Pictures the Pentagon never wanted to be seen, the moment when two men working for Reuters news agency, Namir Noor-Eldeen and Saeed Chmagh were killed in Baghdad, along with 10 other people, have been released to the public.
The classified encrypted tape has now been decoded by a group that promotes leaks to fight government and corporate corruption.
“I believe if these killings were lawful under the rules of engagement then the rules of engagement are wrong, deeply wrong. This Apache helicopter was firing 30mm cannon shells, normally used for armoured PC operations, and you can see these zoom lenses are quite extraordinary and the behaviour of the pilots is like they’re playing a computer game and their desire appears to be that they want to get high scores on that computer game,” says WikiLeak’s Julian Assange.
The helicopter continued firing when a van arrived to assist the wounded survivors, and stayed on station until ground troops arrived. The attack took place in 2007, but only thanks to military whistle blowers has the video appeared now. The US military said at the time the helicopter was fired on by members of the group, but there is no evidence of this on the tapes. Reuters has asked for a full investigation of the incident.