Elisabeth Bumiller’s article published yesterday in the New York Times does a workmanlike job of conveying the content of the video I wrote about last night, showing a July, 2007, incident in Iraq in which a U.S. helicopter gunned down about a dozen unarmed non-combatants, including two Reuters photographers and two children. The video was the official military footage taken from the helicopter. It was obtained by the website WikiLeaks from a whistleblower inside the Pentagon after an unsuccessful two-year attempt by Reuters to get the footage through the Freedom of Information Act.
I call Bumiller’s article “workmanlike” because although she accurately describes what the video shows, the piece is reactive. And how could it be anything else when neither the New York Times nor any other major U.S. news organizations (with the exception of Reuters, of course) made any attempt to find out whether the Pentagon version of what happened was actually true?
That is why WikiLeaks has become such an important source of information about things the government is doing that they would very much rather you don’t know they are doing (or have done). And it’s why the Pentagon and the C.I.A., as well as powerful government and corporate players around the world, are trying to bring the organization down, as Glenn Greenwald documented here (emphasis is Glenn’s):
Over the past several years, WikiLeaks — which aptly calls itself “the intelligence agency of the people” — has obtained and then published a wide array of secret, incriminating documents … that expose the activities of numerous governments and corporations. Among many others, they posted the Standard Operating Manual for Guantanamo, documents showing how corrupt offshore loans precipitated the economic collapse in Iceland, the notorious emails between climate scientists, documents showing toxic dumping off the coast of Africa, and many others. They have recently come into possession of classified videos relating to civilian causalities under the command of Gen. David Petraeus, as well as documentation relating to civilian-slaughtering airstrikes in Afghanistan which the U.S. military had agreed to release, only to change their mind. All of this has made WikiLeaks an increasingly hated target of numerous government and economic elites around the world, including the U.S. Government. As The New York Times put it last week: “To the list of the enemies threatening the security of the United States, the Pentagon has added WikiLeaks.org, a tiny online source of information and documents that governments and corporations around the world would prefer to keep secret.” …
By the way, the video that has been making its way around the Internet is the short version. The video that WikiLeaks obtained and decrypted is slightly over 39 minutes long. WikiLeaks edited that down to 17 minutes, 47 seconds. That’s the version that Doug posted and that I linked to. But if you want to see the entire video, before it was edited for length, it’s on the separate site — CollateralMurder.com — that WikiLeaks set up for this project. It’s immediately below the short version, labeled “Full Version.” You can’t miss it.
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