The War Logs – US warfare, unfiltered.

A picture named M2
Julian Assange, self promotor or hero

US Army intelligence has leaked almost 100 000 secret documents, recording events in the Afghanistan war from 2004 to 2009. The leak threats US foreign policy as well as US and NATO troops on the field in Afghanistan according to the US government.

The documents were made available to the public by The documents that were leaked from the gigantic US intelligence apparatus are classified as secret, obviously they were not intended to be distributed all over the globe and dissected by three national newspapers from Germany (Der Spiegel), the UK (The Guardian) and the US (The New York Times).

The reports in the thousands of documents are authentic, but do not always reveal the truth, merely raw field reports.  The reports confirm the already known cooperation between the Pakistan secret service and the Talibans that result in the killings of US troops, the fact that the US is hiding the real number of civilian deaths and injuries is also a normal war strategy and no news.

The publication of these reports as the top news all over the world put the US in the same situation as BP, a dirty mess is surfacing and now every step in the PR and image work will be very important for Obama. Let us hope that he does not make the same mistakes as BP’s Svanberg did. Let us hope for transparency instead of falsification.  

At this time it is pointless and mindless for Obama to blaim as the documents came from US Army intelligence and might as well have been leaked to the Talibans and other US enemies.

Below I have made a summary of what the three newspapers wrote about this leak in their online publications.

The Guardian – feels for the civilians, sees through the US propaganda.

The Guardian number one focus, civilian deaths, two kill or capture policy, Taliban attacks on NATO troops.

With these caveats, the collective picture that emerges is a very disturbing one. We today learn of nearly 150 incidents in which coalition forces, including British troops, have killed or injured civilians, most of which have never been reported; of hundreds of border clashes between Afghan and Pakistani troops, two armies which are supposed to be allies; of the existence of a special forces unit whose tasks include killing Taliban and al-Qaida leaders; of the slaughter of civilians caught by the Taliban's improvised explosive devices; and of a catalogue of incidents where coalition troops have fired on and killed each other or fellow Afghans under arms.”

“Reading these logs, many may suspect there is sometimes a casual disregard for the lives of innocents. A bus that fails to slow for a foot patrol is raked with gunfire, killing four passengers and wounding 11 others. The documents tell how, in going after a foreign fighter, a special forces unit ended up with seven dead children. The infants were not their immediate priority. A report marked "Noforn" (not for foreign elements of the coalition) suggests their main concern was to conceal the mobile rocket system that had just been used.”

Innocent Afghan men, women and children have paid the price of the Americans' rules of engagement

“Shum Khan, a man both deaf and unable to speak, lived in the remote border hamlet of Malekshay, 7,000ft up in the mountains. When a heavily armed squad from the CIA barrelled into his village in March 2007, the war logs record that he "ran at the sight of the approaching coalition forces … out of fear and confusion.

The secret CIA paramilitaries, (the euphemism here is OGA, for "other government agency") shouted at him to stop. Khan could not hear them. He carried on running. So they shot him, saying they were entitled to do so under the carefully graded "escalation of force" provisions of the US rules of engagement.

US and allied commanders frequently deny allegations of mass civilian casualties, claiming they are Taliban propaganda or ploys to get compensation, which are contradicted by facts known to the military.

But the logs demonstrate how much of the contemporaneous US internal reporting of air strikes is simply false.”

The New York Times – feels for the US troops, the US government and keep up the propaganda, did not interview Assange.

 Unlike the Guardian and der Spiegel, NYT did not interview Julian Assange, the biggest name in news today. They selected some quotes from Wikileak’s homepage.

NYT paints  Wikileaks as a shady organization publishing information that might harm US soldiers, and  countries such as Sweden having laws to protect disclosures, that might harm US troops. Very predictable, very patriotic, very let’s treat US readers as they are stupid. The most stupid remark in the articles published on this day was made by the White House  security adviser, obviously sent out to pretend Obama, in a statement released Sunday, he says “…The documents also do not cover events in 2010,…” duuh, no one claimed that they would cover 2010, did they. The White House National Security Adviser goes on to share the next pearl of wisdom with the public by saying

 “WikiLeaks made no effort to contact us about these documents – the United States government learned from news organizations that these documents would be posted,”    Obviously they have no control over where their secret documents are and they do not understand what is about. The first official statements from the White House did not impress at all.

I am disappointed in Obama to surround himself by such nutwings. Why try to steer this very important issue over to non-issues, treat the US public and sponsors of your war with the respect it deserves.  

NYT goes on to diminish civilian deaths and injuries for a poor American troops approach and Pakistan – Taliban ties.

 NYT also manages to offend the Swedish freedom of speech and freedom of press by referring to our laws as “provided more protection for Wikileak’s disclosures.”  It is called freedom of speech ya’ll.

New York Times, I am not impressed. I know though, why Wikileaks selected you as the US media outlet to report on the documents, they wanted to make it clear to the thinkers that you walk in the leash of the White House and that freedom of speech in the US different certainly not the same in the US as in other countries.

Der Spiegel – admits German shortcomings, exposes US propaganda, brings up the TF 373 as embarrassment and interviews Assange.,1518,708314,00.html

“Never before has it been possible to compare the reality on the battlefield in such a detailed manner with what the US Army propaganda machinery is propagating.”

“Despite repeated requests, the White House refused to provide any comment in time for the deadline of the printed edition of SPIEGEL. On Saturday evening, however, a White House official finally provided written answers to select questions about the content of the reports obtained, but refused to grant an interview.”

About Task Force 373,1518,708314-2,00.html

“The newly released data now show what command units like Task Force 373 are up to each night -- and how things can also go terribly wrong.

A report on June 17, 2007, for example, includes a warning in the second sentence that this operation of the TF 373 must be "kept protected." Details about the mission could not be provided to other countries contributing to the ISAF forces.

The aim was to kill prominent al-Qaida functionary Abu Laith al-Libi. The special forces suspected that the top terrorist and several of his followers were present at a Koran school the soldiers had been staking out for a number of days.

But after the impact of five American rockets, instead of finding al-Libi, the ground forces discovered six dead children in the rubble of the school. A further seriously injured child was also found but could not be saved”.

The TF 373 might become an embarrassment for the German government. After all, who wants to be openly involved in the dirty US games of killing people without a trial.,1518,708407,00.html

“Even though the revelations in the leaked war logs involve an American unit, the new information about the secret commando missions could also prove embarrassing for the German government. Roughly 300 men with TF 373 have been stationed on the grounds of Camp Marmal, the German field base in Mazar-e-Sharif, since the summer of 2009. The special unit has chosen a strategically advantageous and shielded location at the airfield, where it operates from the Regional Command North, which is under the command of Germany's armed forces, the Bundeswehr.

The stationing of the unit was a sensitive issue from the very beginning, and officials in Berlin persistently sought to prevent much discussion of the issue. Current German Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg has also avoided the topic. Only during a visit to the troops in November 2009 did Guttenberg vaguely mention that the Germans were "grateful to the US Army for any assistance." Questions about TF 373 were discouraged.”,1518,708518,00.html

“SPIEGEL: During the Vietnam War, US President Richard Nixon once called Daniel Elsberg, the leaker of the Pentagon Papers, the most dangerous man in America. Are you today's most dangerous man or the most endangered?

Assange: The most dangerous men are those who are in charge of war. And they need to be stopped. If that makes me dangerous in their eyes, so be it.”

Der Spiegel is critical to the German government

On German Naivity,1518,708314-3,00.html

“The newly emerged documents do not contain any information suggesting that German troops were involved in any excesses of violence against the civilian population or in any illegal clandestine operations. Nevertheless, they convey an image of Germany's armed forces, the Bundeswehr, that is still devastating because they depict a German military that stumbled into the conflict with great naiveté.”

It will be interesting to see how the White House will orchestrate the damage control. Maybe they will send drones over Sweden looking for Julian Assange?

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