This diary changes the Wikileaks video into still images, captions and text intact. Thus it is about the power of the images. Christopher Hedges, writing on the "pictures of war you aren't supposed to see," says that most filmic and photographic images of war, removing the fear, stench, noise and stress of combat, serve an "artful war narrative," ultimately functioning as "war porn." Where do these new images fit within that viewpoint? In the words of Julian Asstrange, a co-founder of WikiLeaks, the video shows "how modern aerial warfare is done... It shows the debasement and the moral corruption of soldiers as a result of war. It seems like they are playing video games with people's lives."
Upon seeing the video this afternoon, former Editor and Publisher editor Greg Mitchell commented that the "U.S. crew in Wikileaks video of Iraq killings reminds me of my son and friends around TV playing Xbox shooter game."
My first reaction to seeing the video, though I had been anticipating the Wikileaks release, was a vocal "Jesus Christ."
Drone attacks continue to present day in the Afghanistan and Pakistan theatre, resulting in civilian casualties. What of those images will see the light of day?
The Pentagon's original narrative from 2007 does not stand up very well against the new visual imagery evidence, we find on a day that they had to correct themselves on another narrative, that one concerning civilian deaths in Afghanistan. The Iraq narrative from the military re-presented by The New York Times at the time:
"The American military said in a statement late Thursday that 11 people had been killed: nine insurgents and two civilians. According to the statement, American troops were conducting a raid when they were hit by small-arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades. The American troops called in reinforcements and attack helicopters. In the ensuing fight, the statement said, the two Reuters employees and nine insurgents were killed.
'There is no question that coalition forces were clearly engaged in combat operations against a hostile force,' said Lt. Col. Scott Bleichwehl, a spokesman for the multinational forces in Baghdad."
A timeline of possible attempts to cover up the details of the 2007 incidence can be found here: http://littlealexinwonderland.wordpr...
Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer, of the Center for Advanced Defense Studies and an Afghanistan vet, was, earlier today while appearing on The Dylan Ratigan Show, queried on whether the Rules of Engagement were followed:
"Let me be clear... based on what I've seen only, and I'm making it on what I've seen: No, they were not. First rule is 'You may engage persons who commit hostile acts or show hostile intent by minimum force necessary.' Minimum force is the key here. If you see eight armed men, the first thing I would think as an intelligence officer: 'How can we take these guys and capture them?' We don't want to kill people arbitrarily. We want the intell take.
Now, most importantly, when you see that van show up to take away the wounded: 'Do not target or strike anyone who has surrendered or is out of combat due to sickness or wounds.' So the wound part of that, I find a bit disturbing by the fact that you have people down, clearly down; you have people on the way here..."
Would he have been able to come to that conclusion, a very serious conclusion regarding the incident, had he not had the images, images you weren't supposed to see? What will be the impact of that conclusion? The video has now entered the narrative of what the United States has done and is doing with our massive technologically advanced force to the population of other countries.
With their captioning and context, Wikileaks has attempted to control the narrative as the images enter into our visual war-culture. Nabil Nour El Deen, brother of one of the Reuters photographers, has told Al Jazeera English the footage clearly shows a crime committed by the US military. One thing is sure, these images and their release, in their own way, are unprecedented.
I have manipulated the video narrative myself, contrasting at the end, the photo of the children visible in the passenger seats of the with the photo of the van being ripped apart and thrown off the ground. "Right through the windshield." "Ha, ha."
UPDATE 2: Wikileaks via Twitter -US mil releases Iraq massacre investigation doc; note the tone. its junk http://bit.ly/...