The Army Was Under Orders to Hold On to the Wikileaks Video That It Lost
The Army says it can't find its own copy of the Wikileaks video showing the killing of two Reuters staffers in Baghdad in 2007. But according to Defense Department documents, the Army was supposed to use it for training.
Wikileaks released video last week showing U.S. gunships killing Reuters staffers Namir Noor-Eldeen and Saeed Chmagh and a group of armed men they were with in Baghdad in 2007. When the Army was asked to authenticate the footage, it rather bashfully admitted that it couldn't even find its own copy, which may explain why it refused for years to comply with Reuters' Freedom of Information Act request for it.
But according to a legal review of the Army investigation into the incident released by the Pentagon, Brig. Gen. Vincent K. Brooks ordered the Master Gunner of the 1st Air Cavalry Brigade to "compile [the] gun-camera footage for training purposes"—presumably to help prevent a replay of the slayings:
Of course, the video is already out, so it doesn't really matter whether the Army can find its own copy. But given the fact that it can't, it would appear that the 1st Air Cavalry Brigade never followed through on the Army's own recommendations in the wake of the incident. And it's worth noting that the version released by Wikileaks contains a 30-minute gap between the initial attack and a later missile assault on a nearby building. Anyone curious as to what that gap contained might want to ask whomever the Master Gunner of the 1t Air Cavalry Brigade was in the summer of 2007.