’m counting about twelve to fifteen.”
12:20 “I would say that’s a fairly accurate assessment so far.”
12:29 Quote from Chaplain:
Eight minutes after the attack, ground troops arrive on the scene.
“We pulled up and stopped and I could hear them over the intercom say they couldn’t drive the Bradleys [tanks] in because there were too many bodies and didn’t want to drive over them.”
- Captain James Hall, Army Chaplain
12:46 *shows Bradleys arriving, drives over a body.
12:52 “I think they just drove over a body.”
12:59 “Maybe it was just a visual illusion but it looked like it.”
*video repeats, showing Bradley driving over body again.
13:10 More commentary/agitprop:
The soldiers find two wounded children in the minivan.
The treating soldier eventually decides to evacuate the children to the medical center at the nearby U.S. base of Rustamiyah. However, higher command orders that the children are instead to be handed to Iraqi Police and be taken to an Iraqi hospital.
This could mean poorer standards of medical treatment and additional delay.
13:34 *shows dismounted soldiers.
13:40 “Hey uh, I need to get the Brads to drop rads. I got a wounded girl we need to take to Rustamiyah.”
13:49 “Do you want us to move to your location? Over.”
14:07 *shows soldier running through street carrying child #1.
14:20 “Roger, come to our location.”
14:25 “Ok, roger, we’re coming up North on Gadins and then we’ll push East to your location.”
14:37 *shows soldier carrying child #2. Runs accross street.
14:53 *video helpfully points out Namir’s body again.
15:05 “Roger, that’s a negative on the evac of the two ah, civilian, ah, kids, to ah, rusty they’re going to have the IPs link up.
15:13 “They can put us over here. Break. IPs will take them up to a local hospital. Over.”
15:29 “Well it’s their fault for bringing their kids into a battle.”
“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.”
- Major Brent Cummings, XO 2-16 US Army
*video repeats firing on van, and zooms in to show kids.