Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Wikileaks “Collateral Murder” Re-Visited

By Elmer Whittaker 

Brought up by a online news article “Finally: hear Bradley Manning in his own voice” containing recordings of ‘whistleblower” Bradley Mannings and the wikileaks “collateral Murder” video I re-visited the infamous incident.

After re-watching the infamous video, I once again had to say to myself that what I saw in this helicopter camera video recording, was a genuine accident. There was absolutely no malicious intent for the killings on part of the helicopter pilots. I saw no war crime.

From the perspective of the helicopter pilots it really might have looked like these people in the video were carrying weapons like AK-47 and in at least one instance an RPG. And as far as the children in the van are concerned, I could not identify them alone from looking at the video, unless it was zoomed in and the fact was pointed out. A luxury from the convenience of my living room that the helicopter pilots did not have. 
It’s a war. It’s a war zone. Tragedies like this happen in war. Every war. Wars are a tragedy. 
But I wanted to do some more research on this particular incident. So I came upon the “Collateral Murder” website and found a video of an eyewitness o the aftermath of the incident, as reported by US Soldier Ethan McCord:
In his presentation he reports that the incident in question was related to a battle and firefight going on involving his squad and another squad being under fire by small arms and RPG fire. I think I remember hearing this before. 
So, there is a reason or somehow an explanation why the helicopter pilots might have thought the group of “civilians” were insurgents and what they carrying were weapons. 
But what I never heard before was Ethan McCord’s statement that he saw an RPG and an AK-47 laying next to the 3 Iraqi dead bodies (insurgents?) that he encountered when first entering the scene of carnage.  
Listen to it yourself. Minutes 7:00 – 7:45 in the video. 
Maybe I’m just a confused individual, but finding an RPG (!) and an AK-47 next to the dead bodies really does make those supposed “civilians” Iraqi insurgents. 
I’m not trying to make excuses for the criminal war in Iraq nor am I trying to cover-up any war crimes committed by the US Government and its military, but this incident simply was not a war crime and according to Ethan McCord’s report it wasn’t even an accident, but a fully justified military engagement according to the rules of engagement. 
Let’s be fair to our troops. 

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