The Revelations of WikiLeaks: No. 3—The Most Extensive Classified Leak in History

The “Iraq War Logs” disgorged an unprecedented profusion of documents, military reports and videos, reports Patrick Lawrence. 

By Patrick Lawrence
Special to Consortium News

For WikiLeaks, 2010 was an exceptionally eventful year. In April the transparency organization released “Collateral Murder,” the video of U.S. Army helicopters as they shot more than a dozen Iraqis in Baghdad. That proved a worldwide shock and put the 4-year-old publisher on the global media map.

“Afghan War Diaries,” a cache of 75,000 documents, followed in July.

Three months later, on Oct. 22, 2010, WikiLeaks released an even more explosive trove: 391,831 documents and videos it named Iraq War Logs.” This superseded “Afghan War Diaries” as by far the most extensive leak of classified material in U.S. history. It shone a stark light on the U.S.–led coalition’s conduct in Iraq after its 2003 invasion, when the nation had erupted into a violent sectarian war. Julian Assange, WikiLeaks founder, said the Logs “constituted the most comprehensive and detailed account of any war ever to have entered the public record.”

CNN live coverage of the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003. (YouTube)

The source for the “Iraq War Logs” was once again Chelsea Manning, who by then was in a military prison awaiting trial on charges connected to “Collateral Murder” that wound up including 22 counts of theft, assisting the publication of classified intelligence and aiding the enemy.

The Documents

With the publication of  the “Iraq War Logs,” WikiLeaks disgorged an unprecedented profusion of documents, military reports and videos.

The Logs cover the six-year period from Jan. 1, 2004, (a matter of months after the 2003 invasion) to Dec. 31, 2009.  WikiLeaks  partnered with The New York Times, The Guardian, Der Spiegel, Al Jazeera and Le Monde to disseminate the Iraq Logs. 

Taken together, the Logs portray Iraq under allied occupation as the scene of lawless mayhem and violence. Codes of conduct were routinely ignored, shootings were often indiscriminate and torture of detainees was regularly treated as acceptable practice. Innocent civilians were under constant threat of U.S.-led coalition gunfire and arrest, interrogation, and mistreatment by allied military units and the Iraqi army and police.

Among the Logs’ most significant revelations:

Torture of Detainees

The Iraqi military and police systematically tortured prisoners — including women, children and other civilians — with the tacit approval (and at times the complicity) of U.S. forces. On numerous occasions U.S. troops were directly responsible for the torture of detainees. Here is a typical report of prisoner abuse by a Special Operations unit. The incident occurred on Feb. 2, 2006; the report conveys the routine fashion in which the coalition treated such events. The detainees name, the Special Operations unit’s name, and the location of the incident are deleted:

ALLEGED DETAINEE ABUSE BY TF ___ IN ___ 2006-02-02 17:50:00


There are many thousands of similar reports detailing the violent misconduct of coalition and Iraqi forces.

Among WikiLeak’s key revelations, scarcely mentioned in U.S. media reports, were the American army’s secret orders effectively requiring U.S. military units to ignore thousands of cases of “green-green” torture, violence and murder — incidents involving Iraqi detainees held at Iraqi army bases, police stations and prisons. The list of common green-green practices makes repellent reading. Accounts of such incidents, sometimes accompanied by video shot as they occurred, detail beatings of blindfolded prisoners; stabbings; electrocutions; whippings with wires; and sodomy with hoses, water bottles and other objects.

Baghdad police working from unharmed areas of their station. (U.S. Air Force/Tech. Sgt. Cecilio M. Ricardo Jr.)

The first U.S. orders covering these incidents were issued in June 2004, two months after the torture practices of U.S. troops at Abu Ghraib broke into the news. The orders were called Frago 242, meaning “fragmentary orders.” Providing there was no U.S. involvement in an incident, American forces were told not to investigate it “unless directed by higher headquarters,” or HHQ. Frago 039, a subsequent order issued in April 2005, required U.S. troops to report green-green incidents; U.S. troops would report more than 1,300 cases of green-green torture to their commanding officers. But, once again, they were ordered to take no further action. Frago 242 and 039 were clear breaches of U.S. responsibility in Iraq.

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Here is an example of the reports U.S. forces routinely filed after Frago 242 and Frago 039 were issued. It recounts the apparent murder of a detainee while in Iraqi custody. The incident occurred on Aug. 9, 2009, in Ramadi. Iraqi officials termed the detainee’s death a suicide, while the U.S. report found the detainee’s injuries “consistent with abuse.” The U.S. military closed the case the following October; there is no indication any action was taken:

Date: 2009-08-27 09:00:00

Type: Suspicious Incident

Category: Other

Tracking no.: 20090827090038SLB413998



WHAT: Reports possible detainee abuse

WHEN: 270900C AUG 09

WHERE: Iraqi CTU in Ramadi IVO (38S LB 413 998)

HOW: At 270900C AUG 09, the PGC TT reports possible detainee abuse IVO (38S LB 413 998). On 26 Aug 09, a PGC TT (which included a USN Corpsman) conducted a post mortem visual examination of JASIM MOHAMMED AHMED AL-SHIHAWI, an individual arrested in conjunction with a VBIED interdicted NE of Camp Taqaddum (SIGACT Entry DTG: 241130CAug09). The detainee was transferred from the IHP in Saqlawiah to the Iraqi CTU in Ramadi for questioning and while in custody, reportedly committed suicide. The PGC TT personnel conducting the post mortem examination found bruises and burns on the detainee`s body as well as visible injuries to the head, arm, torso, legs, and neck. The PGC TT report the injuries are consistent with abuse. The CTU/IP have reportedly begun an investigation into the detainees death. An update will be posted when more information becomes available. The SIR is attached.

CLOSED 20091019

On Oct. 24, 2010, two days after WikiLeaks published the “Iraq War Logs,” Al Jazeera released “U.S. Turns a Blind Eye to Torture.” The video details the Frago 242 and 039 stipulations as revealed in the Logs. While some incidents were eventually investigated — apparently including the one in Ramadi — there is no record of Iraqi personnel receiving a sentence for misconduct. The Al Jazeera report traces knowledge of the orders to “the highest levels of the U.S. government” — including, the video makes plain, Donald Rumsfeld, then defense secretary.

Civilian Deaths

For the first two years following the 2003 invasion, U.S. military authorities denied keeping records of civilian deaths in Iraq. Only in 2005, when the Defense Department began reporting statistics to Congress, did it emerge that the military had in fact compiled such records. But the DoD’s reports were too imprecise to constitute a reliable record: Deaths and injuries were combined, as were civilian and Iraqi army casualties. And the official numbers were consistently lower than other contemporaneous figures, according to Iraq Body Count, an investigative nongovernmental group based in London. In the five-year period the Logs cover, U.S. military logs put the number of Iraqi casualties at 109,032, some 60,000 of whom were civilians.

The “Iraq War Logs” did much to clarify the casualty question. In a detailed report, Iraq Body Count said the Logs made it possible, for the first time, to combine disparately sourced data to build a significantly more complete picture.

Iraq Body Count estimated that the Logs “will add in the order of 15,000 previously unrecorded Iraqi civilian deaths to the public record.” It concluded: “A final accounting of the human tragedies contained in the Iraq War Logs will require much time and painstaking effort, but it is now at least possible.”

Iraqi  guard at highway checkpoint in Mushahada, Iraq, while Iraqi soldiers pass through, 2006. (U.S. Navy/ Michael Larson)

Checkpoint Incidents

“Iraq War Logs” include nearly 14,000 incidents the U.S. military labeled “escalation of force” events. This principle requires military units to take a series of non-lethal steps before resorting to deadly force. These incidents occurred in a variety of circumstances. The Logs underscore the frequency of them at U.S. military checkpoints or near U.S. convoys and patrols. These incidents appear to reflect the U.S. military’s often random, undisciplined use of force during the period covered in the Logs.

The Logs reveal that some 680 Iraqi civilians were fatally shot in such incidents; roughly 2,000 others were injured. Casualties included families, pregnant women, and physically or mentally impaired Iraqis. These incidents commonly involved innocent people who unwittingly strayed too close to a U.S. checkpoint. They very often reflected disproportionate use of force by U.S. troops.

Al Jazeera published a thorough report on checkpoint shootings on Oct. 23, 2010, the day after WikiLeaks released the Logs. The Daily Telegraph published a report on Oct. 24 detailing numerous similar cases. Both noted an incident described in the Logs and dating to September 2005. It is more typical than exceptional. Here is a portion of Al Jazeera’s report:

“In September 2005, after going through an appropriate escalation, two soldiers from the 1–155thinfantry opened fire on an approaching vehicle with M249 machine guns. Both poured 100 bullets into the car—five or six seconds of sustained fire from a gun capable of shooting 1,000 rounds per minute.”

The shooting killed a man and a woman in the car’s front seat and wounded children aged 6 and 9 in the rear seat. “Relatives of those killed,” Al Jazeeranotes, “were later awarded $10,000 compensation from the U.S. military, which found the soldiers violated their rules of engagement.”

Al Jazeera’s analysis of the Logs indicated that the number of escalation-of-force incidents fell sharply in 2008, to fewer than 1,600 from more than 3,500 the previous year. “That was due, in part, to new rules intended to protect civilians—but also because Iraqi security forces, instead of Americans, had taken over an increasing number of checkpoints,” Al Jazeeera’s Gregg Carlstrom wrote. “‘Escalation of force’ incidents by Iraqi troops are not often reported by the U.S. military.”

Shootings from Helicopter Gunships

The Apache helicopter videotaped and featured in “Collateral Murder” was known as Crazy Horse 18. The Logs reveal that several Apaches in the Crazy Horse unit  conducted a series of fatal attacks in addition to the July 2007 incident recorded in the video released as “Collateral Murder” in April 2010. The most noted of these sheds light on the legal rationale U.S. forces often claimed to justify their conduct.

The incident occurred near Baghdad on Feb. 22, 2007, when Apache 18’s crew identified two insurgents on the ground below the aircraft who were trying to surrender. While tracking the two men, Apache 18’s crew radioed a military attorney at a nearby air base to seek legal guidance. “Lawyer states they cannot surrender to aircraft and are still valid targets,” the Logs entry reads. Crazy Horse first launched a Hellfire missile at the insurgents. They were killed by a 30mm cannon in a subsequent strafing run.

“Iraq War Logs” comprises reports and other documents detailing a very wide range of incidents during the five years of military engagement they cover. In releasing the Logs, WikiLeaks classified them under various headings, indicating the number of incidents in each category. “Enemy Action” records 104,272 events. There were 31,234 “Criminal Events” and 1,328 reports of “Friendly Fire.” The WikiLeaks site includes a search engine that greatly facilitates research in the vast trove of documents it sent into the public domain on Oct. 22, 2010.

Official Reaction

Because Assange  had announced the imminent publication of “Iraq War Logs,” U.S. officials were able to brace for their release, although none knew the size and contents of the Logs or the planned date of publication. A Pentagon spokesman, Col. Dave Lapan, told CNN  the Pentagon had a team of 120 experts “who are poised to immediately begin reading any documents on the WikiLeaks site.” He added: “We don’t know how these documents might be released, when these documents might be released, in what number they might be released. So we’re sort of preparing for all eventualities.”

Once the Logs were published, official reactions were mixed. While some American and British officials did focus on the troubling contents, most resorted to what amount to boilerplate condemnations of WikiLeaks for endangering the lives of military personnel serving in Iraq.

James F. Jeffrey, Washington’s ambassador to Baghdad at the time, said some of what WikiLeaks published “may or may not be 100 percent correct.” As quoted by The Associated Press, he added, “We are very troubled by any claim of any action undertaken — first of all by our own forces, or by our allies and partners, the Iraqi forces.” Jeffrey, it is to be noted, made these remarks before an audience of Iraqis.

Human rights officials at the U.N. called for the U.S. and Iraq to investigate the many indications of torture found in the Logs, including evidence that U.S. forces continued to turn over detainees to Iraqi authorities despite knowledge that Iraqis were torturing them. In London, Nick Clegg supported calls for an investigation. Speaking on a BBC talk show, the deputy prime minister at the time added, “We can bemoan how these leaks occurred, but I think the nature of the allegations made are extraordinarily serious. I think anything, anything that suggests that you know basic rules of war and conflict and of engagement have been broken or that torture has in any way been condoned are extremely serious and need to be looked at.”

Many other officials summarily condemned WikiLeaks for releasing “Iraq War Logs” — typically without addressing the revelations. In a videotaped statement, Hillary Clinton, as U.S. secretary of state, asserted, “We should condemn in the most clear terms the disclosure of any classified information … which puts the lives of United State and partner service members at risk.” In a Twitter message the day of the release, Mike Mullen, then chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, stated flatly, “Another irresponsible posting of stolen classified documents by WikiLeaks puts lives at risk and gives adversaries valuable information.”

Elsewhere, Britain’s Defense Ministry released an emailed statement. “We condemn any unauthorized release of classified material,” it read. “This can put the lives of UK service personnel and those of our allies at risk and make the job of Armed Forces in all theaters of operation more difficult and more dangerous. It would be inappropriate to speculate on the specific detail of these documents without further investigation while the Iraq Inquiry is ongoing. There is no place for mistreatment of detainees and we investigate any allegation made against our troops….”

Rumsfeld with Marines at Camp Fallujah, Iraq, on Christmas Eve 2004. (U.S. Marine Corps/Lance Cpl. Daniel J. Klein)

In Baghdad, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki accused WikiLeaks of attempting to undermine his effort to form a new government by provoking public animosity “against national parties and leaders, especially against the prime minister.” The Interior Ministry responded more directly to the contents of the Logs. “We will not turn a blind eye to any of these matters,” Deputy Minister Hussein Kamal stated in a Reuters interview. “Everyone responsible for any crimes will be prosecuted and justice will take its course.”

Media Response

The reactions of global media to “Iraq War Logs” were also mixed. All of the media given advance access to the Logs reported on their findings in multiple stories and videos. Notable among these were Al Jazeera and The New York Times.

The New York Times set up an interactive site called “The War Logs,” which featured a search mechanism enabling readers to sift through the Logs’ immense inventory of documents according to topic.

At the same time, the Times’ treatment of the Logs was in important respects defective. Alone among major global media, it effectively erased the complicity of U.S. forces in the torture of Iraqi detainees, sanitizing its reports of such incidents to suggest Iraqi military and police units acted autonomously and without the knowledge of U.S. authorities. 

Al Jazeera featured print and video pieces, an index by subject, and a glossary to help readers and viewers decipher often-difficult military terminology.

In the run-up to the release of the “Iraq War Logs,” many news outlets began to focus as much on the WikiLeaks organization and Assange’s personality as they did on the publisher’s latest (and most extensive) release — a pattern that has been evident ever since. “Since the publication of the ‘Afghan War Diaries,’ internal strife has wracked WikiLeaks,” CNN reported the day the Iraq documents were published. “Some in the mostly secretive group of volunteers — computer security specialists, journalists, aid workers, many with day jobs — have quit, citing disagreements with the way the group conducts business.”

Such reports were numerous and consistently portrayed WikiLeaks and its founder in the most unfavorable light possible. Assange and those around him acknowledged “growing pains,” as Assange put it shortly before releasing “Iraq War Logs.” In addition to staff and organizational changes, money had become a challenge by this time. Examining leaks is “a very expensive process,” Assange said at an August press conference in London. Assange’s reference was to roughly 15,000 documents that were withheld awaiting review when WikiLeaks released the initial 75,000 documents comprising the “Afghan War Diaries.”

Two pieces of journalism deserve to be singled out.

On the day before WikiLeaks published “Iraq War Logs,” Democracy Now! countered the widespread official accusations that WikiLeaks’ publications endanger Americans and U.S. national security. “WikiLeaks sparked condemnation from the U.S. government when it released the 91,000 Afghan war logs in July,” host Amy Goodman noted. “The White House and the Pentagon accused the website of irresponsibility. They claimed they were putting people’s lives in danger. But The Associated Press recently obtained a Pentagon letter reporting that no U.S. intelligence sources or practices were compromised by the leak.”

The featured guest on the program that day was Daniel Ellsberg, who was passing through New York en route to London, where he was to join Assange in a press conference. The Democracy Now! program’s virtue lay in connecting WikiLeaks to the history of whistleblowing in the U.S. 

The man who in 1971 leaked the hidden history of the Vietnam War was eloquent in his defense of Assange and WikiLeaks in this context. “I’ve waited 40 years for a release on this scale,” he told Goodman and Juan Gonzalez. “I think there should have been something on the scale of the Pentagon Papers every year. How often do we need this kind of thing? We haven’t seen it. So I’m very glad that someone is taking the risk and the initiative to inform us better now.”

On the day the Logs were released, The New York Times sent Iraqi journalists working in its Baghdad bureau around the country to record the reactions of ordinary Iraqis. The Times was careful to explain that it was not a scientifically conducted opinion poll, but “rather a snapshot of the feelings expressed by some ordinary Iraqis on the streets in the first few hours after the publication.”

The results were published in the Times’ “At War” blog. They constitute a brief but salient record of how events appeared among people on the receiving end of them — a rarity in American reporting from abroad. Not surprisingly, the Times reporters found that most of the Iraqis they interviewed — reports on 34 were published —were grimly aware of the events the “Iraq War Logs” documented and saw justice in their release into the public realm.

“I do not think that what is there is a surprise to Iraqis,” Umm Taha, a 30-year-old translator, said. “What is important is that the facts have become legally installed, and there are documents that no one can deny.”

“These are shameful crimes, and I am sure that the worst were hidden,” said Yahoo Raaid,38, an engineer in Mosul. “America said that it sent its troops from afar to spread democracy and freedom for Iraqis, but what happened is that Iraq became a center and base for terrorists to settle their problems with their enemies in Iraq.”

Zubaida Hatem, a pharmacist aged 26, said, “I was not shocked by what I heard. Of course it will be a big deal in other countries, but the reason we see it as it is, not as something huge, is because of what we are suffering here inside Iraq. We have witnessed terrible things, so this is nothing compared with the reality on the streets …. It made [me] remember the ones that I lost. My uncle died in the sectarian violence during 2006, and this reminded me of him. Whenever we want to forget something happens and brings back all the pain.”

Patrick Lawrence, a correspondent abroad for many years, chiefly for the International Herald Tribune, is a columnist, essayist, author, and lecturer. His most recent book is “Time No Longer: Americans After the American Century” (Yale). Follow him @thefloutist. His web site is Support his work via The Floutist.

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23 comments for “The Revelations of WikiLeaks: No. 3—The Most Extensive Classified Leak in History

  1. HelenB
    May 19, 2019 at 16:26

    Americans should hang their heads in shame.
    The gross misconduct of a superior force against a sovereign nation THAT HAD DONE NOTHING should not go unpunished.
    Not content with committing the crime of the century against Iraq, THE B@ST@RDS WON’T LEAVE!
    Perhaps the rest of the world should impose sanctions upon the US!
    Imagine being at the mercy of these criminals! It doesn’t bear thinking about.
    Julian Assange should be released immediately; there is no way he can be held by these sub-humans.
    To any mother thinking how proud she is of her son joining the US military, lose that thought. He will be transformed into a monster.

  2. Zhu
    May 18, 2019 at 23:12

    No US torturer or murderer is ever punished.

  3. Sam F
    May 18, 2019 at 21:07

    The Pentagon statement to AP that “no U.S. intelligence sources or practices were compromised by the leak” shows that the hundred thousand direct and proxy murders by the US were concealed solely to trick the People of the United States, and that Assange and Manning were persecuted for revealing crimes, not for causing any security problem. This alone is sufficient to disband the US military as a rogue agency that does not serve, and in fact is by far the greatest security risk to the US.

    Ellsberg is clearly correct that “there should have been something on the scale of the Pentagon Papers every year. … So I’m very glad that someone is taking the risk and the initiative to inform us better now.”

  4. May 17, 2019 at 14:13

    Thank you Patrick Lawrence and Consortium News.

  5. May 17, 2019 at 06:26

    I commend Patrick Lawrence for this article; it’s excellent in its scope and accounting. The corruption of the U.S. Government is as breathtaking as it is pervasive. Wikileaks and Julian Assange are the real heroes here, America’s and the world’s true patriots.

    Despair at the moment is often my only daily companion . . . .

  6. Hide Behind
    May 16, 2019 at 13:21

    What is my reply, years 65- 73, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos, Family and self parrticipants, filed reports of one “special unit, Tiger Force, only one of thousands such reports on them and other US military.
    A darling of the military their token Black man who gained a Star on his Shoulder and later lied in public multiple times that Iraq had “weapons of mass destruction” , Colin Powell.
    My responce as a civilian was to participate in what at times were actually open rebellion by myself, other actual combat Viet Vets, and thousands of informed and well educated youthful protestors, and we lost.
    It was not just the Black as Hell Wall names that died in war, the soul of nation died, killed by the mass of those that had no soul, 300,000,000 US citizens.
    Contrary to popular myth the Institutions of US and its 50 nations militaries and State Departments did not lose war, they merely retreated and reorganized to become more effecient both at making war against sovereign nations, and more importantly improve tactics of war upon own populace.
    They succeeded and today we live globally in a constant state of war we call “Peace Making”, and, “Making World Safe For Democracy”.
    A once badly defeated, and then defeated in multiple conflicts for true peace eventually becomes shell shocked, and in order to survive retreats seeking serenity, and finds it by removal of identity to participants of all those who commit atrocities of war itself, Loss of recognition of National Identity and rest of humanity.
    My wife and I were watching a Vietnam ( sic. and sicker) War documentary, and when It showed US military servicemen , casually and jokingly while laughing as they threw dead Vitnamese dead into a mass grave, the wife gasped, turned to me and asked,”How can they do and make jokes while they do it”?
    I could not look her in eyes when I responded, “We did it to save ourselves from becoming crazy”.
    My responce, the world of Eurocentric whites is mentally a vast institution that is so mentally unbalanced it kills any sane person or Nation of colored skins that points it out and tries to defend itself.
    WTF is Normal today?
    Acceptance of what went on in the past!

  7. May 16, 2019 at 12:43

    Sometimes the military publishes evidence too, if you know where to look.

    Here’s their latest Field Guide to Overthrowing the Governments of People You Don’t Like:

  8. Bob Van Noy
    May 16, 2019 at 11:14

    Though it’s painful, I’m pleased that Patrick Lawrence has summarized this episode of US Wrong-doing.

    From the post 911 Bush Propaganda Campaign run-up To War, many of us could have predicted catastrophe, but even I wouldn’t have predicted the apparent institutional criminality described. The selling of the GWAT was a War Crime, but the “individual crimes so well illustrated by these leaks are an outrage”. I had exactly the same reaction when I first heard of the My Lai Massacre, our military has to be sophisticated enough to recognize and report War Crimes. Both Bradley (Chelsea) Manning and Julian Assange are on fundamentally solid ground leaking and reporting these crimes.

    Thank you Patrick Lawrence and Consortiumnews, good job!

  9. Eddie
    May 16, 2019 at 11:04

    Meanwhile, the only people jailed for these atrocities were the whistleblowers and journalists who risked everything to report these crimes against humanity. The perpetrators and lickspittles at the highest level of the US empire not only condoned these war crimes but encouraged them. These vile rodents continue not only to walk free, but to enjoy wealth beyond any imagination of the working class.

    • AnneR
      May 17, 2019 at 09:36

      Yes, indeed, Eddie. You are so right about what is so wrong in this topsy-turvy western world, a world where war is peace, bombing and the ensuing chaos and destruction is humanitarian intervention (when *we* do it, otherwise it’s heinous terrorism), truth is fake news, Demrat lying is Russian election interference, British and Israeli electoral meddling is not and definitely not mentionable under any circumstances.

      Meanwhile the Demrats and their full-on supporters continue to fatten their wallets and bank balances via the MIC and external supporters.

      • christina garcia
        May 17, 2019 at 23:06

        basic manners, I am a demrat. What does that mean? I am a rat? I am D(d) rat? You know nothing about me or other people. Your silly name calling is on the level of school children. “oh, look, there is a fatso. there is a red headed kid, look that kid is a cripple, she can’t run because she has one leg, OMG that is funny” . Anne R, why do you mock people who are also working toward your goals? I don’t even have a bank account ,so why do you assume that I have any money to give to any Party? Anne, you must have too much time on your hands to make assumptions about people you know nothing about.

        • anon4d2
          May 18, 2019 at 21:13

          She did not criticize you or any other specific person, so you have no argument against her deprecation of the group.

        • Frederike
          May 20, 2019 at 21:38

          Demrat or not. There are bigger issues than assumptions!

  10. Jeff Harrison
    May 16, 2019 at 10:54

    A damning set of documentation. It is remarkable that the US has been able to get away with this war of aggression against Iraq without being hauled up to Nuremberg. It is even more remarkable that the Iraqis are allowing us to stay in their country.

    • May 17, 2019 at 06:01

      Do the Iraqis have a choice? Perhaps when the US attacks Iran those troops still occupying Iraq will get the nasty shock that is so long overdue.

    • May 17, 2019 at 09:34

      The US “leader of the free world” has from inception been an extraordinary hypocrite, but the Bush-Cheney era took the US to unprecedented levels of horror. The sick desire to hide what Wikileaks exposed reveals the psychopathic depths of the rogue rulers. Fortunately, we are seeing pushback to these deranged rogues, which has been a long time in coming. Thanks for this article.

    • AnneR
      May 17, 2019 at 09:41

      Ejecting the US, once it has its teeth into a country (military bases)… where exactly has that happened since the end of WWII? US military bases still exist in the UK, Germany, they did still in the late 1980s in Italy, Greece, Spain, the Netherlands and Belgium – not sure about nowadays, but I’d lay odds on their still being in operation in most of those places.

      Assuming that Iraq was able to get rid of them – a tall order – you can bet that economic sanctions would not be the only weapon used against them.

      • TS
        May 17, 2019 at 11:08


        > they did still in the late 1980s in Italy, Greece, Spain, the Netherlands and Belgium –
        > not sure about nowadays, but I’d lay odds on their still being in operation in most
        > of those places.

        And you’d win your bet … the numbers of bases and troops stationed there dropped (but is now increasing again), but all those countries still “host” US military bases, some of the more than 800 overseas bases.

    • HelenB
      May 19, 2019 at 16:45

      The US is asking for special treatment, immunity for its people in Iraq now … that they should be immune from prosecution for whatever they have done.
      Clearly the US expects something big to happen in the Gulf.
      Both the President (a Kurd) and the Prime Minister (a Shi’a) of Iraq have refused.
      Maybe justice will prevail …

  11. Walter
    May 16, 2019 at 10:33

    If Wikileaks is a “transparency organization” what is a newspaper?

    More seriously, how is it that failing to conceal evidence of crime has become “criminal”? (that’s one of those silly questions…)

    Obviously we’re far past the Stalingrad turning…well into magical thinking…lalalaltrallllaala

    • May 17, 2019 at 06:32

      Even Orwell would gasp at how far things now have slipped in topsy turvy land.

      • bill goldman
        May 27, 2019 at 11:19

        For over 500 years, since its discovery and then through its establishment, the USA’s thrust has always been Empire. Gore Vidal pointed this out in the 4th book of his 5 book chronicle (“Empire”). That literary work laid out in chapter and verse a dark and hidden history that has been confirmed over and over again. It portrays a savagery far worse than anything ever known before. The only redemption can come from its total collapse through a bottom up enlightened revolution.i

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