“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Abraham Lincoln

Unreported Afghan Civilian Deaths.

with 4 comments

Wikileaks has released a mass of documentation on Afghanistan into the public domain, it should be welcomed.

I assume that this comes in the wake of McCrystal’s dismissal, whatever the reason, it should focus us on how Afghan civilian deaths have been conspicuously underreported in the Western media.

This is Wikileaks and here’s the Afghan war diary.

Update 1: More concerning the leaks can be found on the New York Times’ At War blog.

Update 2: Spiegel’s coverage:

“A total of 91,731 reports from United States military databanks relating to the war in Afghanistan are to be made publicly available on the Internet. 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. WikiLeaks plans to post the documents, most of which are classified, on its website.

Britain’s Guardian newspaper, the New York Times and SPIEGEL have all vetted the material and compared the data with independent reports. All three media sources have concluded that the documents are authentic and provide an unvarnished image of the war in Afghanistan — from the perspective of the soldiers who are fighting it.
The reports, from troops engaged in the ongoing combat, were tersely summarized and quickly dispatched. For the most part, they originate from sergeants — but some have been penned by the occasional lieutenant at a command post or ranking analysts with the military intelligence service.

The documents’ release comes at a time when calls for a withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan are growing — even in America. Last week, representatives from more than 70 nations and organizations met in Kabul for the Afghanistan conference. They assured President Hamid Karzai that his country would be in a position by 2014 to guarantee security using its own soldiers and police. “

Update 3: Again at the NYT, Pakistan Aids Insurgency in Afghanistan, Reports Assert.

Update 4: Afghanistan: the war logs from the Guardian. The selected list of deaths makes grim reading.

Update 5: Key incidents as a spreadsheet at the Guardian.

Written by modernityblog

26/07/2010 at 08:58

4 Responses

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  1. The new Petagon Papers for our era

    Andrew Murphy

    26/07/2010 at 15:36

  2. I hope so, there needs to be a serious discussion of the faults in Afghanistan.

    Things should be in the open, and I suppose much of it confirms what we might have already speculated about (eg. the ISI’s collusion with the Taliban), but it is good to have confirmation.

    I can’t help feeling that if McCrystal had still been in the job it wouldn’t have been released, not from him directly, but possibly one of his lackeys…


    26/07/2010 at 17:24

  3. […] Modernity also covers the reporting of the leaked Afghanistan files […]

  4. […] services in various countries wanted to clampdown/disassemble/neutralise Wikileaks because of all the embarrassment that they caused, but again I’m not […]

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