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Wednesday, December 7, 2022

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Blogger catches eyes of nation


Mechanical engineering senior Anthony Martinez’s blog on a video showing a 2007 U.S. helicopter attack on a group of civilians in Baghdad was picked up by Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Yahoo! News and BBC Radio. | Jason Ovalle/The Daily Cougar

Mechanical engineering senior Anthony Martinez became somewhat of a national celebrity last week.

An entry from Martinez’s blog, A Look Inside (blog.ajmartinez.com), was picked up by a handful of national media outlets, receiving 25,583 views in the last week alone.

Yahoo! News national affairs writer Brett Michael Dykes included an excerpt from Martinez’s entry titled “WikiLeaks — ‘Colatteral Murder’” in one of his stories. Dykes said, he accessed the blog from a Twitter feed and thought it could be useful for an article.

“I thought it to be thoughtful, intelligent and insightful, so I made sure to mention it and throw a link to his post,” Dykes said.

WikiLeaks is a nonprofit organization that publishes and comments on leaked documents alleging government and corporate misconduct.

Martinez was recognized for his comments on a controversial video.

According to a Yahoo! News article, “the video footage, leaked via a source in the Pentagon, showing a 2007 U.S. helicopter attack on a group of civilians in Baghdad, the clip unleashed a viral online sensation and ignited an intense debate about the conduct of U.S. forces in Iraq.”

Martinez said he had objections about the video from WikiLeaks, so he decided to write about it in his blog. He said he had several problems with the video and its presentation.

“These errors do nothing to lend to the credibility of this organization,” Martinez said. “And if there is any desire to promote anything but transparency and truth, I will cease any inkling of support immediately.”

He supports WikiLeaks in its endeavors to bring about transparency to the government, but he said the video had mistakes.

“My issue is that if you try to present something that this is what happened and this only is what happened… this is the whole picture, but (then) it’s not,” Martinez said. “Either highlight everything or highlight nothing.  Don’t add content and then claim that this all had been clear to people involved.”

Martinez believes his assessment of the “Collateral Murder” video, may be different and perhaps more useful, since he served two years as an Army infantryman in Iraq.

“I have spent quite a lot of time …viewing aerial footage of Iraq,” Martinez wrote in his blog. “I am certain my voice can be heard on several transmissions with several different Crazyhorse aircrafts, as I have called them to assist troops on the ground more times in my 24-months in Iraq than I could even attempt to guess. I need no reassurances to determine the presence of an RPG7 or an AK-variant rifle, especially not from a craft flying as low as Apache.”

The New York Times At War Blog by Timothy Hsia also took notice of Martinez’s Blog last week. Hsia wrote, “(Martinez) writes with authority about the aerial attack. I highly suggest reading his entire post.”

Other media sources that have contacted or credited Martinez include The Los Angeles Times, and BBC Radio.

For all the activity that his blog has received, Martinez said he still remains focused on school and graduating.  Nevertheless Martinez is content with his blogging success.

“I would like to think that I provided something that was missing,” he said.

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