This is the video posted by Wikileaks, and I am glad they have exposed this to the public.
Newsweek sum it up well:
The footage is horrific; the attack killed 12 people and injured two children, none of whom appear to have been engaged in combat. Two of the men killed were Iraqi civilians employed by Reuters. All the while, the voices of the U.S. military personnel can be heard radioing back and forth about the shooting, demonstrating a cavalier disdain for the lives they are ending. At one point, they chuckle about a tank rolling over a dead body.
And regardless of the legality of their actions, that is a horrific culture. Of course you get desensitised to death in combat – you have to, to survive. But there is a difference between being desensitised and gloating.
It’s stomach-churning, but is it a crime, as WikiLeaks contends? As I pointed out, the pilot was very clearly following a military protocol, which explains, for example, why he was looking for a weapon before firing upon a wounded man (he never found one, but got permission to fire after a van showed up to take the man away). Still, that doesn’t necessarily mean he was following the protocol correctly, nor that the protocol lives up to international laws of war.
Questions the US military has to answer.
Andrew Sullivan has a summary of reaction, as to whether it was legal or not.Tags: Wikileaks