A United States military video was released this week showing the indiscriminate targeting and killing of civilians in Baghdad. The nonprofit news organization WikiLeaks obtained the video and made it available on the Internet. The video was made July 12, 2007, by a U.S. military Apache helicopter gunship, and includes audio of military radio transmissions."Leaked video shows civilian killings in Iraq, signifies growing power of independent Web journalism" (Yahoo News):
WikiLeaks has broken numerous stories and has received awards. It and members of the Icelandic Parliament are working together to make Iceland a world center of investigative journalism, putting solid free speech and privacy protections into law. The words of legendary journalist I.F. Stone still hold true: “Governments lie.” Because of that, we need courageous journalists and media workers, like Namir Noor-Eldeen and Saeed Chmagh, and we need whistle-blowers and news organizations that will carefully protect whistle-blowers’ identities while bringing their exposés to public scrutiny.
When a nonprofit group this week released video footage, leaked via a source in the Pentagon, showing a 2007 U.S. helicopter attack on a group of civilians in Baghdad, the clip unleashed a viral online sensation and ignited an intense debate about the conduct of U.S. forces in Iraq.Howie P.S.: Glenn Greenwald puts this in a larger context: Iraq slaughter not an aberration." Ben Smith Tweets: "Amazing: Pentagon says it can't find leaked video http://is.gd/bizFL" Greg Sargent Tweets: "Military spox confirms, on record, that Wikileaks footage is genuine, but sez it doesn't tell whole story: http://bit.ly/bzTw01"
But the simple fact of the video's release also reflects the ongoing revolution in how news gets produced and published.
(Update: Greg Sargent, at the Washington Post's Plumline, reports that the Pentagon is preparing to issue an official response in the wake of the leaked video, perhaps as early as today.)