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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.
The military did not reveal how the Reuters staff were killed, and stated that
they did not know how the children were injured.
After demands by Reuters, the incident was investigated and the U.S. military
concluded that the actions of the soldiers were in accordance with the law of
armed conflict and its own "Rules of Engagement".
Consequently, WikiLeaks has released the classified Rules of Engagement for
2006, 2007 and 2008, revealing these rules before, during, and after the
WikiLeaks has released both the original 38 minutes video and a shorter version
with an initial analysis. Subtitles have been added to both versions from the
WikiLeaks obtained this video as well as supporting documents from a number of
military whistleblowers. WikiLeaks goes to great lengths to verify the
authenticity of the information it receives. We have analyzed the information
about this incident from a variety of source material. We have spoken to
witnesses and journalists directly involved in the incident.
WikiLeaks wants to ensure that all the leaked information it receives gets the
attention it deserves. In this particular case, some of the people killed were
journalists that were simply doing their jobs: putting their lives at risk in
order to report on war. Iraq is a very dangerous place for journalists: from
2003- 2009, 139 journalists were killed while doing their work.