The Secret Iraq Files

UPDATE: See part II of Al Jazeera’s Secret Iraq Files below. Also see Part 1 and Part 2 of Democracy Now‘s interview with Julian Assange, and Daniel Ellsberg on why he supports Wikileaks.

The Wikileaks war logs present irrefutable evidence of the murder, torture and rape which has been occuring for the past seven years in Iraq. However, it is not clear why it has chosen to collaborate with the dubious Iraq Body Count which for years has been providing a convenient underestimate of Iraqi casualties to war supporters.

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The Assault on Wikileaks

You’ll be seeing plenty more of this in the days and months ahead. Wikileaks has been the target of black propaganda and dirty tricks since the day it released the Baghdad massacre video. Recently even Amnesty International (which brought you the Gulf War of 1991 with false claims about Iraqi soldiers throwing Kuwaiti babies out incubators) and Reporters without Borders (which was mighty outraged when Venezuela closes down a broadcaster invovled in an attempted coup, but seemed remarkably understanding when France shut down a Palestinian television channel) joined the Pentagon in the attempts to discredit Wikileaks, blaming it for endagering the lives of Afghan collaborators. It now emerges that the latest attempt to defame Julian Assange was another lie. The powers that be seem not to realize that as each propaganda sally misses the mark, Wikileaks’s stature grows further.

Julian Assange, the founder of the whistle-blower website Wikileaks, has categorically denied Swedish sexual abuse charges launched against him.

The country’s prosecution authority has dropped an arrest warrant for a rape charge, but a separate molestation accusation is still under investigation.

WikiLeaks has been criticised for leaking Afghan war documents.And despite warnings from the Pentagon, the website is preparing to release a fresh batch of classified documents.

In an exlusive interview with Al Jazeera, Assange said that the accusations are part of a “smear campaign” against him.

Why Wikileaks must be protected

by John Pilger

On 26 July, Wikileaks released thousands of secret US military files on the war in Afghanistan. Cover-ups, a secret assassination unit and the killing of civilians are documented. In file after file, the brutalities echo the colonial past. From Malaya and Vietnam to Bloody Sunday and Basra, little has changed. The difference is that today there is an extraordinary way of knowing how faraway societies are routinely ravaged in our name. Wikileaks has acquired records of six years of civilian killing for both Afghanistan and Iraq, of which those published in the Guardian, Der Spiegel and the New York Times are a fraction.

There is understandably hysteria on high, with demands that the Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is “hunted down” and “rendered”. In Washington, I interviewed a senior Defence Department official and asked, “Can you give a guarantee that the editors of Wikileaks and the editor in chief, who is not American, will not be subjected to the kind of manhunt that we read about in the media?” He replied, “It’s not my position to give guarantees on anything”. He referred me to the “ongoing criminal investigation” of a US soldier, Bradley Manning, an alleged whistleblower. In a nation that claims its constitution protects truth-tellers, the Obama administration is pursuing and prosecuting more whistleblowers than any of its modern predecessors. A Pentagon document states bluntly that US intelligence intends to “fatally marginalise” Wikileaks. The preferred tactic is smear, with corporate journalists ever ready to play their part.

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Julian Assange press conference on Afghan war logs

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On 27 July 2010, Julian Assange of WikiLeaks spoke at the Frontline Club about the impact of the documents that were released in partnership with The Guardian, the New York Times and German paper Der Spiegel which chronicle in minute detail US military operations between 2004 and late 2009. He also gave a practical demonstration of how journalists and citizens can make use of the vast amount of data available online.

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The Wikileaks Afghanistan War Logs

In one of the biggest leaks in US military history, 90,000 records of incidents and intelligence reports about the war in Afghanistan obtained by the whistleblowers’ website Wikileaks were made available to the Guardian, the New York Times and the German weekly Der Spiegel. The files reveal hundreds of civilians killed by coalition troops, ‘friendly fire’ deaths and shadowy special forces, painting, as the Guardian puts it, “a devastating portrait of the failing war in Afghanistan”.

Over the fold: Julian Assange on the war logs and war log links.

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