Video: Photographer Get Shot By US Military

Not to make light of a very horrific situation but this is why I am very leery to shoot just anywhere nowadays…..some folks look at that camera as a weapon or an high end product to steal. What comes to mind are the  folks on Craigslist looking for freebie, TF, TFCD or a photographer to shoot them for pennies on the dollar, it makes me wonder if they are up to no good or trying to set an individual up to rob them for their camera gear?

This Reuters story is sad on many levels. However, others have a different point of view about what really went down before the military went Rambo on them. Please note: Normally there is always two sides to the story.

Word on the Internet street is that the shutterbugs had some suspicion shit going on that prompt the shoot first look later response from the military: That the “people on the street of Baghdad” had AK-47’s and at least one RPG, and a convoy of America troops were approaching to shut it down. So, the Apache pilots asked for permission to fire, and did just that. It was a war zone, it is also said “This wouldn’t be the first time Reuters had sent off it’s “crack team” of locals to give the terrorists’ “point of view”.” According to to ACLU words which I love and would love to take credit for I must give them the kudos.: In fact, that is what the website is called. The Weekly Standard points out that this was anything but, that doesn’t stop the kooks at the Democratic Underground, Boing Boing (which offers the Al Jazeera view), Little Green Goofballs, and the Rachael Maddow Show blog, among others, doing their typical hate America and support Islamist extremists schtick.

Please note the military is trained to deal with targets which they call individuals in these type of situations. Was the US Military wrong?

Collateral Murder

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. For further information please visit the special project website www.collateralmurder.com.

Graphic video footage showing US soldiers taking aim at an Iraqi  photojournalist from a helicopter and shooting him to death has shown  up on the wikileaks.org web site. The footage also shows the shooting  death of the photographer’s driver, another Reuters employee. The
video was recorded on July 12, 2007 from the helicopter from the point  of view of the gunner.

Reuters has been asking for the release of the footage as part of its investigation of the deaths of the photographer, 22-year-old Namir Noor-Eldeen, and his driver, Saeed Chmagh, 40. Two children were also  wounded in the attack. According to a pre-amble added to the video,  the military had initially claimed that the victims died in a battle  between US forces and Iraqi insurgents. The military concluded after an investigation that the the soldiers had acted according to the rules of military engagement.
The video includes an audio recording of the helicopter crew reporting  a group of men walking down the street with “weapons.” They identify those weapons at first as AK-47s, and ask for permission from their base commanders to “engage.” Permission is granted. “Just fuckin, once  you get on ‘m just open ‘em up,” a voice on the recording says after one helicopter crewman reports that the men are behind a building.

Soon the helicopter crew sights the men milling around the street, ignoring the helicopter and making no apparent effort to hide. One of the men holds a camera with a long lens, which is quickly misidentified by the crew as an RPG. The man holding the camera appears to be talking on a cell phone. With the men in view, a commander says,”Light ‘me all up.” The gunner hesitates, and someone else says, “Come on, fire!” The gunner fires, and as the men go down, a voice says, “keep shoot’n, keep shoot’n.” One crew member reports that they
had “engaged” all eight individuals on the ground, but another says “we see two birds and we’re still fire”–indicating that two of the men were on the run. A commander swears at the gunner, who opens fire again and then says, “All right, hahaha, I hit ‘em.”

The helicopter continues to circle around, directing ground crews to the scene. One of the injured men attempts to get up, but the helicopter crew refrains from shooting him because he doesn’t have a weapon. Before US military ground crews arrive, a van arrives to pick
up the injured man, who is identified in the released video as Saeed Chamagh. The helicopter crew presses for–and finally gets–permission to fire upon the van and the people around it. When US military ground crews finally arrived, they found two wounded children inside the van, and 12-15 other people dead, including the two Reuters journalists..

In a statement,
David Schlesinger, editor-in-chief of Reuters news said, “The video released today via Wikileaks is graphic evidence of the dangers involved in war journalism and the tragedies that can result.” Calling the deaths of Namir and Saeed “tragic,” he said, “We continue to work for journalist safety and call on all involved parties to recognize the important work that journalists do and the extreme danger that photographers and video journalists face in particular.”

Update:

Murdered photographer’s brother denounces US military crimes

Among the dead were two journalists, Namir Nour El Deen, a photographer, and Saeed Chmagh, a driver, both employees of the Reuters news agency.

Namir’s brother, Nabil Nour El Deen, tells Al Jazeera after watching the footage that it is clearly a crime committed by the US military. (Apr 6, 2010)

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