Yesterdays big topic (with maybe the US media as exception) was the video of attack helicopters in Bagdad that WikiLeaks had decrypted and published. This video shows what authorities want to censor and control the internet. This particular video the US have gone extreme lengths to stop from airing.
The video can be found here on YouTube and show how two pilots in Bagdad see eight men calmly walking down the street. Two of them are reporters from Reuters and has cameras thrown over their backs. “Weapons, they are armed”, one pilot says when he sees this calm bunch of men walking and talking to each other. “Request permission to fire”. And then one helicopter starts to fire at the group.
Afterwards the pilots laugh and admire their progress.
However, Bagdad is seemingly not without caring people. Some people in a minivan detects that there are a lot of dead and injured people further down the street and starts to look for survivors presumably to get them to a hospital.
In the van two children are detectable.
The pilot request permission to fire again. This time at the van and the merciful helpers.
He then fires.
Then they laugh again.
A bit later when hearing there are injured children at the site the comment heard is: “Well, that’s their own damn fault for bringing kids to a battle.”
I’ve also seen some writers online saying the same thing. One of the ‘excuses’ for this atrocity. If you live in Bagdad, aren’t you supposed to have children? They were probably out shopping for food that don’t exist, driving to the blown-up school or just happened to pass by and wanted to help the wounded. Do you drive the children home first and then come back to help?
This happened back in 2007 and the American military have all along claimed that this was insurgents that opened fire at the chopper. This we now know is a deliberate lie.
THIS IS A DOCUMENT OF A WARCRIME!
You could argue that it is possible to mistake a bunch of men for enemies. But when they are calmly walking down the street talking to each other very much in the open?
And you cannot mistake the eagerness to kill and then the sheer joy of the slaughter. Do US military personnel have quotas to meet? That’s the question I ask myself. It feels like a very sick computer game with bloodthirsty drunken thugs doing the shooting.
But okay, let’s play devil’s advocate for a moment. Let’s say this first bit is an honest mistake, I hardly see how, but let’s say so. After all shit happens in wars, especially in wars that are highly questionable in the first place. This isn’t the first time reporters or innocent get killed, and it won’t be the last.
What happens after the first shooting is however in no way a mistake.
You can clearly see unarmed people trying to help wounded. You can also clearly see people moving inside the van. Maybe not so clearly that it is children (you do if you look closely), but they certainly don’t look male or armed. There’s no reason to fire, no reason at all. And clearly stated in the Geneva Convention it says that unarmed, or incapacitated and wounded, red cross personnel (or similar) should not be fired upon.
This is a war crime. On tape. That the US military and government wanted to keep secret.
Without a free internet this would never have come to your attention!
This is the kind of stuff, that together with child-pornography, would be (and are) the first things to get censured.
Survivors of child molestation rarely want censorship, this for the very same reason as the families of these murdered people. Censorship allows governments to sweep such things, and much more, under the rug. Hiding it away from scrutiny. They can then claim they have done something, and the ‘problem’ isn’t as visible anymore. But still there, now harder to get at.
A free internet makes it much tougher for governments to get away with war crimes. It makes it harder for them to get away with scandals and corruption. A free internet is required to make governments, the very same governments that want to censor internet, liable and hold accountable for corruption and cover-ups.
With this in mind is it any wonder that authorities make house calls to WikiLeaks and tries to stop them from publishing their videos and findings?
I would personally go so far to say that without a free internet, we have no democracy. This is what at stake and if you haven’t figured that out before, I hope you have now.