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Wikileaks Edits Out 21 Minutes Of Baghdad Strike Video (Corrected)

11:59 AM, Apr 6, 2010 • By BILL ROGGIO
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Yesterday I noted that the Wikileaks tape purportedly showing U.S. troops "murdering" Iraqis in Baghdad in July 2007 appeared to begin in mid-stream. A New York Times article confirms that the tape has indeed been cut. There are 21 additional minutes of tape:

Reuters had long pressed for the release of the video, which consists of 38 minutes of black-and-white aerial video and conversations between pilots in two Apache helicopters as they open fire on people on a street in Baghdad. The attack killed 12, among them the Reuters photographer, Namir Noor-Eldeen, 22, and the driver, Saeed Chmagh, 40.

At a news conference at the National Press Club, WikiLeaks said it had acquired the video from whistle-blowers in the military and viewed it after breaking the encryption code. WikiLeaks edited the video to 17 minutes.

So why hasn't Wikileaks shown the whole tape? Wikileaks prides itself on releasing full classified documents, so it is curious that it decided to show only a selective portion of this tape.

The U.S. military maintains that there was a unit nearby that was under fire. In fact, the AR 15-6 (the investigation into the incident) said that a U.S. unit was under fire "approximately one city block away" before the Apaches began observing the Iraqi fighters gathering. Wikileaks should release the tape in full, and not just selective portions, and put this controversy to rest.

Update: The New York Times notes that Wikileaks had in fact released the 39 minute version of the video. The extended video does not alter anything in this analysis. We regret the error.

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