Video of U.S. Troops in Iraq Draws Comparison to Games

Leaked video of U.S. troops in Iraq shooting civilians that were mistaken for insurgents caused a WikiLeaks spokesperson to compare the footage to a videogame.

The footage in question, which can be viewed here if you have yet to see it (warning, it is graphic) shows a pair of Apache helicopters circling a group of people on the streets of New Baghdad in July of 2007. A Fox News report states that the choppers were responding to reports of AK-47 fire in the area. The group of 9-12 people included a pair of Reuters journalists.

U.S. troops apparently mistook cameras and photography equipment for weapons and eventually open-fired, killing an undetermined amount of people, including the two Reuters photographers. A Pentagon spokesperson called the attacks justified and told Fox News that, “The individuals who were killed, apart from the Reuters journalists, were involved in hostile activity.”

Reuters had been attempting to acquire the video, unsuccessfully, through the Freedom of Information Act.

In presenting the video at the National Press Club in Washington, WikiLeaks Julian Assange stated, “The behavior of the pilots is like they’re playing a video game. It’s like they want to get high-scores in that computer game."

Earlier this year, WikiLeaks claimed that its members were being harassed by the U.S. government. The group also recently uncovered a purported document (PDF) authored by the U.S. Army Counterintelligence Center  referencing it, which was titled, WikiLeaks.org — An Online Reference to Foreign Intelligence Services, Insurgents, or Terrorist Groups?

Via Kotaku, Thanks Andrew and Mdo7

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57 comments

  1. Rohin says:

    "It’s silly to get all upset about little girls being shot and journalists being killed when stuff like this is inevitable."

    The US shouldn’t worry about civilian life, because loss of life is inevitable? Seriously?

    Also, it’s not a war. There is no Declaration of War, since the US isn’t fighting another country. They are fighting ‘Violent Extremism’, which is an impossible goal. Welcome to even more national debt – for a result that none of you asked for, and few of you want.

  2. Andrew Eisen says:

    Not a confirmation but good enough for our purposes.  However, watching the video myself, I see what appears to be 2 cameras, 1 phone, 1 AK-47, 1 RPG, and 2 things that I can’t tell what they are.

    Also, the possible (and very likely) misidentification of what the guy peeking around the corner was holding does not change the fact that a completely different guy does appear to be hauling around an RPG.  Now, does that justify blowing away everyone in the street and the van that showed up shortly thereafter?  Not in my mind but I also don’t know the context in which this incident unfolded nor am I privy to the doubtless reams of other pertinent information that would otherwise color or even change my opinion.

     

    Andrew Eisen

  3. Valdearg says:

    "Where are you finding these confirmations, Val?  Where?  The reporters appear to be carrying cameras.  I don’t think there was ever any question about that.  You’re telling me the other guys (the guys who are not the reporters) also had a camera (and an AK-47-shaped bag)?"

    Ok, so maybe I misread one of the summaries of the videos, because a few others I have read indicate the presence of at most ONE gun, amongst the entire group of individuals.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/04/05/wikileaks-exposes-video-o_n_525569.html

    "The helicopter crew, which was patrolling an area that had been the scene of fierce fighting that morning, said they spotted weapons on members of the first group — although the video shows one gun, at most. The crew also mistook a telephoto lens for a rocket-propelled grenade."

    However, Amongst other issues, I will point out that it seems like the soldiers DID indeed break the rules of engagement and possibly the Geneva Convention, though it could be up for debate.

    The article with more information on that line of argument is here:

    http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2010/04/the-wikileaks-video-and-the-rules-of-engagement.html

     

  4. Andrew Eisen says:

    "Watching the video, I can see why they may have THOUGHT they saw an AK-47 (Turned out to be a bag, of some sort) and an RPG (Turned out to be a Camera)."

    Where are you finding these confirmations, Val?  Where?  The reporters appear to be carrying cameras.  I don’t think there was ever any question about that.  You’re telling me the other guys (the guys who are not the reporters) also had a camera (and an AK-47-shaped bag)?

    "The decision was already made, but the camera put the nail in the coffin… when they saw the guy with the RPG/Camera… They weren’t going to think about it anymore… they were going to kill all of them."

    No, receiving the order to kill them all 15 seconds before the guy poked his head around the corner put the nail in the coffin.  Whether the guy was there or not, whether he had an RPG or not would have made absolutely no difference.

     

    Andrew Eisen

  5. Bennett Beeny says:

    Look folks, I’m a pacifist quaker, but to me, those folks seem to have been carrying AK-47s and I never saw anything that looked like a camera. In each case where the soldiers opened fire there was clearly someone (or some people) carrying what looked a lot like weapons. If the ROE call for ‘weapons-free’ where people are openly carrying weapons, then the US soldiers were just doing their job.

    The harsh fact is that war is complex and unclear. It’s not like a videogame (even though it may look like one. In a videogame you know who the bad guys are. In war you don’t. Looking at it objectively, and stepping (figuratively) into the shoes of a non-pacifist soldier, if I was the man behind that helicopter mounted weapon I would have probably made the same calls he made and killed the same civilians he killed.

    The fact that war is always unclear is precisely why it should be undertaken (if at all) very rarely, only when all other alternatives cannot work, and with a lot of care regarding the goals and whether they are achievable. The coalition forces in Iraq and Afghanistan were thrown into wars that were not thought through very well. In such a situation, civilian casualties in situations like this are guaranteed. It’s silly to get all upset about little girls being shot and journalists being killed when stuff like this is inevitable.

    You can’t stop tragic mistakes being made in war, which is the very reason why war should be rare or nonexistant and shameful rather than common and regarded as honourable.

    As for a videogame leading to such things, well that’s nonsense. This footage looks like COD4 gameplay for the simple reason that that scene in COD4 was modelled on footage like this. This is a case of art mimicing life, not the other way around.

  6. Valdearg says:

    "Uh, really?  Where has that been confirmed?  Watching the video I see two guys with what looks to me like an AK-47 and an RPG."

    Watching the video, I can see why they may have THOUGHT they saw an AK-47 (Turned out to be a bag, of some sort) and an RPG (Turned out to be a Camera). It’s tough to tell, no doubt, but it was confirmed that the group they fired on was unarmed at the time.

    "No.  They requested and were granted permission to engage almost 15 seconds before the guy poked his head around the corner.  Mistaken identity or not (and it looks like a mistake to me), they were going to kill them all anyway.  It had already been decided."

    That’s pretty much what I just said. The decision was already made, but the camera put the nail in the coffin. I guess what I meant was that when they saw the guy with the RPG/Camera, it pretty much eliminated any doubt they may have had. They weren’t going to think about it anymore, and as soon as they had a chance, they were going to kill all of them.

  7. chadachada321 says:

    You’re acting like we support this war or something…We didn’t choose this (at least, I didn’t), so quit putting words in our collective mouths.

    -Optimum est pati quod emendare non possis-It is best to endure what you cannot change-

  8. Yammo says:

     

    Wow…

    How about most of you grow up and smell the fresh air of burning corpses…?
    …because this is what war is all about; killing people.

    Or, are people really so spellbound by big words like heroes, democracy and
    freedom, that they manage to forget what war is really about? It doesn’t
    matter if the corpses are civilian or not, when you choose to go to war, this
    is what you end up with.

    The problem isn’t that people die in a war, the problem is that some people
    think war is a solution to anything at all. The problem is that some people
    actually think they are made safer with each bullet that is fired. Keep this
    war up and you will have no way out, but to nuke the whole middle-east…
    …and then we’re talking about more, than 2 little kids…

     

  9. chadachada321 says:

    *Ahem*

    -Optimum est pati quod emendare non possis-It is best to endure what you cannot change-

  10. gamegod25 says:

    War is a terrible thing and people die, not just those fighting but also those who happen to get caught in the crossfire. Soldiers aren’t perfect, they make mistakes too. It’s a terrible thing that happened but that’s the realities of war. It isn’t a game, there are no do over’s, there are no extra lives. The soldiers were people just doing their jobs.

    I don’t mean to sound cold hearted about the reporters dying, but I feel it’s disrespectful to blame the soldiers.

  11. Andrew Eisen says:

    I don’t know why they saw it necessary to kill everyone in the street (or the van that showed up to pick up the bodies) either.  I’d love to know the reason behind this particular incident.

     

    Andrew Eisen

  12. Andrew Eisen says:

    "First, it’s been confirmed that NONE of the other guys were carrying weapons, at all."

    Uh, really?  Where has that been confirmed?  Watching the video I see two guys with what looks to me like an AK-47 and an RPG.

    "I’d argue, after watching the video, that it was pretty much decided that they were going to engage before that, but the "RPG" Camera is what put the nail in the coffin."

    No.  They requested and were granted permission to engage almost 15 seconds before the guy poked his head around the corner.  Mistaken identity or not (and it looks like a mistake to me), they were going to kill them all anyway.  It had already been decided.

     

    Andrew Eisen

  13. Andrew Eisen says:

    It makes you wonder if the known presence of kids in the van would have superseded the reason for opening fire on it in the first place (whatever that reason was).

     

    Andrew Eisen

  14. chadachada321 says:

    But they all were just standing around! They were absolutely no threat at all! Sure, one or two of them might have had weapons, but the 7+ around them DID NOT, and they were acting very calm and relaxed: not like enemies.

    -Optimum est pati quod emendare non possis-It is best to endure what you cannot change-

  15. chadachada321 says:

    Now there is one story that I don’t really mind the use of the gaming reference.

    Also, "cooking an egg on a geforce"? Lol.

    -Optimum est pati quod emendare non possis-It is best to endure what you cannot change-

  16. Valdearg says:

    "Despite the spin I’ve seen written here and there, I see nothing in the video indicating they mistook the reporters’ cameras for an RPG.  They fired because of the weapons the other guys were carrying."

    First, it’s been confirmed that NONE of the other guys were carrying weapons, at all. They fired because they THOUGHT the other guys were carrying weapons, when in reality, it was just a group of civilians, including two Reuters Reporters.

    Second: It’s right in the video. At one point, right before they engage, you hear someone over the radio say something along the lines of "RPG!" At this point, there is a guy with a camera leaning out from behind a corner, and I don’t blame them for mistaking his position and the way he was pointing the camera for him holding an RPG and aiming it at them.  They then pass behind the buildings, where the gunner complains that they are behind the buildings, and he doesn’t have a shot. Then, he informs the rest that he will engage them as soon as the chopper maneuvers back into position.

    I’d argue, after watching the video, that it was pretty much decided that they were going to engage before that, but the "RPG" Camera is what put the nail in the coffin.

    Please note that I watched the video earlier today, so any "quotes" I use are really just paraphrasing.

  17. Monte says:

     The moment i think "the enemy brought kids to the battle", the first thing i would think is probably "… those weren’t enemies were they?"
    That’s what probably makes me so sick with the van shooting and that little exchange. You recognize that a group who has not been confirmed as enemy targets has kids with them should be a huge red flag that you should re-think whether or not that unconfirmed group are actually enemies.

  18. Andrew Eisen says:


    The exchange was:

     

    "Well, it’s their fault for bringing their kids into a battle."

     

    "That’s right."

     

    The matter-of-fact way those lines are said may come off as callous but it’s also partially true.  Besides, what else do you say when you learn you’re responsible for the severe injuries of two children?  I think most people would somehow pass the buck of blame.  "It was my job."  "I couldn’t have known."  "Those kids shouldn’t have been there."

     

     

    Andrew Eisen

     

  19. Valdearg says:

    Oh, if they did survive, that’s nice. It still doesn’t excuse them for opening fire on the van, though. And then the comment: "Serves them right. They shouldn’t bring their kids to a battle." (Or something very similar to that.) That comment was absolutely uneccessary, and callous.

  20. Andrew Eisen says:

    "MAAAAYYYYBEE understand why they engaged in the first place, mistaking the camera for an RPG…"

    Despite the spin I’ve seen written here and there, I see nothing in the video indicating they mistook the reporters’ cameras for an RPG.  They fired because of the weapons the other guys were carrying.

    "But when they engaged the van and killed those children…"

    Far as I know, the children survived but watching the video, yeah, I don’t get why they opened fire on the van either*.  I’m sure there’s a reason; perhaps not one I agree with but it seemed more procedural than anything else.

     

    Andrew Eisen

    *Interference with potential intel obtained from the corpses?  Bad guys routinely booby trapping dead bodies and leaving them in the road?

  21. Valdearg says:

    True, but let’s remember that these people weren’t the enemy. They were innocent civilians who were mistaken for enemies.

    Either way, since when is it ok to shoot people trying to evac the wounded after an encounter? I do believe that that is a violation of some sort of rule of war. (Geneva Convention? I’m not sure) I can kind of, sort of, MAAAAYYYYBEE understand why they engaged in the first place, mistaking the camera for an RPG, etc.. But when they engaged the van and killed those children as it rolled up and attempted to help a wounded man, enemy or not, they crossed a the line between "Oh, crap, we messed up" to "Brutal Murder of Innocents." The van was not threatening, no weapons could be seen, and even if they DIDN’T see the children inside, which I can understand, they should have NEVER, EVER, EVER opened fire on the van. Even in the WORST case scenario, where these men were enemy combatants, and that van was willingly assisting Iraqi Insurgents, you DON’T SHOOT THE MEDIC. You just don’t.

  22. gellymatos says:

    Respect for an enemy in war isn’t exactly easy, especially if the enemy is known to use less respected tactics.

     

    "The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits." -Albert Einstein

  23. gellymatos says:

    Perhaps you should realize that the soldiers made the mistake of thinking they were the enemy instead of acting like they intended to shoot civilians. Your bad.

     

    "The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits." -Albert Einstein

  24. Andrew Eisen says:

    A couple things:

    -Dehumanizing and trivializing is probably the way a lot of these folks cope with the responsibility of tearing people apart with high powered weaponry. 

    -Being shot at and road bombed several times a week likely makes the above easier.

     

    Andrew Eisen

  25. Valdearg says:

    There’s certainly a difference, yes. However, these people should STILL have respect for the life of even a Percieved enemy. I mean, the one guy was FOLLOWING the wounded man, saying "Come on, Pick up a weapon. All you need to do is pick up a weapon.." knowing full well that if he did pick up a weapon, he’d be able to finish him off. That’s absolutely horrifying that this soldier wanted kill that man so badly that he was verbally encouraging (even if the victim couldn’t hear it) his falsly percieved enemy to pick up a weapon. That soldier should have never been, and should no longer be, allowed to go NEAR a weapon, especially one as effective as the Apache.

  26. Rohin says:

    I didn’t realise kids, defacto ambulances, Reuters journalists and people who might be insurgents were the enemy. My bad.

     

  27. gellymatos says:

    Correction: They had no respect for the life of an enemy. Still wrong in my book, but not the same  as though they had no respect for any life whatsoever. 

     

    "The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits." -Albert Einstein

  28. Valdearg says:

    It’s not necessarily the events that are so appalling, because given the situation, I can see certain situations where they could think the initial attack was justified, like thinking the men were carrying weapons (Though, I can think of a few things that should have prevented them from firing, like examining their body language and their behavior, too…). It’s the behavior of the soldiers. They were laughing about it. Even more appalling, when they were following the wounded guy, the one soldier was practically begging for the wounded man to pick up a weapon, so he could finish him. He WANTED to kill the guy, like he had no respect for human life.

    The other thing that stood out, to me, personally, was that the gunner seemed overly anxious to shoot the van, despite the fact that the Samaritans who stopped by to help the wounded victim represented absolutely no threat to him. Not even a PERCIEVED threat, like the "weapons" that they "saw" on the initial group before the unneccessary attack. The men in the van had NO visible weapons, and were not acting in an aggressive manner, whatsoever. They were helping a wounded man. And yet, this idiot soldier is saying "Come on! Let me shoot!" like some high schooler who wants permission from his teacher to leave class early. And THEN, one of the soldiers has the Gall to pass off the injured innocent children, saying "Serves them right for bringing their kids to a battle." I mean, I sense no remorse, whatsoever.

    As far as the coverup goes, it’s sadly par for the course for the Military Machine. Something bad happens? Sweep it under the rug. I mean, how long did we have to wait before we learned that the one Arizona Football player was killed by friendly fire? That was a coverup, as well. Hopefully things change, but I’m not holding my breath.

  29. chadachada321 says:

    I think that was more of a GTA-type reference. Saw you’re going on a killing spree in GTA. Yes, there’s no "high score" table, but you can still try and get a high score for most people killed with one rocket launcher, or cars exploded, stuff like that…

    -Optimum est pati quod emendare non possis-It is best to endure what you cannot change-

  30. Kincyr says:

    who plays games to get high-scores anymore? and for that matter, what games released in the last decade aside from puzzle games have a high-score table?

    岩「…Where do masochists go when they die?」

  31. chadachada321 says:

    And I hate to wish this, but I really hope those guys feel horrible about what they did, because they aren’t going to be discharged or charged with a crime or anything. I hope it eats them up inside, because there won’t be any outside negative consequences (that I can forsee).

    -Optimum est pati quod emendare non possis-It is best to endure what you cannot change-

  32. Rodrigo Ybáñez García says:

    I´m more worried about the person who just declared that "The individuals who were killed, apart from the Reuters journalists, were involved in hostile activity."

    Sounds like somebody who doesn´t give a shit every time this kind of thing happens. How could he to declare that?

    ———————————————————— My DeviantArt Page (aka DeviantCensorship): http://www.darkknightstrikes.deviantart.com

  33. USMC Colonel James Slate says:

    I cannot bring myself to watch the video presented, so take my words here with that knowledge, I haven’t seen the video, but I know the incident.

    All I have to say is, that, any error on our part, any error that takes the lives of innocent people, are the ones that haunt us for the rest of our lives.  I can’t speak for the crew of the Apache, but knowing several of the other Apache crews, these men will not forget what happened, they’ll live with it their entire lives.

    Any error in any branch, kills people.

    This is not an official stance of the US military, this post cannot be used in any other setting besides this single comment, the views expressed are that of a single individual, not of the US Government as a whole.

    I hate having to type that.

  34. Rodrigo Ybáñez García says:

    Andrew, you should know that the lack of any kind of evidence can stop them to try it and get more unwarranted self-importance they think to deserve.

    ———————————————————— My DeviantArt Page (aka DeviantCensorship): http://www.darkknightstrikes.deviantart.com

  35. Andrew Eisen says:

    The video itself has absolutely nothing to do with video games so I don’t see what you’re afraid people are going to be convinced of.

     

    Andrew Eisen

  36. Valdearg says:

    I will admit that watching this video made me shudder, since that’s almost exactly how I sound, minus the military jargon, when playing BF:BC2. It pretty much sounded like they were playing a game. This was made even more relevant by how they acted as they were KILLING people. "Right through the windshield! Hahaha!" I mean, have they no respect for Human Life?

    EDIT: That doesn’t mean I think that games made them this way! I think that military training, living and working in a hostile environment, and, yes, irrational and irresponsible choices led to this tragedy, NOT video games. I figured I should clarify that before someone accused me of implying that the games caused them to behave the way they did.

  37. mdo7 says:

    Hmmm,maybe, then again this video look very convincing to most people that aren’t familiar with video game. I don’t like probability because situation always change, there are chances people will believe it and chances that people will not be convinced by the video.  This video could convince people or maybe it doesn’t.  Who knows?     

     

  38. Andrew Eisen says:

    Except, as always, there’s absolutely no evidence here to support such a theory so even if they do try it, it still won’t work.

     

    Andrew Eisen

  39. Rodrigo Ybáñez García says:

    I´m agree when somebody chooses to be a soldier (or a policeman or any lawman), they become in walking targets for most of criminals and insane persons walking out there. I can understand that soldiers are under terrible pressure and the most of the time they can manage to control the situations they are against (and I hope they do).

    But this is just very sad and wrong they just shoot up civilians. It should be a crime, but again, they are on a war. Sadly, is a war where a bunch of assholes plant a bomb car or strap a explosive device on a woman or a child and then run away when it blow up a group of their own people on their temples, markets or streets. There´s no way to see the enemy because they are hidden on within the civilians.

    And for the asshole from the Pentagon, he should be fired. He should asked, at least, for a complete investigation and not getting a coward argument like the thing he said. People like that shouldn´t be on the army.

    ———————————————————— My DeviantArt Page (aka DeviantCensorship): http://www.darkknightstrikes.deviantart.com

  40. mdo7 says:

    I’m afraid I have to agree with PxDnNinja.  He seems to know what he’s talking about.  It’ll be blown out of proportion, and   This is what Jack Thompson, The Eagle Forum and the anti-video game group need to back up their evidence.  This video can be use to convince people, They’re going to say this:

    "you see violent video game made these soldier kill innocent Iraqis.  If that happen to them it can happen to your children.  Your children may end up shooting up school like the way those soldiers shot innocent civillians.  Don’t listen to the gamers saying video game don’t make people kill people.  All gamer are sociopathic or psychiological killer, you just don’t see it.  Anyone that play violent video game will become a mindless homicidal killer and this video proves it.  Are you going to believe this video or the gamer themselves."

     

     

  41. PxDnNinja says:

    If they were sent to a US hospital, they would have survived (if their wounds COULD be survived).

     

    High command sent them to a local hospital in order to begin the coverup aspect. No children on American soil means no one to ask questsion. IF they allowed the kids over, then they would have announced the accident and as a PR effort would have did everything to save the kids.

     

    I know that sounds counterproductive to my earlier arguements, but I’m not blind to the fact that this was covered up, and simple logic easily explains the view of the children as tokens in the coverup, but that doesn’t change the fact that the soldiers themselves followed protocol and have to live with their mistake.

  42. PxDnNinja says:

    This I can agree with. The firing on the van was pushing it a bit. There didn’t seem to be an immediate threat, though again it depends on the area. Perhaps there have been issues of attacks from insurgents firing RPGs out the sids and backs of vans, so that could have lead to the decision to open fire. Keep in mind the pilot and gunner requested permission to engage from command, and followed through with the results.

    Again putting myself in the spot, I would have reported the vehicle as attempting to evac the wounded, but wouldn’t have requested engagement rights at the time that the pilot did.

    The coverup aspect by the high command is a bit shady and indeed a larger issue, and for that I would want more information and do not defend in any way.

    My big concern is that the soldiers in the field aren’t under attack for following procedure by people who have never served or been in such a situation to understand the different dynamic that battlefield can present.

  43. Michael Chandra says:

    They say the same things even when there aren’t these incidents, so no, the incident itself didn’t get blown out of proportions, not more than the rest of the war. Nothing ever changed there, ever since Vietnam soldiers got seen by monsters by many, and unfortunately, sometimes they are, which makes it even harder to deal with those that merely pull that trigger too fast. And to be honest, can you prove it’s just an incident? There’s no telling how many of these cases were covered up. That’s the bad part about lying, once a single lie is exposed, even your truths will be doubted.

    And what’s left is not covering everything up. If your first response is to cover it up for years, then you lose the right to complain about people distrusting you to let witnesses live. I’m still not sure whether or not those children would have survived a US hospital, exactly because this was covered up.

  44. MrBounce says:

    I do have to question why the observers thought the people down below were hostile. They were walking in the open, didn’t even look up at the helicopter, and were walking in a clump, something I’d imagine wouldn’t happen if they indeed had hostile intentions. Why would someone be dumb enough to be walking with a RPG in the middle of the road?

    The big thing for me is firing on the van that was trying to drag the wounded in. Is it military procedure to fire on a target, regardless of being labelled hostile, if they’re trying to rescue wounded? While I understand the concept of finishing off the opposition because they could just come right back and get you the next time, it seems rather… barbaric? in todays standards.

    I’m not trying to judge, I can’t imagine the stress of being out there having people wanting to kill you, and this was all just a very tragic mistake.

    But the bigger thing is how the military just seems to have covered it up and denied any responsibility. That’s the biggest issue here.

  45. PxDnNinja says:

    Yes, I am afraid it is going to be blown out of proportion.

    "Obviously, the soldiers were callous due to time playing video games."

    "The military uses farms of gaming systems to supress the instinct to not kill in soldiers."

    "US Soldiers are just child killing sadists."

    All of the above statements can easily be seen spouted by various news sources and fanatics online, without a true knowledge of the situation. Put yourself in the seat of that apache helicopter, after having served over in Iraq and having had missiles and bullets fired at you more times than anyone wants to count, truly think about how you might have reacted.

    I have thought about it, and I wouldn’t have requested permission to engage until the guy appeared to be readying an RPG around the corner. That would have pushed me to request engagement rights, or at least request support so I could extract before I was engaged. I don’t know what intel was handed out prior to this, nor what activity had been going on in the area. With that info, I might have requested engagement rights instead of extraction.

    As for your snide comment about "let’s send the children we just tried to kill to a hospital, so we can finish the job and make sure they can’t testify", what would you rather us do. We sent them to an Iraqi hospital and we are yelled at for them getting much worse medical treatment. We send them to a US hospital, and people say we are attempting to cover up things (because clearly our government is nothing but a network of conspiricies). All that is left is for us to leave them there dying.

    I won’t say we shouldn’t have come forward and said we messed up sooner (quite the opposite, we should have owned up much earlier), but to demonize the soldiers involved like many of the people who read this, especially this wikileaks site, is terrible.

  46. Michael Chandra says:

    Fourteen innocent people were killed and for years the government responded with "all people shot were hostiles", while knowing fully well they were talking shit, and you’re afraid this is going to be blown out of proportion?

    And yes, let’s send the children we just tried to kill to a hospital, so we can finish the job and make sure they can’t testify. It’s not as if we want people to prove we were wrong.

  47. Kojiro says:

    I understand that this is war and innocent casualties happen.  I don’t blame the soldiers.  But lying about it does nobody any favors.  The military should have simply owned up to its mistake, done what it could to prevent the same mistake from happening, and moved on.

    And of course it’s like a game; MW2 is modeled after real life.  Getting chopper gunner feels just like this.

  48. mdo7 says:

    I’m waiting for a certain Florida lawyer, the Eagle forum, and bunch of anti-military/anti video game to say they were right and we’re wrong and using this video to prove violent video game can make a person turned into a homicidal maniac.  We’re going to have to call in Ferguson, and Olson to back us up when this happen.  I think this is what anti-gamer are waiting for, a "real" evidence to back up their support.

     


     

  49. MrBounce says:

    I don’t understand all the initial chatter about "being fired on", "seeing AK47’s" and "RPG". It didn’t seem like they were being fired on, and if they could "make out" a RPG, how did they not make out who was in the vehicle, ie. the kids? The group in no way appeared hostile or even remotely interested in the helicopters as well. The response of "they’re under constant pressure and had to react" is understandable, but they seemed to have a lot of time scouting the situation and talking things over.

    Also, is it really ok / in the rules of engagement to fire on a target that is trying to rescue / help wounded? That was clearly what the people from the van were doing, and you’d think if they were hostile they’d have tried to at least fire at the helicopter to cover the rescue?

    It just really seems like a poorly executed situation that led to really unfortunate results. It’s sad but I guess things like this happen in combat situations.

    Of course for me the bigger issue is the military denying all of this. Seems pretty sick that they would just sweep this all under the rug when innocent people were killed.

  50. Michael Chandra says:

    I think the event is horrible. I think the comparison is horrible. And what I find most horrible, is the coverup.

  51. PxDnNinja says:

    Having been in the military for a period myself, I see both sides of this arguement. To someone who has never had to consider warfare from a very real standpoint, the communication heard over that radio would be horrible.

    But consider this, those soldiers know at any moment they could be shot and killed. An RPG could hit them, a sniper could open fire, a car bomb or any other explosive could be set to take their life. This is stuff that you cannot help but consider when holding a weapon in a warzone.

    You have to accept that there are people out there trying, activly, to take your life, and you are going to face a point where you might have to take theirs. This creates a lot of stress and can cause multiple issues. What is being heard on the radio is a way of dealing with it.

    Those soldiers aren’t viewing things as a video game (most aren’t anyway, every person is different), they are trying to make light of a heavy situation in which they have little control. Similar to when something disasterous happens to a normal person and they try to find the humor in it to detract from the terror of what is going on.

    With games as popular as they are nowadays, it isn’t surprising that during these bouts, for the soldiers to sound as if they are playing a game, but I assure you every one of them know the price of the lifes they have had to take.

     

    As for the children in the van, there was no way to know. Upon watching the video, I didn’t see the children until the final shot where they were pointed out, and even then from a gunship in the air it would be near impossible to know. Consider that they were watchign for potential ambush strikes as well.

     

    The ONLY major issue I can see is the initial engagement. It did not look like a group with AK47s to me, however the guy peaking around the corner did appear to have some sort of weapon easily mistaken for an RPG, at which point it became a potentially hostil situation.

    I dearly hope the children are ok (they should have been sent to an American hospital), and things could have been done slightly better, but I’m afraid this is going to be blown all out of proportion.

  52. chadachada321 says:

    I saw that video earlier today.

    Nothing has ever made me cringe nor has anything ever made me as infuriated at so-called "soldiers" as that video did. Those criminals should be held to answer for the cold-blooded murder they committed.

    It is exactly like a video game to them.

    Grr…

    -Optimum est pati quod emendare non possis-It is best to endure what you cannot change-

  53. GoodRobotUs says:

    ‘Involved in Hostile Activity’

    Yes, being gunned down by a helicopter could certainly be described as that….

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