Not Watching Snuff Tonight (Update: I Watched The Snuff Film After All, And Was Predictably Sickened)

Have enough to think about with a paper going to press tomorrow. Not going to watch film of U.S. helicopter gunners blowing away civilians and children while gloating. Nope.

But here’s a tale of two newspapers reporting on the leaked video of a massacre of Iraqi civilians by a U.S. helicopter gunship. First, the American take on the leak, from the Washington Post:

WASHINGTON — 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.

The official said the video posted at was of a July 12, 2007, firefight involving Army helicopters in the New Baghdad District of eastern Baghdad.

Wait a second… the Post doesn’t seem to have its own story on this. This is the (New York-based) Associated Press wire story. Which took 10 minutes to find since it’s stashed away pretty good on the Post‘s website.


Now, contrast that lede with the Guardian’s opening:

A secret video showing US air crew falsely claiming to have encountered a firefight in Baghdad and then laughing at the dead after launching an air strike that killed a dozen people, including two Iraqis working for Reuters news agency, was revealed by Wikileaks today.

The Guardian–a British paper — calls the ‘copter attackers liars before the story is 10 words in. The Guardian also puts their story (this isn’t wire copy, it’s original work) on their home page.

The AP story–completely buried in the Washington Post, you’d never find it if you weren’t looking for it–is a lot softer, I think.

Draw your own conclusions about the credibility of American “journalism”.

I’m not watching it but you have a right to see what’s actually going on in Iraq. Here it is. Watch at your own risk. It’s people getting brutally slaughtered, so, I repeat, WATCH AT YOUR OWN RISK.

UPDATE: yeah, fine. I watched it. Ugh. Horrible as advertised. Definitely Vietnam-ish. The U.S should get the hell out of that poor country.

Author: Stephen Whitworth

Prairie Dog editor Stephen Whitworth was carried to Regina in a swarm of bees. He's been with Prairie Dog since May 1999 and will die at his keyboard before admitting his career a terrible, terrible mistake.

5 thoughts on “Not Watching Snuff Tonight (Update: I Watched The Snuff Film After All, And Was Predictably Sickened)”

  1. Thank you for broadening this video’s distribution. But why the shock? This kind of conduct on the part of Power towards those that they consider the disenfranchised has been since at least the dawn of recorded history. Everywhere. The Americans, for all their pretensions of freedom, barely extends the franchise to its own citizens, never mind the serfs in its client nations. In this, it is no different from any other empire, including the U.S.’s momma, Britain. Russia does likewise, China is far more brutal towards even their own, the enlightened EU is as Voltaire himself: “Hush gentlemen, for if the servants believed as we, none of us would be safe”

    And each empire’s monuments to glory were and are mortared with the blood of the non-elect. Pyramids or capital projects, the absurd need for self-aggrandizement through the ages by our leaders seems eternal.

    To them, any of us who become inconvenient, past a point, is simply an irritation to be removed.

    And then you see small black and white figures fold into the dust.

    What is truly shocking? The fact that soldiers who are little more than kids mowed down non-aggressive “targets” with less compunction than we euthanize strays? No, not really. These people are conditioned in ways that I cannot imagine, and have experienced things that my feeble imagination cannot envision. So that we in the Anglo-American Empire can continue as the world’s elite. It is no news. Is the shock the fact that children were skeet targets in this encounter? The number of dead and maimed children is staggering worldwide. It is, as the nameless voice said, “their (parents) fault”. Not surprising: every Canadian city has children in our collective care who are abused in ways that should outrage us. What are kids far away, except a momentary source of personal cathartic self-congratulation. (See? I felt sorry for them. I’m good. How rewarding)

    What is shocking is that we collectively have and do allow this to happen. What are we? If irredeemable savages, than so be it, But if you believe we are more, Than how is this tolerable? Why do we tolerate leaders and governments that savage even their own? What loyalty does the prey owe to the predator? And again, history shows us that predators are who our leaders are. Even here. Elected by us. Acting in our names.

    It is not that people don’t have access to the truth, but that we seem to suffer from a collective apathy. Why? I myself really cannot say. It mystifies me, but no longer shocks. But until we answer it, I fear that this will not be the last time distant anonymous figures simply…fold into the dust.

  2. This is far too bias to be considered journalism. The strong personal opinions of the writer are not welcomed.

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