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article imageUS soldier detained in Iraq for leaking classified combat video

By Kim I. Hartman     Jun 9, 2010 in World
Baghdad - The US soldier who leaked the video of the Reuters journalists and civilians who were shot and killed has been identified and detained. Wikileaks released the classified combat video of the killing of reporters and unarmed civilians in Baghadad in April.
A 22-year-old U.S. soldier serving in Iraq has been detained as of Monday for suspicion that he leaked a classified combat video to the website WikiLeaks. The video in question showed a deadly 2007 U.S. helicopter attack in Baghdad that claimed the lives of several civilians, including two photographers working for the Reuters news agency. To watch two other versions of this video click here or here for a longer and unedited version.
Army Specialist Bradley Manning, an intelligence analyst from Potomac, Maryland, was stationed at Forward Operating Base Hammer, east of Baghdad, when he was taken into custody and detained.
Wired.com first reported the details of Manning's detention, which was reportedly prompted by a tip to authorities by a former computer hacker to whom Manning had boasted of his online exploits.
Wikileaks has obtained and decrypted this previously unreleased video footage from a US Apache helicopter in 2007. It shows Reuters journalist Namir Noor-Eldeen, driver Saeed Chmagh, and several others as the Apache shoots and kills them in a public square in Eastern Baghdad. They are apparently assumed to be insurgents. After the initial shooting, an unarmed group of adults and children in a minivan arrives on the scene and attempts to transport the wounded. They are fired upon as well. The official statement on this incident initially listed all adults as insurgents and claimed the US military did not know how the deaths ocurred. Wikileaks released this video with transcripts and a package of supporting documents on April 5th 2010 on http://collateralmurder.com
The decision to release the decoded video on April 5, 2010 ultimately came from WikiLeaks co-founder, Julian Assange. He insists that the actions by the soldiers, commanders and Pentagon officials throughout the chain of command are problematic at best, and that this type of attack on journalists trying to get the truth out is a systemic and deliberate silencing of the revelations of wartime.
Reuters has been trying to obtain the video through the Freedom of Information Act, without success since the time of the attack. The video, shot from an Apache helicopter gun-sight, clearly shows the unprovoked slaying of a wounded Reuters employee and his rescuers. Two young children involved in the rescue were also seriously wounded.
US Military claims they saw rocket propelled launchers in the hands of the people on ground. Opponen...
US Military claims they saw rocket propelled launchers in the hands of the people on ground. Opponent's to this story say that what they saw based on the leaked video was this camera lens which slightly resembles the RPG weapon.
Collateral Murder Video Screen Shot
The military did not reveal how the Reuters staff were killed, and stated that they did not know how the children were injured. After demands by Reuters, the incident was investigated and the U.S. military concluded that the actions of the soldiers were in accordance with the law of armed conflict and its own "Rules of Engagement".
WikiLeaks wants to ensure that all the leaked information it receives gets the attention it deserves. In this particular case, some of the people killed were journalists that were simply doing their jobs: putting their lives at risk in order to report on war. Iraq is a very dangerous place for journalists: from 2003- 2009, 139 journalists were killed while doing their work reports CollateralMurder.com
Defense Secretary Robert Gates told CBS- Political Punch that the video recently released by Wikileaks which depicts U.S. troops killing some civilians in Iraq “doesn’t show the broader picture of the – of the firing that was going on at American troops.” In my “This Week” interview, Gates acknowledged that the video is “clearly not helpful” and “painful to see”, but that “these people were operating in split second situations.” Gates added that he doesn’t think the video will “have any lasting consequences.”
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