Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Big Story This Week (and it ain't Tiger)

I don't want to preface the following too much. Read this website and watch the video it contains (note: it is war footage and people are killed). I simply want your comments on what you think about wikileaks presenting the information.


Angela Doles said...

I don't agree with the government trying to cover up an incident. Many people have died due to mishaps of our military. I do not agree with the airing of the videos. These types of public media jeopardize our county's security. Our military should be held responsibility but I think this should be done in a different manner, maybe have a committee that's not military based to review issues such as the happenings in the videos.

E. McGraw said...

I watched this footage and from what I can see it appears that someone just wanted to do some shooting and it appears that these people were not armed at at all.

It is just wrong to open fire on innocent people. What if these poor little innocent kids were killed just because of one's negelence.

I think they should go about a different way on handling these types of situation.

Mary Catherine Carmichael said...

Ok I know this is going to sound harsh to some of you but people this is war....inocent people have died in wars ever since the beginning. I also know that our wonderful world of newsmedia loves to always make the USA look like the bad guys in all this but why is it that we are the only ones willing to help those that need help and then are totally bashed in the process...I personlly think that these people need to learn to fight their own wars. Both my dad and step-dad did two tours of duty in the Vietnam Conflict(WAR)that was two tours each and I have had many uncles who have served. I had several cousins, brother-in-law,two nephews and countless friends who went over to Iraq to fight for the freedom of those over there so I really think we need to realize that inocent people do get killed in war and the effects it has on those that have been over therefighting the war is never exammed in the newsmedia unless they do something wrong. Their lives are never the same again after war. I also know that the newmedia can generate so called news where there is none by fabracating stories where there really is none and while I don't necessarily know this to be true in this situation I would just like to know just how they got their hands on such a sensitive highly classified piece of viedo. I know most of you do not have the same view that I have but if they don't fight for freedom soon and I mean very soon we could end up in the same situation they are in over in Iraq.

noelle carlin said...

My brother went over seas to the war, and out of all the footage that he captured and showed us none of it was like this. The cussing was the same, but the fact that it was more like a video game with this footage. The fighters were shooting at people "with weapons" if they had zoomed in like those helicopter cameras can do, then they would have known that it was a camera. This just reminded me of my boyfriend and his friend playing war craft or something like that on the x-box talking and playing with people all over the world. Those were real people and they were trying to find a reason to shoot at them, that man who was trying to get picked up never had a weapon near him and the ones with the van did not ever show a weapon that was uncalled for warfare.

Zack Harrington said...

I am a firm believer that "Good news is no news" in our society today. I do not like the fact that innocent people are being harmed in war, but to put this solely on our government is ridiculous. The problem with our society today is that everyone believes it is someone elses fault. Whatever happened to being accountable for ones own actions? Every organization has a "bad apple" and they should be dealt with, but they are not a representation of the many others who surround them.

These videos are certainly shameful, but we should not pin actions of a few on our entire country. In addition, I have relatives who have served our great nation. Their pictures show Afghan children, with out-stretched arms and a much needed smile. Someone told me not long ago that the smiles of the Afghan children kept them going. Why don't we show this on television? The bottom line is that there is good and bad news in War; the media gets to pick and choose what side everyone sees.

Anita Griffin said...

You have to be careful when you air footage like this. A video of this sort can be very disturbing to people, especially to family and friends who have loved ones serving in the war. I have a first cousin in Afghanistan now, and he also did a tour in Iraq. I have another cousin who is a Lt. Colonel in the Air Force and of course, he also had to serve time in Iraq. So of course, when I see a video like this, it makes me think of my family, my friends, and everyone who is dedicated to serving our country. It is really sad. I agree with you Angela, someone needs to review videos like this before they are shown to anyone. It is sad enough to think about what goes on over there in the war, but it’s another story to have to watch it.

Lucky said...

Quoting the article “War is hell, and to pretend that this sort of thing doesn’t happen more often, or to claim that the actions took were indiscriminate, is an affront to every member of the US Military.” The bad thing is that this sort of thing does happen. What can anyone do to not make mistakes? Nothing. I am sure no side is willing to put a huge flag on them saying, “Feel free to shot me, I’m the enemy.” The article was reporting what they saw. That is part of journalism, reporting stories even if they are bad.

The fact that innocence people died is sad, but in conflict that is resolved by fighting, innocence people will be hurt and sometimes killed. Should they have wanted longer and tried to be 100% accurate that that was a RGP? Not sure. They decided to act based on a glance, but if it had been a RGP they might have been the ones died, and then the news would have had a time letting people know that this war has claimed more of your sons, daughters, brothers, fathers, sisters, or mothers.

Brandy Stuart said...

This footage was horriable. I felt like I was in a video game or following someone on a shoting rampage. This may be harsh but I agree with Mary. We help others and others just want us (the USA) to look like the bad guys. Although there are people that are wrong for killing just to kill but it happens and I am sure that the Military has its way of handeling it. I also agree with Angela on this video could harm our security. However, Our military has fought for our freedom and other countries that don't even want us there to help but we as American's have always been there to help. War is not a fair game.

Vanessa Collier said...

I do not believe this video should have ever been leaked to the public. It is very disturbing. This video portrays our military as a true bad guy. Whether or not the killings were intentional murders of innocent people, the entire military should not be defined by a few heartless soldiers. However, I will admit this video shows a lot of laughing and trigger-happy soldiers killing unarmed people with no remorse. This is a side of the military I do not care to see.

I am sure there are a lot of mishaps covered up by our government; however, there are some like this one that I would rather not know about. Our military has been put in a very terrifying situation in the war; they are at risk at almost every move they make. They have continuously fought to keep our country safe, and the military needs to be known and respected for just that. The American people should stay behind their military; therefore, this video and others like it should not be shown to the public.

Melvin Hayes said...

I don’t think that Wikileaks should have made this video public. Even though I agree with transparency, when it comes to the security of the country, sometimes there can be too much transparency and it could put us and our soldiers in harms way. Looking at both perspectives, it’s unfortunate that the American soldiers are constantly in a state of having to be in a state of fear. I can understand how being in Iraq in a wartime environment over several months and even years for some individuals can lead to this. The soldiers always feel that they are in danger, and as a result, are always in defense mode. Furthermore, with everything going on with the soldiers mentally, there is little to no ongoing mental therapy to help the soldiers deal with and handle this.

On the other hand, it is equally unfortunate that the Iraqi people constantly have to be on alert when traveling in groups or even working on assignment. It seems that if there is a group of people and they have something in their possession that may remotely appear to be a weapon, they can be mistaken for an insurgent and taken out. From the video, the people on the ground did not appear to be a threat. But this is based on me not knowing what the military considers a threat.

With respect to the casual way in which the Americans sounded when they were firing, that may have just been a coping mechanism rather than them being totally insensitive to what was going on. I don’t believe that to be the case for all, but I do believe is the case for some.

Ken Holm said...

The question put to us was to give our "comments on what you think about wikileaks presenting the information."

The site to which we were directed was Mediate.com. The info there was presented in a light that tends to back up the military. They also report that WikiLeaks (WL) has been called a muckraking site before.

The video was produced by WL. At 10 seconds into the video, we're presented with a video title, Collateral Murder, and website address. Immediately, WL has set the tone for the video. They are telling us, without any evidence yet, that what has happened in the video to follow is murder.

The procedures the Army pilots went through to get clearance to fire did not receive commentary by WL throughout the video.

At 4:50 in the video we hear the Apache's M230 Chain Gun start firing. At 4:53 we see the rounds impact. Per Wikipedia, the M230 has a muzzle velocity of over 2,600 feet per second. That means the helicopter is about one and a half miles away. Flying in circles. While keeping an eye out for enemies.

WL plays armchair quarterback throughout the video, zooming in, slowing down, playing over and over, to demonstrate how the military "murdered" those innocent civilians.

At almost 16 minutes into the video WL enhances the video and puts up football blocking arrows to point out two children. Once again, the helicopter was about one and a half miles away from the vehicle. Even with the video zoomed in as it was by WL, the two blurs are not presently and obviously children.

Had WL put the video up and transcribed it without their anti-American, anti-war*, anti-military bile, the video may have some use. However, with this presented as it was, my anger is directed at WL for misrepresenting the video.

What happened was tragic. Those helicopter pilots will live with that for the rest of their days.

WL's exploitation of that event is unconscionable.

* What sane person is pro-war?

Taryn Holland said...

I agree with Angela that this type of information should not be covered up. Though it is not right for them to display it on this Web site for everyone to see, they still should be held responsible. I also agree that there should be a committee to watch these so that everyone is held accountable for their actions. It is hard for me to say any of this considering I am not over there and put in the situations that the soldiers are. But at the same time watching this video is hard and the situation should be discussed.

Paul Miller said...

I am usually a fan of watchdog organizations, but I do not agree with the way Wikileaks presents classified information. I think of it as this. Even if they are exposing a wrong in the world, the lack of ethics in this ends justifies the means journalism will make what they do pointless. If they are presenting information in a lawless fashion, what would stop them from doctoring footage in the future? As far as this footage, I do believe this was a horrible mistake. But, this is a matter for the military to take care of. If they are not going to do anything about it, then the matter stops there.

Sandy said...

In my opinion, the video posted by WikiLeaks is too much information for the average American. As a matter of fact, after further research, it is obvious that a majority of the information made available on WikiLeaks should definitely be considered classified. I am not against being an informed citizen. However, I do believe that some information should only be distributed to those with specific security clearances.

I honestly do not see how this information that is being blasted over the internet is beneficial to the American people. This type of information is more of a threat to our national security and could only cause the American people to turn against our own military. I am sure that faults similar to the mistakes shown in the video occur more often than people think. However, WikiLeaks seems like a website that is generated to provide all of the negative information in order to persuade viewers in one way. While, the generators of this website may be posting this information in order to keep Americans informed, I do not believe the message is beneficial in offering support to our U.S. military.

Chris Stallworth said...

It is often difficult to speculate on the actions taken by soldiers. The fact is, our military is at war and civilians, particularly those that have never served in war, really can't relate to the hostile environment that the soldiers live in everyday while away from home. That does not excuse negligence or complete disregard for innocent human life, but it is something that should be in your mind when considering actions taken by the military. That being said, we will rarely find out all the truth behind incidents like the one in the video because the footage can be edited to shape your opinion in one way or another. I have a mixed opinion concerning the publication of classified footage. I agree with many others in that it is a drastic breach of security, one that can compromise the safety of our country. Moreover, videos like this can shape the country's morale concerning support of the war effort and the government. As I eluded to earlier, we as civilians may not fully comprehend the life on the battlefield, but it is important that we as a country support the efforts of our men and women that put themselves in danger everyday while at war fighting to preserve the life we enjoy here.
On the other hand I do think it is important to be able to find out the truth about what is happening throughout the war, and not just what the media tells us in efforts to keep people in the dark about the truth. It's a difficult topic, and there are some things that people just don't need to know. I often watch documentaries about the war and other issues involving our military or government, and while it is good to be able to find out some of the hidden truths that go on behind the scenes, it is important to know what is the agenda of the person or entity publishing the information? Has it (the publication) been shaped to create a certain mind set in the viewer? Or is it just what it is?

Sandra Perkins said...

Honestly, I am not surprised about the “cover up.” The government has been doing it for years. When they are at fault, they will TRY to cover up certain incidents, but the truth always finds a way to leak out somehow. The military doesn’t want to be labeled as a screw up form of government, but when one looks at the video, what do you call it. This type of gunfire was unjustified. It seems like somebody was trigger happy and maybe wanted to brag about shooting someone, but if a person is unarmed, what is there to brag about. Personally, I’m glad the video was aired – this will keep the government on their toes regarding the ethical tactics performed by their military soldiers.

Alvin McKinley said...

The footage looked like a video game. I have noticed how those behind the footage were actually eager to do some shooting. They needed a little reason to explore the situation and see if those people had weapons. It was impossible to see from he distance what actually the people down below were carrying. The killing was senseless and cruel.
I can only argue that these people knew the risks they were taking and most likely heard that something similar can happen. In a time of war, gathering so many people out in the open is dangerous.
There are many cases when civilian population was killed. Often times, civilian objects are bombarded when thought that they are military installations. A lot of errors are made in war. As a results of these actions, the country that is attacked is blasted back in the stone age. The US actually is doing that all the time - blasting countries into the stone age. This happened to Japan, when all of the industrial complex was destroyed, as well as in Europe. This made America enjoy the period of economic prosperity above all else in 1545-1970.
Another problem that I see is that in America, the army draws young individuals to its Army Experience centers like the one in Franklin Mills Mall in Philadelphia, PA. These young boys play video games and warfare simulators that resemble the cockpits of real helicopters and jets. This is disturbing, because it de-sensualizes the war experience. These kids are less likely to be disturbed by the consequences if they do the actual shooting just like in the video game.

Jessica Williams said...

I think that is something that needs to be released to the public because we deserve to know what is going on over there but the sad reality is that mistakes are made like this. You also have to think about the families that will see this video and have to watch their loved ones being murdered for no reason. I sat and watched this video with my hand over my mouth in just shock and pain for these people. There are so many people out there that do have weapons and are killing our soldiers and that is the reason that incidents like this happen. I feel that we should be aware of everything that is going on and these wikileaks are likely the only way we will see the real truth. Its a hard, sad truth but its one that we deserve to know.

If I was part of the families that are affected by this tragedy I know I would want to know what really happened to my loved one. The wikileaks would give me that truth. I hate that it happened but this blog is about what we get from the wikileaks and that is truth, which isn’t what the government was giving us.