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Soldier in WikiLeaks Video Responds; Sought Mental Health Care & Was Threatened

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posted on Apr, 21 2010 @ 11:16 PM

Soldier in WikiLeaks Video Responds; Sought Mental Health Care & Was Threatened

I don't know exactly what to make of all this, but you definitely have to read what this soldier had to say about what happened in the newest Wikileaks video release that he was a part of.
(I bolded the text that I found most interesting)

Watch the video Wikileaks released just recently in which this article is referring too...

Ethan McCord had just returned from dropping his children at school earlier this month, when he turned on the TV news to see grainy black-and-white video footage of a soldier running from a bombed-out van with a child in his arms. It was a scene that had played repeatedly in his mind the last three years, and he knew exactly who the soldier was.

In July 2007, McCord, a 33-year-old Army specialist, was engaged in a firefight with insurgents in an Iraqi suburb when his platoon, part of Bravo Company, 2-16 Infantry, got orders to investigate a nearby street. When they arrived, they found a scene of fresh carnage – the scattered remains of a group of men, believed to be armed, who had just been gunned down by Apache attack helicopters. They also found 10-year-old Sajad Mutashar and his five-year-old sister Doaha covered in blood in a van. Their 43-year-old father, Saleh, had been driving them to a class when he spotted one of the wounded men moving in the street and drove over to help him, only to become a victim of the Apache guns.

McCord was captured in a video shot from one helicopter as he ran frantically to a military vehicle with Sajad in his arms seeking medical care. That classified video created its own firestorm when the whistleblower site Wikileaks posted it April 5 on a website titled “Collateral Murder” and asserted that the attack was unprovoked. More than a dozen people were killed in three attacks captured in the video, including two Reuters journalists, one carrying a camera that was apparently mistaken for a weapon.

McCord, who served seven years in the military before leaving in the summer of 2009 due to injuries, recently posted an apologetic letter online with fellow soldier Josh Steiber supporting the release of the video and asking the family’s forgiveness. McCord is the father of three children.

Wired’s Kim Zetter reached McCord at his home in Kansas. This is his account of what he saw. At the time you arrived on the scene, you didn’t know what had happened, is that right?

Ethan McCord: Right. We were engaged in our own conflict roughly about three or four blocks away. We heard the gunships open up. [Then] we were just told … to move to this [other] location. It was pretty much a shock when we got there to see what had happened, the carnage and everything else. But you had been in combat before. It shouldn’t have surprised you what you saw.

McCord: I have never seen anybody being shot by a 30-millimeter round before. It didn’t seem real, in the sense that it didn’t look like human beings. They were destroyed. Was anyone moving when you got there other than the two children?

McCord: There were approximately two to three other people who were moving who were still somewhat alive, and the medics were attending to them. The first thing you saw was the little girl in the van. She had a stomach wound?

McCord: She had a stomach wound and she had glass in her eyes and in her hair. She was crying. In fact, that’s one of the reasons I went to the van immediately, because I could hear her crying. It wasn’t like a cry of pain really. It was more of a child who was frightened out of her mind. And the next thing I saw was the boy…. He was kind of sitting on the floorboard of the van, but with his head laying on the bench seat in the front. And then the father, who I’m assuming was the father, in the driver’s seat slumped over on his side. Just from looking into the van, and the amount of blood that was on the boy and the father, I immediately figured they were dead.

So, the first thing I did was grab the girl. I grabbed the medic and we went into the back. There’s houses behind where the van was. We took her in there and we’re checking to see if there were any other wounds. You can hear the medic saying on the video, “There’s nothing I can do here, she needs to be evac’d.” He runs the girl to the Bradley. I went back outside to the van, and that’s when the boy took, like, a labored, breath. That’s when I started screaming, “The boy’s alive! The boy’s alive!” And I picked him up and started running with him over to the Bradley. He opened his eyes when I was carrying him. I just kept telling him, “Don’t die; don’t die.” He looked at me, then his eyes rolled back into this head.

Then I got yelled at by my platoon leader that I needed to stop trying to save these mf’n kids and go pull security…. I was told to go pull security on a rooftop. When we were on that roof, we were still taking fire. There were some people taking pot shots, sniper shots, at us on the rooftop. We were probably there on the roof for another four to five hours. How much sniper fire were you getting?

McCord: It was random sporadic spurts. I did see a guy … moving from a rooftop from one position to another with an AK-47, who was firing at us. He was shot and killed.

After the incident, we went back to the FOB [forward operating base] and that’s when I was in my room. I had blood all down the front of me from the children. I was trying to wash it off in my room. I was pretty distraught over the whole situation with the children. So I went to a sergeant and asked to see [the mental health person], because I was having a hard time dealing with it. I was called a pussy and that I needed to suck it up and a lot of other horrible things. I was also told that there would be repercussions if I was to go to mental health. What did you understand that to mean?

McCord: I would be smoked. Smoked is basically like you’re doing pushups a lot, you’re doing sit-ups … crunches and flutter kicks. They’re smoking you, they’re making you tired. I was told that I needed to get the sand out of my vagina…. So I just sucked it up and tried to move on with everything.

I’ve lived with seeing the children that way since the incident happened. I’ve had nightmares. I was diagnosed with chronic, severe PTSD. [But] I was actually starting to get kind of better. … I wasn’t thinking about it as much. [Then I] took my children to school one day and I came home and sat down on the couch and turned on the TV with my coffee, and on the news I’m running across the screen with a child. The flood of emotions came back. I know the scene by heart; it’s burned into my head. I know the van, I know the faces of everybody that was there that day. Did you try to get information about the two children after the shooting?

McCord: My platoon sergeant knew that I was having a hard time with it and that same night … he came into the room and he told me, hey, just so you know, both of the children survived, so you can suck it up now. I didn’t know if he was telling me that just to get me to shut up and to do my job or if he really found something out. I always questioned it in the back of my mind.

I did see a video on YouTube after the Wikileaks [video] came out, of the children being interviewed. … When I saw their faces, I was relieved, but I was just heartbroken. I have a huge place in my heart for children, having some of my own. Knowing that I was part of the system that took their father away from them and made them lose their house … it’s heartbreaking. And that in turn is what helped me and Josh write the letter, hoping that it would find its way to them to let them know that we’re sorry. We’re sorry for the system that we were involved in that took their father’s life and injured them. If there’s anything I can to do help, I would be more than happy to.

You can read the rest of this article here

So either I'm to believe this stuff actually occurred and that this solder really did care about what had happened, or I'm to believe that he was mentally disturbed, especially after the incident with the children, and was denied any mental health help because he was called a "pussy" by his sergeant. By the way ATS excuse my use of words, I'm just copying exactly from the article - not trying to offend anyone.

Right now I need to read over this a bit more and see what I come to think of it all in the end, and I'll also be looking out for more about this soldier - maybe the others involved will come forward as well... watch they all will with exactly the same story

All I know is, war is not pretty, but that's common sense. Senseless acts of murder are not apart of war, at least that is not the American way (well not the official American way, much happens behind the 'curtain'). No matter what happened with the soldiers involved, this was still a tragedy and stuff like this occurs much more than we know, the solider even says something about things like this happening all the time, this isn't some rare occurrence.


*edit to add link to Wikileaks video

[edit on 22/4/2010 by highlyoriginal]

posted on Apr, 21 2010 @ 11:44 PM
I dont know what to say
thank u for posting this
it hurts my heart to see
a tragedy like this. And I got
news for the US Army.
This man is more of a man
than the rest of u.
And the ones that ridiculed him just
disgrace the uniform.
Best wishes to him and his family.

[edit on 21-4-2010 by boondock-saint]

posted on Apr, 21 2010 @ 11:54 PM
nice post..

nothing to add...just a great story.

posted on Apr, 22 2010 @ 12:04 AM
I think that it is awesome that he came forward and is talking about this. It confirms everything i believe about our involment in this "war" and how we dehumanize our troops and make them in to cold blooded killing machines. My father was in Vietnam and he was severlely effected by the war and is still having problems over it. He is a recovering alcoholic and goes to AA every single day.

posted on Apr, 22 2010 @ 12:16 AM
This is unbearably upsetting to me. these kinds of things should never happen for any reason. If a what I thought was a child was firing at me directly and intently, I would not fire back, let alone fire a weapon with identified children downrange. I would not sacrifice the life of a child to save my own.

[edit on 22-4-2010 by devildogUSMC]

posted on Apr, 22 2010 @ 12:27 AM
reply to post by devildogUSMC

Your right, this kind of stuff should not be happening. We are fighting a war that is pointless, and not only are people dying in the actual 'war' but there are civilians being killed daily because of stupid mistakes and trigger happy troops.

This guy may have come forward, but dos his story check out? And if it does, does that make it OK that this tragedy occurred and he was apart of it?

posted on Apr, 22 2010 @ 12:32 AM
You know, Ive been a long time lurker on this site and I have never read an article that has actually made me want to post a response before. Ive read this site for years and I love it but this crap and this video just makes me sick. I'm not going to go into the threatening position that the enemy combatant was taking with the RPG in the video but the fact that this soldier was treated this way is just terrible.

I'm a combat medic in the Army. I'll admit I'm in the National Guard and I'm doing it for school but I have never been deployed. I was an Honor Graduate of the program which pretty much means I got a mid 90 average and passed all life saving skills on the first try. To be honest if this ever happened in my unit or in the infantry units that are often used in support in my unit there would be all hell breaking lose.

We are required to treat all human beings the same freaking way, especially women and children who have nothing to do with what we are supposedly fighting over there. The fact that this soldier was mocked and treated this way just pisses me off. We are not like that. Honestly I'm just sick of the way that these few crazies are making out military look like. Just like we have a few idiots in charge of our country doing what they do to make us look like warmongering idiots.

I don't wear the uniform because I was forced to. I wear the uniform because I want our country and its people to have what they deserve. Many people who criticize us have no idea how much we wish we could be fighting a war like in WWII instead of this mess that we're in now. But what many dont understand is that we cant just quit and give up because we dont like it. We swore an oath, not to follow some other individuals orders but to protect and defend the citizens of this country from all enemies, foreign and domestic. More important than that is the fact that we are sworn to uphold the constitution, even as its being torn to shreds right before our very eyes.

Its just that when I read crap like this and see BS like this, i just fear that many of the people I serve with are losing sight of what they signed up for. I also fear that the citizens of my own country are losing their own sight for what their country could be instead of what their leaders say they should be.

I dont know, this is my first post so I'm not too sure of what to say.

posted on Apr, 22 2010 @ 12:40 AM
reply to post by SNeaKyTiKi

Glad that you decided to come out of the woodwork and post, especially about such an issue that can only be regarded as sinister.

Your post was fine by the way

posted on Apr, 22 2010 @ 01:16 AM
reply to post by highlyoriginal

I appreciate your response. Its just that there are two sides to coin that describes this hell. When I wear my uniform I have been hugged, kissed had people come up to me and cry. I have also been spit on, harassed and told that I am a child killer. Do people honestly believe that we are handed a weapon and are just told to kill anything that moves. Thats ridiculous.

Ive seen videos, heard debriefings and have been told stories that not even fox news would have the guts to show. And they reflect both sides. These people use women and children to shield them and not to mention that the Tigris and Euphrates rivers are absolutely useless now and this is before our depleted uranium poisoning. You can use your imagination on why that is.

I'm not saying that us being over there is a grand old idea but we are not the only ones at fault here. I want to be deployed, but only to keep my fellow soldiers alive and help the people that we are supposed to be helping. I just dread that one day I will be caught up in a mess like this and as a field medic we are required to save as many lives as possible, it doesnt matter if they have a bomb strapped to their chest and it fails or if its a child in the middle of a firefight.

As medics we are supposed to question what is right and save as many as possible. Maybe thats why I feel so strongly about this. Those two children should have been taken to a military hospital with state of the art treatment instead of handed off to Iraqi forces and their mediocre standards of medical care.

And this soldier who was harassed should have had proper treatment, after all he was trying to do what he believed and swore to. His superiors should have been dealt with according to measures associated with the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

posted on Apr, 22 2010 @ 02:28 AM
reply to post by SNeaKyTiKi

My issue still remains the same - did this soldier do this interview to make himself look like a good guy, or to redeem his reputation? I'm hoping there is a follow up article(s?) on this story and we can get some more information.

posted on Apr, 22 2010 @ 06:00 AM
reply to post by highlyoriginal

I believe this has been posted in its own thread but regardless it belongs in this thread as well since it's highly relative to the OP so I thought I'd add it.

U.S. Soldiers From Wikileaks ‘Collateral Murder’ Video Apologize

April 18, 2010 Two former soldiers from the Army unit responsible for the Wikileaks "Collateral Murder" incident have written an open-letter of "Reconciliation and Responsibility" to those injured in the July 2007 attack, in which U.S. forces wounded two children and killed over a dozen people, including the father of those children and two Reuters employees.


I don't know if the above article is legit or not because now that I'm adding this to the thread I believe I remember reading that it may have been fake or some sort of hoax... but I may be wrong. Can anyone confirm?

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