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Video - Australian SAS soldier shooting and killing unarmed man at close range

dimsum

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Extraordinary footage captured on the helmet camera of an Australian soldier in Afghanistan could result in charges of war crimes.

His death took place within three minutes of the soldiers arriving in the village.

An Australian Defence Force (ADF) investigation later ruled the killing was justified because it was in self-defence.

The killing was one of a series of cases uncovered by Four Corners that may constitute war crimes.

A former member of the same SAS squadron, who was on the 2012 deployment to Afghanistan and has been shown the vision, described the killing to Four Corners as a "straight-up execution".

More on link, plus the video.  I haven't seen it, but the Australian Broadcasting Corporation has a graphic content warning on it.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-03-16/video-shows-afghan-man-shot-at-close-range-by-australian-sas/12028512
 

NavyShooter

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Coming from someone with your background...that's telling...however, from what I saw in the video...I agree.

Yikes.
 

Jarnhamar

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An Australian Defence Force (ADF) investigation later ruled the killing was justified because it was in self-defence.

If this soldier gets tried for murder or whatever (which seems like a pretty solid case) the ADF who ruled it was self-defense should probably be asked some uncomfortable questions. Or face some repercussions themselves.
 

CBH99

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If the ADF investigators were being told one version of the story, and that version of the story was consistent with what the entire team was saying -- and they didn't see any video evidence to indicate otherwise -- I could see where the ADF would say it was self defense.

Obviously now that the video is out, the subject wasn't holding a radio or weapon, and wasn't doing anything to threaten anybody.  And the shot wasn't from 20m out, more like 2m...


Yikes indeed.
 

brihard

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CBH99 said:
If the ADF investigators were being told one version of the story, and that version of the story was consistent with what the entire team was saying -- and they didn't see any video evidence to indicate otherwise -- I could see where the ADF would say it was self defense.

Obviously now that the video is out, the subject wasn't holding a radio or weapon, and wasn't doing anything to threaten anybody.  And the shot wasn't from 20m out, more like 2m...


Yikes indeed.

Right. Plus asking three times "You want me to drop this c***?" is telling. If he had perceived an immediate threat that had to be engaged, he wouldn't have had to ask someone else's blessing.

Cameras show one angle and one part of the story. But it's often a pretty compelling one. There would have to be something very significant and different to change what this looks like. And where video comes out subsequently that contradicts what people said happened to an extent that can't be explained away by perceptual distortions, that's concerning.
 

Haggis

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Brihard said:
And where video comes out subsequently that contradicts what people said happened to an extent that can't be explained away by perceptual distortions, that's concerning.

Perceptual distortions are not groupthink. The handler was not pointing nor did he seem to have zeroed in (i.e. tunnel vision) on the grounded Afghan so his assessment of the situational factors led him to not perceive a threat.  It's also possible that an aircraft crewmember may have seen the incident.
 

daftandbarmy

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Jarnhamar said:
If this soldier gets tried for murder or whatever (which seems like a pretty solid case) the ADF who ruled it was self-defense should probably be asked some uncomfortable questions. Or face some repercussions themselves.

Having seen the follow up to situations 'kind of like this', the (successful) defence was able to point to the wider threat environment as a mitigating factor.

For example, a rifle company captures an objective after hard fighting and taking alot of casualties, and the enemy is counterattacking. Solider A shoots some prisoners because they look like they're going to 'have a go' as their mates come up the hill.

In any case, my take away was 'what you see on camera is never the whole story'.
 
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