Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Wikileaks video struggles to get airing on US TV

Haven't  you killed enough people for one day?

Wikileaks released a decoded video showing the killing of a dozen people, including a Reuters news agency photographer, Namir Noor-Eldeen and his driver, Saeed Chmagh in Baghdad in 2007. The footage, which is harrowing not only in what it depicts but also the attitude of the Apache attack helicopter crew to those who were shot to death, spread across the internet, driven by Twitter users who were quick to pick up the story.

On the other hand the mainstream press in the US has been more reticent about the incident and for a period yesterday MSNBC blocked all search attempts using the term "wikileaks". Even as I write this CNN is not showing the whole video but rather a truncated version which has scenes from the start of the video and not footage which shows the helicopter crew a firing upon a civilian van which had drawn up to help the Reuters driver who was injured in the initial attack and resulted in the serious injury to two young children inside.

The video is also at odds with the account by the Washington Post published at the time where those who took part in the operation stated that the chopper, code named Crazy Horse was responding to insurgent fire and that every effort had been made to deal humanely with the dead and wounded. As Capt. James Hall, a chaplain with the 2nd Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment of the 1st Infantry Division, who arrived on the scene minutes after the incident said to the Post, July 13, 2007.

"We pulled up and stopped, and I could hear them over the intercom say they couldn't drive the Bradleys in because there were too many bodies and didn't want to drive over them,"

On the other hand the transcript taken from the Apache's radio traffic just after the attack (see here for the transcript on the Wikileaks site) reveals a different story.

"I think they just ran over the body,"

"Ha, ha."


"Maybe it was just a visual illusion, but it looked like it."

"Well, they're dead, so."

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