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kpete Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-20-10 10:59 AM
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Edited on Tue Apr-20-10 11:36 AM by kpete
Source: Democracy In Action

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 15th, 2010

Contact:
Laura Taylor: 202-510-3711
info@civsol.org

VETERANS OF "WIKILEAKS" INCIDENT ANNOUNCE
"LETTER OF RECONCILIATION" TO IRAQIS INJURED IN ATTACK



Two former soldiers from the Army unit responsible for the Wikileaks "Collateral Murder" incident have written an open-letter of "Reconciliation and Responsibility" to those injured in the July 2007 attack, in which U.S. forces wounded two children and killed over a dozen people, including the father of those children and two Reuters employees.

Ethan Mccord and Josh Stieber deployed to Baghdad with Bravo Company 2-16 in 2007. Ethan was on the ground at the scene of the shooting, and is seen on the video rushing one of the injured children to a U.S. Vehicle; "When I saw those kids, all I could picture was my kids back home". Ethan applied for mental health support following this incident and was denied by his commanding officer.

Josh Stieber was not at the scene of the shooting but says similar incidents happened throughout his 14-month tour; "The acts depicted in this video are everyday occurrences of this war."
 Josh states that these casualties demonstrate the impact of U.S. military policy on both the civilians and the soldiers on the ground.

Ethan and Josh claim that though their unit was following the Rules of Engagement that day, they are taking responsibility for their role in the incident and initiating a dialogue around it; "Though we have acted with cold hearts far too many times, we have not forgotten our actions towards you. Our heavy hearts still hold hope that we can restore inside our country the acknowledgment of your humanity, that we were taught to deny."

Read more: http://org2.democracyinaction.org/o/5966/t/9615/p/salsa/web/common/public/content?content_item_KEY=2491



LETTER:

AN OPEN LETTER OF RECONCILIATION & RESPONSIBILITY TO THE IRAQI PEOPLE
From Current and Former Members of the U.S. Military

Peace be with you.

To all of those who were injured or lost loved ones during the July 2007 Baghdad shootings depicted in the Collateral Murder Wikileaks video:

We write to you, your family, and your community with awareness that our words and actions can never restore your losses.

We are both soldiers who occupied your neighborhood for 14 months. Ethan McCord pulled your daughter and son from the van, and when doing so, saw the faces of his own children back home. Josh Stieber was in the same company but was not there that day, though he contributed to the your pain, and the pain of your community on many other occasions.

There is no bringing back all that was lost. What we seek is to learn from our mistakes and do everything we can to tell others of our experiences and how the people of the United States need to realize we have done and are doing to you and the people of your country. We humbly ask you what we can do to begin to repair the damage we caused.

more:
http://org2.democracyinaction.org/o/5966/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=2724
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