July 12th Baghdad Air Strikes

One of the most important wikileaks to occur coming from Iraq, hasn’t happened recently but had  far reaching repercussions after its disclosure. The July 12th Baghdad air strikes, which killed 12 civilians including two Reuters reporters, Saeed Chmagh and Namir Noor-Eldean . The two reporters were mistaken to have guns on them (they were carrying video cameras and cellphones). What was most shocking about the videos was the knowledge that you were about to watch someone be murdered alongside the callous responses of those committing these actions. These airstrikes were mentioned briefly in the NY Times piece we read that week and also has links to the original post done by NY Times. The wikileaks article describing the events is found here.

The immediate backlash to the release of these videos was questioning of the United States policies on rules of engagement. Some of the press conference responding to the 2007 Baghdad incident can be found in this youtube video, which also focused on Ethan McCord’s own account of what being in the US Army and the events of that day.

Part of what made this video so controversial was that Reuters had attempted for two years to obtain the video and Wikileaks was able to receive it and publish it. A big part of Wikileaks is the anonymity of their sources which both protects whistleblowers and makes the organization seem like a hacking site. Wikileaks continues to be a pain for governments everywhere, as it releases graphic and important news that these institutions were prefer to remain secret.


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