Monday, July 26, 2010
A massive leak of secret files exposes the truth of Afghanistan war and occupation.
The huge cache of military files provides a devastating portrait of a failing war and reveals how coalition forces have killed hundreds of innocent civilians in unreported incidents, Taliban attacks have soared and Nato commanders now fear neighbouring Pakistan and Iran are fuelling the insurgency.
The disclosures come from more than 90,000 records of incidents and intelligence reports about the conflict obtained by the whistleblowers website Wikileaks in one of the biggest leaks in U.S. military history. The files, which were made available to the UK Guardian, the New York Times and the German weekly Der Spiegel, provide a blow-by-blow account of the fighting over the last six years, which has so far cost the lives of more than 320 British and more than 1,000 U.S. troops.
The war logs detail how:
• a secret “black” unit of special forces hunts down Taliban leaders for “kill or capture” without trial.
• the US covered up evidence that the Taliban has acquired deadly surface-to-air missiles.
• the coalition is increasingly using deadly Reaper drones to hunt and kill Taliban targets by remote control from a base in Nevada.
• the Taliban has caused growing carnage with a massive escalation of its roadside bombing campaign, which has killed more than 2,000 civilians to date.
The Obama White House criticized the publication of the files by Wikileaks saying:
“We strongly condemn the disclosure of classified information by individuals and organisations, which puts the lives of the US and partner service members at risk and threatens our national security. Wikileaks made no effort to contact the U.S. government about these documents, which may contain information that endanger the lives of Americans, our partners, and local populations who co-operate with us.”
Nonetheless, lethal errors at civilians’ expense, as recorded in the logs, include the day French troops strafed a bus full of children in 2008, wounding eight. A U.S. patrol similarly machine-gunned a bus, wounding or killing 15 of its passengers, and in 2007 Polish troops mortared a village, killing a wedding party including a pregnant woman, in an apparent revenge attack.
Questionable shootings of civilians by UK troops also figure. The U.S. compilers detail an unusual cluster of four British shootings in Kabul in the space of barely a month, in October/November 2007, culminating in the death of the son of an Afghan general.
At least 195 civilians are admitted to have been killed and 174 wounded in total, but this is likely to be an underestimate as many disputed incidents are omitted from the daily snapshots reported by troops on the ground and then collated, sometimes erratically, by military intelligence analysts.
The leaked files certainly stand in stark contrast to the manufactured propaganda the American people are being fed by the Obama administration as it continues to follow a war model in Afghanistan started by the Bush administration nine years ago.
You can read the Afghanistan war documents on WikiLeaks HERE. Please be advised the site is extremely overloaded and running slow. Be patient and keep trying if the site times out.