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News CENTCOM investigation: Killed Reuters cameramen were in company of armed ins s

  1. Apr 6, 2010 #1
    CENTCOM investigation: Killed Reuters cameramen were in company of armed insurgents

    I note several threads on this subject have been closed by moderators. I believe this post meets PF guidelines, particularly with regards to citation.

    Yesterday, US CENTCOM released its 2007 investigation into the deaths of two Reuters employees in Iraq. I assume this was enabled by yesterday's leaking of the classified film of the event, which made operational security issues moot.

    http://www2.centcom.mil/sites/foia/rr/CENTCOM%20Regulation%20CCR%2025210/Forms/AllItems.aspx?RootFolder=%2fsites%2ffoia%2frr%2fCENTCOM%20Regulation%20CCR%2025210%2fDeath%20of%20Reuters%20Journalists&FolderCTID=&View={41BA1AAF-785A-481A-A630-12470AFCD6FD} [Broken]

    This contrasts markedly with Wikileak's depiction of the event, as reported by many sources:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/06/world/middleeast/06baghdad.html

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/8603938.stm

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/04/05/video-appears-forces-firing-unarmed-suspects-baghdad/

    According to the investigation and testimony of several US officers, the Apache helicopter had been called in to support ground forces under fire. The Reuters employees were meeting with insurgents, armed at the time with two RPGs (rocket-propelled grenades) and AK-47s, and were only 100 meters away from American infantry (Bravo company, 2-16). The RPGs were not illusory: while the Apache gunman mistook a telephoto lens for an RPG launcher, there was a real RPG launcher present, which was recovered by ground forces shortly after the battle.

    In short (2nd brigade combat team investigation, Conclusions, 8.c):
    None of these details are mentioned by Wikileaks (which for PF guidelines I tentatively will not link to). They instead claim this act was "indiscriminate slaying" and "unprovoked".

    Here is a primary source, the gunsight-mounted video recorder on the Apache helicopter. This is the full and unedited version (no inline Wikileaks commentary), and I believe meets PF guidelines as a primary source. It is confirmed as authentic by the New York Times article.

    (Warning: graphic violence) http://www.youtube.com/verify_age?next_url=/watch?v=UaqY12VHFv4

    I think there is a real scandal here, in the fact that Reuters employees, supposedly journalists, were together with insurgents attacking American troops.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
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  3. Apr 6, 2010 #2

    CRGreathouse

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    Re: CENTCOM investigation: Killed Reuters cameramen were in company of armed insurgen

    I can't get at the last three documents (photographs and the investigations). Can anyone else?
     
  4. Apr 6, 2010 #3

    russ_watters

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    Re: CENTCOM investigation: Killed Reuters cameramen were in company of armed insurgen

    signerror, I appreciate your efforts in presenting the issue in a rational an unbiased way. Yes, your post meets/exceeds our quality guidelines.
     
  5. Apr 6, 2010 #4

    cronxeh

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    Gold Member

    Re: CENTCOM investigation: Killed Reuters cameramen were in company of armed insurgen

    What rules of engagement allow to fire upon a van that is attempting to remove the wounded? There were no weapons displayed, pointed it, or shot at during the extraction of the wounded from the supposed battlefield. At no point in the video can you see anybody shooting at the helicopter hovering over them. They shot these bullets
    800px-30_mm.jpg at that van 13iraq.600.jpg that was trying to evacuate the wounded.

    Your bias estimator is malfunctional, russ
     
  6. Apr 6, 2010 #5
    Re: CENTCOM investigation: Killed Reuters cameramen were in company of armed insurgen

    Call an Ambulance, not a terry van when you are wounded. Ground forces were in the area, there was no need for that van to be there at all. For all the US troops could have known, that could have been a VBIED, or they could have been there to pick up weapons.

    You run with terrorists, you die with terrorists.

    You are in the AO, the Apache gunners made the correct move. All of the ROE were followed.

    And if it does come up that the radio operators were cold and disconnected, they have to be. You don't let emotions get in the way when your life and the life of the boots is on the line.
     
  7. Apr 6, 2010 #6
    Re: CENTCOM investigation: Killed Reuters cameramen were in company of armed insurgen

    Simple misunderstanding that those people were insurgents.
    1) How could you tell what is inside the van from the air?
    2) Why should they allow insurgents to escape?
    3) Should they have sent ground forces to that location while van was there and let the ground people deal with the situation?
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2010
  8. Apr 6, 2010 #7
    Re: CENTCOM investigation: Killed Reuters cameramen were in company of armed insurgen

    I share your opinion. These young soldiers are under immense pressure to preserve both their own lives and fellow soldiers on the ground. Not engaging could cost US lives. Most of us will never know the stress of combat situations where hesitation is not an option and hard decisions have to made in the moment. They have to cope (hence the callous radio banter) with knowing they are responsible for casualties of both combatants and civilians.
     
  9. Apr 6, 2010 #8
    Re: CENTCOM investigation: Killed Reuters cameramen were in company of armed insurgen

    A few points in response to MotoH:

    1) People who attack military targets are not "terrorists."

    2) That doesn't excuse the bloodlust in hoping the wounded man reaches for a gun so you get to kill him. That is despicable behavior.

    3) The US spent a lot of energy trying to prevent the release of this video. What were they trying to hide?
     
  10. Apr 6, 2010 #9
    Re: CENTCOM investigation: Killed Reuters cameramen were in company of armed insurgen


    1) Sure they aren't. :rolleyes:

    2) No it isn't. He reaches for a gun and gets put out of his misery. He shouldn't have been there in the first place.

    3) Security reasons. You don't release Predator footage right when it is taken because it could contain sensitive information.

    Although I do enjoy some of the Gun cams. The accuracy of the 80mm on the A-10 is amazing.
     
  11. Apr 6, 2010 #10
    Re: CENTCOM investigation: Killed Reuters cameramen were in company of armed insurgen

    When you are in a war/battle zone innocent casualties ("collateral damage") will occur. The only absolute way to avoid this is to not go to war. I will call out the government for waging a war that I do not believe should be fought. I will not call out troops for accidents of war as if they were war crimes.

    As for the reporters, I could care less that they were embedded with Iraqi insurgents. They have the right and freedom to do so. There is nothing suspicious there. They should also have the sense to realize that being in a hot zone with armed troops, regardless of affiliation, is hazardous. They deserve no special sympathy (or lack of sympathy) beyond that they were killed while doing dangerous work.
     
  12. Apr 6, 2010 #11
    Re: CENTCOM investigation: Killed Reuters cameramen were in company of armed insurgen

    Whatever you say buddy.

    RPG:
    [PLAIN]http://img253.imageshack.us/img253/3678/5e349a707fcc.gif [Broken]
    AK-47:
    [PLAIN]http://img444.imageshack.us/img444/4748/ak471m.jpg [Broken]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  13. Apr 6, 2010 #12
    Re: CENTCOM investigation: Killed Reuters cameramen were in company of armed insurgen

    I don't care if the these pilots were clear to fire or if they commited war crimes. They weren't shooting these people to protect anyone, they were shooting them to kill them.

    That's what I find disgusting about it.

    You can argue about whatever you think they thought was in the van. They didn't care, they just wanted to kill them.
     
  14. Apr 6, 2010 #13
    Re: CENTCOM investigation: Killed Reuters cameramen were in company of armed insurgen

    So, soldiers are just bloodthirsty maniacs who want to kill? You don't think that there may be a reason for their actions, or that it was part of a mission directive? Do you think that soldiers just hop into an apache and look for some "brown people to murder"?!

    You clearly never watched the video, which shows weaponry. The pilot/gunner only ramped-up his engagement orders when he saw (what he thought, and we will never know) an RPG. I'm sorry, but if I am the kid in that helo, I'm either shooting, or leaving the area... and the second option wouldn't be my decision in the first place.

    @Jack21222: Are you TRYING to piss MotoH off now? You're suceeding with me, because if that's not an RPG, and in the lower vid the first frame does not show a man with an Assault-Rifle/Submachine-gun, then I'm a magical unicorn. :rolleyes:

    Finally, to all... soldiers do not get to choose where to patrol. If you feel the need to blame individuals, I'd look higher up the chain of command. By the way... no one has mentioned the consequences of NOT shooting... unknown of course, but given that this is apparantly a speculation cluster****, lets just assume that RPG and the guns would eventually be used to kill others.
     
  15. Apr 6, 2010 #14

    Borek

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    Re: CENTCOM investigation: Killed Reuters cameramen were in company of armed insurgen

    You don't win a war by cuddling your enemies. You shot to kill or you are being shot to kill.

    That's why war should be avoided, but once it started, there is no choice, you are either effective at killing, or dead.
     
  16. Apr 6, 2010 #15
    Re: CENTCOM investigation: Killed Reuters cameramen were in company of armed insurgen

    Anybody thought about all those Iraqi suicide bombers that waltz into public places and blow themselves up killing 40 of their own civilians on average?
     
  17. Apr 6, 2010 #16
    Re: CENTCOM investigation: Killed Reuters cameramen were in company of armed insurgen

    So after you kill them your going to laugh about it and talk about lookin at their dead bodies as if it's something to be proud of?

    You have a very odd conception of war my friend. I don't think that you've ever been in the army have you?
     
  18. Apr 6, 2010 #17
    Re: CENTCOM investigation: Killed Reuters cameramen were in company of armed insurgen

    One difference is I don't pay for those suicide bombers with my tax money.

    On the other hand, these US military members are not only funded by me, they carry these acts out in my name, then claim they did it to "protect my freedoms."
     
  19. Apr 6, 2010 #18
    Re: CENTCOM investigation: Killed Reuters cameramen were in company of armed insurgen

    Well said. "In war there can be no substitute for victory, war's very object is victory, not prolonged indecision." (Gen MacArthur re: Korea)

    Given that, rapid and decisive action should be used, or war should not be waged. (EDIT: Were we kinder when we as nations had Iraq on the "Oil For Food" program? Was it more human to spend 10 years inflicting sanctions that never had a hope of toppling the regime, but did contribute to the deaths of over a million Iraqis? I don't think so, it just looked better at home)

    @zomgwtf: Have you ever heard surgeons talk once the patient is out? Ever hear nurses chat? When you're slowly dying in a hospital, you'll be "circling the drain" according to most. When you've died, you will have "**** the bed" in common (VERY COMMON) parlance.

    When you're facing trauma and human suffering that you have to in some way participate in, you have a limited number of ways to relieve that stress. I would prefer they laugh their tension and anger away, than another Abu Ghraib. If you think that soldiers are robots, and all professionals ALWAYS act professionally when they are not in public... prepare for the miserable shock of your life.
     
  20. Apr 6, 2010 #19
    Re: CENTCOM investigation: Killed Reuters cameramen were in company of armed insurgen

    The difference is that doctors are trying to save lives. Soldiers are trying to end lives.

    And don't give me that "they have to participate" stuff, either. They don't have to participate in the Iraq war any more than the Nazi soldiers "had to participate" in the holocaust.

    "I'm just following orders" isn't a defense. Everybody fighting in Iraq is there because they choose to be. First, they had the option to not join the military. Then, they had the option to face dishonorable discharge and/or jail time rather than go.

    The soldiers in this video were clearly enjoying their job. It was a lot like the scene from Full Metal Jacket where the helicopter pilot responded to "How can you shoot women and children?" with "Easy, just don't lead them as much."

    The person begging for the wounded man to reach for a gun do he can shoot him is a bloodthirsty monster.
     
  21. Apr 6, 2010 #20
    Re: CENTCOM investigation: Killed Reuters cameramen were in company of armed insurgen

    Thanks Frame, I think you proved my point.

    It's disgusting that any military personel would be happy and celebrate killing anybody. It's disgusting that they'd laugh at them dead as well.

    As Moto had pointed out in his thread on North Korea, it's about respect. You respect the dead, especially in the military. Saying **** the bed is completely different than going out of your way and getting excited for the death to come. If a doctor did that then you'd be sure they'd be in many law suits--- and lose.

    Besides you can hardly be trying to say that the soldiers just followed orders, or that they aren't excited to kill other humans. There have been waaaaay too many documentaries, interviews etc. depicting that this is the exact mental attitude of modern troops. It's a true shame that the greatest military in the world and it's personel takes pleasure in killing and can't seem to find it in them to respect the dead.

    I never said that troops don't have to kill, I said that these troops are excited to kill and WANT to kill. You can hear them getting frustrated about having to wait to unleash their superior fire power from the air down upon them. If the insurgents were acting like that in America people would be garbageting bricks.

    Anyways by that mental point of view then 9/11 was justified and it was ok for the terrorist to do. In fact they should be proud and happy for all the lives that they've taken there. Watch the videos on youtube of people jumping to their deaths, they should take pleasure. And you know what? They probably do... I wonder what the difference between the Iraqi people and the American military is though.
     
  22. Apr 6, 2010 #21
    Re: CENTCOM investigation: Killed Reuters cameramen were in company of armed insurgen

    Wikileaks use those terms specificly in regard to the killing "of a wounded Reuters employee and his rescuers", seen starting after 8 minutes into the full video. That said, having watched the full video, I don't see anything which could rightly consitutue provication for the first round of attacks either.

    Can you present anything resembling proof of what you are claiming as fact here, or are you simply referencing the investigation you quoted, from the same organisation which has been refusing the FOIA request to release this tape for years?

    I'm at a loss as to how one could reasonably reconcile the tape with what you quoted from the investigation, as the closest thing to "attacking" I've noticed from the guys on the ground is the one leaning around a corner to take a picture, and while a couple of the guys were carrying what a appears to be rifles, they remain dangling at their sides rather than poised for attack, let alone firing. Also, what MotoH suggested was an RPG looks a lot more like a camera tripod to me, and I can't imagine trying to carry a RPG like that anyway.

    Or it could have simply been a man driving his kids to school when he happened upon the scene and was compelled to stop by the sight of other human beings in dire need of medical attention. After all, it is a rather large urban area which is under US occupation, it's not like people can just go into hibernation until whenever that might be over.

    That claim doesn't jive with my understanding of the RoE, but since WikiLeaks where I found them has somehow been deemed a "conspiracy site", I'll have to settle for this MSNBC interview with a LTC quoting and elaborating on them, starting about 4:40 here:



    That conclusion doesn't even come to logicly following from Zomgwtf's comment on the few solders shown in the video. In regard to this particular matter; what motivation do you think comments like "come on, buddy.. all you gotta do is pick up a weapon" reflect, if not an urge to kill?

    Sure, we aren't fighting a war here though, but rather attempting to stabilize Iraq though an occupation, and I'm at a loss as to how what is shown in that video could rationally be considered productive to that goal. Put simply, I don't see how such actions as demonstrated in the video, or excusing it, is doing either Iraqis or us Americans anything but harm.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
  23. Apr 6, 2010 #22
    Re: CENTCOM investigation: Killed Reuters cameramen were in company of armed insurgen

    Jack... you're making a soldier you've only just heard of into a charictature every bit as ugly as those racists on this side of the ocean do of "The Terrorists". I don't believe you have a grasp of human history that is required to discuss this issue, and your utter misunderstanding (or deliberate side-stepping) of my point about mission vs. choice is ridiculous and offensive. I'm not relgious, but I was raised Jewish, in the culture so try not compare ANYTHING to events around WWII unless you're ready to defend that position with more than bluster.

    You also missed my point about how humans handle stress... I'd say the numbers coming back haunted by their expereinces preclude your notion of bloodthirsty monsters. That, and the average age of entry into the armed forces is YOUNG... and young people don't always have the best grasp of consequence.

    They have also been TRAINED to kill, to disassociate themselves from the act of killing, and to react in the best interests of their unit. They were on patrol SPECIFICALLY to kill militants in the area because of previous fire from that region. They see people with weapons, spend a great deal of time waiting to engage, and then carry out their mission to kill these people. That's war Jack, and that's why it should be avoided at all costs, if possible.

    The tragedy here is that Iraq didn't need to be invaded by us, but that doesn't change how you carry on with warfare. The fact that we're stuck in hell because W. et al were sociopathic to an extreme that makes J.W. Gacey look like a FRIENDLY clown... doesn't mean that our armed forces should stuff flowers in their rifles and walk away.

    Part of blowing a country to hell after crippling it with 10 years of sanctions is an OBLIGATION to rebuild the infrastructure of that country. You can't do that if people are shooting at you, shooting each other, and blowing themselves (and others) away with IEDs, bombs, etc.

    You also seem to fail to appreciate the proxy nature of this conflict, and its relationship to how we handle Iran. You can feel free to be an idealist, just try not to be an *****le about it. You don't have to agree with this, and you can still loathe violence, but reality is what it is.

    When you figure out how to change human nature, all at once, let me know and I'll be right there with you dismantling arms.

    By the way, you give (medical I presume) doctors too much credit. Yes, many of them are there to save lives, and plenty are there for a career, and acively avoid cases that would harm that career. Medicines are made, and then abadoned because too few people need it, even though that condemns them to death. Then there are the COSMETIC Plastic Surgeons all over the world, and the pill dispensers who've made Rx's more lethal than all illegal drugs combined.

    By the way Jack, if your life depended on shooting a woman and child, you really are staring death in the face in this scenario, are you POSITIVE that you could overcome your fear, anxiety, terror... and let them kill you? Your morality is shallow and that is reflected in your limited ability to grasp some basic concepts, nd seperate them from your opinion, emotions, and history.

    And Jack?... enjoying your modern internet lifestyle? You must know the asymmetry inherent in that, and just how many lives a day go into how you take your ease, when you average it out? My "guess", is that soldier has less kills than you; of course the soldier had to make a choice for a selfeless reason... we just enjoy petrochemicals, abundant food, medicine, etc... etc... that is pure hypocrisy.

    Don't even THINK of coming back with some socially conscious "I try to minimize my impact" bs either. The world needs ONE thing: FEWER PEOPLE. If you really want to save lives, live in a yurt and subsistance farm. If you accept and enjoy the luxuries purchased with blood (at whatever remove), you are in no position to tell a soldier acting under LAWFUL (not genocidal) orders that they are bloodthirsty. You're only as civilized as circumstances allow you to be, unless you're a saint... and you are no saint. :rolleyes:
     
  24. Apr 6, 2010 #23
    Re: CENTCOM investigation: Killed Reuters cameramen were in company of armed insurgen

    Please read those two quotes. The second one is from someone who has actually been to Afghanistan (corrected as per request!). I am positive he knows a lot more about what it is like over there than us armchair generals.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2010
  25. Apr 6, 2010 #24
    Re: CENTCOM investigation: Killed Reuters cameramen were in company of armed insurgen

    Well, do you know what the mission was for that trio, what the RoE were at the time, or any other circumstances? They were there, not passing by, but LOOKING FOR MILITANTS TO KILL. I know, it's a nasty thing to say, but "neutralize" is just pathetic. They were there to frighten militants, kill some if possible, and suppress anti-air/ground attacks from that region. They were looking for TARGETS, they were not waiting to be attacked.

    You may not like that, but that is why there were in that airspace.

    "That conclusion doesn't even come to logicly following from Zomgwtf's comment on the few solders shown in the video. In regard to this particular matter; what motivation do you think comments like "come on, buddy.. all you gotta do is pick up a weapon" reflect, if not an urge to kill?"

    You can't think of a motivation?! Oh **** !#@&!@#, you can't be serious. Fine, imagine this: You and your unit LIVE in a warzone. You are in the position of having other people who want you dead, regardless of who you are, or what you're doing. Should they be there in the first place? No, but they are, and so that is their experience. It is human nature (further reinforced by the notion that people applying to the military tacitly understand they may have to kill, thus leaving pacifists OUT of the original sample) to be antagonistic towards the people (especially a nebulous "them" which looks EXACTLY like civilians) who are trying to kill them.

    The reverse is true, and it is why war shouldn't be fought in this fashion. Living in the face of possible sudden and violent death or maiming takes a toll, ESPECIALLY on young people. come on... we're all nerds here to some degree, what does "FEAR lead to..."

    Fear, terror, all in the framework of being trained and told what to do... of course they want to see another percieved threat eliminated. I think once again, people who have not experienced repeated (potentially) traumatic stress does not make one feel kindly disposed towards someone you see holding weapons that you've seen kill people on all sides of this conflict.

    Beyond that... I'm surprised by the level of judgemental arrogance by some here, especially given the apparantly MASSIVE gap in terms of understanding military (and other) history. Jacks of all trades and masters of none, and some specialists so narrow in their view... Ah. People that demand (and rightly so) evidence and experiment and experience seem to feel they are able to judge these matters based on a video, and no personal experience. For some, it is revealing the shallowness of your overall conviction.
     
  26. Apr 6, 2010 #25
    Re: CENTCOM investigation: Killed Reuters cameramen were in company of armed insurgen

    Indeed. We have a generation of soldiers who are little more than boys, coming back and having done and seen things they didn't HAVE to if Bush hadn't been such a fool. So much PTSD, and so many CBI's... I wonder how anyone can think they'd stay completely "normal" in a warzone.

    Bottom line: your friend (like most) have a conscience, which will haunt them. For that we shouldn't blame them, but we SHOULD be looking at the leadership which started this war, and the politicians who decided to make it bleeding instread of a beheading. It's disgusting, and it's killing and hurting our people, the Iraqi's, and who knows how many others.
    ==========

    None of that is a chopper pilot's fault however, nor does acting HUMAN under inhuman strain make him or others monsters, anymore than a suicide bomber is Martyr or a Devil. People do things for REASONS, even if they're terrible, wrong, and harmful. To simply demonize anything is to reject even thinking about the issue. ERGO: Intellectual Cowardice.
     
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