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We’ve all seen the video. The black and white images are washed out, almost solarised, by the heat and glare of a Baghdad morning in 2007. As the men walk and mingle on the street, we can make out the length of their hair, pick out the skinny from the stocky, and identify what they are wearing, loose trousers, casual shirts – one with distinctive broad stripes. Mercifully, we cannot discern their individual features. All the while, the Apache helicopter hovers, unseen and unheard, its cameras trained on the men below. The crew exchange terse messages with US troops in the area and their commanders back at the flight line. Having identified weapons that the men carry and confirmed that they are not coalition forces, the crew request and receive permission to engage, manoeuvring the gunship to get a clearer shot. 

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