Iraq War Vet: “We Were Told to Just Shoot People, and the Officers Would Take Care of Us”

From Truthout:

On Monday, April 5, Wikileaks.org posted video footage from Iraq, taken from a US military Apache helicopter in July 2007 as soldiers aboard it killed 12 people and wounded two children. The dead included two employees of the Reuters news agency: photographer Namir Noor-Eldeen and driver Saeed Chmagh.

The US military confirmed the authenticity of the video.

The footage clearly shows an unprovoked slaughter, and is shocking to watch whilst listening to the casual conversation of the soldiers in the background.

As disturbing as the video is, this type of behavior by US soldiers in Iraq is not uncommon.

Truthout has spoken with several soldiers who shared equally horrific stories of the slaughtering of innocent Iraqis by US occupation forces.”I remember one woman walking by,” said Jason Washburn, a corporal in the US Marines who served three tours in Iraq. He told the audience at the Winter Soldier hearings that took place March 13-16, 2008, in Silver Spring, Maryland, “She was carrying a huge bag, and she looked like she was heading toward us, so we lit her up with the Mark 19, which is an automatic grenade launcher, and when the dust settled, we realized that the bag was full of groceries. She had been trying to bring us food and we blew her to pieces.”

[Read more at Truthout]

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  • Hadrian999

    i witnessed things like this first hand,
    the soldiers who did things like this are responsible for their behavior
    but if officers were doing their jobs it couldn't become as wide spread as it has.
    the ideals of gallantry, valor, honor, and integrity seem to have been replaced by
    a sense of frat boy jackass excess.

  • dumbsaint

    38 years after the photo of Kim Phúc and little has changed.

  • GoodDoktorBad

    Not suprising anymore -but always shocking. I'd like to think of the troops in a better light, but this stuff makes it really hard. This is just callous slaughter. Its hard to integrate the concepts of “gallantry, valor, honor, and integrity” with the reality of this kind of mindless “video game” style morality. “How many “frags” can you get?” seems to be the sick game here…

    • Hadrian999

      personally it was behavior like this that lead me to leave the service,
      you start to look around at people and wonder if you will ever get that far gone.

      • GoodDoktorBad

        The “good” guys and the “bad ” guys begin to resemble each other, sadly….

  • oman28

    True, false or somewhere inbetween, just reading that made me feel sick

  • Mr. Man

    I'm sure its happened. We were always told if we felt someone was a legitimate threat (I.E. armed) then to shoot them. This spinning is what leaves left leaning vets exasperated though. I do so love being painted as a soul less mass murdering psychopath by the very same people who I agree with on so many other topics.

  • Anonymous

    how is defending your self murder? it’s not like they never send their women or children looking all innocent with bombs to us if they never used our lowered guard to women and children against us then yes lighting up a female civilian carrying a big bag with a Mk-19 would be unacceptable
    mis-communication and mistakes happen and they are unfortunate but my life and the life of the guys to my left and right come first

    in the case of the event in question the Apache was providing cover for a Humvee element traveling down the road, that unit had already received small arms and RPG fire that day so when the Apache gunner saw a mob of people with AK-47’s ahead of the Humvees and some one who looked like they were preparing to fire an RPG at them you can’t blame them for trying to protect the element they were tasked with protecting
    as far as firing on the van the van was picking up bodies and weapons so they thought they were also insurgents and there was no way they could tell there was children in it not at that distance or that video quality

    I also like how you ignored the fact that the soldiers, upon finding the wounded children, rushed them to be taken care of

  • steveis

    how is defending your self murder? it's not like they never send their women or children looking all innocent with bombs to us if they never used our lowered guard to women and children against us then yes lighting up a female civilian carrying a big bag with a Mk-19 would be unacceptable
    mis-communication and mistakes happen and they are unfortunate but my life and the life of the guys to my left and right come first

    in the case of the event in question the Apache was providing cover for a Humvee element traveling down the road, that unit had already received small arms and RPG fire that day so when the Apache gunner saw a mob of people with AK-47's ahead of the Humvees and some one who looked like they were preparing to fire an RPG at them you can't blame them for trying to protect the element they were tasked with protecting
    as far as firing on the van the van was picking up bodies and weapons so they thought they were also insurgents and there was no way they could tell there was children in it not at that distance or that video quality

    I also like how you ignored the fact that the soldiers, upon finding the wounded children, rushed them to be taken care of

  • drlechter

    Thanks for this posting, I did not know there had been a recent Winter Soldier. Just ordered the book and dvd.

    I had seen the documentary about the Vietnam Winter Soldier and it was very moving to say the least.

  • drlechter

    Thanks for this posting, I did not know there had been a recent Winter Soldier. Just ordered the book and dvd.

    I had seen the documentary about the Vietnam Winter Soldier and it was very moving to say the least.

  • drlechter

    Thanks for this posting, I did not know there had been a recent Winter Soldier. Just ordered the book and dvd.

    I had seen the documentary about the Vietnam Winter Soldier and it was very moving to say the least.

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