This Forum is Closed
November 28, 2021, 11:17:34 am
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: GGF now has a permanent home: http://forum.globalgulag.com
 
  Home Help Search Links Staff List Login Register  

Afghanistan war logs: Massive leak of secret files exposes truth of occupation

Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Afghanistan war logs: Massive leak of secret files exposes truth of occupation  (Read 546 times)
bigron
Moderator
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 549



View Profile
« on: July 26, 2010, 11:37:04 am »

Afghanistan war logs:

Massive leak of secret files exposes truth of occupation


Hundreds of civilians killed by coalition troops
Covert unit hunts leaders for 'kill or capture'
Steep rise in Taliban bomb attacks on Nato
Read the Guardian's full war logs investigation

By Nick Davies and David Leigh

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article26016.htm

July 25, 2010 "The Guardian" -- A huge cache of secret US military files today provides a devastating portrait of the failing war in Afghanistan, revealing how coalition forces have killed hundreds of civilians in unreported incidents, Taliban attacks have soared and Nato commanders 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 US military history. The files, which were made available to the Guardian, the New York Times and the German weekly Der Spiegel, give 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 US troops.

Their publication comes amid mounting concern that Barack Obama's "surge" strategy is failing and as coalition troops hunt for two US naval personnel captured by the Taliban south of Kabul on Friday.

The war logs also detail:

How a secret "black" unit of special forces hunts down Taliban leaders for "kill or capture" without trial.

How the US covered up evidence that the Taliban have acquired deadly surface-to-air missiles.

How the coalition is increasingly using deadly Reaper drones to hunt and kill Taliban targets by remote control from a base in Nevada.

How the Taliban have caused growing carnage with a massive escalation of their roadside bombing campaign, which has killed more than 2,000 civilians to date.

In a statement, the White House said the chaotic picture painted by the logs was the result of "under-resourcing" under Obama's predecessor, saying: "It is important to note that the time period reflected in the documents is January 2004 to December 2009."

The White House also criticised the publication of the files by Wikileaks: "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 US government about these documents, which may contain information that endanger the lives of Americans, our partners, and local populations who co-operate with us."

The logs detail, in sometimes harrowing vignettes, the toll on civilians exacted by coalition forces: events termed "blue on white" in military jargon. The logs reveal 144 such incidents.

Some of these casualties come from the controversial air strikes that have led to Afghan government protests, but a large number of previously unknown incidents also appear to be the result of troops shooting unarmed drivers or motorcyclists out of a determination to protect themselves from suicide bombers.

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.

Bloody 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 US 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 US 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. Of one shooting, they wrote: "Investigation controlled by the British. We are not able to get [sic] complete story."

A second cluster of similar shootings, all involving Royal Marine commandos in Helmand province, took place in a six-month period at the end of 2008, according to the log entries. Asked by the Guardian about these allegations, the Ministry of Defence said: "We have been unable to corroborate these claims in the short time available and it would be inappropriate to speculate on specific cases without further verification of the alleged actions."

 

Rachel Reid, who investigates civilian casualty incidents in Afghanistan for Human Rights Watch, said: "These files bring to light what's been a consistent trend by US and Nato forces: the concealment of civilian casualties. Despite numerous tactical directives ordering transparent investigations when civilians are killed, there have been incidents I've investigated in recent months where this is still not happening.

Accountability is not just something you do when you are caught. It should be part of the way the US and Nato do business in Afghanistan every time they kill or harm civilians." The reports, many of which the Guardian is publishing in full online, present an unvarnished and often compelling account of the reality of modern war.

Most of the material, though classified "secret" at the time, is no longer militarily sensitive. A small amount of information has been withheld from publication because it might endanger local informants or give away genuine military secrets. Wikileaks, whose founder, Julian Assange, obtained the material in circumstances he will not discuss, said it would redact harmful material before posting the bulk of the data on its "uncensorable" servers.

Wikileaks published in April this year a previously suppressed classified video of US Apache helicopters killing two Reuters cameramen on the streets of Baghdad, which gained international attention. A 22-year-old intelligence analyst, Bradley Manning, was arrested in Iraq and charged with leaking the video, but not with leaking the latest material. The Pentagon's criminal investigations department continues to try to trace the leaks and recently unsuccessfully asked Assange, he says, to meet them outside the US to help them. Assange allowed the Guardian to examine the logs at our request. No fee was involved and Wikileaks was not involved in the preparation of the Guardian's articles.

   
Report Spam   Logged

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

bigron
Moderator
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 549



View Profile
« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2010, 11:48:39 am »

US Condemns Massive Leak of Afghan War Files

By AFP

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article26020.htm

July 25, 2010 "AFP" -- The White House denounced a massive leak of secret military files that allegedly describe how Pakistan's spy service aids the Afghan insurgency, but said the information was no surprise.

In all, some 92,000 documents were released by the web whistleblower Wikileaks, containing previously untold details of the Afghan war through Pentagon files and field reports spanning from 2004 to 2010.

According to the New York Times, one of the first three media outlets to review and report on the leaks, they "suggest that Pakistan, an ostensible ally of the United States, allows representatives of its spy service to meet directly with the Taliban."

Britain's Guardian newspaper said the files, many of which detail growing numbers of civilians dying at the hands of international forces as well as the Taliban, painted "a devastating portrait of the failing war in Afghanistan."

The White House issued its condemnation shortly before the leaks were posted online, saying the information could endanger US lives but also pointing to the administration's long-held doubts about links between Pakistan intelligence agents and Afghan insurgents.

"The United States strongly condemns the disclosure of classified information by individuals and organizations which could put the lives of Americans and our partners at risk, and threaten our national security," said White House National Security Advisor James Jones.

"These irresponsible leaks will not impact our ongoing commitment to deepen our partnerships with Afghanistan and Pakistan; to defeat our common enemies; and to support the aspirations of the Afghan and Pakistani people."

The White House also released a series of remarks made in the past by top officials expressing their concern about links between Pakistan spy services and militants in Afghanistan.

Among them was one from Defense Secretary Robert Gates dated March 31, 2009: "The ISI's contacts with [extremist groups] are a real concern to us, and we have made these concerns known directly to the Pakistanis," referring to Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence spy agency.

The New York Times said it, along with the Guardian and the German magazine Der Spiegel, had received the leaked material several weeks ago from Wikileaks, a secretive web organization that often publishes classified material.

The source of leak was unknown.

The last person suspected of providing classified material to the outlet is an American soldier who has been charged with two counts of misconduct for allegedly providing video footage of a US Apache helicopter strike in Iraq in which around a dozen people were gunned down in broad daylight.

Describing "secret strategy sessions," the Times said Pakistan spy services "organize networks of militant groups that fight against American soldiers in Afghanistan, and even hatch plots to assassinate Afghan leaders."

The Times added that "much of the information -- raw intelligence and threat assessments gathered from the field in Afghanistan -- cannot be verified and likely comes from sources aligned with Afghan intelligence, which considers Pakistan an enemy, and paid informants."

In one of the documents, Pakistan's former ISI spy chief Hamid Gul is described at a January 2009 meeting with a group of insurgents following the death by CIA drone attack of a leader of Al-Qaeda operations in Pakistan named Zamarai, also known as Osama al-Kini.

"The meeting attendees were saddened by the news of Zamarai's death and discussed plans to complete Zamarai's last mission by facilitating the movement of a suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive device from Pakistan to Afghanistan through the Khan Pass," it said.

The Times noted that it was unclear whether the attack ever took place, and said that despite the official end of Gul's tenure at the ISI in 1989, "General Gul is mentioned so many times in the reports, if they are to be believed, that it seems unlikely that Pakistan?s current military and intelligence officials could not know of at least some of his wide-ranging activities."

Pakistan's ambassador to the United States, Husain Haqqani, denounced the leaks saying they consisted of "unprocessed" reports from the field that "do not reflect the current onground realities."

Jones, who did not address the veracity of the information contained in the leaks, said that the documents mainly cover the time period of January 2004 to December 2009, when former president George W. Bush was in office.

He pointed out that President Barack Obama on December 1, 2009 announced a new strategy that boosted resources for Afghanistan, and put increased focus on Al-Qaeda and Taliban safe-havens in Pakistan.

"This shift in strategy addressed challenges in Afghanistan that were the subject of an exhaustive policy review last fall," Jones said.

A US official who asked not to be named added: "I don't think anyone who follows this issue will find it surprising that there are concerns about ISI and safe havens in Pakistan.

"Some of the disconcerting things reported are exactly why the president ordered a three month policy review and a change in strategy," the official said, adding: "Wikileaks is not an objective news outlet but rather an organization that opposes US policy in Afghanistan."

Report Spam   Logged

Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by EzPortal
Bookmark this site! | Upgrade This Forum
Free SMF Hosting - Create your own Forum

Powered by SMF | SMF © 2016, Simple Machines
Privacy Policy
Page created in 0.054 seconds with 17 queries.