Sunday, October 24, 2010

10-10-24 NYT on Wikileaks Iraq Log

New York Times
The War Logs
An archive of classified military documents offers views of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Iraq Documents 
The archive is the second cache obtained by the independent organization WikiLeaks and made available to several news organizations. The Iraq documents shed new light on the war.
Continue Reading Series Introduction »
Andrew Testa for The New York Times

WikiLeaks Founder on the Run, Chased by Turmoil

Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, faces a variety of challenges after his most brazen disclosure yet: posting 391,832 secret Pentagon documents on the Iraq war. Twelve weeks earlier, he had posted some 77,000 documents on the Afghan conflict.

Growing Use of Contractors Added to War’s Chaos

Khalid Mohammed/Associated Press
The reports describe episodes in the Iraq war in which private security contractors were involved in shootouts, killed civilians and were themselves killed.

A Mix of Trust and Despair Helped Turn the Tide in Iraq

Hameed Rasheed/Associated Press
While each conflict is different, an analysis of the reports from Afghanistan and Iraq suggests that while some Iraqis decided to work with American troops, Afghans have lost faith in the Americans’ ability to protect them.

Tensions Remain High Along Kurdish-Arab Line

American officials fear what may happen in northern Iraq when American troops leave the country in 2011.

Deadly Day in Baghdad

On a single day in Baghdad, Dec. 20, 2006, more than 160 Iraqi citizens and police officers were killed in a single day.

Archive Offers Grim Portrait Of Civilian Deaths

According to the reports, most Iraqi civilians were killed by other Iraqis in violence that was driven by sectarian cleansing.

Detainees Suffered Most In Iraqi Custody, U.S. Logs Say

Reports of the beatings surfaced in the documents, giving the impression that such treatment was not an exception.

Iran’s Role in Aiding Iraqi Miltias Is Detailed in Reports

The political struggle between the United States and Iran to influence events in 

10-10-24 WikiLeaks Iraq War Logs at

At 5pm EST Friday 22nd October 2010 WikiLeaks released the largest classified military leak in history. The 391,832 reports ('The Iraq War Logs'), document the war and occupation in Iraq, from 1st January 2004 to 31st December 2009 (except for the months of May 2004 and March 2009) as told by soldiers in the United States Army. Each is a 'SIGACT' or Significant Action in the war. They detail events as seen and heard by the US military troops on the ground in Iraq and are the first real glimpse into the secret history of the war that the United States government has been privy to throughout.
The reports detail 109,032 deaths in Iraq, comprised of 66,081 'civilians'; 23,984 'enemy' (those labeled as insurgents); 15,196 'host nation' (Iraqi government forces) and 3,771 'friendly' (coalition forces). The majority of the deaths (66,000, over 60%) of these are civilian deaths.That is 31 civilians dying every day during the six year period. For comparison, the 'Afghan War Diaries', previously released by WikiLeaks, covering the same period, detail the deaths of some 20,000 people. Iraq during the same period, was five times as lethal with equivallent population size.
Please donate to WikiLeaks to defend this information.

10-10-24 WikiLeaks Iraq war logs: home

WikiLeaks Iraq war logs: Nick Clegg calls for investigation of abuse claims

Any suggestions that the rules of war have been broken or torture condoned are 'extremely serious', says deputy PM
Nick Clegg on The Andrew Marr Show
Nick Clegg on The Andrew Marr Show. Photograph: Handout/Getty Images
Allegations of killings, torture and abuse in Iraq contained in leaked USmilitary logs "need to be looked at", Nick Clegg said today.
The deputy prime minister said any suggestion that the rules of war had been broken or torture had been condoned were "extremely serious".
The almost 400,000 secret US army field reports show two cases of alleged involvement of British troops in the abuse of detainees.
Clegg did not rule out the possibility of an inquiry into the actions of British forces in Iraq, but said it was up to the US administration to answer for the actions of its forces.
His comments contrasted with a statement from the Ministry of Defenceyesterday, which warned that the posting of classified US military logs on the WikiLeaks website could endanger the lives of British forces.
Clegg told BBC1's The Andrew Marr Show: "We can bemoan how these leaks occurred, but I think the nature of the allegations made are extraordinarily serious. They are distressing to read about and they are very serious. I am assuming the US administration will want to provide its own answer. It's not for us to tell them how to do that."
Asked if there should be an inquiry into the role of British troops, he said: "I think anything that suggests that basic rules of war, conflict and engagement have been broken or that torture has been in any way condoned are extremely serious and need to be looked at."
He added: "People will want to hear what the answer is to what are very, very serious allegations of a nature which I think everybody will find quite shocking."
Vince Cable, the business secretary, also said allegations of abuse should be investigated and criticised the way in which they were leaked. He told Sky News Sunday Live: "The Liberal Democrats were strong opponents of the Iraq war and we do feel vindicated by what's happening."
He added: "I think there have been several investigations already but I think, clearly, if there have been abuses taking place they need to be investigated – that's obvious enough."
British involvement in the alleged torture and unlawful killing of Iraqi civilians may also be the subject of legal action. Lawyers said the reports embroiled British as well as US forces in an alleged culture of abuse and extrajudicial killings in Iraq.
Phil Shiner, of Public Interest Lawyers, appearing alongside theWikiLeaks founder Julian Assange at a press conference in London yesterday, said some of the deaths documented in the reports may have involved British forces and could now go through the UK courts. The Iraq war logs, Shiner said, indicated that British as well as US commanders were likely to have ignored evidence of torture by the Iraqi authorities, contrary to international law.
"Some of these deaths will be in circumstances where the UK have a very clear legal responsibility. This may be because the Iraqis died while under the effective control of UK forces – under arrest, in vehicles, helicopters or detention facilities," he said.
The Ministry of Defence said the publication of the records was reckless and put the lives of British military personnel in danger, adding that it investigated any allegations made against British troops. It said: "There is no place for mistreatment of detainees. Any civilian casualty is a matter of deep regret and we take any incidents extremely seriously."
As Assange defended the decision to disclose the documents – saying it was of "immense importance" to reveal the truth about the conflict – the UN warned that if the logs pointed to clear violations of the UN convention against torture, Barack Obama's administration had a clear obligation to investigate them.
Manfred Novak, the UN special rapporteur on torture, said: "President Obama came to power with a moral agenda, saying we don't want to be seen to be a nation responsible for major human rights violations." A failure to investigate credible claims of complicity in torture, Novak suggested, would be a failure of the Obama government to recognise US obligations under international law.
The US defence department condemned the WikiLeaks release, describing the documents as raw observations by tactical units, which were only snapshots of tragic, mundane events. Assange said the snapshots of everyday events offered a glimpse at the "human scale" of the conflict. He told the news conference his motive for the disclosure was "about the truth".
Iraq Body Count, a private British-based group that has tracked the number of Iraqi civilians killed since the war began in 2003, said its analysis of the logs had raised its total of civilian deaths from 107,369 to more than 122,000. IBC, which worked with WikiLeaks, said the war logs showed there were more than 109,000 violent deaths between 2004 and the end of 2009. They included 66,081 civilians, 23,984 people classed as "enemy", 15,196 members of the Iraqi security forces, and 3,771 coalition troops.
John Sloboda of IBC said: "They [the documents] show the relentless grind of daily killings in almost every town or village in every province."
WikiLeaks yesterday promised to publish 15,000 more documents about the war in Afghanistan.