Leaked video: US army MURDERS innocent civs in Iraq

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Re: Leaked video: US army MURDERS innocent civs in Iraq

Postby AJR » Tue Apr 06, 2010 11:56 pm UTC

RockoTDF wrote:
luketheduke wrote:
Another interesting comment wrote:Not only is shooting at the van totally reprehensible and flat out evil but frankly as a soldier fighting an insurgency it's bad fucking business. If these guys were insurgents blowing them all up just destroyed important intel.

Shooting the van was probably a good strategy in the past when you can't capture someone. I don't see the van shooting as evil. Destroying important intel? The average insurgent on the ground probably doesn't know much. As a civilian you can disagree with the ethics of a situation, but with regard to a military decision (capture or kill) I don't think you have much ground to stand on.


You don't see shooting people who are trying to help an injured person as evil?
First Geneva Convention wrote:Article 12
Members of the armed forces and other persons mentioned in the following Article, who are wounded or sick, shall be respected and protected in all circumstances.

They shall be treated humanely and cared for by the Party to the conflict in whose power they may be, without any adverse distinction founded on sex, race, nationality, religion, political opinions, or any other similar criteria. Any attempts upon their lives, or violence to their persons, shall be strictly prohibited; in particular, they shall not be murdered or exterminated, subjected to torture or to biological experiments; they shall not willfully be left without medical assistance and care, nor shall conditions exposing them to contagion or infection be created.

...

Article 19
Fixed establishments and mobile medical units of the Medical Service may in no circumstances be attacked, but shall at all times be respected and protected by the Parties to the conflict.

...

Article 35
Transports of wounded and sick or of medical equipment shall be respected and protected in the same way as mobile medical units.

Sure, you can argue about whether the convention technically applies (the whole "unlawful combatant" deal), but the intent is quite obvious: if someone is transporting wounded or sick people, they are not a legitimate military target. Or are you going to argue that the van, whose occupants were clearly picking up the wounded man, was not a "transport of wounded"?

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Re: Leaked video: US army MURDERS innocent civs in Iraq

Postby Diadem » Tue Apr 06, 2010 11:58 pm UTC

Silas wrote:I certainly see an AK on the tape before the shooting. And, though it's only clear in hindight, finding a goddamn RPG launcher in the rubble is a pretty good clue that there was one there (the AK, too).

Screenshot of the AK and RPG please?
Also, where is it said that they found an RPG in the rubble? Source please.
Silas wrote:The Apache isn't the only thing on the scene. When the cameraman peeks around the corner- and the pilot says, "shit, RPG-" he's a hundred yards from a US Army HMMV down the road. Since the pilots had already (correctly, as it turned out) spotted one of the group carrying an RPG and launcher, I'd say that made them a pretty urgent threat.

Since it took the ground soldiers over 10 minutes to arrive on the scene after the initial shooting, I'm gonna want a source on them being a hundred yards away.
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Re: Leaked video: US army MURDERS innocent civs in Iraq

Postby Diadem » Wed Apr 07, 2010 12:11 am UTC

quote from one of the makers of the video, on his blog (in response to a negative comment on the video).

You make some good points, and given the pressures we faced I’d be surprised if we got it all right. I don’t think what we did qualifies as “piss poor job”, but then I am clearly biased. If we really got it wrong with the vehicle driving over the corpse that is a mistake of the type we hoped to avoid. But it really doesn’t matter all that much too the moral interpretation of these events whether they are joking about a Humvee or a Bradley that’s driving over a corpse.

The presence or non-presence of a guy with an RPG is clearly in a different category. I can’t rule out the presence of an RPG in the image, but it could as well be a camera tripod to me. It appears to me that the guy crouching with the telephoto camera is what is critically being mistaken for someone with an RPG taking aim. Also note that the permission to engage is requested and given before there is any mention at all of an RPG.

The assumption that this group has any kind of hostile intent, to me, seems largely based on the fact that it was a bunch of males interested in what happened around the corner, and anything after that was interpreted from that assumption.
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Re: Leaked video: US army MURDERS innocent civs in Iraq

Postby Silas » Wed Apr 07, 2010 12:38 am UTC

Diadem wrote:Screenshot of the AK and RPG please?
Also, where is it said that they found an RPG in the rubble? Source please.

Since it took the ground soldiers over 10 minutes to arrive on the scene after the initial shooting, I'm gonna want a source on them being a hundred yards away.

In the YouTube video, you can see the RPG at time 2:10- the AK was a couple seconds earlier.

In the Army's investigations (PDF), you can read the findings.
On page 12 of the file, in section 6b of the memo laying out the findings, the investigator describes two people openly carrying an RPG, and indicates the still from the gun camera.
In section 6d of the same memo,
Maj. <redacted> wrote:Photos later recovered from the camera show a US Army HMMWV sitting at an intersection, less than 100 meters away from the camera. The digital time/date stamp on the photos indicates that these photos were the ones taken as the cameraman peered from behind the wall.

On page 25 of the PDF, you can read the sworn statement of the infantry Captain who secured the area after the shootings, who reports a body against the wall with an RPG launcher, and a wounded Iraqi with an RPG round under his body. His report of weapons is corroborated by those of a Lieutenant (page 27) and an enlisted solider (page 32).
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Re: Leaked video: US army MURDERS innocent civs in Iraq

Postby fjafjan » Wed Apr 07, 2010 12:52 am UTC

You don't think the military warns journalists in Baghdad that if they go there, they could be shot? Really?

There's a big difference between saying "this is a dangerous area, you might be killed" and "we use really poor cameras to determine who is a target or not, so if you see a chopper drop anything that could be thought of as an RPG by a blind dude."
Since the pilots had already (correctly, as it turned out) spotted one of the group carrying an RPG and launcher, I'd say that made them a pretty urgent threat.

Where does it turn out that it was correctly? The military official statement? Because that's not credible. See the whole reason this video is controversial is because it clearly disproves a number of things claimed in the initial report, such as that the guys were shooting at them before they shot them, which is clearly not the case. So saying "Well the military report says..." is not credible.
And yes, please list all possible things that could be mistaken for RPGs in any given situation. I'm waiting.

Given crappy enough resolution, pretty much anything can look like an RPG. Which is not a good reason to shoot anyone carrying anything, it is a good reason to not use lethal force when you are so unsure. If you put blinds on your soldiers, and they can't hear the difference between a civilian and a soldier they can't just shoot whatever, you shouldn't send them into combat like that. A camera does not, in fact, look anything like an RPG, and for something with, I don't know, eyes, that's not very hard to distinguish.

Who was out to fucking kill them? They were press, and last I checked the insurgency didn't have helicopters. What, exactly, were they hiding from? There apparently was a firefight going on a few blocks away.

I know you want to pretend that no one is as outraged at this as you are and get into the usual pissing match, but can you please try and have a serious discussion?
[/quote]
Someone was out to kill them in that they shot them dead. Ie, what I am saying is we had people standing around, someone shot at them and killed them, and you seem shocked and awed that people, after someone got blown up nearby, tried to find cover. Now I know you believe in the shiny armor of the American soldiers and trust them, but if you're an Iraqi and you've seen the negligence in which civilians are blown up (just look near the end where an obvious civilian is walking along and gets blown up


As for court martialing the leaker, as already pointed out that is a terrible idea. I think leaking evidence in a case where numerous civilians WERE killed is pretty much always a good thing. Maybe someone edited it to make them look worse? Yeah but they leaked the whole damn video too, so you people can complain about how biased the shorter clip was.
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Re: Leaked video: US army MURDERS innocent civs in Iraq

Postby Walter.Horvath » Wed Apr 07, 2010 1:08 am UTC

Fucking prick
:x

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Re: Leaked video: US army MURDERS innocent civs in Iraq

Postby RockoTDF » Wed Apr 07, 2010 1:09 am UTC

AJR wrote:You don't see shooting people who are trying to help an injured person as evil?
First Geneva Convention wrote:Article 12
Members of the armed forces and other persons mentioned in the following Article, who are wounded or sick, shall be respected and protected in all circumstances.

Sure, you can argue about whether the convention technically applies (the whole "unlawful combatant" deal), but the intent is quite obvious: if someone is transporting wounded or sick people, they are not a legitimate military target. Or are you going to argue that the van, whose occupants were clearly picking up the wounded man, was not a "transport of wounded"?


It wasn't obvious they were there to help. Perhaps they should have thought about it a bit harder, but they didn't deliberately kill people because they were providing aid, which would have been a war crime. Don't forget you have the luxury of being an armchair combatant sitting whereever you are with information they didn't have. They have probably shot up numerous vehicles in similar situations and taken out legitimate targets. (I don't make the "enemy combatant" argument - I think it is bullshit to get around the law)

Paranoid__Android wrote:RockoTDF: How would you explain the missile attack on the building. Yes there were people with guns going into the building but when the first missile hit there was at least one civilian casualty (the guy innocently walking in front of the building). When the second hit it looks like there would have been more as there were people looking over the rubble for survivors.


What missile strike? They used guns, I don't recall seeing a missile. No news reports said anything about a missile, either. The difference isn't trivial, a hellfire missile would have annihilated the people, the van, etc.

fjafjan wrote:Where does it turn out that it was correctly? The military official statement? Because that's not credible. See the whole reason this video is controversial is because it clearly disproves a number of things claimed in the initial report, such as that the guys were shooting at them before they shot them, which is clearly not the case. So saying "Well the military report says..." is not credible.


The guy pointed something that looked like an RPG (remember, the crews have seen RPGs before from the air) in a way that looked like he was going to shoot. The problem you present is that you are just saying "well the report isn't credible" - why would the guys say "they are shooting" when they aren't. IIRC they did say something to that effect when the RPG/camera was pointed at them.

Given crappy enough resolution, pretty much anything can look like an RPG. Which is not a good reason to shoot anyone carrying anything, it is a good reason to not use lethal force when you are so unsure. If you put blinds on your soldiers, and they can't hear the difference between a civilian and a soldier they can't just shoot whatever, you shouldn't send them into combat like that. A camera does not, in fact, look anything like an RPG, and for something with, I don't know, eyes, that's not very hard to distinguish.


Again, I reject the idea that the crew didn't have good reasons to thing that they were dealing with an RPG. That was the giveaway. AKs alone aren't enough, you'd be right. The guy points the camera, crew thinks its an RPG, they lose sight of him, fly around the corner, and there is a dude with a big tube hanging off his shoulder. I have read that the camera flash was initially mistaken for a shot as well. It is harder to tell these things apart than you think at that altitude and resolution.
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Re: Leaked video: US army MURDERS innocent civs in Iraq

Postby Silas » Wed Apr 07, 2010 1:17 am UTC

fjafjan wrote:
Since the pilots had already (correctly, as it turned out) spotted one of the group carrying an RPG and launcher, I'd say that made them a pretty urgent threat.

Where does it turn out that it was correctly? The military official statement? Because that's not credible. See the whole reason this video is controversial is because it clearly disproves a number of things claimed in the initial report, such as that the guys were shooting at them before they shot them, which is clearly not the case. So saying "Well the military report says..." is not credible.

If you're willing to just call anything that's inconvenient to your narrative a bald-faced lie, then you can conclude whatever you damn well please. But you can hear the one of the infantrymen (YouTube, ~19:15) saying there's an RPG round under one of the bodies- do you really believe that the infantry and the pilots, whose entire conversation is in the video, coordinated a coverup in less than fifteen minutes? Talk about not credible.
Last edited by Silas on Wed Apr 07, 2010 1:22 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Leaked video: US army MURDERS innocent civs in Iraq

Postby yoni45 » Wed Apr 07, 2010 1:22 am UTC

Silas wrote:If you're willing to just call anything that's inconvenient to your narrative a bald-faced lie, then you can conclude whatever you damn well please. But you can hear the one of the infantrymen (YouTube, ~19:15) saying there's an RPG round under one of the bodies- do you really believe that the infantry and the pilots- whose entire conversation is in the video- coordinated a coverup in less than fifteen minutes? Talk about not credible.


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Re: Leaked video: US army MURDERS innocent civs in Iraq

Postby The Reaper » Wed Apr 07, 2010 1:32 am UTC

yoni45 wrote:Sheep.

Crackpot. [something constructive yet demeaning here]
[edit] kay I thought of something now. Not everyone working in a government is a complete liar. Hence, believing what appears to be truth after careful inspection does not make one a sheep. Calling someone a sheep for disagreeing with you is demeaning and somewhat tyrannical. (is that the word I was looking for? something along those lines...)

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Re: Leaked video: US army MURDERS innocent civs in Iraq

Postby Texas_Ben » Wed Apr 07, 2010 1:53 am UTC

yoni45 wrote:Sheep.

herp derp look at me i can make a credible argument

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Re: Leaked video: US army MURDERS innocent civs in Iraq

Postby fjafjan » Wed Apr 07, 2010 2:01 am UTC

Silas wrote:
fjafjan wrote:
Since the pilots had already (correctly, as it turned out) spotted one of the group carrying an RPG and launcher, I'd say that made them a pretty urgent threat.

Where does it turn out that it was correctly? The military official statement? Because that's not credible. See the whole reason this video is controversial is because it clearly disproves a number of things claimed in the initial report, such as that the guys were shooting at them before they shot them, which is clearly not the case. So saying "Well the military report says..." is not credible.

If you're willing to just call anything that's inconvenient to your narrative a bald-faced lie, then you can conclude whatever you damn well please. But you can hear the one of the infantrymen (YouTube, ~19:15) saying there's an RPG round under one of the bodies- do you really believe that the infantry and the pilots, whose entire conversation is in the video, coordinated a coverup in less than fifteen minutes? Talk about not credible.

Is that what I did? Because I'm pretty sure that's not what I did, I said the findings of the internal report, as often is the case, was not trustworthy because a number of its conclusions had already been disproven int hat video, or at the very least thrown into considerable doubt. I would say that typically this is a rather reasonable thing,

RockoTDF wrote:What missile strike? They used guns, I don't recall seeing a missile. No news reports said anything about a missile, either. The difference isn't trivial, a hellfire missile would have annihilated the people, the van, etc
Around 34:45 in the full video. It's very clear they are using missiles, based on quotes such as

"Was that explosion you engaging?"
"Yes, engaging building with one hellfire"

RockoTDF wrote:Again, I reject the idea that the crew didn't have good reasons to thing that they were dealing with an RPG. That was the giveaway. AKs alone aren't enough, you'd be right.

Okey then, so at 2:21 he's seen a few guys with weapons and gets permission to engage. So then by your standards they were over the line, good to know. Still want to court martial the person who leaked?

RockoTDF wrote:It is harder to tell these things apart than you think at that altitude and resolution.

I fucking wrote: If you put blinds on your soldiers, and they can't hear the difference between a civilian and a soldier they can't just shoot whatever, you shouldn't send them into combat like that.



The Reaper wrote:kay I thought of something now. Not everyone working in a government is a complete liar. Hence, believing what appears to be truth after careful inspection does not make one a sheep. Calling someone a sheep for disagreeing with you is demeaning and somewhat tyrannical. (is that the word I was looking for? something along those lines...)

I believe, in fact, that he was being sarcastic. He was thus trying to make fun of the fact that I don't trust this internal investigation, for reasons already states.
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Re: Leaked video: US army MURDERS innocent civs in Iraq

Postby Silas » Wed Apr 07, 2010 2:12 am UTC

fjafjan wrote:
Silas wrote:If you're willing to just call anything that's inconvenient to your narrative a bald-faced lie, then you can conclude whatever you damn well please. ...

Is that what I did? Because I'm pretty sure that's not what I did, I said the findings of the internal report, as often is the case, was not trustworthy.

If you're only referring to the findings, and not the testimony, why did you try to dismiss both as untrustworthy? I pointed to the written statements (under oath) of three men who said they saw an RPG and an extra round- you said that "wasn't credible." What's that, if not calling them liars?
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Re: Leaked video: US army MURDERS innocent civs in Iraq

Postby sje46 » Wed Apr 07, 2010 2:21 am UTC

Texas_Ben wrote:
yoni45 wrote:Sheep.

herp derp look at me i can make a credible argument

Sometimes I feel like those cynical who think everything is a conspiracy enacted by the corporo-military-government complex who are somehow in the "know" just by virtue of the world not being one hundred percent perfect, that they HAVE to be right because they are more negative, possess more sheep-like qualities than those they consider sheep.
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Re: Leaked video: US army MURDERS innocent civs in Iraq

Postby MrGee » Wed Apr 07, 2010 2:22 am UTC

RockoTDF wrote:
MrGee wrote:The whole thing looks like par for the course to me. Some guy trying to do the right thing got excited and fucked it up. I would imagine this happens on a daily or weekly basis in Iraq.


"Par for the course" - citation needed, buddy.

If you read the link above, they found RPGs at the time, establishing that even if there were reporters there that insurgents had been targeted. Not a fuck up since bodyguards don't carry RPGs and AKs are common in the middle east.


http://www.iraqbodycount.org/analysis/numbers/2009/

There you go, buddy!

At least they're getting better at it--only 64 civilians killed by US forces in 2009, down from 600 last year.

I guess I am upset about them shooting the van, since it was clearly just medical transport. But I also expect these mistakes to be happening constantly. Especially if there really were weapons involved.

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Re: Leaked video: US army MURDERS innocent civs in Iraq

Postby Hawknc » Wed Apr 07, 2010 2:37 am UTC

I know this is a hot button issue, particularly for those serving, but this discussion can be had without the baseless name-calling.

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Re: Leaked video: US army MURDERS innocent civs in Iraq

Postby asdfzxc » Wed Apr 07, 2010 2:42 am UTC

If you didn't see the rifle and RPG:

Look behind the cameraman around 30 seconds before the shooting starts, you'll see a guy loosely holding some kind of rifle (I mean really loosely, it's swinging around) and a guy who is almost definitely holding an RPG.
AJR wrote:
RockoTDF wrote:
luketheduke wrote:
Another interesting comment wrote:Not only is shooting at the van totally reprehensible and flat out evil but frankly as a soldier fighting an insurgency it's bad fucking business. If these guys were insurgents blowing them all up just destroyed important intel.

Shooting the van was probably a good strategy in the past when you can't capture someone. I don't see the van shooting as evil. Destroying important intel? The average insurgent on the ground probably doesn't know much. As a civilian you can disagree with the ethics of a situation, but with regard to a military decision (capture or kill) I don't think you have much ground to stand on.


You don't see shooting people who are trying to help an injured person as evil?
First Geneva Convention wrote:Article 12
Members of the armed forces and other persons mentioned in the following Article, who are wounded or sick, shall be respected and protected in all circumstances.

They shall be treated humanely and cared for by the Party to the conflict in whose power they may be, without any adverse distinction founded on sex, race, nationality, religion, political opinions, or any other similar criteria. Any attempts upon their lives, or violence to their persons, shall be strictly prohibited; in particular, they shall not be murdered or exterminated, subjected to torture or to biological experiments; they shall not willfully be left without medical assistance and care, nor shall conditions exposing them to contagion or infection be created.

...

Article 19
Fixed establishments and mobile medical units of the Medical Service may in no circumstances be attacked, but shall at all times be respected and protected by the Parties to the conflict.

...

Article 35
Transports of wounded and sick or of medical equipment shall be respected and protected in the same way as mobile medical units.

Sure, you can argue about whether the convention technically applies (the whole "unlawful combatant" deal), but the intent is quite obvious: if someone is transporting wounded or sick people, they are not a legitimate military target. Or are you going to argue that the van, whose occupants were clearly picking up the wounded man, was not a "transport of wounded"?

Good to see I'm not the only one who saw that.

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Re: Leaked video: US army MURDERS innocent civs in Iraq

Postby yoni45 » Wed Apr 07, 2010 3:14 am UTC

fjafjan wrote:
The Reaper wrote:kay I thought of something now. Not everyone working in a government is a complete liar. Hence, believing what appears to be truth after careful inspection does not make one a sheep. Calling someone a sheep for disagreeing with you is demeaning and somewhat tyrannical. (is that the word I was looking for? something along those lines...)

I believe, in fact, that he was being sarcastic. He was thus trying to make fun of the fact that I don't trust this internal investigation, for reasons already states.


Bingo. Sorry about the confusion otherwise... ^_^
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Re: Leaked video: US army MURDERS innocent civs in Iraq

Postby Diadem » Wed Apr 07, 2010 3:33 am UTC

Silas wrote:
Diadem wrote:Screenshot of the AK and RPG please?
Also, where is it said that they found an RPG in the rubble? Source please.

Since it took the ground soldiers over 10 minutes to arrive on the scene after the initial shooting, I'm gonna want a source on them being a hundred yards away.

In the YouTube video, you can see the RPG at time 2:10- the AK was a couple seconds earlier.

All I see is a man carrying something long. It could be a camera tripod, it could be a walking stick, it could be a fucking umbrella. Might be an AK47, who knows, but it looks too small to be an RPG. Either way the picture is definitely not definite.

But more importantly:

- The permission to shoot was asked for and given [b]before[/i] any mention of an RPG. The supposed RPG was not the reason for shooting.
- The thing identified as an RPG in the video is clearly the camera of the reporter.

Even if there was an RPG present at the scene - which I highly doubt - it was not involved in the decision to kill them, and it was not the one they IDd as an RPG, since that was not an RPG but in fact a camera. So even if an RPG was present is utterly irrelevant to all the decisions of all the involved soldiers.

In the Army's investigations (PDF), you can read the findings.

Do you have a source that has not already been established as fraudulant?

RockoTDF wrote:It wasn't obvious they were there to help. Perhaps they should have thought about it a bit harder, but they didn't deliberately kill people because they were providing aid, which would have been a war crime. Don't forget you have the luxury of being an armchair combatant sitting whereever you are with information they didn't have. They have probably shot up numerous vehicles in similar situations and taken out legitimate targets. (I don't make the "enemy combatant" argument - I think it is bullshit to get around the law)

Oh for fucks sake, even the soldiers in the video say they were there to help.

It's not even clear the van had anything at all to do with the people shot at earlier. They might have been completely random passerby's for all we know.

There's a wounded guy lying on the sidewalk, a van stops next to him, and they get out and try to help him. That's clearly visible in the video, and it's also clear that the soldiers involved recognized this, since they comment on it. They subsequently ask for permission to shoot them, and promptly receive it.

Murder is the only word that could possibly describe that. It's utterly dispicable.

And the fact that this is not just some soldiers overstepping the line, but that they got permission to fire from their superiors, and that those superiorers subsequently lied and to cover it up, proves that the entire line of command is rotten.

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Re: Leaked video: US army MURDERS innocent civs in Iraq

Postby The Reaper » Wed Apr 07, 2010 3:59 am UTC

yoni45 wrote:
fjafjan wrote:
The Reaper wrote:kay I thought of something now. Not everyone working in a government is a complete liar. Hence, believing what appears to be truth after careful inspection does not make one a sheep. Calling someone a sheep for disagreeing with you is demeaning and somewhat tyrannical. (is that the word I was looking for? something along those lines...)

I believe, in fact, that he was being sarcastic. He was thus trying to make fun of the fact that I don't trust this internal investigation, for reasons already states.


Bingo. Sorry about the confusion otherwise... ^_^

Ah, I missed it. I was totally stuck in serious strange discussion mode. o_O

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Re: Leaked video: US army MURDERS innocent civs in Iraq

Postby RockoTDF » Wed Apr 07, 2010 5:01 am UTC

fjafjan wrote:
RockoTDF wrote:What missile strike? They used guns, I don't recall seeing a missile. No news reports said anything about a missile, either. The difference isn't trivial, a hellfire missile would have annihilated the people, the van, etc
Around 34:45 in the full video. It's very clear they are using missiles, based on quotes such as

"Was that explosion you engaging?"
"Yes, engaging building with one hellfire"


I saw a 19 minute video that ended shortly after the guy ran over the body. So I never saw that part, but since it hasn't come up until now I would imagine that it was fairly uncontroversial. I have yet to watch the missile strike so I'll withhold comment on it until I get around to it.

RockoTDF wrote:Again, I reject the idea that the crew didn't have good reasons to thing that they were dealing with an RPG. That was the giveaway. AKs alone aren't enough, you'd be right.

Okey then, so at 2:21 he's seen a few guys with weapons and gets permission to engage. So then by your standards they were over the line, good to know. Still want to court martial the person who leaked?


At 4:10 in the video they spot the camera that they think was the RPG. Although they still had permission to engage based on AKs alone, any chance they had of turning the corner and going "hmm....maybe we these aren't actual targets" was out the window. I retract my statement about AKs alone because they still think they thought they had an RPG before they opened fire, which is what I was getting at. They were looking for people with weapons in that area and found them. Based on the fact that there were RPGs found they were shooting at insurgents.

MrGee wrote:http://www.iraqbodycount.org/analysis/numbers/2009/

There you go, buddy!

At least they're getting better at it--only 64 civilians killed by US forces in 2009, down from 600 last year.

I guess I am upset about them shooting the van, since it was clearly just medical transport. But I also expect these mistakes to be happening constantly. Especially if there really were weapons involved.


When you said par for the course you implied that firing on ambiguous targets as per this video was par for the course. Collateral damage in this case is not the same as bombing the wrong house (although both should be avoided), one being a tragic and unavoidable byproduct and the other being a mistake that is normally avoidable. I don't think it was "clearly" a medical transport. Up in the air they had no way of knowing that.

sje46 wrote:
Texas_Ben wrote:
yoni45 wrote:Sheep.

herp derp look at me i can make a credible argument

Sometimes I feel like those cynical who think everything is a conspiracy enacted by the corporo-military-government complex who are somehow in the "know" just by virtue of the world not being one hundred percent perfect, that they HAVE to be right because they are more negative, possess more sheep-like qualities than those they consider sheep.


Bingo. Further, they aren't generally basing their ideas on evidence but just on mistrust. The difference between a skeptic and a cynic is that a skeptic asks questions and a cynic thinks they already have the answers. It's no different than the Birthers or the Tea Party or 9/11 conspiracy theorists. You can't convince them. I argue because I know that other people who haven't made up their minds might read what I have to say and be persuaded that the crew did the right thing.

Silas wrote:If you're willing to just call anything that's inconvenient to your narrative a bald-faced lie, then you can conclude whatever you damn well please. But you can hear the one of the infantrymen (YouTube, ~19:15) saying there's an RPG round under one of the bodies- do you really believe that the infantry and the pilots, whose entire conversation is in the video, coordinated a coverup in less than fifteen minutes? Talk about not credible.


Bingo again.

Diadem wrote:Since it took the ground soldiers over 10 minutes to arrive on the scene after the initial shooting, I'm gonna want a source on them being a hundred yards away.


Probably not the same type of vehicle/troops needed that took 10 minutes to arrive, or they got the hell out of there once the shooting started. Sitting around isn't smart.
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Re: Leaked video: US army MURDERS innocent civs in Iraq

Postby Dangermouse » Wed Apr 07, 2010 5:31 am UTC

Hey guys....we are having this discussion.

Remember that two presidential administrations fought tooth-and-nail to keep this information out of the public arena due to "state secrets".

Honestly, I'm more concerned about the victory by wikileaks against 'government by handout' than I am for the civilian deaths, because the only way to prevent more murder/accidental RPG sightings is to simply not be there in the first place.

An informed public rarely supports war.

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Re: Leaked video: US army MURDERS innocent civs in Iraq

Postby Thadlerian » Wed Apr 07, 2010 8:02 am UTC

Diadem wrote:The eagerness with which they shoot, the ease with which they get permission, it's a terrible pattern.

Yes. This is what disturbs me the most about this footage; how the gunner seems to just be waiting for an excuse to open fire. He's looking at the wounded man crawling on the ground, going "come on, just pick up a gun..." over and over. And when the van arrives to pick up the wounded, he's nagging repeatedly for permission to shoot at it.

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Re: Leaked video: US army MURDERS innocent civs in Iraq

Postby dnamra » Wed Apr 07, 2010 8:13 am UTC

RockoTDF wrote:I saw a 19 minute video that ended shortly after the guy ran over the body. So I never saw that part, but since it hasn't come up until now I would imagine that it was fairly uncontroversial. I have yet to watch the missile strike so I'll withhold comment on it until I get around to it.

The full, unedited video can be seen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch#!v=is9sxRfU-ik. While it's true that the missile strike on the building is probably less controversial than the earlier engagement, I think it does go to show how disturbingly often ambiguous situations like this can occur in warfare.

Dangermouse wrote:Hey guys....we are having this discussion.

Remember that two presidential administrations fought tooth-and-nail to keep this information out of the public arena due to "state secrets".

Honestly, I'm more concerned about the victory by wikileaks against 'government by handout' than I am for the civilian deaths, because the only way to prevent more murder/accidental RPG sightings is to simply not be there in the first place.

An informed public rarely supports war.

Yeah, I have to admit I'm a little surprised that this discussion has so far focused more on the question of whether or not the soldiers were justified than it has on the issue of whether or not the military's actions afterward amount to a cover-up. Personally, I'm of the opinion that the soldiers were probably justified in firing on the first group (though it was certainly a tragic mistake), probably not justified in firing on the van, and overall displayed a highly disrespectful cavalier attitude that, while not entirely unexpected, was disturbing nonetheless: "all you gotta do is pick up a weapon," laughing about a vehicle rolling over a body, even the comment "well, it's their fault for bringing their kids to a battle." To me, the whole sad affair just speaks to the barbarism of war (any war).

But afterward, the military should have come clean about the whole series of events. At the time, Lt. Col. Scott Bleichwehl said that "There is no question that Coalition Forces were clearly engaged in combat operations against a hostile force," and the situation was characterized as a "firefight." (http://www.usf-iraq.com/?option=com_con ... Itemid=128) Maj. Brent Cummings also claimed that they had positive identification that the militants "had weapons and were using them against coalition and Iraqi security forces." (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/co ... 02357.html) In light of the video above, it is clear that these statements were at least exaggerated, if not false outright. The military then proceeded to refuse Reuters' requests for this video footage and additional documentation. (http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSL161 ... geNumber=1) And with only the military's word to go on, that was the end of it--until Wikileaks obtained this footage. Even the official military report was unavailable until Cryptome posted it just recently.

Note that under U.S. law, information can only be classified if it "reasonably could be expected to cause damage to the national security that the original classification authority is able to identify or describe." In particular, "[i]n no case shall information be classified in order to...prevent embarrassment to a person, organization, or agency..." (http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Executive_Order_13292) I see no reason why this video wasn't released when Reuters first asked, other than to avoid potential embarrassment.

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Re: Leaked video: US army MURDERS innocent civs in Iraq

Postby Gelsamel » Wed Apr 07, 2010 8:28 am UTC

Um, I think the missile situation was MUCH more ambiguous. Sure, in the first situation they seem to have made a mistake about weapons and if they were hostile, but I can understand that under stress. The missile situation.... they fired a missile at a building just after 2 (seemingly) unarmed individuals entered and while a random passerby was moving in front of the building.
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Re: Leaked video: US army MURDERS innocent civs in Iraq

Postby alphawolf29 » Wed Apr 07, 2010 9:04 am UTC

Quite honestly, I feel for these insurgents. Their country is being invaded by a foreign power they don't want there. civilians are dying every day to stupid Americans like this. Imagine if that was your dad just walking in front of the building? He was simply in the wrong place, at the wrong time. They didn't even wait for him to pass, not even a second. If that were my dad, I'd be shooting Americans right now too.

Edit: Furthermore. The pretense with which they were there was totally ridiculous. there were no nuclear weapons. If there was, so what? Lots of countries have nuclear weapons and are dangerous. Saddam was evil you say? Iraq was evil you say? Iraq was never 1/10th as evil as saudi arabia is today.

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Re: Leaked video: US army MURDERS innocent civs in Iraq

Postby cynicalbastard » Wed Apr 07, 2010 12:04 pm UTC

RockoTDF wrote:You blow the whistle within the military. You blow the whistle at an appropriate government agency. You alert a congressman or senator who can do something. You don't leak it to the public like this, especially to a place that is going to chop it up and call it "murder" when it clearly wasn't. Murder would have been direct intent to kill civilians.


Considering that Reuters tried the Freedom of Information Act for a few years i would also not have bothered leaking in-house.

Could someone in the military please explain why this video is classified? How does it endanger the troops? It shows nothing not publicly known, no large scale deployments or anything else that i can imagine being sensitive.

Except indescriminate gunning down of civilians that is.
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Re: Leaked video: US army MURDERS innocent civs in Iraq

Postby Red Hal » Wed Apr 07, 2010 12:53 pm UTC

LuketheDuke, sorry to roll back the discussion two pages for a moment, but I wanted to say that I concur with your ROE assessment, even though it differs from my initial reading. I have updated my thoughts appropriately.

To everyone else, you may like to read an assessment of the video by someone who has been in precisely the position best qualified to talk about it,

http://blog.ajmartinez.com/2010/04/05/w ... al-murder/

Anthony, in his article wrote:For those unaware of my background, I have spent quite a lot of time (a conservative estimate would be around 4500 hours) viewing aerial footage of Iraq (note: this time was not in viewing TADS video, but footage from Raven, Shadow, and Predator feeds). I am certain my voice can be heard on several transmissions with several different Crazyhorse aircraft, as I have called them to assist troops on the ground more times in my 24-months in Iraq than I could even attempt to guess. I need no reassurances to determine the presence of an RPG7 or an AK-variant rifle, especially not from a craft flying as low as Apache (even after the video has been reduced in dimensions to a point at which it is nearly useless).
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Re: Leaked video: US army MURDERS innocent civs in Iraq

Postby Gelsamel » Wed Apr 07, 2010 1:06 pm UTC

I'm curious as to what he thinks about the missile encounter...

Edit: Also, the fact that Wikileaks actually built up a propaganda site is kind of off putting, as he mentions. I imagine they had more pressure to do something like that since they're fundraising.
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Re: Leaked video: US army MURDERS innocent civs in Iraq

Postby RockoTDF » Wed Apr 07, 2010 4:08 pm UTC

Now having watched the missile encounter in the 40 minute version:

They saw people run into an abandoned building with weapons, and they fired on the building. That is how urban combat works, and is why I haven't heard any complaints elsewhere about this. I also think that if the wikileaks folks thought that this part was criminal they would have left it in. I won't accuse them of leaving it out because they only care about journalists being killed, leaving it in if they thought it was wrong would build a stronger case against the pilots and gunners. They may have edited out the rest of the video where the guys on the ground confirm finding RPG round(s) on the bodies. This shows that the targets were in fact insurgents and not just bodyguards (or just fucking stupid for walking around with RPGs), and weakens wikileaks case. The coverup in this story is by Reuters and wikileaks, not the Army.

Missile 1: There was a guy walking nearby who was probably killed. Unfortunately that is collateral damage. I agree with above posters that this wouldn't happen if we weren't there anymore or to begin with. Tragic. At least this level of combat will stop soon from withdrawals, if it hasn't already.

First Missile 2: Missed because of backscatter. There seem to be people nearby, kind of disturbing they didn't say anything about it. Also possible that the part of the building being targeted was not close enough to kill.

Actual Missile 2: Fired later by another helicopter because the camera we are seeing isn't looking at the target. No idea as to the fate of the individuals nearby. The people shouldn't be running into a battle zone regardless.

Missile 3: No one nearby. I can't see any bodies to indicate that missile 2 hit them, hopefully they got out of there.
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Re: Leaked video: US army MURDERS innocent civs in Iraq

Postby alphawolf29 » Wed Apr 07, 2010 5:26 pm UTC

"Actual Missile 2: Fired later by another helicopter because the camera we are seeing isn't looking at the target. No idea as to the fate of the individuals nearby. The people shouldn't be running into a battle zone regardless."

You cant really classify this as a battlezone and condemn people for simply being present in it. It isn't a battlezone, it's a city where people live

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Re: Leaked video: US army MURDERS innocent civs in Iraq

Postby The Reaper » Wed Apr 07, 2010 5:30 pm UTC

alphawolf29 wrote:Edit: Furthermore. The pretense with which they were there was totally ridiculous. there were no nuclear weapons. If there was, so what? Lots of countries have nuclear weapons and are dangerous. Saddam was evil you say? Iraq was evil you say? Iraq was never 1/10th as evil as saudi arabia is today.

Offtopic:
Spoiler:
You've never seen a mass grave have you? -_-

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Re: Leaked video: US army MURDERS innocent civs in Iraq

Postby gmalivuk » Wed Apr 07, 2010 5:34 pm UTC

You mean like where Saddam buried the people he slaughtered with those weapons we gave him in the 80s?
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Re: Leaked video: US army MURDERS innocent civs in Iraq

Postby Heisenberg » Wed Apr 07, 2010 5:44 pm UTC

RockoTDF wrote:They may have edited out the rest of the video where the guys on the ground confirm finding RPG round(s) on the bodies.

So... there's no actual evidence that there was an RPG at the scene. The pilots mistook a camera for one, and after the fact some ground troops covered for them in a report that's already been discredited, but other than that there is not a shred of evidence of RPGs. So your conclusion is that there really were RPGs, and Wikileaks magically edited them out?

Is that what happened to Saddam's nuclear program, too?
RockoTDF wrote:The people shouldn't be running into a battle zone regardless.

So when I come down your street and spray my SKS at random, later I can say "You shouldn't have been in a battle zone."

When you say shit like that, you sound like a total douchebag. FYI.

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Re: Leaked video: US army MURDERS innocent civs in Iraq

Postby RockoTDF » Wed Apr 07, 2010 6:15 pm UTC

alphawolf29 wrote:"Actual Missile 2: Fired later by another helicopter because the camera we are seeing isn't looking at the target. No idea as to the fate of the individuals nearby. The people shouldn't be running into a battle zone regardless."

You cant really classify this as a battlezone and condemn people for simply being present in it. It isn't a battlezone, it's a city where people live


You shouldn't run up to a location that has just had a missile hit it.

Heisenberg wrote:
RockoTDF wrote:They may have edited out the rest of the video where the guys on the ground confirm finding RPG round(s) on the bodies.

So... there's no actual evidence that there was an RPG at the scene. The pilots mistook a camera for one, and after the fact some ground troops covered for them in a report that's already been discredited, but other than that there is not a shred of evidence of RPGs. So your conclusion is that there really were RPGs, and Wikileaks magically edited them out?


What I am saying is that if you watch the FULL VIDEO AND NOT THE 20 MINUTE WIKILEAKS VERSION you can hear the guys on the ground say that they found RPGs. This happens after the wikileaks video ends.

Is that what happened to Saddam's nuclear program, too?


Look, I don't support the initial invasion of Iraq as I have said before. Don't lump me with Bush and the neocons, because I fucking hate them.

RockoTDF wrote:The people shouldn't be running into a battle zone regardless.

So when I come down your street and spray my SKS at random, later I can say "You shouldn't have been in a battle zone."

When you say shit like that, you sound like a total douchebag. FYI.


And you sound like a total douchebag when you straw man the arguments of others or misquote them. There is a difference between being stuck in the middle of something and running towards a building that is under attack.
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Re: Leaked video: US army MURDERS innocent civs in Iraq

Postby Silas » Wed Apr 07, 2010 6:21 pm UTC

Heisenberg wrote:So... there's no actual evidence that there was an RPG at the scene. The pilots mistook a camera for one, and after the fact some ground troops covered for them in a report that's already been discredited, but other than that there is not a shred of evidence of RPGs.

By what? Nobody in this thread has shown a single reason to doubt the testimony of the soldiers on the ground, other than unfounded insinuations that, well, they would say that.
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Re: Leaked video: US army MURDERS innocent civs in Iraq

Postby alphawolf29 » Wed Apr 07, 2010 6:40 pm UTC

RockoTDF wrote:You shouldn't run up to a location that has just had a missile hit it.

[


And likewise you shouldn't missile a location that just had a person walking by.


The van probably thought it was an insurgent 1-off bomb and tried to help, not knowing it was actually a marine helicopter. (Its like not like the helicopter was close, it was at least a kilometer away and helicopters are likely a common sight there)

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Re: Leaked video: US army MURDERS innocent civs in Iraq

Postby cynicalbastard » Wed Apr 07, 2010 6:47 pm UTC

RockoTDF wrote:You shouldn't run up to a location that has just had a missile hit it.

I refuse to deny my humanitarian reflexes on the grounds of thugs having big sticks.
Although i would prefer having a stick of my own when standing up to the hooligans, as http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hugh_Thompson,_Jr. had.
Poo-tee-weet?

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Re: Leaked video: US army MURDERS innocent civs in Iraq

Postby RockoTDF » Wed Apr 07, 2010 6:57 pm UTC

alphawolf29 wrote:
RockoTDF wrote:You shouldn't run up to a location that has just had a missile hit it.



And likewise you shouldn't missile a location that just had a person walking by.

The van probably thought it was an insurgent 1-off bomb and tried to help, not knowing it was actually a marine helicopter. (Its like not like the helicopter was close, it was at least a kilometer away and helicopters are likely a common sight there)


There was no missile against the van, it was gunfire. You are right that the van probably had good intentions, but the guys in the air had no way of knowing that.

Shooting the missile at the building with the guy walking by is probably necessary when people in said building are armed and will probably start shooting at you and your buddies. It's tragic, but if given the choice between *possibly* killing a guy on the street who is clearly a civilian or letting my troops get hit by machine gun or RPG fire, I would take the shot. Not into a crowd of people, but we can't see from this if the second missile hit the group nearby or if they dispersed, as there was a few minutes between launches. I do think a reprimand should be in order for the shot that missed, since it probably could have killed that small unarmed group but didn't. I would hope that reporting clear civilian presence is a part of the ROE.
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Re: Leaked video: US army MURDERS innocent civs in Iraq

Postby alphawolf29 » Wed Apr 07, 2010 9:39 pm UTC

Indeed. I might as well shoot people who approach my home, they probably have good intentions but they might not.

Point being, you shouldn't shoot people if there is only an tiny chance of them being dangerous. They even saw they had no weapons and then opened fire, and claiming they were picking up weapons when they were not seems like an obvious court martial to me. It amounts to "this guy had a gun so I shot him" even though not only was he not holding a gun, he wasn't even holding anything at all. Not even a suspicious looking hair dryer or something.


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