r/worldnews 28d ago

Afghan mine-clearer killed by Taliban after it sees him in Emmy-winning film

https://www.yahoo.com/news/afghan-mine-clearer-killed-taliban-162935788.html
21.2k Upvotes

762 comments sorted by

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u/xdeltax97 28d ago

Fucking horrible that the director and the producer were warned multiple times not to include them and didn’t even have the care to blur them or mask their identities in any way. What jackasses.

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u/blatantninja 28d ago

They should be held legally accountable

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u/newthrash1221 27d ago

The money they made from the documentary should be awarded to his family.

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u/DuneScimitar 26d ago

That might be his family killed unfortunately…

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u/Maxion 27d ago

This also doesn't look that great for the Emmy's...

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u/TheImpossibleBanana 27d ago

Who cares about the Emmy's. Life is lost here due to human negligence.

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u/TheDividendReport 27d ago

Because the Emmy's further put on a spotlight on the film and gave it a ton more notoriety which most likely to the loss of life you are speaking about.

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u/Plaid-Sandcastle-845 28d ago

Yep, that's 3rd degree murder.

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u/FinagleHalcyon 27d ago

Legally speaking, I doubt any judge would consider that as 3rd degree murder

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u/danielleradcliffe 27d ago

Because it isn't, and anyone saying otherwise is a reactionary dumbass.

Anyone who thinks it did or should qualify: you'd best be scrambling to blur all your social media photos of your friends and family.

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u/Flayre 27d ago edited 27d ago

No, what they did is basically the equivalent of stochastic terrorism. Giving away information to a public that you know would likely lead to violence on them.

Edit : Upon further discussion, the stochastic terrorism was too hyperbolic as that action does require riling up the base yourself or participating in that. I will say it might be more akin to putting out a hit or bounty since it's that predictable that the person they "doxxed" would get tortured and murdered.

Not very different than leaving a child alone with a child predator or whatever.

It is clear negligence. They did something that any reasonable person would know could predictably lead to those consequences. They should absolutely be held responsible legally on some level.

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u/According-Ad3598 27d ago

You could certainly argue it’s gross negligence if they were warned multiple times of the possible/probable outcome and did it anyway.

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u/BigOutside7544 27d ago

Educated but dumb...

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u/[deleted] 27d ago

I think there might be a case for it actually. They willfully released his image, knowing the true danger of his situation, and we're warned.

In the US, they execute people for treason if they reveal classified military information to the enemy which poses danger to troops.

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u/Ordinary-Ocelot-5974 27d ago

They should be blacklisted from all show biz too

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u/Alain_Teub2 27d ago

by who ??

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u/duffyduckdown 27d ago

Hes deleting comments on Instagram now

He cant even stand by what hes done

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u/Suspicious-Pasta-Bro 27d ago

I think that once your Instagram comments have made it into the news, deleting them does more harm than good.

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u/banana_pencil 27d ago

And Caitlin McNally made hers private

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u/duffyduckdown 27d ago

Ah interesting, i found it already being private

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u/Booooleans 27d ago

Who?

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u/[deleted] 27d ago edited 27d ago

It’s in the article- Matthew Heineman

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u/xdeltax97 27d ago

Wow that is so pathetic…

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u/OrangeJr36 28d ago

They need to be charged for Murder 3, they basically set him up for assassination with full knowledge of the consequences.

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u/Suspicious-Pasta-Bro 27d ago

Unfortunately it's probably not Murder 3. Negligent homicide's standard is uniformly "gross negligence" nowadays, which requires a gross departure from the standard of conduct of ANY reasonable person similarly situated. Since it's a criminal case, this must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

That's one reason why the whole "accepted standards of conflict reporting" thing matters to this case. If other "conflict journalists" routinely do this kind of thing, then it will be almost impossible to prove negligence here because it's not a "gross departure" from accepted standards. The "accepted standards" of war journalists are evil and get people killed, but they are probably enough to avoid negligent homicide charges

These people suck and I hope this destroys their lives, but there's not much hope of homicide charges here.

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u/Plunder_n_Frightenin 27d ago

Matthew Heineman seems like a moron. Caitlin McNally is an equal idiot. They should take their Emmy’s away. Is that a thing?

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u/esnyez 27d ago

They even doubled down on lying by saying they do not recollect being told so. 

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u/randomredditing 28d ago

Sounds purposeful.

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u/Stardew-Valley-IRL 28d ago

The most fucked up part is they were warned and doxxed him anyway and don’t recall anyone warning them. Poor guy.

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u/SaberSabre 28d ago

It's really strange that the filmmakers should have known that the Taliban were more than willing to kill collaborators and should have at least been screened by the military. Vice has a really bad habit of barely covering information of their participants in war zones or active crime.

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u/PeriodSupply 28d ago

According to the article they were warned at least 5 times about this issue. Including after a military screening of the film.

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u/sharingthegoodword 27d ago

This is the thing. This goes through several layers of security and regardless of the media, film, a book, they absolutely will tell you this will violate OPSEC/HUMINT don't have this in there.

There's a very high bar until they can actually stop you, they warn you first.

Someone died because this person wanted to main character for money. Absolutely disgusting, the man was trying to help and got murdered for it.

Name and shame.

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u/bootylord_ayo 27d ago

Disgusting. All for a vanity project. What self centered pieces of shit. Probably the first to tell you how empathetic and humble they are too. Caitlin McNally, hang your head in shame.

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u/sharingthegoodword 27d ago

Caitlin McNally is not a good person. Someone died so you could get a chit. You get credit, and someone literally died, someone who was doing good in the world. Shame. Shame on Caitlin McNally.

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u/ProfHillbilly 27d ago

And it is at 93% on Rotten Tomatoes. That is the really disgusting part.

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u/DaYooper 27d ago

It can be a good movie while offending your sensibilities.

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u/sharingthegoodword 27d ago

At this point I assume bots. It's not hard for even me to either build or even rent out a bot network. Everything in that way, on the internet, is sus.

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u/ProfHillbilly 27d ago

The internet is a fucking zombie now.

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u/Slap_My_Lasagna 27d ago

The irony is Reddit has been one of a few platforms that have been paving the way for bot central for quite some time now.

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u/sharingthegoodword 27d ago

It's like those worms that can infect an insect and then control its brain. It's difficult to know what is real or not anymore, it's so buried in bullshit.

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u/sissipaska 27d ago

At this point I assume bots.

For what? Rotten Tomatoes does review-aggregation.

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u/GrowFreeFood 27d ago

And the taliban. 

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u/Yutch2022 27d ago

I made friends with a few locals on base during a year rotation there. The steps they would take to keep their employment under wraps blew my mind. I'm talking driving a different route everyday to hiding your job from the neighbors. I could only imagine what this man and the others went through. Anything for fame, I guess.

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u/sharingthegoodword 27d ago

Bro, I hear you. The terps absolutely would hide their faces, change vehicles and not want to have anyone know they were working for the US. They all were dealing with the issues with the same people we were looking for, night missions for HVT. Their families were being hurt by those same people, so they were motivated, but they had to ninja that shit so it didn't come back on them.

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u/Yutch2022 27d ago

I often wonder if some of those dudes, hell, even the powerful women I came across in Kabul, ever made it out. Can't forget the kids who hung around to collect our brass. Gotta think how many jobs went away overnight, too. When I see the travel footage on Youtube it makes me feel weird seeing some of it. I find some solace knowing that nothing stays the same (or does it if you go back to 1996).

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u/sharingthegoodword 27d ago

A lot apparently crossed to Iran. It was a sad situation, young female women getting an education for the first time in 30 years and then Taliban and they go back to, for all intents and purposes, chattel again. Such a waste, not only of lives and money, but that we tried to build them up and then just left them to themselves.

I'm still mad bin Laden was in Tora Bora, we heard him on the radio and didn't put a blocking force in Pakistan and turn the 75th loose on them as a classic hammer/anvil move.

We knew where they were, we had all the air coming down on them suppressing and destroying their caves and artillery. So stupid.

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u/ovideos 27d ago

Well if you read the article the military and filmmakers agree that it had nothing to do with OPSEC/HUMINT – i.e. there was no official request the US Military could give the filmmakers (regarding the mine-clearer). What they did is suggest it to the filmmakers, suggest to them that the mine-clearer might get killed, and recommend he (and others) be blurred or cropped.

I'm not letting the filmmakers off the hook, just noting that the military is clear it was out of their official purview.

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u/[deleted] 27d ago

[removed] — view removed comment

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u/noxav 27d ago

I'm not sure what the term for it is in the US, but wouldn't "negligent homicide" fit the bill?

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u/KenDTree 27d ago

Very good points but bro the cinematography isn't as good if the guy is blurred out. My film's gotta be perfect

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u/Mr_Tiggywinkle 27d ago

Then some poor guy who has a naturally blurry face will get killed by mistaken identity though. 

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u/TorontoGuyinToronto 27d ago edited 27d ago

War journalists are just adrenaline junkie attention seekers that act paparazzi assholes. They didn't give a shit - just wanted their scoop to look good.

Matthew Heineman is the name. Fuck that guy, and fuck his Retrograde film. Blood is on his damned hands.

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u/Kroniid09 27d ago

That's a crazy generalisation to make, yes some are egotistical assholes putting lives in danger for their own glory but the job exists for a reason, and not everyone is there to put lives at risk for paparazzi shit

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u/CalculusII 27d ago

Typical reddit. One idiot in a profession and this red-diot goes "All PeOple iN tHiS ProFeSsiOn aRe tErrible PeOPLE!!1"

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u/raltoid 27d ago

The weird part to me is how obviously wrong those statements are most of the time.

People commonly complain about how all retail customers are terrible to cashiers. But most people who has been to a grocery store, knows that the vast majority of people there just pay for their food and leave without any incident. And it's not like it turns into mad max the instant you walk out the door.

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u/GoatFuckersAnonymous 27d ago

All people are terrible people.

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u/CalculusII 27d ago

Well that's why you fuck goats instead!

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u/RangerLt 27d ago

What a blanketed statement. Let's not cast a shadow over all journalists who cover wars from the frontlines.

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u/Radiant-Criticism721 27d ago

Lol for real. Let's not forget to use our brains and understand nuance. I feel homies anger but you can't just shoot blanket statements out there like that, and have other actually good war reports get caught in the crossfire

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u/Huwbacca 27d ago

My god.

Media criticality is dead.

You fuckers should be forced to take a humanities course or something.

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u/Hanamichi114 28d ago

It's really strange that the filmmakers should have known that the Taliban were more than willing to kill collaborators

truth is they don't care. content is more important to them than some guys life in afghanistan.

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u/Temnothorax 27d ago

His death is just one more story for them to cover

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u/Rhywolver 27d ago

This. And extra PR for their fcking movie.

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u/Ricoshete 27d ago

Yeah, fucking disgusting. I want to assume the best in people. But life experiences of me and my friend have taught me it's a bit of a mixed bag.

Some people harm because they don't know better.

Others "don't know" but gloat about it in private ("Oh my god, i got away with it" "I was bored and it lit up my weekend" "I was so bored, drama keeps me entertained girl!")

I've given the benefit of the doubt and some people give off green/yellow flags, and i've had some yellow flags sure enough, turn out to be yellow flag people and red flags red flag people.

Would not surprise me in the least if some npd/bipolar /social media socialpaths cared about the appearance of virtue more than the consequences of virtue.

Ignoring 5 notices is less than "oopsie, i forgot". The shitbags i knew would just go ("Lmao! They warned me so i told them, gurl, i don't know what you talking about!" "So what you'd do?" "Yeah, i let it happen!" "HAHAHAHAH!!!")

The problem is, the seemingly kindhearted people think it's them, the shitbagy people seem to have no shame. But i am kinda jaded at shitbags. Altruism for the selfish is like setting a feast out for flies and the maggots so your puppies and kittens can 'benevolently embrace botulism'.

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u/Soft_Walrus_3605 27d ago

I agree. Now the film is "controversial" which is a great way to give it legs for another couple decades

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u/microgirlActual 27d ago

The thing is they literally could have had the same content. All they had to do was blur the fucking faces! Like any sodding documentary or reportage where "names and faces are hidden to protect the participants".

This is absolute fucking bollocks, and there's literally no reason for it. The documentary would have been exactly as successful and impactful had faces been blurred.

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u/Ricoshete 27d ago

A dog and cat is registered at about 40 iq / 2 year old mental development. And cats/dogs can learn sign language, speak through buttons, Or run at vet or smile and learn to do tricks for treats.

People can know, and intentionally ignore the warnings to "not know" to get away with it. They should have the book thrown at them for being so utterly irresponsible if you asked me imho. At some point "forgetting 5 times in a row" goes past benefit of doubt. it's not like they "forgot" what country to film in, or who to ask right?

But when it comes to "protecting identity", they "forget". Utterly disgusting.

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u/awkwardpenguin20 27d ago

Incredibly unethical on the part of the film company. They should be protecting informants and aware of how their participation could affect them.

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u/PersonalityFrosty389 27d ago

Should make this a criminal offence with extremely high penalty

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u/Stardew-Valley-IRL 28d ago

Blows my mind when I see the places some of these batshit YouTubers go like Afghanistan local markets and swimming holes lol.

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u/OmicidalAI 27d ago

Check out YourFellowArab on youtube. Recently got kidnapped in Haiti. Wild documentary. 

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u/internet-arbiter 27d ago

2 missionaries also killed in Haiti very recently.

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u/OmicidalAI 27d ago

if so he is especially dumb for going at this time. it was like driving through a warzone. One scene featured was a car that started getting attacked by gangs and had to drive through a gate to escape but die. Car is still there. 3 girls were inside. Insane. 

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u/pickledswimmingpool 27d ago

Everyone who recommends people check their youtube is just encouraging them to go to dangerous places.

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u/netflixandgrilling 27d ago

Vice is a piece of shit. They did the same to Naomi wu aka sexy cyborg https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naomi_Wu

She's offline now. The Chinese government "capped Her wings" . Partially a for having a uighur girlfriend and being outed by vice. But at least alive (supposedly)

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u/Uberzwerg 27d ago

After Vice refused to retract the story, Wu created a video in which she made boots with tiny video screens, which displayed the Vice editor-in-chief's home address.

Great reaction.
They should be gawkered. Any way they could piss off Peter Thiel enough to finance a lawsuit?

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u/Just_Ban_Me_Already 27d ago

To be honest, Vice deserves to be shutdown.

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u/Rosalinette 27d ago

So, will filmmakers be charged with murder or murder accomplices? Will their Emmy be revoked due to poorly conducted journalism?

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u/Junebug19877 27d ago

The filmmakers don’t care

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u/Specific-Crew-2086 27d ago

I remember a Vice journalist conducting an interview with a town involved in oil theft from pipelines. The very next day, the police raided that town. I am convinced that the Vice journalist exposed their activities. Title: "The Battle Raging In Nigeria Over Control Of Oil"

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u/lizardtrench 27d ago

Their statement about it:

Heineman and McNally called the man’s death “a heartbreaking tragedy”.

They added: “The US government’s precipitous withdrawal from Afghanistan and the vengeful actions of the Taliban upon taking power – armed with detailed information identifying Afghans who worked with the US government – led to the deaths of countless partners left behind.

“That is the tragic story that warrants attention. But any attempt to blame Retrograde because the film showed faces of individuals in war zones – as has long been standard in ethical conflict reporting – would be deeply wrong.”

On one hand, it's true that the primary blame lies with the Taliban. On the other, these two fucked up hard and they should be owning up to it.

That they are not doing so, and that they are excusing their fuck-up as just being standard for 'ethical conflict reporting' (whatever that means), and how there appears to be testimony from five different military personnel that they were warned, in two separate instances . . . really just makes it seem like they had a 'vision' for their film that they didn't want to compromise on.

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u/Rad-eco 27d ago

Yeah theyre fuckin snakes

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u/kalirion 27d ago edited 27d ago

Fuck these guys, I hope they get cancelled by literally everyone, and their Emmy retracted.

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u/jtides 27d ago

Check out the film Welcome to Chechnya they deep faked everyone in the movie’s face so they wouldn’t get killed. People have already solved this issue. Not doing it is just bad ethics

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u/grchelp2018 27d ago

has long been standard in ethical conflict reporting

Is this actually true?

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u/Cael450 27d ago

No it is not. Wartime journalists must always consider the balance of harm versus importance of publishing information. This CLEARLY falls more on the harm side.

https://www.spj.org/ethicswartime.asp#4

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u/squeakyguy 27d ago

You don’t need to try to parse their rhetoric. Is it ethical to endanger someone’s life for your movie? That’s the only question you need to ask yourself. 

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u/Jellz 27d ago

It depends on the color of that someone's skin, apparently..

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u/OBEYtheFROST 28d ago

“I don’t remember” is the most overused and insulting excuse to negligence

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u/ThrillSurgeon 28d ago

Lie and force the other person, usually poor, to prove the case. It's a winning strategy.

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u/cleverlane 28d ago

And now they claim they “don’t recall” being warned

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u/[deleted] 27d ago

Why does someone need a warning to remind them of common knowledge? I mean, listen to the news the last 20y clearly stated that this will happen when the Taliban find US/NATO supporters. These directors are asshole murderers!

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u/nikstick22 27d ago

They claimed they couldn't recall any "specific warnings" regarding this guy.

They definitely remembered getting more general warnings though, but decided to ignore them because showing someone's face instead of blurring it makes the film more impactful.

It's why you never see knights wearing helmets in movies. They obstruct the actors' faces.

These dipshits chose their movie over human lives.

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u/Nemisis_the_2nd 27d ago

It's why you never see knights wearing helmets in movies. They obstruct the actors' faces

I never understand this thing with TV and film being afraid to hide a characters face. It happens all the time in other media with no issue but, as soon as it comes to acting on a screen, it's apparently impossible. 

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u/PulseAmplification 28d ago

Of course they recall the warnings.

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u/rudieboy 27d ago

Because people chasing fame don't give a shit about the problems they create.

It's like journalists who have a scoop but that scoop will harm the person that story centers around, but they report it anyways. Because they only care about themselves and what the story will do for them.

Reminds me of Ryan Grim reporting on Christine Blasey Ford. She sent a letter to her Senator about Brett Kavanaugh in private so the Senator could question him about it. She did not want the letter or her to be public.

But no the reporter had his scoop and who cares if it hurt her, he was going to get his way.

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u/kalirion 27d ago

I really wish there was a way to hold them accountable in a criminal court....

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u/ms--lane 27d ago

Filmmakers don't care, money is money.

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u/[deleted] 28d ago

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u/los_thunder_lizards 28d ago edited 27d ago

My in-laws volunteered to help an afghan refugee family that came to the US after the fall of Afghanistan. Their family back in Afghanistan called them to say, "hey, so the Taliban came around looking for you earlier today." That really chilled my blood.

edit: I realized I forgot to add the context of why I replied to this, the dad of the family was an afghan translator who worked with the US Army.

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u/Berdariens2nd 27d ago

For me didn't need context. "My family volunteered to help another family who was from Afghanistan." Good om your family.

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u/Teethshow 27d ago

Completely deny culpability. They think they are smarter than the dumb dumb military hicks. They don’t need to listen to them

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u/topasaurus 27d ago

They recall. They are just playing that common theme where you disclaim any remembrance of wrongdoing rather than confess.

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u/rach1200 28d ago edited 28d ago

Director Matthew “Heineman and producer Caitlin McNally decided to show close ups of mine clearers despite warning from 5 people”.

Remember those names. In their quests for awards, Matthew Heineman and Caitlin McNally caused the torture and death of a young man.

I have no idea what they have done prior but if their morality compass puts money and awards ahead of human lives, I will check to make sure I never watch a documentary by them.

This is horrific. I’m so sorry for that young man.

Edit to add, the article said Matthew Heineman and Caitlin McNally “had no recollection” of being warned against doxing people would be dangerous.

I’m just an average person who closely followed the US pulling out of Afghanistan and I could have predicted showing faces of people that helped the US was a death sentence.

If Matthew Heineman and Catlin McNally did an actual documentary on this and feign surprise at the death they are 1) Terrible documentary makers if they need other people to tell them the risks of doxing 2) POS that lead to death because they wanted an award.

Shame on both of them.

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u/strawhat 28d ago

Well said. I hope Matthew Heineman and Caitlin McNally end up with totally unfulfilling lives full of regret and shame.

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u/SaltpeterSal 27d ago

I've met a few people who worked for Vice and can assure you they're a step ahead of you. I used to apply to work there myself, until our regional office (Melbourne, Aus) completely stopped paying their workers.

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u/Skiingislife42069 27d ago

I’m just saying the names Matthew Heineman and Caitlin McNally because reading things three times in a row makes people remember better.

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u/disdain7 27d ago

Hang on a second. You’re saying that all I have to do is say things like Matthew Heineman and Caitlin McNally made a documentary that got a man killed and that will help Google actually report that?

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u/Least-Media 27d ago

Google also uses Reddit to fill out its AI generated search results, so keep spamming.

Matthew Heineman Caitlin McNally Afghanistan Mine Taliban Murder Documentary

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u/nightwolfin 27d ago

Matthew Heineman, and Caitlin McNally were the reason innocent people were killed. Such tragedy.

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u/MetalstepTNG 27d ago

Matthew Heineman Caitlin McNally documentary Afghanistan morons.

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u/Valuable-Baked 27d ago

Matthew Heineman and Caitlin McNally suck at filmmaking

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u/Agitated_Cookie2198 27d ago

Just Googled mathew Heineman. Ever. Single. Time

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u/M477YRUL3Z 27d ago

You mean Matthew Heineman and Caitlin McNally the director and producer who’s actions aided in the killing of a young man?

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u/Rare_Reality7510 27d ago

May they not even fulfil the rest of their lives, just like they cut someone's life short.

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u/sunnyteashop 28d ago

Name and shame them. What a callous disregard for life

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u/ThrillSurgeon 28d ago

It was profitable.

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u/chelseablue2004 27d ago

That makes them accomplices to murder in my book. If they were warned and took little action to actually hide their identities and/or were too lazy to carelessly show their faces to make it more dramatic...They wrote his death sentence.

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u/FILTHBOT4000 27d ago edited 27d ago

It's not even the profit/clout seeking motive, it's just pure ineptidude, stupidity and laziness; using face distorting/blurring emphasizes the danger of the people you're documenting face. It doesn't seem as dangerous without that, as people would assume that those people now safe, as no one could possibly be so unbelievably stupid and lazy as to not just blur someone's face out if they were still in that country.

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u/SniperPilot 28d ago

It’s one thing to do it out of ignorance, but after being warned they are as complicit as the fucking Taliban.

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u/[deleted] 28d ago

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u/SwedishTiger 27d ago

It would be a whole new level of ignorance. Collaborators to invading forces has not been very popular anywhere in modern times.

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u/kalirion 27d ago edited 27d ago

Not only that, they are literally saying they did nothing wrong, and are only upset that people are blaming them:

"any attempt to blame Retrograde because the film showed faces of individuals in war zones – as has long been standard in ethical conflict reporting – would be deeply wrong.”

They would do it again, and again, and again if given the chance.

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u/Kitnado 27d ago

Acting like they need to be warned to know the danger beforehand is some response I expect from an irresponsible teenager

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u/essancho 27d ago

It's 101 journalism to blur faces and change the voices of people if there is a slight possibility that people in a film might be in danger of retaliation. You don't need to be reminded or warned.

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u/kalirion 27d ago

Not only that, but they stand by their decision to show the mine clearer's face and are calling his murder a tragedy that they are not in any possible way even remotely responsible for.

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u/MyFifthLimb 27d ago

A pox on Matthew Hieneman and Caitlin McNally

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u/Bangingbuttholes 27d ago

Of course they knew. We all knew, and none of us were in Afghanistan doing a documentary like those two were.

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u/santiwenti 28d ago

Frankly, I would have assumed the actors had left the country if they showed their faces, but obviously that wasn't the case.

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u/fbass 27d ago

Do you also assume it’s that easy to ‘leave the country’ for most people?

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u/Among_R_Us 27d ago

i would have assumed that the country's military would have taken care of the locals that worked for them when they left... especially ones shown on film

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u/Jackanova3 27d ago

The west has a terrible reputation in general for keeping the promises given to interpreters and collaborators. A very small percentage of them were given asylum. A lot of people who helped the US (and UK) in the middle east met a similar end to this poor guy.

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u/mariamiimh 27d ago

John Oliver has an amazing segment on translators and the failure of the military (or more precisely its unwillingness) to protect and keep their promises towards interpreters and collaborators who literally risked their life to help.

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u/llehsadam 27d ago

Yes, but don’t take the blame away from the actual genocidal maniacs that killed the mine clearer, the Taliban.

Giving power back to the Taliban is letting genocide continue in Afghanistan.

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u/m0nk_3y_gw 27d ago

Odd, I was told Trump only makes the best deals.

(he invited the Taliban to Camp David to negotiate this, without even inviting the Afghanistan government)

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u/CutterJon 28d ago edited 27d ago

Wow, and the filmmakers double down with offensive, unrepentant, nonsense. 

They added: “The US government’s precipitous withdrawal from Afghanistan and the vengeful actions of the Taliban upon taking power – armed with detailed information identifying Afghans who worked with the US government – led to the deaths of countless partners left behind.  “That is the tragic story that warrants attention.  But any attempt to blame Retrograde because the film showed faces of individuals in war zones – as has long been standard in ethical conflict reporting – would be deeply wrong.”

To say that showing faces is standard and imply that it’s ethical is just revolting. It’s a fraught decision based on balancing the value of humanizing the conflict with the potential danger to the person involved. The only thing that’s “standard” is you’re supposed to consider the situation really carefully and take steps to mitigate any risks if there are any. 

When your whole movie is about how much danger these people were put in, you knew the risks. The multiple experts telling them directly just takes away any possible excuse. And then to take the high road as if the fact that the movie is itself about an ethical topic makes them beyond reproach, and any criticism “deeply wrong”? Unbelievable. At least pause for a moment of respectful regret over your actions leading to another human’s torture and murder before pivoting to the offensive and misrepresenting.

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u/Shiplord13 28d ago

The thing I learned in college when getting my degree was about understanding the danger and risk you can put people you are interviewing in by involving themselves in your projects. Whether it be a book, a journal article, pictures, and or a film, you should always remember to get their consent to use their names, faces and background information before you publish it in any form. If they do not give consent, than it is a no go and you are ethically obligated to respect their right to anonymity and privacy. Ignoring this can get people tortured, imprisoned and killed for taking part in your project and if you aren't able to take responsibility for it than you have no right to be conducting any such project in a professional capacity.

The Director Matthew Heineman and Producer Caitlin McNally should lose their emmy and be blacklisted from any production company having violated confidentiality of those they were filming and endangering their lives in spite of protests from those they filmed. They didn't care about the safety of those they filmed and have gotten one known person killed and possible more for the sake of their project.

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u/Makaveli80 28d ago

I hope this would happen, in a just world it might. Unfortunately,  these pricks Director Matthew Heineman and Producer Caitlin McNally will skate with no repercussions 

They will sleep easy at night, in our unjust world

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u/HotNutellaNipple 28d ago

The director and producer need some good legal action or prison time. They could've easily avoided this by physically obscuring their identity with maybe even a head scarf, or in post production just let the bloody editor blur their faces. Of course none were done for personal gain.

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u/M1ghty2 28d ago

But but they wanted the story to be more human! You know so that audience could see how brave they were going into a war zone w. /s

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u/abc123cnb 27d ago

That is if anyone can press charges or sue them.

Most likely these people are only worried that their film might get pulled indefinitely because of the mine clearer’s death

They might even be cursing at the dead man for “causing it”

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u/paulfunyan 27d ago

I'd be pretty surprised if the US Special Forces or whoever they dealt with doesn't make something of this.

It's nothing but a detriment to their future work with local populations, and it also makes them look foolish publicly. I doubt they're too thrilled about this being in the news.

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u/Sillygoose_Milfbane 27d ago

They should be made to make their own way out of Afghanistan after being air dropped into the shittiest most remote territory.

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u/anomaly256 28d ago

“That is the tragic story that warrants attention. But any attempt to blame Retrograde because the film showed faces of individuals in war zones – as has long been standard in ethical conflict reporting – would be deeply wrong.”

Fuck off

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u/DoYouTrustToothpaste 27d ago

They were warned specificially to not do this thing, and they did it regardless. And now THIS is their excuse? That is has long been done in ethical conflict reporting? Who the fuck cares, what matters are the specific circumstances, the guy helped in the fight against his current "government", which happens to be a fanatic terrorist group with a track record of heinous shit. You'd think a filmmaker with even a tiny amount of brain substance would understand the implications.

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u/NJL218- 28d ago edited 28d ago

The face saving act on that…. return that award. That’s not worth it, not the type of clout you want anyways.

They literally made the movie as a hit list, do you think how many people will still trust you in future if you made another documentary esp with these kind of sensitive topic?

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u/toshiino 28d ago

This hurts other journalist who want to cover sensitive topics like this as well, now everyone will be more reluctant to be featured to avoid getting targeted.

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u/Now_Wait-4-Last_Year 28d ago

Not to mention potential interview subjects might even try to kill you in order to protect themselves ('Look, not only did we not collaborate with them, we tried to whack them!').

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u/randomredditing 28d ago

Gives me Lou Bloom (Nightcrawler) vibes…

Creating their own story but sacrificing people.

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u/plstouchme1 27d ago

But any attempt to blame Retrograde because the film showed faces of individuals in war zones – as has long been standard in ethical conflict reporting – would be deeply wrong

no you pos, it's not ethical when you are exposing innocent people to the threat of torture and death

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u/marlaminger 27d ago

Not just killed. He was tortured for two weeks. Jesus fucking Christ.

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u/5CS-T4 28d ago

Complete ignorance by the filmmakers. Shouldn’t have needed to be told or warned that the Afghans helping American forces were prone to vicious retaliation by the Taliban either. Honestly unfathomable, the dumb recklessness of their decision to not take even a small step to protect our allies.

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u/anomaly256 28d ago

It's worse than that, they actually claim after the fact that showing those faces and endangering those lives isn't even wrong in the first place:

 “That is the tragic story that warrants attention. But any attempt to blame Retrograde because the film showed faces of individuals in war zones – as has long been standard in ethical conflict reporting – would be deeply wrong.”

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u/Mr_Slurp 28d ago

We could’ve brought those who worked with us to the states, along with their families, knowing that they would be captured, tortured and murdered if the terrorists learnt that they have worked with us. Yet we didn’t. What a fucking shame.

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u/neohellpoet 27d ago

To clarify, this wasn't an oversight. It wasn't negligence. This was a deliberate political decision that we then confirmed in the 2022 election that the voters do not care that congress prevented US collaborators from entering the US.

Which is what the story is about. The people in charge don't want to deal with the people who helped US forces and the general public, like these film makers, doesn't care that they'll die.

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u/topasaurus 27d ago

Correct me if I am wrong, but Biden, as Commander In Chief, could have had the military process all collaborators and get them out before withdrawing the military. But instead he withdrew the military without any help to American citizens and collaborators who were left behind. All because, I guess, he wanted that PR thing that he ended the war on the 20th anniversary.

Trump had set a date in May as the withdrawal date, a time in Afghanistan that was in the 'non fighting' time of the year due to weather and such, and Biden moved it to late August/September as he wanted that anniversary thing, a date though that was in the fighting time of the year so was more risky. Just for PR.

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u/fripletister 27d ago

We actually did try to get a lot of them out, as far as I'm aware? It was a logistical nightmare and almost impossible due to tens of thousands of people flooding the airstrips.

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u/[deleted] 28d ago

The only thing you can do with despots and tyrants is to make sure the future is safe and free from their evil 🤷‍♂️

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u/sarracinod 28d ago

An ‘axis of evil’ you could say

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u/SentorialH1 28d ago

We can't even do that in our own country here.

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u/Lint6 27d ago

He was one of thousands of civilian workers, including interpreters as well as bomb-clearers, left in danger in 2021 once US troops left and the Afghan government fell to the Taliban.

We left him in that situation. Civilians that helped us in Afghanistan should've been some of the first out, because we knew what would happen to them if the Taliban caught them

But his profile was raised significantly after featuring, without facial blurring, in director Matthew Heineman’s acclaimed film – which won high praise from critics and scooped three Emmy awards.

I hope Matthew Heineman never feels a moment of happiness. He should always have the cloud of "I likely caused an innocent man to die" hovering over him

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u/Creative-Improvement 27d ago

The Emmies should be withdrawn and no further entries will be accepted from them.

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u/Aelol 27d ago

We did, it's quite sad that they weren't more will with most of the American people. I've been deployed in Afghanistan. It would of taken us at least 20 to 40 more years of occupation to fix this place.

It was seriously getting better but the will of their people weren't willing to fight. While I guess it can be seen on them to defend their country, way more time probably would of ended up giving Afghanistan a real chance. Women were thriving compared to before and after. Some generations of women being educated, having dreams and raising kids in that environment could of made such an impact. It just take so much time to fulfil generations of boys and girls to fix places like that.

The fact that we left them to fend for themselves is really sad, specially some people such as the great men and women that did deserve better. I do wish Biden wouldn't of followed Trump awful plan, but at the end of the day, people wanted out of Afghanistan and someone had to pull the plug.

Mathew Heineman, and the crew, whom ever had the word on not blurring and protecting certain people feel super heinous.

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u/Candlelit_Scholar 27d ago

They really should've been taken care of. Really these are the kinds of people you'd want most in your country anyway, should've been given immediate citizenship and brought to the United States before this happened.

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u/staingangz 27d ago

Ugh it says he was tortured for 2 weeks. I need eye for an eyeee something bad happen.

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u/MeMyselfundAuto 27d ago

not only him: “As Retrograde became a hit in Hollywood, it became a hit list in Afghanistan,” Thomas Kasza, a former Green Beret who is the foundation’s executive director, told a Congressional hearing in January.

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u/BuildingBetterBack 27d ago

One of my coworkers was a military interrogator who had served overseas and he would never let you get a picture of him. All the coworkers got together for a beer and took a group photo, he'd be in the back and duck at the last second. He explained how your photo ending up online could mean the saftey of him or his family.

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u/CA4567 28d ago

Let him know how you feel his instagram is at Mheineman

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u/ParodicTable 27d ago

Matthew Heineman and Caitlin McNally directly caused the death of a corageous Afghan mine-clearer.
Negligent homicide, an utter forsakement of his wellbeing and human rights.

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u/RB_Kehlani 27d ago

I don’t even know what to say. The absolute cowardice of the entire production. They should be tried for manslaughter

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u/hallo-und-tschuss 27d ago

There’s a documentary that I watched on Rwanda that kept repeating one of the countries journalists name the whole time and lo and behold man died in a “car collision” later in the year.

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u/Treqou 27d ago

I doubt the film makers care, the psychotic nature of it. They probably believe they’ve done a great service sharing this story even if their actions directly led to the death of the protagonist. They probably think the Taliban’s reaction serves as a reminder of their evilness but in reality just shows the stupidity of the directors.

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u/Super_Log5282 27d ago

Look at the statement they released, it's pretty much that

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u/No-League-5517 28d ago

taliban can burn in darkest depths of hell itself,and suffer for eternity

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u/bullairbull 27d ago

With how many refugees these countries take, would it really hurt to take the people that helped them along when they pack shit.

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u/Vierenzestigbit 27d ago

That's really sad man. Saw Guy Ritchie's The Covenant and that movie while being fiction really drove home how much damage US government has done by making it so hard for these Afghan helpers to get visas even if they had soldiers pleading their case.

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u/JustinJR_46 27d ago

This is the true face of Taliban. And my country is full of Taliban simps 😑

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u/TylerJuannabe 27d ago

"The Post says the warnings to the filmmakers were issued at a time when hundreds of Taliban retribution killings of contractors and their families had already been documented."
I personally didn't know about this and I for sure did not get this info from my news sources, why isn't this all over the (European) news too? That's horrible!

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u/hollow_bagatelle 27d ago

Isn't the taliban great? So glad ex-president trump cut a deal with them and met with them and all that.

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u/Bayarea0 28d ago

We fucked that withdrawal horribly. I feel sorry for the people of Afghanistan we screwed over.

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u/CrowfielDreams 28d ago

There's no scenario in which any withdrawal ends up in a different outcome. We did not do anything to eliminate Taliban influence. We did nothing to establish solid foundations of a working national government. Every aspect of the Afghan government was standing on crutches of American investment and security.

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u/airlewe 28d ago

Correct me if I'm wrong but wasn’t the problem we found that most people in Afghanistan don’t actually have a national identity and identify almost exclusively with their local towns and tribes? Like we went with the idea of reforming a country but found a group of unrelated people who didn’t have a modern concept of nationhood who’d remained fairly unchanged from biblical times. It wasn’t that the we didn’t try, it just wasn’t going to happen. The cultural foundation wasn’t there. There was never going to be an Afghan government because people in Afghanistan don't believe in Afghanistan.

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u/Major_Pomegranate 28d ago

Yeah, that was kinda the big root problem of trying to create a government. Even at the height of the western occuption, the government only really controlled the major cities, with a patchwork network of warlords controlling most the country and only tenuously allied with Kabul. 

It was just a doomed venture all around, but sunk cost fallacy, economic interests and fear of political fallout kept the US propping things up.

What the future will bring is anyone's guess, but at this point the Taliban winning their fight with ISIS and maintaining power is in the best interests of everyone.

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u/SavonReddit 28d ago

I think you are correct. Afghanistan doesn't have a national identity. They are made out of tribes and villages with their own respective warlords. Compare and contrast them with Ukraine.

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u/Classic-Charity-2179 28d ago

Plus the fact that you relied on, armed, trained and empowered local ruthless warlords that were almost as bad as the Taliban if not outright worse...    So much so that the local people would cheer Talibans for fighting those warlords...   See Abdul Raziq for example: https://www.nytimes.com/2024/05/22/world/asia/afghanistan-abdul-raziq.html

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u/Bayarea0 28d ago

No but we failed miserably at helping the Afghans who helped us leave the country. Many died like this guy in the article.

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u/[deleted] 27d ago

This is disgusting by the filmmakers.

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u/dustofdeath 27d ago

We need a new Blood Emmy award. A statue of a pierced bleeding heart.

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u/AugustWestWR 27d ago

This patriot lived and died for the Freedom of the People in his nation, God will bless him and welcome him with open arms. A true martyr

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u/SANAFABICH 27d ago

What's weird is that they tortured him for 2 weeks but then released him. Of course the torture must've been pretty brutal since he died from it weeks later.

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u/FLTA 27d ago

Take back the Emmys.

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u/amfree8 27d ago

“Pulled the film with an abundance of caution”. Really?? Too little too late is more like it. You made your money and they died

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u/Beginning_Ad_6616 27d ago

Film makers and producers are complete shit bags for not listening.

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u/OBEYtheFROST 28d ago

Wow that is fucking awful. Consent is fucking key man

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u/nizoubizou10 27d ago

The director says it's deeply wrong to blame the film for the killings. the piece of shit ignores all the warnings and doesn't blur the faces to save lives.

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u/HessLook 27d ago

I wanna live in a timeline without religion

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u/PeanutButterSauce1 28d ago

Matthew hymen trying to fade the blame too 😭😭😭