Sunday, 24 October 2010
The shaming of
Robert Fisk reports for The Independent (October 24th):If this vast treasury of secret reports had proved that the body count was much lower than trumpeted by the press, that US soldiers never tolerated Iraqi police torture, rarely shot civilians at checkpoints and always brought killer mercenaries to account, US generals would be handing these files out to journalists free of charge on the steps of the Pentagon. They are furious not because secrecy has been breached, or because blood may be spilt, but because they have been caught out telling the lies we always knew they told.
US official documents detail extraordinary scale of wrongdoing
WikiLeaks released on its website some 391,832
US military messages documenting actions and reports in over the period 2004-2009. Here are the main points: Iraq
Prisoners abused, raped and murdered
Hundreds of incidents of abuse and torture of prisoners by Iraqi security services, up to and including rape and murder. Since these are itemised in US reports, American authorities now face accusations of failing to investigate them. UN leaders and campaigners are calling for an official investigation.
The shooting of men trying to surrender
In February 2007, an Apache helicopter killed two Iraqis, suspected of firing mortars, as they tried to surrender. A military lawyer is quoted as saying: "They cannot surrender to aircraft and are still valid targets."
Hundreds of civilians killed at checkpoints
Out of the 832 deaths recorded at checkpoints in
between 2004 and 2009, analysis by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism suggests 681 were civilians. Fifty families were shot at and 30 children killed. Only 120 insurgents were killed in checkpoint incidents. Iraq