Saturday, 23 October 2010

WikiLeaks' next big scoop.

I have to say, I really do admire the people working behind Wikileaks, who come in for criticism from the leaders of so many country's, but stick to what they do because they believe in the freedom of the press. Their latest big scoop is the release of 400,000 secret US military records from the Iraq war, which contain some pretty shocking accusations.

It's no small secret that Iraq was a botched job, a job that started for the wrong reasons as it was, but these files show a far uglier side than many would think if they hadn't studied the war religiously.

It shows that the US did keep a count on civilian Iraqi deaths, contrary to what it had claimed, and that the figure stood at 66,000 out of 109,000 total deaths. More than 20 times as many civilians have died in Iraq as died in the 9/11 attacks, but they rarely get a voice.

Then there are the reports of torturing detainees with electrocution, with drills, and even executing prisoners. They also show that the military command knew full well what was going on, but chose to mark the files as 'no further investigation'. They hushed it all up.

There are reports of Apache helicopters firing on groups of insurgents after they had surrendered, amazingly the same crew that were involved in this horrific attack on journalists and then the people who came to help them. Never will you see such blood lust in your life. It's monstrous.

There will always be those critical of people who leak information that they would rather hadn't been seen, but I think it's vital. They go through a painstaking process to make sure no individual is identified and could be hurt as a result of the leaks, and the real danger would come from this information being buried and us not learning from our mistakes.

It's on the very edge of the law, but it's an edge we need to keep open.

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