Monday, July 26, 2010

Wikileaks' Massive Leak on Afghan War

Wikileaks made the secret military documents on War in Afghanistan available on Sunday. They leaked these documents to three major newspapers, who all have the special section titled "The War Logs" on their sites:

New York Times (US)

Der Spiegel (Germany)

Guardian (UK)

Those papers who didn't get the "leak" downplay (e.g. Telegraph UK, Washington Post).

Here's the headlines and snippets from the Washington Post coverage of the leak:

Leak itself gains more attention than contents
Experts say documents shouldn't alter approach
Wikileaks' revelations aren't anything new
This was all secret?

Here's's Justin Raimondo, "Bradley Manning's Gift" (7/26/2010):

"They said the huge cache of classified documents – including 250,000 diplomatic messages passed from US embassies around the world to Washington – was a fantasy, “boasting” by Pfc. Bradley Manning, the intelligence analyst who gave Wikileaks that video of US soldiers laughing and shouting “good shot!” as they mowed down Iraqi civilians. The “hi tech” media, especially Wired magazine, did everything they could do discredit and smear him, including spreading rumors about his alleged sexuality. Now, with the release of over 91,000 internal US government communications, intelligence analyses and incident reports via Wikileaks, the motive behind the determined effort to smear Manning and shut down Wikileaks is all too apparent.

"The Guardian provides a helpful interactive map, in which you click on a location and read the “incident report.” Of course, you’re reading a selection of what the Guardian editors consider important, but it looks to me like their news judgment isn’t bad at all, because the first one I clicked on was an intelligence report detailing meetings of the Taliban with Osama bin Laden in Quetta, Pakistan, and in villages on the border with Afghanistan. So, bin Laden is not only alive, but they know where he is. I guess when Hillary was hectoring the Pakistanis about the whereabouts of bin Laden, the subtext was: “If we know, then you must know, too!”

"A good number of the incident reports are those that detail civilian casualties, which don’t seem to have been reported by our own “embedded journalists”: the title of this one, “Five in car, including toddler, machine-gunned by patrol,” is typical of what the reader has in store. Here’s another: “Special forces wound two, kill six, including young girl, plus donkey and chickens.” There are hundreds of such reports, detailing slaughters both horrifying (“56 civilians killed in NATO bombing”) and pathetic (“Practice shell kills child and 10 sheep, injures shepherd”).

"What’s particularly bad, from the perspective of the Obama administration officials charged with selling this war to the American people, is the dramatic portrayal of the sheer chaos enveloping our military effort, such as this one, entitled “Border police high on opium’ in shoot-out.” Oh, and by the way, the Taliban is apparently armed with portable heat-seeking missiles – a fact the administration has been covering up."

In "Notes in the Margin", Mr. Raimondo says:

"The release of the logs also brings into focus the Manning case, and its importance – really, at this point, its centrality – to all those opposed to our foreign policy of global intervention. Bradley is sitting in a jail in Kuwait, right now, being interrogated and, who knows, perhaps even tortured, within an inch of his life. This is intolerable. He is a hero, not a traitor: he is giving us the truth about what we’re doing in Afghanistan, and around the world. We should thank him for this priceless gift by working tirelessly to free him.

"Enveloped in a cloak of secrecy, our rulers get away with murder – literally – committing their crimes in the dark, until someone like Pfc. Manning shines a light on the truth. Now is the time for the American people to take up that cry, and declare: Not one more dime, not one more life!

"Hands off Wikileaks! Free Bradley Manning!"


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