WikiLeaks Wins Information War: New Torture, Civilian Casualties Revealed

julian assange

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

London’s Guardian newspaper and Al-Jazeera Friday reported new cases of torture and higher numbers of civilian casualties in Iraq, as a WikiLeaks disclosure of 400,000 classified documents began spilling out through the world media.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, along with Daniel Ellsberg, will hold a press briefing Saturday in London with Daniel Ellsberg. WikiLeaks and Assange continue to be under siege by a special Pentagon task force seeking to discredit the organization, cut off its funding, and if possible bring espionage charges.

According to the Guardian account, “US authorities failed to investigate hundreds of reports of abuse, torture, rape and even murder by Iraqi police and soldiers whose conduct appears to be systematic and normally unpunished.” In addition, “More than 15,000 civilians died in previously unknown incidents. US and UK officials have insisted that no official record of civilian casualties exists but the logs record 66,081 non-combatant deaths out of a total of 109,000 fatalities.”

Throughout the Iraq conflict, the US administration and Congress refused to enforce the Leahy amendment, which bars any US assistance to foreign military units that engage in systemic human rights violations. The Leahy amendment currently is being considered to cut off assistance to certain Pakistani army units.

Like all Americans, the Peace and Justice Resource Center needs the peeling back of secrecy covering the Pentagon’s wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. If you haven’t already, please sign the PJRC petition here to support whistleblowers as an important resource for democracy.

tom haydenAccused by the military of possibly having “blood on their hands” over the previous release of 90,000 documents on the war in Afghanistan, the military recently conceded that no harm by the whistleblowing activists has been identified.

Tom Hayden

Tom Hayden is the author of 17 books, a former California state senator and a longtime peace activist.

Republished with the author’s permission.


  1. says

    If you believe in total openness on all information, tell me your home address, phone number, mother’s maiden name, credit card number, social security number [if you have one], the name of your favorite pet, and your date of birth. I will show you all the journalistic integrity Assange did by publishing it all over the Net. You will get the same redaction as 77,000 Afghans did that are now at risk.

  2. jim maloney says

    what geneva convention? this is something to be referred to only to bolster one’s own position. but the geneva convention outlines internationally accepted rules for combat/ warfare covering a number of specifics on the treatment of pow’s. if the united states won’t follow the rules, how can we expect the rest of the world to. as goes the united states, so goes most of the planet.

  3. says

    So we now have access to documents so that historians can tell the story. But have these leaked documents told us anything we didn’t already know? That any sentient being couldn’t have predicted? Hundreds of thousands of civilians are slaughtered in modern warfare. Is this news? Iraq forces torture people. The US turns a blind eye. Is anyone surprised by any of this?

    • Cole says

      We now have access to a contemporaneous record taken in the field that proves what many of us already knew. That’s a crucial contribution. What is done with these records is the big question now. One highly beneficial potential use would be for IVAW members and other vets who oppose the war to petition the government for more information about specific incidents in which US forces killed or injured Iraqi civilians. We could join them in demanding that the government pay reparations to the victims and their surviving family members. The documents create opportunities for many other actions. Thousands of human stories are embedded in those documents, stories that we can seek to flesh out in detail and convey to the American public.

      You’ll recall that back in 2004 there was much talk about the “Salvador Option” being applied in Iraq. At a time when US forces controlled the air and ground, and cities were under constant aerial surveillance, caravans of brand new SUVs bearing armed men were permitted to drive from house to house in Iraqi neighborhoods, kidnapping citizens and, in many instances, torturing them to death. They did this despite strict curfews imposed by US forces and a government that was set up by the occupying power. These are more than adequate grounds to suspect direct collusion between American forces and Iraqi death squads, and now we have internal documents to work with. The supervision of ethnic cleansing and torture by American forces is an important area for inquiry opened up by the release of these documents.

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