Wikileaks.org an organization that releases sensitive documents while preserving the sources anonymity just released a classified US military video showing a group of iraqi’s and two Reuters news staff being shot from an American helicopter (here).
David Schlesinger, the editor in chief of Reuters news, said in a statement that the video was “graphic evidence of the dangers involved in war journalism and the tragedies that can result.”
I cannot imagine the extreme difficulty in trying to determine whether the people you are looking at are friendly or foe, especially in an urban environment. The chilling part of the video comes when the photographers are walking down the street with their cameras hanging from their shoulders and the gunner says “he’s got a weapon” before requesting permission to engage and then killing everyone.
Reuters said at the time that the two men had been working on a report about weightlifting when they heard about a military raid in the neighborhood, and decided to drive there to check it out.
The attack killed 12, among them the Reuters photographer, Namir Noor-Eldeen, 22, and the driver, Saeed Chmagh, 40.