April 08, 2010

The Slight of Hand at Wiki Leak and the Missing 20 Minutes of Video

This is what Wiki Leaks is calling the "full video" of the incident that they describe as the "murder" of "civilians killed in Baghdad". Video that is causing outrage in Europe, Islamic countries, and among the American Left. The "full video" is nearly 40 minutes long.

Besides being dishonest about this being footage of mass "murder" and of those killed being "civilians", Wiki Leak is also being dishonest about this being the "full video". It's not. The so-called "full video" is missing 20 minutes of footage.

The editors of Wiki Leak are one part magician and one part defense lawyer. Like a good defense lawyer they are careful never to lie outright; just convenient omissions coupled with spin which make innocent parties look guilty, and the guilty innocent.

Like a polished magician they want you to look at one hand -- the journalists, the casual manner in which the insurgents are talking to one another, the brutality of death in war, the wounded children -- so that your eyes are distracted from the hand which holds that which is important in order for the illusion to be complete -- the insurgent with an AK-47, the insurgent with a loaded RPG, the insurgent carrying a spare RPG round, firefights happening near the scene, the convoy which the Reuters cameraman is aiming his lens while surrounded by insurgents, the expressions of anger by the soldiers that insurgents had brought children to the area, the rescue of the children and their evacuation to two US bases for treatment.

But among the many glaring omissions in their perverse and evil slight of hand, one sticks out more than anything else: 20 minutes of missing video.

What was on the video? Here's a key bit from a sworn statement about that days firefights which might shed some light:

While team was providing security for H26 at the first engagement area H26 informed the team that they were recieving small arms fire from the S/SW and wanted to team to recon the area for AIF. CZ18 then located 5xAIF with AK-47's and 1xRPG. Team was given clearance to engage by H26. I then observed a child and some other noncombatants in the vicinity of the AIF so decided to hold off on the engagement until the non-combatants were clear. After the non-combatants were clear CZ18 the engaged the AIF with 20x30mm. There were 2 possible WIA and I observed the individuals run into a large multistory building. The team then searched the area for more AIF. CZ19 reported a red SUV that has possible AIF in it and team followed and observed the vehicle but could not get PID on any weapons. The team then returned to the engagement area.
This is not shown on the video, but the next segment in the statement is where the video seems to picks up -- the engagement of Mahdi Army terrorists holed up in a building with 3 hellfire missiles:
Upon arrivai I observed building was a 4 story building that looked abandoned and half finished and possibly still under construction. We then asked H26 for clearance to engage the building with hellfire missiles. H26 granted the team clearance to fire. The team proceeded to engage the building with 3 hellfire missiles. CZ18 fired 1xK2 and 1xN missiles. CZ19 fired 1xN missile. There were approximately 10 AIF KIA during this engagement. Team then did BHO with CZ03/04 because the team needed to refuel at the FARP.
When children were observed near AIF (anti-Iraqi Forces) they chose to hold fire --> Not shown on video.

A vehicle that might have carried AIF in it was not fired on --> Not shown on video.

Like the 18 minutes of audio "accidentally" erased from the Nixon tapes, I find it awfully convenient that the so-called "full 40 minute video" that Wiki Leak provides also has a 20 minute gap. A 20 minute gap that would seem to run counter to the narrative of cowboy soldiers shooting at everything and every one in the neighborhood, even children.

So, is Wiki Leak lying about this being all the video they received? It matters little, because it's obvious that even the "full video" was edited to paint the US and its soldiers in the worst possible light.

If Wiki Leak didn't do it, then somebody did. That somebody has an axe to grind. And it may explain why the DOD can no longer find the original video in its archives.

Thanks to Kevin for much of this.

UPDATE: Greyhawk has a great debunking post here.

59 Seconds of Crucial Reuters Baghdad "Murder" Video Wiki Leak Doesn't Want You to Notice
MSM Continues False Reporting of Reuters "Murder" in Iraq
Case Closed: Weapons Clearly Seen on Video of Reuters Reporters Killed in Iraq
Video Shows Reuters Camerman With Insurgents Being Killed
Brilliant: U.S. military can't find its copy of the video

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 04:23 PM | Comments |