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Gates Defends US Attack on Iraqi Civilians in Leaked Video

HeadlineApr 12, 2010

The Obama administration is now defending the US military’s indiscriminate killing of twelve Iraqis after refusing to back calls for a probe. Last week, the watchdog website WikiLeaks released a classified US military video showing a US helicopter gunship firing on Iraqi civilians in 2007. On Sunday, Defense Secretary Robert Gates offered a staunch defense of the US servicemembers who carried out the attack. Speaking to ABC News, Gates claimed the forces were operating in a “combat” and “split-second” situation, despite the fact the civilians weren’t engaged in any hostile act and the helicopter had hovered above them for several minutes. Gates made the comments in response to a question of whether the video footage would damage the US image abroad.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates: “They’re in a combat situation. The video doesn’t show the broader picture of the — of the firing that was going on at American troops. It’s obviously a hard thing to see. It’s painful to see, especially when you learn after the fact what was going on. But you — you talked about the fog of war. These people were operating in split-second situations. And, you know, we — we’ve investigated it very thoroughly.”

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