“I published a piece in The Independent about the killing of eleven people by a US helicopter in Baghdad two days earlier. The dead included two Iraqi journalists working for Reuters news agency but the US military claimed that their forces had come under fire, called for air support, and had killed two civilians and nine insurgents.
“Police at a nearby Iraqi police station contradicted this, saying that the eleven had died during ‘a random American bombardment’. A named Iraqi eyewitness confirmed what the police said, and also described how the US helicopter had fired on an Iraqi vehicle that had come to help the wounded.“
The evidence was compelling, but in the face of official denials of wrongdoing by the US military authorities it was impossible to prove that all those who died were unarmed civilians.“
It was known that a film of the killing had been taken by the gun camera of the US Apache helicopter, but the Pentagon refused to give this up even under a Freedom of Information Act request.
”He said the release of the video and other information, passed from US whistleblower Chelsea Manning to Assange and Wikileaks, showed “the way the US was conducting its war on terror”.“
But for that, the suspicions of journalists and the local police in Baghdad could never have been established”, he said.