Wikileaks edited and presented this incident in a manner that can be called nothing but blatantly dishonest. This video presents portions of the full 40 minute video that Wikileaks left out. At this moment it has received 500 hits. The Wikileaks video has received 5 million.
I ask my readers to spread this video to the best of their ability. While I do not condone the reckless actions of these aviators, their side of the story needs to be told. The record needs to be set straight.
"MK." Inkspots. 5 April 2010.
The comment thread on this post is informative.
Matt Armstrong. Mountain Runner 9 April 2010.
On DoD's utter inability to grasp the importance of social media.
James Fallows. The Atlantic. 6 April 2010.
Fallows points out what should be obvious: as long as America is engaged in messy urban counterinsurgency campaigns, this will happen.
Human Rights Watch. 8 September 2008.
The report makes a point worth repeating here:
US and NATO forces have been far more likely to cause civilian casualties in unplanned situations, normally when ground troops call in airstrikes as tactical support when under attack from insurgent forces, or to target insurgent forces on the move. The vast majority of known civilian deaths and injuries from airstrikes in Afghanistan come in these situations. Often these situations involve "Troops in Contact" (TIC). A TIC is an unplanned engagement occurring when US or NATO ground forces unexpectedly come into contact with insurgent forces.
While the report was discussing air strikes in Afghanistan, the same dynamic is at play here.