April 5, 2010
WikiLeaks Video – “Collateral Murder, Baghdad July 12, 2007”
By Michael Collins
Report from the W’ikiLeaks Press Conference
(April 5, Washington, DC) Julian Assange and Wikileaks kept their promise of February 20 by releasing a video tape that showscivilians and reporter deaths from an attack by United States forces. The tape was presented at a 9:00 ampress conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.
Before the conference began, Assange described this as a “very rich story.” He opened with a brief statement and then showed the video tape. The edited and unedited versions of the tape are available here. WikiLeaks received the tape through unspecified channels. Assange did say that the leak to his organization “sends a message that there are some people in the US military who don’t like what’s going on.”
The video captures an incident on July 12, 2007 in a Baghdad suburb. This event has been a matter of controversy since a Reuter’s photo journalist, Namir Noor-Eldeen, and his assistant, Saeed Chmagh, were both killed in the incident.
Reuters described the scene as follows:
“Reuters has asked the US military to conduct a full and objective investigation into the deaths of two employees in Baghdad on 12 July. Photographer Namir Noor-Eldeen, 22, and driver Saeed Chmagh, 40, a father of four, were killed while working in the eastern area of the Iraqi capital.
“The cause of their deaths is unclear. The US military issued a statement describing the incident as a firefight with insurgents and said the killings were being investigated. Witnesses interviewed by Reuters said they saw no gunmen in the immediate area and that there had been a US helicopter attack, which police described as “random American bombardment”. Reuters reported it was doing everything it could to work with the authorities to find out how the men died, and was supporting the families.” Reuters, July 13, 2007