This is disturbing to me for many reasons, as I detail below in the comment I left on the site:
As a clinical social worker, and blogger, and citizen concerned about the Iraq war and the soldiers there, this gives me the willies. It’s bad enough that so many of our soldiers are coming back with major PTSD, and that the rate of suicide and mental illness for soldiers from this war is extremely high. Now we are adding to this the possibility that people can get videos of combat directly from soldiers. I can see why this would be against the army code of conduct. I can also see how this could make for more traumatized individuals in the world. It seems like, as you remark in the your post, this will mostly lead to further dehumanizing of the enemy. I guess this helps us understand just how sick the mind needs to become in order to fight in war, but other than that, I don’t see the point. Also, are there any precautions to prevent children from watching these videos?
Okay, I just went and watched one — Iraq Fallujah. All I can say is, this is wrong. It’s way too easy to get exposed to something totally heinous. Especially I think we need to have something in place to keep children from being exposed. It’s good that it’s being documented, but where and when these videos are viewable is a big issue that is not at all being addressed here.
To elaborate on my concerns, and I’m a big “freedom of speech” defender, but I’m imagining an ordinary 13-year-old boy deciding he is going to research the Iraq war online, coming across these videos, spending several hours watching them in a state of total shock and engrossment, and consequently starting to feel very depressed, not being able to sleep at night, afraid to tell his parents what he’s done for fear he will get in trouble. It seems to me there should be some stopping points along the way before these videos are made available. Stop One: US Army Intelligence. Stop Two: a page that states that this material may not be suitable for minors and requests evidence that the viewer is not a minor.