COIN: Know when to say when
The Annual Milbloggie Awards

Open letter to CENTCOM PAO

Sup, ninjas?  Uber Pig here.  I'd like to say a few words about this whole Wikileaks thing.  You know, the thing where they've put up a 17 minute video called "Collateral Murder" that makes American soldiers look like, well, bad guys.  How the heck did that happen? 

It looks to me like it started when you didn't respond to what looks like a reasonable use of the FOIA by Reuters.  The result of this is that you let your enemy get inside your OODA loop.  You could have taken the FOIA request and complied with it on your terms to control the narrative.  Perhaps you could have leaked the video out first to a few trusty bloggers who would have seen it for what it was: An ugly, sad, but common story.  Sure, there was some gallows humor in there and some false bravado.  But there were also American servicemen paying scrupulous attention to the ROE and a group of them, panicked out of fear for a little Iraqi girl, running through some dangerous urban streets to get her medical attention.  

You could have dropped the video off with Uncle Jimbo.  Or perhaps with Bill Roggio.  Heck, if you were real Boyd-like ninjas, you would have leaked it to one of the more fair-minded guys over at Firedoglake.  Yes, that firedoglake. The website that spent millions of words and 8 years of their lives complaining about Bush, and even one of their rabid-left writers can see the truth and is unimpressed by the video:

I want to first start by saying that Wikileaks has really misled the public on the details of this video. They made it sound like it was an unprovoked massacre of unarmed civilians, and so it angers me when I wasted my time watching this video to see nothing like that...

...Apache helicopters are usually not called out unless ground troops request them. In this case, ground troops were under fire and requested air support. This is clear considering they approached the hot zone at the beginning of the video with intel, either from ground troops, or from the another Apache, that there were armed combatants in the area. You hear, numerous times, reports of armed combatants in the area, before this particular video feed can actually see people. This is all happening near friendly soldiers who requested air support because they were fired upon.

So instead of releasing this video on your own terms, you let it be released on the terms of some self-important Euro nerd leftists.  And since the video went out yesterday morning, they've p0wned you and the narrative.  And in that narrative, American soldiers like my brother are callous murderers, and Iraqi thugs are innocent chocolate makers.  Anyways, I'm sure you're a good guy or gal and all that, but if I was Obama or Petraeus or Gates, you'd be fired.  


-- Uber Pig

Update:  Looks like we've been Instalanched on this.  Thanks, Glenn.  

PS:  If you're coming here from Instapundit, I'd appreciate you also taking a look at this post by Matt about one of our young Marines who, unfortunately, is in bad shape.  And if you're a defense policy wonk, our resident intellectual, Grim, has the most cogent criticism of team Obama's recent statements on nuclear posture I've yet to see, and you can read it here.