In 1970 a woman appeared crying out in grief over the fatally wounded body of a man after the Ohio National Guard opened fire on unarmed peace activists at Kent State University. In 1972 a nine-year-old girl appeared running down a street naked after being burned by a napalm attack in Vietnam. In 1989 an unnamed civilian known only as "Tank Man" appeared boldly standing in the way of a line of tanks in China. These iconic images not only etched these historic moments in the minds of the people, they each marked a turning point where public attitudes shifted against their respective wars. Pulitzer Prize winning
photojournalist Eddie Adams once said, "Still photographs are the most powerful weapon in the world." So what happens when soldiers are killing photographers?
Yesterday WikiLeaks, an Internet clearinghouse for leaked evidence of government malfeasance, released a distressing video of a US Air-strike in July 2007 recorded from an Apache helicopter. In it US soldiers fire mercilessly upon a group of men standing on a street corner, killing twelve, and then laughing at the dead. Among them was Reuters photographer Namir Noor-Eldeen and his driver Saeed Chmagh, who were carrying cameras... not weapons.