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April 5, 2010

Wikileak’s Video of US Military Attack on Reuters Journalists: “All Right, Ha, Ha, Ha”

Saeed 1.png Saeed 2 at 10.32.14 AM.png

Saeed 3 at 10.37.39 AM.png  Saeed 4 at 10.39.33 AM.png

It would be a little easier attributing the US military’s Baghdad killing of Reuters photographer Saeed Noor-Eldeen, and his driver, Saeed Chmagh, to the fog of war of it weren’t for a.) the sadistic, macho tone (as demonstrated in the second frame above), and b.) the lack of any ownership of the mistake (as you can hear on the video, read in the last frame, and understand even better when the order is cancelled to transfer the wounded girl to a US base).

As it is, the spellbinding and grotesque visual narrative, playing out over a riveting 17 minutes and 47 seconds, takes the concern over virtual-war (whether via helicopter, or via drones controlled from thousands of miles away), as well as the troubling parallel with war-based video games, to a whole new level.

Video via MaddowBlog.

(screen grabs from Wikileaks video)

  • George

    I attended a show of the prints form this website and a lecture by two of the photographers.
    Ghaith Abdul-Ahad photos #2 throuh #5 (maybe more) are of Iraqi civilians shot down in the street by an American helicopter.
    If I recall correctly the photographer was wounded.

  • Wordsmith

    Two things:
    1. Link to statement released by ‘the U.S. military command in Iraq’ released regarding the video.
    2. Page where “supporting documents” can be found (military)

  • Stan B.

    I bet they’ll bring kids into battle in Afghanistan as well.

  • tinwoman

    Well, okay, that made me feel ill.

  • That’s right

    just kids being kids.

  • George

    HaHaHa Hey you there crawling on the ground wounded pick up a gun so that I, way up here in the sky where you don’t stand a any chance of shooting me, can call myself threatened and can shoot you again HaHaHa

  • Rima

    All the world’s a video game, and all the men and women and children mere electronic shadows.

  • Stan B.

    And this is far from an aberration- it’s just that what we’re usually shown is the “hero” soldier carrying the child from harms way.
    The story following this on Democracy Now! is of US Special Forces shooting dead two Afghan women and then digging the bullets out of them…

  • laura

    the very beginning shown on cnn looks to me like the photog and his driver are walking away from something threatening. One keeps looking over his shoulder and pulling on his companion’s sleeve. That this ends in them being lumped in with everyone else including children as enemies to be killed is sickening. Sickening compounded by the voices of our soldiers reveling in it.

  • Retief

    I believe that is the “It’s coming right for us!” rule.

  • DennisQ

    These helicopter pilots don’t deserve anonymity. I’d like to find out more about them, like, for instance, how did they get to be so cold-blooded? Do they come from ordinary families? Do they have wives and children? Are their parents ordinary middle Americans?
    It’s been said that these guys will come home and become the backbone of the right wing movement. That’s a comforting thought, compared to the possibility that some of them may think of themselves as Democrats or even liberals. It’s a possibility! Adolf Eichmann was just an ordinary guy who came home from work and kissed his wife.

  • Clem Guttata

    This commentary may help make sense of some of your questions:
    It should be no surprise when we train citizens to kill that they do, indeed, become killers.
    As has been said many times before: you cannot simultaneously prepare for war and prepare for peace.

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