Greg Mitchell’s new book is "Journeys With Beethoven" (partly on his global and political influence), and his award-winning "The Campaign of the Century" has just been re-issued. His other books here.
I was thrilled and, I confess, kind of amazed this morning to see that a very low-budget film I had written about several times here and elsewhere–even before it was finished– got an Oscar nomination as one of five finalists for best documentary short subject. It’s richly deserved.
The film is Incident in New Baghdad and it makes use of the famous "Collateral Murder" video released by WikiLeaks in April 2010, and presumably leaked by Bradley Manning, in charting the response to the event by a former soldier named Ethan McCord. As you may recall, the 2007 tragedy featured U.S. copter pilots gunning down civilians and Reuters staffers on the street below.
After a flurry of publicity, the episode soon faded from the media. But largely thanks to one soldier who was in the thick of things on that day in 2007 — and director of the film James Spione (pictured) — the incident is far from over.
The solider is Ethan McCord, who spoke out in an interview published by Wired online on April 20, 2010, after the release of the video to testify that he was on the scene that day and helped rescue two badly injured children (who were riding in a van driven by their father who had tried to helped the wounded only to be killed himself) and carry them to a vehicle that took them to a hospital. He has since continued to protest what happened that day — and the war in Iraq.
Now he is featured in the Spione film short that debuted at the Tribeca Film Festival–and now a kind of "Cinderella" entry in the Oscar race. Here is a link to the film’s site which includes background, a trailer and a director’s statement and more.
Finally, below, here is an excerpt from my The Age of WikiLeaks book—the popular e-book available at Amazon–recounting the surprising interview McCord gave nearly two years ago. My Bradley Manning book available here.
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One of the most remarkable interviews relating to this whole episode came to light on April 20, 2010, when Kim Zetter at Wired revealed that she had located and interviewed one of the soldiers in the video.
He was Ethan McCord, 33, the father of three who had left the Army after seven years and was now living in Kansas. In the video, McCord was seen carrying the 10-year-old boy, Sajad, from the van to seek medical care. He had recently posted a letter online—with fellow soldier Josh Steiber—asking Sajad’s family’s forgiveness and backing the WikiLeaks release of the video.