Is DOD “Losing” Videos of Its Special Ops Missions?

I want to look at two data points about the Wikileaks video.

First, note what General Barry McCaffrey has to say about the mission depicted in the Wikileaks video (around 1:25):

Well, it’s not clear to me it was a mistake, Contessa, I mean if there were armed people on the ground, the fact that they appeared relaxed is good. It means you caught them by surprise. That apparently was a Special Operations mission. Everything about their raids is classified. [my emphasis]

McCaffrey’s a pretty (ahem) straight shooter. And he seems to suggest here that there was nothing out of the ordinary about this mission–for a Special Ops mission.

Which is why I find it so interesting that DOD now says it can’t find its own copy of the video.

The U.S. military said Tuesday it can’t find its copy of a video that shows two employees of the Reuters news agency being killed by Army helicopters in 2007, after a leaked version circulated the Internet and renewed questions about the attack.

Capt. Jack Henzlik, a spokesman for U.S. Central Command, said that forces in Iraq have not been able to locate the video within its files.

We’re attempting to retrieve the video at this time,” Henzlik said.

Now, when I first read this, I grumbled, “ah jeebus, I’m going to have to start another catalog of missing evidence again.” But I’m not sure that’s what this says. Henzlik seems to suggest that CentCom did have a video in its files, but “forces in Iraq” can’t find it anymore.

But if this is a JSOC mission, would you be looking in USSOCOM, and not CentCom?

And is this so sensitive because this is precisely how Special Ops are supposed to behave?

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227 replies
  1. MikeD says:

    Do you mean to say he’s suggesting *nothing* is out of the ordinary? Cuz you wrote “something.”

    • emptywheel says:

      Changed it, thanks. He is definitely suggesting nothing is out of the ordinary: you see guys with guns, you shoot.

      But he’s also suggesting it was a Special Ops mission. Which is itself something different.

      • phred says:

        Just a quick question EW, I thought McCaffery was one of the Pentagon’s hired guns to go on the TV machine and promote their propaganda. Perhaps my memory is faulty (it often is), but if this is the case, should we really take what McCaffery says at face value?

        • MikeD says:

          Actually, to say this is more or less by the book — working the plan as it was worked up — is actually a remarkably candid statement from the general, and most definitely not on standard-issue COIN talkingpoints.

        • Gitcheegumee says:

          That was my immediate thought too,phred.

          I do know that he has a consulting firm ,now,called McCaffrey and Associates.

          Google has quite a few entries for McCaffrey,here’s a couple:

          McCaffrey again discusses Afghan security forces without …5 posts – 4 authors – Last post: Feb 27, 2009
          MSNBC analyst and retired U.S. Army General Barry McCaffrey is … Remember the scandal involving the Pentagon and how it paid retired Generals and other military officers to go on television and shill for the Iraq War. …
          mediamatters.org/research/200902260024 – Cached – Similar

          Surge In Casualties Predicted From Afghanistan War EscalationJan 5, 2010 … Barry McCaffrey, an adjunct professor of international affairs at the US … Is he one of the paid shills of the Republican Party who Cheney …
          http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…/surge-in-casualties-predi_n_412538.html – Cached

    • RUKind says:

      McCaffery is one of the Pentagon propaganda generals identified by the NYT years ago. He was shilling then; why qould anyone expect the truth from him now?

  2. phred says:

    And is this so sensitive because this is precisely how Special Ops are supposed to behave?

    One might reasonably assume the answer to this question is yes.

    If the President has now decided that he has the authority to order the assassination of American citizens — a decision one might hope he actually wrestled with for awhile — then one would guess that we have already been doing such things with foreigners.

    Perhaps Special Ops have been engaged in gunning down unarmed civilians in the streets for awhile, and as Greenwald suggested, this occasion came to light because there were Reuters reporters involved.

    I would still vote for you starting a new list of missing evidence. I suspect there may be quite a lot that’s gone missing (or will soon if it hasn’t already).

  3. tjbs says:

    Could they be on the shelf behind the torture tapes?

    Was there a wholesale destruction of incriminating taped evidence when the bush circus left town?

  4. BoxTurtle says:

    This implies that the Government has kept copies of all wing camera videos, or thinks it has.

    Makes discovery in a civil suit an interesting proposition.

    Boxturtle (I smell a file purge coming on, however)

  5. crossword says:

    Emptywheel writes:

    But if this is a JSOC mission, would you be looking in USSOCOM, and not CentCom?

    I point to this comment I posted yesterday, which I’ll repost below for the sake of discussion:

    TF-34 was the rotary-wing aviation element ISO JSOC during that timeframe. Start digging.

    What the uninitiated may not know — but what I know Jeff and others here do know — is that OCF, or Other Coalition Forces, is a euphemism for a JSOC task force.

    In the PDF linked above, TF-34 openly brags about being in support of OCF-I — JSOC’s forward deployed task force, based in Mosul — which was ran by McRaven by that time, since McChrystal had moved on to be Director of the Joint Staff under Admiral Mullen.

    Oh look, OCF mentioned again (linked PDF, page 2):

    On more than one occasion, I have heard MNC–I or OCF–I Senior Leaders

    OCF-I at that time was McChrystal.

    and Soldiers proclaim their faith and appreciation for our ability to bring them safely to their destination and back home.

    With over 2,400 TF 34 Soldiers spread across Iraq at more than a dozen locations, TF 34 has been literally everywhere across the battlespace influencing the fight. All TF 34 aviation units to include TF Voodoo, TF Pegasus, TF Quickstrike,TF Jokers Wild, TF Cascade, and TF Skater have flown and supportedtough, open-desert, NVG missions that underwrite both OCF–I and Special Operations Command Warriors. These forces have grown accustomed to TF 34 safely transporting them to the fight.

    We even have a Task Force 714 reference (linked PDF, page 9):

    Soldiers of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, the
    “Spidermen,” were responsible for supporting the execution
    of multiple complex air assault insertion and extraction
    missions
    under the most demanding modes of flight for
    United States Special Operations Command (SOCOM), as
    well as TF 714.

  6. orionATL says:

    a special operations mission to kill reporters?

    that would certainly fit with the u. s. military’s “total control of war news” policy.

    frankly, this sounds a lot like a military man giving a military man’s cover-up statement.

    like a cop evaluating a cop shooting of a, how shall put it, “civilian”?

    both mac and cnn wpuld lose access if they were too noisy about this.

    • BoxTurtle says:

      a special operations mission to kill reporters?

      I’d always assumed that whacking reporters was the CIA’s jurisdiction.

      I really liked the embed idea when it first came out. Give the reporters direct access, tell them what is classified and what isn’t and check their stories on the way out. The reporters get front line access like they’ve never had before and can bring the events right to American homes.

      Except that what happened is that the embeds became dependent on the militaries good will. And they started writing propanganda and not writing what the military might find embarassing.

      Prior to embeds, the reporters had to sneak around. They could write as they pleased because they and the army were adversaries. They didn’t get as many stories, but they got better ones.

      Boxturtle (What would Walter think about the state of Journalism today?)

      • BearCountry says:

        The embedded reporters was a bad idea from the beginning; the reporter was dependent on the US military from day one. He or she knew that and the military knew that. A story critical of the military would get the reporter removed, at best, or, at worst, sent home in a special wrapping.

        Prior to ronnie raygun, reporters had free access to the soldiers and the front lines. WWII produced Ernie Pyle and Viet Nam produced several, David Halberstam being one. They did not have to sneak around, they were welcomed by most of the troops. It has only been since raygun that they have been demonized and quite controlled.

        • Leen says:

          lesson learned from Vietnam. Control the media. Don’t show the pictures. Don’t count the dead and injured.

        • librty says:

          Viet Nam produced several, … and Neil Shehan

          Ever read Shehans’ book “A Bright Shining Lie” based on Jon Paul Zann’s Diary and papers?

          • BearCountry says:

            No, I didn’t read Sheehan’s book, but he was one of several that came out of VN. I did read Halberstam’s The Best and the Brightest (many years ago), which was really an ironic title because they turned out not to be so bright.

        • Gitcheegumee says:

          Remeber the Rendon group producing ratings of various reporters for the military to use in order to provide access only to those who would toe the pro war line?
          (BTW,Stars and Stripes did a 3 part expose on this and won a Polk award for its efforts in doing so.)

          Here’s some exceeedingly informative background:

          Pro-war lobby – SourceWatchApr 22, 2008 … John Stauber, “A Pro-War Front Group Rallies With Republican … Tracks the Pro-War Lobby and Vets for Freedom,” PR Watch, August 15, 2007. …
          http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Pro-war_lobby – Cached – Similar

          CJR May/June 2006 – Mind GamesWhen the United States launched Operation Iraqi Freedom in March 2003, ….. John Rendon’s strategic communications consultancy, the Rendon Group, ….. 2007 Columbia Journalism Review at Columbia University’s Graduate School of …
          cjrarchives.org › Issues › 2006 – Similar

          Lincoln Group – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia”The operation is designed to mask any connection with the U.S. … The Lincoln Group’s Iraqi staff, or its subcontractors, sometimes pose as …. between conservatives in the US and pro-freedom leaders in other countries. ….. “The Rendon Group is a partner company of The Lincoln Group”. … Retrieved 2007-12-16. …
          en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lincoln_Group – Cached – Similar

          September 2009 – Boiling Frogs Post | Home of the …Does anyone remember the Rendon Group? If not, let me refresh your memory. … long before September 11, the Rendon Group created the Iraqi National …
          http://www.boilingfrogspost.com/2009/09/ – Cached

  7. orionATL says:

    crossword @9

    i noted that comment in particular.

    but it included a forrest of acronyms to walk thru,

    tf-34 for example might be “task force 34” but i don’t know for sure.

  8. klynn says:

    Tech question a little OT.

    One “expert” on with Glenn Greenwald on MSNBC made a comment about the “optics” for the gunner being different and that the gunner probably could not see the screen image from the camera that we have seen through the Wikileaks video.

    The way he said it made it sound like the gunner had worse imaging to work from. After doing some research, I have gotten the impression of just the opposite. The gunner’s optics were stronger and better high definition.

    If the optics were better, then wouldn’t the camera on the reporter be more obvious? (I read optics were updated on all Apache’s to better quality high def for the gunner.)

    Just curious.

    • librty says:

      One “expert” on with Glenn Greenwald on MSNBC made a comment about the “optics” for the gunner being different and that the gunner probably could not see the screen image from the camera that we have seen through the Wikileaks video.

      I believe that was the main weapons camera video we were seeing. Very evident in target acquisition for the Hellfire’s …

        • BoxTurtle says:

          I don’t believe the government has ever released publically what the targeting view looks like. However, I know it will have lots of overlays and will be designed to show the entire target area rather than closeup details. I suspect it would be a cluttered display with a somewhat wider field of view.

          It would also support IR, UV, motion sensor, and other view modes and there’s no way to know which was active.

          Boxturtle (And I doubt it is recorded)

        • librty says:

          They’re one in the same, only one camera, it’s slaved (or can be) to the gunner’s helmet

          TADS

        • Mason says:

          Was the gunner’s optics more clear then the main weapons camera?

          On Democracy Now yesterday the Wikileaks chief, Julian Assange, said the tape he released (and the one we’ve all seen) is considerably more grainy with less resolution than the tape they received. He said, for example, that the two children were clearly visible sitting together on the front seat of the van before the helicopter opened fire on the van. He said the decryption process degraded the resolution.

          Link

          • PJEvans says:

            My usually-unreliable source is just sure that the chopper crews did everything correctly and that they were justified.
            Have I mentioned my usually-unreliable source watches CNN and the History Channel?

  9. orionATL says:

    if it was another special f—up operation

    that would explain the extraordinary coldness, lack of uncertainty, and malevolence in the voices of the soldiers -trained killers doing their job.

    on the other hand, would a spec fups operation be asking for permission to “engage”?

    would they be in support of an infantry column?

    • librty says:

      on the other hand, would a spec fups operation be asking for permission to “engage”?

      would they be in support of an infantry column?

      Depends on the scenario, if a ruse had been setup, those arriving to provide air support only had the “info” supplied.

    • klynn says:

      I still come back to asking why the ground troops did not move in to retrieve the wounded for intel.

      Unless intel was not the goal.

      One miltary rep on the MSNBC panel made the point that this happened in an area where we lost a number of US troops and that the mission was to keep the area secured.

      Would not some intel on insurgents have been helpful in terms of securing the area?

    • geminorange says:

      Unless intel was not the goal

      They’re blasting human bodies with 30mm (about 1.2″). I don’t think “wounded” was a goal.

  10. orionATL says:

    klynn @19

    i’ve wondered that, too.

    why not call the bradleys in and check these guys out?

    but behind that question lies the question no one wants EVER to ask, let alone answer.

    what is the equivalence ratio between an american life and an iraqui life?

    would it be one to one?

    would it be the case that an american
    professional soldier is expected to bear the risk of being killed if iraqui non-combatants are to not be killed by american forces.

    in this particular baghdad street “battle”, twelve dead iraquis, ambushed with excitement and pleasure, was insurance against a dead or wounded american soldier.

    merely insurancs.

    it wasn’t even a matter of an american death.

    short story of war, any war,

    the guys with the spears make the rules.

    • librty says:

      I am not attempting to offer any apologies for the outcome.

      I want all our sons and daughters brought home now, no exceptions, no negotiations.

      To understand and be empathetic with those doing the killing is impossible for us here in the states. At the time this occurred, many of those boys were on their 2nd or even possibly their 3rd tour.

      The constant threat of IED’s and snipers was influencing the operations, they were actively attempting to reduce US body count.

      If you get the chance, visit a VA hospital, an amputee rehabilitation center and spend some time with these former warriors. Find out the terror they lived with. For many, they will now face a life long battle with PTSD.

      They should not have been there in the first place. This ‘war’ should not have been funded as it was not declared.

      We need to return all our sons and daughters home now. Today.

  11. Mary says:

    I’m not sure that I buy McCaffrey’s Spec Ops excuse. He may shoot straighter than Dick Cheney now and then, but I’ve never seen him go along with anything that denigrates US military action(s) and I’d expect him to put the best face on for something like killing a bunch of people in a street.

    My understanding of the overall setting for the shooting is that there had been confrontations in the neighborhood between US ground forces and insurgents. WaPo is making a big deal out of this video being an incident that was reported in ‘their’ (Finkel) embedded reporter’s book, The Good Soldiers.
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/04/06/AR2010040601368.html

    A big military convoy was going through the al-Amin neighborhood. Bush was touting that the US was going to be “helping” Iraqis take back their neighborhoods (which apparently was code for overseeing secular cleansing). Solidiers were going through the neighborhood, looking for snipers and ieds and insurgents. They found a weapons cache at a mosque in the western part of the neighborhood.

    As one of the soldiers we leaving the mosque, the book has this description:

    …he was startled by a loud burst of gunfire.

    “Machine gun fire,” he said, wondering who was shooting.

    But it wasn’t machine gun fire. It was bigger. More thundering. It was coming from above, just to the east, where the AH-64 Apache helicopters were circling, and it was so loud the entire sky seemed to jerk.

    Now came a second burst.

    “Yeah! We killed more [expletive],” Kauzlarich said.

    The WaPo excerpts from the book go on to describe that while there had been only sporadic gunfire in the western part of the neighborhood, there had been much worse conflict in the eastern parts of the neighborhood.

    All morning long, this part of Al-Amin had been the most hostile. … east Al-Amin had been filled with gunfire and some explosions. There had been reports of sniper fire, rooftop chases, and rocket-propelled grenades being fired at Bravo Company, and as the fighting continued, it attracted the attention of Namir Noor-Eldeen, a twenty-two-year-old photographer for the Reuters news agency who lived in Baghdad, and Saeed Chmagh, forty, his driver and assistant.

    This doesn’t seem to me to be a typical lay out for a spec ops mission – but I can’t claim to know even a microamount about those things. But a neighborhood that had been a flashpoint, numerous military – from the convoys to the guys at the mosque to the Apaches, etc. – all involved in the neighborhood at the same time, and those Apaches apparently providing surveillance of the worst hot spot area, with all their communications being recorded and needing to get clearances and calling in Bravo company on ground to come in and collect after the aerial assault – that just doesn’t seem to click with a spec ops mission. jmo though.

    And from the WaPo book excerpt, I think Finkel put this in the wrong place – it belonged at the end, after everyone involved was discovering that they had shot up journalists and children:

    Good soldiers understood things. So did good Chris tians, and Kauzlarich desired to be one of those, too. “For he who avenges murder cares for the helpless,” he had read the night before in the One Year Bible. “He does not ignore the cries of those who suffer.”

    And from the excerpts, at least, Finkel leaves out the fact that the soldiers didn’t really evac the children right away to give care to the children they had shot up. Instead, they handed them off to a situation where they weren’t likely to get the care they needed.

    It’s more comfortable all around to not have the children you shot up and whose father you killed while he tried to help a journalist that you also killed – right there looking you in the eye.

      • nomolos says:

        Thank you, I had forgotten that one. And, of course there is Tom Paxton.

        Though it isn’t really war
        Were sending 50,000 more to help save
        Afghanistan from Afghanis

      • skdadl says:

        I miss civilization (ie: the sixties). For a time, it seemed as though there was hope, and everyone was as smart and funny as Tom Lehrer. That would have been before 1968, though.

        All these years later, so much seems the same:

        To the shores of Tripoli
        But not to Mississippoli

        • tjbs says:

          Would that be Kent State with rocks against bullets, kinda like Iraq today or early Presidential assassination squads. I remember four unarmed anti-war protesters shot by our government troops. I remember thugs jumping out of cars in 69 to beat the shit out of the protesters when we went in and shut down Washington that Mayday.

          • skdadl says:

            Well, Kent State was later (1970), and by then we knew that so many things had gone pear-shaped. I think of 1968 as the year things shifted in the counter-culture as well as in the official culture. Those of us who’d come of age in the first part of the decade were still political and probably had a degree under our belts, at least high school. 1968 was the first year I met kids who were dropping out of high school because they thought the counter-culture would sustain them, which of course it didn’t. A lot of good things were still happening (the beginnings of the women’s movement, eg), but the joy was gone, and the chill began to set in.

          • Leen says:

            U.S. national guard would not shoot down students protesting or innocent bystanders “don’t be ridiculous”
            Dear friend Dean Kahler shot at Kent State. Did not know him then. At that point he was a farm kid attending Kent state and was there observing the protest. Paralyzed from the chest down from that day forward. Sure opened up his eyes to what National Guard (military) will do under pressure. “don’t be ridiculous” That could not happen

            He came to Athens several years later. With his body crippled and his mind opened forever. Became a county commissioner.
            http://woub.org/intouch/Dean_Kahler/dean_kahler.html

  12. Jim White says:

    I’m shocked, shocked to learn from crossword at 9 that there is a strong link to McChrystal on this horrible JSOC action.

    I’m also shocked to learn that there could be deception involved in the “losing” of the official copy of the video.

    • nomolos says:

      eons ago the Army decided to “lose” my medical records after a finding of negligence on their part. That worked fine until I told them I had a copy of all my records in a Swiss bank account…..I gave them a copy of my copy and, shazam! the originals turned up. Then they tried to tell me that it was illegal to copy ones own records……that didn’t work either.

      • Jim White says:

        It just occurred to me in thinking about your situation, that the “loss” of the official video in this case is remarkably like the plot in Barry Eisler’s upcoming novel Inside Out (the Book Salon is already scheduled to coincide with the publication in June). In the novel, the CIA’s torture tapes haven’t been destroyed but have been stolen by a blackmailer who intends to publish them if he is not paid off. Now, we have a tape from a similarly incriminating incident published and the government not able to “find” their copy…

        • crossword says:

          Your theory has merit.

          I can confirm this is an internal distro of the Rules of Engagement. You can only get that if your were on the Strategy, Effects or Operations staffs at MNF-I or CENTCOM.

          • behindthefall says:

            Pp. E-5,6 of that document: “Positive identification” is defined as “reasonable certainty”. “Conduct based hostile forces” are people who “demonstrate hostile intent”. A “military object” makes “an effective contribution to military action”.

            This is not a restraining document; this is a “you are free to do anything you can talk your way out of” license.

            “I was reasonably certain said victim was the guy I saw selling tea to the other guys I was reasonably certain were with the group I was reasonably certain was on the terrorist list. Or not. Oh, the ‘other guys’ were journalists? Well, they got what they deserved. Hey, it’s a war, right?”

  13. BoxTurtle says:

    OT but Very interesting: Spanish judge who opened investigation of BushCo torture hit with something completely different. Linky.

    Boxturtle (The dead hand of BushCo reaches once more from it’s grave)

    • bmaz says:

      As i have always said, the Spanish judges cannot accomplish much without the support of their government, and they do not have it.

  14. Gitcheegumee says:

    Yesterday, on a Siun thread over at FDL, I posted this:

    According to the articles here ,produced contemporaneously with the 2007 event,by the National Professional Photographers Association website, the reporters’ films verified that there were no threats from those on the ground.These are very informative pieces.

    Reuters Says Killed Photographer’s Cameras Returned; Seeks Full …Jul 17, 2007 … Reuters Says Killed Photographer’s Cameras Returned; … Witnesses interviewed by Iraqi police and by Reuters say they saw no gunmen in the …
    http://www.nppa.org › News & Events › News – Cached

    Reuters Photographer, Driver, Killed In IraqJul 12, 2007 … Reuters is reporting that Noor-Eldeen called a coworker to say he was … Another witness returned Noor-Eldeen’s press credentials to … it does or does not have the photographer’s camera equipment, … Reuters said the photographer was single, but that Chmagh was married and had four children. …
    http://www.nppa.org › News & Events › News – Cached – Similar

    Reuters seeks U.S. probe into killing of Iraqi staff | ReutersJul 16, 2007 … Photographer Namir Noor-Eldeen, 22, and driver Saeed Chmagh, 40, … On Sunday, the U.S. military returned to Reuters two digital cameras that … Noor-Eldeen and Chmagh were among three Reuters employees killed in Baghdad in the past week. …
    http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSL1617459520070716 – Cached

  15. cregan says:

    There appears to be much more needed to be known about this incident and what led up to it before any kind of solid, dependable conclusion can be drawn.

    But, that is why this thread is good. More and more info is turning up.

  16. orionATL says:

    for [email protected]

    and implicitly mary @27

    the central question is :

    how many iraqui lives are worth
    one american life?

    is it ok to kill 12 men who might have posed a threat to an american soldier when none of them were behaving in an evidently hostile way?

    i say no.

    is not the case that american soldiers, paid professionals, should be expected to bear the risk of being killed to prevent the killing by other soldiers of 12 iraquis.

    i say yes.

    and mary,

    the childen are an important emotional part to the argument, but the men are at least as important.

    they are fathers, husbands, supporters of their family.

    when they dissappear from the family many bad things, financial and, emotional ensue.

    • librty says:

      100 to 1, 1000 to 1, 10000 to 1

      Bring the boys home now.

      I believe you’re attempting mental masturbation and suggest you place your energies on the ones ultimately responsible for this bull shit, the elected members of congress who continue to fund this carnage and the executive branch that is carrying it out.

      Or, join, go on over and straighten it out, yourself.

      shit happens, especially in war. Bring Our Boys Home

      • nomolos says:

        These “soldiers” are all volunteers. The trouble with an al volunteer army is that one tends to get people who have violent tendencies wanting to join up. And then, of course, you get a number of people given the choice of “volunteering” or going to jail. What the military end up getting is thugs and thieves and when that happens shit happens.

        • librty says:

          Bullshit pure and simple. The military you’re describing hasn’t occurred for 30 years now. Criminal record, you don’t get in.

          Many of these sons and daughters joined after watching the towers fall. And … a good percentage are from our State Guard, not the Army or Marine Corp or Air Force.

          Stop character assassinating our sons and daughters. Your over generalization is, well, just that.

          • crossword says:

            The military you’re describing went away at the turn of the millennium.
            I’ve only done 4+ tours in the last six years, I wouldn’t know what I’m talking about or anything…

              • crossword says:

                No, you have an overly simplistic (and unrealistic) idea of what the conventional military is now.

                It’s a corporate meritocracy, that serves as the logistical train for Special Operations Forces and contractors abroad. That, and to foster personal development and community outreach. There is very little that even remotely resembles 1960-1970s draft-era or post-Vietnam/1980-1999 all-volunteer force. It’s nothing like what you’re describing.

                The demand for volunteers has gone up. Instead of resorting to a draft, they’ve lowered the standards and separated the military into tiers. It is not professional nor lethal — only at the tip does it even come close, and even then any real “talent” has fled to the contractors.

                • librty says:

                  No, you have an overly simplistic (and unrealistic) idea of what the conventional military is now.

                  Amazing, I wasn’t aware I had described any idea I had of the military.

                  It’s nothing like what you’re describing

                  .

                  Again, and where did I describe it?

                  • crossword says:

                    Don’t get sand in your vagina, you only made the mistake of saying this:

                    Criminal record, you don’t get in.

                    Exhibit A:

                    Marine Lance Cpl. Justin J. Wilson

                    Justin Wilson was the kid who duct-taped his cousin to the dryer and stuffed his brother into a washing machine.

                    His uncle, Ed Forte, said Wilson also loved graffiti art, which was prominently displayed — “on what he thought was his personal gallery, that gallery being the many walls in Commack, Long Island, where he grew up.”

                    But Wilson also was the kid who watched a television documentary on the Marine Corps as he waited for Hurricane Frances to pass over in 2004. “That is what I want to be,” Forte recalled him saying.

                    He joined in January 2009.

                    Wilson, 24, of Palm City, Fla., was killed by a roadside bomb March 22 in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to Camp Lejeune.

                    There’s plenty more, I’m sure you know how to use Google.

                • librty says:

                  It’s a corporate meritocracy, that serves as the logistical train for Special Operations Forces and contractors abroad. That, and to foster personal development and community outreach. There is very little that even remotely resembles 1960-1970s draft-era or post-Vietnam/1980-1999 all-volunteer force. It’s nothing like what you’re describing.

                  The demand for volunteers has gone up. Instead of resorting to a draft, they’ve lowered the standards and separated the military into tiers. It is not professional nor lethal — only at the tip does it even come close, and even then any real “talent” has fled to the contractors.

                  I agree with everything said.

                  Bring Our Boys Home

            • librty says:

              Fine and Good Bob, You Win.

              So Let’s just leave our Boys there and see how many body bags come home.

              Then multiply that by 1000 for the other guys.

              Everybody Happy?

          • bmaz says:

            That is really not quite right; here is but one easily found article. that said, there is no evidence that such is the general character of the services at all; overall they seem to be commendable.

            • librty says:

              Yes, I know bmaz, a dozen or so have already stomped me for that mis-speak. I’m bad

              I should have been much more specific, as I was referring to Judges giving Felons a choice, serve in the armed force or serve in prison.

              That happened many years ago and has stopped (I sure hope that one hasn’t started again).

              • bmaz says:

                I actually have seen/heard of it occasionally in the criminal courts I play in, but not often. And it may well be more of a ploy by defendants seeking an alternative resolution as opposed to the idea of the judges.

                • librty says:

                  I served with some that had been given that choice. As in so many things in life, it’s tough to predict the outcome. There are those that took the opportunity and turned their lives around and then there were those that didn’t.

                  The argument has also been made that a ‘draft’ would be the panacea.

                  Well, I served with quite a few of those also, not really a Military Utopian experience there either.

                  Any which way I dice and slice it, these expeditions are, in my thinking, unconstitutional (since no declaration was provided by congress) and they’re simply unjust. (not to mention incredibly self defeating)

              • Nell says:

                It certainly hasn’t stopped where I’m from (southwest Virginia).

                The first resident of my county wounded in the war in Iraq (in May 2003) was in the military because a local judge a year or so earlier had given him the choice of prison or joining up.

                The crime for which he was being sentenced? Beating up an Indian exchange student near the campus of the college the student was attending. Unprovoked, purely racist redneck hoodlumism, for which the perp should have done time and restitution. Instead, the now has permanent eye and brain injuries from an explosion of a jammed machine gun.

                • librty says:

                  Instead, the perp now has permanent eye and brain injuries from an explosion of a jammed machine gun.

                  Not sure how to respond, What goes around?

                  Too bad he’s probably under permanent and total disability.

                  • geminorange says:

                    Not sure how to respond, What goes around?

                    My first thought was “Karma”. Especially given his victim.

    • Mary says:

      but the men are at least as important

      I agree – it’s something that I’ve pointed out over and over before, but it’s always worth pointing out again.

      Even in a situation where you didn’t have a father killed, and where you had Western support services – when someone like Khalid el-Masri was disappeared, his family suffered greatly. He returned and his family wasn’t in a war zone, but there was still damage.

      When you have country disintegrating into chaos, women who can’t go out to even get groceries without a male family member accompanying them, when you have huge unemployment and the bulk of the population under 18, and you have older men and women just as dependent on their sons as their grandchildren, and a society that requires male intervention for almost everything – from driving a car to getting medical care to fighting to protecting from insurgents and basic crime, etc. – the loss of a father, older son, etc. – it devastes in wide ripples.

      That’s been discussed a lot of different times and contexts – also the impact of the military’s policies early on in Iraq, on taking women hostages to get their husbands/sons to turn themselves in and the wider impact on what that meant for the women who were taken.

      The Obama/Bush approach is to just ignore all the more complex fallout. I do and will mention the children, though, over and over because a) someone should, and b) the pro-war propaganda is too often sold with a picture of a soldier carrying a child; not a soldier executing that child’s father or bombing the child. Writer’s like Finkel and lackingleaders like Bush and Obama sell the story of war to “help the innocent” and that ours are the “good soldiers” who are there to answer the cries of the helpless and the suffering. It’s a nice, comforting blanket to wrap around your mind. Sometimes, though, someone needs to yank the blanket away and make the mind wake up.

      • Leen says:

        “When you have country disintegrating into chaos, women who can’t go out to even get groceries without a male family member accompanying them, when you have huge unemployment and the bulk of the population under 18, and you have older men and women just as dependent on their sons as their grandchildren, and a society that requires male intervention for almost everything – from driving a car to getting medical care to fighting to protecting from insurgents and basic crime, etc. – the loss of a father, older son, etc. – it devastes in wide ripples.

        That’s been discussed a lot of different times and contexts – also the impact of the military’s policies early on in Iraq, on taking women hostages to get their husbands/sons to turn themselves in and the wider impact on what that meant for the women who were taken.”

        Dear friend Christian Peace Maker Team member Peggy Gish returned from Iraq about a month ago. (I believe it was her eighth trip over to Iraq (she was there before the invasion). Accumulated time on the ground close to 4 years. She came back saying that the situation for women is horrendous, lots more prostitution, widows and orphans surviving off of dump sites, more kidnappings, stories of torture. She said the living situation for Iraqi’s is far worse than before the invasion.
        http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4066835.stm

        If folks have any desire to have Peggy come to their cities or towns to talk about her experiences. She and her husband Art (he has spent 15 or so winters in Israel with the Palestinians) one or both will come to share their on the ground experiences.

  17. Leen says:

    McCaffrey goes from saying that there were “weapons in the area” and then went to “armed people on the ground.”

    McCaffrey:”I don’t think that’s almost anything” What the hell does that mean?

    McCaffrey sure makes light of these deaths. “It was an attack on armed people in Baghdad”

    McCaffrey never calls the people killed civilians or journalist. McCaffrey “armed people”
    ————————————————-
    Amy Goodman interviewed Wikileaks Julian Assange and Glenn Greenwald
    Massacre Caught on Tape: US Military Confirms Authenticity of Their Own Chilling Video Showing Killing of Journalists
    http://www.democracynow.org/2010/4/6/massacre_caught_on_tape_us_military

    ————————————————————–
    Yesterday NPR’s Talk of the Nation host Neil Conan sure pulled a this is not a big deal interview about these killings of civilians/journalist
    Leaked video depicts civilian deaths in Iraq
    http://www.npr.org/templates/rundowns/rundown.php?prgId=5

    David Finkel “the video people are able to see on you tube or wikileaks is an edited version of a much longer video that shows many more things. Including in the beginning um which I didn’t see on the web when I looked at it this morning. You do see a group of guys walking down the street one of whom has an Rpg launcher”

    Later on Neil says “this was just another day of war” Yawn

    ———————————————————————–

    How many journalist have been knocked off trying to independently report about what is going on in Iraq, Afghanistan. Anyone think that could be part of JSOC. Make sure the rest of the world is not able to see what we do not want them to see…Knock off journalist

    • crossword says:

      I do not think that. I think the video was classified and subsequently leaked because of it.

        • crossword says:

          That they go around specifically targeting journalists, Leen.
          That’s ridiculous.

          The whole travesty of JSOC is they’re so busy killing and detaining people they perceive to be our enemies, they break military regulations and US/international law in the process. They don’t know or care about the press. That’s the whole point of having friends in the Secretary’s office, on the Joint Staff and at the White House — they take care of those annoyances for you.

          The questions the Wikileaks video poses are:

          – Is this acceptable?
          – If not, was this a one-time occurrence?
          – Who (if anyone) was held responsible?
          – Who was in charge of MND-B at the time?
          – Who was in charge of MNF-I at the time?
          – Who was in charge of CENTCOM at the time?

          Who was the PAO that wrote this fluff piece in 2007? Why isn’t his name on the press release?

          Those are the questions to be asking.

          • Leen says:

            “That they go around specifically targeting journalists, Leen.
            That’s ridiculous.”

            “That they go around and specifically” lie about WMD intelligence. “Don’t be ridiculous.

            “That they go around and specifically” allow looting, disband the Iraqi army. “Don’t be ridiculous”

            That they go around and specifically “drag women and children out on the streets. “Don’t be ridiculous”

            “That they go around and specifically” out a CIA undercover agent” “Don;t be ridiculous”

            Come on. All questions are on the table when it comes to this fucking illegal and immoral war

            Of course the bigger issue is the killing of innocent civilians. And this is certainly not the only information that has come out to suggest that.

            But there sure have been a lot of journalist killed in that war. And with how twisted and convoluted the intentions of the invasion were I would not put anything past the military.

            The Winter Soldier testimonies that barely made the MSM was one story after the next about the immoral and horrid acts committed by some of our countries soldiers.
            http://www.ivaw.org/wintersoldier

            Mike Prysner…towel head, camel jockey sand nigger “these words did not initially come from fellow soldiers but from my superiors my platoon sergeant my company first sergeant, battalion commander. All the way up the chain of command these terms these viciously racist terms were suddenly acceptable”

            “DON’T BE RIDICULOUS”

            Part 1

            Part 2

            ” he picked him up and slammed him up against the wall a couple of times”

            “DON’T BE RIDICULOUS”
            New Abu Ghraib Abuse Photos
            http://www.antiwar.com/news/?articleid=2444

            • librty says:

              Towel head, camel jockey sand nigger “these words did not initially come from fellow soldiers but from my superiors my platoon sergeant my company first sergeant, battalion commander. All the way up the chain of command these terms these viciously racist terms were suddenly acceptable”

              Makes it a bunch easier to squeeze that trigger (local or remote control) when they’ve already been vilified.

              Nothing new there, It’s happened in every major armed conflict we’ve ever had.

              • Leen says:

                “Nothing new there, It’s happened in every major armed conflict we’ve ever had.’

                Makes it much easier to torture “sand niggers” when they are not flesh and blood like you
                he Abu Ghraib Prison Photos
                http://www.antiwar.com/news/?articleid=2444

                or Rape and kill 14 year old girls and their family

                US soldier admits murdering girl
                A second US soldier’s plea of guilty to the gang rape of a 14-year-old Iraqi girl and the killing of her and her family has been accepted by a judge.
                http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/6384781.stm

                Does not make it acceptable. Iraq did not even shoot at us with a fucking pea shooter.

                The one thing the military muckety mucks learned from Vietnam. Do not show the pictures or what is really going on on the ground. Make sure the MSM gets into line. Embed in bed. And do not count the dead and injured

                • behindthefall says:

                  Does not make it acceptable. Iraq did not even shoot at us with a fucking pea shooter.

                  It is so damned easy to lose sight of that, isn’t it? They had oil and a world-class miserable leader whom few would miss. What did we have? Well, we didn’t have the oil …

                • Gitcheegumee says:

                  “No Blood, No Foul” | Human Rights WatchJul 22, 2006 … Torture and other abuses against detainees in US custody in Iraq were authorized and routine, even after the 2004 Abu Ghraib scandal, …
                  http://www.hrw.org/en/reports/2006/07/22/no-blood-no-foul – Similar

                  NOTE: This is a very long piece,but explicit in the types of abuse, the specific locations, and there is extensive discussion of the metal boxes that have been referred to as coffins in earlier threads here.

                  If memory serves correctly, they are referred to in this HRW article as Comex containers.

                  • Leen says:

                    thanks.

                    But really. U.S. officials giving orders to “soften prisoners up” by what ever means. “Don’t be ridiculous”

          • Mary says:

            Great questions – why the hell we see them here rather than being asked on the constant barrage of 24 hour “news” services is what baffles me.

            I’ve got a feeling we come from and may end up at very different places, but I’d much rather learn from having you out there asking those questions than getting nothing but botox blondes and paid propagandists and Eric Ericson’s. It is beyond frustrating. Some of those questions are super mysterious – why, after the last 9 years – would we have no journalists going after answers to them?

            When we, as a nation, decide to use military force(s) there is no way for things to be perfect. Too many different people (no organization has only saints working for it and all good people have days their demons win out – ESPECIALLY when leadership aggressively divorces to consequences from actions). Too much chaos and too many other problems – it’s just very lo grade analysis to acknowlege that there are going to be a lot of things go very wrong when we choose to implement military force.

            Even so, I have to say that I support military force now and then. But when I do, it’s knowing that it will have a trail of devastated families and wonderful people who will die or be left limbless, and horrible scars all around.

            But what I can’t get my head around is why the US population is constantly sold themes that about war that aren’t truthful?

            You bet a lot of sons and daughters joined after 9/11 – – but they didn’t join to go fight for nothing in Iraq or to fight for trying to keep Bush and Obama’s reputations burnished in Afghanistan. They joined bc they thought they’d be able to contribute to doing something about that attack.

            And by the time they were going to Iraq, most were going there with a muddled idea, never corrected by US media or their chain of command, that they were going to kill the people behind 9/11.

            And then they watched their friends – or those they relied on, even if they weren’t crazy abou them – start being blown up. At that point, it’s different. It will always be different then, when you are in the middle of a foreign population and are waiting to be shot at or blown up yourself.

            Them.

            Us.

            But that’s nothing insightful either. It’s just the stuff that doesn’t ever seem to get talked about. You can’t discuss how war means that we’ll send kids – 18 yos are kids – over to watch the horrible and be the horrible. You can’t discuss WHY we are doing that.

            Now and then a President is asked why something is so important he sends our children to die for it. Almost never does someone ask them why something is so important, it’s worth making having our children and our nation kill innocents for it. But that is a part of war – always. Always has been and always will be. For that matter, it’s a part of other things, like mass manufacturing. And that doesn’t mean that you can necessarily say, “well, bc there is that part of the equation, we just should NEVER do it” bc sometimes the do nothing costs are even worse.

            But you never make the right decisions without talking about all the real costs. And a nation’s decision won’t always be the decision that prevents a particular family from suffering, but we seem really focused on a pretense of no-costs in our decision making.

            War is a progression of not just horrible things that someone has to do, but also horrible things that no one should ever have done.

            War always means bullets in babies heads and young men and women watching other young men and women literally blown to pieces in front of them. Always. Always.

            A nation may need to commit to that kind of a cost under some circumstances, but why would a nation so devote itself to covering up the costs not only before it makes it’s original decisions, but year in, year out, as it continues down the road. I don’t get it – who benefits?

  18. Leen says:

    During Finkel’s interview with Conan he claims that “one of the bodies was found on top of an Rpg launcher”

  19. Leen says:

    Reporters in Iraq
    Reporters in Iraq under fire there, and from critics
    http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/iraq/2006-03-22-media-criticism_x.htm

    “It started as arguably the best-covered war in history: Hundreds of reporters traveled with the military as it invaded Iraq, and then hundreds more moved freely around the country as troops secured Baghdad. Today, it has become for some journalists the least-covered war.

    Newspapers and other media have cut the number of reporters in the war zone. The reporters who remain in Iraq find leaving their hotels or rental houses difficult for fear of being killed or kidnapped.

    To get to the news, they generally must either “embed” with U.S. or Iraqi forces, work the phones from their hotels or houses, send Iraqi staff to events or make carefully planned reporting trips protected by hired guards.”
    ———————————————————————-
    Journalist in Iraq
    http://www.pbs.org/frontlineworld/stories/iraq401/charta.html
    ntroduction
    By Dave Johns

    According to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), 2004 was the deadliest year for journalists in the last decade. They died disproportionately in one place: Iraq. Deteriorating security conditions caused by the growing insurgency make Iraq the world’s most dangerous place for journalists today. Of the 56 journalists killed worldwide last year, more than 40 percent lost their lives in Iraq.

    On paper, all journalists are protected from harm when reporting from a war zone. In 1977, the Geneva Conventions accorded journalists civilian status in wartime and declared that reporters accompanying combatants into battle should not be treated as soldiers or spies. During the U.S. invasion of Iraq in March 2003, many journalists were “embedded” within military units in a controversial new partnership between the military and the media. Embedded reporters agreed to certain restrictions on their coverage in exchange for access to soldiers on the front lines. So although these journalists did their reporting from inside a military public relations bubble, they also benefited from the security of that environment. Keeping reporters safe amid the chaos of guerrilla warfare, though, is a greater challenge. The current insurgency in Iraq, like an increasing number of conflicts around the world, features shadowy armies who wear no uniforms and operate with no readily identifiable chain of command or formal adherence to any “rules of war.” These conflicts include not simply battles between armies, but abductions, assassinations and attacks by suicide bombers who target civilians as well as military forces. And journalists, especially if they are perceived to have an association with one side, are not spared.

    • Gitcheegumee says:

      Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ)Features international news alerts and resources from non-partisan international organization of journalists dedicated to protection of freedom of the press …
      http://www.cpj.org/ – Cached – Similar

      Journalists Killed in 2009
      Killed Since 1992
      News Alerts
      Reports & Publications
      More results from cpj.org »

      NOTE: I pointed out on EW’s earlier thread,”Well. it’s their fault”, that it was a Reuters reporter that broke the Haditha story,one year earlier-andhe had been susequently jailed twice .

      I also provided a link to that story,also.

    • tjbs says:

      The current insurgency in Iraq, like an increasing number of conflicts around the world, features shadowy armies who wear no uniforms and operate with no readily identifiable chain of command or formal adherence to any “rules of war.”

      Would this be an apt description of a war in 1776 against the army of empire of that day, with the attendant mercenaries, the Hessions.

      • bobschacht says:

        The current insurgency in Iraq, like an increasing number of conflicts around the world, features shadowy armies who wear no uniforms and operate with no readily identifiable chain of command or formal adherence to any “rules of war.”

        I resist this Conventional Wisdom. It just ain’t true.

        When Assurbanipal’s army went on the march, do you think they wore uniforms?

        There have always been irregulars, and they seldom wear uniforms.

        Would this be an apt description of a war in 1776 against the army of empire of that day, with the attendant mercenaries, the Hessions.

        “Hessians.” Compare Blackwater (or Xe). Did they wear Blackwater uniforms? Or U.S. uniforms?

        Part of the BS of this message is the mantra of the right that “This war is unique!” Well, in a literal sense, that’s true, in that every war is unique, but that’s not helpful. Mostly that statement represents a kind of myopia, which has the handy side effect of relieving the writer of doing any real thinking (or research) about previous armed engagements.

        Al Qaeda did not invent irregular warfare. The Wikipedia considers the war against American Indians as irregular warfare. Many other examples could be cited.

        This POV represents a common myopia. This war is unique!!! We’ve never seen anything like it before!!! None of the Old Rules apply!!! Therefore none of the old restrictions apply!!! Geneva Conventions are obsolete!!!

        All baloney.

        Bob in AZ

  20. nomolos says:

    This from NYT

    The number of waivers granted to Army recruits with criminal backgrounds has grown about 65 percent in the last three years, increasing to 8,129 in 2006 from 4,918 in 2003, Department of Defense records show.

    http://www.10news.com/news/19024378/detail.html

    The U.S. military grants roughly 30,000 conduct waivers each year. Gang members were never supposed to be eligible.
    The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Deputy who invited the recruiter to jail defended the program last summer.
    He is a veteran himself, and said it’s better to have petty criminals and first-time non-violent offenders in the military than locked up at a cost of $100 each per day.

    And there is more.

    • jakebob says:

      This is only anecdotal, but…
      My sister’s son, 20 y.o. w/ drug & assault raps… was recently recruited. He also got his HS diploma which I’m sure helped.

  21. librty says:

    petty criminals and first-time non-violent

    If the UCMJ was violated, then prosecute.

    And the issue should not be about the men over there but about them being there.

    Do you support the incursions into Iraq and Afghanistan ?

    Bring Our Boys Home

  22. crossword says:

    If they really wanted to kill journalists, Brian Ross, Seymour Hersh, Jeremy Scahill, Dana Priest, Scott Horton and a host of others would be dead. Just between those five there’s plenty of exposes worth killing over.

    Yet they’re all walking around. Why? Because they don’t care. Get a clue.

    • Leen says:

      How many of those journalist have been in Iraq trying to report outside of being embedded with American troops?

      Back to the point that U.S. troops killed innocents. The video is the proof

    • john in sacramento says:

      If they really wanted to kill journalists, Brian Ross, Seymour Hersh, Jeremy Scahill, Dana Priest, Scott Horton and a host of others would be dead. Just between those five there’s plenty of exposes worth killing over.

      Yet they’re all walking around. Why? Because they don’t care. Get a clue.

      Just making a comment, and intending to get into the pie fight

      Going off of memory (don’t have the book with me) but in the book Blind Man’s Bluff: The Untold Story of American Submarine Espionage, I’m pretty sure Hersh admits he was formerly in the CIA. That doesn’t discount any of his valuable work, but I think it shows that he can provide a service for those who want certain things leaked

      Which might be the answer for him

  23. orionATL says:

    [email protected]

    thank you.

    that was eloquent as usual.

    “when you have a country disintegrating into chaos..”

    gets at precisely my concern.

    whether in iraq, sierra leone, rwanda, bosnia, “palestine” –

    the incidental death in war of fathers -and mothers- is devasting to families.

    the more economically marginal the family, the greater the economic devastation that follows the death.

    yes, extended families do provide some protection, but i would guess increasingl less with increasing urbanization.

  24. orionATL says:

    librty

    i don’t mind giving my answer.

    the equivalence of life must be one to one.

    my impression of the american military at it’s most reflective, e.g., war college, is that something along thelines of the issue i’m raising has already been discussed thete for decades.

    you cannot be an occupying force – vietnam, lebanon, eastern europe, iraq-

    without answering this question.

    or at least you can’t be a successful occupying force.

    the “war is hell”, “accidents happen” approach to civilian deaths will apply in any war.

    but it better not apply too often in a war of occupation.

    • librty says:

      I understand your argument orion, and I’m sympathetic to it. I’d continue to be supportive if I perceived us to be on a ‘just’ mission.

      Recently tho my attitude has changed as there appears to be further acceptance of our escalation in Afghanistan and with it the laying of the responsibility for any and all failures at the feet of those that are at the bottom of the chain of command instead of at the Top of the Chain where it belongs.

      So, now my thoughts are I do not wish my son to take unnecessary risks but conversely, if in doubt, protect himself.

      We Need To Bring our Sons Home Now

  25. orionATL says:

    librty @78

    there is not a word you wrote @78 with which i disagree.

    i have absolutely no hesitation saying together with you,

    We Need to Bring our Sons and Daughters Home Now!!

    if your son is among those serving now, may he return safely at the earliest possible moment.

  26. Nell says:

    What makes McCaffrey a “straight shooter”? He’s one of the stable of media-whore military propagandists. He’s a lying sack of shvt, as far as I’m concerned, and I’m unaware of any substantial basis for believing this was a Special Operations “mission”.

    This was the kind of murder that’s been a regular part of the war. U.S. troops shell, mortar, shoot, and bomb Iraqis and Afghans with the rationale that they are “hostiles” — if not actively involved in killing the invading, occupying troops, then about to be, and therefore “fair game”.

  27. tjbs says:

    Even so, I have to say that I support military force now and then.

    Mary, Mary, Mary you may be right but the only war I would fight in is the one where the politicians are resigning and joining the services to defend our shores from an invasion, other than that not so much.

  28. prostratedragon says:

    OT: Per Mark Thoma, Rajiv Sethi wishes Albert O. Hirschman a happy 95th birthday. After reading the article, you might join him:

    Four decades ago, he published Exit, Voice and Loyalty, a slim volume that contains more insights per page than just about anything else I have read. …

    The subtitle of the book is “Responses to Decline in Firms, Organizations and States.” Hirschman’s concern is with “repairable lapses” in organizational performance: declines that could be corrected with the right balance of information, incentives and flexibility of response.

    Putting it maybe too briefly, organizations that can save themselves tend to allow for their participants to bring both “exit” and “voice” tactics to bear, i.e. people can leave in the end, but also the rules of the organization allow various categories of its members the possibility of changing things. Successful organizations will also inspire enough loyalty that using one’s voice —which might take more effort and have a more uncertain return— seems worthwhile to members.

    Time for me to get it in my re-reading queue.

  29. tjbs says:

    To lbty @ 100=”unconstitutional (since no declaration was provided by congress)”

    That has puzzled me for quite a while then it came to me this week.
    The last declared war was WW 2. Then came Korea first of many undeclared wars.

    The in between part was signing on to the UN charter which outlawed war but in reality outlawed calling a war a war.
    george came close to honoring our commitment but in a chick-shit way backed out when he realized he didn’t have the security council votes to actually take action with the UN approval. There is no enforcement to the charter when the most heavily armed nation , in the world’s history, breaks the rules.

    • librty says:

      The last declared war was WW 2. Then came Korea first of many undeclared wars.

      The in between part was signing on to the UN charter which outlawed war but in reality outlawed calling a war a war.

      Thanks, I never did the connecting and I agree, Even now, with our boys getting killed and them killing others, there isn’t any indignation in the average American. I don’t get it.

      We have the power, the will and the might but use it with complete and (possibly corrupt) irresponsibility.

      I respected Truman greatly but just do not understand why he set the example (and he must have known he was providing a precedent).

      In his autobiography he glosses over the decision to invade without a declaration, unless he figured that because we were flying the UN authorization, it was the same as a declaration.

      Slippery Slope

  30. Leen says:

    The Military must really be going after Julian Assange
    “AMY GOODMAN: Julian Assange, what is happening now to WikiLeaks.org? What kind of response have you gotten? Can you talk about surveillance or possibly attempting to shut you down?

    JULIAN ASSANGE: Well, a few weeks ago, we released a 2008 counterintelligence report from the United States Army, thirty-two pages, that assessed quite a few articles that I had written and some of the other material we had released—so that includes the main manuals for Guantánamo Bay, which revealed falsification of records there and deliberate hiding of people from the Red Cross, a breach of the Geneva Conventions, and psychological torture, many other things, and a report we released on the battle of Fallujah, once again a classified US military report into what happened there—and clearly concerned that we were causing embarrassment to the US military by exposing human rights abuses and some concern—doesn’t seem to be legitimate, but some concerns that the fine details of some material that we were releasing could, in theory, when combined with other detail, pose a threat to soldiers if insurgents got hold of that information. So that report sort of looks at different ways to destroy WikiLeaks.org or fatally marginalize it.

    And because our primary asset is the trust, that sources have enough—we have a reputation for having never had a source publicly exposed, and as far as I know, that reputation is true—it looks to see whether they can publicly expose some of our sources, prosecute US military whistleblowers—and, in fact, it uses the phrase “whistleblowers,” not people who are leaking indiscriminately—but prosecute US military whistleblowers in order to destabilize us and destroy what it calls our “center of gravity,” the trust that the public and sources have in us.”

    “should the Pentagon be held accountable?”

    Julian

  31. Leen says:

    EW “And he seems to suggest here that there was nothing out of the ordinary about this mission–for a Special Ops mission.”

    And that may be the very point that Glennwald and Assange point out that this operation was just ‘another day at the office” “business as usual”

    The disregard for verifying, and the disregard for the lives of Iraqi civilians/ journalist was not “out of the ordinary”

    Glenn’s follow up on the Wikileaks
    “(1) The more I think about it, the more astounding I find it that there could even be a debate over the fact that incidents like the one depicted on this video are exceedingly common, and not at all rare (let alone that vile “He-Hates-The-Troops!” smears would be directed at those who point out this basic truth). Aside from the mountains of evidence making it undeniably clear how common such events are — (a) the enormous number of dead civilians in Iraq; (b) the countless incidents where the U.S. military killed large numbers of civilians, lied about it, and then was forced by investigations to admit the truth; (c) the definitive statements from war correspondents and even our own soldiers about how common such incidents are — just consider what Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the commander of the war in Afghanistan, said not more than a month ago:
    http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2010/04/07/iraq_video/index.html

  32. Gitcheegumee says:

    Iraqi journalists’ group calls for investigation of deadly US …Apr 6, 2010 … BAGHDAD (AP) — The Iraqi Journalists’ Union wants a government investigation into a deadly shooting by a US.
    article.wn.com/…/Iraqi_journalists_group_calls_for_investigation_of_deadly_US_8/

    • Leen says:

      Yesterday NPR’s Talk of the Nation host Neil Conan sure pulled a this is not a big deal interview about these killings of civilians/journalist
      Leaked video depicts civilian deaths in Iraq
      http://www.npr.org/templates/rundowns/rundown.php?prgId=5

      David Finkel “the video people are able to see on you tube or wikileaks is an edited version of a much longer video that shows many more things. Including in the beginning um which I didn’t see on the web when I looked at it this morning. You do see a group of guys walking down the street one of whom has an Rpg launcher”

      Later on Neil says “this was just another day of war” Yawn

      —————————————————————-

      On Talk of the Nation yesterday Finkel said that there was a much “longer video” He talks about this group of guys, one with an RPG launcher. He then goes onto say that an Rpg launcher was found under one of the dead that the U.S. military had killed. Like you could hide one of these launchers. You might want to listen to that interview linked above

      • Synoia says:

        My University Colleagues were British Army Officers, many had served in Aden. I was told it was standard practice to carry grenade pins, and drop them on the killed, to enable the excuse “he was carrying a grenade”.

      • dosido says:

        yw, gg. I found it pretty enlightening.

        I’m disturbed by this video not because I am an armchair witness to war. But because I am witnessing a war crime. and it is a war crime committed by our own troops.

        This whole time I have been against this illegal invasion but supported our troops who are in harm’s way, etc. This video shatters my defenses against the horrible.

        Saying “that’s war and war is the problem” is an argument too easily dismissed.

  33. ShotoJamf says:

    What, is Rosemary Woods running DOD video archiving now?

    “Let’s see…did I leave that tape in the freezer? Under the bed? Out in the yard? Over at the bowling alley?…”

  34. porchpile says:

    If the ROE indicate that they’re allowed to engage anyone with an RPG, then that’s how they’ll spin it, and fairly easily. Whatever the one guy is carrying at 3:45 sure looks like a weapon to me.

    The crime is, and has always been, the war itself. I’m worried that the insistence that these were unarmed civilians will backfire.

      • porchpile says:

        Agreed! But again, the van incident can be spun as ‘this is regrettable, but the kind of thing that happens once combat is initiated, fog of war, blah blah blah.’

        It’s horrible, but it’s not the indefensible slam-dunk atrocity (I know, hideous phrasing) that the DOD is unable to respond to. They can get away with saying this is a typical warzone occurence.

        • dosido says:

          I don’t mean to pick on you, PP, just your proposed argument.

          What I saw in that video were callous soldiers shooting fish in a barrel with bazookas. How anyone can defend that with fog of war arguments i don’t know.

          • porchpile says:

            Basically, my argument is that the uncertainty that exists in this video (imo, the unfortunate person with the tripod or RPG ) will preclude it from having the effect of the Dover photos from Vietnam.

            It’s not defensible to me (and certainly not the odious enthusiasm of the US soldiers), but to a larger audience, I don’t know. To my original point, I think the debate on whether these were unarmed civilians is already lost by that one second at 3:45. If this goes any further I expect to see close-ups of that guy all over the news.

            • Nell says:

              the unfortunate person with the tripod or RPG

              There is no ‘person with the tripod or RPG’. The person in question is a human being with a name, Namir Noor Eldeen, a Reuters photographer had a tripod and WHO NEVER HAD AN RPG. Please stop adding to the fog.

              • Leen says:

                Democracy now
                “JULIAN ASSANGE: Yeah, something important to remember is that the video we obtained and released is of substantially lower quality than what the pilots saw. This is because it was converted through many stages to digital. But even so, we can just see that there are in fact two children sitting in the front seat of that van. And subsequent witness reports also confirm that.

                So those children were extremely lucky to survive. The Apache helicopter was firing thirty-millimeter shells. That’s shells this wide, normally used for armor piercing, and they shoot straight through buildings.

                Those children—the medic on the scene wanted to evacuate those children to the US military base at Rustamiyah, approximately eight kilometers away from the scene. The base has excellent medical facilities. Higher command denied that. We don’t know the reason. Perhaps there was a legitimate reason, but it seems like the medic would be the person best placed to know what to do. Instead, he is told to meet up and hand the children over to local police.

                We don’t know what happens then. But our team that was in Baghdad, we partnered with the Icelandic state broadcasting service, RÚV, found the children over the weekend, this weekend, and interviewed them and took their hospital records, and we have photographs of the scars of the stomach wounds and the chest wounds and arm wounds for those children. The boy, in particular, was extremely lucky to survive. He had a wound that came from the top of his body down his stomach, so very, very, very lucky.

                The mother says that she has been offered no compensation for the death of her husband, who was the driver of that van, and no assistance with the medical expenses of her children. And she says that there are ongoing medical expenses related to the daughter.”
                ———————————————————————

                Wondering how quickly this story will be swept away in the 24 hour cycle of news

                • Nell says:

                  Leen, I appreciate the excerpt from Assange’s appearance on Democracy Now, but I’m a bit unclear how it’s a response to my comment. Is the point that the pilots had an even better view than those of us looking at the video (and therefore it should have been obvious there was no rocket-propelled grenade or launcher)? If so, agreed, and thanks. If not, clarification welcome.

                  Your inaugural story is moving. I could not stop myself from reflecting that within 72 hours of that moment, Pres. Obama authorized a drone missile attack in Pakistan that killed a large number of non-combatants, including women and children. The people promoting these wars and the attendant slaughter, the people who lied about and then covered up the particular massacre on the video, have the president thoroughly on their team.

                  • librty says:

                    have the president thoroughly on their team

                    I would propose flipping that statement around, just a bit.

                    The President has those that are promoting the War, providing the Spin on the War, the Analysis of the War, the Justification of the War and the Media coverage of the War, and last but not nearly the least, Those That Are Funding This War, completely on his team.

                  • Leen says:

                    “(and therefore it should have been obvious there was no rocket-propelled grenade or launcher)?”

                    Absolutely my point. Sorry I was not more clear.

                    As Assange and Greenwald point out in their interview with Amy Goodman this tragedy was not an “aberration.” Just “another day at the office”

                    Glen has updated this article several times. As is so often the case Glenn Greenwald hits the nail on the head.
                    http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2010/04/06/iraq/index.html
                    “But there’s a serious danger when incidents like this Iraq slaughter are exposed in a piecemeal and unusual fashion: namely, the tendency to talk about it as though it is an aberration. It isn’t. It’s the opposite: it’s par for the course, standard operating procedure, what we do in wars, invasions, and occupation. The only thing that’s rare about the Apache helicopter killings is that we know about it and are seeing what happened on video. And we’re seeing it on video not because it’s rare, but because it just so happened (a) to result in the deaths of two Reuters employees, and thus received more attention than the thousands of other similar incidents where nameless Iraqi civilians are killed, and (b) to end up in the hands of WikiLeaks, which then published it. But what is shown is completely common. That includes not only the initial killing of a group of men, the vast majority of whom are clearly unarmed, but also the plainly unjustified killing of a group of unarmed men (with their children) carrying away an unarmed, seriously wounded man to safety — as though there’s something nefarious about human beings in an urban area trying to take an unarmed, wounded photographer to a hospital.”

                    HOW OFTEN HAVE YOU HEARD RACHEL MADDOW, KEITH, CHRIS, ETC COVER JUST HOW MANY IRAQI PEOPLE HAVE BEEN KILLED…INJURED…DISPLACED. FOR THAT MATTER TERRI GROSS, NEIL CONAN, SCOTT SIMON NEVER TOUCH THIS ISSUE EITHER

                    • john in sacramento says:

                      Glen has updated this article several times. As is so often the case Glenn Greenwald hits the nail on the head.

                      Justin Raimondo too

                      Just Another Atrocity

                      […]

                      The moral bankruptcy of our foreign policy has been evident for some time, and incidents like these only dramatize what everyone outside of Washington, D.C., already knows, and yet it continues – in our name – because it has by now become part of our lives. We habitually go around invading countries, killing children, and making “mistakes” that result in the grisly death of innocents: an apology is issued, perhaps a family is paid off (a couple thousand for a life), and the death machine grinds on, crushing what’s left of our collective conscience under the weight of our indifference. Oh yes, didn’t you hear, someone died in a far off country on account of our foreign policy – can you please pass the salt? Did you pay the electric bill? Hey, I hear the neighbor down the block got foreclosed….

                      […]

                      http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2010/04/06/just-another-atrocity/

                    • Leen says:

                      Just caught up with Glenn’s updates
                      “Indeed, all anyone has to do is look at the enormous death toll of Iraqi civilians to know that events like this were anything but rare.

                      UPDATE IV: An active duty U.S. soldier currently deployed in Southeastern Baghdad, where this incident occurred, writes a very thoughtful and nuanced analysis of this matter to Andrew Sullivan, and says:

                      90% of what occurs in that video has been commonplace in Iraq for the last 7 years, and the 10% that differs is entirely based on the fact that two of the gentlemen killed were journalists.

                      War is a disgusting, horrible thing. As cliche as that excuse has become, for people to look at the natural heartbreaking nature of it and say that they’re somehow anomalous just shows how far people who have not experienced war have to go to understanding it.

                      Precisely. This incident is commonplace, not unusual, because it’s what war is and it’s what has been happening in our wars throughout the decade. We just don’t usually see it, and this time we did. That — and the fact that Reuters journalists were killed and it thus generated more pressure than normal — are the only things that make it unusual.

                      UPDATE V: John Cole has some important insights into how we deceive ourselves into believing that events like this are rare. As he notes, that is one major factor accounting for the huge gap in perception between Americans and the Muslim world: they know such incidents are anything but rare, because they live in the midst of them. Of course, the American media plays a vital role in maintaining our collective delusion, as nicely illustrated by this.

                      UPDATE VI: For more on how common such incidents are, see here.”
                      http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2010/04/06/iraq/index.html

              • porchpile says:

                Namir is not the person at 3:45 with the long (whatever it is). The Wikileaks video identifies Namir, who disappears to the bottom of the screen, then the camera pans up to the persons behind him, one of which is Saeed–but the person with the (whatever it is) is standing by the building below the scooter and leaning on (whatever it is) at 3:20-3:21 and follows the main group–later seen with (whatever it is) at 3:45.

                Not trying to add to the fog.

          • Leen says:

            And if everyone takes the time to gently approach returned and returning Iraqi soldiers you can hear directly from them some horrifying events. You can get through that Code of Silent dishonor by being non judgmental when you gently ask them questions. I do not keep nudging if I feel resistance. Most want to talk.

            Have heard several of them say that they witnessed innocent Iraqi people being used as target practice back in 2003, o4, o5. As Greenwald and Assange point out in their interview with Amy Goodman. This is not an “aberration” this is “business as usual”

            Go listen to the Winter Hearings. You can hear stories at those hearings which will turn on your alarms. These young men who testified are brave and honorable for coming out with their shame, guilt. Demonstrates they came back with a conscience.

            What was captured in that video clip was not an “aberration”

            http://www.ivaw.org/wintersoldier

            * Winter Soldier Broadcast Quality Recordings
            * Winter Soldier Audio Archives at warcomeshome.org (a project of KPFA)
            * Winter Soldier Media Coverage and Press Information
            * Winter Soldier Liveblog
            * Winter Soldier on the Hill (May 15th) on CSPAN
            * Winter Soldier on the Hill (May 15th) audio from KPFA
            * Winter Soldier on the Hill PBS NewsHour coverage
            * Winter Soldier on the Hill

              • Leen says:

                I went to D.C. for a day of these hearings. Watched the rest on C-span. Their stories ripped up your insides. Really serious about reaching out to some of these Vets just because many of them went believing what the Bush administration had told them. A few I have talked with were probably raging assholes before they went and came back even more so. But have talked with so many young men who believed the WMD horseshit and that Iraq was tied to 9/11.

                During the Obama inauguration last year I stood next to a young African American man who had returned from Iraq during the previous year. As we talked about why he had joined the military and what he had done while he was there (part of one of the teams to place dead bodies in the body bags before transportation)we both had tears streaming down our faces. I asked him what he had learned from this experience and also asked was he angry about being deceived by white old rich men. His response “I am going to try my best to make sure that no other young men are sent to a war based on lies” We know how that one goes.

                He leaned his head into mine while we listened to and watched Obama be inaugurated. (we listened to Justice Roberts mangle his lines) He said to me “I will never forget this moment” I let him know that I was honored to stand next to a young man who so wanted to protect his country but had his integrity, his honor, his intentions terribly misused. Criminally so.

                When you think about the death and destruction in Iraq, the often ruined lives of American soldiers. And those who sent them to Iraq based on lies frolic about the country sometimes filling our air waves with their lies and spin it is so hard to take. Cannot imagine being a parent of these young men or women who put their own lives on the line based on these lies.

                  • Leen says:

                    That’s why millions of us were out on the streets and in the halls of congress before the invaded. MSM basically ignored us. think about it 30 million people marched before the illegal invasion. You can see where that got our country and the people of Iraq.

                • dosido says:

                  thanks leen. very moving. the abuse of the volunteer military has been my objection from the beginning, the lies, the crappy equipment, the crappy pay v BW, the crappy medical care, etc. but mostly the lies and the expectation that these volunteers will go in and do what the rich white men are too chicken to do themselves. disgusting.

                  and so it goes.

                  • Leen says:

                    Have stood on many a front porch in small towns across southeastern Ohio campaigning for Space, Strickland, Brown, Obama and talked with mom and pops who were working minimum wage jobs and have a kid serving in Iraq. In 2005, 2006 lightbulbs were going off in their heads. Knowing that the Bush/Cheney/Wolfowitz war in Iraq was unnecessary and they had been duped.

                    Heard a lot of pissed off people who had believed their lies but found out too late they had been pissed on by old rich white guys again.

                    • Leen says:

                      The MSM finally started reporting a piece of the truth. They were hearing reports about investigations into pre war intelligence. Report about why Plame was outed. Their kids contacting them about what was really going on. Their kids returning home some of them injured some of them not at all

                      When I was working in the Glouster, Trimble, Chauncey area during the 2006 mid term elections I heard more old gals (over the age of 75) say things about what they would like to do to Bush and Cheney that I can not repeat here because they were often violent statements I was actually taken aback. Most of them would say “honey now don’t you go repeatin this” I did just not with their names attached. Did not hear these statements out of the old Vets mouths. But truly witnessed lots of tears coming down the faces of old beautifully wrinkled old mens faces who had served in Korea and WWII who were damn upset about young soldiers being sent off to an unnecessary war. When they would start to cry (a good 15 old gents I have seen with tears coming down their faces) this would really shake me to my core. These men had seen war (unlike Bush and Cheney) they knew it was serious business.

    • librty says:

      The crime is, and has always been, the war itself. I’m worried that the insistence that these were unarmed civilians will backfire.

      In the Audio, we clearly hear that the GI’s found an RPG under one of the KIA’s. It’s unclear if it’s a launcher or a grenade. They spoke about whether to move the KIA with the grenade, almost as if they were requesting assistance from engineers.

      And I Agree, It’s The War Itself That Is The Issue.

      Bring Our Troops Home, Now

    • dosido says:

      please see my link at 122.

      I was confused by the “story” until I saw an actual picture of an RPG 29. As a civilian who knows nothing, if a soldier told me he saw an RPG 29, I think he knows what he’s talking about. Until I see that he’s comparing a camera tripod to the effin Empire State building. Then the whole story falls down.

      The spin machine depends on us swallowing their crap whole.

      • porchpile says:

        Do an image search for RPG. They’re not all the big bazooka-looking things pictured on that link. Some of them just look like long rifles. Again, I’m not an expert! But it looks more like a weapon than a tripod to me. I’m just saying that if they show a close-up of that guy on CNN, most people are going to buy that it was a weapon and he was an insurgent out to kill American troops.

  35. Synoia says:

    Well, it’s not clear to me it was a mistake, Contessa, I mean if there were armed people on the ground, the fact that they appeared relaxed is good. It means you caught them by surprise.

    Oh please. Two Circling Apache Helicopters are a surprise? Don’t be fucking ridiculous.

    • librty says:

      Oh please. Two Circling Apache Helicopters are a surprise? Don’t be fucking ridiculous.

      No disrespect or offense meant. The AH-64 can be used at a substantial standoff distance, thus providing their own crew safety from those they’re engaging. 2000 meters engagement distance is not difficult. Out of the range of RPG’s and small arms fire.

      • dosido says:

        I must say, then, that these particular troops are incredibly effin stupid if they can mistake a camera tripod for an RPG29.

        Only a stupid civvie like me can get away with that mistake. those things are huge.

      • BoxTurtle says:

        They were much closer, in this case. They should have been the most obvious things in the air. These folks had no worries coming out in the open, they considered the choppers friendly. Notice they hardly look up at all?

        See, here’s what should have happened. There are special military courts, intended specifically to handle cases like this. It should have been refered there, where it is understood that in combat shit happens. Civilians WILL die. Non military targets WILL be destroyed. They decide if the actions taken were legitimate, a screwup, or criminal. It’s not a great system, but it’s had more successes than failures.

        The folks in that chopper will never know if their actions were legit or if they walked because it would be inconvienent for TPTB. Dunno if that will bother their consciences in he future.

        Further, somebody sure thought things went too far as they took the time to dig out all the bullets! That’s obstruction, pure and simple and those folks ought to be jailed.

        Boxturtle (But the jury is still out on the helicopter crew, perhaps because it was never conviened)

        • librty says:

          No argument from me.

          The 30mm rounds are explosive, they’re fragmentation, lethal radius of 5 meters (assuming M789 was used). Not sure of the current convention. It may be a violation to use Armour piercing fragmentary rounds on people.

          http://www.veteranstoday.com/2010/04/07/gordon-duff-collateral-damage-spinning-away-murder-in-iraq/

          But it really did appear at times, when the camera spun back in, that the AH-64 was at a range of a couple thousand meters, but it just appeared that way to me.

          Nonetheless, I like to return to the thought that the War is the issue.

          Bring Our Troops Home, Now

      • hotdog says:

        More like half to one click judging by the delay in the audio, which is probably synched to within a couple hundredths of a second.

        “Pick up weapon. Pick up a weapon.” The hyped up (if not drugged out) gunner confesses his knowledge of the ROE. Then he shoots into a van occupied by people he clearly has no interest in discerning, people defenselessly picking up wounded. The kid in the hot seat is a murderer.

        Clear as day.

        • librty says:

          More like half to one click judging by the delay in the audio, which is probably synched to within a couple hundredths of a second.

          Thanks and I agree with the description of the hot seat owner. I’m curious as to who is authorizing …

          I picked up on the delay from initial firing of the cannons and the projectile impact. But that could be timed and the distance computed. (my perception was that it’s about a half to a full second)

  36. dosido says:

    anyone else hoping/praying that these video leaks have the same effect as the Dover pics during VN?

  37. cbl2 says:

    think McCaffrey sits on the boards at Sandia and DynaCorp. also runs something called the Dept of Def Business Board. oh and allied himself with something called The Committee for the Liberation of Iraq in 02

  38. hackworth1 says:

    Neil Conan = Corporate Lackey who never met a right-wing argument he wouldn’t slant in a positive light.

  39. Leen says:

    On Talk of the Nation yesterday Finkel said that there was a much “longer video” He talks about this group of guys, one with an RPG launcher. He then goes onto say that an Rpg launcher was found under one of the dead that the U.S. military had killed.

    anyone seen this “longer video” And how could you be laying on one of those Rpg launchers?

  40. Mauimom says:

    Now, when I first read this, I grumbled, “ah jeebus, I’m going to have to start another catalog of missing evidence again.”

    Oh, Marcy, I just know that under all that catalog shit there will be a time line pony!! ;-)

    • Gitcheegumee says:

      That’s one helluva piece by Hersh about McCaffrey…validates my impression of him,too.

      Thank you so much for this link.

  41. orionATL says:

    crossword @9

    the military says the the two choppers were

    crazy horse 18 and crazy horse 19

    of the 1st battalion

    227th aviation regiment.

    your link @9 refers to task force 34.

    when i go there i only find mention of a

    1st batt

    244th assault helicopter battalion.

    can you give me a few more clues,

    or was your point only about the various names for jsoc?

    • crossword says:

      I was deciphering the acronyms and describing the way they “chop” units to and fro, for general FDL knowledge.

  42. rmwarnick says:

    We’ve been told that there were U.S. troops in contact with insurgents a city block away. Also, ground forces arrived quickly on the scene. Special ops missions typically take place far from the main battle.

    They can’t have it both ways. The AH-64s were either supporting an ongoing battle against insurgents, or engaged in a targeted raid based on intel.

    I’m appalled that the Army regards unarmed people minding their own business as legitimate targets under the rules of engagement. There was no “hostile intent.”

    • dosido says:

      good point. in the above link at 122 to gordon duff, the guys in the choppers had to direct guys on the ground and it was really hard to find the site of the shooting…

  43. Gitcheegumee says:

    Here is an excerpt from the ORIGINAL Reuters report on the deaths of their reporters in the “07 incident:

    “Reuters Photographer,Driver, Killed in Iraq July12,2007”

    Thu Jul 12, 2007 5:20pm EDT(Adds U.S. military comment, recasts)

    LONDON, July 12 (Reuters) – An Iraqi photographer and driver working for Reuters in Iraq were killed in Baghdad on Thursday in what witnesses said was a U.S. helicopter attack but which the military described as a firefight with insurgents.
    Iraqi police blamed American military action for the deaths.

    Photographer Namir Noor-Eldeen, 22, and driver Saeed Chmagh, 40, were killed in eastern Baghdad, the international news and information company said.

    The U.S. military said the pair died after a clash between its troops and insurgents. The incident was under investigation, it said in a statement.

    U.S. and Iraqi forces engaged “a hostile force” after coming under fire and attack aircraft were called in.

    Nine insurgents and two civilians were killed, the military said. The “two civilians were reported as employees for the Reuters news service,” it added.

    A preliminary police report obtained by Reuters said Noor-Eldeen and Chmagh had been killed by a “random American bombardment” that had killed nine other people.

    The report was issued by the al-Rashad police station, the closest station to the scene. Reuters obtained a photocopy of the report. It was based upon witness accounts of the incident and signed by a lieutenant-colonel, the head of the station.

    The deaths take to six the number of Reuters employees killed in Iraq since U.S.-led forces invaded the country in 2003 to topple Saddam Hussein.

    • dosido says:

      Interesting. On the surface, the statements by us military are true yet misleading.

      The U.S. military said the pair died after a clash between its troops and insurgents.

      U.S. and Iraqi forces engaged “a hostile force” after coming under fire and attack aircraft were called in

      This strongly implies that this group was somehow involved in the initial attack elsewhere, that this group was the “hostile force”, that this is the group the helicopters were called in to take care of, that this group died afterwards of wounds sustained during this initial clash.

      What they state is correct, what they imply is cover.

  44. Leen says:

    Have been waiting for this one. 3 hours ago

    Reaction on Military Blogs to the Wikileaks Video
    http://atwar.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/04/07/reaction-on-military-blogs-to-the-wikileaks-video/

    “At A Look Inside, Anthony Martinez, an infantryman who has experience with aerial footage, writes with authority about the aerial attack. I highly suggest reading his entire post:

    I have spent quite a lot of time (a conservative estimate would be around 4500 hours) viewing aerial footage of Iraq (note: this time was not in viewing TADS video, but footage from Raven, Shadow, and Predator feeds)…

    Between 3:13 and 3:30 it is quite clear to me, as both a former infantry sergeant and a photographer, that the two men central to the gun-camera’s frame are carrying photographic equipment. This much is noted by WikiLeaks, and misidentified by the crew of Crazyhorse 18. At 3:39, the men central to the frame are armed, the one on the far left with some AK variant, and the one in the center with an RPG. The RPG is crystal clear even in the downsized, very low-resolution, video between 3:40 and 3:45 when the man carrying it turns counter-clockwise and then back to the direction of the Apache. This all goes by without any mention whatsoever from WikiLeaks, and that is unacceptable.

    At 4:08 to 4:18 another misidentification is made by Crazyhorse 18, where what appears to clearly be a man with a telephoto lens (edit to add: one of the Canon EF 70-200mm offerings) on an SLR is identified as wielding an RPG. The actual case is not threatening at all, though the misidentified case presents a major perceived threat to the aircraft and any coalition forces in the direction of its orientation. This moment is when the decision to engage is made, in error.”

  45. Gitcheegumee says:

    FWIW, here’s but a few of the occurences here in the US on that same day,July 12,2007 ,according to Wikipedia:

    Iraq War:
    An interim report says the Iraqi government has made “mixed progress” on the goals set out by the U.S. Congress. (BBC) (NYT) (WSJ)

    The United States House of Representatives votes 223-201 to withdraw United States troops from Iraq. President George W. Bush has threatened to veto the Bill. (Bloomberg)

    Al-Qaeda:
    A National Counterterrorism Center report claims that Al-Qaeda has “regrouped to an extent not seen since 2001.” (BBC)
    At a press conference, U.S. President George W. Bush denies the report, saying that it is “simply not the case.” (BBC)

    At a press conference, U.S. President George W. Bush admits for the first time that someone in his administration may have leaked the name of CIA agent Valerie Plame.

  46. banderson2 says:

    I am a retired military vetaran with twenty years from the 82nd Airborne Division and I can tell you that the spin that is being put out by our media and the arm chair Generals is bullshit. Even if you take into consideration that these men are insurgents and should be taken out there is no excuse for continuing to fire on a wounded indiviudal. Also the fact that they fired on individuals helping a wounded individual constitutes a war crime under the Articles of War at the Hague. Under no circumstances is a unarmed individual who is helping a wounded person to be engaged in combat. In contrast the United States military is obligated to render assistance to these individuals which they obviously did not do. This is a war crime and it should be prosecuted as such. It’s no wonder people around the world hate America.

  47. crossword says:

    Well, that’s that:

    U.S. military plans no further review of helicopter strike in Baghdad that killed civilians in July 2007, considers case closed – NBC News

  48. Jeff Kaye says:

    Greg Sargent at The Plum Line has been talking with Reuters (forgive me if this was already mentioned, but there’s over 200 comments, and I didn’t think it was noted):

    Reuters says the Pentagon sent a letter to the news service several years ago [August 2007] claiming that this footage, which Reuters was seeking, was under Centcom’s “cognizance,” raising further questions as to why it can’t be obtained….

    Pentagon spokesman Speaks declined comment, telling me only that Centcom “did not have possession of the video tape when the FOIA request was sent down to us, nor have we had it since then.”

    One other complicating factor: This footage was reviewed as part of an earlier investigation into the whole incident. The investigation was carried out on the brigade level….

    • crossword says:

      Sharper minds will remember that Admiral Fallon was relieved in 2008 from his perch at CENTCOM after being rather outspoken about Iran policy.

      Was this a hidden component to his relief? Did he push for an investigation?

      • Jeff Kaye says:

        Admiral Fallon resigned in March 2008, and was rumored to have resigned because of the April 2008 Thomas P.M. Barnett article in Esquire, which detailed Fallon’s opposition to the overt belligerence towards Iran, and also his opposition to the “surge” in Iraq.

        Petraeus may have wanted him out as an obstacle.

        I don’t think these guys think they are that vulnerable to investigations. They know where to ditch the bodies.

        You may have a point, but until there’s more evidence, it’s just a guess. Still, I’d like to see someone ask Fallon about it.

        • klynn says:

          That’s post-worthy Jeff.

          orionATL:

          Nothing about the last 9 years has been proportional or just in strategy.

        • Leen says:

          They whacked Fallon. He made too much sense. Was not a puppet of Israel’s.

          At the Aipac site they went from seven years of having “sanctions against Iran in their action section. To recently changing it to “crippling” sanctions against Iran. Their clearly up to crippling some folks in Iran based on their (or will get us to do it) desire to strike Iran.

  49. orionATL says:

    in the world we live in of skillfully lying p.r. folk and skillfully lying organization lawyers (government or corporate),

    video footage can be compelling but easily challengeable by innuendo or misleading statements.

    the value of the ambush video that CANNOT BE CHALLENGED is that it illustrates that civilian deaths have occurred in iraq due to american armed forces actions (not that no one knew that, only that american society has seemed unable to keep this problem in sharp relief).

    one summary of civilian deaths is available here:

    http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/mideast/RS22537.pdf

    note figure 1:

    this is for a TWO year period. add up the civilian totals month-by-month if you’re so inclined. (i am)

    note table 1:

    particularly the estimate in “the lancet”, a british medical journal.

    now for a little extrapolation:

    the population of iraq is ~ 24 million.

    the population of the u.s. is ~ 360 million.

    if

    iraqi civil society had losses of ONLY 100,000 civilians killed for the ENTIRE SPAN of the seven-years of american invasion and occupation,

    and if

    the u.s. had had population loses proportional to iraqui losses over the course of a seven-year conflict,

    how many americans would now have died?

    100,000/24,000,000 = 100/24,000 = 1/240 = .00417

    360,000,000 x .00417 = 1.5 million american CIVILIANS.

    check my math.

    for comparison and reflection:

    the world trade center/pentagon airplane bombings by saudi citizens (with which iraq had no connection whatsoever) killed just under 3000 american civilians.

    • Jeff Kaye says:

      I’ve mentally done this math many, many times, and it drives me insane with the immorality and criminality of all that is/was done in Iraq and Afghanistan.

  50. fatster says:

    Vets adding some more pressure:

    Iraq War Vet: “We Were Told to Just Shoot People, and the Officers Would Take Care of Us”
    Wednesday 07 April 2010

    LINK.

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