GORDON DUFF: “COLLATERAL DAMAGE,” SPINNING AWAY MURDER IN IRAQ
TIME FOR THE “SPIN MASTERS” TO “PAY THE FIDDLER”
By Gordon Duff STAFF WRITER/Senior Editor
MSNBC, in an excellent video, has put out both sides of the story on the 2007 “video game murder” in Iraq. The most telling aspect of this story isn’t just that we now know our own Army leaked the video or that many others like it exist, it is the lengths we go to using “surrogates” to spin away murder. Years of lies droning on, filling the American airwaves have made senseless and fantasy based explanations for daily issues, be they war, health care or the presidents birth certificate subject to “conspiracy theory.” What so many Americans have awakened to is that our real conspiracies are all formulated “at the top” where money and power seek to control public opinion thru disinformation. Now we are being told black is white on a video we can actually see.
I wish to thank WikiLeaks and the people of the United States military who leaked this film along with those who support realistic reforms that this film demands. Taking a moment to put some reality into the spin, misinformation and attempts at a cover-up, we can get a few facts out.
1. This film was made during the height of the surge. The area filmed is called a “hot zone.” This explanation, through omission is a lie. The primary activity of the surge was not combat but rather the realignment of the armed militias in the region being filmed through cash payments. If the two armed security people with the Reuter’s group were militia members, they were most likely employees of the United States government receiving a $300 a month stipend. Journalists are in far more danger in these areas than any other group, including American troops. The number of journalists kidnapped and murdered is astounding. These journalists would have had security personnel with them in that neighborhood.
Thousands of armed militia, real militia with heavy weapons and uniforms, in this area of Baghdad were working for the US at this time. Assuming that these two lightly armed people with the unarmed group were not either security personnel, protecting the others from criminal gangs or paid militia working for the US is not based on the reality of the period and the location, is unrealistic. No permission to fire could have been made against this group, largely unarmed, and not a threat to anyone. Lying to interfere with an investigation or to hide a crime, whether done by a reporter or member of the military is a felony.
2. Statements that the Apache helicopter was subject to attack by this group is untrue. We have failed to reveal that the helicopter was, based on the optics and pattern of fire, nearly 1 mile away. The M789 ammunition which should have been used has an effective range, capable of
piercing tank armor, of 4000 meters, approximately 3 miles. The rationale given for the attack, that the Apache Longbow helicopters that were out of visual range, using their extremely sophisiticated optics were about to be attacked by advanced weaponry that of a size and type that only exists in science fiction, indicates a pattern of systematic deception between pilots and their controllers, deception meant to provide authorization for indiscriminate criminal activity.
American optics can read a car license plate from earth orbit. We can certainly tell a child in a car or a movie camera the size of a woman’s purse from an RPG that is 6 feet long. Hitting a helicopter with a non-existent RPG hidden inside a camera bag, from a mile away, is utterly impossible. Also, hitting any target at long range with an AK-47, a weapon with a short range 7.62/39 cartridge is also impossible.
3. Assuming that a group of men on the streets of a neighborhood filled with criminal gangs, gangs living on bribe money paid by Americans, gangs who make a living by kidnapping journalists and local citizens, who have an armed escort are “insurgents” is simply crazy. Iraqis living there are in far more danger than Americans and die by the dozens, sometimes hundreds, each week. It is still going on at even higher levels than then with no Americans operating in the areas at all. The same people walk the same streets with the same guns today, in exactly the same way. It is how they stay alive. In America, we would call it our 2nd Amendment right.
4. The military and its “surrogates” have suggested the Apache was defending a nearby convoy from attacks from RPG 29s that they spotted inside the camera bags of the Reuter’s reporters. This is a photograph of an RPG 29:
5. The military has released a number of unsupported claims, one being that a convoy was in the area. Imagine a maze of small streets, an almost infinite maze. Not only were there no troops anywhere near the site of the incident but, in fact, directing them to find the area took some time. The “convoy” was, not only not going there, they didn’t even know how to find “there” even with the help of an Apache Longbow helicopter with advanced geo-navigation systems.
6. Iraq is an Islamic Republic and subject to Islamic law. Islamic law requires all citizens to assist any sick or wounded person. Every American knows this and, frankly, many Americans have benefited from this. Any Muslim that stops to help another is performing a religious duty, an act of similar importance to prayer itself. Attacking a Muslim for aiding the sick or injured is a criminal act in any Islamic country and, frankly, should be everywhere. The Americans who directed the murderous attack on the unarmed people who stopped to help the single severely wounded man were attacked, not only in direct violation of American rules of engagement but Islamic law.
7. Reports from the military indicate that false reports of a fire fight involving ground forces was part of the action. In such cases, commendations and medals are often awarded. What will a search of the military records of all involved reveal? Were any medals or commendations awarded based on inventing an incident to obscure criminal activity? What does this do to every American veteran and every decorated combat veteran if we find commendations were awarded for these “acts?”
8. As no statements on the “load-out” of the Apache Longbow helicopters involved has been made, is it possible that Depleted Uranium ammunition, now being sited by the Department of Veterans Affairs as cause for numerous illnesses suffered by Gulf War veterans, being used in this engagement?
PATTERNS OF SUBTERFUGE AND DECEPTION
The internet is flooded with hundreds of videos, perhaps even thousands, demonstrating the prowess of advanced weaponry being used in an urban environment or against “insurgent” targets. Systems such as the Apache Longbow, designed for use against massed enemy armoured divisions with massive cannons designed to obliterate enemy tanks and highly fortified positions, when used against sporadically armed irregular forces or unarmed civilians seems a misapplication of resources at minimum and, frankly, insanity when looked at carefully.
General Stanley McChrystal, recognizing that it was cheaper to hire insurgents at $300 per month than to use $5000 dollars worth of ammunition to kill one showed, not only amazing judgment but an appreciation for human life seldom seen in military leaders. Were the two armed personnel insurgents planning to attack an American convoy of Bradley fighting vehicles, using only two rifles and no extra ammunition or were these two security guards watching out for Reuters newsmen interviewing local leaders? Were the two armed men who were killed actually employed by the United States, as were others of their ilk in that neighborhood?
What of the unarmed people with them? Do insurgent groups typically only arm some and not all? Are weapons hard to get in Iraq? We all know better than this. What of the totally unarmed group? Were they actually killed for trying to help wounded, as the tape says? Do Americans pay millions to Boeing to build the Apache helicopter or thousands to General Dynamics to manufacture the ammunition, for such senselessness?
Do we spend millions training pilots for this kind of mission? Is there anything we could have done, spending so much money, misusing so many resources, to do as much damage to the reputation of the United States, the honor of her military forces and veterans and the security of our country?
Short URL: http://www.veteranstoday.com/?p=25692