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"The truth came out and the whole world saw. The American pilot should be judged by international justice and we want compensation because the act left orphans," said Safa Chmagh, whose brother Saeed Chmagh, a Reuters driver, died.
"I want the American pilot who killed my father to be judged," he exclaimed, while close to tears in the Chmagh family's Baghdad home. "Why did he do that? Were the victims not innocent? Were they not human beings? We want our father," he said. Samer Chmagh, the murdered Reuters driver's second son, said he did not understand why the US helicopter had opened fire. "They were not members of a militia. Everybody saw from the pictures that they were journalists," he said.
"I was very sad when I saw the images but today at least the American people will know the troops of their army were pleased to kill people." The White House on Tuesday described the leaked footage as "tragic" but President Barack Obama's spokesman Robert Gibbs said US forces in war zones take pains to avoid civilian casualties.
George S. Patton
Don't tell people how to do things, tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results.
This footage shows the final engagement of the Reuters field reporters in New Baghdad. Missing is the overwatch video and earlier AH64 footage showing the development of the situation where the two reporters and armed men supported by a van and cars were shadowing a Coalition patrol. These reporters accompanied the armed men who were tracking a Coalition patrol about a city block away. The camera man would peek around corners to shoot a few digital frames of the patrol and then show the pictures to the armed men. If you have all the video footage, you will see this activity happened repeatedly. The operational suspicion was that this was enemy TTP (tactic, technic, or procedure) to help prepare for an attack; the digital photos would be used to quickly evaluate the target — to judge what it looked like, its shape, distance, terrain in between, where to aim, etc. This way, the RPG operator would select the right warhead, he’d preset the mechanical sights (elevation), and fix in his mind a visual picture of the target so he would limit his exposure time when stepping out in the street to fire. The recovered camera showed how the cameral man was aiding the enemy. What you also don’t have is the operational history of RPG attacks in New Baghdad. This was heavy JAM territory. I understand that it is disturbing to see calculated killing, but the engagement was not without cause. The engagement of the van should be understood in the overall context of earlier events. It is obvious the AH64 pilots and the operational commander conferred. This was not a war crime.