[FoRK] the wikileaks video

Damien Morton dmorton at bitfurnace.com
Thu Apr 8 15:06:08 PDT 2010

On Fri, Apr 9, 2010 at 7:10 AM, Michael Cummins <michael at i-magery.com>wrote:

> They also didn't tell the whole story, or in some cases even the truth;
> condemnation of their agitprop even seems to have "bipartian support".
> http://mypetjawa.mu.nu/archives/201906.php
> http://seminal.firedoglake.com/diary/39215

Ahh yes, the claim-of-authority argument.

Condemnation doesn't negate content.

> Bob Owens questions the timing:
> http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/shame-on-wikileaks-framing-lawful-engagement-as
> -anti-american-propaganda-part-two/2/
> "The organization happens to be attempting to raise funds now. Claiming the
> need for an operating budget of $600,000, the group states they have only
> been able to raise $370,000. The implication seems both sad and obvious.
> Desperate for both attention and funding, WikiLeaks carefully constructed a
> propaganda video designed to raise their profile and increase donations.

Ahh yes, the besmirch-the-messenger argument.

Timing or need for funding doesnt negate content.

This is not about the actions of Wikileaks, its about the actions in the

They carefully framed the video footage with nearly three minutes of
> exposition, instead of merely allowing the video to stand on its own,
> relaying the actual context of this incident as it occurred during a larger
> battle to diminish the power of militants and restore order during the
> surge. (Which effectively ended militia control and greatly reduced
> sectarian violence in this area.)

Agreed - the exposition could have been done without, or made shorter.

> For reasons known only to WikiLeaks, they
> refuse in the shorter video to show or even mention the third engagement of
> the helicopter crew that morning, just blocks away, where a larger group of
> insurgents was destroyed with missiles.

They do, however, show it in the longer video, in which the only person seen
to be killed is a passer-by.  Wikileaks asserts that there were 3 families
in the building at the time it was fired upon.

> WikiLeaks whitewashed the presence of weapons clearly shown by gun camera
> footage and ignored the confirmation in military investigations of the
> incident that the militant's weapons displayed in the footage were
> recovered
> at the scene. WikiLeaks attempted to create obtuse new standards and rules
> of engagement, implying that "relaxed" terrorists should not be fired upon.

I've never seen what actual TADS video looks like. Apparently the
magnification they can go to is 127x, and the range was around 1000m. The
video appears to me to have been scaled down, possibly several times, and to
have been re-encoded, also possibly several times.

> They carefully omit the rules of engagement and refuse to note that
> evacuating combatants are still enemy targets and recognized as such by
> almost every military in the world.

Shooting unarmed people assisting injured unarmed people is not recognised
as lawful. Its absolutely clear from the video that the good samaritans were
not armed, nor was the injured person on the ground. None of those people
were combatants by any definition.

The ground forces were only a few hundred meters away by that point. They
could have dealt with it.

The Iraqi police report listed it as "Random American Bombardment", and its
interesting that they have a category for that.

The WikiLeaks video and "Collateral Murder" website seem calibrated for the
> express purpose of accusing soldiers of murder for the purposes of
> fundraising."

Your "fundraising" attack is a red-herring. It really doesn't matter that
Wikileak's motivations are - the fact of the matter is that majority of the
people killed in this video were unarmed and none of the people killed were
engaged in any hostilities.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: fork-bounces at xent.com [mailto:fork-bounces at xent.com] On Behalf Of
> Damien Morton
> Sent: Thursday, April 08, 2010 4:19 PM
> To: Friends of Rohit Khare
> Subject: Re: [FoRK] the wikileaks video
> Wow - these guys really had bad timing. They should have coordinated their
> leak to avoid the weeklong techno-ejaculation surrounding the iPad release.
> On Tue, Apr 6, 2010 at 4:43 AM, Damien Morton <dmorton at bitfurnace.com
> >wrote:
> > http://www.collateralmurder.com/
> >
> > 5th April 2010 10:44 EST WikiLeaks has released a classified US military
> > video depicting the indiscriminate slaying of over a dozen people in the
> > Iraqi suburb of New Baghdad -- including two Reuters news staff.
> >
> > Reuters has been trying to obtain the video through the Freedom of
> > Information Act, without success since the time of the attack. The video,
> > shot from an Apache helicopter gun-site, clearly shows the unprovoked
> > slaying of a wounded Reuters employee and his rescuers. Two young
> children
> > involved in the rescue were also seriously wounded.
> >
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