(2PM EST – promoted by Nightprowlkitty)
The Guardian UK, a British publication, says that they asked to see the 90,000+ wikileaks documents of whistleblower Julian Assange on the Afghanistan War, and has created its own stories on them, and has not paid for this. They say they’ve “crawled through it so you can make sense of it,” which means that they must have had it for a while.
As the U.S. Senate strips out $20 billion of domestic funding resources that would have paid for schools, teachers, and college students, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…
A spokesman for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., wouldn’t comment on whether the House will simply approve the Senate measure and send it on to Obama for his signature.
But the pressure to do so is intense, especially after Defense Secretary Robert Gates warned lawmakers this week that unless the measure is enacted into law before Congress leaves for its August recess, the Pentagon could have to furlough thousands of employees.
…. out of yet another war “supplemental” bill above the regular military funding, and is poised to influx another massive amount of deficit cash into yet another surge into a country we’ve now occupied for 9 years, the timing could not be better.
Rachel Reid, who investigates civilian casualty incidents in Afghanistan for Human Rights Watch, said: “These files bring to light what’s been a consistent trend by US and Nato forces: the concealment of civilian casualties. Despite numerous tactical directives ordering transparent investigations when civilians are killed, there have been incidents I’ve investigated in recent months where this is still not happening.
Accountability is not just something you do when you are caught. It should be part of the way the US and Nato do business in Afghanistan every time they kill or harm civilians.” The reports, many of which the Guardian is publishing in full online, present an unvarnished and often compelling account of the reality of modern war.
Most of the material, though classified “secret” at the time, is no longer militarily sensitive. A small amount of information has been withheld from publication because it might endanger local informants or give away genuine military secrets.
The Guardian’s war logs homepage of links is here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/worl…
Story, “Civilians caught in firing line of British troops” 7/25/2010 here:
The US army’s archives contain descriptions of at least 21 separate occasions in which British troops are said to have shot or bombed Afghan civilians, including women and children.
There are also four recorded instances of air strikes called in by the UK resulting in casualties to civilians.
There is also at least one episode of UK shootings which the war logs cover up. On 3 December 2006 the US database merely records that a convoy struck an IED in Kandahar, wounding three Royal Marines and causing 25 civilian casualties.
The Guardian video tutorial of how to intrepret the war logs is here:
A few pointers from the Guardian’s editor David Leigh:
The time frame is 5 years, from 2005 to 2009.
There is an interactive map of I.E.D. or Improvised Explosive Devices, which have occurred in Afghanistan. (Note: Nobody can look at the map flashing like a Christmas tree, and not conclude that something is damned wrong. )
There is an interactive guide to more than “200 key events.” where there is the full report.
There are color codes for the factions in the reports.
Blue= friendlies, or NATO/US
Green = Afghanistani forces
White = Civilians
Thus, in the next few weeks, when you hear of “blue on blue” that would be friendly on friendly fire, or coalition accidentally shooting at each other.
Green on green would be Afghanis accidentally or deliberately shooting at each other
Blue on white would be NATO or coalition or US forces shooting at civilians.
There are also abbreviations or acronyms in the “TITLE LINE” (minute 1:44 on video)
KIA = Killed in Action
WIA = Wounded in Action
The “Summary” is an important entry. It carries a short report of what was “supposed to have actually happened. ”
Then there is statistics- how many friendlies, host nations, or civilians were killed or wounded in action. The UK says that these are “highly unreliable.”
CCIR – Commander’s Critical Information Requirement “it may sometimes say things like ‘negative media expected’ or “credible allegations that civilians have been injured. ”
“The data is also downloadable as a data block from our spreadsheet.”
There have been more than 2000 Afghan civilian casualties from the roadside bombs, according to this. There have been at least 144 “blue on white,” or NATO on Afghan civilian, accidental casualties revealed in these war logs. At least 195 civilians have been killed and 174 wounded, but this number is thought to be too low.
It could be that the United States has given its unofficial blessing to the publication of the files by a European ally, while pretending to be deeply annoyed, in order to create a rationalization for the money to be spent and the casualties to come by expanding the war even further, into Pakistan, (where the US has been killing whomever it wants to with drones, plus it has mercenary privateers and special opps there, unofficially) plus, the usual, ongoing, eternal threat to bomb Iran. During the past week we have also witnessed the specter of the Secretary of State Clinton and now US Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen, declaring that the Pakistanis know where Bin Laden is- which is just downright silly at this point. http://findtut.com/osama-bin-l…
Just like Iraq was supposed to have WMD and have been funding and cooperating with Osama Bin Laden, Pakistan gets to be next in the international “where’s Waldosama bin Hiding ?” game.
Dated July 18,2010
Clinton told Greta Van Susteren of Fox News that Pakistani cooperation has enabled the United States to “track and kill a lot of [Al-Qaeda’s] principal leadership” and said she believes the
Obama administration has also moved closer to capturing or killing Osama bin Laden or Al-Qaeda’s second in command, Ayman Al-Zawahiri. “We have been able to kill a number of their trainers, their operational people, and their financiers. We’ve been able to do that, so in that sense we have gotten closer. But I won’t be satisfied till we get it done,” she said.
“You’ve got to take on every nongovernmental armed force inside your country, because even though you think they won’t bother you today, there’s no guarantee. It’s like keeping a poisonous snake in your backyard. You think, oh, it’ll only go after the stranger or the intruder. You don’t know whether tomorrow it’ll go after you,” she said.
The Secretary of State said she is finding “greater receptivity” to that argument, but “we’re still having to really make it strongly.”
That “greater receptivity” would likely be the result of the newly announced $500 million a year over several years adding up to $1.7 billion in payments to Pakistan, to allegedly work on their infrastructure, while letting the US military play around some more in their country. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/worl…
Hillary Clinton used to believe in the Great Right Wing Conspiracy. Nice to see she’s made the transition over to the Great Left Wing Conspiracy.
How to read the Afghanistan War Logs:
Governments everywhere are out to get you. As long as you have any assets left to harvest. Now fork it over.
…. itself start to be led around by the Senate. Furthermore, this week, as I wrote about the last diary, Lieberman Party of Self and Useless Kerry basically abandoned the so called Climate change/Energy bill this session, which a few are now trying to morph into another bastardization of a smaller bill, telling BP to pay for the mess in the Gulf of Mexico, and something about letting the military modernize their fuel procurement resources.
Speaking of the villain du jour, Glenn Greenwald has this up on the wikileaks Afghanistan papers:
Wikileaks released the papers to Der Speigel, and the NYTimes also, but I won’t link to them if I don’t have to because the NYTimes (and the WAPO) are the two major U.S. publications that got us into this perpetual neocon occupation middle east makeover crusades in the first place. Greenwald says that all 3 were supposed to wait until today to let the information be turned loose.
I don’t think it matters that much whether or not it’s a Democrat or a Republican President in office when you have something like this happen. If the public finally starts to perceive they’ve been duped, and starts to come out of its stupor, the long term result is the same- a change in power.
Whether or not the oil rig cremation of 11 lives and the destruction of the fishing and tourism industry in the Gulf, will be President Obama’s equivalent of “4 Dead in Oh Hi Oh” remains to be seen. I keep thinking back to the thing I read recently about how the younger generation is becoming less compassionate and thinking also about how Plouffe & company are just going to go for the youngest, 2nd time voters….. ugh.
And then there’s the Tea Party, which is just more Oil Party astroturf. Double ugh.
No good solutions.