Ratigan Discusses Wikileaks Video, Observes Implications On US Rules Of Engagement And Foreign Response To US Actions

Tyler Durden's picture

Dylan Ratigan is joined by Julian Assange, co-founder of Wikileaks, Lt. Colonel Anthony Shaffer, from the Center for Advance Defense Studies, Glen Greenwald, from Salon.com and Brett McGurk from the CFR, in discussing today's must watch video. Assange states that the purpose of releasing these videos is to show how "modern aerial warfare is being done" and "to show the debasement and moral corruption of soldiers as a result of war." As pertains to the video, Julian states the obvious: if indeed the military believed him to be an insurgent, the wounded man should be interrogated and asked about what he was doing. The army's desire is merely "to kill as many people as possible, to get as high a score as possible, and then brag about it to the rest of the troops." McGurk is laconic "this is a tragic, tragic video." Shaffer does a detailed analysis on the Rules of Engagement (Minimum Force and Capture and Interrogate being primary), especially when the engaging party on the US behalf is something that appears straight out of Call of Duty, and can be controlled by the same 19 year old joystick-happy day traders that gun the market day in and day out. Lastly Greenwald discusses the responsibility of the media to cover these kinds of events. As Glen notes, "Wikileaks is absolutely heroic, because this kind of footage is seen all the time in the Muslim world, about what we are doing over there, and what the effect of our missions are, but it is seen very rarely over here... This is far from uncommon...What do you think the people who this video and the family members who are surviving, are going to think about the U.S. over the next 2 or 3 decades." 

Of course, anything that forces average America to put down its iPad for more than 5 minutes will be promptly ignored as there are much more critical games of scrabble to be won.    



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kizzle's picture

The effective range of an AK 47 is 400 meters.  Using a rough estimate of a 30mm muzzle velocity of 1 km per second and the 2.5 second fire to impact delay puts these helicopters way out of range for an AK and of significant safety breadthe of an RPG.  These ahem "soldiers" will have to live the rest of their lives knowing they killed innocent men women and children. 

Shameful's picture

Yeah that's a heavy punishment, their own conscience.  At least threaten to bend their dog tags and stamp their meal card no dessert.  We are the evil foreign invaders.  We invaded under false pretenses and now we remain in their country because maybe just maybe angry people will come from there.  Surely staying there and murdering people will calm them down...

Sam Clemons's picture

Yes.  America used to have the moral high-ground in the world.  That went a long way to those who saw the soldiers as helpful and not hurtful.  I'm not quite sure where we lost it, but its not there any more.

macfly's picture

As a kid I grew up believing we were the good guys, but since the terrible events of 9/11 I have become convinced we are the Evil Empire.

We have no right to be there or police anyone, especially when we all know that 9/11 was not what they would have us believe.




sangell's picture

That's a non sequitur. Shoud artillary not be used because it longer range than a rifle. The helicopters were aerial scouts for US forces moving through that area. If they find armed men peeking around the side of building to view the approach of US forces what would you have them do. Use a loudspeaker and tell those guys to 'freeze'.

GoldSilverDoc's picture

How about figure out whether they were really bad guys before they BLEW THEM AWAY??????!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?  That would be a really good idea, I think.  Or maybe that would be a non-sequitur too, to trigger-happy pricks in their flying machines.

kizzle's picture

I'm just pointing out the fact that these "soldiers" did not follow rules of engagement; they were clearly not under fire and they were well out of range of an AK47 (and that they would have to live with these facts, imo won't be easy and will probably commit suicide if any of them have a soul...).  Ever shot an AK47? 400 meter range is being very generous. 

Now if the helicopters were under direct fire, or were providing immediate and direct air support for ground troops (which these clearly were not), then hell yes light em up. Scouting is one thing, support is another.

And I disagree with Ratigan, these criminals should be court marshalled, prosecuted and hung.

OT but what side is Soros on anyway?  It seems he just wants to stir things up whenever he can.  The more chaos revealed/created the more money he makes?  Does he have some sort of entropy model?

Raymond K Hassel's picture

If you watch the entire feed from Wikileaks - there is a point approximately 30 seconds prior to engagement where the operator says 'fuck' in reference to what does look to be a guy with what looks to be an RPG peeking around a corner and then shouldering in the direction of the Apache what is not an AK-47. 

Raymond K Hassel's picture

may be a camera, just saying in the hot seat, it ain't an easy call - don't point long tubular objects at Apache gun ships and assume they will know what it is - the camera resolution isn't that good.

Zeno of Citium's picture

Too small to be of any impact on a 2km away copter. An RPG wouldn't help at all against anything but a landing helicopter (or flying *very* low). A SAM tube would look at least as big as the guy holding it.

BoeingSpaceliner797's picture

"OT but what side is Soros on anyway?"

He is not on a "side."  He is from the "divide and conquer" cabal; they have no side but their own (which is not to be confused with traditional "sides").

Gordon_Gekko's picture

Thanks for your idiotic opinion, Mr. Robert Gates.

YourAverageDebtSlave's picture

I bet those "ahem 'soldiers'" were paid with your tax dollars as where the weapons they used to kill with.  Those "ahem 'soldiers'" are over there killing for the oil that was used to create the computer you typed your response on.  Killing for the oil that gives you "freedom" to enjoy all the other luxuries you enjoy in an American empire a 17th century king couldn't even dream of.  The blood is on your hands too.  Your comment is like watching a woman get beat to death by her boyfriend and saying, "That's a crying shame he's killing her," and then lighting up a cigarrete to watch the action.  Know that the lifestyle you enjoy as an American is on the caskets of many more than what was shown in the video.  The American lifestyle and its "freedoms" have killed many innocent men, women, and children.  I believe those soliders will live just like you and I do, enjoying a life of intentional ignorance

Cheeky Bastard's picture

COTD[Comment of the day]

+1000000000000000000000 e1000

Mercury's picture

When can we expect to see that oil by the way? That argument is getting a little long in the tooth.

Mazarin's picture

Those are 50 cal rounds...about 3,000 feet per second, from a fixed mount, long barelled gun, range is easily over a mile...The people on the ground 1) could not hear the chopper, 2) could not hear the gun until well after the bullets had blown them to pieces, 3) could not even tell which direction the rounds were coming from and so take appropriate cover. Shooting unarmed people from a helicopter a mile away with a modern telescopic-sighted long barrel 50 cal machine gun is like shooting large fish in a small barrel. Takes no skill, and ZERO courage. Totally evil.

sangell's picture

I'd suggest anyone who is 'shocked' by this go rent of buy the William Wyler's WW2 classic 'Thunderbolt' ( its in color too). P-47 pilots scour the European countryside and shoot anything that moves. "Somebody in that field" a pilot says, then with his .50 calibres blazing mows him down with the remark " no friend of mine. Trains are shot up, houses, it was war and the pilots were there to win it.

Nothings changed except the gun camera resolution.

GoldSilverDoc's picture

It was a movie, dimwit. Are you not clear on the difference?

sangell's picture

It was a documentary. Real pilots , real combat footage.

Wyler also did Memphis Belle, the documentary, but you probably only saw his movies, like Ben Hur, which you may have, mistakenly, believed to be a documentary.

buzzsaw99's picture

sadly, for them, they are sitting on our oil.

whacked's picture

And the US do not intend to investigate further ..


Disgusting ... 'they are playing video games with other peoples lives' ...


Reconfirms my distaste for the US and their policies .. FU!!

bchbum's picture

FU!?  Most of the people here are against this AND from the u.s.  What great country are you from?

Catullus's picture

This is a far cry away from fighting the lava monster.

ewmayer's picture

But, as long as the "good soldiers" and their trusty drone-wars video-games consoles are killing their daily ration of "30 militants" somewhere in East Elbonistan, all is well.


(Do a Google search of [kill "30 militants"] and you'll be amazed how many times those 30 apparently-quite-resilient militants have been killed. Why they can't they just stay dead, already?)

GoldSilverDoc's picture

And don't think for ONE SECOND that, your friendly government won't do EXACTLY THE SAME THING TO YOU.

Gonna be a revolution, ya know.



Judge's picture

I know for damn certain that most of the troops wouldn't.



GoldSilverDoc's picture

Tell that to the Kent State kids.  And the My Lai folks.  And (do I need to continue for the next 15 years?)..

I trust a trained killer with a gun about as far as I can shoot with my own Barrett.  So when I see those "troops" out a couple thousand yards,  suppose I can smoke them, and it will all be OK.   

Well, I feel better now.

Judge's picture

What don't you understand about the word "most"... in addition the kent state kids where attacking/had attacked the troops all day with rocks and some molotov cocktails.  There had been several assualts and looting in the city.  Building were set afire and many in the crowd were armed bikers.  There was a great deal of violence.  Many of the soliders were injured by the rocks thrown.  Many guardsmen were in fear of their lives from the crowds and several testified a sniper fired first from the knoll.


It's not as clear or simple as you would paint it.  But only a small handful of the guardsmen fired - out of probably a 1000 there.


Hate America and the truth much?





GoldSilverDoc's picture

I love the truth, which is why I continue the futile attempt to provide it to idiots like yourself.  Only a small handful is all it takes, in case you weren't clear.  And I don't remember how many guardsmen died... oh, wait.... NONE.  Or how many were taken to the hospital for injuries.... oh, wait..... TWO.  And both release the SAME FUCKING DAY.  

Check YOUR truth.  

The only thing I hate is idiocy, and government can't-think-for-themselves drones.  Which may explain my animosity toward you.

Sam Clemons's picture

I agree.  Most sociopaths can be hired, paid well and convinced anyone is their enemy.  I do have great trust in my fellow-man acting in his own power, but when someone else urges him to act with good pay or threat of death himself, bad things can happen.  How do people think the Holocaust was pulled off?  The commander of Auschwitz-Birkenau used to rev his engine in his truck so he couldn't hear people screaming because he didn't want to be the one screaming.

Real Wealth's picture

Kent state?  I remember being a middle school kid in very late 80s and the English teacher going on a liberal rant about that.

  I said, "Yeah, but weren't they throwing stones?"

   At which point she was like, "O yeah stones!" and the class started laughing.

   Hey, lady, what is one of the oldest methods of execution around?  Stoning!  How about we give the faculty guns and let the entire student body throw rocks at them and see what happens.

    If a liberal/Muslim/whatever is trying to KILL you with a rock/AK-47/whatever, you don't have to fight "fair." 



ananda's picture

Spartacus allegedly said when he was crucified: "I will return and I will be millions."

samsterns's picture

A historical critique of that particular scene.  Spartacus's body was never found by Crassus or the Romans.  I like to think that he escaped and lived among the free in some other country.  In the movie, Crassus had Spartacus crucified in secret and his ashes scattered so no one would remember his legend.  But I do agree with you, He will return and he will be millions.

I hope that it will be soon.  Btw, Charles Laughton was great as was Olivier.

Judge's picture

And the pussification of America continues.  Hell yes, we want soldiers who have to mirandize and body search before opening fire.  You want to know how the Iraqi's feel - they feel just like the afstans and the paks - here's a quote from the NYT's on how the locals view us fighting AQ:


The question of civilian deaths is an almost daily worry, all four men said. “Civilians are worried because there is hardly a house without a fighter,” the militant said.

Two of the government supporters said they knew of civilians, including friends, who had been killed by being in the wrong place at the wrong time. But, they said, they are prepared to sacrifice the civilians if it means North Waziristan will be rid of the militants, in particular the Arabs.

“On balance, the drones may have killed 100, 200, 500 civilians,” said one of the men. “If you look at the other guys, the Arabs and the kidnappings and the targeted killings, I would go for the drones.”




Folks that haven't been there just need to shut the hell up - they don't have a clue.  All this tape does is help the enemy - which means more US troops are at risk/die.




GoldSilverDoc's picture

Well, that is a nice long non-sequitur.  We are killing Iraqi's because, well....WTF are we killing Iraqi's again?

The only idiot without a clue is you, "Judge".  Too bad you really think you are one.

And, hey - you walk around on the ground, and I'll shoot you from a heli with a .50.  And then you won't have to be a "pussy" any more.  Or, wait, maybe it was the dickheads in the heli who were the "weenies"....

Judge's picture

we're not killing Iraqi's - if you'd actually get your lazy ass off the couch and go over there you'd find that out.  Most of the kids LOVE American troops b/c they were hiding behind them when there were gunfights.

You're the one believing the lie, and you call someone else clueless?  Just wow - words cease to have meaning in this age. Pre-pubescent couch potatoes think they are god and all knowing.  No wonder obama won and this country is screwed up.

GoldSilverDoc's picture

So these 12 were - what - Chinese?  Nicaraguan?  Really?  It is just really too easy when you tee it up like that.  Prepubescent?  I'm 54.  MARINE, you ass.  Done more duty than you ever could imagine, you puke.  And the government sucks.  And idiots like you make it worse.

Cistercian's picture

 Thank you Marine.I was mentored by a ww2 pow.He was captured at Bataan.He told me everything about what he had experienced, about breaking under torture, the brutality, the horror.

 As you might imagine, I was more than a little disgusted to see the US embrace "enhanced interrogation".These scum need to be rooted out...and not cheered.It is so sad to see how far we have fallen.


Sam Clemons's picture

I was told by some AF and Army officers that they liked pissing over the borders near the border patrol because the guys couldn't do anything to them when they were "in" the other country.  I was also told about loading AF planes with rotten or old pork and flying around dropping it in Baghdad.  They thought both stories were hilarious and said "no one was killed" while I assumed that someone probably has been killed through the resentment this creates. It is bad how far we have sunk. 

Shameful's picture

We are not killing Iraqis?  Are those gentlemen shapeshifting aliens?  What other magical thinking do you have?  Do guns shoot rainbows as well?

Why are we in Iraq now anyway?

Rusty Shorts's picture

Exactly, WHY in the hell are we still in IRAQ??? Is there some think tank in Washington, members sitting around a table, wringing their hands, "OH, we can't leave Iraq, there may be civil unrest"?




bchbum's picture

I don't think obama or his handlers want a couple hundred thousand young, unemployed men back in america.  Especially ones that know how to kill.

callistenes's picture

Finally someone gets at the real truth.

We never recovered from the dot com bust. And the Iraq war started in what April '03 at the bottom of the recessions that has never really ended?

And Jesus 52 - - 32 fuck I had to open a sql query window since I'm too hungover to do the math "select 52 - -32"



kizzle's picture

I maybe feeding the trolls, but who then are we killing if not Iraqis?

A Nanny Moose's picture

Your right. We killed our Iraqis back during the sanctions and no-fly zone days.

A) Hiding behind a soldier when bullets rain is self-preservation...not love.

B) These days, its all a lie. Side is all that matter

C) Again. The true warrior will look his adversary in the eyes. Anything else is just "Pussification"

D) Why are we there? You still have yet to answer this question.


Catullus's picture

Hear that folks: if we don't kill them, we may be thought of as "pussies". 

A Nanny Moose's picture

Yet they are somehow still winning after 18 years of "killing them all"

Cistercian's picture

 I am ashamed that Nazi scum like you live in my country.You are a depraved and evil scumbag.

 You support torture too don't you?


 I have some news for you agent of the worms....you are going to lose.Do you hear me lowest of the slime?YOU ARE GOING TO LOSE.

 Evil sucks, and people like me take great delight in crushing it.Defeat looms you Nazi scumbag.

 Enjoy your depraved time.It will come to a violent end....as it always has.Read a history book you ignorant moron.Get ready to be referenced under "failed evil empires".

 American? YOU ARE NOT.



SteveNYC's picture

If the Taliban was occupying the US with high-tech aircraft, drones, and tanks, there would "hardly be a house without a fighter" here too, right?

We have to ask ourselves: who the fuck are we going to blame, for real, when they blow up a plane or a building or a subway station or take out American overseas travelers etc etc.???

We will be and are as culpable as them. It is not their fault nor ours, both are culpable. And the killing will continue until one says "enough". We have the ability to defend ourselves without occupying their lands and killing.