The much awaited dump of some 390,000 documents relating to the Iraq war has finally taken place and not surprisingly a grim picture emerges from this war of choice that the US and their "coalition of the willing" took part in.
Last week a report released by the Pentagon made the specious claim that "only" 77,000 civilians had been killed in the war. An absurd claim on its face that doesn't gibe with alarming figures that show 1 out of every 6 Iraqis is an orphan. How many were killed in this brutal war, where the most powerful nation on the face of the earth rained down "shock and awe" on what was essentially a 3rd world nation, is still unknown.
Some of the details that have emerged include how US authorities failed to investigate hundreds of reports of abuse, torture, rape and even murder by Iraqi police and soldiers whose conduct appears to be systematic and normally unpunished. Also ...numerous reports of detainee abuse, often supported by medical evidence, describe prisoners shackled, blindfolded and hung by wrists or ankles, and subjected to whipping, punching, kicking or electric shocks. Six reports end with a detainee's apparent death.
Included in the whistleblowing leaks is the cataloguing of more than 15,000 civilian deaths in previously unknown incidents. US and UK officials have insisted that no official record of civilian casualties exists but the logs record 66,081 non-combatant deaths out of a total of 109,000 fatalities. And that in no way covers the actual deaths as for example in the battle of Falluja, ...the site of two major urban battles in 2004, no civilian deaths are recorded. Yet Iraq Body Count monitors identified more than 1,200 civilians who died during the fighting.
There are numerous examples of crimes and abuses committed by the invading and occupying forces, hell bent on revenge for something that had nothing to do with Iraq, sent by the bloody minded Bush jr. administration. In the end as you'll no doubt recall they tried to pretend the war was about national security and WMD's -- a claim that also rings falsely over all the years and death.
And as these revelations come to light they are once again invoking national security as they did during the last round of leaks accusing WikiLeaks ...of possibly having "blood on their hands" over the previous Afghan release by redacting too few names. But the military recently conceded that no harm had been identified.
To avoid such charges this time the whistleblowing activists say they have deleted all names from the documents that might result in reprisals. In a just world this would never be an issue and in that same fictional setting GWB jr. and Dick Cheney would have been impeached and prosecuted for crimes against humanity.
Happy WkiLeaks dump day everybody!