Thursday, October 19, 2006
Why we aired the sniper video
Last night, we ran a controversial piece produced by our Baghdad correspondent Michael Ware. The backstory is that through intermediaries Michael had been communicating with Ibrahim Al-Shimary, a shadowy leader and spokesman for the Islamic Army. Michael had sent him a series of questions concerning the insurgency in Iraq and its motives. He was surprised when he received two videotapes in response. We aired portions of both last night.

One had Al-Shimary himself on camera -- his face electronically concealed -- responding to Michael's questions. The second tape surprised us even more. It documented 10 incidents of insurgent snipers attacking U.S. military personnel. To be clear, insurgents shot the tape themselves. This group has released similar tapes in the past. Indeed, you can find them on the Internet. But this tape uniquely included audio from the sniper team as they selected targets, waited for their opportunities and then praised Allah as they made their escapes.

We are assuming they included the sniper tape to prove the authenticity of the Al-Shimary interview tape and to establish their credibility. Of course, we also understood that some might conclude there is a public relations benefit for the insurgents if we aired the material, especially on CNN International. We also understood that this kind of footage is upsetting and disturbing for many viewers. But after getting beyond the emotional debate, we concluded the tape meets our criteria for newsworthiness.

Moreover, with 73 U.S. military casualties so far this month, October is already the third highest month for U.S. deaths in Iraq since the war began. In fact, many of them are victims of sniper attacks.

For those who did not see the piece, you can watch it here now: (Watch CNN's report on the insurgent video)

You should know we dipped to black at the moment of actual impact of the rounds. A number of us felt airing that precise moment was simply too horrific. That decision, as well as the decision to build a piece around the sniper tape -- in fact, all the decisions about this story -- were subject to hours of intense editorial debate at the highest levels here at CNN.

You should also know we tried to put all of this in context. Our reporting included an interview with a current U.S. sniper in Iraq. He's been both under attack from insurgent snipers and he has himself operated as a sniper. We also heard from Major General William Caldwell, a coalition forces spokesman in Iraq, and CNN military analyst General David Grange, formerly with the Green Beret, Delta Force and Army Rangers.

Instantly, the piece received many strongly-worded responses from viewers.

Many viewers thought it inappropriate for us to air video of Americans being shot: "If I had a son or daughter over there serving, I would be outraged by what I feel is your aiding and comforting the enemy."

Some worried about kids who might have watched the program. (We clearly warned viewers the video was not appropriate for children before we aired it.)

Others praised us for showing the threats U.S. military personnel actually face: "Thanks for having the guts to show the sniper update and to show us the other side of the story. Please continue to give us the truth; I know the network is bound to be taking heat."

And still others thought by dipping to black and not showing the moment of impact of the sniper rounds we were sanitizing the horror of war: " ... I think the reason it took Americans so long to come around on this war is because they somehow did not think it was real because they never saw anyone hurt ... you guys need to show the unvarnished truth."

Whether or not you agree with us in this case, our goal, as always, is to present the unvarnished truth as best we can.
Posted By David Doss, "360" Executive Producer: 12:59 PM ET
  163 Comments
These videos are nothing - we know terrorists don't follow the Geneva conventions. Why don't we call a terrorist, "terrorist" - not "insurgent" or "mililtant.

Thank you for giving the viewers this '360' forum.
Posted By Anonymous xtina - chicago IL : 1:43 PM ET
War is ugly and it is hard to watch stories about our troops getting killed. But, I also think we don't know a tenth of what our troops are going through and I think we need to know. Being uninformed does not make it go away or make it less painful. Thank you for letting us know the news that is hard to watch and for keeping us informed.
Posted By Anonymous Jennifer Steinhofer Lexington Ky : 1:49 PM ET
Hi David,
It seems the feedback you got was from A to Z..Just like the debate on the war itself..As long as the FACTS are not slanted for a political gain on either side, then we should be shown those facts..However, I'd really like to see some SOLUTIONS, rather than an endless rambling of critics..Opinions are a dime a dozen, solutions are gold..My thoughts and prayers go out to our troops and their families..Take Care
Posted By Anonymous Lorie Ann, Buellton, Calif : 1:54 PM ET
I have to applaud your showing of this video. I have never been a supporter of the war and, while I am certainly no supporter of the insurgency, I feel it's necessary for people to see what is going on from both sides of the war in Iraq. People will be upset about Iraqi snipers shooting US soldiers and reacting with praise but isn't this exactly how a US soldier reacts when he does the same? Maybe if people do have the opportunity to see this they will realize that what we are doing there is wrong for both us and the Iraqi people. Perhaps the more people understand the realities of the situation, the closer it will bring us to a resolution to our occupation of Iraq.
Posted By Anonymous Jason - Dallas, TX : 2:26 PM ET
I strongly believe you have done a great service for the US by airing the sniper piece. Interesting, as in Saving Private Ryan you clearly see horrible things done by the Germans and the Americans on D-Day, but people knowing that it is only a movie they feel it's okay... In reality, although a dramatization of an actual fact that happened mayne years ago, it still shows how cruel and unnecessary wars are. I spent two years in Lebanon during the 80s and I can assure all that it is not fun to be there and that the US should immediately send its troops back home or just sit and watch each and one of them being killed by insurgent snipers.
Posted By Anonymous Andy, Santa Barbara-CA : 2:27 PM ET
Every report by every news outlet is "aiding and comforting the enemy", but the news has to be reported, no matter what. If that would not be the case then the very prinicples the U.S. claims to be fighting for in Iraq (freedom, democracy) would be undermined. You can't have your cake and eat it...
Posted By Anonymous Martin, Frankfurt, Germany : 2:27 PM ET
I watched the video. It was chilling. I do wish, however, that you had shown the, for lack of a better way of saying it, soldiers being killed. I am not a violence-junkie; I abhor violence and am crestfallen at what is happening in Iraq. But we are adults and we need information. We need to see the truth --- all the way through to its tragic and very real end. Only then, will things change. Only then, will people know that the sounds of war are not background noise that we pay scant attention to while preparing our evening meals.

Thank you.
Posted By Anonymous Deborah, Austin, Texas : 2:28 PM ET
Why did CNN show the sniper video? To be unvarnished? How laughable. It fits nicely into their habit of aiding the enemy. The real question is, when will the CNN reporters be WITH the insurgents as they shoot at Americans? This is war. Would you really expect less than what you see? Perhaps CNN would prefer the shootings take place on our streets for even more impact. Oh...and your comment policy is very nicely written for screening of comments unpopular to the editors.
Posted By Anonymous S. Hamons, Westerville, OH : 2:28 PM ET
David:
I did watch the footage last night and again this morning. Honestly, I found it absolutely disturbing and terrifying, but I needed to see it. It reinforced what I already believed: we need to get out of Iraq. Everyday the body count goes up-for us and the innocent civilians of Iraq. This is Vietnam II.
CNN handled this story in the best way possible and without watering down the brutality of this war.
Posted By Anonymous Debbie Darby, Denham Springs, LA : 2:29 PM ET
All other arguments aside, I boil this down to a question. Why is is that this video is aired, yet you would undoubtedly cringe at the prospect of showing similar readily available video showing US counter-sniper or other teams in similar kill situations to balance the coverage?

In priority order it seems the media is more than willing to display footage of civilian casualties first, terrorist propaganda second, and American military successes somewhere far down the list.

I wouldn't have minded this footage quite so much (it's still objectionable to support the efforts of your enemy, I don't care how you spin it), if I knew I would see balanced coverage of the successes of the US Military.
Posted By Anonymous Mickey, Beaverdam Virginia : 2:29 PM ET
I hope CNN will cover the opening of the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor on November 10 in NYS. Thousands of veterans will be in attendance that day who have personally experienced the horrors of war -- from WWII through the current conflict -- as well as veterans representing those who have not come home. Perhaps CNN could report on the "unvarnished truth" as told by OUR veterans.
Posted By Anonymous C. Jimenez, Glenmont, NY : 2:29 PM ET
Totally unnecessary; simply put, it's sensationalist entertainment - you know that and we know that. It serves absolutely NO purpose. We know what somebody getting shot looks like. What does airing the video do? Give insight to the action on the ground? Not really...Jennifer Steinhofer in Lexington Ky, do you REALLY need to see some kid get shot to be "informed" and to "know what our troops are going through"? That's bulls**t...why doesn't CNN air videos of some 3 year old African kid getting raped and and shot by the Janjaweed, so people like Jennifer in KY can "be informed and know" what brutality looks like?

BTW, these Iraqi insurgent groups think U.S. forces want to sit down and talk with them?! lol
Posted By Anonymous JT, Brooklyn NY : 2:30 PM ET
Sensational, shocking, in your face news... that's what it's all about with CNN. It doesn't matter that this video tears out the heart of a soldiers mother, father, family and loved ones... I am shocked, but more sad that CNN would go this far.
Posted By Anonymous Joseph West, Norwood, MA : 2:30 PM ET
It seems easy to post stories about Americans getting killed, but why is it so hard to post stories about what those Americans and other forces are doing to support the Iraqi people. Where is the coverage of those stories??
Posted By Anonymous Steve Cox, Beavercreek, OH : 2:30 PM ET
I served in Iraq last year when the Texas Army National Guard was called to support Operation Iraqi Freedom.

While serving, the soldiers had to put up with CNN's almost totally negative view of the war. None of the many positive events made your news program. I often said that "to CNN, if it's not blowing up - it's not news".

Now, I am disgusted by CNN's decision to air this video. No amount of spin can justify the damage you have done to the families of soldiers serving our country during trying times.

My prayers are with those soldiers serving now and their families.

I will not forget your organization's callous approach to this story. No matter how you try to rationalize your decision - you did it simply for the ratings. You had a 'hot item' and could not resist.

No, I won't forget.

You might as well change the CNN logo to Al Jazerra.
Posted By Anonymous Rodney Hammack, - Plano, TX : 2:30 PM ET
Self-Censorship is not "Unvarnished Truth".

When you show a video about a sniper killing American soldiers on duty in occupied Iraq and "dip to black" at the point of impact you are not showing "unvarnished truth". You are showing "censored truth" at best. This self-censorship is no different in its distorting and manipulative effect than if the censorship were the result of government action. Why do we so rarely see the real casualties of this vicious, illegal war on CNN or anywhere in the corporate press?
Posted By Anonymous Henry Edward Hardy, Ann Arbor, MI, USA : 2:31 PM ET
Why is this newsworthy? There is a war going on and people are being killed everyday. All this story does is demoralize the American people and give support to he insurgents. Congratulations on helping our enemy. Next time, stick to just showing the interview.
Posted By Anonymous Jason, Henderson Nevada. : 2:31 PM ET
I take pause at those who say airing such video is "comforting the enemy." I believe that it demystifies the enemy. As of now, the idea of "insurgents" and "terrorists" creates in my mind this vague black shadow like in the propaganda posters of WWII. What the sniper video reminded us of, with its commentary by the snipers, is that this is not a good vs. evil battle, but a human vs. human confrontation. CNN has helped to make aware to the international public that ideas and soldiers who praise god for a successful kill exist on both sides. Our soldiers are at risk for being in an alien environment pursuing goals alien to the culture it has inhabited. I hope that you continue to bring the reality of war and bring distinction to the methods and means by which the death tallies rise on both sides. Our soldiers don't just dissappear to a cause--they are targeted by another human soul with an intent just as fueled by a desire to win as our soldiers.
Posted By Anonymous David Kuhlmann, Redlands CA : 2:32 PM ET
I want to thank CNN. You are giving us information that we cannot get from the base at home. When we ask questions about our sons and husbands they tell us we do not need to know but we do. Keep up the good work you are doing and only tell us the truth. We get enough lies from the military. Thank you.
Posted By Anonymous Arlene Spoores, Bowling Green, OH : 2:32 PM ET
I don't believe for a minute that CNN aired that video soley for the purpose of airing the "unvarnished truth". To me it was a despicable action and smacks of sensationalism. While I am firmly against this war and realize that we here in the U.S. receive filtered information that doesn't speak to the gravity of the situation in Iraq (or other hot spots for that matter). Showing the final seconds of our troops lives was wrong, regardless of going black at the moment of impact. I can only imagine the utter grief and despair of a family member or friend who saw that footage aired at the expense of one of their loved ones.

I also find it interesting that you post 2 positive and 1 neutral comment -- are there no others who wrote in that feel the way I do?
Posted By Anonymous Susan Saini, Seattle WA : 2:32 PM ET
Congratulations you have finally gone over to the other side. In the name of "unvarnished truth" you have provide support and assistance to an enemy who's stated goal is to destroy the infidels (thats us in case who have forgotten). Your airing of the sniper video plays directly into the hands of the insurgents. It will imbolden them to increase thier attacks and to use you as a propaganda tool. If the shoe was on the other foot the world would be in an uproar that you aired a tape of american snipers killing the enemy. I think you would refuse to air such a tape. You have finally lost your objectivity.
Posted By Anonymous John Marsh, Todd NC : 2:32 PM ET
American people need to see these kinds of videos. Iraq is a fragile place and our soldiers are dying everyday. This is war, and we must not forget that. Videos like this remind us of our heros and the cost of freedom. We are not fighting the war it was intended to be. Why so many restrictions on war planning. Soldiers are not permitted to do their job because the enemy is guarded by fake religious "cape". Soldier are not allowed to enter mosques because they are so called religious compounds, yet they are being shot from it. This is the demise of the civilization. The blood of our young soldiers is spilled everyday on a foreign soil, sometimes making me wonder if they died in vain. The fighting startegy needs an overhauled.
Posted By Anonymous Pete, NYC, NY : 2:32 PM ET
This is not reporting the truth, we know the truth already we see it on every news agency every hour. Its simply aiding and comforting the enemy letting them know that if they video an assasination of a US serviceman it will be #1 on CNN. They know that only through the US media will they ever hope to win and get us out before the elected goverment gets their act together. And your a willing ally in the name of ratings or political agenda. Aiding and comforting the enemy thats what you accomplished.
Posted By Anonymous Steve, Austin TX : 2:32 PM ET
I think its great that CNN brought this video to the public. People have to realize just how tragic the whole situation in Iraq is. Each one of those US coalition soldiers shot and killed in that video is someone's son, husband, brother, father, etc. Hearing the stories is one thing but seeing something like this in front of your own eyes brings the terror to a greater realization. This chaos has to end now. We need to pull out of Iraq now. Some thing doing so would be irresponsible on our part on behalf of the people of Iraq. I say not pulling out now is irresponsible on the part of the American families.
Posted By Anonymous Kris, Hamilton, New Jersey : 2:33 PM ET
Good job. Thank you for having the guts to show what is really happening out there. I would like to see more decisions made resulting in reports like this, it is what I expect from a solid news source. As I watched the video, I began to ask myself questions like "Why is this happening?", and "Is all of this really worth it?". I think its important to reveal these consequences of war in this generation, so that we might have better information before supporting another pre-emptive military invasion based on fabrication.
Posted By Anonymous Allen Davis, Portland, OR : 2:33 PM ET
If we are to honor our soldiers fighting for democracy, we MUST pursue a free and open Press, which documents and reports the realities of war so that we can see the true costs of our actions. A Press that only reports the "popular" and "safe" is not a free Press and is not worth the lives of the soldiers defending the right to a free press.
Posted By Anonymous Jack K Vinings, GA : 2:33 PM ET
I get the sense that CNN is capitalizing on the sensational footage for its own gain. If I were a parent of one of those soldiers, I would be outraged that my child's misfortune would be shown as a "news clip". Couldn't the story be told without including the gruesome footage? If yes, then why bother to show the footage? If no, then why bother with the story at all?
Posted By Anonymous robin lapre, Franklin, TN : 2:34 PM ET
Why did you air the sniper video?? Because it sells! You aired it for better ratings, which equals more money for CNN. That, and to serve your anti-war agenda. We could have received the exact same information if you had merely informed us of the sniper incidents, or simply ended the clips before a shot was fired. Showing American soldiers being gunned down for the sake of making more money shows an absolute lack of respect for all American soldiers, their loved ones, and anyone who cares about their fellow citizens. You aired this to get the truth out? Please....
Posted By Anonymous Tim, Conway, AR : 2:34 PM ET
David,

As much as it hurts to watch the footage knowing what the blackouts entail, it is the harsh reality of war that needs to be known. Much of the American public has withdrawn from this campaign in terms of their support. Those that support the troops will probably not be swayed by viewing. Hopefully this will help bring to fruition the need for a definitive resolution. Thank you for not sugar-coating what should never be discounted from the ultimate sacrifice that our brothers and sisters are making there.
Posted By Anonymous John, Lake Wales, FL : 2:35 PM ET
You should have reported on the story without showing the video. Americans are aware of the horros of war. We do not need to see the killing of our own. I agree with those who say it is inappropriate and disrepectful to the families of those soldiers. I don't believe the producers of the segment would want there own families shown wounded or killed.
Posted By Anonymous Greg Steiner, Eugene Oregon : 2:35 PM ET
I agree with the fact of showing what is
really happening to our people over there. I hope the president saw it. What
will it take for our government to get the hell out of this hell hole.
Great job.
Posted By Anonymous Roy Contiliano englewood cliffs,nj : 2:36 PM ET
Thanks for showing the tape. America needs to see the reality of this war.
Since WASH DC just wants to hide more and more of what they are really doing in Iraq.
Posted By Anonymous Lee / Fort Worth TX : 2:36 PM ET
While the video was certainly shocking, I feel like you guys did the right thing airing it. As a nation, we have become so desensitized to graphic images, but this video really illustrated the reality of the situation.

I think your judgement call was spot on. Just don't keep showing us the video every night. Great work.
Posted By Anonymous Kimberly, Boston MA : 2:37 PM ET
I'm assuming none of the CNN staffers and mucky mucks in HQ have relatives serving in Iraq. Sure makes your decision to air the video that much easier doesn't it, knowing it isn't one of yours?
Posted By Anonymous Earl Schuette, Orlando, FL : 2:37 PM ET
If we were fighting WW2 today, would CNN show the video of the Nazis defending the beachs of Normandy? Thousands of our American soldiers were shot and killed. Would that kind of video footage be allowed to be shown on your network?
Posted By Anonymous Dale Leonard, Virginia Beach, Virginia : 2:37 PM ET
Be honest: you aired these tapes to boost ratings. The subject of the discussions at the highest levels of CNN was not whether it was appropriate to show the sniper tape, but whether the backlash against it would be too strong to justify its airing.
Posted By Anonymous Tony Tondi, Chappaqua, New York : 2:38 PM ET
I am now sure that if CNN were at the gas chambers during the Holocaust, they would have showed that too.
Posted By Anonymous David C Bellosi, Pasadena, California : 2:38 PM ET
Chilling. I think you were right to air the piece. This administration has attempted to sanitize this war. We need to know what is going on over there. Thank you for having the guts to show us.
Posted By Anonymous Linda, Wentzville, Missouri : 2:39 PM ET
Greetings, I have to say that the sanitized version of the war is not beneficial to America. Frankly it bothers me that the military isn't covering sniper points better. that one item could reduce death tolls dramatically, since we are dealing with cut and run fighting, someone in a higher(elevation, not moral or title) position is better placed for seeing oncoming issues, be it car driving irrationally, or persons behaving oddly, etc. not ot mention possible snipers on top of other buildings. If you are going to have check points, having sniper coverage is critical... my two tactical cents, MissBHavens as usual!
Posted By Anonymous Beth Havens, Oxnard, CA : 2:39 PM ET
Regardless of the rationale, airing this type of video primarily has two effects, both negative, on the global war against Islamic terrorism. First, it becomes free advertisement and recruiting for the Islamic terrirists. Furthermore, it continues the endless, one-sided coverage of the war; all we're doing is getting Americans shot, bring them home now mentality. We never would have see that type of coverage during WW II.
Posted By Anonymous JD Warre, San Antonio, Texas : 2:39 PM ET
As a retired Air Force veteran, living through a compound bombing in Riyadh, I think it is disgraceful of CNN to continue to propagate this war with the countless hours of street side coverage. It is to the point of de-sensitizing the efforts of the US Armed Forces in its efforts to carry freedom to its allies around the world. There are so many activities going on behind the scenes to work towards the collective goals that cannot be advertised due to obvious reasons. You pollute the airwaves! I have blocked CNN from all of our home television sets, shame on you!
Posted By Anonymous Paul Rajnish Warner Robins Ga : 2:39 PM ET
What is important is that you tell it like it is, so that the American public know whats really going on what the people there are facing. Of course nobody wants to see their family member get shot. However, coverage of the war is way too biased in the U.S and does not depict enough of the reality there. People need to see the unbiased truth, too often however, people are more concerned with who just got married in Hollywood or a cat was rescued from a tree today....
Posted By Anonymous Darren, Phoenix , AZ : 2:40 PM ET
While it's news worthy to show the effectiveness of our enemy, it would be nice to show the effectiveness of your fellow countrymen. Otherwise the perception is that you become a sympathizer for the enemy. Hence the rise of Fox news.
Posted By Anonymous Greg Bendel, Mission Viejo, CA : 2:40 PM ET
I agree completely with the decision to air the video. It's about time the American public be shown the raw facts, unfiltered and uncensored. We've been smoke-screened since the beginning of this war and it's time for the truth to finally be honestly told.
Posted By Anonymous Joe Boulder, CO : 2:40 PM ET
Dipping to black was, in this viewer's opinion, insulting to your audience's intelligence and capacity for understanding. If you're going to air and distribute a video of U.S. soldiers being wounded and killed, then do it. If you're not, then don't. Do not pull punches. Americans, war-weary though we may be, can take it.

As for putting the piece in context, what about explaining that sniper fire has been a fact of every land-based military engagement in the entire history of modern warfare? Treating this as a new phenomenon only further insults your viewers and hurts our opinion of CNN as a news source.
Posted By Anonymous Nathan, Seattle WA : 2:41 PM ET
I viewed the piece last night after debating with myself whether or not to view it. I opted to and though stunned, stand behind 360 for airing the video. I cannot say I would like to see the unedited version, the phasing out of impact was a tasteful choice. The point is made with or without and it is high time we start seeing the reality of what is going on over there. All we ever see is aftermath, pictures of charred buildings or humvees taped off after the fact. It is alarming to me as a 24 year old, how complacent the nation as a whole is until something like this happens. What is the difference between knowing this is happening and seeing it happen? Tell you children this, American soldiers are doing the EXACT same thing to insurgents. It's real, this is war, and this is happening everyday to people my age who thought they were just going to get college paid for. CNN and 360 did this piece in the necessary parameters for those out of touch and those holding on too tight. Thank you for the continued pursuit of the truth and not tucking tail like FOX. Especially, Cooper and Dobbs.

For those of you who have the means and have not yet, I highly recommend reading Andersons' book for further enlightenment on reality.


PS: see lyrics 'Vicarious'- Tool
Posted By Anonymous Jonathan Marshall, Knoxville Tn via Dallas Tx : 3:01 PM ET
There is a point at which showing a piece just for the sake of it's journalist correctness crosses the line into sensationalism. People with only marginal astuteness can figure out what happens after the shot is fired. I guess you would also argue that actually showing a sex act is the only way anyone would know what's going on under the covers.

It's sad that CNN apparantely believes that the only way to convey the gory details of war is to show footage of an American solder being shot. Well here's a news scope for free: Hey! We get it and we know war is not pretty so please don't assume that you must show blood pulsing from someone's artery before we be aware of what's going on.
Posted By Anonymous Allen Rogers, Owatonna, MN : 3:02 PM ET
If you're going to show this kind of video, you should show it as is rather than sanitized. Same goes with the stuff you photograph yourselves. It's no wonder people aren't more outraged about what's going on in Iraq. You clean it up. It's like packaged meat at a supermarket--most people will buy the package but would not buy the same piece of meat if they saw it being cut off the cow. You are too gentle. The United States is the only place in the free world where the media hide so much from their viewers. Thus, your audience (of which I am one but we also get feeds from other countries) is ill-informed.
Posted By Anonymous Gypsy, an American in Mexico : 3:12 PM ET
As a veteran of three tours in Vietnam as a Navy SEAL team squad leader, I think it is imperative that we see the "nature of the beast" - the mind set, tactics, and actions of the enemy in Iraq. The nation is embroiled in a debate as to the merits of this war and when/if we should pull out. This element of the issue has previously been unexposed but is essential for people to see in order to balance the scales in making their decisions. Mid-term elections are only three weeks away!!! People need to be FULLY informed. Thanks for the GREAT civic duty in presenting this piece (and for the censoring of the "actual hits." I'll never forget those I saw and personally experienced.).
Posted By Anonymous Mike Cleveland, Costa Mesa, CA : 3:12 PM ET
War is ugly and unforgiving regardless of what anyone thinks. True, americans like myself get lost in the "Fog of War." We drive expensive cars, drink Starbucks, and live our day-to-day life. The reality is, is that people purposely try not to think of the horrible truth. I feel that the truth needs to be told though, and video clips like the one aired are all the more reason why.
Posted By Anonymous Paul, Riverside, California : 3:13 PM ET
I don't know how anyone who has a child or loved one serving in the Middle East could be upset at this. I have a 19 year old son leaving in a month, and I for one, am glad to know what is going on in reality. As long as no one knows, then no one in a position of responsibility has to address the issue. Thank you for airing this!
Posted By Anonymous Pam, Dallas Texas : 3:14 PM ET
I watched this piece last night and found it rather informative and realistic. AC did a good job of being respectful and honest. These troops deserve to be honored for their tough times in Iraq. The statistics that went along with the video were unnerving. These attacks need to be spotlighted. Our military needs to make changes and keep this tragic and physiological damage to a minimum.
Posted By Anonymous Dustin M. Savannah,GA : 3:14 PM ET
There can be no doubt that airing this video footage will put American soldiers at greater risk. It would be very naive not to understand that. No cause, no matter how noble it may be, is worth that price. I agree with all of your stated ideals concerning presenting the truth, with the exception of that which puts our soldiers directly in harms way. Insurgents are encouraged by the display of this video footage. Some America will probably now die, that would not have died. Some family will no be without a father or mother because of your actions.
Posted By Anonymous Tim McKinzie, Medina, Ohio : 3:15 PM ET
I agree with the airing of the videoes. America needs to see what is going on there. Mr. Rumsfeld has never had a plan on how to win this war beyond rolling in and crushing the enemy, which our soldiers did. The administration has catastrophically miscalculated their plan and young american men and women are paying for that every day.
It seems that the administrations label of these people as terrorists or insurgents will help the american people tolerate the course of the war because thes "terrorists" won't fight by the rules. What made Mr. Rumsfeld think they would fight by the rules anyway?
Isn't this how we defeated Great Britian to gain our independence? Our revolutionary army would not have stood a chance standing in line and exchanging rifle and cannon vollies with the Brits.
Please devise a plan to get the job done and keep our people safer while patolling over there.
Posted By Anonymous Mike, Pittsburgh, PA : 3:15 PM ET
I totally agree and understand for airing this vedio. One reason we(general public) don't get the impact of war on our brave soldiers (Salute them)is, we never see them in real action under heavy enemy fire. Please keep doing the great job you guys do and BTW keep it as it is. (Do Not mask)
Posted By Anonymous Sridhar, Arlington, VA : 3:15 PM ET
As horrific as these images are it is difficult to view the broadcast as being improper. How many hundreds of hours of video has the U.S. military released showing the obliteration of foreign fighters in combat? How many smart bombs have been shown impacting on buildings holding living, breathing people. War is awful and withholding video doesn't make it any less so.
Posted By Anonymous J. Sharp, Omaha, NE : 3:16 PM ET
Air the tape every day for the rest of the year. Maybe President Bush and his Admin, and the people that support this war will realize what a terrible mistake we made going over there.
Posted By Anonymous Robert Truman Flynn, Boston, MA. : 3:16 PM ET
Yes, war is horrible. However, the situtation our military faces in Iraq is far worse. There are no uniformed opponents nor front lines. There is only an enemy that cannot be distinguished from civilians. An enemy that fires a shot or detonates an IED and then fades into the crowd. So, I commend CNN for showing the piece and providing a glimpse into the daily threat faced by our soldiers. That has now resulted in some of the Deptartment of Defense reported 2,772 military fatalities, that is more than the 2,749 we lost in the WTC attacks.
Posted By Anonymous W. Watson, Dayton, OH : 3:16 PM ET
You sanitized your own responsibility. In the three vains of responses you post you choose two that show support for your decision and only paraphrase one that descents. The story could have been told without airing the video, your motive was not news.
Posted By Anonymous Nicholas Jalonack, St. Paul MN : 3:16 PM ET
I can appreciate the fact that many are upset with the video, but this is the reality of war, and more need to be aware of it. Perhaps President Bush needs to see more of this so that he can make better decisions or at least have a clearer picture of the consequences of his decisions. Some how, seeing the caskets come home just doesn't provide the same effect as seeing someone actually get injured. The injuries that are coming home aren't just physical. I personally know of kids coming home that have trouble holding a job because of the nightmares and post-traumatic stress they are suffering, mostly because of the frustrations of ill-thought policies. One individual was Bahgdad when the police station was hit and dozens of Iraqi cops kill. He could see the insurgents, yet he could not return fire because he had not been fired on. He had to watch for almost 6 hours while the battle raged on. I guess Bush wanted to show the Iraqis that they needed the U.S. there. I'm afraid I would have had to be court martialed, because I couldn't have watched.
Posted By Anonymous Dewey Landrum, Cedar Park, TX : 3:17 PM ET
Being honest about the news is what i believe most expect about the news media. Either way good job.
Posted By Anonymous aaron, orem utah : 3:17 PM ET
Thanks for showing the sniper piece.
The video shows what the government refuses to show its citizens: the chaos, mayhem and utter depravity of war, a war the U.S. government initiated and must take responsibility for, without the lies and Orwellian revision of history.
Posted By Anonymous Renoir Gaither, Toledo, OH : 3:17 PM ET
The reality of war should be left only to the soldiers and the enemy. Being myself a soldier I would be mad at you guys for showing this when I was on Irak. You only put more pressure on their love one's. Every adult on this country knows the reality of war PEOPLE DIE. If I would have die there I wanted my family to remember me the way I was back home.

All you guys did was reinvent the wheel again for money.
Posted By Anonymous Jose Rodriguez, Honolulu Hi : 3:18 PM ET
Thank you for showing us what we deserve to know, exactly the kinds of situations we are putting our men and women of the military into. As the country finally begins to question what the rest of the world has long been asking us (WHY are we in Iraq?) it is important to know the context and consequences, beyond the daily scoresheet on the news. No matter how we feel about the politics, the truth is vital to the discussion. Each person should understand the fear of sniper attack when they promote the use of US military in Iraq. It is irresponsible to claim to have a meaningful opinion if you're not even willing to watch the results.
Posted By Anonymous JenC, San Diego, CA : 3:18 PM ET
I find it interesting that so many people regard this video as aiding the enemy. I think that we have gotten too used to the idea of violence. Troop casualties seem to have become another stat and the war has been portrayed almost as if it were a video game in this fast-paced media world. I find it refreshing that an American corporate news organization would show this, as this is the sort of raw reporting people see all of the time overseas. Open your eyes America, it's time to stop being comfortable in your isolated environment.
Posted By Anonymous Chris, Washington, DC : 3:18 PM ET
Children lack the judgment and discretion to determine what they should see. Yet you present it to them with enticing headlines on your front �page�. That is not Responsible Journalism.

The story could have been reported without the video. The showing of the stalking and assassination of our soldiers while on peaceful mission among the Iraqis only reflects the savage and brutal mind of the insurgents.

This airing will get you another interview with the insurgents. You are one of their most effective weapons.
Posted By Anonymous Wasim Manasfi. Denver, CO : 3:19 PM ET
One Question: Would CNN have aired a video of Anderson Cooper, Larry King, or any other CNN employee being murdered by a sniper in Iraq? I highly doubt it.
Posted By Anonymous Braden Rudolph, Chicago IL : 3:19 PM ET
Regarding the Iraqi sniper video, I fail to see why anyone would not support the decision to run it.

The Iraq debacle is a huge issue for our country - and for the world. It is my position that more of this should be broadcast. Maybe, just maybe, the "sheeple" who have waved the Bush/Cheney flag for nearly six years will wake up to the fact that our country is in its greatest crisis ever.

Domestically and internationally, the USA is in the toilet. I am nearly 57 years old, and am convinced I shall not see full recovery from the waste that has been laid by the prevailing administration. Worker rights and safety, the environment, womens' access to health care, jobs, overall economy all have experienced degradation by Mr. Bush.

I pray that my sons will see the recovery that will escape me!
Posted By Anonymous Mylon L. Stark, Oskaloosa, Iowa : 3:19 PM ET
As an United States Army veteran I am outraged that these videos are being shown on your network. In no way should the deaths of these brave men be shown to the entire world. Yes, these videos are readily available on the internet but you are making them even more accessable though a supposed "trusted" source. You should be ashamed of yourselves for this! Would you like to see your own children shot on television? I also can't help to wonder about the timing of this story in conjunction to our comming elections. So much for unbiased reporting!!!
Posted By Anonymous Jonathan, Gonzales, Louisiana : 3:19 PM ET
there are no rules in war. i hate to see this type of content, but folks this is reality. maybe if more people viewed this they might have a second opinion about whats going on in the mid east.
Posted By Anonymous mike cervii anaheim califonia : 3:20 PM ET
Nobody seemed 'up in arms' over the coverage of the tsunamis (showing dead bodies and destruction), or the mass graves in various conflicts around the world. These were not 'faded to black', but presented as is, i.e. REAL. The sniper video I saw only showed the back of a soldier. I was more concerned that somehow, a relative may recognize the vehicle by a registration nuber or special 'paint job'. I commend the decisions made on this reporting.
Posted By Anonymous Glenn Blair, Toronto, Ontario Canada : 3:20 PM ET
I am absolutely outraged by the fact you showed this video. It is beyond my understanding that you could see this as newsworthy. I work in national security and can tell you staightout that airing these videos only makes are war on terror more difficult for us and aids our enemy. For you to justify its airing on the pretext of informing the American people of the suffering of war is ridiculous. These are progaganda films only made to encourage more acts against our troops and to build more support for deadly attacks on our brave men and women of the armed forces. I can also tell you staightout that everyone I work with is equally stunned by your actions. You have not lost me and many others here from ever taking your news organization seriously, and from ever watching your programing again. I am quite disheartened and saddened that you, with the goal of increasing your ratings, would air these videos. The country is well aware of the loses we are suffering over there and your actions has only made it worse.

Mark
Posted By Anonymous Mark, Arlington VA : 3:21 PM ET
Both my son's have served extended tours in Iraq and my youngest in afghanistan for two tours and there now. I hope you can assure me if they go back to Iraq you would atleast get my permission to show them getting killed. You would not get that permission.
Posted By Anonymous Bill Ryan Kearns Utah 84118 : 3:21 PM ET
Big mistake on your part.
Posted By Anonymous Herman Hochmuth, Benld, Illinois : 3:22 PM ET
to david-Pas. Ca.
If the holocaust had been filmed there would never have been the nay-sayers and ignorance that followed.
Posted By Anonymous Lisa Scarboro Canada : 3:22 PM ET
Why show the actual video? These people only want to get their publicity out to other extreme muslim persons in the middle east. Shame on you CNN! People don't need to see these videos of our friends and family over there. Just report on what's happening. I think we'll all get the picture and understand the problems over there.
Posted By Anonymous Andy, Centreville, VA : 3:22 PM ET
Americans NEED to see that war isn't the "fly-by-wire" video game that the Army-provided videos make it look like.

Real people get killed .. and not just the so-called "bad guys".
Posted By Anonymous Michael, Cleveland Ohio : 3:22 PM ET
I don't need CNN to show me how ugly war is. I am sure you have delighted the enemey as always. One more heartache for the families of our fine, brave soldiers. America's finest. God Bless our soldiers and their families.
Posted By Anonymous Cynthia, Mount Vernon,Va.22309 : 3:22 PM ET
I wonder if the footage would have been aired if it had been a correspondent in the video. You've shown a complete lack of respect for the military personnel of the United States as well as their families.

It's interesting that you decided to show the video as the elections draw closer. One wonders oif you might be trying to sway public opinion and/or votes?

Shame on cnn.
Posted By Anonymous Fred Caldwell, Bellefonte, PA : 3:23 PM ET
Ahh bull. Admit it CNN, it's all about the ratings. Sensationalize everything.

From the horrors of an Amish community, to the last moments of a soldier, it's all business as usual for those with control of the media.

I don't agree with this war. (never did) But, I would hope that someone at CNN would exercise some proper judgment when it comes to airing material that is clearly in "poor taste".

What's next? Video of someone hitting the ground after leaping from the World Trade Center? Think about it? Where does it stop?

Pathetic.
Posted By Anonymous Ray, Pittsburgh Pennsylvania : 3:23 PM ET
Thank you for the honest reporting. I appreciate that someone finally had the courage to be truthful. I know our soldiers aren't safe. A childhood friend died due to injuries sustained in an explosion in Iraq earlier this year. The attacks last night looked like acts of war, not a peace keeping mission. Same story, different conflict. When are we going to say enough and hold our leaders accountable for these lives? How many names will have to be engraved on another wall in DC before they honestly tell us why they died? And when are we as Americans going to stop burying our heads in the sand and pretending this is just another blip in military history? Keep telling the ugly, hard reality of this conflict. I think the dead deserve for the truth to be revealed.
Posted By Anonymous TA Cheramie, Berwick, LA : 3:23 PM ET
Show it all...maybe our so called "open minded" citizens will wake up & realize what our fine armed forces (& our country) are up against. The world is changing...we're a more accessible and attractive target for extremists. They will not go away...live it & know it! It's called war. As long as there's extremists there will be war on this planet.
Posted By Anonymous Rob Russo, New Canaan CT : 3:23 PM ET
I neither blame nor praise CNN for airing this video. At this point in the war, nearly any news station would have done almost exactly what they did. As more information as to the false premise of this war is exposed, public support wanes, and news agencies will slant the news of the war in that direction. CNN simply had the opportunity to air this video first. At the beginning of the war, all of the news stations were covering the great success of the war and how our nation was one of good-doers and heroes at the helm of the ship called Democracy. Now, America is coming to terms with what was likely a mistake, and coming to terms with that mistake will be ugly. However, correcting our mistake and preventing it from happening again in the future is paramount. Clearly, we did not learn our lesson from Vietnam. Hopefully, we will from Iraq.
Posted By Anonymous Dan Klos, Saline, MI age 22 : 3:23 PM ET
While I am a card carrying member of the ACLU and a defender of free speech I do not believe CNN acted in accordance with this principle or rather the principles of journalism. This is a clear departure from reporting. In fact this is not reporting it is emotion and propaganda from all sides. If you are a Democrat it proves the war is a dismal failure. If you are a Republican it proves the callousness of our enemies and condones collateral damage. If you are a terrorist it proves to the American public that you are not a rag-tag-band rather you are competent and a foe to be reckoned with on the battlefield. A foe that smacks of the Vietcong. This is Vietnam if no one has notice. That is the story and the journalism CNN should be focused on.
Posted By Anonymous Jason New York, NY : 3:23 PM ET
you bet,keep airing on side of the truth! this is hardly liberal media, it's hard cold evidence of war. we hardly see any footage of ANYTHING bad about Americans in the war zone--till now. hell, i had to go to muslim sites to see this stuff. sometimes i wish you guys had a parallell site where the "hard cold truth" could be viewed. if Americans could handle the truth.
Posted By Anonymous jaybo in houston, texas : 3:24 PM ET
traitors
Posted By Anonymous Anonymous : 3:24 PM ET
You were just preaching to your choir with that video. What you showed was the reality of war, kind of like showing a cop getting shot by a criminal. Keep on praying that the terrorists will win, and maybe it will happen. That terrorist propaganda video will reinforce the anti-war crowd's belief that "people get killed in war" and that the US should "withdraw immediately", which is the message the terrorists are trying to propogate (apparently successfully).
Posted By Anonymous Matt, Bellevue, WA : 3:36 PM ET
I think it is a joke that you would show these tapes. We all know what goes on during war; people loss their lives. That is not something that needs to be shown to the American public. These serivce men and women are friends and family, their horrific deaths do not need to be televised to pad your ratings. But since they are nameless to everyone there I guess it does not matter.
Posted By Anonymous Andrew, Fort Worth Texas : 3:37 PM ET
Good job bringing the realities of war home to the American public. You have just helped to defeat what myself and other US soldiers fight for. We fight overseas so the war does not come to our nation, and we try to protect our nation from these horrors. You bring them into the living room of the households across the nation. As I look at going back overseas to fight again for the 3rd time, I thank you for bringing those images to my fiance, and family. I'm sure it helps them to rest easier. Thanks again for bringing them the images I fight to keep from them.
Posted By Anonymous CPL Barrett, Portland, OR : 3:37 PM ET
So now that you have helped make the insurgents that made the video quasi famous ...? I understand you want to tell a compelling story, but I think someone needs to go back to school and take a Psych 101 course. In a sense, you have given some of them a celebrity status which will only encourge more of the same acts.
Posted By Anonymous Bob Werner, Pgh, Pa : 3:38 PM ET
After seeing the video, I reflected back to Tuesday, October 17th. There I saw a large number of military men and women at LAX Airport, getting ready to depart at approximately 11:00am, Pacific Standard Time. I did not know of their destination.

As I stood in line to check-in, I finally felt the experience of "War," as each and every individual personally walked their bags across the terminals to a high security system, and each one walking back alone. Then, our soldiers left the only bag, screened intensivly, "our soldiers", one by one again going back in line to leave the United States of America to fight for Us. ME! YOU!
As I sat in line I finally realized we were at war. The media shows so little of what happens to our family of fighters. I got home safely, and this morning saw the video of sniper firing.
I looked into the eyes of at least 8 soldiers and never even felt the reality of war until that moment. Then came the video! I know nothing about the men and women that left for somewhere to protect our country; however, I know a GREAT DEAL MORE after seeing the video! I have a whole new respect for our men and women in our military, all over the world, fighting or not. But seeing the video turned on a very new light shining in my life of the inhumane struggles that go on in war for our soldiers.
THANK YOU, CNN! KEEP UP THE GUTS TO SHOW US THE TRUTH AND ENLIGHTEN PEOPLE LIKE ME, WHO HAD NO IDEA!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Posted By Anonymous Deanna Kettner, Tampa, Florida : 3:38 PM ET
Kubos CNN for showing this sniper video. Its about time the press showed the real deal in Iraq. Mabey if Americans have to face this war the Republican controlled government will do something to end it.
Posted By Anonymous Daniel Miami Beach, FL : 3:39 PM ET
I am glad that you decided to show the video and also the decision to black out the exact moment the rounds kill the soldiers. Like many military families I also have a son over there and the need to see the actual killing is not necessary but I do think that the video is a valuable one to see for the the people out there that have no clue to what is actually going on there. Thank you for showing this and also for blacking out the terrible moments.
Posted By Anonymous Deb Stainback, Baraboo, WI : 3:40 PM ET
Your airing of that sniper video is an OUTRAGE. That is exactly what the enemy wanted and you supported their objective. As I've said before, the enemy can find support and confort in the American media and your despicable act is that proof. I hope others will follow me in condemning CNN.
Posted By Anonymous Aubrey Matthews, Vacaville, CA : 3:40 PM ET
I have to comend you. This was no doubt a difficult piece to air. I personally feel that those of us who benefit from the efforts of our noble soldiers have grown too comfortable with the freedoms they afford us. Too many people sit at home, voicing uninformed and empty opinions about something they know little or nothing about. The War and all it entails are little more to them than a television show, and they give it less attention and respect than they would a second rate reality program. The Truth is needed. However brutal, however unsavory they find it, it needs to be told. This is war, it isn't supposed to be pretty, and it isn't supposed to be comfortable. Thank you, CNN, for removing the sugar coating that seems to cover the grisly facts. Your integrity is appreciated and respected.
Posted By Anonymous Denise, Los Angeles, CA : 3:40 PM ET
CNN should know that you can't win in this situation. The anti-war crowd will praise this as a telling image from a war that can't be won. And the war supporters will cry because this video make their position of "stay the course" look increasingly foolish.

I do applaud your guts. Everyone else would have backed off of this one. Which most news agencies have done regarding anything controversial to our nation since September 11th.
Posted By Anonymous Kevin S, St Louis, MO : 3:41 PM ET
Seems like the media, CNN included, will put up anything that makes the US military look like either fools or put out to dry by President Bush. It maybe true, but so are the hundreds of positive things both do but the media doesn't make a big deal out them. Do we ever hear anything good in Iraq? I guess it's all bad. Let's cut and run...

It's all about attention, headlines and making your position on something look the way you want it to. All for the sake of ratings (money) and your personal beliefs. Not much to do with the news or the context of the events. Why not show some footage of the snipers being blown up? There's a positive for the US. Nevermind, doesn't fit your needs for today.
Posted By Anonymous Pete, Fargo, ND : 3:41 PM ET
As a US military member, I am done with CNN. It's no secret that CNN plays the political game. These are our troops. This video has no business being released. How would you like it if that was YOUR brother, father, dad, uncle being shot at?

These are MY fellow bothers and sisters. This video was made by terrorist to glorify their actions and some how justify what they are doing. Every time they release one and I see it my heart sinks. You have become their propaganda tool. The American public has forgotten 9-11. They sit in their Starbucks drinking their coffee commenting on how bad the war is. We are fighting terrorist in Iraq and Afghanistan. The same damn people who flew the planes on that bright sunny September morning into those buildings.

Terrorist will not be negotiated with. They will be eliminated. Most of us STILL have the resolve to push forward and battle the evil.

For the rest of you...go back to sleep. We have the watch.
Posted By Anonymous R. Santa Maria, Ca : 3:41 PM ET
This video reveals what is happening during the war in Iraq. News should be objective, no matter how bad or how good the reported items are. Those people who want to pick and choose what news they want to hear or see need not watch or comment on good objective reporting.
Posted By Anonymous Bill Tallahassee, FL : 3:42 PM ET
I will begin by saying...Thank You. As a soldier in the Army I can appreciate the professionalism that you have presented the real story of so many Americans overseas. I believe that many here in the States fail to realize that full impact of the War on our servicemembers fighting that fight. Thank you for bringing to light at least in a small way, their sacrifices.
Posted By Anonymous Tom, Chicago IL : 3:42 PM ET
As unfortunate the circumstances are in Iraq, and horrible it is to see our own troops being killed in such a calculated manner, we also need to realize that life outside of 'comfortable America' is not so ... comfortable. Moreover, lets be realistic, the footage shown was professionally edited in such a way that it sensibly conveys some real-life challenges that OUR troops and other human-beings are encountering - every day! Challenges that can't be resolved by throwing money at it, going to Wal-Mart for an inexpensive tool, or hiring a service to address. Yes, in order to find sensible solutions, and have real debate, we need facts. How OUTSTANDING it would be if we could expect and receive (from our media and our local, state, and national leaders) factual, non-embellished and reasonable information to help us all appreciate the good and not-so-good about the human experience. Perhaps, as we ready our pens for the upcoming elections we can be mindful of balancing the following -- WITH FREEDOM COMES CHOICES, WITH CHOICES COMES RESPONSIBILITIES.
Posted By Anonymous Phil; Bloomfield, MI : 3:43 PM ET
I have spent 43 years as a print journalist and the sensational spewings that we call "television journalism" never cease to amaze me. I have dealt with the issue of "whether to publish" countless times and I know this: At any time, any network, any media could jerk coverage up a notch by presenting violent images of the war in Iraq and then back them with a holier-than-thou argument. Since when does CNN consider itself the military patriarch whose job it is to show the American public about the graphic violence of war? Excuse me, Vietnam? I don't like being considered a simpleton by a collection of news-gatherers with cameras and microphones hell-bent on giving Americans what it considers a good lesson in what we're facing in Iraq. I got it, guys. CNN says the tape fit its criteria for newsworthiness. Did someone at any time during that so-called "intense" debate ask the question: "Whose kids are these?" Scaring the hell out of the family of every soldier in Iraq isn't journalism. It's that old oxymoron "TV news."
Posted By Anonymous Larry Hudson Collierville, Tenn. : 3:44 PM ET
I am a former Marine of 9 years and a father of two small boys. As a Marine I do not feel offended by the footage. It give me a perspective as to what is really going on in Iraq. I applaud the editing for obvious reasons. As a voter, the footage gives me an understanding of the true nature as to how bad our goverment has handled this war.

As a parent, I have the common sense to insure my children do not see content such as this. So will everyone stop crying...
Posted By Anonymous G. Stone, Greenwich, CT : 3:44 PM ET
You had a hot item you felt you could put a leftist slant on... plain and simple - don't try to dress it up as anything else. You make yourselves look even more pathetic when you think you can pull the wool over the eyes of an educated audience.
Posted By Anonymous R. Whitmer, Derby Ks : 3:58 PM ET
I thought the sniper video was too intense to watch the entire video. I know that there are many ways that US military folks are being hurt and killed. I don't think it's necessary or appropriate to show such acts on TV news shows.
Posted By Anonymous Matthew Blazewicz, Red Hook, NY : 4:11 PM ET
Can we stop calling insurgents "terrorists". Was George Washington a terrorist? If China invaded the U.S. would we not become snipers and attack them with IED's?

A terrorist is someone that wants to come to the USA to kill innocent Americans. The insurgents just want a say in how their country is setup and do not want foreign fighters in their country. Can you blame them?

As a Republician I thought this was was a mistake from day one and after watching this Sniper video it makes me sick what our men and women in the military have to deal with in Iraq.

A true Patriotic American does not want to see anymore Americans dying in Iraq. Iraq is not a battlefield with terrorists. The terrorists are Bin Laden and his crew and those are the guys we should be looking for. Not screwing around in Iraq with people that have been killing each other since the 700's.

No more American Troops dying in Iraq!
Posted By Anonymous Michael, Charlotte, NC : 4:13 PM ET
CNN made the right choice by airing this footage...financially. They can now raise the price of advertising due to the publicity (good or bad) that this has brought them. More people watching = more money for CNN.
Posted By Anonymous Brent, Birmingham, AL : 4:13 PM ET
The truth should be told. I believe Americans should see what our soilders are seeing everyday. I applaud CNN for making, what I feel, is the right decision in the airing of this video. This should get some debate going in America as to our current strategy in Iraq.
Posted By Anonymous Dwayne , Raleigh, NC : 4:14 PM ET
This helped the insurgents, terrorists, and thugs we are fighting. If it weren't for you their propaganda film would have stayed in the dark corners of the Internet where it should stay. Instead they got free publicity. Wake up CNN. The nation whose privileges you enjoy is at war.
Posted By Anonymous Jim, Bloomingdale, IL : 4:15 PM ET
If you really wanted to show the "unvarnished truth", why didn't you go all the way and post the names of the military you showed being murdered. I agree with some of the others, show the other side and put videos of "insurgents" being shot. Let us cheer as they go down.
Posted By Anonymous Henry, Biloxi, MS : 4:15 PM ET
Not showing the US war casualties would on the surface appear to be humanitarian, however it is odd how fast that sqeamishess disappears when your editorial decisions wish to depict anything that smacks of American impropriety. You are not telling the whole story. Flag draped caskets in Delaware don't evict the same visceral response as the cowardly cold blooded assination of a U.S. serviceman.
Posted By Anonymous John E. Gibbons, Framingham, MA : 4:15 PM ET
The fact that you blacked out portions show that you caved in to politics. Truth is reflected in pure untouched reality no matter how horrifc it may be.
You should now do a story of the ratio of cripples in this war relative to those of previous wars. Today soldiers hit by explosives are more prone to live due to the protection they wear. However, the consequence is more suffer loss of limbs or mental issues than soldiers of past wars who died from the injuries.
Posted By Anonymous el sapo, san antonio tx : 4:16 PM ET
I strongly disagree with your basis for airing the piece. You quite simply have helped these people get "credibility" and more attention. Most news today is more on ratings and "favorites" than it is on reporting it. Frabricated news does little to impress me. You simply don't get it because you don't want to. You already have the answer and want to supply the questions.
Posted By Anonymous Elmer Hill Brentwood Tennessee : 4:16 PM ET
David,
We need to know what's going on there. Americans need to know why their daughters and sons are dying like flies. It is time that the truth be seen and heard. Michael Ware does an amazing job. I watched it last night, it was disturbing. I get up early in the morning and it was a repeat and my son (11) saw it. He said:
"Woo,mom, what's that!" I explained it to him. It's not the first images he has seen of Iraq. He said to me:"It' getting worst, isn't, mom?" If a child can see that it is getting worst, when is the administration going to fully admit what the world knows? We need to see it to comprehend that this is not an isolated event. It is going on every day. It's increasing and not only for the soldiers but for the civilians as well. We talk alot about the children of Africa, but we need to talk about the children of Iraq also.Could you do it? Continue your great team work.

Joanne Ranzell
Laval Quebec
Posted By Anonymous Joanne Ranzell Laval Quebec : 4:16 PM ET
I found the piece difficult to watch. Disturbing. War is difficult, disturbing, dark, disastrous. We should all be shaken and realize these things are happening. My appreciation to you for having the fortitude to report what you did in such a professional manner.
Posted By Anonymous Karen, Jacksonville, Florida : 4:18 PM ET
Keep broadcasting the truth! Americans need to see what is really going on and not only the censored reports that the US Government would like us to see. As for the those who oppose airing of the real war in Iraq, their reasons are politically motivated, and if they really cared about almost 3,000 Americans dying in Iraq, then they should nto vote for anyone who support this Bush/Cheney debacle.
Posted By Anonymous Des, Mountain View, CA : 4:19 PM ET
I hated the video but I'm so glad I watched it. If I were a person of any power and consequence and I didn't already know this was occurring, I would take action to gain the advantage in this war. My husband is going to Iraq at the first of the year and all I can think only that he's being used as a bullseye target for these sick people. We need to REDEPLOY. What's so hard about that? We can think on our feet. We can restrategize. Let them say we're leaving because they're winning, when in reality, we'll be repositioning ourselves to snipe at them. I sometimes think that the people playing wargames at the Pentagon haven't even won at a childhood game of checkers. Redeployment is a strategy - not a cut and run policy.
Posted By Anonymous Laura in Dallas : 4:19 PM ET
I left a comment earlier on here, and as I have been thinking about it further, I regret to say that I will no longer watch CNN on TV, or go to their website. There is a limit, and you crossed it. Why do you think, for example, that they don't show the video of the Crocadile Hunter's death? It is because there is a point where enough is enough. I don't know why I should support a station that graphically shows my brothers in arms dying. I had used you as a source for my news throughout the day, and now I will turn to a different source. Goodbye, and good ridance.
Posted By Anonymous CPL Barrett, Portland, OR : 4:19 PM ET
And, as always, your version of the truth is designed to undermine the efforts of the (Republican led) U.S. Government efforts in Iraq.
Posted By Anonymous Peter Smingler, Falls Church, VA : 4:21 PM ET
My brother, a Marine 1st Lt., recently left for deployemt to Fallujah for the next 6-7 months. Watching the news of American casualties has become an intensely personal activity for me. Showing this "interview" only reinforces my belief that CNN's political agenda has become the forefront of their programming. What I'd like to know is why, of all the footage of this war that I have seen, is it only containing actions detrimental to our own troops? Are our U.S. soldiers and Marines not our neighbors, friends, family, citizens? Aren't they on our side - our team? Why then do we not bolster our efforts in this fight by showing similiar scenes inflicted by our own troops against our enemies the terrorists? This is absolutely crazy that an American network would show this kind of footage without also showing OUR successes - on the battlefield as well as our humanitarian efforts?
Posted By Anonymous Ed Childers - Nashville, TN : 4:21 PM ET
It is about time that my fellow Americans realized that war is about killing and being killed . Thank You .
Posted By Anonymous Verne S. Kayser , Green Valley , Az : 4:21 PM ET
I have seen the film and agree it needs to be shown. I also agree with blacking out the moment of impact. For those who do not agree, this is not the first and will not be the last time we have ever been exposed to such images. Pictures abound of fallen soldiers from the Civil War. Footage of ships being struck with Kamikaze planes or the dead on the beach at Normandy are readily available. Footage from Vietnam invariable shows wounded soldiers being loaded onto helicopters. There is a danger in sanitizing what we see. Just as there is a danger in allowing the government to claim everything they do involves national security and then allow them to hide all of their actions. War is hell, the deaths and injuries are real and not just numbers on the news. It helps to be reminded.
Posted By Anonymous Todd, Jacksonville, IL : 4:29 PM ET
The uproar created by this video just illustrates the generation gap growing in America. This kind of footage is practically commonplace on the internet, and readily available to anyone who tries to look. Soldiers and other people on both sides of the conflict regularly film events happening to them every day which are a simple Google Video search away for anyone around the world.

The fact that airing this video was such a major decision for CNN, in addition to their choice of self-censorship, and the resulting uproar about "aiding the enemy" airing the video caused just illustrates to me how out of touch the post-30 crowd is with the future of media.
Posted By Anonymous Brian, Brookline, MA : 5:25 PM ET
You people make me sick.
I spent a year of my life in Iraq and my brother is currently in Afghanistan. All you have accomplished is to make our jobs more difficult. I am so upset and angry that I really don't know what to say. CNN should be very ashamed of their actions and shouldn't even have the privilege of calling themselves Americans.
Posted By Anonymous John, Tahlequah, OK : 5:41 PM ET
Yes, the video is disturbing. Yet the shame belongs not to CNN, but to those who still wish to bury their heads in some fantasy world and pretend this isn't what our troops have to deal with on a daily basis. We need to see this. We need to be outraged. Why? Because we, as a nation, must stop pretending and accept the truth about what our brave fighters are going through. They need us to stand up for them, to shout at the top of our lungs that this war has to be fought realistically. No more games. No more lies. Give them proper support or bring them home. They've suffered more than enough due to this nation's apathy.
Posted By Anonymous Lena, Quartz Hill, CA : 5:49 PM ET
Thanks for helping us understand the great risk our soldiers face. If our only news outlet was the White House, we'd think the insurgency was in its last throes.
Posted By Anonymous Eric Husband, Hopkins, MN : 5:51 PM ET
We live in a world of instant news viewable by millions within minutes. Those viewing your coverage of these snipers include the snipers themselves who now are celebrating and preparing to shot more of our troops in hopes of more coverage! I can only imagine the dramatic increase in enemy sniper recruits alone today because of your footage! Nice work! Regardless of your views on the war isn't there a place in your heart for AMERICAN pride to support our troops? Please help our troops and NOT support the enemy killing them!
Posted By Anonymous Miles McCracken, Alpine, Utah : 5:51 PM ET
On any day in Irag, your film crews can record horrific scenes of violence: mangled bodies and children screaming with pain at bombing sites, the blood and gore of the military and civilian emergency rooms, the mutilated bodies of terrorist torture victims. But for whatever reason, you generally refrain from showing this part of the "unvarnished truth," which would drive home the reality of the war much more strongly than the sniper videos. So it is simply wrong and misleadingly to suggest that it was necesary to show these tapes to make a unique point about the violence in Iraq. (You could film the hundreds of coffins coming home to America if you want to emphasize the cost of American lives.)

You should have refrained from showing these videos because of the source. Whatever your views on the war and the President's policies, I cannot conceive of any legitimate reason for showing a video provided to you by people who are killing our troops. Did you ever consider that the motivation for the shootings you showed was to get media attention, i.e., the terrorists decided to film a sniper attack and give it the U.S. media to see if they could get it played on nation-wide television? Do you think that playing the tape lessened or increased the risk of additional attacks on U.S. troops perpetrated by terrorists seeking more media coverage?

I strongly oppose this war, but showing the video was a grave mistake and demonstrates a misguided sense of your journalistic responsibilities.
Posted By Anonymous Joe Wayland, New York, NY : 5:51 PM ET
Thank you, Thank you and Thank you. If we are right then the deaths of our youth engaged in protecting our country would be understood and accepted. Do you remember the proud feeling you got from watching the WWII war movies? Are we are war or are we not? Perhaps we are not right and we are not protecting our country. Perhaps that is why our government censors the flag drapped coffins and there is no visiable presence of the President at the funerals of our fallen youth.
Posted By Anonymous Charles, Brooklyn, NY : 5:52 PM ET
I'm a U.S. Marine, so those reading should hear me out. All your ridiculous network airs is the negative side of what our forces are experiencing. Of course, we are getting shot at, wounded and killed... it's a war. I've personally escorted home the remains of three of my Marine brothers who died on the battlefield of Iraq. The American public should certainly understand what we are going through over there, but more importantly, they should see the positive side of what we're accomplishing, which far outweighs the negative. Why does your network not air footage of award ceremonies where our brave warriors receive Purple Hearts, Navy Crosses, Silver Stars, Bronze Stars, and Air Medals? Why are there not spectacular stories all over your front page about courage in battle, motivation in the face of adversity, and plain old tear-in-your-eye stories of young American Patriots who our forefathers would be proud of? There are more important things than personal safety...Honor, Courage, and Committment to the trust our citizens place in us. We don't want your sympathy; we want your support. Your network should be using it's power to make people stand behind us with steel-like resolve vice turning our entire society into a nation of cowards. Stand up, be proud to be an American, and take your kid to see your local military recruiter. Teach them that character, values, and dedication to a higher purpose are more important than who has the coolest car, newest video game or biggest paycheck. CNN needs to stop being an agent for enemy and start supporting the home team.
Posted By Anonymous Tim , Woodbridge, VA : 5:52 PM ET
Back in January,1991 The Boys From Baghdad made journalism history. Bernard Shaw, Peter Arnett, the late John Holliman, Nic Robertson, Mark Biello, Robert Weiner and Ingrid Formanek brought the Golf War live to our living rooms through CNN.
Last night, you did it again. The script intro sent chills down my spine. People might not understand the magnitude of your desicion considering how the actual government went to great extends to avoid the publication of the photos of the funeral caskets returning from Afganistan and Iraq.
Last night we were able to see on primetime videos of soldiers being killed by snipers. War is not a game. As Anderson clearly stated, it dishonor them to treat their death like statistical numbers. People need to know what our soldiers go through.
I'm glad you made the desicion. Those hard desicions are what real journalism is all about.
People have to get rid of the sugar coated information that the media constantly feeds them and receive that kind of real perspective. There are no such things as "clean wars".
If the draft is reintalled, that would give meaning to the phrase Vote or Die, youth would go to vote in hordes, and all the "soccer moms" and politicians that support the war as long it doesn't involve their kids, will think twice before voting for a pro war government.
Staying away from the voting booth is giving your back to all of those who are sacrificing their life for a non sense war. All USA citizens, should go and vote. In an historical period where core civil liberties are been taken away, the vote is your last defense.
Posted By Anonymous Christiane, San Juan, PR : 5:53 PM ET
I am glad you showed those graphic pictures and how important it is to crush Terrorists on this entire planet and I am sick and tired of people who does not support war on terror.
Posted By Anonymous Nick, Fort worth , TX : 5:53 PM ET
Decorate the reasoning with lofty ideals or justify it by other specious arguments, the first and foremost reason CNN ran the video was to make money... by any means necessary. By creating controversy...which it most certainly did...that choice clearly was successful.

Anything else is a distant secondary consideration.

If the first consideration had been, "Does it in any way help the opposition?," the answer would have to be yes. And the logical decision would then be to not run it. Alas, the only logic understood by CNN is $$$.

If viewers must rely on opposition-provided video to understand the brutality of war, then the news media has already failed miserably.
Posted By Anonymous Tom, Freeport, IL : 5:54 PM ET
All you self-serving, pandering fools who claim CNN is aiding & comforting the enemy are completly lost beyond recourse...

The media is protected by the 1st amendment to bring the news to the american public and CNN has done just that...the Framers wanted things of this sort known so you could make a decision about the government when it makes bad decisions...turning on the messenger is exactly the sign of a mind that needs authoritartian control in order to survive...WHAT HAPPENED TO AMERICANS THINKING FOR THEMSELVES??

All of you who claim to be abhored need to look in the mirror and know exactly what to be abhored about..

Is it still believing that you think the Iraqis want us there? Is it still that you believe this administration and their BS? Is it still that you believe that this is not a civil war breaking out? Is it still you think there are WMDs??? yadah yadah yadah...

American soldiers are not the property of just their families or the government, they belong to us all and them dying for an administrations inept (to say it kindly) guidance and policy makes me sick...
When you see one of these servicemen dying, you need to look in the mirror and understand where you put your votes in 2004 & where you will put them in 2006... can you live with your past and present decisions?? How would you react if the Canadian or Chineese Army was patroling our streets?? I know I'd be looking for targets day in & day out to prove to the leaders in any nation who sent their troops to die in America that it was a faulty policy..


CNN hasn't killed anyone in those videos only the administration, the rubber stamp GoP congress and both their inept planning, leadership, and accountability led to the video you saw on CNN...


former Marine & damn proud to say FORMER GoP voter
Posted By Anonymous MB Milwaukee, WI : 5:54 PM ET
I found this video horribly shocking and sad and outrageous. I hate to see the violence in Iraq and would rather not... at the same time I feel very selfish for feeling this way.

I feel like my contribution to this war has to be the need to be informed no matter how painful or upsetting it is.
Posted By Anonymous Chris, Los Angeles CA : 5:55 PM ET
It's amazing how many people are outraged that CNN decided to air this. Would all of you be happier with your heads in the sand, pretending that your fellow citizens are not getting murdered in a foriegn country?

This is the ugly truth...watch it or don't, but you can't pretend it isn't happening any more.

Time to open your eyes
Posted By Anonymous Spider Jerusalem, Baltimore, MD : 5:55 PM ET
It has been about a year since I returned from Iraq and I have always being ablet to handle the IED's blowing up on TV fairly well. But I have to admit that watching the snipers do their work was the most gut wrenching scenes I've seen. I do not fault CNN for showing the scenes, in fact I want to thank you guys for blacking out the moments of impact. That may sent have sent me over the top. As I always try to keep things in perspective, I can only imagine what our veterans from Vietnam, Korea and other wars went through.
Posted By Anonymous Eduardo, Perry Iowa : 5:56 PM ET
I strongly support airing this video. I think we should see both sides of war. I think all those policy makers should see this video who are still saying we are winning the war. They just dont care even if another 5000 americans are dead in iraq. They just think this war as a prestigeous issue. The history repeats. We could not won Vietnam neither did Russia in Afghanistan. Its easy to fire missiles but its just not possible to occupy a country. All those people who are opposing this video, i have a question. Did u watch the Shock and Awe aired by CNN? If so why dont u watch the opposite. You only want to see one side of the war. Wake up, people are dying there. Protest against the government not against the media. And the next time the government says we will go and interfere in other countries matters, try to say No to the government rather than sitting blind and hoping that we are winning. The government is just making a fool of us by presenting a winning picture of iraq and guess what there is a comitte who will review the iraq policies but it will only present its report after the nov elections. May god rescue this country.
Posted By Anonymous Gopal, Phoenix : 5:56 PM ET
For me I am not exactly sure why there is even uproar over this piece. I think the American public is too sensitive to such things. I have lived in the Middle East, and after being in the vicinity of terrorist bombings, and seeing the horrific aftermath, sniper fire is pretty clean if you want to call it that. I don't agree how we got into Iraq, but we as a powerful nation have now set into motion change in the region. It is our responsibility to not leave until we can be assured we will not create a vacuum which will send Iraq spiraling out of control. I don't like war, and certainly morn deeply for all of our solders who gave the ultimate sacrifice, but one must understand war is hell. It is not pretty, clean or nice. We have a job to do, and the military commanders are working hard to change their tactics to ensure the safety of our solders. It isn't easy and they have a lot of work to do, but I can not see how showing this piece would aid anyone. It is the truth and CNN decided to censor the bloodshed. I remember the day following the #5 bus attack in Tel Aviv. There was a full page photo of the dead bus driver on the front page of Ha Aretz. They didn't wait for someone to put a sheet over him and didn't show some other photo. Unfortunately news agencies will continue to censor and clean our news until the attacks happen here on every street corner and then there will be no way for anyone to burry their head in the sand. I applaud CNN for showing the story, but I condemn the people who would rather not face the truth about what is happening. It is reality in its true sense and American public needs to get used to it. I believe that we as the general public need to know the good and bad as we continue to fight the insurgency within Iraq. With a sustained effort, and pressing to develop the internal security forces of Iraq I believe there will be an end. How ever it will not be quick or easy. There will be a heavy toll which we must face and accept if we are to continue to support and aid the Iraqi government.
Posted By Anonymous Daniel Silverman Sunnyvale, CA : 6:01 PM ET
This is just another reporter trying to make a name for him or herself. Why not show the great things our troops are doing over there like supplying schools with paper and pencils, or giving away tons of food and clothing to those that have none (you get the idea). No, lets show our boys and girls getting picked off by cowardly idiots that aren't man enough to show there faces. I wonder if this reporter would be so apt to air this piece if that was his kid or relative that was on the other end of that bullet. Probably not. I am willing to bet that those that enjoy watching this crap have never served or lost a friend or fellow soldier in combat. The horrors of war are what they are, if your gonna televise them, let's show the good our troops are doing over there also.
Posted By Anonymous James Fort, Sacramento, CA : 6:01 PM ET
"Whether or not you agree with us in this case, our goal, as always, is to present the unvarnished truth as best we can."

This ending of your story is the biggest outrage of all. It's clear what your 'mission' is in your broadcasting and it rarely has any relation to truth or facts. This sort of coverage does nothing but embolden the enemy. It's of no value to those of us here at home and certainly of no value to those of us who have loved ones serving in Iraq. My husband is also a sniper and he's outraged as I am that you have the nerve to give such headlining time to the enemy, especially this particular faction.
Posted By Anonymous Stacy San Diego CA : 6:03 PM ET
I remember watching, as a child, the execution viet cong spy by the Saigon Police Chief on the 6 o'clock news. That single piece of video formulated my personal beliefs about war that have lasted to this day and I thank the media for having the courage to show it. It's easy to let a horrific situation drag on when we are blind to it. However, if we are forced to witness the daily horrors our troops are subjected to, perhaps we will make an end and get them back home safe.
In the words of Isaac Asimov, "War is the last refuge of the incompetent." Lets get the troops out of Iraq, the incompetent out of Washington, and get back to the business of building the greatest nation on Earth.
Posted By Anonymous Mark Behn, Antioch TN : 6:03 PM ET
Perhaps if the media always revealed the unadulterated reality of what is going on... those that get on TV and say "everything is Ok... we're making progress" would be exposed to everyone for what they are. Idiots and liars. This war might of ended long ago if videos of American soldiers dropping like flies left and right played in our living rooms. There will always be morons that will complain, personally I'd rather have to witness and 100 of these and bring our brothers home, than never watch a gruesome video and hear how many hundreds and thousands have died.
Posted By Anonymous Juan, Springfield, MA : 6:03 PM ET
I watched the piece online - and immediately sent an email to one of our two daughters serving in Baghdad. My wife and I are proud of our kids (seven tours-so far-in Iraq/Afghanistan since 9/11). I am disturbed by the images, but by God, my wife have been going through sleepless nights for years while this thing has been woefully mismanaged while propaganda (Remember the Jessica Lynch lies?) political exploitation, cover-ups and good old fashioned stupidity have characterized the whole mess. We ALL need to be VERY disturbed by what is going on and on and on. Some veterans like me and others with flesh in the game wish the "observer citizens" no ill will, but I fervently wish they could spend just one day worrying about that terrible knock at the door. Then a political opinion could be based on something besides Bruce Willis movies.
Posted By Anonymous David - Navarre Florida : 6:04 PM ET
I have a son in Iraq and I thank you for showing this video. I am not outraged nor do I think you are "aiding and comforting the enemy". My child is in great danger and may die for NOTHING. Let the American people see a little piece of what this war is and see someone's child die in the middle of another country's civil war. Someone needs to make Americans look at this war as it really is - and you've only just started. When are you going to step up to the plate completely? When are you going to show all the horrors of this war? Why should our soldiers endure the horrors and the American public, who sent them there and keep them there, be protected from the horrors? Why?
Posted By Anonymous Barbara, Kansas City, MO : 6:07 PM ET
Did you ask for and obtain permission from the next of kin to show the last seconds of their loved one's life? Regardless of the political dimension, it smacks of voyeurism; is it impossible for people to understand the horrors of war without watching them occur first hand? And how much blood, death, violence is required for "understanding"? One person? Two? Ten? A hundred? There was a very good reason NASA has never released audio recordings documenting the deaths of several astronauts aboard the shuttle Challenger. Perhaps you should have followed suit.
Posted By Anonymous Casey, Victoria, BC : 6:34 PM ET
This isn't about "truth," or the first amendment, or policy...it is about a large company trying to make profits by selling more advertising.

Don't kid yourself into thinking they are independent, noble or defenders of anything other than a profit. If they were paid as poorly as our troops they'd find another part of the entertainment business to work in. They just disguise their motives behind a consitutional imperative they have never earned, and don't deserve.
Posted By Anonymous Bill T., Fresno CA : 7:11 PM ET
I can not express enough how grotesque your decision to air this video was. Your decision weakens our servicemen's noble efforts and enboldens those who would do them harm. In the spirit of your stated goal of "opening peoples' eyes", I hope you dedicate as much time towards the courage and heroism that our servicemen perform in Iraq on a daily basis - however I fear that I will wait a long time for that.
Posted By Anonymous David, NY, NY : 7:35 PM ET
I just kept remembering the words, "Bring'em on!"
Posted By Anonymous Tom, Houston, TX : 7:35 PM ET
"I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts."

Abraham Lincoln
Posted By Anonymous Derek, Los Angeles, CA : 7:36 PM ET
Bill T. in Fresno, you're spot on. This is nothing more than a cheap comic book television network exploiting some video they got their hands on.

Gimme a break. Puhleeeassseee...
Posted By Anonymous Charlie Cooper, Atlanta, GA : 7:50 PM ET
A soldier in a post above mentioned how he wants to protect the U.S. from viewing/experiencing the horrors of war. Although I appreciate his motives, I don't think it is a good idea to shelter our citizens of what happens in the world. I speak with so many people who cannot separate their love of the military with the reality of war. They speak about the war like it is a football game or a Hollywood action movie. They go to air shows and see an A-10 fly by with a powerful pyrotechnics explosion, and everyone cheers and gives each other hi-fives, "Go USA." I know you don't want your family to worry, or the American public to be upset... but what I fear is that too many families aren't worried enough, and aren't upset enough. I want to win this war as much as anyone now that we are in it, but I hope the public is more hesitant and aware of the true horrors of war when we have to decide whether or not to start a new one.
Posted By Anonymous Paul, Sacramento CA : 8:30 PM ET
I'm an officer in the US Army Infantry, recently returned from a year in Iraq, who lost a soldier to a sniper attack. I don't care about CNN's politics, but I do take issue with your integrity. In what possible way is a self-described propaganda video made by an insurgent group "the unvarnished truth?" The CNN report even states that this group wants to wage a PR camapign aimed at the American public. I'm quite sure that CNN would never run such blatant, screaming propaganda if it had instead originated with the Bush Administration.

Even a video as graphic as this can never even remotely bring home the true reality of combat to those who have never seen it. CNN staffers who have been in combat situations should know that. This is nothing more than a vulgar ratings grab, at best. I hesitate to say what it could be at worst...
Posted By Anonymous Chris Bowers, Ft Benning, GA : 8:32 PM ET
The video on the snipers was chilling, horrifying, and excellent. With all of the government's attempts to sanitize this war, it's about time that the public is exposed to its true brutality. It is only by seeing what the war really is that people will truly be able to understand and make decisions about it.
Posted By Anonymous Doris W., Los Banos, CA : 8:33 PM ET
Why are we in Iraq again? Oh yeah, to get weapons of mass destruction out of Iraq.

Let them fight their own war. We have who we wanted, now let's move on. Let troops come home and be with their families. This is a holy war, not a political war, and we will never win. We will see this for the next hundred years. It's not our responsibility to re-organize Iraq. Our job is done.
Posted By Anonymous Steve, Fairfax, Virginia : 8:33 PM ET
I am sure you will not post this
I no longer belive in freedom of the press
Posted By Anonymous steve windsor ca. : 8:46 PM ET
It's about bloody time we saw this war from the perspective of someone other than the US government. I'm tired of hearing politicians rail on about this or that without actually getting to listen to the terrorist's side of the story. How can it be that we come bearing a message of peace, and yet, after a militant group offers a ceasefire, we spit in their faces?
Good for you for airing this, CNN!
Posted By Anonymous Evan, Redmond, WA : 9:33 PM ET
I hope that the viewing of this footage creates massive outrage against the demonic actions of the insurgents who are truly the enemies of civilization.
Posted By Anonymous Dan, Lansdale, PA : 11:30 PM ET
For the editors of CNN and those who appreciate the gratuitous posting of enemy propaganda snuff-films; I have one question. "Do you have a son or daughter in Iraq?" I should expect that the general reaction of servicemen in the theatre would be to gratuitously show CNN field staffers the Hum-vee door, after such a stunt.
Posted By Anonymous Michael Pate, Eldersburg Md : 10:00 AM ET
Dan in PA gave us an important thought:

there are enemies of the US; why don't we all stand together against them?
Posted By Anonymous DH Lake Barrington, IL : 12:40 PM ET
Regarding the War in Iraq,against terrorists in general.

*We fight to great disadvantage when we fight with those who have nothing to lose*
Posted By Anonymous Nicole Berard Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada : 6:14 PM ET
War is an outrage. War is pain, death, killing, and waste, and with luck there is some sort of redeeming conclusion to it all. I see no reason why news media should be obligated to disguise the brutality of war. Is it really a sign of bias to show footage of death during a war? Roll the tape, and let us be tormented and uncomfortable.
Posted By Anonymous Tyler, Madison, WI : 4:03 PM ET
This is unacceptable! Helping distribute propaganda for the enemy. Our troops need the support of the American people.This includes the Liberally biased media. They need to know their country is behind them 100%.All this kind of reporting is doing is creating doubt for them.
Posted By Anonymous Matthew,Denver Colorado : 10:19 AM ET
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