US military to carry out review following Wikileaks release of classified 2007 video
Saturday, April 10, 2010
Following the release of classified video earlier this week, the US military is to carry out a review of a 2007 airstrike which occurred in Baghdad. At a press conference on April 5, 2010, at the National Press Club in Washington D.C., the whistleblowing wiki Wikileaks released a video which appears to contradict the official US account of the attack.
The review follows the release of footage from the targeting system of an AH-64 Apache attack helicopter, one of two United States Army helicopters engaging what they believed to be Iraqi insurgents.
The attack led to the death of two Reuters journalists, driver Saeed Chmagh, photographer Namir Noor-Eldeen, and other Iraqi civilians. The official U.S. Army investigation report that followed the attack concludes that the death of the Reuters staffers and civilians was as a result of collateral damage of an engagement against Iraqi insurgents. However the released video and the associated radio chatter suggests that the army aviators had mistakenly identified the camera equipment used by the journalists as weapons, and the group of Iraqi civilians and journalists themselves were the target of the attack. The video and radio chatter have been confirmed as genuine by a U.S. Defense official speaking to Reuters on the condition of anonymity.
Wikileaks says the video comes from "military whistleblowers" and that it was passed to them in an encrypted form. Wikileaks broke the encryption on the video after a public appeal for help, including an appeal for time on a supercomputer.
- "US 'reviewing' Iraq killing video posted on WikiLeaks" — BBC News Online, April 8, 2010
- Richard Adams. "Wikileaks: reaction to the Collateral Murder video" — The Guardian, April 8, 2010
- "WikiLeaks posts video of 'US military killings' in Iraq" — BBC News Online, April 6, 2010
- David Alexander and Phillip Stewart. "Leaked U.S. video shows deaths of Reuters' Iraqi staffers" — Reuters, April 5, 2010
- Elisabeth Bumiller. "Video Shows U.S. Killing of Reuters Employees" — New York Times, April 5, 2010
- Chris McGreal. "Wikileaks reveals video showing US air crew shooting down Iraqi civilians" — The Guardian, April 5, 2010
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- "Video shows deaths of two Reuters journalists in Iraq in 2007" — CNN, April 6, 2010