When I first heard of Wikileaks my first inclination was to abhor what they were doing. After a career in Intelligence I have been conditioned to protect the secrets of the nation. I wouldn't even discuss my work with my wife so Wikileaks was not what I expected to support.
Curiosity however killed the cat and I found myself drawn to this website even though it is clear that it has been under attack and ...no wonder.
They have released a video which is utterly horrific. It is entitled 'Collateral Murder' and is the proof that American troops murdered members of the Reuters Press Corps and then tried to deny responsibility. I was absolutely shocked that servicemen of any persuasion would act in this manner. They are clearly out of control and must now be prosecuted.
Now don't get me wrong because I am no namby pamby. I have witnessed what can happen in the stressful conditions of war. People make mistakes which they later regret and normally I would never criticise soldiers who have acted in times of stress but hell... this was murder.
These helicopter borne troops were just looking to kill someone. They identified press officers (photographers) as being armed and even lied about the presence of RPG weapons (as well as AK 47s) because an RPG7 is so easily identified.
They then mowed down the group.
That was bad enough but after a little while a very brave group arrived to pick up the bodies. They knew the threat because they kept looking up at the helicopter and yet they still tried to help the dead and dying. They had children in the vehicle who were clearly visible and despite this they were gunned down.
When the ground troops arrived they discovered a wounded little girl and other unarmed civilians who had been blasted into oblivion from above. The perpetrators clearly said that these people should not have brought their children into war in order to excuse their behaviour!
This was an act of murder. They had no reason to machine gun the people on the street but what is so terrible is that the American State department tried to cover it up! Reuters tried to get a copy of this tape under the Freedom of Information Act but failed. They knew that it was murder.
Everyone who has served in the forces knows the risks and we saw it just this last weekend when the death of a Para was attributed to friendly forces fire. It is not the first time that American forces have just blatted away and killed their mates. I would still accept that but I will not accept the blatant cover up. We all know that mistakes occur but this was not a mistake.
When the Americans refuse to accept this act of criminality then they lose credibility. They then cannot blame people like Wikileaks for exposing their weaknesses. They are being outed as a very corrupt country. No wonder people in the British Government have had Julian Assange arrested. He is a very brave man and I believe that he has brought about real fear in government which is what is needed.
He has threatened The Political Class and no doubt he is dead in the water. However he has awakened so many more of us.