WikiLeaks releases suppressed video from Iraq

Warning: The material you are about to witness is graphic – because it is war. If you’re still under the impression that the U.S. Federal Government’s wars in the Middle East are “protecting our freedoms,” then I hope this makes you think again.

To introduce the video, Xeni Jardin at BoingBoing has written: “No single piece of video has made me more ashamed to be supporting this stupid, morally bankrupt, endless war with my tax dollars. No wonder my government (and others) wants Wikileaks shut down.” Words cannot describe what I felt watching this video for the first time, so brace yourself.

Video: Collateral Murder (YouTube/sunshinepress).

Admittedly, there is ambiguity at first regarding the weapons these people were carrying, but there is no question whatsoever about what happened after that. Without provocation, these soldiers fired upon and killed civilians twice in under fifteen minutes. In the end, there are no excuses for this.

What makes this incident so horrible?

  • So these men had weapons – so what? They made no aggressive moves, there were no indications they were preparing to do anything, and for supposed insurgents walking openly down a street they were rather relaxed. That’s some strange behavior for people supposedly about to attack you with small arms.
  • There was no firefight before the soldiers opened fire, contra the dialogue. But when you’re flying a helicopter touting 30mm guns, everything looks like a threat I guess? You just want to go out and shoot something…
  • And that’s exactly what is really sick next. They are just itching to open fire again on the crawling, wounded man (who is the Reuters driver by the way), just waiting for him to pick up a weapon to justify going off on him again. As if a man bleeding to death on the ground with a pistol poses any threat to a chopper.
  • What really, really made my jaw drop was what happened next, though. After first part of the battle, a van comes to assist the wounded. The van was unarmed. The people were unarmed. Oh, and there are two children in the van as well. Yet, more indiscriminate carnage is dealt to these innocents by these soldiers, devastating the van with the children inside and killing ever more precious human lives. Thank God that at least the children lived.
  • They laugh at the dead. Like it’s a blinking video game or something. Are they dead inside? Or just animals?
  • They justify their shooting of children by saying, “it’s their fault they brought them to the firing line.” Really? REALLY???
  • The children were initially taken to the military hospital for treatment, but were promptly sent to the other local, not nearly as good Iraqi care center – despite having been just shot up by 30mm rounds. How very kind of them.
  • But it gets worse, because after all this the government suppressed the entire thing. They covered it up and suppressed the data. Really, if their cause was so just, what did they have to hide? The efforts undertaken to push this under the rug should be a clear indictment of wrongdoing.

Brian Martinez at the Libertarian Standard wrote:

Perhaps someone can explain how we’re any more free now, because I’m having difficulty seeing it.  In fact there’s no rational explanation for how these wars, or any wars, have ever helped us maintain our freedoms.  We seem to be less free now than at any point in the past 200 years, and it’s not because radical Muslims hate our wealth and decadent culture.  It’s because our rulers must continually find “enemies” to threaten us, from within and without, to maintain their authority.

This video is the tip of the iceberg. WikiLeaks and Reuters worked for years to get it into the open, can you imagine what else is out there waiting to be discovered? The only reason this video has been revealed is that certain people were important to Reuters. How many people have died and their stories been suppressed – people who have no advocates? Think about that for a minute.

War is hell, and brings out the worst in everyone. There is no honor in killing. Stop supporting mass murder.

More coverage:

BoingBoing: Part 1 and Part 2
The Libertarian Standard
Collateral Murder