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Video Shows Gunning Down of Journalists and Iraqi Civilians

Posted on Apr 5, 2010

The website WikiLeaks has found and decrypted a 2007 video showing a U.S. Apache helicopter firing on more than a dozen people, including two Reuters journalists. The U.S. military previously denied knowing how the journalists and civilians died.

Visit WikiLeak’s Collateral Murder website for more information about the video. —JCL


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By pictsidhe, September 21, 2010 at 10:25 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

RPG??? I’m not military, but I’ve seen films and can google, an RPG is 4 or 5 feet long, well over an arms length, the ‘RPG’ identified is about a forearm in length, maybe 1/3- 1/4 the length of an RPG, it looks like a camera to me. It does look like there may be a few men with rifles, how the hell they pin them as AK47’s (superceeded decades ago) or even Kalashnikov when they can’t tell a camera from a bazooka is beyond me. The helicopter range is at 1300 yards when they first spot the bunch, about 100 yards when slaughtered, no wonder they were unconcerned, perhaps being on the same ‘side’ as everything in the air lulled them into a false sense of security? I saw an RAF Merlin circle then land 1/2 mile from me yesterday, I could hear that from well over 1300 yards. The only people who’d walk around an US occupied city casually carrying guns would be US and related people, the insurgents aren’t going to wander about like that with bored gunships circling. They didn’t identify an RPG round, it was ‘what looks like an RPG round under a body’, wouldn’t that be about a telephoto lens in size? Why didn’t they find a 4-5’ long RPG but just an RPG round like object under a body?

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By That Guy, August 3, 2010 at 8:16 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Whoever wrote this summary didn’t do very good research, nor are they following how this came about.  Wikileaks did not “find” this video, nor will Wikileaks EVER “find” anything.  WIkileaks works off of submission.

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By ofersince72, May 23, 2010 at 12:59 pm Link to this comment

that was a smart comment Smarty

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By Smarty, May 22, 2010 at 1:12 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Ita so funny how naive some Americans can be,and then you will be the first one’s who will be playing victims when the terrorists attack you.For those who think the U.S army didnt do anything wrong you must also consider thinking about the terrorists attackks that are prompted by such behaivors because they are also thinking they are not doing anything wrong.

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By ofersince72, April 20, 2010 at 10:22 pm Link to this comment

We need to quit voting for the Thugs That Promote War.

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By amunaor, April 20, 2010 at 9:13 pm Link to this comment

“These guys were breathing hard to kill someone.”

....Defense analyst Pierre Sprey, who led the design teams for the F-16 and A-10 and who spent many years in the Pentagon, stresses two particularly damning features of the footage. The first is the claim that Noor-Eldeen’s telephoto lense could be mistaken for an RPG. “A big telephoto for a 35mm camera is under a foot and half at most. An RPG, unloaded , is 3 feet long and loaded, 4 foot long. These guys were breathing hard to kill someone.”

Sprey’s second point is that Apache helicopters makes a very loud “whomp, whomp” noise. “ Twelve guys are unconcerned, with loud helicopters right overhead. Imagine if they were planning an assault on American troops. They’d be crouched down and skulking along walls, spread out. They would not be walking casually down the middle of the street, totally ignoring the helicopters.”

A retired U.S. Marine was even blunter:

“Not a good show at all. The group on the ground were banishing nothing that ‘looked’ or appeared as weapons. The Apache crews were stupid and the intelligence clowns pointing them egging them on are guilty of murder.”

In the aftermath the US military claimed that some AK-47s and a grenade launcher had been found at the scene. Sprey comments that, in the course of the subsequent cover-up, the weapons may well have been planted, LAPD style.



“Collateral Damage” - Spinning Away Murder in Iraq

Excuses, explanations or conspiracy and misprision of a felony!

Time for the “spin masters” to “pay the fiddler”


Peace, Best Wishes and Hope

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By (not his real name), April 14, 2010 at 3:30 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)


A few points not raised in the previous comments:

Q: Why shoot the van which was rendering assistance?
A: We need to interrogate survivors. ‘Good Samaritans’ aiding Insurgents to flee, or otherwise interfere with an active combat zone, are disturbing a crime scene. If the van occupants were innocent bystanders legitimately trying to render aid, they were still stupid enough to stand next to a target and wonder why they got shot. My sincere condolences
to the children who hadn’t the choice.

RPG vs Camera
When the ground forces have occupied the first vicinity, I clearly heard verbal confirmation of at least one RPG-shell, several times.

Insurgents are not stupid with regard to PR (public relations) and spin-doctoring. They would like nothing better than to sweep all such battle-sites of weapons before OUR ground-forces arrive, so that they can claim more ‘innocent’ civilian casualties. (This is another reason to suspect the motives of the black van)

Insurgents are very handy with cameras and the internet, to spread their own propaganda. If there were legitimate journalists in the cluster of weapon-toting insurgents, then they too need to receive DARWIN AWARDS. Go ahead, stand next to a target when bullets are flying and see what happens…

I’ve seen too many films of IED detonations killing Americans. All those not filmed from the inside of a vehicle were filmed by insurgent “journalists”, and then gleefully posted on their websites.

Why is this film a LEAK at all!?!?!
I saw and heard nothing that wasn’t highly trained soldiers executing the standing Rules-of-Engagement. Every shot was called in for authorization and had to be justified. There were no loose cannons or happy trigger-fingers. At least 95% of the comments and radio-traffic are professional and on-mission. The remaining 5% that might be questionable are flippant remarks that remind me that the American soldiers are real humans too: under stress, making occasional gallows-humor comments, and trying to deal with what their orders and missions require them to do.

American patrols go out to patrol. They don’t go out and just start shooting at random. They patrol, and IF insurgents start shooting, they move TOWARDS the shooting to stop the insurgents, as exactly happened in this video.

The Geneva Conventions require armed participants in any conflict to wear uniforms, so that they may be distinguished from non-combatants. Please remind me again who is carrying on insurgent/guerrilla activities while hiding behind children and womens’ skirts.

I am impressed with the professional performance of American troops shown in this video. If you disagree with them being there, then there is a POLITICAL process for stopping and removing them. Call your congressman! Repeatedly! Have your friends do the same! Even G.W.Bush didn’t send them in all by himself, the entire machine in Washington deserves thanks for that choice…

If you won’t stand BEHIND our troops, then please stand IN FRONT of them!

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By LocalHero, April 7, 2010 at 10:27 am Link to this comment

“It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.” - Voltaire

“Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities also has the power to make you commit atrocities.” –Voltaire

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By Ryan, April 6, 2010 at 5:03 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The gunning trainers in helicopters during Vietnam would fly over our farm and point their machine gun at my father while he worked in the fields. Thank God none of them ever slipped and fired. This was in Utah, USA.  It didn’t take long before we realized that war causes callousness in young people who are exposed to and participate in it.  It’s no wonder that some come home and cannot live with their memories when they have time to think about what happened.

We’ve got to stop making a business out of war before we become the actual recipients.  At the Hague when accused Germans claimed that by following orders they never though it would come to this—they were told that it came to this the moment they took an innocent life.

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By ofersince72, April 6, 2010 at 3:31 pm Link to this comment

What happens,  as I feel, and experience,

you take young men right out of high school,
and put them in a lawless condition that war zones are,
many bad things happen and they also become common place.
The longer you are there, the more you accept it, because
you are young and right out of high school and into boot
This lawlessness was very much a way of life for GIs
in Viet Nam.

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By amunaor, April 6, 2010 at 1:31 pm Link to this comment

If one of us were to grab a rifle and proceed to kill people in the street, any one of us would be arrested and charged with murder and executed by the state. But, under the magical guise of war, anything goes, carte blanche murder is legitimized; murder is good; murder is okay; where the murder of thousands, hundreds of thousands, even millions is acceptable, without question or shudder. Where persons are encouraged to exhibit the deepest darkest depths of depravity, rewarded by a high-5, pat on the back along with the encouraging words, “good shoot – look at that pile of dead bastard there”.

What this video reveals is only the very tip of the iceberg! All mothers and fathers should be ashamed of turning their sons and daughters over to the Corporate Industry of War, who train their blood to rise up and become serial killers for the Company.

This video is reminiscent of stories from Wounded Knee. After heading the savages into a boxed canyon, it becomes a turkey-shoot; depicting U.S., overwhelming, superior fire-power. The Question remains! Who are the real savages and barbarians in this picture?

Every man women and child should be exposed to the dark underbelly of this iceberg! Shielding the eyes and ears only promotes its cancerous clutch and growth. We really have lost our sight of the forest for the trees!

Peace, Best Wishes and Hope

The forces in the universe are neither good nor evil. But, misappropriated into the hands of those who perceive those forces as weapons of power, then do they manifest as evil.

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By ofersince72, April 6, 2010 at 11:55 am Link to this comment

Glen Greenwald today in Salon points out that

these videos are not an aberration, they were common place.

Everyday, all the time.

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By glider, April 6, 2010 at 9:12 am Link to this comment

For those insisting a Bazooka was involved your simply not studying the tape closely.  The copter guys made an error plan and simple.  Yes there appears to be a couple of guys (security?) with rifles in the back.  I grant that it is easy to make such a mistake when you target individuals from the air.  But beyond this initial mistake I can in no way see any justification for blowing away the good samaritian rescuers.  I don’t recall their justification but no one picked up a weapon which was the first looked for reason.  I understand hitting rescuers and hitting funerals is common practice which to me does not seem much different than insurgents going into the hospitals to continue after their victims.  I will also grant that the military can consider this strategy a “relative” success.  Perhaps these sorts of errors result in a 50% death toll of innocent civilians from such operations.  But that is the history of war.  More civilian innocents are generally killed than combatants, and the “collateral” civilian deaths from this strategy and the drones is less than that which occurred in Vietnam or WWII or the Soviet Afghanistan war.  Still war is an abomination, collateral damage is always lied about and minimized by the perpetrators, and you should have a better reason to justify such behavior than what the USA is using to conduct this war.

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By Hank Van den Berg, April 6, 2010 at 5:02 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Americans, is this what you want your children to be doing overseas?  There is no threat here, it is obvious that there is no bazooka, not are there any other heavy arms present. The talk recorded on the tape is disgusting.  Our military has turned people into killers.  Our soldiers are no longer human beings; they are killing machines, anxious to get on with it.  They seem to relish killing.  We need a serious court to prosecute all those involved and responsible.

Most important: Parents, don’t let your children grow up to be soldiers!

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By srelf, April 6, 2010 at 12:01 am Link to this comment

Like Scott Ritter said before we went into Iraq, if you go to war ugly stuff will
happen. To me, all those that said yes to the March 2003 invasion are culpable.
What, did people think only the guilty would be killed? Like a bunch of Satanic
beancounters, the deaths of these children and non-combatants were given a big
“affirmative” because the cost-benefit ratio was acceptable.

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By ProgressiveHumanist, April 5, 2010 at 9:01 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I also do not believe we should be in this country, or in this war…at all period…and the taking of human life in this video is disgusting and repulsive to me..and I am an ex-Air Force Vietnam veteran. The conundrum our guys have is that they were there and following orders because of an immoral and corrupt civilian (Bush) administration. So what real choice do they have short of desertion or in the case we have just witnessed…self preservation. I do have to agree, that the shooter enjoys his job way too much. And I also clearly see weapons..why are these guys running around brazenly with weapons in the street? I do not see cameras. This looks like guerrilla warfare in the city to me. I am having difficulty believing these folks are journalists or press. They appear way cocky.
That is the way I see it after watching the entire video. But on the macro level we should not be in Iraq at all for any reason. Iran is developing WMDs, North Korea is flaunting their WMDs and we are not invading or attacking either. This was just a way to try and give Cheney/Bush an “easy” win over a scapegoat or a straw man enemy..or look like they are winners at something other than cheating and stealing elections. I want us out of the Middle East once and for all. And maybe the money we save would help fund proper, single payer healthcare. Peace to all.

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By ofersince72, April 5, 2010 at 7:40 pm Link to this comment

This ain’t nothin new…
hope no one suprised…
More journalists killed, tortured and imprisoned
in this “war” than ever.

Here is a good feed for today posted 05/Apr/10
a really good read !!!!

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By Dan, April 5, 2010 at 6:34 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Look… I’m all for exposing government cover ups etc… but I watch this whole video and these guys are simply soldiers doing what they have been trained to do, they weren’t out trying to gun down civilians for the fun of it as some comments here seem to paint… You may not agree with the war, so be it… but our US Soldiers deserve some respect.

The comments about their radio banter and the gunner making a comment about gunner saying “you shouldn’t bring your kid to a war.”  HAS to be taken in context… and these were NOT his first words when he heard there was a kid injured, it was more like… “damn” and you can tell he felt bad about it, his partner on the radio and the comment about “bringing kid to war” wasn’t a gloat, but a comment to help the guy process the fact that he may have just killed a kid. It goes no further than that because they are still engaged in a combat mission, how do you know what this soldier felt when he got back to base? You don’t.

And let’s not forget there WERE enemy soldiers with weapons these guys were engaging… you can comment all you want, but if you watch the video you can clearly see there were guys with bazooka’s and AK47’s… if civilians got mixed into this somehow it is sad, I acknowledge that… all war is sad… but the press knows the risks and they put themselves in situations like this anyway… I’m from Oklahoma and if some stupid storm chaser media guy gets killed trying to get footage of a tornado are you gonna blame God?

If the government covered this up, that’s another story, discuss the politics of it…  but from what I see in this video, these soldiers did nothing out of procedure and as American Soldiers deserve a little respect in the comments here… that’s my two cents.

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By glider, April 5, 2010 at 6:00 pm Link to this comment


Take a close look at that video again and look before and after the peering around the corner bit.  It is no RPG, it is a camera with a long telephoto lens plus lens shade.  This is very evident in the film just moments before the helicopters let loose their first volley.

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By Logjam, April 5, 2010 at 5:42 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I am an ex RAF intelligence Branch officer. I know what to look for. However I do appreciate that I am not in the action therefore what I see is retrospect. The 1st group of people were obviously press representatives under armed escort. One of them is carrying a camera with a long lens, over his shoulder is his camera case.This man is misidentified as carrying an RPG. Following up is a group of 3 men, 1 is carrying an assault rifle. I am surmising that he and the others with him are agitated by something and duck for cover. I am sure the helicopter filming this action is doing so at a great distance, as periodically the range changes drastically. I would estimate that the Helicopter is out of range of small arms fire. It is the way the man with the camera peers around the corner of the building that supports the helicopter gunner’s identification as carrying an RPG. This man may or may not have been cautiously looking for a clear run. If the mission was to protect a convoy or anything else, then the target should have been the man with the assault rifle. The fact is that US forces are “trigger happy” as shown by the language. The black van, so happened to be passing and tried to help a wounded man. It may have been a family vehicle, as shown by the fact that a baby girl was inside, possibly with her mother.Unfortunately, this action escalated from what should have been a minor altercation into a major battle resulting in the deaths of innocent victims and the destruction of property.

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By OzarkMichael, April 5, 2010 at 4:31 pm Link to this comment

I did watch it. I am not military at all, so I dont claim to understand more than anyone else. In order to piece together in my own mind, and for those those of you who cannot stomach the video, here is what happened:

The backround on this tape was that an American convoy was about to pass by. The convoy had already taken some fire. This is happening in a city.

Three Iraqis with guns and one with a bazooka were checking for a shot at the American convoy. Five or six people are milling around with them.

Meanwhile a US helicopter gunship is watching and recording all this, and the helicopter gun operator requests permission to fire. He is upset with waiting for the okay to fire. Apparently somebody else somewhere else has to ok it.

Apparently the helicopter is stealthy because the people on the ground dont see it or hear it.

The guy with the bazooka peaks around the corner at the convoy and the impatient gunner finally recieves permission to fire.

The helicopter gunner sprays that intersection with bullets. He sounds like he enjoys his job.

Some of the people get away. Some die. One crawls and tries to stand. The helicopter gunner announces his hope that the wounded guy would pick up a weapon so he could shoot some more. That does not happen.

Instead a van pulls up to the spot, and a man jumps out to help the wounded guy.

Gunner requests and recieves permission to machine gun the van, I am not sure why. Apparently helping wounded enemy(?) combatants(?) makes US Army assume that you are an enemy.

The convoy and some other force arrive at the intersection. Some of them try to enjoy their job. But one of them finds a kid wounded in the van and requests evac for the kid. The gunner says, “Oh well, you shouldnt bring your kid to a war.”

They find another kid wounded in the van.

Several US soldiers begin checking buildings for the Iraqis with guns who got away.

Then one or two Iraqis with guns enter a building about two blocks away. The soldiers are not near, and when the helicopter personel identify them as from the previous engagement, the gunner recieves permission to fire rockets into the building.

The gunner is either shook up or not very good at operating the rocket system. He cannot get the video targeting system aimed or focused. A minute goes by before he can fire the missile, and it does not appear to be well aimed.

Apparently the missile does not enter the building but hits the wall, so the blast is reflected onto the street. A second missile is fired and it enters the building. A third missile also.

Whether this killed enemy combatants or random people in the building is unknown.

I am not sure where the two journalists were when they got killed, perhaps they were recently identified on the video, milling around the guy with the bazooka, which would be very strange. Or perhaps they were in the van that arrived to help the wounded man, or perhaps they were in the building.

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By Commune115, April 5, 2010 at 3:59 pm Link to this comment

An Obama is unleashing more of this everyday in Afghanistan. We are poisoning ourselves as we spread the poison of imperialism.

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By photoshock, April 5, 2010 at 3:47 pm Link to this comment

Besides the obvious nature of the attack, the banter by the helicopter pilots is abominable.
Our troops are not there in Iraq, to kill civilians and children, but this seems to be the standing orders of our troops to shoot first and to never ask questions
of the civilian population.
We, the American people are paying the price for the mistakes and illegal policies which started this conflict and are now, more so than ever at risk of terroristic attacks from our inhumane treatment of prisoners and civilians alike.
We cannot jeopardize our troops any longer these conflicts must end. Wasn’t Obama selected president to end the conflicts? Why has there been no movement towards resolution of these conflicts?
Because the corporatocracy has not made enough profits from these conflicts.

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By Conservativeslayer, April 5, 2010 at 3:08 pm Link to this comment

No it’s a photographer with a camera lens. It is not an RPG. You are mistaken. I could tell it was a camera with a photozoom lens. How come our forces couldn’t? Plus listen to the banter of the helicopter pilots. It’s disgusting. They are laughing and could care less that they wounded innocent children.

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By Rick, April 5, 2010 at 10:59 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Look, I am a progressive (also ex-military) and hate the fact that we went into Iraq. But watch this video - there were Iraqis that were going to launch an RPG round at the copter… no question about it… you could see the guy ducking behind the corner. Our forces have to insure their own safety in a war zone, so at first blush this looks justified. The one thing I can;t understand is why the government would deny this at all - the engagement looks justified.

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By johnnyfarout, April 5, 2010 at 10:08 am Link to this comment

I couldn’t watch this. My ex-Green Beret buddy from Viet Nam wore a t-shirt for years that had printed on the front and back: “Kill them all and let God sort them out.” Of course this is a paraphrase from antique French spoken in the 13th century outside of the town of Albi, where the Pope’s legate pronounced this judgment on the town’s occupants during the Inquisition and the Crusade against the Cathars. Today it is the “capitalists” pronouncing this death sentence on any who buck the empire… striking hopeless fear into all human beans of whatever stripe. If you are in front of the war machine you die. All Hail Eris, goddess of chaos and death!
“Everyone must submit and everyone must die.”—the motto of the modern American Army.

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