We will be hearing a verdict on Bradley Manning’s court martial soon. Whatever it is, the infamous “Collateral Murder” video will be mentioned. As usual, SOFREP tells you what the media never does.

Bradley Manning’s singular achievement is the release of a now infamous “Collateral Murder” video. It allegedly pulls the veil of secrecy aside covering up the murder of 11 “civilians,” two of whom were Reuters journalists, by Apache gunships. The highly edited excerpts prominently displayed throughout the internet emphasize that the journalists carried cameras, to include captions and arrows focusing the viewer’s perspective.

The ubiquitous narrative prominently includes the words ”murder,” “civilians,” “journalists” and “unarmed”. It has been very effective in rousing emotional support for Bradley Manning, mobilizing large numbers of people that largely sees Bradley Manning as a hero whistleblower and the belief by some that a war crime was committed. Problem is over 90% of the “common knowledge” is untrue.

On 12 July 2007 B Company 2-16 IN was conducting Operation Ilaaj (Cure) in east Baghdad during the height of the insurgency. They had been fired on for four hours from the area Apache gunships would later engage armed insurgents. After four years of conflict, it was common insurgents to use unmarked vehicles to transport weapons and insurgents. The enemy also made every effort to recover weapons from dead or wounded insurgents and often photographed/filmed attacks on US troops for their propaganda value. Baghdad was a battlefield.

According to the rules of war, shooting noncombatants knowingly and purposely is a war crime. Armed unmarked individuals, individuals actively assist insurgents by evacuating them, their weapons or willfully carrying ammunition are considered unprivileged combatants. Engaging marked unarmed medical vehicles is also against the rules of war. It is permissible to shoot the enemy at any time as long as he is not actively surrendering or is wounded to a point that he cannot harm friendly troops. This is often a subjective decision.

The “Collateral Murder” video is 39 minutes long.


It might be helpful to cue it up as you read. What follows are the key events that contradict the popular narrative. The source of this explanation is the complete video and the Army’s 15-6 investigation including multiple statements from key personnel present.