Wikileaks has released a tape that they claim shows the death of two Rueters journalists in Iraq in 2007. I’ve seen the video and have no reason to doubt that it is indeed video showing that.

But they claim it was murder. Crap. It was a legitimate engagement under the law of war, and under the ROE existing at that time.

There’s little doubt among the sane that engaging armed people is within the bounds of law. But did you know that merely being unarmed is not a protection under the law of war? Nor is running away. Nor is being evacuated, unless in a clearly marked ambulance or by clearly marked medical personnel. The ONLY thing that can provide you protection is to make an active attempt at surrender.

Graphic footage and some salty language.


Is the crew somewhat callous? Sure. That’s what happens when people shoot at you. You get callous. And it ain’t a war crime.

I wasn’t going to post on this originally. Just another case of anti-war fanatics getting in an uproar. But I see that AP has put it on the front page at Yahoo, so it is getting a lot of coverage.

Update: Bill Roggio has a much more in depth take down of Wikileaks claims than I have time to address.

9 thoughts on “ROE”

  1. Whatever you do, don’t go read the YouTube comments. A greater hive of scum, villainy, and sheer fuckin’ ignorance I have not seen since… well, since the last meeting of my local Democratic Party council.

  2. An RPG (Rocket Propelled anti-tank grenade) is a weapon designed to be deadly to personnel, vehicles and helicopters out to a range of 1000 meters (1100 yards/3300 feet) That is danged close to 3/4 of a mile. This ain’t your common walking about personal defense weapon to guard against robbery or dangerous animals. The RPG man had a fire team armed with Kalashnikov assault rifles making this an anti-mechanized ambush squad. The haji’s clearly thought they would attack and kill American soldiers and felt confident enough to include a Reuters camera man with assistant embedded with hostile forces.
    The ambush team with cameramen also had an unmarked support vehicle for a fast getaway (called “shoot and Scoot” in anti tank language)and included two children to be used as human shields to prevent being engaged by American forces after the fact.
    The antimech squad with vehicular support and human shields was spotted and engaged by ground forces aviation assets (Rotors) in order to break the ambush with a spoiling attack and interdicted the enmy forces before American’s were killed.
    After weapons free was authorized the anti tank squad with support was ruthlessly hunted to extinction per military doctrine according to the ROE of 2007 and the rules of land warfare state that the force that uses human shields is responsable for any and all wounds or deaths caused to the human shields while in combat.
    I see a successful operation by US Forces I do not see an illegal act or murder of civilians.

  3. I have a question about the M230 chain gun that the Ah-64s carry. It seems to me from watching numerous vids of them firing, that they usually aim at one Point and the rounds seem to burst in the surrounding area of that point, not that often directly on it. Now, I’m wondering if that is intentional, for anti-personal perhaps? Also what type of rounds do you think they use for that role? Isn’t that gun also quite capable of killing armored vehicles as well? I would imagine there must be a different round for that type of mission. It seems like it would have to be more accurate as in, he points at spot, said spot gets hit directly. Sorry to ask such an uninformed question, I did a brief search on wikipedia and some similar sites and it was hard to get the info I am looking for but I figured you might know. Any information would be very interesting to me, and Appreciated. thanks

  4. The round for the M230 is a (relatively) low velocity HEDP- High Explosive, Dual Purpose- round. It has a HEAT warhead, which can penetrate light armor such as a BMP, and it also has a fragmentation effect for troops and other soft targets.

    It was mainly intended to suppress troops in the open and destroy trucks.

    It can be fired by the gunner using the TADS, or by the pilot using a helmet mounted sight.

    For a couple of reasons, the point of impact will vary from the point of aim. One, it is a short barreled gun, which leads to more dispersion. Also, the mount is vulnerable to a good deal of vibration, which also causes dispersion. Finally, collimating the sights to the gun isn’t perfect, so any error will lead to off-aimpoint impact.

    Sniper rifle accuracy isn’t really needed, since it has a goodly rate of fire. You just walk the rounds to correct any aiming errors.

  5. The gun has some dispersion built into it as it is intended to be for area suppression. But the rounds have a five meter burst radius so you don’t necessarily have to hit what you are shooting at to kill it. I have seen 30mm “center punch” a human and there isn’t enough left to ID.

    Yeah, we could have used other weapons, 2.75 in rockets with flechettes would have made a nice mess. They also had Hellfire missiles available to them as well. They used the appropriate weapon for the job at hand.

    Thanks for standing by the guys xbradtc. Sorry I’m late commenting, I was in transit back to the USA during all of this. I guess that’s a good thing, since my blood pressure didn’t need the aggravation.

  6. Big thanks for the info! I had to do some travelling last week and couldn’t really access the net very frequently, but i appreciate the explanation. I had some similar thoughts as well. Certainly a 30mm round doesn’t have to be that accurate. On another note I have always been curious as to what would be a better weapon for this type of system: the M230 on the Apache, or the M197 Gatling type cannon found on the Marine’s Cobras? For my money it seems like the Apache has the better, seemingly more powerful weapon, but I really dont know squat.

    Just for the record I fully agree with your assessment that this was NOT a war crime. Perhaps a bit callous (perhaps) but as you pointed out; That’s what happens when people shoot at you. They sure aren’t trying to make friends with ya.

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