Al Jazeera interviews children wounded during Baghdad atrocity
Paul Joseph Watson
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Three prominent journalist organizations have called for a new investigation into the shocking footage released by Wikileaks that shows U.S. Apache helicopters massacring Reuters journalists and people who attempted to rescue them while laughing about it during an assault on a Baghdad square in 2007.
“This is another crime added to the crimes of the U.S. forces against Iraqi journalists and civilians,” the head of the journalists’ union Mouyyad al-Lami said. “I call upon the government to take a firm stance against the criminals who killed the journalists.”
The tape provoked international outrage after it also showed troops in tanks deliberately running over dead bodies while the helicopter pilots chuckled, as well as firing upon children.
The father of killed Reuters journalist Namir Noor-Eldeen said that the tape vindicated calls for the soldiers involved to face charges.
“At last the truth has been revealed and I’m satisfied that God has revealed the truth,” said Noor Eldeen. “If such an attack took place in America, even if an animal were killed like this, what would they do?”
Noor-Eldeen’s brother Nabeel cast doubt on claims that the pilots were unable to distinguish between camera equipment and RPG rocket launchers.
“My question is how could those highly skilled American pilots with all their hi-tech information not distinguish between a camera and a rocket launcher.”
The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists also demanded a new investigation after the tape was broadcast.
“The gruesome qualities of the video are plain to see — beyond that this really confirms what we’ve said all along: that a transparent investigation of this incident hasn’t taken place and needs to,” said Mohamed Abdel Dayem, CPJ’s program coordinator for the Mideast, in a telephone interview with the Associated Press.
Paris-based Reporters Without Borders also repeated their call for a new investigation into the massacre.
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Meanwhile, the U.S. military has said that it has lost its copy of the video, an unlikely claim given the fact that the tape has been aggressively guarded for nearly three years as part of a desperate attempt to prevent its release.
“Capt. Jack Henzlik, a spokesman for U.S. Central Command, said that forces in Iraq have not been able to locate the video within its files,” reports the Associated Press.
Al-Jazeera were able to locate and interview the children who were badly wounded after one of the Apache helicopters fired upon the van that was being used in an attempt to rescue the Reuters journalists.
“We were coming back and we saw an injured man,” said survivor Sajad Salah. “My father said let’s take him to the hospital then I heard only the bullets – why did they shoot us – didn’t they see we were only children?”
“The Americans wanted to kill us – me, my brother and my father,” said his sister Duaa Salah.
The family said they had received no compensation whatsoever from the U.S. military for killing the father and badly injuring the two young children, who displayed bullet wounds to the camera.
“I demand that the pilot be taken to the court,” said the victim’s brother Satar Mutashar. “Nobody gave the children anything, their rights are gone and the Americans didn’t even compensate for the destroyed car – I sold it for $500 dollars to spend the money treating them.”
The brother and son of Saeed Chmagh also demanded justice, with son Salwan Saeed promising to not let the perpetrators get away with their crime by becoming a journalist himself in an effort to expose similar atrocities.
Watch the clip below.
This article was posted: Wednesday, April 7, 2010 at 4:49 am