Trigger Happy

by Kiko Matsing

Leaked U.S. video shows deaths of Reuters’ Iraqi staffers (Reuters):

The group, WikiLeaks, told a news conference in Washington that it acquired encrypted video of the July 12, 2007, attack from military whistleblowers and had been able to view and investigate it after breaking the encryption code…

The gunsight tracks two of the men, identified by WikiLeaks as the Reuters news staff, as the fliers identify their cameras as weapons. Military spokesman Turner said that during the engagement, the helicopter mistook a camera for a rocket-propelled grenade launcher.

The helicopter opened fire on the small group, killing several people and wounding others. Minutes later, when a van approached and began trying to assist the wounded, the fliers became concerned the vehicle was occupied by militants trying to collect weapons and help wounded comrades escape.

The Apache helicopters requested permission to attack the van and waited impatiently.

“Come on, let us shoot,” said one voice.

The fliers were granted permission to engage the van and opened fire, apparently killing several people in and around the vehicle.

Two children wounded in the van were evacuated by U.S. ground forces arriving at the scene as the Apache helicopters continued to circle overhead.

“Well it’s their fault for bringing their kids into a battle,” one of the U.S. fliers said.

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