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U.S. Admits Killing of Afghan Women-Cover Up as Well?

#1
Not only an apparently botched operation, but looks like a cover-up may be involved--if so, all should be disciplined appropriately. When will they learn such things never work?


Linky
 
#2
jumpinjarhead said:
Not only an apparently botched operation, but looks like a cover-up may be involved--if so, all should be disciplined appropriately. When will they learn such things never work?


Linky
While I agree your sentiment, I get really pissed of with the continual witch hunts looking for someone to blame for every operation which fails to be "surgical".

People really do forget "shit happens.
 
#3
PE4rocks said:
...
People really do forget "shit happens.
Which is regrettable, it's the cover up part that's actually ending up aiding the enemy.
...
The admission immediately raised questions about what really happened during the Feb. 12 operation — and what falsehoods followed — including a new report that Special Operations forces dug bullets out of the bodies of the women to hide the true nature of their deaths.
...
 
#4
alib said:
PE4rocks said:
...
People really do forget "shit happens.
Which is regrettable, it's the cover up part that's actually ending up aiding the enemy.
...
The admission immediately raised questions about what really happened during the Feb. 12 operation — and what falsehoods followed — including a new report that Special Operations forces dug bullets out of the bodies of the women to hide the true nature of their deaths.
...
I agree with both of you. In some respects we (the military) are our own worst enemy in that in trying to maintain positive support among our people and our politicians (funding etc.) we sometimes oversell our capabilities in ways that can lead the outsider to think combat is a matter of clockwork precision. Of course, technology has aggravated this tendency as we saw in the 1991 Gulf War with all the "gee whiz" video of "smart" weapons etc. In the interim of course there is also the whole "gaming" phenomenon that is creating a whole generation of pretend "warriors" who wage war in the comfort of their own homes never smelling the cordite or feeling the hairs prickle on the back of your neck from the crack of rounds snapping too close over your head.

Of course, when "special operations" are concerned, we have also done much the same thing in that we elevate the superb warriors in such units and their high tech kit etc. to almost "Mission Impossible" status whereby every bad guy reacts in the way we expect, weather is always perfect, comm never goes down, dogs never bark etc., etc. The grim reality of course is the odds are stacked against the success of many of these missions from the beginning--which is what really makes them "special."
As such, regrettably things can and will go horribly wrong from time to time and this will include killing the wrong people etc.

For those who have experienced it, the reality is very little is clear and even among the best trained and equipped forces conducting "surgical" ops, the violence of combat is a bit like brain surgery with a mallet--you get inside the head but it is incredibly messy.

BUT having such (limited) "licenses to kill" does not also mean that when mistakes happen, those responsible also have some "license to lie." Of course, in some operations there will be security issues that require secrecy about missions and their aftermath but there must still be accountability within the units involved that means honest investigation of the operation and discipline of those involved, even though not always open to the public.

My own experience in such situations tells me that this is very difficult thing to do properly but that is what leadership and integrity is all about. This is one of the dangers of having people in "special" units as human nature is such that some in them will begin to think they are so "special" that things like "integrity," "honesty," and the law do not apply to them and that is where leadership has to be even stronger.
 
#5
In a different sandy place, but certain parts of the web are alive regarding this.

The URL links to a video that Wikileaks have posted regarding the killing of a number of Iraqis and Reuters journos. The US military say that the ROEs were followed, but the folks from Wikileaks/Reuters say otherwise.

Either way, all I can say is that I am never going to argue with an Apache...
 
#6
Schleswig-Holstein said:
In a different sandy place, but certain parts of the web are alive regarding this.

The URL links to a video that Wikileaks have posted regarding the killing of a number of Iraqis and Reuters journos. The US military say that the ROEs were followed, but the folks from Wikileaks/Reuters say otherwise.

Either way, all I can say is that I am never going to argue with an Apache...
Not a surprise that this is causing such angst (and not a little glee no doubt) in various corners of the world wide web. The title of the page you linked to though ("collateral murder") suggests (even to a brain-challenged old Marine like me) that those venting thereon are not much interested in balanced reporting. :D

Without opining on the accuracy of the video, and as importantly the entire context, as this blog Linky indicates, one needs to be careful of such "news" on the internet. For better or worse, however, the Wikileaks post is making the rounds of the middle east news outlets and blogosphere so that will be the "truth" to the average muslim on the street.
 
#9
jumpinjarhead said:
Schleswig-Holstein said:
In a different sandy place, but certain parts of the web are alive regarding this.

The URL links to a video that Wikileaks have posted regarding the killing of a number of Iraqis and Reuters journos. The US military say that the ROEs were followed, but the folks from Wikileaks/Reuters say otherwise.

Either way, all I can say is that I am never going to argue with an Apache...
Not a surprise that this is causing such angst (and not a little glee no doubt) in various corners of the world wide web. The title of the page you linked to though ("collateral murder") suggests (even to a brain-challenged old Marine like me) that those venting thereon are not much interested in balanced reporting. :D

Without opining on the accuracy of the video, and as importantly the entire context, as this blog Linky indicates, one needs to be careful of such "news" on the internet. For better or worse, however, the Wikileaks post is making the rounds of the middle east news outlets and blogosphere so that will be the "truth" to the average muslim on the street.
JJH - if you think that your blog is any less biased than Wikileaks, either the content has changed between you reading it or me, or I'm unable to read. :?

As you note, clearly the right and wrong of the Apache attack is all down to context (e.g. what happened in the area in the proceeding period), but that is not really a hard-nosed, objective assessment of the video, more like some mad cellar-dweller scribbling on their blog.

As to their comments about people having weapons, aren't most families armed in Iraq?

More discussion of this here
 
#10
Schleswig-Holstein said:
jumpinjarhead said:
Schleswig-Holstein said:
In a different sandy place, but certain parts of the web are alive regarding this.

The URL links to a video that Wikileaks have posted regarding the killing of a number of Iraqis and Reuters journos. The US military say that the ROEs were followed, but the folks from Wikileaks/Reuters say otherwise.

Either way, all I can say is that I am never going to argue with an Apache...
Not a surprise that this is causing such angst (and not a little glee no doubt) in various corners of the world wide web. The title of the page you linked to though ("collateral murder") suggests (even to a brain-challenged old Marine like me) that those venting thereon are not much interested in balanced reporting. :D

Without opining on the accuracy of the video, and as importantly the entire context, as this blog Linky indicates, one needs to be careful of such "news" on the internet. For better or worse, however, the Wikileaks post is making the rounds of the middle east news outlets and blogosphere so that will be the "truth" to the average muslim on the street.
JJH - if you think that your blog is any less biased than Wikileaks, either the content has changed between you reading it or me, or I'm unable to read. :?

As you note, clearly the right and wrong of the Apache attack is all down to context (e.g. what happened in the area in the proceeding period), but that is not really a hard-nosed, objective assessment of the video, more like some mad cellar-dweller scribbling on their blog.

As to their comments about people having weapons, aren't most families armed in Iraq?

More discussion of this here
Read my post again--I did not vouch for the other blog but was only using it to make the point that there are widely varying posts on the internet such that one needs to use care in what is considered "truth."
 
#11
I just saw the Baghdad video and it's absolutely terrible. They open fire on the small group, assuming that the Reuters camera is an RPG. They hover over a mortally wounded guy who is in shiit-state and plead to their bosses to carry out the coup de grace - even though he's clearly no longer a threat to anyone (do these guys not use the LOAC and Geneva Convention). They laugh as the Bradley drives over one of the corpses. They also laugh at the wounded kids, saying "well they shouldn't bring their kids to war". They absolutely destroy the place and it's a complete f*** up from start to finish, automatically assuming that Iraqis are legitimate targets because they have decided so. On the positive side, the Apache pilots seem quite a jovial bunch.

OK it was a tragic error, caused by ignorance and arrogance, but they subsequent denial and cover-up is the most shameful part of the lot. We'veseen the USA do the same denial and cover-up when they killed our guys in a blue-on-blue. It's that "f*** you, we're the USA and we're in charge, you filthy foreign dog" attitude that has been so distasteful and they wonder why people don't welcome us as liberators? You guys who are blaming the victims should watch the video and then have a think about it. Is it a cleverly doctored clip to make it seems that the crew made a mistake when it was all legal and above board? No - the fact that the Reuters staff were obliterated live on camera pretty much tells the story and the narrative is pretty clear. The guys who deliberately lied should face disciplinary action. Each time they do stuff like that it makes our jobs more difficult and indirectly leads to more coalition (and other) deaths. War is bad enough without deliberate cover-ups. When you're caught lying, no one trusts you the next time.
 
#12
PoisonDwarf said:
I just saw the Baghdad video and it's absolutely terrible. They open fire on the small group, assuming that the Reuters camera is an RPG. They hover over a mortally wounded guy who is in shiit-state and plead to their bosses to carry out the coup de grace - even though he's clearly no longer a threat to anyone (do these guys not use the LOAC and Geneva Convention). They laugh as the Bradley drives over one of the corpses. They also laugh at the wounded kids, saying "well they shouldn't bring their kids to war". They absolutely destroy the place and it's a complete f*** up from start to finish, automatically assuming that Iraqis are legitimate targets because they have decided so. On the positive side, the Apache pilots seem quite a jovial bunch.

OK it was a tragic error, caused by ignorance and arrogance, but they subsequent denial and cover-up is the most shameful part of the lot. We'veseen the USA do the same denial and cover-up when they killed our guys in a blue-on-blue. It's that "f*** you, we're the USA and we're in charge, you filthy foreign dog" attitude that has been so distasteful and they wonder why people don't welcome us as liberators? You guys who are blaming the victims should watch the video and then have a think about it. Is it a cleverly doctored clip to make it seems that the crew made a mistake when it was all legal and above board? No - the fact that the Reuters staff were obliterated live on camera pretty much tells the story and the narrative is pretty clear. The guys who deliberately lied should face disciplinary action. Each time they do stuff like that it makes our jobs more difficult and indirectly leads to more coalition (and other) deaths. War is bad enough without deliberate cover-ups. When you're caught lying, no one trusts you the next
time.
If the situation is as it appears and if there was/is a cover-up then those involved/responsible need to be dealt with in accordance with established procedures. In this connection, and while not suggesting this was at play in this case, we would all do well to remember that the "enemy" is quite aware of the laws and scruples to which our forces are supposed to adhere and often try to use them against us.

As an example, you may want to research the situation in Fallujah where there was evidence that the "enemy" used vehicles marked as ambulances to move its forces and weapons around in the city as well as fired on noncombatants to try to cast blame on US forces for indiscriminate firing. Use of ambulances by terrorists is not new of course--Linky but curiously does not seem to get any media coverage.Indeed, when one Googles this now, it seems this canard has acquired a life of its own along with the false allegation that US forces used white phosphorous as a wounding agent in that battle when in fact it was used for marking--a use permitted under the applicable laws of war.

In addition, and quite ironically, a UPI storyu about a secret US intelligence assessment after the initial operation in Fallujah leaked on Wikileaks itself included this:

... [the secret report noted that] insurgents exploited U.S. adherence to the laws of war and sometimes-restrictive rules of engagement. As a result, "non-combatants provided cover for insurgents, restrained (the) employment of combat power, and provided emotional fodder for Arab media to exploit."

The authors say that media were "crucial to building political pressure to halt military operations" from the Iraqi government and the Coalition Provisional Authority, which resulted in a "unilateral cease-fire" by U.S. forces on April 9, after just five days of combat operations.

During the negotiations that followed, top Bush administration officials demanded a solution that would not require the Marines to retake the town, according to the assessment.

"The American National Command Authority pressed for other options besides finishing the clearing of Fallujah," it states. "Given few options," coalition forces on April 30 formally turned over control of the town to the so-called Fallujah brigade -- essentially the same insurgents they had just been fighting.

Crucial to this failure, the authors believe, was the role of the Arabic satellite news channels al-Jazeera and al-Arabiyah.

An al-Jazeera crew was in Fallujah during the first week of April 2004, when the Marines began their assault on the town of 285,000 people.

"They filmed scenes of dead babies from the hospital, presumably killed by coalition airstrikes," complains the assessment. "Comparisons were made to the Palestinian intifada. Children were shown bespattered with blood; mothers were shown screaming and mourning day after day."

The two stations "focused almost exclusively" on the theme that the military was using excessive force, reports the assessment, saying their coverage was "increasingly … shrill in tone," and they both "appeared willing to take even the most baseless claims as fact."

Worse, al-Jazeera crews were the only source of pictures of the conflict, because the town was too dangerous for Western news organizations, which were "forced to pool video shot by Arab cameramen."

"The absence of Western media in Fallujah allowed the insurgents greater control of information coming out of Fallujah," concludes the assessment, because their charges "could not be countered by Western reporters because they did not have access to the battlefield."

As examples it cites the ultimately unsubstantiated allegation that cluster bombs were used by U.S. forces and the "false allegations of up to 600 dead and 1,000 wounded civilians" -- although 600 actually tallies with estimates by the Iraq Body Count, a Web site that tabulates reports of civilian casualties and has been cited by President Bush.

By contrast, the assessment states that, later in 2004, when U.S.-led forces successfully retook Fallujah, they brought with them 91 embedded reporters representing 60 media outlets, including Arabic ones.

"False allegations of non-combatant casualties were made by Arab media in both campaigns, but in the second case embedded Western reporters offered a rebuttal," the authors state.

http://www.upi.com/Top_News/Special...S-lost-Fallujahs-info-war/UPI-16591199284117/
Another example from an exceprt from an award given to a US Navy doctor for his work in the Fallujah operation also touches on what was happeining in Fallujah:

CDR Tripoli secured ambulance exchange points for evacuating non-combatant casualties out of Fallujah to hospitals in the surrounding greater Baghdad area. Again, this action is not as easy as it sounds. Insurgents used ambulances in violation of the law of armed conflict in the April 2004 Fallujah offensive to rearm, transport, and reinforce insurgent forces around the battlefield. U.S. Marine commanders were therefore leery of Iraqi ambulances operating in their battlespace since this precedent had been set. Yet, the strategic implication of denying ambulance service to the needy was something the commanders could not accept either. CDR Tripoli expertly devised and implemented an acceptable solution. All Iraqi ambulances would stage at casualty collection points outside the city and coalition forces would bring the wounded to them. He convinced the Iraqi Minister of Health that this plan was his best alternative. The Baghdad official quickly supported the plan and ensured that all his ambulance crews complied. The significance of taking the burden of civilian casualties off the Marine Commander's list of worries by getting the new Iraqi Government to take responsibility for them cannot be underestimated. Again, CDR Tripoli's plan has allowed the new Iraqi Government to demonstrate that it is in charge, credible, and viable. He has basically set them up for success in the eyes of the Iraqi people.
http://www.cm-institute.org/lou_2.htm
Thus we must be careful to fully understand the circumstances and context of any videos such as this before concluding anything.

While I appreciate your apparent outrage and feeling, I would point out that you accuse the entire "USA" as you put it and that, my friend, is unjustified, unfair and inappropriate on its face. Even if you narrow it down a bit from the 300 million plus that you accuse to the military , and even further to those in theater etc. etc. you will find the vast majority of our forces do indeed understand and apply not only the the relevant legal standard but also the correct ethical one as well. If you adjust the drastically different sizes of the respective forces of the US troops and our allies in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as adjust for the fact that so much of the allied coalition operations in both wars relied on US supporting arms, I think you might find the incidents to which you refer, as horrible as they were, represent a very small percentage of the total number of sorties and other ops undertaken by US forces.

I will never justify or excuse criminal conduct by any of our forces but I will defend the hono(u)r of the thousands of US forces, including the thousands KIA and WIA in these operations that have done their duty in an exemplary fashion and have nothing whatever to be ashamed of. Indeed, if you read some of the posthumous citations of our forces you will note that some of them were killed doing the "right" thing even to the point of trying to protect or save noncombatants. I personally witnessed the same thing in Vietnam and those dead Marines deserve better than the kind of blanket indictment that you have leveled, IMHO so thoughtlessly.

Even beyond that, as a military professional I will also defend just as vocally the same in the UK and all of our allies' militaries who do not deserve the kind of irresponsible slagging like you and some other sometimes throw in the unfortunately rather predictable but ever popular sport and art form of US bashing. I am even ahead of you in criticizing specific individuals and groups in the US government and beyond for their ACTIONS but I try to ensure my criticisms are as precisely aimed as possible rather than use a verbal WMD as you have done that injures those who are innocent, even discounting for the fact that it is after all in an ARRSE forum.
 
#13
Schleswig-Holstein said:
In a different sandy place, but certain parts of the web are alive regarding this.

The URL links to a video that Wikileaks have posted regarding the killing of a number of Iraqis and Reuters journos. The US military say that the ROEs were followed, but the folks from Wikileaks/Reuters say otherwise.

Either way, all I can say is that I am never going to argue with an Apache...
Watched it just some terrorists getting lit up with 30mm from a apache and there embed journalists along with them. Then a unmarked van comes to pick weapons bodys wounded and get lit up as well.

That there were two kids in van is the only thing worth shedding a tear over.
 
#14
Siddar said:
Schleswig-Holstein said:
In a different sandy place, but certain parts of the web are alive regarding this.

The URL links to a video that Wikileaks have posted regarding the killing of a number of Iraqis and Reuters journos. The US military say that the ROEs were followed, but the folks from Wikileaks/Reuters say otherwise.

Either way, all I can say is that I am never going to argue with an Apache...
Watched it just some terrorists getting lit up with 30mm from a apache and there embed journalists along with them. Then a unmarked van comes to pick weapons bodys wounded and get lit up as well.

That there were two kids in van is the only thing worth shedding a tear over.
Evidence that they were 'terrorists', fcuk-knuckle?
 
#15
PoisonDwarf said:
I just saw the Baghdad video and it's absolutely terrible. They open fire on the small group, assuming that the Reuters camera is an RPG. They hover over a mortally wounded guy who is in shiit-state and plead to their bosses to carry out the coup de grace - even though he's clearly no longer a threat to anyone (do these guys not use the LOAC and Geneva Convention). They laugh as the Bradley drives over one of the corpses. They also laugh at the wounded kids, saying "well they shouldn't bring their kids to war". They absolutely destroy the place and it's a complete f*** up from start to finish, automatically assuming that Iraqis are legitimate targets because they have decided so. On the positive side, the Apache pilots seem quite a jovial bunch.

You guys who are blaming the victims should watch the video and then have a think about it. Is it a cleverly doctored clip to make it seems that the crew made a mistake when it was all legal and above board? No - the fact that the Reuters staff were obliterated live on camera pretty much tells the story and the narrative is pretty clear.
Ive watched the video, and the journos were with several armed men. Frame 3:38- 4:00 the group of four men walking directly behind the journo were armed and the pilot loses them behind the compound wall. The fat lad with the striped shirt appears central to the armed element. Frame 4:00 the pilot panns trying to reaquire them and the journo pops his head around the wall, his lens appears to be an RPG.

The apaches were there to provide CAS for a ground force that had been under fire, and were looking for the enemy.

The pilots percieved at least 4 men armed with small arms and an RPG team. What would you have them do? The video is doctored, the frames that show the children in the van's passenger window have been amplified by whoever produced the video, the pilots never saw the video in the manner we are.

I would have engaged them as well.
 
#16
expat007 said:
PoisonDwarf said:
I just saw the Baghdad video and it's absolutely terrible. They open fire on the small group, assuming that the Reuters camera is an RPG. They hover over a mortally wounded guy who is in shiit-state and plead to their bosses to carry out the coup de grace - even though he's clearly no longer a threat to anyone (do these guys not use the LOAC and Geneva Convention). They laugh as the Bradley drives over one of the corpses. They also laugh at the wounded kids, saying "well they shouldn't bring their kids to war". They absolutely destroy the place and it's a complete f*** up from start to finish, automatically assuming that Iraqis are legitimate targets because they have decided so. On the positive side, the Apache pilots seem quite a jovial bunch.

You guys who are blaming the victims should watch the video and then have a think about it. Is it a cleverly doctored clip to make it seems that the crew made a mistake when it was all legal and above board? No - the fact that the Reuters staff were obliterated live on camera pretty much tells the story and the narrative is pretty clear.
Ive watched the video, and the journos were with several armed men. Frame 3:38- 4:00 the group of four men walking directly behind the journo were armed and the pilot loses them behind the compound wall. The fat lad with the striped shirt appears central to the armed element. Frame 4:00 the pilot panns trying to reaquire them and the journo pops his head around the wall, his lens appears to be an RPG.

The apaches were there to provide CAS for a ground force that had been under fire, and were looking for the enemy.

The pilots percieved at least 4 men armed with small arms and an RPG team. What would you have them do? The video is doctored, the frames that show the children in the van's passenger window have been amplified by whoever produced the video, the pilots never saw the video in the manner we are.

I would have engaged them as well.
This from a blog of a US Army helicopter pilot with loads of combat flying experience:

COIN for Aviators -- a scenario

Yesterday at 8:49pm
While rushing from meeting to meeting today, I had a lot of time to think about the video that's been making its rounds on the Internet.
For those of you who aren't aware, Wikileaks released a video shot from the Target Acquisition Display Sight (TADS) of an AH-64D Apache Longbow belonging to the 1st Air Cavalry Regiment out of Fort Hood, Texas. The video shows the pilots of the aircraft shooting their 30mm cannon into a group of Iraqis whom they believed to be insurgents. Unfortunately, the attack killed journalists from Reuters, some of whom may have been mistaken for armed gunmen based on video footage of cameras slung over their shoulder somewhat like a rifle. You can view the nearly 40 minutes of footage at Youtube. (WARNING: Extremely graphic)

I'm going to limit my discussion to the first engagement in the video. Some of the subsequent engagements in the video, such as the van and the triangle-shaped building, are fodder for another day; I have plenty of questions about the latter portion of the video.

I should also caveat any criticism with the fact that we in the blogosphere can simply hit pause and rewind in the safety of our living rooms before we comment. No one involved in the video had that luxury. Unfortunately, life and death decisions are made in a split-second, and sometimes, they might not be the best decisions.

The pilots responded to a report from Troops In Contact (what pilots call a "TIC"). In the video, this is the "Bushmaster" element. It's certainly tragic that the journalists were killed, but unfortunately, these things happen in war. Given the situation, it's understandable to see how the pilots might have killed the Iraqis in the first engagement.

To answer a question I received in a previous post, yes, this might be the only real glimpse the pilots had of the target. If I remember my one hour in the Apache simulator correctly, the gunner would be looking through a display in the cockpit similar to this device in the center. It would greatly restrict his view outside. (Gun bunnies, correct me if I am wrong)

The pilot would be watching much of the airspace around him, and not just concentrating on the action below. Not to mention, the aircraft would normally remain a safe distance away from the action. It is likely that the black-and-white video you saw on Youtube would have been their best view of the situation. A similar situation existed in Kunduz province in Afghanistan last year, when German forces directed an American F-15E to drop a bomb on two tanker trucks they believed were surrounded by insurgents.

However, some better counterinsurgency training for the pilots might yield better results. Let's take a look at another situation. A pair of scout helicopters (such as the OH-58D) observes a man digging along the side of a road. This is suspicious, of course, since this is a good indicator that the man might be emplacing an improvised explosive device (IED).

You have a .50-caliber machine gun and a pair of Hellfire missiles at your disposal. Do you:

a.) Engage with the .50-caliber machine gun?
b.) Engage with the Hellfire missile?
c.) Wait and report the information to ground forces

If you picked c, you might be a counter insurgent.

Why not shadow the digger from afar, report the incident to the local "landowner", and ask them to dispatch a quick reaction force (QRF)? The QRF might be able to detain the digger and determine whether or not he actually did emplace a bomb. Even better, if the local police are trustworthy, they might be able to apprehend the man. If the digger was innocent, no harm done. If he was a bombmaker, local police might be able to learn about his bomb making cell and connections, leading to further arrests in a bomb-making network.

http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/notes/wings-over-iraq/coin-for-aviators-a-scenario/376783469681
 
#17
More from the US Army Apache pilot blogger:

Hopefully, the last post on the Apache video

Yesterday at 8:52pm

This Apache video is quickly spiraling out of control. Some final thoughts.
For the Army, this is a public relations nightmare. We have a cliche in the military which says that "unlike fine wine, bad news does not get better over time". Such is the case here. In retrospect, it would have been best that the military been first with the video an at least offered an explanation. That would have at least played better than a "leaked" video, with a decidedly anti-war group editing the video to point out the civilians in the frame and not the insurgents. (H/T Schmedlap)

A few of my regular blog buddies have been leading the discussion at the Small Wars Council. Not too surprisingly, I tend to fall in line with the users "Schmedlap" and "Cavguy"--the screen name of Major Niel Smith. There's a general consensus that the first engagement--namely, the mistaking of the camera lens for an RPG--was regrettable, but just another tragic instance of the "fog of war". It's really the subsequent episodes--the van and the Hellfire strike on the building--that seemed to raise a number of questions.

I'm not sure I'll ever really figure out the real deal with the Hellfire strike, which occupies the last ten minutes of the video. I hadn't seen it mentioned in the official investigation, so I don't have a corroborating narrative (although the website keeps going down, so I'll admit I hadn't read the whole thing yet). There also appears to be critical footage cut from this section, which is necessary to reconstruct the event. From what I can gather, the ground element reports the sound of small arms fire coming from around 200 meters away. We see the footage cut to a shot of the Apache tracking a man walking along the street, looking as if he's carrying a rifle. The Apache crew tracks him to an abandoned building, and reports that around six insurgents fled the initial engagement and took shelter in a building. We, the viewer, can't determine if this really is true, based on the Youtube video. For the time being, however, let's assume it is.

The Apache reports the situation to the ground unit, who clears the Apache to engage. The troops in contact hadn't actually seen anyone enter the building--only the Apache crew seems to have seen the insurgents. The Apache gets some distance and makes a pass at the building with its Hellfire missile. Right before the missile is fired, you can see figures walking about the building. The Apache crew actually does notice these men as they begin their missile run, but the crew seems to ignore them.

After the missile hits, the Apache turns around for two more missile runs. On the second attack, we see men walking back into the building. It would be unusual for insurgents to go back into a building which was struck with a missile just moments prior. I'm curious as to who they were and whether or not anyone acknowledged these people going back into the building.

Again, a number of things about the Hellfire strike puzzle me, but it's difficult to really put this in context--vital portions of the recording seem to have been cut.
http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/notes/wings-over-iraq/hopefully-the-last-post-on-the-apache-video/377142719681
 
#18
Yup, the Yanks have paid up $30,000 and a sacrificial sheep!

Times linky thing

Yup, the power of a sacrificial sheep goes a long way... :wink:

Mistakes happen in war - but if there truly was an attempt to cover this up, then heads should role at every level.
 
#19
leprecon said:
Yup, the Yanks have paid up $30,000 and a sacrificial sheep!

Times linky thing

Yup, the power of a sacrificial sheep goes a long way... :wink:

Mistakes happen in war - but if there truly was an attempt to cover this up, then heads should role at every level.
Totally agree as to heads being lopped off if there was a cover up. If those involved in the incident violated any law or order (ROE etc), then they too should face punishment in accordance with established procedures (not being tried in the media or on blogs).
 
#20
PE4rocks said:
jumpinjarhead said:
Not only an apparently botched operation, but looks like a cover-up may be involved--if so, all should be disciplined appropriately. When will they learn such things never work?


Linky
While I agree your sentiment, I get really pissed of with the continual witch hunts looking for someone to blame for every operation which fails to be "surgical".

People really do forget "shit happens.
I'm a latecomer here, and confess to not reading all the thread.

Just one thought. If the coalition had a truly robust Information Campaign plan in place (and it seems to me to have improved somewhat since McChrystal replaced 'Bomber'), that plan would incorporate a set of 'Actions on' based on serious consideration, and wargaming, of the question "What is the most effective way to respond when shit happens (in whatever way)?

That should at least reduce this kind of knee-jerk panic reaction.
 

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