Dean wrote:As a side issue, I wonder if the heli crew have been effected by the knowledge that they plinked off a handful of civilians.
Maybe, but they would have been affected regardless of Wikileaks attempts to make them out to be gung ho etc..etc...The part that Wikileaks falsified amongst other things in that video is that there was an investigation into the incident. Reuters and the family of the journalists were shown the video 2 weeks after it took place. Same as they left out that the US convoy those insurgents were going to ambush rendered first aid to those at the scene and the children in the van lived.
Whilst I don't agree that everyone should have wholesale access to all information as much of it is kept hidden for good reason and there are plenty of oversight committees (anyone that has had to deal with classified info would be able to tell you how much scrutiny there is in its handling and classification). I might be able to at least respect Wikileaks if they actually walked their party line of complete freedom of information. Instead though they edit and leak the information in order to push a political agenda and to stroke Assange's ego, all whilst claiming there is no downside to what they do. Their release of information of names and locations of civilians working with ISAF troops in Afghanistan is unforgivable.
Just look at their latest release of documents. They supposedly have 100,000 documents, yet they've only released a tiny amount of them. They also demand full disclosure of everything governments have, yet they refuse to disclose any information about their own organisation.
Wikileaks is at best an extremely hypocritical organisation, and at worst they are an organisation that places others in danger due to blatant disregard for the consequences of their actions.
Back to the topic of ROE and laws of war. The problem with the Hague and Geneva conventions is that they were written around the period of WWI. Warfare has changed a lot since then, the laws of war remain basically the same though. Without going down the road of how the enemies we fight don't follow the laws of war anyway, we are still accountable to them. Which the Taliban, AL Qaeda and the insurgents in Iraq all know and they exploit this fact. As a result our troops very much fight with one hand tide behind their backs.