Video: Collateral murder, or the risks of war zones?

Ed Morrissey

Wikileaks released a video today of an engagement in Baghdad in 2007 that resulted in the deaths of two journalists from Reuters in an effort to accuse the US of covering up a war crime. Calling the incident “collateral murder,” Wikileaks says that it wants to promote the safety of journalists in war zones with the release of the DoD video, but the video itself shows why the US forces fired on the group — and on the vehicle that came to their aid. Note that the video itself contains NSFW language and graphic images of death (via John Holowach at TrueHigh):

In the video, starting at the 3:50 mark, one member of this group starts preparing what clearly looks like an RPG launcher, as well as some individuals with AK-47s. The launcher then reappears at the 4:06 mark as the man wielding it sets up a shot for down the street. In 2007 Baghdad, this would be a clear threat to US and Iraqi Army ground forces; in fact, it’s difficult to imagine any other purpose for an RPG launcher at that time and place. That’s exactly the kind of threat that US airborne forces were tasked to detect and destroy, which is why the gunships targeted and shot all of the members of the group.

The article continues at

Rusty Shackleford has more thoughts at The Jawa Report.

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