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Soldier in WikiLeaks video "Collateral Murder"in new film discussing the incident

Discussion in 'Wikileaks' started by LastOneStanding, Apr 5, 2011.

  1. http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2011/04/ethan-mccord/

    there is a youtube video with the article but the code to embed is wrong and it wont work.

  2. Ironhead Member

    never saw that part. nice to be reminded there are some decent human beings out there.
  3. Anonymous Member

    If it really happened... easy to spin these things for collateral damage limitation purposes.
  4. Anonymous Member

    I've seen the whole thing and it happened. I also know two of the guis in 2-16 who were there. The video, while disturbing to many, does not tell the whole story.

    No dox... shit's still classified as far as I'm concerned.
  5. How is that not prima facie evidence of war crimes? The video does not lie. I would love to see you spin this one.
  6. Anonymous Member

    There's no spin here. I'm not in the Army any more and I made that decision for pretty deep-seated personal reasons. You can only spend so much time doing what Soldiers do before you start to wonder if you're going to pop out the other side with anything resembling a soul. So back the fuck off, okay?

    That said, what you don't see at the beginning of the tape is guis from a platoon of 2-16 IN taking sufficient enough fire from the vicinity of the footage to call in an Air Weapons Team (AWT). The footage is, of course, from that AWT. It's really really easy to judge that footage from the safety of your living room on the other side of the world, isn't it? The Rules of Engagement cleared that AWT to fire on people that were carrying weapons and while there are doubtless people in that video carrying weapons, many are not. Still, no war crime there. Then, the van pulls up and is engaged. Believe it or not, that's permissible in the ROE as well. No war crime. What you also miss is the rest of that video when they find other insurgents that had been shooting at B, 2-16 and a platoon from a unit from the Cav that I can't remember.

    I cry myself to sleep more nights than not for the things that I've seen and done. Say what you want about the crew of that AWT. Say what you want about McCord. Fuck, say what you want about me. The fact is war sucks asshole and is really really fucking confusing. Mistakes happen. Innocent people die. And it is your right to demand the truth on any and everything that I, or those I served with, did since you pay our paychecks and elect those that send us to war. But you might want to take a step back and realize that, while you have part of the picture (in the form of a redacted video), you don't have the whole picture and are no more qualified to judge the rights and wrongs of that situation than you are to say that Dickens was a worthless author because you only read "... of times, it was the..."
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  7. Anonymous Member

    Protip: it's okay to just say NO U and walk away. You're not obligated to justify yourself to some random fuckface on the internet.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Anonymous Member

    pro tip:
    Defending the collateral murder event in any way is a sign of being a psycho.
    I read all of you r army money's rebuttals and apologetics on this isseu but the simple fact of the matter is that those kids in the helicopter are goddamn evil murderers who killed innocent people because there was the teeny tint offchance that a camera would suddenly transmogrify into a rocketlauncher.

    Their names will be leaked.
    There will be a reconing some day.

    Fuck you.
    • Like Like x 2
  9. Why are brutal murderers who killed indiscriminately in Afghanistan and collected body parts from their victims receiving better treatment than Bradley Manning? More importantly, if as the news reports are accurate (and they seem credible), why aren't their superiors facing the same or worse, instead of merely being reassigned like a Catholic pedopriest? Why is Gul Mudin dead, and why are those who authorized or failed to act when they became aware of this and other crimes not being held fully accountable?
    • Like Like x 4
  10. Anonymous Member

    here's a question for you: where exactly am I supposed to judge that footage from? should I take my laptop out onto a freeway divider and judge it from there? if I hop a flight to eastern Libya will that improve my ability to judge the footage? at some point soldiers and their commanders should have to face scrutiny from people who are not in the field, at least those that don't serve under military dictatorships.

    I believe you, however your argument is more emotional than logical (i.e. I know how war feels, you don't know how war feels, therefore your opinion is invalid).
    • Like Like x 2
  11. That's nice, but it's still a blatant war crime. Firing on obvious non-combatants is wrong. I understand you were fucked up by your service, but in a civilized society, that type of behavior should be frowned upon.
  12. Herro Member

    Obvious non-combatants? Lol. Come on dude.
  13. Anonymous Member

    C'mon Herro, you can bring more content than this.
  14. LocalSP Member

    Herro's really off his game as of late.
  15. Anonymous Member

    It was a father driving his children to school who stopped to helped the people who had just been shot. cmon man.
  16. Anonymous Member

    I think Herro's recieving too much cock nowadays.
  17. Anonymous Member

    Herro is an obvious non-combatant.
    • Like Like x 1
  18. Anonymous Member

    The military is for volunteers, so stop with " oh you wouldn't know cause you never served" bullshit. You volunteered, you weren't forced. Maybe next time do some fucking research into what your signing up for. The american people, and the rest of the world have the right to give whatever criticism they feel is called for. Which in the case of killing innocent people, is always called for.
    • Like Like x 2
  19. Anonymous Member

    Wow that is a clever point to debate you fucking 4 year old
  20. Anonymous Member

    Or at least stop sucking the brass cock everytime they make shit up.
    • Like Like x 2
  21. Anonymous Member

    FWIW, and speaking for myself only I am heartened by the fact that there are militards and vets in Anon and posting on this forum, makes for some nice diversity and as a committed civilitard I would probably not have the opportunity to debate shit with you all in real life (all though I would) and I hope you keep on posting. Having said that I hope that you understand that the Nothing that is sacred to Anonymous includes soldiering and you can't expect to have affairs relevant to your interests treated with any more delicacy than anything else around here no matter what you've experienced.
  22. Anonymous Member

    Actually, I never said that. That was interpreted by other Anons. Word clear: misconstrue. I may have some unique perspectives but that doesn't mean that others are wrong for examining the facts. In fact, I point that out in my post. But, hey, no matter what I say I'm just a mean old baby-killer aren't I?

    So, how do you feel about the poor m'fers that got their heads cut off because some hayseed in Florida burned a book?

    As far as pointing out that it's easy to judge from way over here... I was trying to highlight that war is confusing and highly stressful. I can't believe, for one second, that some of you haven't made terrible mistakes when you were stressed out, overwhelmed by information and (potentially) in fear of losing your life. I'll even go so far as to say that I think they made a mistake in that you are supposed to have Positive ID (PID) on your target before you pull the trigger. I mean, clearly, there's at least one weapon but there is also something known as "proportional response" and I'm not sure that the AWT was really the best solution to this particular problem. Still, this is in no way, shape or form a war crime.

    NO U.

    I don't know a single Soldier that isn't appalled by the actions of the "Kill Team". Actually, I don't have words strong enough to describe my loathing of them. They wantonly, callously and psychotically took human lives and desecrated remains. It is disgusting. And it is only tangentially related to the "Collateral Murder" video in that they both involve Soldiers.

    No worries, I don't. Anonymous isn't my friend. I am just as fucking savage when I see someone fagging it up in another thread. My service is my own burden and I live with what I've done without thinking for one second that sticking my e-peen in the hornet's nest is going to do anything other than get my cawk stung.

    By the way, neither the pilot nor the gunner/copilot are flying anymore. I am not implying that getting grounded brings anyone back to life nor even saying that I don't think more should have been done but this impression that nothing was done about this situation is wholly incorrect.

    Oh, one last thing, if you live in a free place, chances are, someone fought a war for your right to do most of the things you do. War is a fucked up mess and I am actually unable to think of a situation where it's okay for something like "Collateral Murder" to take place. But all this moralfag bawwwing about how we're all psychotic baby-raping Soldiers is utter faggotry. I don't deserve a fucking ounce of thanks but a lot of people have paid a high price for the basic freedoms that many of us cherish. And, as long as there are humans involved, there will be war.
  23. Anonymous Member

    There are people who are speaking (and listening) to you who are neither bawwing nor calling you a babykiller, and when you go all melodramatic at the end of a generally thoughtful response it tends to throw shade on the quality of the thoughtful part and add to the faggotry.

    There will always be war? Maybe. But as long as humans are involved there will also always be questions after. And people fight for their rights in many ways and locations, not just on the front.
    • Like Like x 2
  24. Anonymous Member

    If the shoe fits, etc...

    I wasn't shooting for melodrama though I see that, whatever I was aiming at, I missed. Point taken.

    I agree 100% that the actions of those who are executing national policy are to be scrutinized. At the end of the day, the soldiery of a nation should closely resemble those that they defend and uphold the ideals that are widely held and supported by the citizens that are, in a very real way, their bosses. If those tasked with conducting warfare are doing so in a manner not in keeping with the ideals, mores and values of the citizenry of their country, they must be reminded that they are, truly, fucking up and made to stop.

    You are further correct that there are many ways to "fight" for their rights with, possibly, actual warfare being the least productive of them all.

    This is just one of those situations where there is so much going on than is readily available to the general public and, for me at least, it suggests either:
    a) PVT Manning had ulterior motives in releasing this
    b) Julian Assange either edited, or caused to be edited, this "Collateral Damage" video in a way that does not provide all of the context necessary to make an informed decision

    I hope that the whole guntape is declassified so that the public can make a full decision.

    Then again, I can readily admit that AWTs saved my ass more than once and I might be a little too close to the issue to see it accurately. We'll see how I feel about it in five years.

    Thank you for the reasoned discourse.
  25. Herro Member

    Or was it someone else rolling up that could pose a threat? Much easier to determine after the fact and not in a combat situation. Everyone wants to focus on this part. I really don't see any reason for them to not have opened fire. Launching the hellfire missiles into the building is the part where I think they went too far.
  26. I know veterans, and I know the vast majority of active and retired military personnel are honorable enough to agree with you on the Kill Team. The problem I have is the credible reports this was a systemic problem that went higher up in that unit, and that people knew or should have known something this awful was going down. One of the biggest problems several have reported about the "military justice" system is the preferential treatment given to those of higher rank. For example, they completely screwed the pooch with the punishment of Col. Thomas Pappas and the trial of Lt. Col. Steven L. Jordan. "With great power comes great responsibility." It may be words from a comic book, but it is true. Why did they not know what was going on? Worse, why did they authorize some of the abuses? Why were officials up to and including Donald Rumsfeld never held accountable for their part in what went on? On a different but related note, why are commissioned officers, when they commit the same crimes, not subject to a Bad Conduct Discharge or a Dishonorable Discharge? Also, what is the purpose of reducing the rank of enlisted members as part of a BCD or a DD? They've already had most or all of their veterans' benefits stripped, been imprisoned, and been booted out of the military.
  27. Anonymous Member

    Since WWII America has never fought a war to defend its freedoms. Not a single one. All the wars America fought were either ideologically motivated (anti communism, anti islam) or capital motivated. So therefore the military nowadays doesn't have any honour or patriotism. It's a bunch of poor fools, who are brainwashed by that "patriotism" meme.
    • Like Like x 1
  28. anonymous612 Member

    Uh, how exactly were the world wars to defend our freedoms?
  29. Anonymous Member

    Rules of Engagement.

    When you follow them, and civvies get injured/killed/wiped out, that sucks.
    When you don't follow them, and civvies get injured/killed/wiped out, YOU suck.
  30. Anonymous Member

    they wanted freedom from having japanese bombs dropped on them. and freedom from having the worlds first emo kid from taking over europe, and quite possibly the rest of the world after.
    • Like Like x 1
  31. anonsoldier Member

    RHIP. Rank has it's privileges. By regulation, the Uniform Code of Military Justice, and Manual of Courts Martial, I as a commissioned officer can't receive the same punishment as a junior enlisted Soldier would at a Company-grade (that's a Captain) Article 15 hearing. To have similar punishment meted out to me, it takes the first star in my chain of command. That's a whole lot of brass to go through. I'm a junior officer.

    Extrapolate that to a Lieutenant Colonel or Colonel, who is a high ranking very senior officer. You cant even touch them outside of a Court Martial, and their seniority gives them a lot of protection. It will take something very serious to send them to jail, and you will never ever take their rank except alongside a discharge. More often, they'll simply be relieved and receive a letter of reprimand and never see another promotion, end of career. Why? Because the system makes it nearly impossible to do much else. Why? It is how militaries operate and are organized, just the nature of the beast.

    As for why did they not know what's going on, that's an easy answer. Because usually anything happening at a Platoon level or lower isn't the Battalion Commander's (Lt. Col.) problem. He worries about Companies and has subordinate commaders to worry about the Platoons, and they have their Platoon Leaders to worry about what the squads are doing. A BC doesn't even see the evaluations for a squad leader, so how is he going to have any idea that that squad is secretly running around outside the wire committing war crimes? I know for a fact that when I was a Platoon Leader, my BC didn't know shit about my Platoon. Now, not every commander is like that, my current BC is very involved. That of course will help mitigate Soldiers doing crazy stupid shit.

    Because at the end of the day, that's what usually gets commanders relieved, charged money, or sent to jail. Soldiers doing something wrong. You don't hear about it because it's never anything spectacular. Usually just stuff like a DUI, or a group deciding to deal drugs, or a failed inspection on an arms room cause the Armorer didn't do their job, or a Supply Clerk didn't accurately track some equipment, or any number of things. My previous Commander was fined two months pay and a letter of reprimand for missing equipment during his Change of Command. Yes, he was responsible, but that is only because the Army says he is responsible for everything that happens or fails to happen in the Company.

    As protected as Officers are, we're vulnerable in our own ways. Enough people get DUIs and your boss doesn't think you're trying hard enough to mitigate that problem? Relieved, career screeches to a crawl, and you never even did anything illegal or immoral. I can theoretically be punished for cursing in front of Soldiers because it is "Conduct unbecoming an Officer" , the catch all crime tacked onto everything because it's so vague that it's almost impossible to disprove and ratchets up any punishment that little extra bit.

    As for why we don't get BCD or DD. Why? Because I don't have an enlistment contract with the Army. I have a beautiful piece of paperwork, framed and mounted in my home office, with a signature block on it belonging to the President of the United States. My authority, my rank, my service in the Army is all traced back to that paper. I serve at the pleasure of the President and that is what protects me from being discharged like a common Soldier. It takes several months to kick out a Private. It would take years (barring a Court Martial) to kick out an Officer. More often than not, the paperwork has to go to a 4 star or the Secrectary of the Army. You get some time in and it actually DOES take the President to dismiss you.

    To address the last issue, of why they take rank from discharged Soldiers. Several reasons. Firstly, it affects any pending pay they are still owed that isn't being taken in punishment. Secondly, a BCD is still eligible to reenlist after a certain period of time. May be five years or something to that effect, but they can try to come back in, and they would come back with whatever rank they last held. Finally, because it is extremely satisfying to literally rip someone's rank from their uniform.

    I know I didn't address every issue. Rumsfeld was never held accountable because only Congress could do something about that. He was the SECDEF. He answered to the President, and then the buck stopped. Why do commanders authorize abusive, illegal, or immoral acts? Because at the time they probably came to the conclusion that it was acceptable and made a bad judgement call. In the end, I still believe that higher standards of accountability have to be used on senior leaders and more equality needs to exist in punishment. I've seen blatant cases of Officers being protected that I disagreed with, but in the end it all comes down to that senior Officer making a judgement call. Of course, I've also seen Soldiers lose their weapon in a war zone through blatant negligence and receive a slap on the wrist because no one wanted to do the paperwork to punish him because it would have slowed up sending the unit home.
  32. Herro Member

    They did follow the rules of engagement though. In fact you can hear them going through the entire formal process of getting permission to shoot.
  33. over9000OT Member

    Agreed. However, that is becoming less and less common. The commanders of the 172nd and 173rd have both been relieved recently. One for being an asshole and the other, possibly, because of exactly what you are talking about... it looks like he glad-handed the investigation about what happened at Wanat.

    anonsoldier pretty accurately describes the reasons why rank has its privileges. Again, I submit that, if you don't like it (not meaning you specifically Greta...) then elect people that will change it.



    There are lots of problems with ROE. And, as someone who was responsible for constantly balancing the ROE with my human right to defend myself, I can tell you that most of the time we ere on the side of the ROE.

    The hard part about ROE in Iraq and A'Stan is that ALL the bad guys are civilians. When you hear that X civilians were killed in Afghanistan last month, that includes the bad guys too. So, everyone in the "Collateral Murder" video was a civilian, including those clearly carrying weapons. Unfortunately, and I truly mean that in this instance, those rendering material assistance to bad guys are bad guys too, according to the ROE.

    I say this not as a former Soldier, but as a citizen of the planet... when the military's values no longer match those held by those they defend, the resulting value incongruency does not bode well for the society as a whole.
    • Like Like x 4
  34. anonsoldier Member

    One of the advantages of a conscription based military versus an all volunteer force is that a significant portion of the populace is directly tied to the military. Right now, approximately 1% of the American population is directly tied to our military. In Vietnam, dislike for the war was common to both service members and the protest movement. Bases had servicemember run cafes off post that served as forums for political dissent and discussion. Underground unit newspapers helped circulate controversial ideas and promoted the protest movement.

    Now, you won't see anything like that because there's such a divide between the military and the civilian populace. My parents got more involved in understanding Iraq and Afghanistan very shortly after I started doing ROTC. Before it was "war is bad, Bush is evil, bring the troops home" which is good, but it never went much further than that. Once I became one of those people who would be over there, it literally hit home and they started looking more into just what was going on over there and getting educated about what Soldiers and Marines were doing. The position never changed, but now my family pays attention to what's going on.

    If more people had an actual vested interest in this shit from the start, we may have never wasted our time invading Iraq. I appreciate the protestors who tried and made an effort, but there might have been more of them if more of America had sons and daughters in uniform.
    • Like Like x 1
  35. Anonymous Member

    Just like Vietnam and we all know what happened there because of it (and if you don't, there's probably a spot open for you as an adviser in the Exec branch, if not in this administration maybe the next.

    qft
    again, qft. good and informative posting guise, glad this thread is turning into something other than a shit slinging contest.
    • Like Like x 1
  36. We all know mistakes are made in times of war: It is therefore vitally important that we are shown just how horrific a military mistake can be.

    Being told that "a military mistake was made, which lead to casualties" does NOT bring about the same emotional reaction as this video does, so we should keep that in mind next time we hear the words "civilian casualties." People with families are being fucking slaughtered, dont ever fucking forget.
    • Like Like x 1
  37. over9000OT Member

    That's why I quit posting anonymously. I realized that I look like a coward if I can't stand by my convictions on this.
    • Like Like x 1
  38. Anonymous Member

    To yourself. I stand by your prerogative to post whatever way you want without judgment from others, but that's maybe just me.
  39. Anonymous Member

    Probably not just you.
    <-- See what I did thar?
  40. anonsoldier Member

    My Lai had very little to do with ROE. What it had to do with was a war where success was measured by body counts. Don't forget that North Vietnam had a standing army that was also engaged in battle with American and ARVN forces, and in a conventional fight there is some merit to using body counts as a quantified for success. However, it should never be used as the main or only quantifier, and certainly not for a campaign.

    When success is measured in enemy casualties, and not progress towards the overall goal of a stable and unified country, you create a mentality within the leadership that is destructive to ground operations and leads to Soldiers seeing the entire populace as the enemy. It happened in Vietnam, and it started happening in Afghanistan for awhile, primarily due to the resurgence of the Taliban after them laying low for awhile. The immediate thought is "Wow, there's a lot more of them again, we need to reduce their numbers." It is what is known as mission creep, when more immediate thoughts override the actual mission goals and planning process. Killing the enemy became more important than winning the war.

    ROE saves civilian lives, by the way, you just never hear about it. The goal of ROE is to make as clear a distinction when a threat exists so the Soldier or Marine can defend themselves. This is why Escalation of Force was developed, formalized, and is drilled into Soldiers getting ready to deploy: to give civilians as many opportunities as possible to realize that this is a place they do not want to be and are as warned as possible about the consequences of ignoring those warnings.

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