Collateral Murder

The WikiLeaks video showing the unprovoked killing of over a dozen people in the the Iraqi suburb of New Baghdad. Among the dead were 2 Reuters news staff members, Namir Noor-Eldeen and Saeed Chmagh.

The corresponding NYTimes article on the incident.

From the Times article, it’s clear that the military clearly tried to cover to this up,

The American military said in a statement late Thursday that 11 people had been killed: nine insurgents and two civilians. According to the statement, American troops were conducting a raid when they were hit by small-arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades. The American troops called in reinforcements and attack helicopters. In the ensuing fight, the statement said, the two Reuters employees and nine insurgents were killed.

“There is no question that coalition forces were clearly engaged in combat operations against a hostile force,” said Lt. Col. Scott Bleichwehl, a spokesman for the multinational forces in Baghdad.

There was no raid, no small-arms fire, no RPG. In fact, there was no fight, as all the bullets came from the Apache.

This also very much bring into question what the rules of engagement are in Iraq and to what degree they’re being followed, as the debate always seems to be centered on how restrictive the ROE are, whereas, in this case, simply having an AK-47 (not necessarily uncommon in this part of the world) was sufficient cause to engage.

h/t to reddit for being the only site I’ve seen that mentioned the video. CNN only recently picked it up.

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