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When WikiLeaks released leaked US diplomatic cables in November 2010, it caused an emormous uproar in US circles. Yet, numerous issues were uncovered that would at least cause embarrassment to the US. One of those issues was Iraq and it seemed that despite revelations years before about torture, civilian killings etc, this has all continued.
This web page has the following sub-sections:
Cables reveal that US action in Iraq continues to be questionable
Media organizations, Journeyman Pictures and The Bureau of Investigative Journalism had advanced access to the released cables and produced a documentary for the UK’s Channel 4 Dispatches series, looking at some of the leaked information and what it revealed about Iraq.
Here is a short clip from their documentary:
It showed how the US has killed many innocent civilians, continued torture (even after public revelations about them), and so much more. On their introductory page to the following video clip of their documentary, they give a small example of what these cables reveal:
George Bush said, “In the new Iraq there will be no more torture chambers, the tyrant will soon be gone, the day of your liberation is near”. But the files show that rather than being the driving force for occupation, Al Qaeda flourished under the alienation bred by coalition troops. A handful of references to Al Qaeda in 2003 rises to 8000 in 2008. Troops manning checkpoints or riding convoy shoot at anything that moves: killing a doctor taking a pregnant woman to hospital, and the parents of a fourteen year old girl who was heard to cry: “Why did they shoot us? We were just going home!”. And though the army said they weren't recording the death toll, 69 000 out of the 109 000 deaths recorded in these pages, were civilians.
— Iraq’s Secret War Files; The story the US military didn’t want you to hear … ever3, Journeyman Pictures, October 22, 2010
WikiLeaks under fire
WikiLeaks is an organization that publishes submissions of documents that are normally not public, usually from anonymous sources as news leaks. Started in 2006 it has won awards from organizations such as Amnesty International and the Economist for exposing issues around the world (not just the US, as has been the case more recently).
In 2010 it started releasing documents that made the US look quite bad, especially in Iraq. Towards the end of 2010, it started to release the first of 250,000 confidential US diplomatic cables that have been leaked and since then has found itself under immense media criticism in the US, some even calling for it to be officially classed as a terrorist organization.
This caused an enormous uproar in the US, and debates about WikiLeaks itself rages on, (whether it is indeed performing a democratic function of providing information citizens should know, even filling the gaps of the mainstream media that fails to do this, whether it has gone too far, etc).
The organization has found itself in the spotlight on numerous fronts, for example, some Internet hosting companies severing ties, their web site facing denial of service attempts, various service providers being pressured to or cutting ties with the organization (e.g. payment providers), and so on. Their founder Julian Assange has also found himself facing charges of rape, which many find suspicious as a flagrant attempt to silence someone who is seen as a thorn in the side of the US establishment. Each of these issues themselves are their own pages, but are not covered here at this time.
However, in the context of Iraq, it revealed more about what has been going on, and confirms more many of our general cynicism about politicians; they say one thing, but another thing is often done.
This web site is not going to be able to cover the WikiLeaks saga (as I don’t have the time and resources that the mainstream media has, and there is a LOT of mainstream coverage about this anyway), though from time to time, this site will highlight some of the issues that the leaked information reveals.
For further information:
- News on Iraq4 from Inter Press Service, whose stories are carried on this web site
- From the Guardian (one of the few news outlets around the world to whom the US diplomatic cables were released)
- Iraq War Logs5, looks at “391,832 previously secret US military field reports and details the unvarnished and often unknown realities of the war in Iraq”
- The US Embassy Cables6, coverage of WikiLeaks and the US diplomatic cables that were leaked (including a searchable database of cables)
- WikiLeaks7 more general coverage about the organization
- Iraq War Logs8 section from Better World Links presents a growing collection of links to further sources of information.
This article is part of the following collection:
- Iraq—2003 onwards; War, Aftermath and Post-Saddam
- Iraq - WikiLeaks - More Damaging Revelations for the US
- Iraq War Media Reporting, Journalism and Propaganda
- Aftermath and Rebuilding Iraq
- Iraq: Lack of Security and Deteriorating Conditions
- Justifying the Iraq War and WMDs
- Iraq War and Geopolitics
- Handover of Power to Iraqis
- Iraq Links for More Information
(Note that listed here are only those hyperlinks to other articles from other web sites or elsewhere on this web site. Other sources such as journal, books and magazines, are mentioned above in the original text. Please also note that links to external sites are beyond my control. They might become unavailable temporarily or permanently since you read this, depending on the policies of those sites, which I cannot unfortunately do anything about.)