Author Topic: Collateral Murder  (Read 5137 times)

Irish

  • Trusted
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,223
  • Karma: +92/-40
Collateral Murder
« on: April 05, 2010, 03:43:49 PM »
http://collateralmurder.com/

Looks like the major news outlets are not picking this up yet.

This is a video from a US apache helicopter gunning down about 8 people in Baghdad in 2007. It's a bit graphic, although it's all shot from a distance. The couple of main things here is that the gov't covered this up with lies and that the dead shouldn't have been killed. It also shows the transcript of the pilots and whatnot.

This particular video is 17 mins. long, about half of the original raw footage.

i bet you taste like disappointment  -pdrake
I'm not your emotional tampon.

pdrake

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4,390
  • Karma: +22/-48
Re: Collateral Murder
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2010, 03:52:22 PM »
this would make a good plot for a movie.
you'd be surprised how much a nutsack can stretch. you have to stretch it yourself, not a woman. they don't do it quite right.

random axe

  • Concerned Netizen
  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 34,733
  • Karma: +92/-20
  • Concern Intensifies
Re: Collateral Murder
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2010, 04:52:34 PM »
I hate to say it, but this happens all the time, with every major military, in every modern war.

Not minimizing it is obviously dickish, and covering it up is uncool, especially nowadays when it's almost impossible to actually cover it up successfully.  During the Gulf War (the first one), all the major news networks actually agreed with the Bush Sr administration to not report this kind of thing if they could help it.  Then, after the war was over, there was a huge journalism convention somewhere in East Asia -- Singapore, I think -- where they all came out and said, yes, we totally censored the war, especially in not reporting civilian deaths and collateral damage, and we feel like dicks about it now.


Especially since WWII, with the amount of firepower that's typically thrown around and the increase in warfare in urban environments, civilians have gotten slaughtered constantly.  Not to mention the difficulties that arise when you're using an IR targeting system or something similar, relying on target ID from someone a thousand miles from where you are, etc.  You may remember that after Bush Jr's first four years or so of war in Iraq, some of the press was reporting Iraqi civilian deaths at our hands in the low six figures, while others were claiming fairly low four figures.  That's two orders of magnitude.  That indicates a lot of dickery going on.

The fact is, our government also covers up friendly-fire casualties, which is when we accidentally kill our own soldiers, like what happened with Pat Tillman.  The DOD currently claims US friendly-fire casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan are under 1% -- ie, fewer than 1 in 100 US military deaths were caused by US military forces mistakenly attacking other US military forces -- which would be extremely low.  Other studies have suggested it's more like 10%.  That's still historically low.  In Vietnam, it was like 12-15%, which is also what it was like in Desert Storm.

Again, lots of stuff going on, complicated warfare, vast VAST amounts of firepower.  Not to mention that guerilla warfare makes people jumpy.

Covering it up is never cool, though . . . and if you can't get away with it, it only makes it worse than if you hadn't tried.

mo

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 12,757
  • Karma: +136/-55
    • x
Re: Collateral Murder
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2010, 05:10:46 PM »
I think WikiLeaks is kind of playing it up a little bit there. Yeah, it's a horrible thing, I don't think anyone could disagree, but it's not hard to see how it happened. Whoever that was leaning around the corner did kind of look like he had an RPG, and if I was in a helicopter above him, I'd probably be a little quick on the trigger too. I doubt any of the soldiers are proud of the role they played in this now, despite their comments on the video. The Officers are doing what they do - covering their asses. It's all sad. The only winning move is not to play.

Reuters says they were shown the video back when this happened.
It's symbolic of our struggle against reality.

mo

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 12,757
  • Karma: +136/-55
    • x
Re: Collateral Murder
« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2010, 05:46:53 PM »
This video gives you an idea of what it might feel like to be in their shoes.

I'm not defending their actions, but I certainly wouldn't be quick to judge them either.
It's symbolic of our struggle against reality.

Dr. Leonard HmofCoy

  • I'm a doctor, not a bricklayer!
  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 19,673
  • Karma: +205/-69
  • His BRAIN is gone
Re: Collateral Murder
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2010, 06:28:39 PM »
I hate to say it, but this happens all the time, with every major military, in every modern war.

This.


The only winning move is not to play.

THIS.

There's a little bit of Inspector Renault in all of this -- they're shocked, shocked to find out about innocent people getting killed in a war. NO, REALLY, YOU THINK? I personally don't think any of the soldiers involved are culpable. If the soundtrack and film are credible, it's apparent from the 2-3 simultaneous conversations going on that there was a column of soldiers on the ground down there and they were worried about being ambushed. In that context pretty much everything those men did looked suspicious.

I think we all are responsible, for allowing the war to happen in the first place. Innocent people always get killed in wars. Period.

As for the coverup, again, you have to expect this. It's the Army that Colin Powell built, and he first distinguished himself as being the first one to cover up the My Lai massacre (after a five minute investigation, he told his superiors that nothing happened. turns out he was mistaken. gosh). You gotta lead by example.
"Parasitic wasps laying eggs in other insects is a better love story than Twilight." - :bitzero:
"Anyhow, it was the best sentient food movie since Killer Tomatoes Eat France." - :flipper:
"lee marvin in drag is no way to spread the gospel, son." - TFJ
"It failed. My enemies have been purged." - Sidious
"It's not like there was ever a time I didn't think Rudy Giuliani was a smug gibbering imbecile." - random axe
"*drags taint* Oh cool, I didn't know you could do that." - mo.d

Hedaira

  • Trusted
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9,032
  • Karma: +72/-11
  • Tit Critic
Re: Collateral Murder
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2010, 06:52:31 PM »
I suspect that was part of why he was all Hell No when people pestered him to run for president. I mean, the guy probably has enough skeletons in his closet - and with the press ferreting them all out - that he'd be dragged in front of a tribunal or simply silenced by his bosses.

(Yeah, I find this out AFTER having jumped on the Go Powell [but FFS anyone was better than Shrubber and Snore] bandwagon - but I can admit I was balls-on-the-butcherblock wrong about it.)
"After walking away from the other people backstage, Justin Bieber found a place where we could be alone -- a bathroom. We went inside and immediately his personality changed drastically. He began touching me and repeatedly said he wanted to fuck the shit out of me."

Dr. Leonard HmofCoy

  • I'm a doctor, not a bricklayer!
  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 19,673
  • Karma: +205/-69
  • His BRAIN is gone
Re: Collateral Murder
« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2010, 06:55:03 PM »
I went right off Powell when he didn't do anything as Secretary of State to stop the obvious fabrications and crap that led up to the invasion of Iraq. That's when I found out about the My Lai thing.
"Parasitic wasps laying eggs in other insects is a better love story than Twilight." - :bitzero:
"Anyhow, it was the best sentient food movie since Killer Tomatoes Eat France." - :flipper:
"lee marvin in drag is no way to spread the gospel, son." - TFJ
"It failed. My enemies have been purged." - Sidious
"It's not like there was ever a time I didn't think Rudy Giuliani was a smug gibbering imbecile." - random axe
"*drags taint* Oh cool, I didn't know you could do that." - mo.d

random axe

  • Concerned Netizen
  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 34,733
  • Karma: +92/-20
  • Concern Intensifies
Re: Collateral Murder
« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2010, 07:04:50 PM »
My brother was always against Powell because he authored the most recent Two Wars doctrine.  Personally, I agree with the Two Wars doctrine, in general; I disagree with a shitload of how we prepare, stay prepared, organize and conduct our military whatnot, and yadda yadda.  But I agree that from a defense perspective we have to be prepared to fight two simultaneous wars.

Of course, you CAN'T be both honest and intelligent and start the war in Iraq if you believe in the Two Wars doctrine.  If you believe in the Two Wars doctrine, you can't go starting a bullshit war as one of your two wars.  This is patently obvious for more than one major reason.

Powell certainly is a dick, but I never expected him to throw in so eagerly with Shrub, and I never expected him to go to the UN and make us all look like the worst everyone expects of us, and so on.  He really surprised me.  Still, I would 300% have rather had him be President than Shrub.  I admit thinking we were pretty safe, though, since neither of them seemed like they could win a general election . . . .

Of course, neither of them did, either.  What can you do, eh?  And, yeah, as a nation we're far too cavalier about throwing our military might around.  Speak softly and carry a big stick is not the same as bluster constantly and hit everyone with the stick.  I remember someone (Rice?) in Shrub's administration talking about how Nicaragua resents us because of BS #1 and BS #2, and not mentioning that, you know, we invaded Nicaragua like eight times during the last hundred years.  Never mind what our corporations do in that part of the world.  Those people can't average a generation without us landing troops in their country.

Encino Man

  • Trusted
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3,324
  • Karma: +40/-7
Re: Collateral Murder
« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2010, 07:08:18 PM »
I watched that video earlier and it made me sick. I don't think I'd have what it takes to be a soldier. I couldn't kill people like that.

random axe

  • Concerned Netizen
  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 34,733
  • Karma: +92/-20
  • Concern Intensifies
Re: Collateral Murder
« Reply #10 on: April 05, 2010, 07:51:56 PM »
They have a whole training regimen to desensitize you to it.  It's a very different thing if you're there, in that moment, than here, in the audience.

I'm not judging.  I'm just saying.  Soldiers kill people, but it's almost always mostly the fault of the officers, right on up the line.

Personally . . . terrorists, schmerrorists, because this isn't how you deal with that, but . . . we've been ruinously effing up places like Iraq and Afghanistan for decades, and we've got to do something toward making things right.  Karzai is not a solution, not for us and not for them.  And everybody over there who knows anything about what's going on knows we let the Taliban terrorize and tear down the place until they changed their mind about an oil pipeline.  And the rest of the whole region knows we really want Iran and maybe western Pakistan.

Unfortunately, we kind of suck at this whole foreign policy thing.  We tend to look at it, realize there's no really good solution, and agree to a perpetual bad solution on the grounds that it's not the worst solution.  But that ain't right, either.  And frankly it would be better to be straightforward and be wrong than to be convoluted and underhanded and have everyone still know we're wrong.

Hedaira

  • Trusted
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9,032
  • Karma: +72/-11
  • Tit Critic
Re: Collateral Murder
« Reply #11 on: April 05, 2010, 09:27:19 PM »
I watched that video earlier and it made me sick. I don't think I'd have what it takes to be a soldier. I couldn't kill people like that.

This. That said, I'd be fine with police sniping. Some dirtbag holding peeps hostage somewhere, peeps with families to go home to - I'd have no problem painting the wall with that motherfucker's brains.
"After walking away from the other people backstage, Justin Bieber found a place where we could be alone -- a bathroom. We went inside and immediately his personality changed drastically. He began touching me and repeatedly said he wanted to fuck the shit out of me."

flipper

  • Ultimate Pick Up Line
  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 12,255
  • Karma: +128/-54
  • Criticism Completes Me
    • Myspace
Re: Collateral Murder
« Reply #12 on: April 06, 2010, 02:22:03 PM »
Didn't Running Man expose this already?  Oh wait, that was the other way around.  Nevermind.

/Litella
"It all trickles down from the hot sex. I'm not saying you don't need cheese, just that if you concentrate on the hot sex, the cheese will follow. Naturally."--PsiDefect 03-19-2002 11:28 AM

mo

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 12,757
  • Karma: +136/-55
    • x
Re: Collateral Murder
« Reply #13 on: April 23, 2010, 06:20:18 AM »
Interview with one of the soldiers that responded to the scene after the shooting.
It's symbolic of our struggle against reality.

random axe

  • Concerned Netizen
  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 34,733
  • Karma: +92/-20
  • Concern Intensifies
Re: Collateral Murder
« Reply #14 on: April 23, 2010, 10:27:43 AM »
Wow, that's a good interview.  Surprisingly good.  That guy was amazingly coherent and articulate about the whole experience and how the media reported it.

I still think most of the blame lies with the officers and the engagement policy, not the pilots.  I haven't seen anything that suggests these particular Apache guys were sadistic lunatics.  You're in a helicopter, you've got massive firepower but are also vulnerable to some guy hiding in an alley with a shoulder-mounted RPG.  You get a call on the radio to go to such-and-such address because there are bad guys with guns there.  You show up . . . you know, these guys have hammers.  If you send them to a location and tell them to hit everything that looks like it might be a nail, this is what's going to happen.

This is an eternal Fog Of War issue.  In Vietnam, if you were getting your ass kicked or couldn't get past an enemy group out in the jungle or hidden in a village, and you called for air support . . . they torched and/or blew up the whole area.  Most of the time, they couldn't really see exactly what they were doing, who they were shooting at, and they couldn't target their weapons with enormous precision.  Meanwhile, some guy on the ground is calling them to come save the day.  They rely on information from the ground and do the best they can.  Often -- way too often -- it's a little bit heroic and a lot disaster.  The soldiers who are there say That's War, and their officers tell them Good Job, and they go on.

Nowadays, we have a lot more recording and reporting of this shit.  It's not so much that war has changed as that it's harder to lie about it.  It's ALWAYS been this unpleasant, even if not always because of the same exact technologies.  The moral is to not have wars when you don't need them, and to be sure not to use more force than you have to.  Still, it's far cheaper and faster to blow up a neighborhood than to police it, and our troops are not trained to be police.

One big difference right now is that the military has a lot more information at their disposal.  But making sense of it and making the best use of it remains illusive.  Still, they have to do what they're told to do.  I've seen several films of gunships attacking targets where, frankly, the guy pulling the trigger can't possibly be sure who that is.  You've got brilliant infrared and GPS, so you know you're in the place you were told to go to and you know you're definitely hitting someone, and with heavy weapons you damned well know they're dying.  But you have no way of knowing who that is.  You're relying on the information given you.  And day after day, you become desensitized.  Hit that, kill him, blow that up, whatever.

We're doing the occupation thing all wrong.  Some colonial powers have done extensive occupation successfully.  The Brits and Romans, for instance.  Others have done it really badly.  We're not so hot at it, but we're better than the Russians.  You can't afford to occupy a conquered nation unless the colony pays for its own colonization.  We blew Iraq up, and did it really have much to offer economically besides oil, anyway?  Could we have taxed their economy to cover our military expenditures?  Forget about the cost of rebuilding their country.  And what ever happened to those oil billions we were supposed to tax and recoup?  I haven't heard about those in like five years.

Go figure.