WikiLeaks' Iraq War Logs: US Troops Abused Prisoners Years After Abu Ghraib

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Despite a vigorous attempt by the Pentagon to stop WikiLeaks from releasing 400,000 pages of documents about the Iraq War, the group is going ahead with its document dump on Friday night.

The documents show that the US ignored systemic abuse, rape and even murder by Iraqi police and soldiers, reports The Guardian:

• 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.

• A US helicopter gunship involved in a notorious Baghdad incident had previously killed Iraqi insurgents after they tried to surrender.

• More than 15,000 civilians died 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.

In addition, the documents reveal allegations of prisoner abuse by US troops from 2005 to 2009, despite a crackdown on such behavior that was promised in the wake of the 2004 scandal over the abuse at Abu Ghraib prison, according to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, which reports about “303 allegations of abuse by coalition forces were reported in the military files after 2004.”

The reports date from August 2005 until the end of 2009. They began 16 months after the Abu Ghraib scandal. Forty-two of these involve allegations of serious abuses, including the use of electric shocks, beatings, water torture and mock executions. In nearly half of these, the claims are reported to be backed up by medical examinations carried out by US medical personnel.
The documents include accounts of Iraqi forces sodomizing and electrocuting prisoners, according to Al-Jazeera News, which has been collaborating along with The Guardian and Le Monde with WikiLeaks on the latest document dump.

In addition, Al-Jazeera is reporting that the documents include more revelations about prisoner abuse, the first official civilian deathcount, tales of murder at military checkpoints and the role of Blackwater, the controversial contractor.

The New York Times will report in a front-page story on Saturday morning that the documents describe at least 6 deaths of prisoners in the custody of Iraqi military and police forces and a “ground-level look at the shadow war between US and Iraqi militias backed by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, according to tweets by Politico’s Mike Allen.

A Pentagon spokesman strongly condemned WikiLeaks’s upcoming release, noting that the documents “expose secret information that could make our troops even more vulnerable to attack in the future. Just as with the leaked Afghan documents, we know our enemies will mine this information looking for insights into how we operate, cultivate sources, and react in combat situations, even the capability of our equipment. This security breach could very well get our troops and those they are fighting with killed.”


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