TIM KING: Wikileaks Releases ‘The Afghan War Diary’

SalemNews.Com

We hope the impact will lead to a comprehensive understanding of the war in Afghanistan and modern warfare in general. – Wikileaks

Mazar
e Sharif was recaptured by the Afghan Northern Alliance in November
2001, with help from the U. S. Special Operations Forces. Around 2,000
Taliban fighters who surrendered were reportedly massacred by the
Northern Alliance after the battle, and reports also place U.S. troops
at the scene of the massacre. Salem-News.com photo by Tim King

(SALEM, Ore.) — WikiLeaks
has done it again; over 90,000 documents from the war in Afghanistan
have been released to the public. Wikileaks called, The Afghan War Diary (AWD), “An extraordinary compendium of over 91,000 reports covering the war in Afghanistan from 2004 to 2010.

“The reports, while written by
soldiers and intelligence officers mainly describing lethal military
actions involving the United States military, also include
intelligence information, reports of meetings with political figures,
and related detail.”

Wikileaks released footage of an
Apache helicopter attack on a group of unarmed Iraqi civilian
journalists in April, that showed the U.S. Army absolutely decimating a
group of eight, with apparent enthusiasm, and a desire to lay waste
to the people on the ground. The helicopter crew continually asked
for permission to attack the people, who were in no way acting a like a
military force.

The journalists had no reason to
suspect that an American helicopter would actually attack and leave
them all dead. The Apache crew fired at the wounded and chuckled over
the results, while insulting the dead as they lay on the ground[1].

That was followed by the helicopter
attacking a mini van with two small children in the front seat,
positioned in what appears to be in clear view of the attacking
helicopter crew.

The van had arrived to evacuate the
injured journalists. The attack on the van left several more Iraqi
citizens dead in the road and scattered in the area.

After the attack, a U.S. Army HUMVEE arriving on the scene drove over the body of at least one journalist.

The American voices seem to find that aspect humorous, over the radio.

The children somehow were not
killed in the initial attack, and an American soldier is seen running a
child to a medical crew, only to be told they will not treat the
children injured in the U.S. gunship attack, and they would have to
wait for the Iraqi Army to arrive and transport them.

The Afghan document collection will shortly be available on a dedicated webpage.

According to Wikileaks: The
Afghan War Diaries is the most significant archive about the reality
of war to have ever been released during the course of a war. The
deaths of tens of thousands is normally only a statistic but this
archive reveals locations and key events behind each of these
individual deaths. We hope the impact will lead to a comprehensive
understanding of the war in Afghanistan and modern warfare in general.

These reports have been primarily
written by soldiers and intelligence officers listening to reports
radioed in from front line deployments. However the reports also
contain related information from Marines intelligence, US Embassies,
and reports about corruption and development activity across
Afghanistan.

Each report consists of the time and
precise geographic location of an event that the US Army considers
significant. It includes several additional standardized fields: The
broad type of the event (combat, non-combat, propaganda, etc.); the
category of the event as classified by US Forces, how many were
detained, wounded, and killed from civilian, allied, host nation, and
enemy forces; the name of the reporting unit and a number of other
fields, the most significant of which is the summary – This is an
English language description of the events that are covered in the
report.

The Afghan War Diaries is available
on the web and can be viewed in chronological order by over 100
categories, which were assigned by the US Forces such as: escalation of
force, friendly fire, development meeting reports, etc. The reports
can also be viewed by “severity”, where severity is proportionate to
the number of people killed, injured or detained. All the incidents
have been placed onto a map of Afghanistan and can be viewed on Google
Earth limited to a particular window of time and place. In this way,
events of nearly the entire war may be seen.

The Afghan War Diaries show how
cover-ups start on the ground. When reporting their own activities US
Units are inclined to classify civilian kills as insurgent kills,
downplay the number of people killed or otherwise make excuses for
themselves. When they report on other US Military Units they are more
likely to be truthful but still provide excuses. Conversely, when
reporting on the actions of non-US ISAF forces they tend to be frank or
critical and when reporting on the Taliban or other rebel groups, bad
behavior is described in comprehensive detail. The behavior of the
Afghan Army and Afghan authorities are also revealed.

These reports cover most units from
the US Army with the exception of most US Special Forces activities.
The reports do not generally cover top-secret operations or European
and other ISAF Forces operations. However when a combined operation
involving regular US Military occurs, say with US Special Forces, other
ISAF Forces or the CIA occurs the details are often reported. For
example a number of bloody operations carried out by Task Force 373, a
previously secret US Special Forces assassination unit, are exposed in
the Diary — including a raid that lead to the death of seven children.

This archive shows the vast range
of small tragedies that are almost never reported by the press but
which account for the overwhelming majority of deaths and injuries
resulting from the war.

Wikipedia has delayed the release of
approximately 15,000 reports from the total archive. They say it is
part of a “harm minimization process” demanded by their own source.

They do intend to release the
reports after further review with occasional reactions. Later
information will be published in full, as the security situation in
Afghanistan permits.

The data is provided in CSV and SQL formats, sorted by months, and also was rendered into KML mapping data.

We believe whistleblowers are the
strongest and bravest advocates for change in existence, and without
them the status quo and all of its unchecked wrongdoings escape the
light of scrutiny, and the individuals responsible for illegal activity
go on hurting others.

I don’t say this often, but the
government of the United States of America is as corrupt and wrong as
any that has ever existed, whether Americans themselves can appreciate
that or not. We have broken the world in ways that can never be mended
and when we aren’t doing it militarily, we are behind environmental
devastation, economic depression; you name it. Capitalism as a concept
has run a bad course and western people leading sheltered lives have
no idea what on earth they have been paying for. Thanks to groups like
this, the truth does come forward. The importance of that can never
be underestimated.

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