(updated below w/transcript)
Josh Stieber is a former solider in the U.S. Army deployed to Iraq in 2007 and 2008, achieving the rank of Specialist. While deployed in Baghdad, he was in the very same Company -- Bravo Company 2-16 -- as the infantry ground soldiers involved in the Apache helicopter attack depicted on the video released by WikiLeaks earlier this week.
I spoke with him today for Salon Radio about the video, and Stieber compellingly explains how the incident depicted there -- from the initial killing of the Reuters journalist to the shooting of unarmed rescuers to the language used by the pilots -- was anything but rare; it was extremely common. I don't want to summarize what he said because he is quite articulate and has some very insightful and important observations about the nature of our war effort there, what U.S. soldiers are trained to do, and why those who claimed that this incident was unusual or a departure from normal operating procedures are either deeply ignorant about war and/or eager to avoid reality. He also discusses the lessons to be learned from this video.
The discussion was roughly 17 minutes long and can be heard by clicking PLAY on the recorder below. I can't recommend highly enough listening to what he has to say.
UPDATE: The transcript to this discussion is here. Several people have inquired as to why the last few podcasts have not been made available in MP3 or ITunes; I'm trying to find out the answer and hopefully that will be fixed shortly.