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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

Video Killing of Reuters photographer
Ray Anderson, Photographer
San Francisco | CA | USA | Posted: 3:51 AM on 04.06.10
->> http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/06/world/middleeast/06baghdad.html?ref=globa...


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=is9sxRfU-ik&NR=1
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Ray Anderson, Photographer
San Francisco | CA | USA | Posted: 3:55 AM on 04.06.10
->> This link may work the best
http://wikileaks.org/
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G.J. McCarthy, Photographer
Dallas | TX | US | Posted: 8:02 AM on 04.06.10
->> http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/07/world/middleeast/07baghdad.html

Here's a folo to the video -- react from Namir Noor-Eldeen's family and the military, at least about authenticity of the video.

For what it's worth, the video is very, very hard to watch. Don't go into it lightly.

Cheers,

- gerry -
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Michael Myers, Photographer
Miami | Florida | USA | Posted: 5:15 PM on 04.07.10
->> Anything I say here will be too strong, and I'll be sorry to have said it tomorrow, so I won't....

...except to say that I feel those laughing idiots in the helicopter at a minimum should be tried for murder.
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Michael Ip, Photographer
New York | NY | USA | Posted: 5:52 PM on 04.07.10
->> I think for anyone that has never been in a warzone before to draw quick judgement on this is wrong. Many times during war what you see and think are completely false. Mistakes happen - that's the nature of war.

Watching a 17-minute video from a propaganist-source edited video and drawing immediate conclusions says failure as a journalist. This site does not provide the context surrounding the shooting. The way they present is very much like how the Eddie Adams photo was interpreted.

Rather than accusing these soldiers of murder you should be asking more questions.

I saw a CNN analysis of this video and there was a ground unit talking to the air unit. They said the ground unit had seen this group of "people" with weapons (ak-47s, RPGs) and were pretty sure they didn't want to have tea.

Authorization to use deadly force requires American or coalition troops to be in danger and the commander on the ground is the one making the call.

It is easy for one to look at this video and say "that guy 'clearly' was carrying a camera. To you I respond, have you ever tried watching a grainy video that is vibrating at a high frequency? Guess what, the vibrations will make details difficult to make out. Secondly, having a camera certainly does not mean someone is a journalist. Were all those insurgents who video taped road side bomb killings of Americans with cameras journalists? Were those insurgents who photographed snipers shooting at Americans journalists?

I ask you all to stop jumping to conclusions and start asking more questions.
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Mark Loundy, Photo Editor
San Jose | CA | USA | Posted: 7:07 PM on 04.07.10
->> (I originally posted this on NPPA-L and part of it on Twitter:)

I got the distinct impression that they wanted to see weapons -- so they did. Once they decided that they saw weapons they IDed them specifically as AK-47s -- something that they could not possibly discern. That video game mindset is a sad byproduct of putting people into combat.

But expecting combat to be prosecuted "professionally" is unfortunately unreasonable. Yes, we set those standards, but, in reality, it just doesn't happen. Human beings can't withstand the brutality of combat without withdrawing into a world where the enemy is a "kill" to be scored or where (in an urban environment) everybody is an enemy. It's an instinctive mental survival trick.

If we're going to send people into combat, we have to expect them to behave brutally. So perhaps we really really need to know whether war is the right thing to do before deploying troops. If we truly think that military action is the right thing to do, let us not delude ourselves into believing that only the bad guys die.

--Mark
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Mike Morelock, Photographer
Greenwood | AR | USA | Posted: 10:50 PM on 04.07.10
->> I don't have the link right now, but there was a Q&A since this video came out with a reporter that was in the area, embedded with troops. He was very supportive of the troops saying that the helicopters were called in because a group of our troops had taken fire from that area. I see much of this as fog of war stuff, but find the shooting of the van hard to take. It's not ok to shoot the guy bleeding on the ground unless he has a weapon, but it's ok to shoot a van full of people that try to help him? Nice rules of engagement.

The reporter mentioned that one of the soldiers on the ground that carried one of the injured kids to an ambulance or whatever was pretty messed up by it. That's one of the main reasons we don't need to be there. That guy on the ground is mentally scarred for life. Laughing about it or not, you could hear the pilot already trying to rationalize away what he did. Inside though, he knew right then he screwed up and shot up some kids. Now he really knows it. That's two soldiers scarred for life. Everyone seems to agree that these kinds of things happen all the time. Each time, that's another soldier with a scar on his soul, not to mention the kids with scars on their body. Thousands of soldiers killed and maimed, and mentally scarred. When will it end? How does the generation that went through Vietnam, and are now our "leaders" see this war as a good idea?

Something that has bothered me about the video. Reuters said way back that the last photos taken on the photographers long lens camera showed a Humvee at a crossroads.
http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSL1617459520070716?loomia_ow=t0:s0:a49:g43:r1:c0.232520:b32364192:z0

I'm assuming that's what the guy took pictures of when crouched at the corner mistaken for an RPG wielding insurgent. When the helicopter then flew back into range Wikileaks says the men were looking at his photos.
http://www.collateralmurder.com/en/photos-1.html

Why? Was he helping them out? Here let me get a shot of that so you can see what you're up against, or where to fire your RPG? The other reporter said there was an RPG found with one of the bodies when this was all over. If the guy wants to hang out with insurgents to get a story, ok, that's journalism. Assisting them with intel seems to be crossing the line.

Admittedly, this is all total conjecture. He might have taken a picture of something funny and wanted to show them that. Maybe they weren't insurgents. I had my doubts since they weren't exactly fleeing when the helicopters came, but reading that they did find an RPG with one of them makes it hard to believe they weren't insurgents. A bodyguard might have an AK but doubtful on the RPG. So why show them something on the camera?
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Michael Myers, Photographer
Miami | Florida | USA | Posted: 8:49 PM on 04.08.10
->> Just think what the major story this would be, had the photographers been Americans, along with the guys on the ground and the kids. Someone blasting away at them is bad enough, but to then blast away at the van with the kids in it, taking the injured person away - this would make the headlines of every paper in the USA, along with horrible editorials on the people who committed this act!

The guy in the chopper sounds like someone playing a video game, enjoying himself. He was anxious to blast away anyone who remained, at which point there was no danger to anyone.

I agree with what's posted up above, but come on, the people in charge apparently didn't want to release ANY press on this incident, let alone a video like this.

Whether or not we should be there in the first place is a political issue, and I won't say anything one way or another, but given that we're there. as I see it, the guy in the chopper is guilty of just what I called it, murder.



Bad things happen in war, but we tried to make a point after WWII that soldiers are responsible for their actions. That applies to our soldiers just as much as it applies to any others.
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David Harpe, Photographer
Denver | CO | USA | Posted: 2:03 AM on 04.09.10
->> It's very easy to pass judgment when you're watching a video replay on a 17" laptop screen sitting on a desk.

It's a completely different environment when you're seeing that same image in a vibrating combat machine on a small screen with sun glare all around, worried about taking ground hits or running into one of your own guys...particularly when you probably had five encounters that day in the same general area where you did the right thing and got the bad guys before they hurt someone.

I'm sure these pilots are beating themselves up far more than anyone on this forum - or in any court - could possibly do. Nobody goes through the rigors of military aviation training if all they want to do is shoot up random people. It is a tragedy all around. The only way to avoid it is to not have them there.
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Michael Ip, Photographer
New York | NY | USA | Posted: 9:35 PM on 04.09.10
->> @Michael Myers Your lack of knowledge of war is showing through. Often times insurgents seek the refuge of an ambulance, school children or women. This has happened time and time again in Iraq. So what happens? American gun ships kill them and unknowingly kill women and children with them and the insurgents turn this into a propaganda campaign showing American troops killing women and children. They're not stupid, but they surely are cowards.

These are the same people that will strap suicide bombs to mentally or physically handicapped people to blow up markets, or gut a human body and make his carcass into an IED. We're not talking about your next door neighbor here. These insurgents are savages. I've seen this with my own eyes.

You said, "The guy in the chopper sounds like someone playing a video game, enjoying himself." This is war. It's gruesome, disgusting and horrible. Many times soldiers create diversions to block out the horrors of war. I don't know too many pilots personally, but I wouldn't be too surprised if this is one of the ways they create diversions.

"He was anxious to blast away anyone who remained, at which point there was no danger to anyone." How do you know there was no danger to anyone? Have you ever heard of secondary attacks? Feint attacks? Diversions?

"...the people in charge apparently didn't want to release ANY press on this incident, let alone a video like this." You're probably right on this, because look at the sh*tstorm it has created and for what? What will this video achieve? Bring out more Bush haters and call for a war tribunal to prosecute our own soldiers? Use some common sense here. An anti-war group will present whatever they want and spin it in any direction they want. The last thing the military wants to do is waste resources defending heresay.

"Bad things happen in war, but we tried to make a point after WWII that soldiers are responsible for their actions. That applies to our soldiers just as much as it applies to any others." Actually America is one of the few militaries in the world that actually tries to criminalize their soldiers during war.
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Geoff Miller, Photographer
Portage | MI | USA | Posted: 12:13 AM on 04.10.10
->> More information keeps coming out about the incident... the "whole video" released by WikiLeaks appears to be missing about 20 minute of footage of the actions in that neighborhood based on the review of sworn testimony from soldiers of the sequence of events. Perhaps it's coincidence, but the missing video would likely have undercut the claim by Wikileaks that the US military had no problem "murdering" non-combatants because during the chain of events the Apache crews opted to not "engage" likely Mahdi militia members more than once because they either couldn't be 100% sure they had weapons on one occasion and on another had weapons but were too near obvious civilians and a child. http://mypetjawa.mu.nu/archives/201929.php

In addition, the military investigation included photos taken on the scene by the first US forces that arrived after the Apache attack and it clearly shows AK-type rifles (one apparently hit by a 30mm shell in the attack) and RPGs scattered among the deceased.
http://mypetjawa.mu.nu/archives/201889.php

And lastly, US investigation documents contradict the Wikileaks claim in their annotated video that the wounded children were diverted to a Iraqi hospital instead of a US military facility and likely suffered sub-standard treatment of their wounds as a result. The follow-up investigation showed that the children were in fact sent to the 28th Combat Hospital for initial treatment and then transferred to an Iraqi hospital for follow-up care. Wikileaks relied soley on radio chatter on the tape for their charge of callousness.
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Mike Copeman, Photographer
Queen Creek | AZ | USA | Posted: 3:45 AM on 04.10.10
->> Thanks, Michael Ip and Geoff Miller for your work and input on this Wikileaks video.It does seem to be a propaganda effort by the Wikileaks folks to paint American forces as the bad guys. I noticed in the video released by Wikileaks that
there were 2 weapons( presumily AK 47s ) being carried by the 2 of the men, not the sort of thing one would bring to a peaceful block party. So this begs the question.......who in hell are the Wikileaks people and what are they trying to achieve ?
Mike.
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G.J. McCarthy, Photographer
Dallas | TX | US | Posted: 6:44 AM on 04.10.10
->> Mike Copeman:

This might answer your question(s):

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/07/world/07wikileaks.html?scp=3&sq=wikileaks...

Also, here's something from the NYT "At War" blog (which, btw, is a great source of information for those interested in military issues in our current war efforts); has links to some videos that are pretty informative:

http://atwar.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/04/06/wikileaks-defends-release-of-vide...

And lastly, one thing I've not seen mentioned yet, here's the Lens Blog's remembrance:

http://lens.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/04/06/remembering-namir-noor-eldeen/?scp...

That last one is pretty important in all this, IMHO. Lest we forget, Namir and his driver were simply doing their jobs. In fact, a hypothetical question comes to mind ...

Say the tables were turned, and this happened in the States? Say one day we were under attack -- occupied (or whatever you want to call it) by a foreign military power. For those of us who were working journalists in the US, would we not cover our own country's actions? Pretend we weren't this super power with a super military. Wouldn't we possibly look somewhat like Iraq and or its insurgents?

It's a simple question, but I don't ask it to be inflammatory. In fact, I was hoping the conversation about this wouldn't get ugly (not that it has), especially given this site's propensity for flames.

It (Iraq) was and still is a incredibly dangerous place for all involved -- soldiers, civilians and journalists. What I take away most from the video is a clear reminder of that. This shit is real; real lives are lost on both sides.

Anyway, hope the above links are helpful. Michael Ip -- I remember reading on your site bio that you served in the military (in Iraq, right?), so I appreciate your taking the time to offer some thoughts.

Cheers all,

- gerry -
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Jim Owens, Photographer
Cincinnati | OH | usa | Posted: 8:37 AM on 04.10.10
->> Truth is always the first casualty of war
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Michael Ip, Photographer
New York | NY | USA | Posted: 12:15 PM on 04.10.10
->> @Gerry Yes, I used to be in the Army. I spent 15 months in Iraq during the height of the insurgency in 2006-07 with a 10th Mountain Division Infantry Battalion, so I certainly speak from first-hand experience.

You say, "Say the tables were turned, and this happened in the States? Say one day we were under attack -- occupied (or whatever you want to call it) by a foreign military power. For those of us who were working journalists in the US, would we not cover our own country's actions? Pretend we weren't this super power with a super military. Wouldn't we possibly look somewhat like Iraq and or its insurgents?"

I've always said if the United States were under attack, I'd be the first person to join the insurgency. I love this country that much. I would want to cover the fighting first hand as well. I'd probably look exactly like an insurgent, but those are the risks that go along with the territory.

@Jim Owens - Truer words have never been spoken.
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Monty Rand, Photographer
Bangor | ME | USA | Posted: 12:51 PM on 04.10.10
->> This makes me sick........
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Michael Okoniewski, Photographer
Syracuse | NY | USA | Posted: 2:25 PM on 04.10.10
->> War involves shooting & death. Armchair quarterbacking this incident is foolish.
Being a war, (or what we used to call, "a bang-bang"), photographer, is inherently dangerous. You can read the obits in the files of the NPPA.

http://www.commondreams.org/headlines03/0419-03.htm
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Michael Myers, Photographer
Miami | Florida | USA | Posted: 2:25 PM on 04.10.10
->> Michael Lp, you're correct - I know very little about war, other than what I see in the movies, see on TV, or read.

I do know that we decided in the mid 1940's that soldiers are responsible for their actions. Some of the atrocities committed by our enemies in WWII were looked upon by civilians in those countries just as favorably as what you see in this video........... "kill them all, before they can kill you".

I can appreciate what you say, and maybe even accept some of it as unfortunate by necessary, but nothing you can say here justifies the gunner just begging for the injured guy to do something that would give him an excuse to shoot, and then opening up anyway on that guy, the kids, and the fellow trying to help him out.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BflAj2txMVQ&feature=player_embedded

I don't think we belong in Iraq anyway, but given that we're there, what then gives any of us the right to kill someone for doing what most of us would do on our own, were we the person in the rescue van with our kids in the car? For you, it's a battle zone. To me, it's the guy's hometown. I'd like to think I'd have done the same thing he did, under the same circumstances, with my family in the van!
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Jim Sykes, Photographer
Herndon | VA | | Posted: 2:23 PM on 04.11.10
->> I wont say a lot here because I dont want to get upset either, but whats lost in much of this is that there were confirmed weapons in that group. There are several places in the video that it is pretty clear there are RPGs in the hands of the individuals. Its also a fact that forces in the area were under attack by groups such as this, if not this specific group. And lastly, those photographers knew what they were doing. If you do not want to be shot at, do not hang out with insurgents with weapons while Apaches are circling.

Please view this to see some of the reality of the situation.

http://i.imgur.com/twrSH.jpg
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Jim Sykes, Photographer
Herndon | VA | | Posted: 2:32 PM on 04.11.10
->> " To me, it's the guy's hometown. I'd like to think I'd have done the same thing he did, under the same circumstances, with my family in the van!"

While I applaud YOUR bravery, that would be extremely irresponsible to your family to do such a thing. Its still a warzone and my family would mean far more to me than helping someone else out there.

Were I now with my family, my actions would be different, but to bring your family into that situation would just be wrong.
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Matthew Sauk, Photographer
Sandy | UT | United States | Posted: 11:29 PM on 04.11.10
->> War is not pretty, innocent people will die or be killed.
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Thread Title: Video Killing of Reuters photographer
Thread Started By: Ray Anderson
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