In late May 2010, Private First Class Bradley Manning, an intelligence analyst with the US Army in Baghdad, was arrested, suspected of providing the “Collateral Murder” video to WikiLeaks.
On June 6, 2010, he was charged with violating the Uniform Code of Military Justice, including eight criminal offenses and four noncriminal violations of Army regulations. The full charge sheet is available at www.bradleymanning.org/3163/charge-sheet-html.
His arrest was precipitated by an alleged online chat confession to well-known hacker and journalist Adrian Lamo.
Manning is currently imprisoned in the brig at US Marine Corps Base Quantico in Quantico, Virginia, awaiting trial. If convicted, Manning faces up to 52 years in prison, dishonorable discharge, forfeiture of all pay and benefits and unspecified fines. Since his arrest, Bradley Manning has issued no formal public statements. Daniel Ellsberg, the famed whistle blower behind the Pentagon Papers, has heralded Pfc. Bradley Manning as a hero.
The “Collateral Murder” Video American Soldiers Gunning Down Unarmed Civilians, Journalists and Children
On April 4, 2010, whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks published a classified video of a United States Apache helicopter firing on civilians in New Baghdad in 2007. The video, available at www.collateralmurder.com, shows Americans shooting and killing 11 individuals who do not return fire. Two of those killed were Reuters’ employees, including 22 year old Reuters’ photojournalist Namir Noor-Eldeen and his driver, 40 year old Saeed Chmagh.
The video includes an audio recording of the internal commentary by the American soldiers before, during and after the shooting. The soldiers repeatedly request and are granted permission to open fire, encourage one another and joke about the dead and dying civilians. (Full transcript available here – www.collateralmurder.com/en/transcript.html)
A total of 11 adults were killed. Two children, passengers in a van that arrived on the scene after the first bout of gunfire had ceased, were seriously injured when the Apache helicopter opened fire on their van.
In 2007, Reuters called for an investigation into the attack. In response, a spokesman for the multinational forces in Baghdad stated: “There is no question that coalition forces were clearly engaged in combat operations against a hostile force.”
The Army’s report on the death’s of two Reuter’s employees and the wounding of the two children is here: http://tinyurl.com/yzbp83l
There was no investigation of the nine other deaths.
No charges have been filed against the American soldiers in the Apache helicopter who shot and killed the civilians in the video.