The WikiLeaks vs. the US government saga started in July, when 77,000 secret US documents directly relating to Afghanistan were made available to major media organizations. Many of us shook our heads with a mixture of disgust and vindication. We had long been aware of the brutality of the war, and the corruption of its benefactors. Now we finally had written, uncontested proof.
The Afghanistan War Logs were revealing and damning. They were filed by soldiers and commanders in the field. Despite the largeness of their size, they constituted a decipherable narrative, a sorry story to told and discussed.
The Iraq War Diaries also resembled an unmitigated disaster for US war plans. 391,832 classified military documents were published on October 22, revealing the extent of the calamitous invasion, occupation and ‘state building’ underway in Iraq.
The value of these finds – representing the largest leak in history – was unmatched. It effectively brought to an end the illusion that all was well in Mesopotamia. As with the Afghanistan documents, these files too constituted a narrative, albeit an extremely long and disturbing one. The fact that 15,000 Iraqi deaths are now officially included in the Iraqi death count is in itself a remarkable achievement.
The leaks regarding Afghanistan and Iraq were related. The much touted ‘success’ of the surge in Iraq under former US President George W. Bush is being repeated in Afghanistan under current President Barack Obama. The same haughtiness, language, and even strategies are now being duplicated. Thanks to the logs and diaries, now we know we are being fed half-truths. We can see through the dodgy numbers, the fabricated estimations, the flashy and dishonest language of politicians and leaders. Never again should anyone claim a lack of knowledge of civilian casualties, detainee abuse, corruption, and very shifty war goals.
On November 28, the State Department was faced with another leak and embarrassment. 250,000 US diplomatic cables were released, divulging everything from the US’ belittling judgments of the supposedly poor fighting abilities of British soldiers in Helmand to the unwelcomed camaraderie between Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, from Qatar’s alleged “(hesitance) to act against known terrorists” to Hezbollah’s alleged attainment of new and sophisticated weapons through Syria.
Much of what has been disclosed was known, expected or realized through a simple exercise of deductive reasoning Much more at link:
Ramzy Baroud is an author and a journalist. His latest volume is The Second Palestinian Intifada: A Chronicle of a People’s Struggle (Pluto Press, London). He can be reached at email@example.com. Read other articles by Ramzy.