Video Shows Massacre of Iraqis by U.S. Troops

By JUDI CHENG and AMANDA VENDER

A view from the U.S. helicopter that fired on people walking on the street. The soldiers thought that one of the men had a gun, but he was a journalist with a camera. SOURCE: WikiLeaks
A view from the U.S. helicopter that fired on people walking on the street. The soldiers thought that one of the men had a gun, but he was a journalist with a camera. SOURCE: WikiLeaks

Because of U.S. military whistleblowers*, the world now knows about a mass killing that happened on July 12, 2007, in a place called New Baghdad, Iraq. A videotape was released on the website WikiLeaks that shows U.S. soldiers shooting from a helicopter and killing at least 12 people. Two of the people killed were employees of Reuters news agency, and two children were wounded.

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates defended the soldiers, saying: “They’re in a combat situation.” The video shows soldiers in a helicopter observing people walking on the street with what the soldiers think are weapons. After shooting the people, the soldiers then shot a van that drove up to help the wounded. The driver of the van was Saleh Mutashar, who was with his two children. Saleh was killed and his children were wounded.

Saleh’s wife, Ahlam Abdelhussain, later told journalists, “My husband did nothing wrong. He saved a wounded person and had his children with him in the car.”

“I want to get our rights from the Americans who harmed us,” said 12-year-old Sajad Mutashar, Saleh’s son, who was injured. The video interview with the family members was aired on the Democracy Now! news program.

Similar killings by U.S. troops have continued. On April 12, 2010, U.S. troops fired at a passenger bus in Afghanistan wounding 18 and killing five people. This has sparked demonstrations in Afghanistan against the U.S. occupation.

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Whistleblower: a person who has information about wrongdoing, usually by a government or corporation, and lets the world know about it

This part of the video shows U.S. soldiers shooting at a van that came on the scene to help the wounded. SOURCE: WikiLeaks
This part of the video shows U.S. soldiers shooting at a van that came on the scene to help the wounded. SOURCE: WikiLeaks