video: collateral murder

I received this email from a war resister friend.

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[start of email]

This morning, the operators of WikiLeaks released a video on the front page of their website.

It is primarily gun camera footage from the lead aircraft involved in an attack on civilians in Iraq, after the pilot apparently misidentified two Reuters employees carrying camera equipment as men with AK-47s.

At about 4 minutes into the video, the pilot requests permission to engage the crowd (he estimates 20 people), and immediately receives that permission from his controller after the controller verifies that there are no US forces in the area. That is the ONLY thing the controller verifies with the pilot prior to giving him permission to open up on a crowd of civilians.

While this attack involves US Army air elements, it mirrors the same engagement strategy I discussed in my statement before the IRB, and the same disregard for discerning between combatant and civilian targets. As I stated then, no concern was ever shown for whether or not a target was legitimate under the Conventions, but only for whether or not it was part of the coalition forces.

[end of email]*
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You can view the video on WikiLeaks homepage or here on YouTube. If for some reason it disappears from YouTube, you can go to Collateral Murder.

There's a content warning for violence. If only US tax returns came with the same disclaimer.

* I added this to prevent confusion; see comments.

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