July 28, 2014

WikiLeaks Releases Secret Iraq Files

Today WikiLeaks released nearly 400,000 classified files about the Iraq War. The files are war diaries ranging from January 1st of 2004 to December 31st of 2009. View the complete set of classified files at the WikiLeaks website (this link no longer works), where the files are conveniently organized into categories for browsing or searching. Initial findings of the top secret war logs include:

  • Between 2004 and 2009, there were 109,000 deaths in Iraq, of which 66,081 were Iraqi civilians, according to Al Jazeera. This raises the estimate of Iraqi deaths during this time frame from 107,000 to 122,000.
  • Iran may have helped train insurgents, according to the NY Times. In a war log detailing an attack that resulted with 5 US casualties, “the insurgents were professionals and appeared to have a well planned operation,” which included wearing American uniforms.
  • Two of the deadliest days of the Iraq War were August 31st of 2005, when stampede on a Baghdad bridge killed 950 Iraqis, and August 14th of 2007, when truck bombs killed over 500 Iraqis, according to the NY Times.
  • There are numerous files detailing detainee abuse. About 180,000 males were detained during this time frame of the war and detainees were hung by wrists or ankles, and subjected to whipping, punching, kicking or electric shocks. Six reports end with a detainee’s apparent death, according to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism.
  • Following the Abu Ghraib torture scandal in 2004, US soldiers were given explicit orders to not investigate torture unless coalition personnel were involved, according to the Guardian.

UPDATE (Dec. 3rd): The WikiLeaks website on American servers has been shut down. As a result, the Iraq War Logs are currently offline until further notice.

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