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Rationalizing Murder: Apache helicopter gunners talk good game 'so the people don't seem real'

The Australian - A report yesterday said many people found the cockpit chatter in the Apache the most disturbing detail about the video, released this week by the advocacy group WikiLeaks.org.

The video shows the US military killing a Reuters photographer and his driver on a Baghdad street in 2007. The video, confirmed as authentic by the US military, shows repeated fire by two US Apache helicopter crews on a group of men including two Reuters employees, Namir Noor-Eldeen and Saeed Chmagh.

The soldiers joke and jeer as they shoot: "Look at those dead bastards," one helicopter pilot says. Another replies: "Nice . . . good shootin'."

Reports yesterday said many veterans who viewed the footage made the point that soldiers cannot do their jobs without creating psychological distance from the enemy. One reason that the soldiers seemed as if they were playing a video game is that, in a morbid but necessary sense, they were, experts told The New York Times. Read more.

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