Yeah, I’m shocked, too.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates told me the video recently released by Wikileaks which depicts U.S. troops killing some civilians in Iraq “doesn’t show the broader picture of the – of the firing that was going on at American troops.”
In my “This Week” interview, Gates acknowledged that the video is “clearly not helpful” and “painful to see”, but that “these people were operating in split second situations.” Gates added that he doesn’t think the video will “have any lasting consequences.”
Plenty of bloggers had already come to that conclusion, thanks to this LiveLeaks post that went up on April 9:
This video contains footage NOT SEEN in wikileaks 17 minute version. IF YOU WANT CONTEXT WATCH THIS ONE.
The video released by Wiki Leaks is EXTREMELY misleading, and propagating it as “murder” is borderline criminal. Their 17 minute version edited out any mention of hostile gunfire on the part of insurgents for the purpose of defaming U.S. Defence Forces. WikiLeak head Julian Assange has since reluctantly admitted to AK-47 and RPGs being present. To their credit, they did release a full 39 minute version, but for “research” purposes only. Their edited version tells a very different story.
The WikiLeaks transcription is poor in areas, as well.
If I’m interpreting this contention correctly, the civilians in question (who were reportedly Reuters correspondents) were fired on because they aimed what looked like weapon — but may have been cameras or other recording devices — at the Apache helicopters overhead.
Whenever innocent civilians die during warfare, it is tragic. However, it looks like (surprise!) there may be more to this story than “progressive” bloggers, and the mainstream media, are making out.
And I have to wonder how many of these bloggers have ever served in the U.S. military, and have experienced battle first hand. Just sayin’.
Anyway, here is the “new” version of the “Collateral Damage” video, as posted on LiveLeaks on April 9: