Wikileaks, the website devoted to publishing classified documents on the Internet, made a splash today with a video claiming to show that the U.S. military “murdered” a Reuters cameraman and other Iraqi “civilians” in Baghdad on July 12, 2007. But a careful watching of the video shows that the U.S. helicopter gun crews that attacked a group of armed men in the then Mahdi Army stronghold of New Baghdad was anything but “Collateral Murder,” as Wikileaks describes the incident.
The Weekly Standard article states, “several of the men are clearly armed with assault rifles; one appears to have an RPG”.
Now consider this post from the Jawa Report, which talks about the after action investigation of the events, and has a clip showing a man holding a long object that looks like an RPG. If you look as the frames from the video, it looks more like an RPG than an AK-47 assault rifle, since there is no curved magazine, but instead a short, stubby grip and a round warhead on the end of it.
Here’s the smoking gun frame:
An RPG-7/Type 69 looks like this:
And an AK-47 looks like this:
And what’s more, the investigation report (cited by Jawa) says that RPGs and live RPG rounds were found next to the bodies.
The investigation report states:
We remained above the engagement site while Bushmaster sent ground forces to the site. Bushmaster arrived and reported 11 x AIF KIA and found RPGs and RPG rounds at the site. We also witnessed a loaded RPG lying 2-3 blocks south of the engagement site. Bushmaster reported that the first child was wounded and pulled from the van. We were unable to determine that there were children in the vehicle and never saw any children prior to or during the engagement. After viewing the gun tape, were able to determine that both wounded children came from the van. Bushmaster immediately MEDEVAC’d both girls to FOB Loyalty for medical care.
Bushmaster is the call-sign for the ground force that was being covered by the helicopter. The ground force was composed of Humvees. Humvees that would likely be destroyed by an AT RPG round. (And probably by an HE round, too.) At the Jawa Report post, you can see a photo taken from the dead journalist’s camera of the Humvees rounding the corner and coming into line of sight to the RPG-armed terrorists.
I’m sorry, but this is war. This. Is. War. Bad things happen in wars. The world is not a perfect place.
Journalists like those who were killed should not be embedding with terrorists and then expecting to be immune to collateral damage. Our American military forces are the most honorable and moral soldiers in the world. They do their best to follow the rules of engagement. In this case, they acted appropriately. I am thankful and proud of their self-sacrificial service to protect my liberty and the liberty of the Iraqi people. Shame on those in the leftist media who question their judgment. Shame! Shame!