- Wikileaks highlight US duplicity in Iraq
- “Truth does not need a policy objective” – Julian Assange
- Wikileaks Founder may seek safe haven
By Faraz Shauketaly
Most of the world suspected it one way or another: that the United States and its principal ally, Great Britain, did not act quite as honourably as their leaders claimed; that George Bush and Tony Blair were very economical with the truth indeed.
The evidence poured in last Saturday, when the US-based website, WikiLeaks published some 4,400 pieces of documentation, exposing atrocity after another. In the process, the Wikileaks exposures added at least 15,000 to the death list in Iraq.
The full significance of these leaked documents is that finally there appears to be incontrovertible evidence that the United States got it horribly wrong in Iraq. In the aftermath of the leaks, one of the least disliked jobs within the US administration is likely to be that of its foreign secretary. In this event Hilary Clinton must surely have her work cut out.
What WikiLeaks has done is effectively prove that the Americans lied about the depth of its involvement in Iraq and quite how they appear to have lost control on the ground in terms of atrocities committed and loss of life. The leaked documents show that in spite of American claims not to have kept records of various civilian casualties, Wikileaks’ Iraq War Logs show that over 66,000 deaths occurred in a given period. The logs record for posterity the horrendous suffering inflicted upon the innocent in Iraq – in a war that has become notable for its duplicity in modern times.
In one instance recorded in the War Logs, the description of a six-year old boy’s body found is telling: it says that “several small holes found thought to have been gun shot wounds were found to have been caused by a drill.” President George Bush said at the height of the Iraqi war, “we are taking unprecedented steps to protect the lives of innocent Iraqi civilians.”
In another instance, bodies of two teenage youth were found each with a single gunshot wound to the head. Both bodies displayed signs of torture. A sign round their neck had said, “this is what happens when you work for CF”. The bodies were found by an Iraqi officer.
As the war intensified and as Iraq went into a free-fall of anarchy and the Iraqi forces went into a mode that can only be described as military debauchery, thousands upon thousands of civilians – not just men but women and children too – lost their lives at the hands mostly of their own countrymen. Iraqi prisons were said to have been hotbeds of torture and interrogation. The Coalition Forces (CF) were aware, but clearly could not control the situations with their limited presence in the country.
The size of the American and British forces in Iraq was politically sensitive for both their administrations. To have achieved full control in Iraq, they would have had to have made a mass infusion of troops especially as the Iraqi forces went into free-fall and fought their own battles within the ambiance of a coalition occupation of Iraq.
The role of Blackwater, a private security contractor, also came in for criticism and their involvement in various incidents has also been revealed in the War Logs.
The founder of Wikileaks is expected to be prosecuted under the Espionage Act – and is possibly looking for a safe haven. Julian Assange was quoted recently as saying “what the hell are we staying in the West if journalists have to seek refuge in Cuba or Moscow?”
The Iraq War Logs is an appalling log of how the Americans either turned a blind eye or could not control, the actions of Iraqi forces on the ground and even though privy to the information did not take any action. The suffering of the people of Iraq was perhaps greater at the time than the “Saddam-monster” the coalition forces were supposed to rid them of. If it was democracy, good governance and balance that the Americans were supposed to deliver in Iraq, the price being paid is indeed a heavy one. Unlike Julian Assange, the majority of the people of Iraq will be unable to seek a safe haven elsewhere, but will be stuck in the mire of Western intervention in their own country.