WARNING: GRAPHIC VIDEO. GRAPHIC VIDEO. GRAPHIC VIDEO.
Wikileaks has just released what it describes as classified video from U.S. Apache helicopters in a July 12, 2007 attack on the suburb of New Baghdad, Iraq. The U.S. military has said that the dozen or so casualties were "anti-Iraqi forces" or "insurgents." The nonprofit Sunshine Press, which runs Wikileaks, reports:
Wikileaks has obtained and decrypted this previously unreleased video footage from a US Apache helicopter in 2007. It shows Reuters journalist Namir Noor-Eldeen, driver Saeed Chmagh, and several others as the Apache shoots and kills them in a public square in Eastern Baghdad. They are apparently assumed to be insurgents. After the initial shooting, an unarmed group of adults and children in a minivan arrives on the scene and attempts to transport the wounded. They are fired upon as well. The official statement on this incident initially listed all adults as insurgents and claimed the US military did not know how the deaths ocurred.
After losing two of its own people in the attack, Reuters had been trying to get the video using the Freedom of Information Act, the Sunshine Press reports. The footage is tough stuff.
"I think they just drove over a body," one troop says on the video.
"Hah. Did he?" his colleague replies.
Wikileaks posted the video along with transcripts and documents about what it says is the military's cover-up on CollateralMurder.com. There's also a 39-minute version of the video above. We'll be watching and reading along with you. Hit the comments with your observations. My first? How weird it sounds to hear the pilots and gunners sliding from "keep shooting" tough talk and cackling to the dry sound of military commanders, and then the oddly distant rat-tat-tat of the guns.