You know that disturbing video of U.S. helicopters shooting civilians and journalists in Iraq leaked by Wikileaks? Turns out the Pentagon couldn’t have released it even if they wanted to. They have no idea where their copy is.
According to an AP report:
Capt. Jack Hanzlik, a spokesman for U.S. Central Command, said that the military has not been able to locate the video within its files after being asked to authenticate the version available online.
“We had no reason to hold the video at (Central Command), nor did the higher headquarters in Iraq,” Hanzlik said in an e-mailed statement. “We’re attempting to retrieve the video from the unit who did the investigation.”
And on Tuesday, when questions were raised about why the Pentagon didn’t release the video itself at the time it issued its official report, “officials said they were still looking for it and weren’t entirely sure where it was.”
Ah, the old “lost incriminating classified video tape” excuse. “So, the last time we saw the helicopter video, it was in a box under Lt. Sanchez’s bed. But then he broke up with his girlfriend and moved out. We’re pretty sure he’s still got a couple of boxes in the attic over there, but she was like, if he didn’t come over in two months she was putting them on the sidewalk. And that was maybe three months ago? So, yeah, we are not entirely sure where it is…”
People I know say things like, “I support what our troops are doing over there.” What are they doing over there?
You don’t know. There is a media black out, still, after all these years. Media Matters says this:
For instance, over the last seven weeks ABC’s Nightline, the network’s signature, long-form news program, did not air a single substantive report about Iraq. Not one among the 100-plus news segments the program aired during the stretch was about the situation in Iraq. (That, according to a search of Nightline‘s transcripts via Nexis.) For instance, on the night after the mammoth suicide bomb blasts in Iraq on August 14, Nightline aired reports about a Mexican stem cell doctor, lullaby singer Lori McKenna, and soccer star David Beckham. That week, Nightline did two separate reports about the earthquake in Peru that killed approximately 500 civilians. But nothing that week from Nightline about the suicide blasts in Iraq that also killed approximately 500 civilians.
Instead of Iraq, here are some of the news stories Nightline staffers devoted time and energy to during that seven-week summer span:
- The popularity of organic pet food.
- The favorite songs of Pete Wentz, bassist for the pop/rock band Fall Out Boy.
- The folding of supermarket tabloid, The Weekly World News.
- The rise of urban McMansions.
- The death of the postcard.
- The commercial battle between Barbie and Bratz dolls.
- The nerd stars of the movie Superbad.
Bring our troops home. America is on the wrong path. We took a wrong turn. We should be using our power to make new friends. We should be using our energy to find better ways to thrive and survive as a species. We need a Department of Peace with a bigger budget than the Department of Defense. The problems the world faces, limited resources, political tyrants, religious zealotry, these are problems of the human mind, problems of communication. Only by improving ourselves as individuals and by bettering our interactions with those who differ from us can we evolve.
Do your part, however small.