26 Oct 2010
The online whistleblower WikiLeaks has released some 390,000 classified US documents on the Iraq war - the largest intelligence leak in US history and the greatest internal account of any war on public record. The disclosure provides a trove of new evidence on the violence, torture and suffering that has befallen Iraq since the 2003 US invasion. Despite US government claims to the contrary, the war logs show the Pentagon kept tallies of civilian deaths in Iraq. The group Iraq Body Count says the files contain evidence of an additional 15,000 previously unknown Iraqi civilian casualties. The number is likely far higher as the war logs omit many instances where US forces killed Iraqi civilians, including the US assault on Fallujah in 2004.
The war logs also show the US imposed a formal policy to ignore human rights abuses committed by the Iraqi military. Under an order known as "Frago 242" issued in June 2004, coalition troops were barred from investigating any violations committed by Iraqi troops against other Iraqis. Hundreds of cases of killings, torture and rape at the hands of the Iraqi troops were ignored. To help analyze the documents, Democracy Now holds a round table discussion with three guests, including David Leigh, the investigations editor at The Guardian newspaper of London, and investigative journalists Pratap Chatterjee and Nir Rosen.
For a transcript of this roundtable discussion, please visit Democracy Now.