WikiLeaks Releases Video of Killing of Journalists in Iraq

Wednesday, April 07, 2010
Namir Noor-Eldeen (photo: Reuters)

A U.S. military video released by a watchdog group raises questions about the official accounts of why an American helicopter opened fire on a group of Iraqis on July 19, 2007, killing 12, including two journalists working for Reuters.

WikiLeaks, a small nonprofit dedicated to publishing classified information from the U.S. and other governments and other sources, obtained footage taken from an American Apache helicopter, part of the 227th Aviation Regiment, that participated in the attack on the capital city neighborhood of Baghdad Jadida (“New Baghdad”).
Although the journalists and others in the video appear uninvolved in any violent action, the U.S. military evidently considered the area a “free fire zone” in which anyone could be declared an open target. The soldiers mistake the camera held by Noor-Eldeen for a rocket propelled grenade launcher and shoot him. The wounded Reuters photographer tries to crawl away. When a van comes by and tries to pick him up, the helicopter opens fire again. Ground troops arrive and discover two injured children in the van. Although many observers have expressed sympathy with the soldiers who killed the journalists and others, it is the attack on the van that has generated the most controversy.
Following the attack, American defense officials claimed the helicopter crew opened fire on the Iraqis because they had been fired upon, an account that the video does not confirm.
-David Wallechinsky
Collateral Murder (WikiLeaks) (17-minute version)
Collateral Murder (WikiLeaks) (38-minute version)
Video Spurs Questions About '07 Attack (by Bryant Jordan,


Leave a comment