Monday, April 5, 2010

Video of US attack on civilians leaked

Am extremely disturbing video of an American military helicopter shooting up Iraqi civilians, including journalists and children, has been posted on the site and its authenticity has been confirmed, according to The New York Times, by sources inside the American military.

Among the approximately eight people killed in the July 2007 attack were Namir Noor-Eldeen and Saeed Chmagh, both employees of Reuters, an international news agency based in London. Two children appear to have been wounded in the shooting as well.

Many of those targeted in the attack appear to be unarmed, including the journalists, who have what look like cameras slung over their shoulders. The audio of US military personnel is sickening, with one soldier hoping that a desperately wounded journalist picks up a weapon so the Apache helicopter can "engage" again. When a pilot is informed that children were wounded he is overheard saying, “Well, it’s their fault for bringing their kids into a battle.”

But there was no battle -- at least not in the square where the firing takes place. There were a number of men walking unhurriedly, and then when a van pulls up to collect the bodies of those killed in the initial attack the soldiers call excitedly for permission to shoot up the van, where two children were sitting in the front seat.

This video, which Reuters has been trying to get hold of and which was leaked to the WikiLeaks site, should be the subject of an investigation by Congress. It alone should make each of us question the use of American military power in Iraq as well as elsewhere.

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