My thoughts though:
Originally posted by kleverone
Uhh yeah, uhhh we were wrong and should have allowed them to at least identify themselves like police have to
In what universe does the decision to enter an area that non-combatants should be fleeing not constitute identifying yourself?
What do you think would have happened during the North Hollywood Shootout if a car had come running up Laurel Canyon Blvd and pulled into that parkinglot?
Would the police have stood up from behind their cars, flashed their badges and calmly announced, "The ATM Machines are closed at this time. We appologize for the inconvenience. Please try another one of our many, conveniently located locations."???
I'm guessing that they would have cut that car to peices, and if by some miracle the driver lived and had turned out to be innocent, he probably would have been the first person in American history sentenced to death for committing Stupid in the First Degree.
I freely admit that some guys come apart and do awful things during war. I have had guys tell me that they were sick of seeing their friends get shot and felt like they ought to just start shooting whenever they get a bad feeling from now on.
That however is not what I see here. If I was massacring innocent people, I wouldn't be shouting for the dude with the camera to get back on line. I also wouldn't expect to see a round impact right in front of me, which I'm pretty sure I saw on that clip (and the audio seemed to verify it). I also think its interesting how many vehicles were heading to that building. It's not as if people were just getting shot up in front of it, the car that ended up on the road the camera was looking down pulled up close to the building as if the driver was either picking up from the building or going in... until the driver caught one and the car rolled out into the street. Why was that the only place where there were any vehicles in the neighborhood?
Last but not least... slaughtering unarmed civilians with the SMAW??? The SMAW is not organic to the rifle platoon. It is found in the weapons platoon of a rifle company (link). That would indicate that this unit was given a mission wherein it was expected they would be assaulting reasonably well-defended positions. This fits with the earlier attempt to place a date and event on the incident.
So now to make a little inference. You're being sent into combat and you've been given a rocket launcher so that you won't get bogged down and torn up by enemies holding up in a building along your route. You encounter some civilians you want to slaughter. Do you: A. Shoot them. or B. Unncessarily expend mission critical assets which may save your life later?
And what about the rest of the operation? These guys aren't gonna be all by their lonesome- other Marines are going to be around and hear that SMAW. Do you think that if these guys were just miscreants that they would be attracting the attention of their CO like that? Because I'm willing to bet that somebody shortly after that video ended wanted an explanation of the situation, at which point if these guys were just screwing around, they would either have to falsely report an engagement, possibly affecting the tactical situation as the commander saw it and thereby endangering the success of the mission and their own lives... or they could say they were just trying to kill somebody for not wearing his seatbelt... and go to jail.
At first glance, it just doesn't add up. But unless there are more Bohencamp's running around 5th Marines than I think (or maybe I just heard wrong)... hopefully it will turn out that my friend really was there, and then I'll see what I can learn for us.