Jump to content

Wikileaks releases 92,000 classified documents on Afghanistan


Recommended Posts

Wikileaks has just released 92,000 Army reports on the war in Afghanistan, detailing everything from civilian casualties to suspicions of Pakistani involvement.

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/26/world/asia/26warlogs.html?pagewanted=all

 

A six-year archive of classified military documents made public on Sunday offers an unvarnished, ground-level picture of the war in Afghanistan that is in many respects more grim than the official portrayal. The secret documents, released on the Internet by an organization called WikiLeaks, are a daily diary of an American-led force often starved for resources and attention as it struggled against an insurgency that grew larger, better coordinated and more deadly each year.

 

The New York Times, the British newspaper The Guardian and the German magazine Der Spiegel were given access to the voluminous records several weeks ago on the condition that they not report on the material before Sunday.

 

Here's the collection of reports from each paper:

 

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/world/war-logs.html

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/warlogs

 

 

 

http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,708314,00.html

 

 

 

 

So. Now what? I'd love to see the administration's response to this in the coming days. This is not the sort of picture they wanted painted of the war in Afghanistan.

 

 

 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 120
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

War sucks. People die. Governments lie. Shock and horror!   It's always nice when someone can stand up and tell the government, "You lie!". Well, except for the fact that they did lie and we've been

The administration's response was this morning's major headline. Borrowing a few lines from the Bush administration, their two-pronged approach downplayed the importance of the documents while at the

Wikileaks has just released 92,000 Army reports on the war in Afghanistan, detailing everything from civilian casualties to suspicions of Pakistani involvement.   http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/26/w

The administration's response was this morning's major headline. Borrowing a few lines from the Bush administration, their two-pronged approach downplayed the importance of the documents while at the same time declaring their release to be a threat to national security. Oh, and of course stressed that the documents pertained almost entirely to the Bush years and not as much to the year and a half since Obama took over. (gee)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Good find Cap'n. What disturbed me was the amount of civilian deaths that are 'covered up' or misrepresented. For example, in one raid, 7 children were killed by attack from a 'black ops' Special Forces team. But I suppose collateral damage is expected when your targets are derived from the local population.

 

If I were a cynical person, I could attribute this leak as a prelude for moving all Western forces out of Afghanistan. Lucky I am not a cynic...

Edited by jimmydasaint
Link to post
Share on other sites

The administration's response was this morning's major headline. Borrowing a few lines from the Bush administration, their two-pronged approach downplayed the importance of the documents while at the same time declaring their release to be a threat to national security. Oh, and of course stressed that the documents pertained almost entirely to the Bush years and not as much to the year and a half since Obama took over. (gee)

 

It's fair enough for them to downplay the importance of the documents; there's nothing as shocking as Abu Ghraib and such in the documents investigated so far. But, of course, there's 90,000, and nobody's looked through all of them yet. There's far more information to be had than is in the initial news reports. What might be found next?

Link to post
Share on other sites

This is disturbing but of course all war is disturbing. We look at the deaths of a few civilians now and think of the horror and rightly so. But if we go back to WW2 killing civilians was pretty much the way war was raged. Quite literally millions of civilians died, some were killed because they lived near military targets but the fire bombing of cities and the general nature of warfare at the time precluded worry about killing civilians. I think it's amazing how far the USA goes to avoid killing civilians now. A war is much easier to win if you don't worry about civilians and collateral damage breaks the will of the people to fight.

 

During the cold war, officially, nuclear weapons were not supposed to be directed at civilian targets but no one who was really in the know thought a 20 megaton blast on a rail center wasn't going to wipe out the rest of the city as well. In the beginning the weapons weren't accurate enough to much more than kill the civilian population. We've come along way in civilizing war, now if we could all just get along.... :rolleyes:

Edited by Moontanman
Link to post
Share on other sites
If I were a cynical person, I could attribute this leak as a prelude for moving all Western forces out of Afghanistan. Lucky I am not a cynic... [/Quote]

 

Jimmy, I am a cynical person and am curious to know how so much could possibly be leaked, without some motive. Your probably correct, but the Administration, picked a rather poor time if involved as most today are calling 'The Afghan War', Obama's war, 99 days from the elections.

Link to post
Share on other sites
What disturbed me was the amount of civilian deaths that are 'covered up' or misrepresented.

I have not looked into the documents but: Have civilian deaths really been covered up to a large degree?

I am fully aware that civilians do die in Afghanistan. Let's face it: The news that three civilians were killed in Afghanistan would not leave me sleepless for a week (and I don't think I am a bigger asshole than the rest of you guys). And news tend not to report "just like the last 51 times we reported, for the 52nd time now civilians have been killed - we now go live to our reporter in Afghanistan". In fact, I remember reports about some biggies considering killing civilians, in particularly blowing up a wedding ceremony (or was that Iraq? guess that already shows how much I do care about people far away dying). So my point is: do civilian casualties need cover up by the military or does the lack of interest (if I don't hear about it then I don't have responsibility) of the average North American or European already take care of that?

Edited by timo
Link to post
Share on other sites

I have not looked into the documents but: Have civilian deaths really been covered up to a large degree?

I am fully aware that civilians do die in Afghanistan. Let's face it: The news that three civilians were killed in Afghanistan would not leave me sleepless for a week (and I don't think I am a bigger asshole than the rest of you guys). And news tend not to report "just like the last 51 times we reported, for the 52nd time now civilians have been killed - we now go live to our reporter in Afghanistan". In fact, I remember reports about some biggies considering killing civilians, in particularly blowing up a wedding ceremony (or was that Iraq? guess that already shows how much I do care about people far away dying). So my point is: do civilian casualties need cover up by the military or does the lack of interest (if I don't here about it then I don't have responsibility) of the average North American or European already take care of that?

 

Lack of interest would cover for a lot of it, but the Guardian has a few examples of casualties being deliberately hidden:

 

The coalition put out a press release which referred to the firefight and the air support and then failed entirely to record that they had just killed or wounded 11 police officers. But, evidently fearing that the truth might leak, it added: "There was nothing during the firefight to indicate the opposing force was friendly. The individuals who fired on coalition forces were not in uniform." The involvement of TF 373 was not mentioned, and the story didn't get out.

 

The final outcome, listed tersely at the end of the leaked log: 12 US wounded, two teenage girls and a 10-year-old boy wounded, one girl killed, one woman killed, four civilian men killed, one donkey killed, one dog killed, several chickens killed, no enemy killed, no enemy wounded, no enemy detained.The coalition put out a statement claiming falsely to have killed several militants and making no mention of any dead civilians; and later added that "several non-combatants were found dead and several others wounded" without giving any numbers or details.

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/jul/25/task-force-373-secret-afghanistan-taliban

 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have not looked into the documents but: Have civilian deaths really been covered up to a large degree?

I am fully aware that civilians do die in Afghanistan. Let's face it: The news that three civilians were killed in Afghanistan would not leave me sleepless for a week (and I don't think I am a bigger asshole than the rest of you guys). And news tend not to report "just like the last 51 times we reported, for the 52nd time now civilians have been killed - we now go live to our reporter in Afghanistan". In fact, I remember reports about some biggies considering killing civilians, in particularly blowing up a wedding ceremony (or was that Iraq? guess that already shows how much I do care about people far away dying). So my point is: do civilian casualties need cover up by the military or does the lack of interest (if I don't here about it then I don't have responsibility) of the average North American or European already take care of that?

 

I think civilian deaths have been deliberately misrepresented. But I have clearly indicated that civilian deaths are inevitable. However, remember that we are working with an elected Government who are very concerned with civilian casualties because they will lose votes and power, and a new Government may be voted in which is more hostile to Western interests. And I agree with you that we are all desensitised to news of casualties abroad, unless they are soldiers. However, we can only legitimise our campaign in Afghanistan with the help of locals.

 

They range from the shootings of individual innocents to the often massive loss of life from air strikes, which eventually led President Hamid Karzai to protest publicly that the US was treating Afghan lives as "cheap". When civilian family members are actually killed in Afghanistan, their relatives do, in fairness, get greater solatia payments than cans of beans and Hershey bars. The logs refer to sums paid of 100,000 Afghani per corpse, equivalent to about £1,500.

 

US and allied commanders frequently deny allegations of mass civilian casualties, claiming they are Taliban propaganda or ploys to get compensation, which are contradicted by facts known to the military.

 

But the logs demonstrate how much of the contemporaneous US internal reporting of air strikes is simply false...

 

Some of the civilian deaths in the list stem from violent actions by US special forces attempting to hunt down Taliban leaders or al-Qaida incomers. In a typical case, last November, the army files record a demonstration by 80 angry villagers who broke an armoured car window in the village of Lewani. A woman from the village had been killed in an assault by the shadowy Task Force 373.

 

Article by the London Guardian

Link to post
Share on other sites

Any of you that grew up during the Vietnam era knows that this is just business as usual. Maybe no as extreme as the exaggerations of Vietnam but par for the course for sure. The government lies, the military lies as it suits them both. I am just surprised they try as hard as they do to not kill civilians... :doh: As for this being Obama's war, get real, it's his because he inherited it not because he started it... All wars are the property of the president, he is the Commander and Chief of the military, how could any war not be the presidents?

Link to post
Share on other sites

I find it somewhat funny at just how ignorant so many people are to the realities of war and the types of involvment between the Government and its people, the government and the military, the military and the people, and the government to the government.

It is not suprising that these have happend or that there were cover ups, its called war. Within war your everyday "warlike" stuff has about 10% to do with wining a war, the other 95% is propaganda.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The administration's response was this morning's major headline. Borrowing a few lines from the Bush administration, their two-pronged approach downplayed the importance of the documents while at the same time declaring their release to be a threat to national security. Oh, and of course stressed that the documents pertained almost entirely to the Bush years and not as much to the year and a half since Obama took over. (gee)

 

I agree with this. The Obama administration's actions as far as foreign policy have been in many ways similar to the Bush administration's foreign policy. Here is what I mean. . .

Secret commando units like Task Force 373 — a classified group of Army and Navy special operatives — work from a “capture/kill list” of about 70 top insurgent commanders. These missions, which have been stepped up under the Obama administration, claim notable successes, but have sometimes gone wrong, killing civilians and stoking Afghan resentment

.

 

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/38411835/ns/world_news-the_new_york_times/

 

While the documents did pertain to primarily the Bush years, they did reveal light on many issues.

 

One I find very interesting is about the Drone Attacks. These attacks have increased under the Obama Administration, and as revealed by the released memos, are not as effective as touted. The documents is also pointed out that every time one crashes it has to be recovered. How much money does that cost? Furthermore, what happens if a drone crashes in Pakistan? Which is even more likely now, since the Obama Administration has not only continued the Bush policy on such drone attacks, but has increased the use of such attacks http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drone_attacks_in_Pakistan#Statistics.

 

Does it seem like a good idea to have US forces have to cross the border into Pakistan, a country with nuclear weapons, to retrieve top-secret, fallen military aircraft?

 

Why did the military attempt to cover-up the whole 'heat-seeking missiles used by the Taliban' thing? With all the bad news that has come out about the war, I find this a very tiny things, unless I am missing something. Either way, I'm sure officials in the Bush Administration knew about such things. I am also pretty sure that officials in the Obama administration new such things, but obviously chose not to shed any light on it.

 

I also agree, as many have already pointed out that hiding/misrepresentation of civilian deaths is not a new, or unusual thing.

 

Pangloss, I attempted to give you a little plus on your comment, but I accidentally clicked that negative.

Edited by toastywombel
Link to post
Share on other sites
It's Obama's War Now

 

The ouster of Afghanistan commander David McKiernan could make—or break—the Obama presidency.

 

By Fred KaplanPosted Monday, May 11, 2009, at 6:45 PM ET [/Quote]

 

http://www.slate.com/id/2218160

 

Moon; Rather than argue this, I'll offer you an appraisal I kind of agree with. VP Biden, Iraq, could well be Obama's "greatest achievement" to have meaning, the reverse should as well. Afghan is Obama's War and he ran on it....and for the record, he ran on pulling out of Iraq.

 

Thread; Does anybody, not understand these CLASSIFIED items, came from INSIDE the Government, in the first place? Regardless what happens in war, this should not ever happen and has been going on far to long, though never to this degree....I would think the question should be, has Government got too BIG, the Bureaucracy, to even be controlled? There talking about so many New Homeland Security Departments, the original intend of inter cooperation, has never happened.

Link to post
Share on other sites

War sucks. People die. Governments lie. Shock and horror!

 

It's always nice when someone can stand up and tell the government, "You lie!". Well, except for the fact that they did lie and we've been killing people and having our own people die. But we all knew that was happening.

Link to post
Share on other sites

"""""""""""""War sucks. People die. Governments lie. Shock and horror!

 

It's always nice when someone can stand up and tell the government, "You lie!". Well, except for the fact that they did lie and we've been killing people and having our own people die. But we all knew that was happening.""""""""

 

That's probably the best quote for this thread, and for the media from it. +1 points.

Link to post
Share on other sites

ABC News had a piece tonight saying that the documents indicated that 95% of the bombers in Afghanistan have come from the same madrasa in NE Pakistan.

 

So I guess they won't anymore.

 

I realize people think it's vastly important to get all the information, which 'wants to be free', but there really is a reason that some things are kept secret. The problem is that politicians just can't resist the temptation to put things in the lockbox to save their bacon, instead of using it only for stuff that saves all our bacon.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think everyone is naive enough to believe everything that the Government, the military or the media broadcasts. However, we are not in the 'Nam era any more; we are in the information age, where there is a vast amount of information available about what is happening on the ground through blogs and alternative media sites. However, what annoys me is that the military, the Government and the media are trying the propaganda approach in the 21st century.

 

I tend to believe, personally, that we are receiving information from highly filtered information. I have been reading articles from Professor Noam Chomsky and consider them an alternative to what the media broadcast.

 

Professor Chomsky

 

In the book Manufacturing Consent by Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky, a scientific (or pseudoscientific) method was used to analyse the words of the media, in particular. The two professors discovered five filters through which media news and other items were broadcast, which corresponded to a propaganda model proposed by Professor Herman:

 

We noted that the five factors involved -- ownership, advertising, sourcing, flak, and anticommunist ideology -- work as "filters" through which information must pass, and that individually and often in additive fashion they help shape media choices. We stressed that the filters work mainly by the independent action of many individuals and organizations; these frequently, but not always, share a common view of issues and similar interests. In short, the propaganda model describes a decentralized and non-conspiratorial market system of control and processing, although at times the government or one or more private actors may take initiatives and mobilize coordinated elite handling of an issue.

 

Professor Herman's Propaganda Model

Edited by jimmydasaint
Link to post
Share on other sites
As for this being Obama's war, get real, it's his because he inherited it not because he started it... All wars are the property of the president, he is the Commander and Chief of the military, how could any war not be the presidents?

 

I agree. One thing that's always bugged me is this obsession over who started a given problem. It's important for evaluating the problem starter, but useless for evaluating the problem fixer. Presidential candidates run on the problems that exist, and are there to fix problems that exist. To appeal to the problem starter, as if that somehow means something when analyzing the problem fixer, is a highly popular offense these days, and is the work of children. We consistently get these reminders about Bush starting the war when we evaluate the job of Obama and company dealing with it. All problems have an initiation point, and people to blame, and none of them have squat to do with fixing them or how well they're being dealt with.

 

Yes, we know Bush initiated the full scale of war, just like we know the who stole our social security and who caused the biggest oil leak on the planet. They are problems owned by the executive. They must answer for how they deal with them, not cower behind their origination point.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I would like to a raise a single point. Is there any suspicion amongst you all that the release of these documents is related to the recent plane crash in Pakistan?

 

After hearing Ambassador Husain Haqqani reject the information contained in the documents I can't help but think that his country is involved in a very large operation. Whether this operation is bred of malice towards the West I will not say.

 

Provide your thoughts,

Link to post
Share on other sites

I would like to a raise a single point. Is there any suspicion amongst you all that the release of these documents is related to the recent plane crash in Pakistan?

No, Julain and others had announced they had and were planning the release of the documents before the plane crash.

 

 

 

After hearing Ambassador Husain Haqqani reject the information contained in the documents I can't help but think that his country is involved in a very large operation. Whether this operation is bred of malice towards the West I will not say.

 

Provide your thoughts,

 

Most muslim countries hate us, hell most of the world does. Our policies and our actions do not help in relieving the hatered either. We have a tendency to act like spoiled kids, we want everything now and were not afraid to push people around to get it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

No, Julain and others had announced they had and were planning the release of the documents before the plane crash.

 

The plane crash happened within the last few hours...

 

It is much more difficult to prove a relation doesn't exist, than it is to identify its existence.

 

Did you notice that the Pakistani officials have already 'ruled-out' terrorism? hmmmmmmm :huh:

 

 

Most muslim countries hate us, hell most of the world does. Our policies and our actions do not help in relieving the hatered either. We have a tendency to act like spoiled kids, we want everything now and were not afraid to push people around to get it.

 

Pakistan is a major non-Nato Ally. This is a different situation.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Most muslim countries hate us, hell most of the world does. Our policies and our actions do not help in relieving the hatered either. We have a tendency to act like spoiled kids, we want everything now and were not afraid to push people around to get it. [/Quote]

 

Zolar; Most Muslim's and for that matter the rest of the World's people would love to migrate to the US, Canada or Australia (in that order, IMO). In turn their Government's, some called Radical/Extremist actually do hate us. The alternative has been migration out of oppressive Counties to where ever possible and has been going on for years, into European Countries. To go a little further, non radical Governments, even the Western Industrialized ones, dislike certain policy of each US Government, which local media outlets will exaggerate (spin), or politicians in those Government to achieve some relatively minor objective or agenda.

 

 

Back to those classified documents; They appear to be more Anti-Bush Policy, than US Policy and this worries me, even above the point anything has been leaked, in the first place. I don't know, certainly nobody in most any media or in fact most of US Government beuracrats (career workers), understand all what may be involved in any ONE action/decision. Where talking about stabilizing an area of the World, that has for all practical purposes never been stable and in an era of massively destructive weapons, not all nuclear. The US could have walked away from Kuwait, letting Iraq/Hussein (Gulf War I) have it his way, not enforced sanctions on Iraq (justified or not) or accepted to 9-11 as a Criminal Action (as was the World Trade Center first bombing) and be done with the entire problem. Factually, at least in my opinion, the problems would have been much worse and could still be without some intervention into the areas affairs. In past terms, I have no idea who or what would be in control of the Worlds Oil supply (Would be worse than OPEC is today) and everyone is forgetting India's role currently in these ongoing problems, or for that matter Israel's...

Link to post
Share on other sites

The story today is that this leak has "outed" hundreds of Afghan informants by name and location. And not just people who helped Americans, but actually people who turn-coated the Taliban, giving inside information on plans and positions which lead to American attacks and captures. People the Taliban will surely now proceed to locate and kill.

 

And all because Julian Assange hates war. That is some serious moral compromising for a pacifist. Wow.

 

 

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503543_162-20011886-503543.html

Link to post
Share on other sites

The story today is that this leak has "outed" hundreds of Afghan informants by name and location. And not just people who helped Americans, but actually people who turn-coated the Taliban, giving inside information on plans and positions which lead to American attacks and captures. People the Taliban will surely now proceed to locate and kill.

 

And all because Julian Assange hates war. That is some serious moral compromising for a pacifist. Wow.

I don't think it's fair to boil his motivations down to "hating war." Many other leaks have been related to banks, diplomacy, and courts, not war. I think he has explained his motivations by opposing government secrecy in general, not war.

 

I think what this really exposes was a failure by the Wikileaks people to fully screen the data. They say they've withheld several thousand documents for being sensitive, but apparently they missed some.

 

When you're releasing 90,000 documents, you have to be thorough.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Okay, but whatever his motivation, it's not as if he couldn't know that something like this could happen. This is a person who's deliberately acted, putting his ideological preference ahead of safety, ahead of national security (of many nations), and ahead of other people's ideological preferences.

 

Julian Assange has wielded extraordinary power for the purpose of affecting change in society, and he's acted against at least the common-sense rules of civilized society, and against the authority of a democratically elected government that represents the will of the majority. He has forced other people to do something (learn about these papers) which we neither asked nor likely would have wanted to do, had we known about this risk. (I believe forced is the correct word, because he leveraged the mechanism of the media to do something it would not normally do.)

 

With that in mind, here's a question to ponder: In what way is Julian Assange different from Osama bin Laden?

 

----------------

 

Edit: By the way, when the war appropriations bill finally came up for a vote yesterday in the House, more than 100 Democrats voted against it -- three times the number of nay votes as the last vote a year ago. Not a single Democratic leader spoke for the bill in the formal debate, and all of this happened in spite of a last-ditch plea from President Obama. Were it not for all but 12 Republicans voting for it, it would not have passed.

 

http://www.newsweek.com/blogs/the-gaggle/2010/07/27/anti-war-left-grows-in-congress-with-latest-war-funding-vote.html

 

Interesting bit from the above article:

 

That, in turn, could mean that there will be pressure on President Obama to move more quickly toward an Afghanistan withdrawal from within his party's grassroots in the run-up to his reelection bid in 2012. Just this week, liberal commentator Arianna Huffington told NEWSWEEK's Daniel Lyons that the editors of her popular Web site, the Huffington Post, uniformly oppose the Afghanistan war as unnecessary. That may be a bellwether of rising sentiment on the left.
Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.