Wikileaks Releases Video of US Choppers Slaying Reporters, Civilians

Warning: Very Disturbing Footage

July 12, 2007

From CollateralMurder.com:

WikiLeaks has released a classified US military video depicting the indiscriminate slaying of over a dozen people in the Iraqi suburb of New Baghdad — including two Reuters news staff.

Reuters has been trying to obtain the video through the Freedom of Information Act, without success since the time of the attack. The video, shot from an Apache helicopter gun-site, clearly shows the unprovoked slaying of a wounded Reuters employee and his rescuers. Two young children involved in the rescue were also seriously wounded.

The military did not reveal how the Reuters staff were killed, and stated that they did not know how the children were injured.

After demands by Reuters, the incident was investigated and the U.S. military concluded that the actions of the soldiers were in accordance with the law of armed conflict and its own “Rules of Engagement”.

Consequently, WikiLeaks has released the classified Rules of Engagement for 2006, 2007 and 2008, revealing these rules before, during, and after the killings.

WikiLeaks has released both the original 38 minutes video and a shorter version with an initial analysis. Subtitles have been added to both versions from the radio transmissions.

WikiLeaks obtained this video as well as supporting documents from a number of military whistleblowers. WikiLeaks goes to great lengths to verify the authenticity of the information it receives. We have analyzed the information about this incident from a variety of source material. We have spoken to witnesses and journalists directly involved in the incident.

WikiLeaks wants to ensure that all the leaked information it receives gets the attention it deserves. In this particular case, some of the people killed were journalists that were simply doing their jobs: putting their lives at risk in order to report on war. Iraq is a very dangerous place for journalists: from 2003- 2009, 139 journalists were killed while doing their work.

Hat Tip: ZeroHedge

Update: AP Source Confirms Authenticity.

Author: Scott Horton

Scott Horton is editorial director of Antiwar.com, director of the Libertarian Institute, host of Antiwar Radio on Pacifica, 90.7 FM KPFK in Los Angeles, California and podcasts the Scott Horton Show from ScottHorton.org. He’s the author of the 2017 book, Fool’s Errand: Time to End the War in Afghanistan and editor of The Great Ron Paul: The Scott Horton Show Interviews 2004–2019. He’s conducted more than 5,000 interviews since 2003. Scott lives in Austin, Texas with his wife, investigative reporter Larisa Alexandrovna Horton. He is a fan of, but no relation to the lawyer from Harper’s. Scott’s Twitter, YouTube, Patreon.

230 thoughts on “Wikileaks Releases Video of US Choppers Slaying Reporters, Civilians”

  1. I am sad for my country and pray to my Lord Jesus for His mercy upon us. I also apologize to those around the world who have suffered at the hands of our abysmal foreign policy. As Americans, we may have much to be proud of, but true courage also demands admission of the horrible mistakes we have made. What makes me even sadder is that if I showed this to anyone supportive of this 'liberation,' I am sure I would hear one (or more) of the following:

    1. "Well, you know…that's just part of war."
    2. "But would you rather have Saddam back in power?"
    3. "They should try these 'wikileakers' for treason!"
    4. "Oh well…two less members of the liberal media."
    5. "Those look like guns to me."

    Peace be with you.

  2. This is not as simple as it looks. There are so many takes on this that this particular bit, w/o explanation, can honestly be described as propaganda, in that it seeks to sway the viewer, and IT IS NOT COMPLETELY HONEST ITSELF!
    If you accept that the US has cause to be incountry in the first place ( I do not), and if you accept that in being there, the soldiers involved are correct in performing their duties in a thorough and legal manner (which I DO…soldiers are often placed in difficult ethical situations by their governments; and their opinions are not solicited)
    then it follows that THE FIRST ENGAGEMENT WAS LIKELY WITHIN THE ROE FOR THE OPERATION because: (cont)

  3. cont
    1. ANYONE not in uniform that is observed carrying arms is a legitimate target. Careful observation of the tape shows 2 maybe 3 long guns. These were described as AK’s, but they look more like hunting rifles to me. Nevertheless, two or three of the people, at the least, are armed with weapons that might be used to cause harm to troops in the area, whether on foot, mounted, or airborne.
    2. An unarmed person choosing to walk around in a war zone, with persons who ARE armed, is not choosing to exhibit rational behaviour. There is a very real possibility that he/she might get tarred with the same brush.

  4. 3. Anyone carrying anything that might APPEAR to be a weapon, in the company of those who ARE armed is likewise making a grave tactical error. The gentleman in question aimed, from behind cover (that is from around the corner of a building, behaving as if he had something to hide or feared to make himself a target) a longish looking black thing at a helicopter gunship. To do so is deserving of a belated Darwin Award. I'm sorry, but the man behaved insanely. Was he innocent? Probably. Did he deserve to die? No. But you cannot walk down the street with guerilla warriors, aim what, inarguably, might be a weapon, at one of the most feared war platforms in the world, and not expect your number to come up, thinking that, “I’m a reporter, I’m a good guy. I’m neutral in this.”
    (cont)

  5. (cont)
    Putting a spin on this first engagement such that it appears that there is fault on the part of the troops here is dishonest reporting. Trying to use this portion of the tape as a tool to wake ppl to the horrors of war is one thing; to use it to raise doubts about the legality of the performance of the men who took part is dishonest. They performed as they were supposed to given the circumstances. Their obvious satisfaction at being allowed to “ fuckin’ just open em up!” not withstanding, they did what they were there to do, and likely, within the letter of the law.
    So much for the first engagement.
    (cont)

  6. The second engagement is another matter entirely, GIVEN THE INFORMATION THAT WE HAVE, that is, only that which is in the tape. Attacking a rescue operation is WITHOUT EXCUSE! The men who so did are appear to be guilty of murder, should be so charged, and executed as war criminals when found guilty. There was no immediate threat to any forces in the area, there were NO WEAPONS VISIBLE! I am appalled that the people who assessed this later on did not find the troops on the scene culpable.

    THIS is where the crime is: that those attempting to save lives should be killed while doing so, and that this should be covered up.

  7. (cont)
    My take? Don’t use the first engagement to indict the soldiers involved on legal grounds. That is not, in my opinion, honest, and it makes it appear that those of us who are vehemently opposed to the occupation of Iraq, Afghanistan, and other areas of interest, are in league with anti war propagandists.
    The truth is awful enough; lying to make a worse case places anti’s on the same moral plane as those who spin for the war machine.

    1. I appreciate your point of view and your defense of men who were placed in such a horrible position. It can be unfair to look back without actually being there at the time. But a couple of points, if I may:
      "An unarmed person choosing to walk around in a war zone, with persons who ARE armed, is not choosing to exhibit rational behaviour."
      As someone who does not personally own any firearms, I would still contend that anyone NOT carrying some kind of weapon in that environment is not being completely rational. Obvously it was/is not wise to rely on either the Iraqi security or coaltion forces for your personal security (as we have seen after tens of thousand of dead innocent civilians.)

      1. (cont.)
        "Nevertheless, two or three of the people, at the least, are armed with weapons that might be used to cause harm to troops in the area, whether on foot, mounted, or airborne. "
        But we know this is not the case. How? Listen to the request early in the tape (3:54.) The CO specifically indicated that we had no personnel in the area. So even if these civilians had weapons, who exactly were they threatening? They were obviously not threatening to shoot down a helicopter (indeed, they were completely oblivious to it.) Were the soldiers orders to simply fly around and kill anyone who happened to be carrying anything that looked like a weapon? That seems like a mighty excessive mandate to me.

        Peace be with you.

        1. actually the man pointed the camera (which was perceived to be an RPG) at the 'copter.

          there was fighting going on around 1 mile from the victims' loctaion, the helicopters were there for aerial support.

        2. when they said there's no personnel in the area, they were talking about whether or not they had ground troops nearby to more accurately assess the suspicious situation. since there was nobody around, the apache crew took it upon themselves to deal with it according to what they have observed.

  8. i was fooled by this. i am extremely disappointed by the way wikileaks portrayed this subject.

    the men first fired on in the video had weapons. two of them (this has been admitted by by the wikileaks editor AFTER it was released).

    so in context, these soldiers fired on a group of men congregating together in a known warzone (there was ground fighting barely a mile from where this was going on), 2 of whom had cameras (as they were reuters journalists), and two of whom had weapons (AK and RPG). this info can be found on the net, as the US actually carried out their own investigation (at the request of reuters) closer the when it happened.

    wikileaks mention nothing of these men having weapons, and instead portray it as an unprovoked attack. the attack was wrong and shouldn't have happened, but it was a mistake, not an act of evil.

    the one part that still retains any merit, is the part where the van was attacked, as the two men were merely helping an injured friend/co worker (combatant in the US' eyes) and attacking them was a direct violation of the 1st geneva convention, article 3. attacking an already injured and, believed to be, combatant.

    i'm extremely disappointed by wikileaks. extremely disappointed.

  9. I don't think the fault lies so much with the soldiers. They were appearently following their rules of engagement and were shooting at who they thought were armed insurgents. In that sense it was a tragic mistake. The fault lies with the decision to have us fight an uneccesary war in the first place.

  10. This is not an isolated incident and it is not just the action of few (bad apples!).This has been the patteren trhough the US history begging with the wars aginst the pre_European inhibtants ,the savages,the Philipians,the Vietnamese,continuing to this day.There have been so many horror stories like this coming from Iraq,Afghnistan,and pakistan that were covered up.

  11. The bodies of women and children, still in their nightclothes, apparently shot in their own homes; interior walls and ceilings peppered with bullet holes; bloodstains on the floor.
    Eyewitness accounts suggest that comrades of TJ Terrazas, far from coming under enemy fire, went on the rampage in Haditha after his death.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/5033648.st

  12. In another house seven people including a child and his 70-year-old grandfather were killed. Four brothers aged 41 to 24 died in a third house. Eyewitnesses said they were forced into a wardrobe and shot.

    In the street, US troops gunned down four students and a taxi driver they had stopped at a roadblock set up after the bombing.

    According to a witness, they were shot by the side of the road, as they stood with their hands on their heads.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/5033648.st

  13. In one of the statements, John Doe 2, who worked for Blackwater for four years, alleged that Mr Prince “views himself as a Christian crusader tasked with eliminating Muslims and the Islamic faith from the globe” and that his companies “encouraged and rewarded the destruction of Iraqi life”.
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_an

  14. But pro-war Americans defended the song as “funny,” the author explained that the Arabic words were actually from a South Park movie, and in short order the author became a sort of hero among pro-war conservatives, even announcing at one point that he was recording the song and taking the show on the road.

    Shortly thereafter, 14-year-old ‘Abir Hamzah was brutally gang-raped, then burned by soldiers after her family—father, mother, and younger sister, had been shot by them. The soldiers who murdered her had been sexually harassing her (described as “making advances” towards her) every day as she passed through a checkpoint near her home to do chores for her family. She was scared and had told her mother about it several times, and her mother had spoken with friends and even asked whether her daughter could stay with them. Several times the soldiers had staged searches of the family home, presumably in the course of planning the rape and murders.
    http://www.offourbacks.org/RapeOfHadji.htm

  15. These stories will never made into movies because they show the real vicitims of the US wars and what they go through unlike those movies that focus only and glorify American soliders and their supposdly pains.

  16. A few months ago, Abir Al-Janabi was just another 14-year-old Iraqi girl in a small town called Al-Mahmudiyah, south of Baghdad. Both of her parents are from the Al-Janabi tribe, one of the biggest tribes with Sunni and Shia branches.

    Omar Al-Janabi, a neighbor and relative, was informed by Abir's mother that the young girl was being harassed by U.S. soldiers stationed in a nearby checkpoint. That is why Abir was sent to spend the night in her neighbor's home. The next day, Omar Al-Janabi was among the first people who found Abir, with her 34-year-old mother Fakhriyah, her 45-year-old father Qasim, and her 7-year-old sister Hadil, murdered in their home. Abir was raped, killed by a bullet in her head, and then burned on March 12, five months before her fifteenth birthday. http://www.baltimorechronicle.com/2006/071206JARR

  17. You should take look at the soldiers comments.
    "nice shootin man"
    Is this a shooting range??
    I remember seeing the Night of the Museum movie when the soldier said "We dont think we just attack!"
    Thats what happening right here

  18. This is why..I just don't appreciate America for their actions. Bush. He escalated a full scale war against Iraq just to kill 1 person. Now America slaughters innocents.

  19. WL is the most effective project against hetrosexual power.
    Keep suporting WL economicaly lets make an end to hetrosexual sociatys.

  20. For what you all call the courageous source of dedication to ( Weak-e-leaks )-Were any of you ever in a battle -having someone shooting at you – Get real- its call WAR! While your sitting down tearing this great country down- someone is fighting for your right to do so. From the Bolshevvik revolution to the Radical terrorist of today-who use this type of propaganda to push their agenda . where has a apology tour ever won a war ? answer- never! God bless America.

  21. The US and israhell are both terrorist states and are the enemy of the entire world and we shouldn't give a damn about any dead Fourth Reich volunteer.

  22. ometymes "people,creatures,things,(gooing/tools)beings,animal half breeds beasts,(monstors defined)use words like freedom to describe a meaning better described as another "cannibolism,only some of the tyme are any thing except a another layer of calous on the side of the colective skull's brain,if thats' "freedom,i want my money back ,due,at others exspence,instead of mutual benefit,,,fraud murder,war states acts & mob mentalities,cowardly and ignareint,afraid to rationalise even justify,in the (safe,secured)open field of discipline or honor of an dis-honorable rank and eschaloen of yellow stripe of murder masquaraiding patent pending WAR,chicken-****,mfqrsz

  23. sometymes "people,creatures,things,(gooing/tools)beings,animal half breeds beasts,(monstors defined)use words like freedom to describe a meaning better described as another "cannibolism,only some of the tyme are any thing except a another layer of calous on the side of the colective skull's brain,if thats' "freedom,i want my money back ,due,at others exspence,instead of mutual benefit,,,fraud murder,war states acts & mob mentalities,cowardly and ignareint,afraid to rationalise even justify,in the (safe,secured)open field of discipline or honor of an dis-honorable rank and eschaloen of yellow stripe of murder masquaraiding patent pending WAR,chicken-****,mfqrsz

  24. Hitler's Third Reich would be very impress with the Israhell-US Fourth Reich; killing innocent civilians from the air, murdering women and children in cold blood on the ground in Iraq, Gaza, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and now Africa.

    The US and israhell are both terrorist states and are the enemy of the entire world and we shouldn't give a damn about any dead Fourth Reich volunteer.

  25. is is so amateurish and bloodthirsty, it defies belief. This video will spread across the world, and it calls into utter question the training of US forces. The generals above this decision and the people in the helicopter demanding the ability to shoot should get what's coming to them, and from their own people.
    The scum who participated in this will have it hanging around their necks and their families for their whole lives, no matter how much they try to deny it. We all know where the real bastards are, and cowards as well, acting like they have a right to kill people from safety. Word to photographers, your cameras look like weapons to murderers with zero education. Word to Americans, these are the people coming back

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