4
   

Afghan War Diaries

 
 
Reply Mon 26 Jul, 2010 02:10 pm
The Afghan War Diaries

Yesterday afternoon, the whistle-blower organization WikiLeaks.org released a massive archive of 92,000 classified reports revealing an "unvarnished, ground-level picture of the war in Afghanistan that is in many respects more grim than the official portrayal." The archive, containing reports from the ground written during a six-year period from 2004 through 2009, were released to the The New York Times, British newspaper The Guardian, and Germany's Der Spiegel magazine "several weeks ago on the condition that they not report on the material before Sunday." While the documents -- which are already being compared to the Vietnam War's Pentagon Papers -- reveal little completely new information, and do not completely contradict the official account, they "confirm what the Afghan War skeptics have been arguing for some time -- and completely invalidate those who have been promulgating a rosier view of outcomes inside Afghanistan." Revelations include reports that the "Taliban have used portable heat-seeking missiles against allied aircraft," weapons which "helped the Afghan mujahedeen defeat the Soviet occupation in the 1980s." The reports also detail the "omnipresence" of and previously unreported problems with drone aircraft in Afghanistan, while revealing new information about the CIA's paramilitary operations, and a commando unit that operated outside the NATO chain of command to hunt top Taliban and al Qaeda leaders. The archive is also "a vivid reminder that the Afghan conflict until recently was a second-class war, with money, troops and attention lavished on Iraq while soldiers and Marines lamented that the Afghans they were training were not being paid," the New York Times noted. As the war becomes increasingly unpopular, "This massive storehouse taken, it would appear, from U.S. Central Command's CIDNE data warehouse -- has the potential to be strategically significant, raising questions about how and why America and her allies are conducting the war," the Danger Room's Spencer Ackerman noted. The White House reaction to the release was swift, with National Security Adviser Gen. Jim Jones saying in a statement, "The United States strongly condemns the disclosure of classified information by individuals and organizations which could put the lives of Americans and our partners at risk, and threaten our national security." Jones downplayed the significance of the leak and noted that the documents mostly detail events that occurred under the Bush administration. The documents were written well before Obama "announced a new strategy with a substantial increase in resources for Afghanistan...precisely because of the grave situation that had developed over several years." A spokesperson for Afghan President Hamid Karzai said the leader was "shocked" by the size of the leak, but not its contents. Still, Sen. John Kerry (D-MA), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said in a statement, "However illegally these documents came to light, they raise serious questions about the reality of America's policy toward Pakistan and Afghanistan."

PAKISTAN'S 'DOUBLE GAME': One of the most troubling facts revealed by the WikiLeaks documents is that Pakistan has aided insurgents operating in Afghanistan. Observers of the war "have long harbored strong suspicions that Pakistan's military spy service has guided the Afghan insurgency with a hidden hand, even as Pakistan receives more than $1 billion a year from Washington for its help combating the militants." The new documents reveal that Pakistan has indeed "allow[ed] representatives of its spy service to meet directly with the Taliban in secret strategy sessions to organize networks of militant groups that fight against American soldiers in Afghanistan, and even hatch plots to assassinate Afghan leaders." At least 180 files contain allegations of "dirty tricks" by Pakistan's powerful Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI), "with accounts of undercover agents training suicide bombers, bundles of money slipping across the border and covert support for a range of sensational plots including the assassination of President Hamid Karzai, attacks on NATO warplanes and even poisoning western troops' beer supply." Some of the reports describe the ISI working "alongside Al Qaeda to plan attacks," but experts cautioned that many of these reports come from biased, or unreliable sources, and that "directly linking the Pakistani spy agency...with Al Qaeda is difficult." "Despite all their eye-popping details, the intelligence files, which are mostly collated by junior officers relying on informants and Afghan officials, fail to provide a convincing smoking gun for ISI complicity," the Guardian notes. "Most of the reports are vague, filled with incongruent detail, or crudely fabricated. The same characters – famous Taliban commanders, well-known ISI officials – and scenarios repeatedly pop up. And few of the events predicted in the reports subsequently occurred," the paper added. In his statement, Jones downplayed this alleged connection, and praised the Pakistani military for "[c]ounter-terrorism cooperation [that] has led to significant blows against al Qaeda's leadership."

CIVILIAN TOLL: The archive also reveals nearly 150 incidents in which coalition forces "have killed or injured civilians, most of which have never been reported." "These files bring to light what's been a consistent trend by US and Nato forces: the concealment of civilian casualties," said Human Rights Watch investigator Rachel Reid. "Incident by incident, the reports resemble a police blotter of the myriad ways Afghan civilians were killed -- not just in airstrikes but in ones and twos -- in shootings on the roads or in the villages, in misunderstandings or in a cross-fire, or in chaotic moments when Afghan drivers ventured too close to convoys and checkpoints." The reports "repeatedly indicate" that the dead were not suicide bombers or insurgents. For example, an "airstrike in Azizabad, in western Afghanistan, killed as many as 92 people in August 2008. In May 2009, another strike killed 147 Afghan civilians." The reports show that the Afghan population "grew steadily more exhausted, resentful, fearful and alienated" as the civilian death toll mounted. U.S. Special Forces operators -- including those of the CIA -- attempting to hunt down Taliban leaders were responsible for a significant number of deaths. These "special operations have stoked particular resentment among Afghans -- for their lack of coordination with local forces, the civilian casualties they frequently inflicted and the lack of accountability." "Each incident almost without exception is described as a meticulous 'escalation of force' conducted strictly by the book, against a threatening vehicle," suggesting a systematic problem with the rules under which troops fought. Indeed, under President Obama, the early influence of former commander Gen. Stanley McChrystal can be seen in the reports, as he successfully sought to curb civilian casualties. The spokesperson for Karzai -- who has been very vocal about civilian casualties in the past -- praised the "good progress" made over the last 18 months to lower the number of civilians killed, and said the president will not exploit the documents to publicly berate coalition forces. "[M]ost of this is not new and has been discussed in the past, and has often been raised in the past with our international partners," the spokesperson said.

AFGHAN INCOMPETENCE: The documents also "sketch a war hamstrung by an Afghan government, police force and army of questionable loyalty and competence." The U.S. is spending billions to train an Afghan police force, "but the police have proved to be an especially risky investment and are often described as distrusted, even loathed, by Afghan civilians. The reports recount episodes of police brutality, corruption, extortion, and kidnapping. Some police officers defect to the Taliban. Others are accused of collaborating with insurgents, arms smugglers and highway bandits." Coalition trainers repeatedly reported "that episodes of cruelty by the Afghan police undermine the effort to build a credible security force." The portrayal of the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) -- the country's army -- is somewhat better than that of the police, but the documents do describe serious problems that could complicate the coalition's eventual withdrawal from Afghanistan. There are reports of ANSF troops using drugs and having "parties" while on duty, but more troubling are reports about at least "50 incidents where local troops opened fire on their comrades," apparently out of confusion. There are also numerous accounts of "[r]ivalries and friction" between the ANSF and the police. "Sometimes the tensions erupted in outright clashes." For example, in December, a shootout ensued between police and ANSF forces after "an argument broke out" between the two sides at the scene of car accident, leaving an "Afghan soldier and three Afghan police officers...wounded." Analysts writing the reports repeatedly note that prevalence of this "ad blood between police and soldiers" will "damage the populace's view" of the government.

--americanprogressaction.org
  • Topic Stats
  • Top Replies
  • Link to this Topic
Type: Discussion • Score: 4 • Views: 1,937 • Replies: 13
No top replies

 
PUNKEY
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Jul, 2010 05:48 pm
Just because something is "classified" does not mean it is true or accurate.

Apparently, these kinds of reports are plentiful. However, someone who is really high in the ranks would be the only one who could amass and release it all.

The next few days should be interesting . . .
Advocate
 
  1  
Reply Thu 29 Jul, 2010 07:14 pm
@PUNKEY,
The authorities suspect an enlisted man who had previously downloaded and released classified documents.
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 Jul, 2010 06:06 am
@Advocate,
Quite a number of other detailed articles related to the Wikileaks war logs can be accessed via the link below:

Quote:
Wikileaks data: suspected army source sent back to US
James Meikle and agencies
guardian.co.uk, Friday 30 July 2010 11.18 BST

http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2010/7/6/1278438779621/Bradley-Manning-006.jpg

Bradley Manning Private Bradley Manning is under investigation over Wikileaks data on the Afghan war. Photograph: AP


A US army private under investigation for allegedly leaking classified material to the Wikileaks website has been transferred from Kuwait to the US amid growing White House and Pentagon anger over this week's revelations about the war in Afghanistan.

Bradley Manning, who has already been charged with leaking a video and other material relating to the Iraq war, is now said to be a suspected source for tens of thousands of documents which made their way via Wikileaks to the Guardian, the New York Times and Der Spiegel in Germany.

The war logs revealed civilian casualties at the hands of coalition forces that were far larger than previously reported, soaring Taliban attacks and frustration at what allies see as support for the insurgency from within Pakistan. Critics have claimed the leaks put the lives of Afghan informants and coalition troops at risk. ...<cont>


http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/series/afghanistan-the-war-logs
0 Replies
 
oralloy
 
  1  
Reply Sat 31 Jul, 2010 01:32 am
Taliban hunt Wikileaks outed Afghan informers

By Jonathan Miller
Updated on 30 July 2010

Exclusive: The Taliban has issued a chilling warning to Afghans, alleged in secret US military files leaked on the internet to have worked as informers for the Nato-led coalition, telling Channel 4 News "US spies" will be hunted down and punished.

Speaking by telephone from an undisclosed location, Zabihullah Mujahid told Channel 4 News that the insurgent group will investigate the named individuals before deciding on their fate.

"We are studying the report," he said, confirming that the insurgent group already has access to the 92,000 intelligence documents and field reports.

"We knew about the spies and people who collaborate with US forces. We will investigate through our own secret service whether the people mentioned are really spies working for the US. If they are US spies, then we know how to punish them."

http://www.channel4.com/news/articles/uk/taliban+hunt+wikileaks+outed+afghan+informers/3727667
Advocate
 
  1  
Reply Sat 31 Jul, 2010 01:53 pm
@oralloy,
It is terrible that Wikileaks didn't spend the time to make necessary redactions. The people named, or alluded to, face horrific consequences.
JTT
 
  2  
Reply Sat 31 Jul, 2010 11:34 pm
@Advocate,
Quote:
It is terrible that Wikileaks didn't spend the time to make necessary redactions. The people named, or alluded to, face horrific consequences.


If the tables were turned, there would be pages and pages and pages of Americans screaming that the traitors be ferreted out and punished. And the same would apply, "[T]he people named, or alluded to, [would] face horrific consequences.

Y'all gotta keep a bit of perspective here; the USA and the suckups are the illegal invaders.
oralloy
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Aug, 2010 04:40 am
@Advocate,
Advocate wrote:
It is terrible that Wikileaks didn't spend the time to make necessary redactions. The people named, or alluded to, face horrific consequences.


I am wondering if there will be a treason charge and/or a death penalty in the mix when the leaker guy is court martialed.
oralloy
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Aug, 2010 04:47 am
@JTT,
JTT wrote:
Advocate wrote:
It is terrible that Wikileaks didn't spend the time to make necessary redactions. The people named, or alluded to, face horrific consequences.


If the tables were turned, there would be pages and pages and pages of Americans screaming that the traitors be ferreted out and punished. And the same would apply, "[T]he people named, or alluded to, [would] face horrific consequences.

Y'all gotta keep a bit of perspective here; the USA and the suckups are the illegal invaders.


Things that are completely legal are by definition NOT illegal. Try again.
0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Aug, 2010 10:46 am
@oralloy,
Bush murders 100s of thousands, Reagan in the tens of thousands, Eisenhower, who knows how many thousands, Kennedy, numerous terrorist attacks on Cuba, Johnson and Nixon, war criminals of the highest order, even Carter, the whole damn bunch of them terrorists and murderers.

This young fellow, if he's the one, is a hero of extraordinary proportions, a fellow who is doing his best to put a stop to these criminal activities.
mysteryman
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Aug, 2010 12:36 pm
@JTT,
WHAT!!!

Eisenhower, Carter, Johnson, Nixon and Reagan were all in office BEFORE this young soldier was even born.
How can his actions today put a stop to what was done over 40 years ago?
Advocate
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Aug, 2010 01:14 pm
@oralloy,
Do you remember when Paul O'Neill, former Treasury Secretary, released about 90,000 documents? Many of the documents exposed Bush's lies that smoothed the way to invading Iraq. I never heard a word about prosecuting him.

Now we have a PFC, and some bigwigs are calling for the death penalty.
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Aug, 2010 04:37 pm
@mysteryman,
You're not that dumb, MM, or at least I want to believe that you're not that dumb.

This young fellow, if he's the one, is a hero of extraordinary proportions, a fellow who is doing his best to put a stop to these never ending criminal activities.
0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  2  
Reply Wed 4 Aug, 2010 04:50 pm
@Advocate,
Or Daniel Ellsberg, another true American patriot, a hero of epic proportions doing exactly what all the right wingers constantly scream about doing, putting controls on runaway secret government policies.

Quote:
In late 1969, with the assistance of his former RAND Corporation colleague, Anthony Russo, Ellsberg secretly made several sets of photocopies of the classified documents he had access to; these later became known as the Pentagon Papers. As an editor of the New York Times was to write much later, these documents "demonstrated, among other things, that the Johnson Administration had systematically lied, not only to the public but also to Congress, about a subject of transcendent national interest and significance".[7] They revealed that the government had knowledge, early on, that the war would not likely be won, and that continuing the war would lead to many times more casualties than was ever admitted publicly. Further, the papers showed a deep cynicism towards the public and a disregard for safety of soldiers and civilians.[7]


Same old same old, same old ... .
0 Replies
 
 

Related Topics

Obama '08? - Discussion by sozobe
Let's get rid of the Electoral College - Discussion by Robert Gentel
McCain's VP: - Discussion by Cycloptichorn
Food Stamp Turkeys - Discussion by H2O MAN
The 2008 Democrat Convention - Discussion by Lash
McCain is blowing his election chances. - Discussion by McGentrix
Snowdon is a dummy - Discussion by cicerone imposter
GAFFNEY: Whose side is Obama on? - Discussion by gungasnake
 
  1. Forums
  2. » Afghan War Diaries
Copyright © 2021 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.03 seconds on 04/16/2021 at 11:44:41