Video: Collateral murder, or the risks of war zones?

posted at 2:12 pm on April 5, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Wikileaks released a video today of an engagement in Baghdad in 2007 that resulted in the deaths of two journalists from Reuters in an effort to accuse the US of covering up a war crime. Calling the incident “collateral murder,” Wikileaks says that it wants to promote the safety of journalists in war zones with the release of the DoD video, but the video itself shows why the US forces fired on the group — and on the vehicle that came to their aid. Note that the video itself contains NSFW language and graphic images of death (via John Holowach at TrueHigh):

In the video, starting at the 3:50 mark, one member of this group starts preparing what clearly looks like an RPG launcher, as well as some individuals with AK-47s. The launcher then reappears at the 4:06 mark as the man wielding it sets up a shot for down the street. In 2007 Baghdad, this would be a clear threat to US and Iraqi Army ground forces; in fact, it’s difficult to imagine any other purpose for an RPG launcher at that time and place. That’s exactly the kind of threat that US airborne forces were tasked to detect and destroy, which is why the gunships targeted and shot all of the members of the group.

Another accusation is that US forces fired on and killed rescue workers attempting to carry one of the journalists out of the area. However, the video clearly shows that the vehicle in question bore no markings of a rescue vehicle at all, and the men who ran out of the van to grab the wounded man wore no uniforms identifying themselves as such. Under any rules of engagement, and especially in a terrorist hot zone like Baghdad in 2007, that vehicle would properly be seen as support for the terrorists that had just been engaged and a legitimate target for US forces.  While they didn’t grab weapons before getting shot, the truth is that the gunships didn’t give them the chance to try, either — which is exactly what they’re trained to do.  They don’t need to wait until someone gets hold of the RPG launcher and fires it at the gunship or at the reinforcements that had already begun to approach the scene.  The gunships acted to protect the approaching patrol, which is again the very reason we had them in the air over Baghdad.

War correspondents take huge risks to bring news of a war to readers far away.  What this shows is just how risky it is to embed with terrorists, especially when their enemy controls the air.  War is not the same thing as law enforcement; the US forces had no responsibility for identifying each member of the group and determining their mens rea.  Legitimate rescue operations would have included markings on the vehicle and on uniforms to let hostile forces know to hold fire, and in the absence of that, the hostile forces have every reason to consider the second support group as a legitimate target as well.   It’s heartbreaking for the families of these journalists, but this isn’t “collateral murder” — it’s war.

Update: Rusty Shackleford has more thoughts at The Jawa Report.

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We shouldn’t be engaged in propaganda wars with anyone, let alone cave dwelling ultra muslims. Let us own up to our actions, rather than spy on techies to cover up our less glorious endeavors.

ernesto on April 5, 2010 at 4:14 PM

Wow you are naive. With a capital N.

CWforFreedom on April 5, 2010 at 6:35 PM

I’m saying that ‘war’ is (mass) murder that has been sanctioned by the right people. For thousands of years, that’s been the case.

Dark-Star on April 5, 2010 at 6:24 PM

Dumbest quote of the day….YOU WIN!! Congrats.

CWforFreedom on April 5, 2010 at 6:37 PM

WTF is yr problemo, sailor?

Grow Fins on April 5, 2010 at 6:33 PM

I don’t like lying coward pedophile trolls who try to be cyber bullies to decent folk who aren’t afraid to post their real information.

And you fit that bill to a “T”.

But I don’t consider that a problem punk.

cozmo on April 5, 2010 at 6:40 PM

BTW, why is wikileaks, which actually suspended its operations in December of 2009, all of a sudden releasing this video now?

And remember, these are the same folks who hacked Sarah Palin.

Del Dolemonte on April 5, 2010 at 5:24 PM

they’re also a big go-to source for “depleted uranium” conpiracy nuttery

eh on April 5, 2010 at 6:42 PM

Thanks for the good laugh. No sarcasm involved. I enjoyed that.

thomashton on April 5, 2010 at 6:34 PM

I’m sure a heartless b@st@rd like you would laugh at that.

Here’s the truth, wingnut: at this point the only difference marriage would make is that me & my GF would be able to have sex and fruitlessly send out job applications.

Dark-Star on April 5, 2010 at 6:43 PM

at this point the only difference marriage would make is that me & my GF would be able to have sex and fruitlessly send out job applications.

Dark-Star on April 5, 2010 at 6:43 PM

Wow. Things must be pretty bad off for you. I’m sorry. I read it as snarky, and not that you’re really in a bad way. Sorry it came off so bad from my side. I thought you were being funny.

thomashton on April 5, 2010 at 6:45 PM

The fact that there were journalists in the vehicles -ANY journalist- is reason enough to “fire at will”.Who knows, in the future, we might get lucky and pick off Geraldo and Shep Smith.

MaiDee on April 5, 2010 at 6:51 PM

I’m saying that ‘war’ is (mass) murder that has been sanctioned by the right people. For thousands of years, that’s been the case.

Dark-Star on April 5, 2010 at 6:24 PM

Are you an adult? really? I realize that you think that we are too evolved for this sort of nastiness, but there are all sorts of people out there who are not evolved, and if you don’t deal with them…they will do you harm. Moron.

Oh but then, of course…the people in that video would never have hurt you would they? Hence all war is murder. Childish.

Terrye on April 5, 2010 at 6:52 PM

This may be pure conjecture but that video is a fake; it’s a façade and there a few glaring discrepancies with the video from which you can ascertain this. Firstly, the camera wasn’t using the FLIR system that the U.S. military utilizes for it’s thermal imagery (this is an example of what an Apache gunship’s thermal FLIR system would look like. Secondly, based the audio from the template, the “soldiers” from this fake video sound like they’re in an sterile environment… i.e. not in a warzone, either in the helo or on the ground. Moreover, in this video, the pilots refer to the insurgents weapons as “automatic weapons,” attesting to how prevalent the Kalashnikov is and how may different variants there are. Not simply “AK 47s,” which is indicative of colloquial langue. Furthermore, they portray the “soldiers” as sophomoric automatons, who are trigger happy. Conversely, the authentic videos suggest otherwise; it’s antithetical to the one from wikileaks as the pilots are judicious when discerning targets. So the question is what are the aims of the people who posted it: are they simply releasing disinformation or is this a viral video? I’ll assert that this is unambiguously a viral video because this has all the hallmarks of some bullshit Hollywood production. The soldiers sound scripted, the Bradley Fighting vehicles look inauthentic (they look like some Hollywood prop tank), and the soldiers approach the area of operations complacently without setting up a perimeter or taking any other tactical maneuvers. My conclusions is that his is simply and unequivocally a viral video for some bullshit antiwar movie based on this event (why the hell is there a site dedicated to this wikileaks video?). This is the standard m.o. for a viral campaign.

Cr4sh Dummy on April 5, 2010 at 6:56 PM

thomashton on April 5, 2010 at 6:45 PM

Apology accepted, and my own extended as well for flying off the handle.

If you want an idea of how lousy my situation is…imagine being unable to afford as much as a cheap engagement ring, never mind even a modest wedding ceremony.

The job situation is becoming so bad that the family model of “the man brings home the bacon and the lady cooks it” is in danger. A decent middle-class lifestyle on a single income is almost impossible in some places.

Dark-Star on April 5, 2010 at 6:57 PM

Yeah, this enemy brings children into a kill zone. That alone speaks volumes about this scum.

Embedded with terrorists? They were extremely reckless and/or sympathetic to their cause. What the hell did they expect? I honestly don’t have sympathy for them, those journalists were hoping to see these terrorists engage/kill Americans and take pictures of it. So, I don’t exactly feel bad that they didn’t get their scoop.

brennan251 on April 5, 2010 at 6:58 PM

Childish.

Terrye on April 5, 2010 at 6:52 PM

The only apt description for someone who appears to take the freedom for granted that others have shed blood to protect.

Yoop on April 5, 2010 at 6:59 PM

Agh, this brings back bad memory. I still remember how back in 2008 I posted onto Wikileaks issues Social Policy detailing Obama’s connection to ACORN, after they were removed from the journal’s web site. Within 24 hours they were taken offline.

year_of_the_dingo on April 5, 2010 at 7:01 PM

A decent middle-class lifestyle on a single income is almost impossible in some places.

Dark-Star on April 5, 2010 at 6:57 PM

Welcome to Europe.

BadgerHawk on April 5, 2010 at 7:03 PM

Accepted. And again, sorry about the job situation out there. I know it is really tough for a lot of Americans.

The job situation is becoming so bad that the family model of “the man brings home the bacon and the lady cooks it” is in danger. A decent middle-class lifestyle on a single income is almost impossible in some places.

Dark-Star on April 5, 2010 at 6:57 PM

Agreed. My wife and I plan our budget around my sole paychecks so my wife doesn’t have to work, but can be with the kids. I am a wildlife biologist as well as an officer in the National Guard. Our bills are minimal, we have no credit card debt, no car payments, but are barely able to cover everything on those two jobs of mine. Of course, we do save 10% and give another 10% to our church, so we probably could be better off if we did otherwise.

thomashton on April 5, 2010 at 7:05 PM

Welcome to Europe.

BadgerHawk on April 5, 2010 at 7:03 PM

The left wanted it and now that they have it it’s someone else’s fault.

thomasaur on April 5, 2010 at 7:09 PM

A military official confirms to Fox News that the Reuters journalists were surrounded by insurgents. Outside of the journalists, the group were hostiles.

amerpundit on April 5, 2010 at 7:11 PM

1) Don’t embed with rocket-launching terrorists and you won’t get fired on.
2) If you’re going to drive a “rescue vehicle” in a war zone, go ahead and put a marker on the vehicle like, you know, everyone everywhere.

Seems pretty cut and dry…

Lehosh on April 5, 2010 at 7:11 PM

Agreed. My wife and I plan our budget around my sole paychecks so my wife doesn’t have to work, but can be with the kids.

Best of luck to you both. I do not envy those with children right now…

I am a wildlife biologist as well as an officer in the National Guard. Our bills are minimal, we have no credit card debt, no car payments, but are barely able to cover everything on those two jobs of mine.

…yikes.

Of course, we do save 10% and give another 10% to our church, so we probably could be better off if we did otherwise.

thomashton on April 5, 2010 at 7:05 PM

Heh…depends on what you mean by ‘better off’. Financially, maybe, but prolly not otherwise. I make sure to tithe what I get…even if that doesn’t amount to more than a buck. 10% isn’t so bad – he coulda asked for 90%!

Dark-Star on April 5, 2010 at 7:12 PM

I saw this earlier today here, then on the way home, I heard it on the radio. ABC news. Absolutely NO mention of the armed people.

Simply U.S. Forces killing innocents.

Tokyo Rose would be proud.

cntrlfrk on April 5, 2010 at 7:13 PM

The left wanted it and now that they have it it’s someone else’s fault.

thomasaur on April 5, 2010 at 7:09 PM

It ain’t gonna get better any time soon.

I wonder if they’ll turn violent?

Yoop on April 5, 2010 at 7:14 PM

amerpundit on April 5, 2010 at 7:11 PM

Cut it out with all those facts.

BadgerHawk on April 5, 2010 at 7:14 PM

Had to see if HuffPo had this somewhere on the page. Blaring front page headlines more like it, with over 90 pages of what-you’d-expect comments. Didn’t spend more than 5 minutes browsing before ditching.

Marcus on April 5, 2010 at 7:15 PM

Heh…depends on what you mean by ‘better off’. Financially, maybe, but prolly not otherwise. I make sure to tithe what I get…even if that doesn’t amount to more than a buck. 10% isn’t so bad – he coulda asked for 90%!

Dark-Star on April 5, 2010 at 7:12 PM

Amazing how people seem similar when you look past the titles of “wingnut” and “liberal” and actually talk to each other cordially.

thomashton on April 5, 2010 at 7:15 PM

It’s a well known fact that terrorists often bring cameras/video recorders along on their raids, for propaganda purposes and to record when they behead captives.

A camera is no longer a “don’t get blowed up by gunships” card, if it ever was one.

Rebar on April 5, 2010 at 7:19 PM

If you want an idea of how lousy my situation is…imagine being unable to afford as much as a cheap engagement ring, never mind even a modest wedding ceremony.

The job situation is becoming so bad that the family model of “the man brings home the bacon and the lady cooks it” is in danger. A decent middle-class lifestyle on a single income is almost impossible in some places.

Dark-Star on April 5, 2010 at 6:57 PM

Try not to feel too bad, this is the way it used to be, before everyone got so materialistic…I never had an engagement ring, I had what we called a “promise ring”–a tiny sliver of a diamond…Our wedding rings were from JC Penny. My wedding dress was a beautiful “peasant dress” that cost $30 (probably $70 nowadays)…IF we hadnt gotten money in some of our wedding gifts, we wouldn’t have had money to eat out and have a motel room for the night..

Sometimes LOVE is ALL you need…during the 70′s we lived on a lot of soup and peanut butter sandwiches…and waited in line at gas pumps….
You are together, that’s all that counts. I got married in March, and a month later he was killed in a motorcycle accident. Know what matters, and what is important–a fricking nice wedding and ring is NOT what matters…

These times will pass, but just hold on…and pray…

lovingmyUSA on April 5, 2010 at 7:21 PM

I watched that video 3 times, and enjoyed it each time. Even knowing that the targets were “journalists,” I was still rooting for the gunner.Given all that Reuters and most other western “journalists” did to try to lose that war for us, I have no sympathy at all for any of them.

Spurius Ligustinus on April 5, 2010 at 7:25 PM

I heard it on the radio. ABC news. Absolutely NO mention of the armed people.

Simply U.S. Forces killing innocents.

Tokyo Rose would be proud.

cntrlfrk on April 5, 2010 at 7:13 PM

Well, that would answer my question as to why this “story” came out today, even though this “incident” happened 3 years ago.

It’s another O’bama Regime distraction, pure and simple. Dr. Goebbels is looking up and smiling with approval.

Del Dolemonte on April 5, 2010 at 7:27 PM

lovingmyUSA on April 5, 2010 at 7:21 PM

My wifes engagement ring was diamond dust. Bought her a real one years later but she still wears ol dusty.

faol on April 5, 2010 at 7:29 PM

We shouldn’t be engaged in propaganda wars with anyone, let alone cave dwelling ultra muslims. Let us own up to our actions, rather than spy on techies to cover up our less glorious endeavors.

ernesto on April 5, 2010 at 4:14 PM

I don’t know if I have all of the details, so, if I get something wrong, I apologize. My understanding is that the video was not authorized to be released. WikiLeaks got and posted a video that was not authorized to be released. Perhaps they were being investigated to identify how they got the information – we can agree or disagree whether or not the video should be released; however, it is probably a good thing to know who is leaking unreleased info just in case you need to keep something critical out of the public eye.

JadeNYU on April 5, 2010 at 7:32 PM

War sucks. Collateral damage is part of war. Always has been, always will be. Correspondents that choose to cover war in the midst of battle zones volunteer to take the risk. Too bad they’re dead, but no more or less than any other combatant or other participant.
BTW, no such thing as a weapon that only kills the enemy.

n0doz on April 5, 2010 at 7:34 PM

If you want an idea of how lousy my situation is…imagine being unable to afford as much as a cheap engagement ring, never mind even a modest wedding ceremony.

Mine was an estate ring. Pretty setting, small stone. We were broke college kids.

I loved the ring – still do. The only drag was that after getting it sized the jeweler (may he burn in Hades) gave it to us in a baggie instead a velvet box.

Y-not on April 5, 2010 at 7:39 PM

Well….

My take is;

I didn’t see but 2 guys with AK’s and one possibly with a machine gun or hes just really short ( he is standing next to someone a lot taller and when he put the butt of the weapon down it stood up looked like a MG.

There is no way I see a man with an RPG. I think the vid is clear enough. The guy at the corner crouching down, had a large long lens camera against his chest, there is no round in the “rpg” , it would be clearly seen as it is conical and comes to a point, an RPG is approx. 4 feet long, has a overhead mounted sight and a bulbous rear end….when they initially walked up the street before the chopper went behind the building and lost them for a second there is NO RPG visible, anywhere, I don’t know how the pilot made that leap. No one is wearing a bandoleer with rpg rounds, or any web gear for that matter.

The pilot also said he had a guy shooting just before they move behind the building, I didn’t see any muzzle flashes, smoke or recoil.

I have to say, the audio appears incongruous to me actually, something’s off.

I played it a coupla of times without the audio, if I had to make a call on what I was watching sans audio, I’d say they thought these guys on the street had intel on an ambush or something going down, maybe to observe an ambush or IED explosion via ambush and were setting up for a camera shot. They wanted to take them out as sympathizers etc.

All after the initial firing etc. well, the van is unmarked and could have been pulling up to render assistance and had hostile intent, having kids in the van roiling up to an area that just scant moments before had been hit, is, well beyond stupid, they apparently didn’t see or hear what hit the other grp. and did not even stop to think the chopper or whatever had done that damage was still in the area? Tragic, and it could have been avoided by at least, dumping the kids off further back.

Oh and I am a hard corp. con and a former service member who’s see the elephant….

imperator on April 5, 2010 at 7:39 PM

War is hell. Too bad idiot Reuters reporters.
Why isn’t the host of wikileak brought up on treason charges?

Mr. Arrogant on April 5, 2010 at 7:39 PM

Lets see…

MISTAKE:
1. No Press label on clothing.
2. Standing next to plain clothed soldiers attacking US and Iraqi forces.
3. Driving your van with children in a war zone.
4. No markings on van.
5. Being in a war zone.

BUT it’s the pilot’s fault. I’ll say a pray for the pilot that he sleeps well tonight and everynight, knowing that Reuters and their kin are trying to shift the blame.

SFTech on April 5, 2010 at 7:42 PM

Oh great, a thread with a bunch of spoiled, whiny interdweebs, metrosexual girlie-men and “I play war gamez on my xbox” military experts weighing in on a topic they know nothing about.

The weather is nice, some of you need to put on your flip-flops, grab a sissy-coffee and go get a new bone through your nose and a “tat” that makes you look tough and STFU.

reaganaut on April 5, 2010 at 7:42 PM

Oh great, a thread with a bunch of spoiled, whiny interdweebs, metrosexual girlie-men and “I play war gamez on my xbox” military experts weighing in on a topic they know nothing about.

The weather is nice, some of you need to put on your flip-flops, grab a sissy-coffee and go get a new bone through your nose and a “tat” that makes you look tough and STFU.

reaganaut on April 5, 2010 at 7:42 PM

He’s not mean, you’re just sissies!

faol on April 5, 2010 at 7:46 PM

Unfortunate but understandable. Fortunately our service men and women tend to be highly trained and generally moral combatants. The comments are in line with what you’d expect in a combat zone.

R Square on April 5, 2010 at 7:54 PM

Tough shit. Stay away from war zones.

TexasJew on April 5, 2010 at 8:01 PM

I don’t know if I have all of the details, so, if I get something wrong, I apologize. My understanding is that the video was not authorized to be released. WikiLeaks got and posted a video that was not authorized to be released. Perhaps they were being investigated to identify how they got the information – we can agree or disagree whether or not the video should be released; however, it is probably a good thing to know who is leaking unreleased info just in case you need to keep something critical out of the public eye.

JadeNYU on April 5, 2010 at 7:32 PM

We’re still waiting for credible proof that the military did in fact “spy” on wikipedia. So far, none has been provided.

Del Dolemonte on April 5, 2010 at 8:04 PM

We’re still waiting for credible proof that the military did in fact “spy” on wikipedia. So far, none has been provided.

Del Dolemonte on April 5, 2010 at 8:04 PM

Sorry, that should read wikileaks.

Of course they aren’t unrelated.

Del Dolemonte on April 5, 2010 at 8:07 PM

I hope no one tries to call this propaganda, journalism. They were careful to highlight the reporters and the camera but not the RPG and AKs. Why? Objectively, they are very important to the story. They don’t say why these two were associating with armed plain clothed Iraqis? Who were they? We are not told. Why did they look so comfortable associating with these armed men? Again, no answers. The name of their website proves them to propagandists. There is no objectivity here.

gitarfan on April 5, 2010 at 8:13 PM

If you don\’t want to die in a warzone then don\’t give handjobs to guys toting AK-47s and rocket launchers.

DANEgerus on April 5, 2010 at 8:14 PM

Yoop on April 5, 2010 at 5:56 PM

LOL!

Ya, a little on the slow side

DSchoen on April 5, 2010 at 8:14 PM

I weep not for the Hadjiis in the video, rather weep to think if we had a no-nonsense ROE from the get-go, the war could have been shorter with far fewer of our boys and girls getting maimed or killed.

Instead, we been over backwards to avoid collateral damage and still wind up being accused of collateral murder.

Next time, if they carry a weapon or act suspicious, shoot, don’t wait for them to attack first. If they shoot from a ‘sanctuary’ take the ‘sacred’ place out. If they look like they’re going to plant IEDs, toast ‘em, don’t wait for them to finish and arm it.

We don’t need to be cruel or brutal, just brook no nonsense from the enemy with simple & clear ROE that gives every advantage to our troops.

AH_C on April 5, 2010 at 8:20 PM

I suspect that the Ernesto, Dark Stars, et al(s) of the world have never had anyone they know shot in the head by a AK-47 sniper, or brains blown out by an RPG going through the window of their Humvee, or an arm or leg blown up by the like as well. Just like Amnesty International, hanging out with Terrorist carrying AK-47s, RPGs, and strapping bombs onto their children, is just par for the course. Besides, they have a need to defend themselves because, as you can clearly see in the video, they are walking around the streets in fear for the lives. They’re simply protecting themselves. Now, Americans on the other hand, have ABSOLUTELY NO EXCUSE for EVER retaliating whatsoever. There is NEVER a justification for Americans to be scared for their lives, and should NEVER feel the need EVER TO DEFEND themselves. It’s criminal for Americans no matter what the circumstances, no matter what the cause. GET IT!?!

/sarc

Sultry Beauty on April 5, 2010 at 8:23 PM

You lay down with dogs; you get up with fleas.

Looks like a clean shoot to me.

Bill M on April 5, 2010 at 8:42 PM

Having an RPG is being “vaguely armed”?

Bubba Redneck on April 5, 2010 at 3:40 PM

Yes, and if you’re supporting someone with an RPG, then you’re unarmed.

And if you’re loading artillery shells into a Howitzer, then you’re unarmed unless you happen to have a shell in your hand at that moment.

blink on April 5, 2010 at 3:43 PM

No, if you are part of a crew servicing crew served weapons then you are armed all the time. You are, after all, a combatant.

If you are next to a guy with an RPG in a war zone then you should expect some lead coming your way. I believe that is called common sense.

Now what EXACTLY were these hot-shot reporters doing?
Were they trying to get footage from the terrorist’s point of view?
Why? To aid and abet?
How did they make contact with them?
Who made contact for them?
Sounds to me that Reuters is doing some serious CYA because they sent them out to probably get a story like, “Anatomy of an Ambush” or “Jihad POV” and they made some contacts and got with a bunch of not-too-smart terrorists who were not planning on this thing called an ATTACK HELICOPTER.

Oh, so we are clear: war is the use of force to assert one’s political will on another. Murder is the unlawful taking of human life. War is not murder because it is conducted within a set of rules which should be followed by both sides; a set of rules agreed to by civilized society. Individuals can commit murder during war, but that involves the breaking of the above rules. As terrorists do not play within those set of rules, they are the murders.

Walk with an armed group intent on committing an ambush, expect to get shot at.

Bubba Redneck on April 5, 2010 at 8:44 PM

Bubba Redneck on April 5, 2010 at 8:44 PM

blink was being sarcastic.

BadgerHawk on April 5, 2010 at 8:52 PM

Semi-related:
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/06/world/06arms.html
Obamao promises not to use nukes against non-nuclear enemies, even if they hit us with 1000s of chemical or biological weapons.

itsnotaboutme on April 5, 2010 at 8:55 PM

For me, this is very clear cut. You have a guy sneaking around the corner of a building in a war zone with an RPG in hand and a bunch of other people with him. He is not a member of coalition forces which makes him a hostile. The people with him are obviously there by choice which means that regardless of whether or not they are armed they are complicit and intentionally placing themselves in the line of fire. They all get taken out as hostiles. Then some people try to come up and remove the bodies/wounded. They do not wear uniforms which would distinguish them as aid workers or friendly combatants. It is safe to assume then that they are cohorts of RPG guy. They are engaged and destroyed.

This is war. War sucks. People die violent deaths. Every one of those people were in a war zone with a guy carrying an RPG which made them voluntary participants in the action. What happened is horrifying. But if our guys hadn’t got them first it’s clear that RPG man would have been taking shots and probably killing some of our guys. The decision to engage and destroy them was just as clear and right as it was horrifying.

Clear. As. Day.

t.ferg on April 5, 2010 at 8:55 PM

I would even state that those Reuters “Journalists” were part of the enemy and consequently should have been killed.

Just don’t waste your time arguing that those “journalists” were trying to convince the terrorists to lay down their RPGs. More likely their presence encouraged them to kill even more people (he mr. terrorist, I need to make my deadline, can you please kill a few soldiers)

too bad those terrorist “journalists” were not killed earlier. And I think they would have been fine propagandists in Goerings army of deceipt as well.

mooseburger on April 5, 2010 at 8:59 PM

A Reuters Photographer eh?

Yeah, I remember all those shots of ‘brave’ insurgents blazing away with AK’s and RPG’s at our people.

And how popular those pictures were at showing how we weren’t ‘winning’ in Iraq.

Karma is a b!tch sometimes, Mr. Noor-Eldeen.

BTW, I noticed how those insurgent ‘action-pics’ became scarcer after awhile.

It appears we now know one of the reasons why.

Too bad he didn’t pick a better crowd to hang around with.

CPT. Charles on April 5, 2010 at 9:00 PM

Wikileak are a bunch of loosers claiming to “decrypt” the video feed, posing as some white-hat super savy hackers

Too bad for their lie that we all remember the news that the video feeds from those drones were not encrypted at all.

Too bad for wikileak that they have obtained this video since it indicates that they are part of the terrorists who have been monitoring these unencrypted feeds.

Let’s hope we remember when the regime of Holder and Obama are finally removed in 2012 and we have our justice restored.

mooseburger on April 5, 2010 at 9:05 PM

reuters is a known enemy of America. Those two guys were strolling along with the armed guys and then had their backs turned to them. Comfortable as could be. Let’s not forget the bad guys did not care if someone was an iraqi, they killed anyone they thought was not on thier side. These reuters guys had probably just informed these guys where the bradleys were and were waiting to get good photos of dead Awerican soldiers. Now they are with allah and thier 70 virgins.

peacenprosperity on April 5, 2010 at 9:09 PM

Cr4sh Dummy on April 5, 2010 at 6:56 PM

I had my suspicions as soon as the propaganda stopped and the video started. If that were a Helicopter, wouldn’t the flight path not have been so smooth in a circle. The pilot gets the green light to fire and then curses because the baddies are now behind a building. Looks more like a feed from a drone.

daesleeper on April 5, 2010 at 9:15 PM

If this were Afghanistan, those terrorist turds would have melted back into the $hitholes that spawned them. Our troops cannot call in CAS in that situation.

Our resident trolls can eat $hit for all I care. One single American soldier is worth a thousand times more than every troll that ever has or ever will exist.

csdeven on April 5, 2010 at 9:23 PM

Rules for terrorists

1. Don’t BRING children into a fire zone
2. Don’t EXPECT to hide behind “journalists” or “photographers”
3. Don’t POINT a loaded weapon at a force that is bigger and badder than you.
4. Don’t FVCK with the U.S. military

Andy in Agoura Hills on April 5, 2010 at 9:37 PM

anything that Reuters does is questionable. Muslim war photographers embedding with terrorists? That’s like having Josef Goebbels embed with SS Einsatzgruppen in WWII.

those of us aware of history won’t forget the actions & words of Reuters and other Quisling fifth-columnists.

CatchAll on April 5, 2010 at 9:48 PM

Cr4sh Dummy on April 5, 2010 at 6:56 PM
This may be pure conjecture but that video is a fake; it’s a façade and there a few glaring discrepancies with the video from which you can ascertain this. Firstly, the camera wasn’t using the FLIR system that the U.S. military utilizes for it’s thermal imagery

True! It was from a “DTV” camera. My 1st clue was the letters “DTV” in the upper left side of the video.

Upon further checking I found

“The Apache has 4 camera’s; A DTV which has a good zoom capability. A DVO camera, in short a binoculor with regular lenses, also with zoom capability.
Beside these two it has two FLIR camera’s”

“Secondly, based the audio from the template, the “soldiers” from this fake video sound like they’re in an sterile environment… i.e. not in a warzone, either in the helo or on the ground.”

As someone already pointed out the communication is not just the aircrew and ground troops. The video feed was being viewed in real time at some HQ. Note they had to get permission to fire from their HQ to fire.

“Not simply “AK 47s,” which is indicative of colloquial langue. Furthermore, they portray the “soldiers” as sophomoric automatons, who are trigger happy.”

I wouldn’t read too much into that, “AK’s” is generic for enemy assault rifle, like “crescent wrench” “coke” “Velcro” are you getting the picture here?

“the Bradley Fighting vehicles look inauthentic (they look like some Hollywood prop tank),”

Or they’re covered with reactive armor. (I would have liked to be the fly on the wall the first time that concept was explained, “we will keep you from getting blown up by the enemy by wrapping you in high explosives!”.)

All in all the video is edited, the sound drops out when it shouldn’t, I would think in that type of operation the “hot mic” would have been on all the time.

DSchoen on April 5, 2010 at 10:00 PM

Reuters refused to call the people who flew planes into tall buildings “terrorists”.

BTW it’s several hours later, and we are still waiting for Dark-Star’s credible source for the definition of “war is the same as mass murder”, and still waiting for ernesto’s credible cites that the military “spied” on wikileaks.

Their silence speaks volumes.

Del Dolemonte on April 5, 2010 at 10:03 PM

Journalists who run with wolves.
Randy

williars on April 5, 2010 at 10:15 PM

2. Don’t EXPECT to hide behind as “journalists” or “photographers”

Journalists who run are with wolves.

I watched it a second time and I am convinced they were waiting to get thier pictures of dead American soldiers after informing thier hthe bradleys. I wouldn’t be surprised to find out the reuters terrorists had been with the Americans 30 minutes earlier.

peacenprosperity on April 5, 2010 at 10:23 PM

I got blown up about 1.5 km from that grid coordinate. Small world.

Logboy on April 5, 2010 at 10:24 PM

I wouldn’t be surprised to find out the reuters terrorists had been with the Americans 30 minutes earlier.

Anyone who runs, is a VC reuters terrorist. Anyone who stands still, is a well-disciplined VC reuters terrorist!

Pelayo on April 5, 2010 at 10:38 PM

There is no way I see a man with an RPG. I think the vid is clear enough.
would be clearly seen as it is conical and comes to a point, an RPG is approx. 4 feet long,

imperator on April 5, 2010 at 7:39 PM

The RPG.
At the 3:38 mark through 3:59, 2 guys by a lamp post, one has an AK the other a RPG.
The guy holding the RPG keeps it vertical except for a brief time at the 3:44 to 3:49 mark he turns and the RPG, conical tip and everything is in clear view.

They then cross the street and are lost behind the wall, at the 4:08 mark some guy pops out at the corner with what the gunner thought was the RPG.

“The pilot also said he had a guy shooting just before they move behind the building, I didn’t see any muzzle flashes, smoke or recoil.

I have to say, the audio appears incongruous to me actually, something’s off.”

I didn’t hear that. There is at lest 4 different groups talking and 2 more birds in the air.

“maybe to observe an ambush or IED explosion via ambush and were setting up for a camera shot. They wanted to take them out as sympathizers etc.”

Possibly, but gotta ask your self who would know where and when an ambush was going to happen?

Being a war zone, I’m going with insurgents know where and when an insurgents ambush is going to happen.

DSchoen on April 5, 2010 at 10:39 PM

in words of General Nathan Bedford Forrest:
“War means fighting and fighting means killing”

If you don’t want to get DEAD stay the FLUK out of a combat zone, my grandfather served in WWII (European Theater) and never remembered any of the French he helped liberate being this callously STUPID.

If they entered a combat zone (the French) they either KILLED NAZIS or showed my grandad & his buddies where they were and yes some of them died….as they EXPECTED TO WHEN THEY WENT NEAR FLYING LEAD

SgtSVJones on April 5, 2010 at 10:44 PM

someone please give this to Ed or some other Hot Air person. This needs to be an UPDATE imo. I just made this gif.

If this isn’t an AK-47 and an RPG, then I don’t know what to tell you.

http://img249.imageshack.us/img249/9113/akrpg.gif

SillyRyno on April 5, 2010 at 11:19 PM

Not that it will surprise anyone, but the AP feed on this on Yahoo right now is unbelievably biased:

AP source confirms video of Baghdad firefight (AP)

AP – A gritty war video circulating on the Internet that shows U.S. troops firing repeatedly on a group of men — some of whom were unarmed — walking down a Baghdad street is authentic, a senior U.S. military official confirmed Monday.

Fortunately I’m viewing it using Mozilla Firefox with the BiasBlocker addin, so this is what appeared on my screen:

AP source confirms video of Baghdad firefight (AP)

AP – A gritty war video circulating on the Internet that shows U.S. troops firing repeatedly [repeatedly...because the single shot, bolt action sniper version of the Apache Attack Helicopter doesn't exist] on a group of men — some of whom were unarmed [and most of whom were] — walking down a Baghdad street [seconds after shooting at US Soldiers] is authentic, a senior U.S. military official confirmed Monday [who also confirmed that it was easy for him to confirm it, since the U.S. Military released the video in the first place].

Kaisersoze on April 5, 2010 at 11:31 PM

I’m not an expert on the particular types of video feed, but seems authentic enough. Even if the audio was some kind of mash-up, the visuals are stunning and a testament to our war machine.

For one, the shots seem to be taken from a goodly distance, as you first hear the fire but time elapses before the rounds hit. I’m guessing at least 1/2 mile but not more than a mile away.

Nevertheless, I’m surprised that being that it was supposedly 2007, Hadjii would have learned that any helo in their sight is a deadly helo. I guess these guys thot they had press immunity or they were born stupid – most likely the latter.

Seems to me that there’s two helos involved, which is what I’m used to seeing as they circle each other – protecting each other’s flank. Some of the shots are coming from the helo with the camera, but you can also see the incoming rounds from the opposite direction as the other bird also takes shots.

There’s a section where the gunner says his azimuth is acting up but is told to shoot anyway and you see the rounds hitting wide at first, but the gunner walks ‘em in even tho the cross hairs are off target. I doubt some hack at wikileak is smart enough to make that up.

If any part is dubbed over, it’s probably near the end where someone says “looks like the Hummer ran over a body”. Maybe, but then again, UA HUMMWVs have terrible visibility and from all the dust flying around, it could have settled sufficiently to camoflauge the corpse. In any case, as they say, stuff happens in the dust of war.

AH_C on April 5, 2010 at 11:50 PM

How about the video of 3,000 innocent Americans going to work or sitting in an airplane murdered by a few muslims who are hot4allah?
Didn’t the media report in 2007 how horrible Baghdad was, that America would never get it under control?
Anything they can alter to harm America the media will do,everything they do to harm America get’s white house approval!!
This is war.

christene on April 5, 2010 at 11:51 PM

Your known by the company you keep. Sucks to be you!

Dadzilla on April 5, 2010 at 11:56 PM

I lol’d.

pseudonominus on April 6, 2010 at 12:48 AM

Excellent!
They got what they deserved. They were nothing less than propagandists/recruiters for our terrorist enemies and they knew it.
Walking around accompanied by guys with assault rifles and an RPG.

cjk on April 6, 2010 at 12:52 AM

This was a clean engagement. The entire area was a declared hostile area, it wasn’t a quiet, peaceful picnic park. I did see an RPG and a long gun (couldn’t make out the type, but thats irrelevant). You’ll notice the complete lack of any other foot or vehicle traffic before the engagement. A sure sign that Haji has something planned. My guess, without the benefit of the larger scene, is that our dead guys were about to engage the US patrol with that RPG.

And yes, as others have said, its generally a really dumb idea to hang around a guy carrying an RPG in Iraq. Guilty by association. Rat-a-tat-tat.

Advice: Don’t sneak a peak around a corner with an RPG in your hand. I’ll assume you’re up to no good.

More advice: Don’t drive up to the scene of an engagement with your kids in the car. Just don’t. Its the simple things that keep you alive.

BobMbx on April 6, 2010 at 1:48 AM

I am fasinated by the calm and constraint and professionalism of those soldiers. They follow and wait for orders, even if the delay for authorization can be fatal for them.

may be Murtha had some bad experience by himself that he projected on these guys; just like the far-left that screams about violence by the tea-party attendees because when these leftist lunatics are protesting there is always violence.

mooseburger on April 6, 2010 at 1:55 AM

In the video, starting at the 3:50 mark, one member of this group starts preparing what clearly looks like an RPG launcher, as well as some individuals with AK-47s. The launcher then reappears at the 4:06 mark as the man wielding it sets up a shot for down the street.

Oh, he was preparing for a shot, alright. A shot with his camera. Observe.

There is no evidence of any RPGs to be found in the video. The gunner makes an early misidentification of the camera as an RPG, and doesn’t revisit it. He messed up. And then someone else lied about it, saying “he’s shooting.”

And then the Pentagon lied about the events that took place. They said they had no idea how the children were hurt. Gee, I don’t know… maybe when you shot the van they were in. The video shows the children, and the infantry who arrive identify the children as wounded.

the men who ran out of the van to grab the wounded man wore no uniforms identifying themselves as such

The van that shows up is there to rescue an unarmed man. The gunners know he’s unarmed, because they used that information to hold off from shooting him before. The people who get out of the van are unarmed. Unarmed men, rescuing an unarmed wounded man. Good samaritans, helping an innocent civilian killed because of a gunner’s mistake. Do the rules of engagement seriously permit the gunning down of people in this situation?

I don’t know that any war crimes were committed here… it depends on the rules of engagement regarding the shooting of unarmed rescuers of unarmed wounded suspected combatants. But the gunners in the video messed up, and the military lied about it. The former happens, the latter is a cause for national shame. If you’re going to defend the shooting of innocent men and children as acceptable collateral damage, fine. We can debate that. But don’t lie about it.

Mark Jaquith on April 6, 2010 at 2:15 AM

The video shows the children, and the infantry who arrive identify the children as wounded.

Hmm but you’ll notice that in order to see the kids the WikiLeaks folks had to ZOOM IT ALL THE WAY IN?! In a combat situation you can’t do that

Also there was DEFINITELY an RFG in the earlier shot @ 3:50 and one last thing there is no sound on this video–aside from the radio chatter–unlike in real combat where the pilot would have been able to hear the folks on the ground firing, hence why he said “He’s shooting”

SgtSVJones on April 6, 2010 at 3:53 AM

There is no evidence of any RPGs to be found in the video. The gunner makes an early misidentification of the camera as an RPG, and doesn’t revisit it. He messed up. And then someone else lied about it, saying “he’s shooting.”
Mark Jaquith on April 6, 2010 at 2:15 AM

Hard time following simple instructions ea?
If my instructions are to complicated for you try the link SillyRyno provided.

http://img249.imageshack.us/img249/9113/akrpg.gif

It’s the same section of the video I described but it is cropped and isolated for the slow folks like yur self.

The RPG.
At the 3:38 mark through 3:59, 2 guys by a lamp post, one has an AK the other a RPG.
The guy holding the RPG keeps it vertical except for a brief time at the 3:44 to 3:49 mark he turns and the RPG, conical tip and everything is in clear view.

DSchoen on April 6, 2010 at 5:02 AM

And then the Pentagon lied about the events that took place. They said they had no idea how the children were hurt.
Mark Jaquith on April 6, 2010 at 2:15 AM

Please provide a verifiable link to support your claim.

DSchoen on April 6, 2010 at 5:19 AM

There is no evidence of any RPGs to be found in the video. The gunner makes an early misidentification of the camera as an RPG, and doesn’t revisit it. He messed up. And then someone else lied about it, saying “he’s shooting.”
Mark Jaquith on April 6, 2010 at 2:15 AM

This is ridiculous. The men were armed, that is plain. And did you not wonder why this thing began in mid sentence? It was because there was a battle going on, people had died. That might explain why there are not people on the streets.

For Chrisake, these people placed civilians in jeopardy, the journalists placed themselves in jeopardy by embedding with the terrorists. They did it deliberately. These are the same terrorists who strap bombs on themselves and kill people. These are the same terrorists who use vehicles as weapons, the same terrorists who make it policy to target civilians.

Terrye on April 6, 2010 at 7:04 AM

it depends on the rules of engagement regarding the shooting of unarmed rescuers

Mark Jaquith on April 6, 2010 at 2:15 AM

You do not know they were unarmed and neither did the soldiers. And who was it who brought the children into that situation in the first place? Can you imagine a bunch of journalists embedding with Nazis and then their friends bringing their kids along in an unmarked vehicle to supposedly rescue wounded journalists from allied attack? No, the whole situation was just too stupid to comprehend.

Terrye on April 6, 2010 at 7:07 AM

The people who get out of the van are unarmed. Unarmed men, rescuing an unarmed wounded man. Good samaritans, helping an innocent civilian killed because of a gunner’s mistake. Do the rules of engagement seriously permit the gunning down of people in this situation?

Not long ago, an apparently unarmed girl walked onto a subway in Moscow and killed herself and dozens of others. That is the nature of this war. It is a terrible thing, but it was not the US military that laid the ground work for those rules, the enemies did. They are the same people who murder people and then attack the funeral party. That is how they operate.

Terrye on April 6, 2010 at 7:10 AM

Darwinism at it’s finest

pos no doubt are trying to find some sympathetic or moral ground for loathful subhumans

if only half our congress would do the same

good riddance

at least they were able to live on as another case against the evil USA anoble place in moonbat world

as for all the trolls, it’s funny to see how inflated they become for certain cases of action

When girls get noses cut off, an Iraqi is killed and his 5 yo son is tied to his leg and thrown into a river, when mindless zombies explode themselves in crowded market places amongst civilians, when heads are cutofff not so much

but when supposed journalists who embed with a cruel ideology….

I just sayto those, please freelance and embed yourselves to your greater cause whatever that may be in your mind, but in reality is the evil side

ps. Good shooting US military!!!

Sonosam on April 6, 2010 at 7:41 AM

Just know this

those douchebags were looking for the “holy Grail” of one of ours being shot so it could accompany their next antiamerican oped

Sonosam on April 6, 2010 at 7:51 AM

Asserting all war is murder is a valid position. It is NOT a position I agree with, I don’t think it is reasonable, but it is as valid a position as that held by those religious sects who even refuse to kill bugs because they think killing anything is wrong. I don’t agree with them either BTW.

SunSword on April 6, 2010 at 8:55 AM

It’s an occupation not a war.

Quit calling it that.

Spathi on April 5, 2010 at 2:51 PM

Ignorant statement of the day winner!

All war, by definition, requires some level of occupation. Otherwise, holding areas of land and keeping the enemy out would be impossible. So your choice of words to call this an occupation is either an amazingly ignorant statement, or you are just an idiot lib who parrots nonsensical talking points. Pick one.

BierManVA on April 6, 2010 at 9:04 AM

“Sonny, let me see if I understand you correctly. You want to hop my fence, which is strong and tall and well posted with Keep Out and Beware of Bull signs at every ten feet… you want to hop that fence, find the bull, and try to ride while whackin’ it in the jewels with a stick. And to top it all off, you’re telling me you’re going to sue me when you get hurt… Ma! Ma! Grab my camera and my rifle!”

Doorgunner on April 6, 2010 at 9:16 AM

Journalistas “embedded” with terror groups shouldn’t be differenciated from the group, since terror methodology includes the spreading and amplification of information about their barbaric activities, and that is, by definition, what journalists do. If that’s part of the published rules-of-engagement then you may have fewer dead journalists, and fewer dead terror targets too. Not gonna happen for at least three years. And may not then. unless someone with some stones becomes commander-in-chief. She only has an outside chance at this point, though.

curved space on April 6, 2010 at 9:22 AM

That was a beautiful, clean engagement by US forces.

1. RPG and Ak47 spotted.
2. Streets are clear because a shootout had already occurred just before the footage from the Apache
3. US forces identified weapons and what looks exactly like the preparation for ambush of an oncoming US convoy
4. No one viewing this video after the fact would spot a camera in it unless told there are cameras there. The only visible objects in hands are clearly an AK47 and what looks to be an RPG.
5. US forces followed protocol to the point of letting some very good shots go by waiting on clearance
6. There is no reason to expect children to be in the area and no way to spot them inside a van anyway
7. The van most likely contained additional weapons and insurgents and is/was a legitimate target.
8. At no point do the US forces shoot indiscriminately at anyone. They wait for clearance and act upon what they see in a professional manner.
9. If you are offended by joking or laughing at the events by the soldiers, you have never been in a life or death situation as a professional – gallows humor is normal.
10. The US Military has confirmed this is actual footage from an Apache.
11. Much ado about nothing here.

ace tomato on April 6, 2010 at 9:46 AM

Mark Jaquith on April 6, 2010 at 2:15 AM

Ah, the night shift showed up I see.

Got any credible and multi sourced cites to prove the military was “lying”?.

Please provide a verifiable link to support your claim.

DSchoen on April 6, 2010 at 5:19 AM

LOL, good luck with that. I’ve been waiting almost a half a day now for Dark-Star to furnish us with a credible definition of “war” that includes the word “murder”, and have also been waiting almost as long for ernesto to provide a credible cite that the military “spied” on wikileaks people. Their silence speaks volumes.

Del Dolemonte on April 6, 2010 at 10:02 AM

Ace tomato has pretty much said it. I have a few things. I was an infantryman in Viet Nam and our units had to comply with some ROE’s that were pretty unhealthy. Can’t fire unless fired upon. Further, the fire has to automatic weapons fire. Pretty soon everything was automatic weapons fire. One’s thinking changes once you are in a life and death situation. I’m not sure about the pilots – I don’t think they were being directly threatened. However, I thought I heard something in the clip about some US units in the vicinity and it appears as though these folks were not on a bird watching trip. I was only able to identify two weapons. The streets all around were empty. Red flag! Considerable caution to be exercised;I know from personal experience. Adrenalin starts flowing. What these folks were up to but as others have said, you just don’t stroll around in an area of active military operations without regard for one’s safety.I was actually kinda sickened by the whole thing.

LarryG on April 6, 2010 at 12:16 PM

MALKIN, YOU AND YOUR NEOCON WAR MONGERING CRONIES HAVE BEEN CALLED OUT!

Some apologists, people like CFR stooge Brett H. McGurk, have blamed “fog of war” for the attack, while acknowledging the tragedy of the incident, but others have shamefully blamed the very people who were slaughtered for the entire incident.

Despite the fact that U.S. military admits that none of the men were carrying rocket launchers, Hot Air writer Ed Morrissey claims the Iraqis were gunned down because they were aiming RPG’s at U.S. troops. “It’s difficult to imagine any other purpose for an RPG launcher at that time and place. That’s exactly the kind of threat that US airborne forces were tasked to detect and destroy, which is why the gunships targeted and shot all of the members of the group,” Morrissey absurdly states, completely lying about the nature of the entire incident.

As the Guardian report clarifies, “One of the helicopter crew is heard saying that one of the group is shooting. But the video shows there is no shooting or even pointing of weapons. The men are standing around, apparently unperturbed.”

The men are clearly walking openly and casually down the middle of the street, and are at ease with the fact that there are two Apache attack helicopters hovering over them. If they were preparing to attack the choppers or U.S. troops nearby, they would hardly be strolling around talking on mobile phones and chatting, they would be hunkered down amidst nearby buildings. The men are clearly at ease and not in an attack posture – as is born out by the fact that they were journalists preparing to film interviews.

Or as Wikileaks director Julian Assange puts it, “Why would anyone be so relaxed with two Apaches if someone was carrying an RPG and that person was an enemy of the United States?”

War has not solved anything, it leads to police state terror tactics, and those soldiers doing what they did thanks to EXTREMELY VIOLENT video games and FBI/CIA training become bubba cops. And what do they do? CRAP LIKE THIS!

Oh, and to further rub salt in you wounds neo-cons…

Amidst the myriad of obfuscation and denial, neo-con apologists have no come-back for this blatant barbarism. Blowing up vans containing little kids with enjoyment cannot be explained away by Malkin’s bloodthirsty readers, but judging by the comments in response to the article, many of them would indeed support barbecuing Arab babies on the White House lawn to ’send a message that we are getting tough with the terrorists’ – to these thugs, the means justifies the ends.

Neo-Cons will go to any lengths to defend and downplay wanton acts of cruelty and barbarism. To them, “supporting the troops” means defending people who slaughter kids and murder little puppies. These people are truly devoid of any human emotion. That’s why they have to invent convoluted theories and outright lies in a desperate effort to explain away something that fits every definition of a war crime.

And do not think this is Code Pink tactics…IT’S PEOPLE WHO BELIEVE THE CONSTITUTION HAS BEEN VIOLATED UMPTEEN TRILLION TIMES THANKS TO OFFSHORE BANKERS, THE NEW WORLD ORDER, A CASHLESS SOCIETY, THE FEDERAL RESERVE, AND SO MANY OTHERS!

BobAnthony on April 6, 2010 at 12:28 PM

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