Washington — The U.S. military said Tuesday it can’t find its copy of a video that shows two employees of the Reuters news agency being killed by Army helicopters in 2007, after a leaked version circulated the Internet and renewed questions about the attack.
Capt. Jack Hanzlik, a spokesman for U.S. Central Command, said that the military has not been able to locate the video within its files after being asked to authenticate the version available online.
“We had no reason to hold the video at (Central Command), nor did the higher headquarters in Iraq,” Hanzlik said in an e-mailed statement. “We’re attempting to retrieve the video from the unit who did the investigation.”
It’s the latest twist in a three-year saga that raises questions about the rules of engagement in battle and the safety of journalists sent to cover wars.
Advocates for increased government transparency also have questioned why the military withheld the video from the public, even though Reuters requested a copy through the Freedom of Information Act after watching it in an off-the-record meeting with the military in 2007.