Feeds

Wikileaks video shows US gunfire on Reuters staff

The pics the Pentagon didn't want you to see

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Whistleblower website Wikileaks continued its explosion into mainstream journalism Monday with the release of a classified US military video showing forces firing repeatedly on unarmed people on a Baghdad street.

The video showed an incident from July 12, 2007, the same day that Reuters photographer Namir Noor-Eldeen and his driver were killed in hail of gunfire in the same section of Baghdad. Nine other people were also killed and two children were wounded in the incident.

A Pentagon investigation later found the crew of two Apache helicopters acted appropriately and followed rules of engagement, according to the Associated Press. The Reuters employees were probably "intermixed among the insurgents" and their photography gear was likely misidentified as weapons, it reasoned.

But the video, taken from the gunsights of one of the helicopters, suggests something slightly more complicated. It doesn't show anyone firing on US troops, although an audio track of talking between the fliers identifies some of the men as armed. After a shooter asks for permission to engage, another responds: "Light em all up."

Most of the men immediately drop to the ground, while one scrambles to flee.

"Look at those dead bastards. Nice," a shooter says.

After one of the wounded is loaded into a van and shuttled away, the vehicle is taken out.

The video, which has been confirmed as authentic by senior military officials, may or may not be proof of the Pentagon cover-up and misconduct alleged by Wikileaks. After all, war is messy business, and a grainy video shot by a single helicopter can't be expected to tell the entire story.

But with coverage from the Associated Press, The Washington Post and other mainstream news outlets, the power of Wikileaks to shape the national news agenda can no longer be denied.

Making the leak all the more impressive, Reuters sought the same video footage under the US Freedom of Information Act and was turned down. Wikileaks, which has little use for such niceties, said it acquired the encrypted footage from military sources.

Which makes you wonder if the army really did consider ways to bring down the whistleblower site. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Lords take revenge on REVENGE PORN publishers
Jilted Johns and Jennies with busy fingers face two years inside
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Yes, yes, Steve Jobs. Look what I'VE done for you lately – Tim Cook
New iPhone biz baron points to Apple's (his) greatest successes
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.