Army Soldier Heads to Trial for Release of Helicopter Attack Video

Monday, June 07, 2010 3 Comments

Even though Reuters pressed for the release of the video showing a Reuters photographer and his driver being gunned down by an American helicopter in Baghdad, the government doesn't take kindly to releasing of such incendiary footage before it is ready with some made-up story to make it appear as though this is all some big misunderstanding. Ooops.


A soldier has been arrested in connection with the release of a classified video of a 2007 helicopter attack that killed a dozen people in Baghdad, including two Reuters news staff, the military said.

Army Specialist Bradley Manning, 22, of Potomac, Maryland, who was deployed to Baghdad, is being held in pre-trial confinement in Kuwait, "for allegedly releasing classified information," according to a U.S. military statement.

The statement did not provide details of the information in question but in an emailed response to a query, a U.S. official confirmed that the case involved a U.S. military videotape made public in April by WikiLeaks, a group that promotes the leaking of information to fight government and corporate corruption.

The gunsight video shows an attack by a U.S. Apache helicopter on a group of men in a square in a Baghdad neighborhood. The group included Reuters photographer Namir Noor-Eldeen, 22, and his assistant and driver, Saeed Chmagh, 40.

"The Department of Defense takes the management of classified information very seriously because it affects our national security, the lives of our soldiers, and our operations abroad," the U.S. military statement said.

"The results of the investigation will be released upon completion of the investigation," the statement said.

Manning was deployed with the 2nd Brigade 10th Mountain Division, U.S. officials said.

The U.S. government has long considered Wikileaks a massive thorn in its infected side as any website that reveals the true state of our system is a threat. The government's only goal - ANY government's goal - is self-preservation and the more knowledge its citizens have about its activities, the bigger the threat that the parasite will be discovered and purged.

No weaseling its way out of this one, it seems.

Jr Deputy Accountant

Some say he’s half man half fish, others say he’s more of a seventy/thirty split. Either way he’s a fishy bastard.


elf2006real said...

He's on trial for releasing classified information. You don't get to do that as a government employee, and you certainly don't get to do it as a soldier. Keeping secrets is part of the implicit and quite explicit (and signed) contract. There's also a sacred oath involved.

What's the misunderstanding BTW? That war involves killing, and that's not pretty?

What did you think we were doing, handing out candy? Well - actually we did!! We used to throw handfuls of it to the kids who would swarm round the HUMVEES.

Because we care. Because we're social workers with guns, right?

Also because surrounding yourselves with their children makes the adults less prone (although by no means 100%) to blowing you up.

None of this is nice, clean, tidy. Nor should it be confused with police work.

The Wiki leaks video and the story behind was rather heavily edited, and came in for criticism on the nets for it. Those two "Reuters journalists" were known to embed with insurgents. Embedding is a known and accepted danger. As is strolling around battles.

The innocent people are running like Hell away from battles. You head towards it, your life is forfeit by your choice.

Ubu said...

Elf is spot on. Keep in mind that very few nations allow any kind of freedom of the press where war and military actions are concerned; but they will actively use anything we hand them to criticize our troops. The problem with unilateral self-criticism is just that, it's entirely one-sided, and it quickly becomes a propaganda tool for autocratic regimes to beat down the liberal democracies who are foolish enough to provide the rope used to hang themselves with.

None of the regimes, various terrorist groups, warlords, or tyrants we are fighting will ever permit an objective and critical tag-along to film them doing the things they do on the battlefield (or hiding among civilians); they make damn sure anyone embedded with them is on message or they will quickly deliver a bullet in the neck.

This is a propaganda war, and that video wasn't released to get at the truth or anything close to it; it was released to do damage to the United States.

elf2006real said...

"....they make damn sure anyone embedded with them is on message or they will quickly deliver a bullet in the neck."

Also spot on.