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WikiLeaks Releases Cache of 400,000 Iraq War Documents 676

Caelesto writes "Today around 21:00 GMT, WikiLeaks declared an end to their media embargo of over 400,000 Iraq War documents after Al Jazeera released their story 30 minutes ahead of schedule. These documents, which have been kept under wraps by WikiLeaks for months, may reveal tortures and murders ignored by coalition forces during the fighting and occupation in Iraq. The Pentagon maintained that releasing these documents represented a danger to US troops, but already dozens of news outlets are scrambling to report on what could be a devastating blow to the US Armed Forces' already tattered image." Reader Entropy98 points to the BBC's coverage, as well. If you care to download the collection of files, it's available as a torrent.
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WikiLeaks Releases Cache of 400,000 Iraq War Documents

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  • by toastar ( 573882 ) on Friday October 22, 2010 @10:42PM (#33993446)

    But I just donated 50 EUR to WikiLeaks.

    Just letting you know you might be on the no fly list now

    -Uncle Sam

  • by ciaran_o_riordan ( 662132 ) on Friday October 22, 2010 @10:45PM (#33993458) Homepage

    > The Pentagon maintained that releasing these documents represented a danger to US troops

    Yeh, but the last time they said that, they lied:

    http://news.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=10/10/17/170227 [slashdot.org]

  • by skinlayers ( 621258 ) on Friday October 22, 2010 @11:22PM (#33993696)

    Ahhh! Good point. I just tested it with another random link from TPB and got the same thing. Its still censorship, just of a more generalize kind. ;)

  • by arth1 ( 260657 ) on Friday October 22, 2010 @11:41PM (#33993800) Homepage Journal

    Actually it's the Iraqis that are the butchers. Clearly you didn't read the article.

    "Actually" apparently means different things to different people.

    I've grepped the documents themselves, and they tell a different picture. The colour designations indicate that there are far more "blue white" than "green white" incidents, which is scary considering that there are far more green than blue people.
    (And there more "blue blue" and "blue green" casualties than "red blue" (a.k.a. "friendly fire") incidents, which is even more frightening. Most of which are marked secret with the justification of potentially inciting public/media unrest, which is downright chilling)

    For those who don't know the colour designations:
    Blue = US and allied forces
    Green = Native "friendly" forces: military, police and mercenary
    Red = Enemies
    White = Civilians

    "blue white" or "blue on white" means an incident where US and/or allied forces engaged a civilian target. One is one too many.

  • by dlt074 ( 548126 ) on Saturday October 23, 2010 @12:31AM (#33994038)

    after the 2009 SOFA, i was told that i was to "advise" IP and IF that torture was counter productive and then promptly leave the area so as not to be involved with anything the did. it's their rules, once we give them self government. sure makes the bad guys pine for the days when the "evil" americans were in charge.

  • Re:Wow (Score:5, Informative)

    by kestasjk ( 933987 ) * on Saturday October 23, 2010 @12:49AM (#33994118) Homepage
    Here is an example of one of the writeups: A FORCE FROM //%%% RAIDED AND SEARCHED '%%% AREA - -%%% PROVINCE. 6X SUSPECTED WERE ARRESTED. THE RAID ENDED AT %%%. NO INJURIES

    It's very typical, the "%%%" are WikiLeaks censoring information; dates, places, times, names, even things you would think wouldn't matter to release. They really censor a lot of info, and the majority of reports are pretty mundane, probably giving a fairly good idea of the documents they received.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 23, 2010 @12:58AM (#33994144)

    Second term election for GWB was GWB vs. John Kerry.

    Drink yourself.

  • Re:Tattered Image (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 23, 2010 @01:16AM (#33994230)

    Top level officials not wanting these documents publicly released is unfortunate but the fact that these documents even exist is a testament to professionalism on the part of the Armed Forces.

    I don't mean to Godwin this thread or anything, but... [wikipedia.org]

  • Re:The irony... (Score:5, Informative)

    by insufflate10mg ( 1711356 ) on Saturday October 23, 2010 @01:28AM (#33994268)
    Supposedly the documents show that the actual deathtoll for the Iraq War is over 105,000. Nearly 70,000 of these casualties were civilians. The documents reportedly also tell about incidents of torture by coalition forces, and of civilians being killed at checkpoints (for speeding to get their wife to the hospital). There is an incident described where a single terrorist on the roof of a building caused the military to obliterate the entire building and everyone in it (civilians). It also reports 15,000 bodies being buried without being identified.

    Source: WikiLeaks & ABC News (Al Jazeera claims to have found far more embarrassing records but I went with ABC for obvious reasons.)
  • Re:Wow (Score:4, Informative)

    by clarkkent09 ( 1104833 ) on Saturday October 23, 2010 @06:10AM (#33995170)

    None of what you said changes the fact that sanctions under Clinton killed more Iraqis than war under Bush. Pointing out that Saddam was culpable is the same as me pointing out that the insurgents are culpable in civilian deaths by a) not wearing uniforms b) deliberately mixing with civilians, c) killing hell out of of a lot Iraqi civilians themselves. Are you aware that by far most of the civilian deaths in Iraq have come from the insurgents, not from the US?

  • Re:Tattered Image (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 23, 2010 @07:50AM (#33995508)

    Spoken like someone who doesn't know anything about war. What kind of standard of proof would you expect? Land the helicopter and ask each person to show their terrorist ID card before they can be engaged?

    You're really bad at this. This doesn't actually matter because most of the real terrorists were not wearing any special uniform or whatnot. This isn't a pathetic excuse for people like you to come out of the woodwork and defend the mistakes of the American military.

    No other army does anything remotely close to that. Russians would have carpet bombed the entire city block like they did in Chechnya and nobody would have ever known anything about it. Same with Chinese.

    Yeah I heard that Hitler guy was pretty bad too, guess I'll go over and just kill a couple hundred people, then just pull this defense up when people berate me.

    The most tragic part of it was the van but even that was not strictly speaking a violation of the rules of war.

    It was a neighborhood street and they shot into a car with unknown passengers and contents. There turned out to be two children inside. Just because it's "legal" doesn't mean it's right.

    Anybody helping the enemy (while not clearly marked as a medic) is a fair target.

    Anyone helping the wounded, as long as they're unarmed, shouldn't be a fair target.

    I don't know why you're trying so hard to defend these guys.
    So basically, anyone wearing ordinary clothes, that's in or near a neighborhood where insurgents broke out into a gunfight, is completely fair game for firing upon? So basically, nearly the entire population of Iraq?

    And don't tell me they were fair targets because the soldiers spotted one with an RPG, the soldiers got permission to engage before anyone mentioned an RPG.

  • by dkleinsc ( 563838 ) on Saturday October 23, 2010 @09:02AM (#33995790) Homepage

    I've been around peace activists all my life. Contrary to what you might think, especially in light of much of the propaganda about peace activists, they have absolute respect for the soldiers and why they joined. What they're against is idiots ordering them into combat for no good reason.

    Here's the other piece of the puzzle: Soldiers who join up with the best of intentions often have severe psychological problems while serving and after their service is up. 40 years ago, there were plenty of decent men who went to Vietnam to serve and protect their country, and while they were there they found themselves doing things to civilians that still give them nightmares. Many of the guys who committed the My Lai Massacre were perfectly decent and loyal folks before they left their home.

    In short, war is hell, and peace activists are trying to prevent soldiers from having to go through it. In addition, they are generally supportive of efforts to help veterans deal with both the physical and psychological damage that all too many come home with (which is a point of disagreement with the Pentagon brass).

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 23, 2010 @09:07AM (#33995816)

    In reality, there is no emergency. Labour lasts hours even with mothers who had babies before.

    really? Funny, my daughter was born 45 minutes after my wife went into labor at 4AM at home. Try telling her there was no need to hurry.

    time for you to step down form that pedestal.

  • Death toll (Score:2, Informative)

    by Internetuser1248 ( 1787630 ) on Saturday October 23, 2010 @09:08AM (#33995818)
    And that is not including the deaths from the draconian sanctions [wikipedia.org] that the US forced over the last couple of decades and the corresponding systematic destruction of civilian infrastructure like water, power and sewage systems. Estimates for these reach over a million, a staggering proportion of which were children.
  • by commodore64_love ( 1445365 ) on Saturday October 23, 2010 @10:46AM (#33996374) Journal

    >>>The real problem is that the right.....

    I wish you (and other posters) would stop saying "the right" as if we all think with one hive mind. I'm on the right (tenth amendment constitutionalist) but I'm anti-"war on terror", and always have been since the towers collapsed. Stereotyping is a bad thing to do.

    If you want to denigrate, then be more specific with your targets. "The real problem is that the Bush/neoconservative Republicans from 2001 to 2008 were pro-war and..." i.e. Don't include me in your 2-minute hate, because I was NEVER sided with them. And there's lots more like me (Ron Paul, Judge Napolitano, Harry Browne, et cetera) who also were against the war.

  • by Beelzebud ( 1361137 ) on Saturday October 23, 2010 @12:16PM (#33996984)
    "Precision guided smart bombs"

    "Surgical airstrike"

    No one from the military ever came out and gave that exact quote that you demand, but the language has been sugar coated for decades.
  • by Beelzebud ( 1361137 ) on Saturday October 23, 2010 @01:20PM (#33997356)
    In other words, you're denying that the language associated with warfare has been deliberately sugar coated.
  • Re:Tattered Image (Score:3, Informative)

    by Brianwa ( 692565 ) <(brian-wa) (at) (comcast.net)> on Saturday October 23, 2010 @03:48PM (#33998448)
    My impression is that the gunship was quite far away, possibly even firing from below the horizon. The guy in the van may have just heard explosions, saw people (at least some unarmed) on the ground dying and rushed in to help. In a place where things like terrorist bombings aren't uncommon, he didn't have much of a reason to believe he was driving into an active firefight. It's not like the people on the ground were shooting back at the helicopter at any point.

God help those who do not help themselves. -- Wilson Mizner