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WikiLeaks release reports detailing abuse, civilian deaths, Iranian aid

US soldiers take cover behind a wall while on patrol northeast of Baghdad. US documents obtained by WikiLeaks allege state-sanctioned Iraqi torture and the killing of hundreds of civilians at US military checkpoints. (David Furst/AFP/Getty Images)

New war logs have been released by the Web site Wikileaks, that claim to detail 15,000 Iraqi deaths not previously reported. Nearly 400,000 classified documents reportedly show prisoner abuse, civilian deaths and Iran aid to Iraqi militias.

The report has been released by the Guardian, the New York Times, Der Spiegel and Al Jazeera thus far.

Al Jazeera has released this "preview" video saying, "As part of our forthcoming coverage, we reveal how the US military gave a secret order not to investigate torture by Iraqi authorities discovered by American troops."

The Guardian reports that the files show US authorities allowed crimes to go unpunished and concealed civilian deaths.

Al Jazeera reports that there are many reports of Iraqi-on-Iraqi detainee abuse, often nearly identical to torture techniques used by the ousted regime of Saddam Hussein.

The New York Times reports on the "shadow war" between the United States and the Iraqi militias backed by Iran's Revolutionary Guards, underscoring why the American military has focused on Iran.

The Wikileaks Web site states that the documents comprise 391,832 reports covering the war and occupation in Iraq, from January 1, 2004 to December 31, 2009 with the exception of May, 2004 and March, 2009.

CNN released an interview with WikiLeaks Editor-in -Chief Julian Assange, who says the documents show, "'compelling evidence of war crimes' committed by U.S.-led coalition and Iraqi government forces."

This release follows the July release of 91,000 documents detailing the war in Afghanistan.

Daniel Ellsberg, the man who helped leak the Pentagon Papers to the New York Times in 1971, tweeted, "I've waited 40 years for a release of documents on this scale."

The Post's coverage will be updated from our foreign staff soon.

By Melissa Bell  | October 22, 2010; 5:41 PM ET
Categories:  The Daily Catch  
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Of course Iran is in the middle of this. It's good that we are winding our way out of this mess.

Posted by: thegraneys | October 22, 2010 6:14 PM | Report abuse

More things we really know is happening. Civilians killed and no efforts to avoid it, etc.

The one thing is that with this papers you can't deny it.

Of course, those who are arrogant and believe the government's explanations or intentions will dismiss this.

Truth can be irrelevant and inconvenient and lies can be celebrated and held as a banner to guide our actions.

Humans. They truly suck.

Posted by: coqui44 | October 22, 2010 6:17 PM | Report abuse

It really must hurt to work at the Post these days, having to live with a second rate Web presence and being shut out of so many scoops. See the NYT for real coverage of this important topic.

Posted by: Dawny_Chambers | October 22, 2010 6:21 PM | Report abuse

More documentation of the decline of the U.S. empire. There is no shame. Change administrations and it is more of the same...

Posted by: chucka1 | October 22, 2010 6:21 PM | Report abuse

They can shut down the call girl ads on CraigsList but they can't do anything about WikiLeaks? I'd say there are some misplaced priorities at work.

Posted by: blasmaic | October 22, 2010 6:25 PM | Report abuse

This is an outrage! Absolutely reprehensible!

Who in the ---- is is charge?

Our government owes each and every Marine, soldier, and sailor (retired and on-duty) and all of the American people an explanation.

Why weren't security measures in place to ensure that something like this couldn't happen? Who is responsible?

The United States should make it a priority to kill Julian Assange on sight (or would that be "profiling").

What is our country coming to? We can't even take care of our own.

Posted by: JAH3 | October 22, 2010 6:26 PM | Report abuse

"Have you people ever heard about people having fun?"
--Donald Rumsfeld, about sexual torture by US soldiers.

Posted by: jewishmother | October 22, 2010 6:27 PM | Report abuse

Somebody ought to shoot this guy.

Posted by: am1968 | October 22, 2010 6:32 PM | Report abuse

Ten days before an election. Good timing.

Posted by: hipshot | October 22, 2010 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Holder need to send Assange a cease-and-desist letter.

What a joke our government has become.

Posted by: JAH3 | October 22, 2010 6:46 PM | Report abuse

It's just sad to know that our country is party to all this from start to finish. We have to own this. We started this conflict. We actually invaded another country because we didn't like the guy running the show over there. If that's all it takes to start a war then I guess we'll be sending troops all over the world. Just a sad state of affairs.

Posted by: peterbriefs | October 22, 2010 6:48 PM | Report abuse

Again, the BUSH ADMINISTRATION and the SENATORS that voted YES to 2 unnecessary wars, should all be HELD ACCOUNTABLE for WARS CRIME COMMITTED as HITLER'S NAZIS were. For the murder of over 8000 coalition soldiers and over 1,000,000 dead Muslims. If this is not done, then the karmic backlash that is plaguing this country will continue to devour it.

Posted by: jayee0918 | October 22, 2010 6:49 PM | Report abuse

When will wikileaks put out the details about W. BUSH and his secrets to go to war. This article don't mean diggidy squat, let us know the real truth about Bush, Cheney, Rove, we're talkin'. This stuff here, please you should've kept this as an inside discussion at your water cooler. This is the WaPo the newspaper that broke WaterGate. Bush was too sophisticated, you'll never know.

Posted by: clifton3 | October 22, 2010 6:50 PM | Report abuse

None of the content of these leaks comes as any surprise. THIS is what happens in war everywhere.
Furthermore, it is somewhat disengenuous for Americans to act all "shocked" by this.
Americans KNEW what was going on and did NOTHING. Not just our leaders.
As soon as those original torture pictures surfaced and the likes of Lynndie England hustled off to prison, the American people dropped the subject immediately.
When the majority of people in any culture are co-opted into supporting and commiting war crimes, the term becomes meaningless because ALL have participated in the crime.
It is absolutely disgusting and it happens this whole world over again and again.

Posted by: cms1 | October 22, 2010 7:00 PM | Report abuse

Dissolve the armed forces and enlist the Boy and Girl Scouts to fight our enemies with rubber bands, paper clips and cotton balls.

America is in a sorry state. We don't even think enough of ourselves to demand that our government bring us Assange's head. Instead, we make apologies for fighting a war as a war should be fought and wring our hands collectively while thinking of ways to get one up politically.

Where is the outrage?

Posted by: logicprevails | October 22, 2010 9:41 PM | Report abuse

Why would we have stopped the torture and murders committed by Iraqis when we were doing the same ourselves?

The shame comes from not prosecuting our own guilty parties first (or yet).

Posted by: ChicagoKen | October 22, 2010 10:05 PM | Report abuse

So, let me get this straight:

The US military "allowed" the Iraqi military to torture--or is it that these reports acknowledge Iraqi torture but since they are intel reports don't tell anything about what military justice actions might have been taken?

And these reports tell about Shia troops taking out revenge on former Saddam Sunni officers and troops, showing that the western media, who were insisting that the Shia were taking a shackling from the Sunnis, didn't have a clue or care to get one.

And finally, these documents show that Iran has been involved for as long as there has been an insurgency in Iraq (and that the three hikers were in Iraq and NOT Iran...) unlike what the media kept insisting (because it was just US administration (Bush's) paranoia...

So maybe these leaks are a good thing since the show how very little real investigative journalism goes on....except of course for all people these documents have put in harm's way.

Assange--a petulant child who doesn't care what bad things happen to others, so long as his ego gets stroked....

Posted by: mil1 | October 22, 2010 10:31 PM | Report abuse

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Posted by: yuyou97 | October 22, 2010 11:09 PM | Report abuse

I'd have no qualms or compunction about killing a Republican. Doesn't mean I'm going to do it but it's war. No aid or comfort to enemies foreign or domestic. You got to know you're in a fight and Ann Coulter speaks for the raw power criminal tyrants. Neither side wants to give the head's up to Nixon's 30000 name racial enemies list. Neither side wants to give the head's up to commies like MLK or terrorists like Teddy Kennedy and David Nelson of Ozzie And Harriet who were on the Bush era terror watch list. Anthrax only attacks Democrats. This ain't no party, this ain't no disco. Nuke the Republicans, go daisy ad.

Posted by: Uoughtano | October 23, 2010 1:40 AM | Report abuse

I keep wondering why the US Govt doesn't just assert copywrite on the material and sick the RIAA on them...

Posted by: Nymous | October 23, 2010 3:17 AM | Report abuse

With this one Assange acquires more very real enemies who will probably start nibbling away at all of his blood relatives or others who have gotten close to him.

Uh, BTW, that's not the Western enemies he already had.

What's happened here is he's released information on the Sunni and Shia factions in Iraq and some of those guys aren't real friendly to anybody, particularly bleached blond bisexual wierdos.

Posted by: muawiyah | October 23, 2010 8:15 AM | Report abuse

What is all the fuss about? Anyone who has been reading about this war from the beginning and knows anything about the history and culture of Iraq knew all of this was going on.

Hingsight is 20/20 but those of us who said this war was ill advised from its beginning predicted some of what is now being revealed in these papers. And, anyone who has served in combat in our military also knows that combat and the attempt to clean our an insurgency is going to produce these "atrocities." Some are real atrocities and others are the very unfortunate side effect of fighting a war where civilians are either simply in the way or are used by the enemy as human shields as protection.

All of this occured in Viet Nam to a much greater degree than in Iraq. Whole villages were napalmed because the VC were in the village; prisoners were tossed out of helicopters if they would not reveal the location of enemy units and, yes, American troops turned a bline eye when our allies, the South Vietnamese brutalized VC and North Vietnamese prisoners.

And, we wonder why so many of our young men and women return home with nightmares and PTSD?

Whenever you to to war this kind of ---- is going to happen. Therefore, be very careful when you do lest your citizeny be repulsed at what you are doing in the name of patritotism, honor, democracy or any of the other jingoistic slogans used to manipulate our population to support taking our nation into the charnel house which is war.

Posted by: bobfbell | October 23, 2010 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Anyone reading some of the newer books published about the war in Iraq would know about a lot of this, although not the extent of Iraqi citizens killed. But even the killing was clear in these books, and the foot soldiers were well aware that the folks back in the US had no clue what was really going on in this war for the most part.
We have no business being there in the first place, and I think that's why whoever is responsible for leaking this information is doing it.

Posted by: Beachgirl35 | October 23, 2010 10:03 AM | Report abuse

I do not understand why everybody in the United States is so upset with Julian Assange and Wikileaks. Everybody should be upset at the US government. How can the government, of the world's greatest democracy (so they claim), hide all this information from it's citizens. We are supposed to be an open and fair society but something tells me that the old saying is true. " Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely" When a small group of people control the government and the flow of information it makes me wonder where we are headed as a nation.

Posted by: citizenoftherepublic1 | October 23, 2010 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Can someone knowledgeable remind me why was Milosevic on trial?

Posted by: HOTSPATAR | October 23, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

You would think with teh FBI spy we would learn to have "need to know" rules. Don't blame the private that let all the papers out. Blame the officer who gave him so much access.

People should only know what they have a need to know. How much does a private need to know?

Not much.

Posted by: GaryEMasters | October 23, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

"I keep wondering why the US Govt doesn't just assert copyright on the material and sick the RIAA on them..."

There is no copyright on Government publications. We own them and they are for our use.

The RIAA are busy extorting money from grandmothers and single mothers. Don't bother them with any thing that is real or serious.

Posted by: GaryEMasters | October 23, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

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