Shocking

Does WikiLeaks Iraq Video Show Murder?

WikiLeaks obtained and recently released footage shot from an American helicopter showing soldiers firing into a crowd of Iraqis—an attack that killed two Reuters employees. The video quickly went viral and Andrew Sullivan now usefully rounds up a bunch of blogger reactions. James Fallows calls the video “the most damaging documentation of abuse since the Abu Ghraib prison-torture photos,” while Juan Cole says the soldiers shooting and killing men who tried to rescue one of the Reuters employees “may have been a war crime since the van was trying to pick up the wounded and it is illegal to fire on the wounded and those hors de combat.” Raffi Khatchadourian at The New Yorker writes that “The Rules of Engagement and the Law of Armed Combat do not permit combatants to shoot at people who are surrendering or who no longer pose a threat because of their injuries,” but notes that it’s still permissible for troops to fire on “positively identified” combatants providing aid to the wounded. At The Economist, R.M. at DiA asks, “But ask yourselves, would you have been able to distinguish between the journalists' cameras and the guns some of the other men were carrying? More importantly, did you see the man with the RPG? Did you see him poke around the corner and seem to aim it at the helicopter?”