Julian Assange and Those Wikileaks Iraq Documents 79


I had the great pleasure today to present the Sam Adams Award for Integrity to Julian Assange at the big Wikileaks press conference in London.

I fear I did not do this very well. In fact I was merely trying to pass the award to Dan Ellsberg to present at the end of his talk, when he introduced me to make the presentation. I felt pretty shy at holding up a press conference being seen around the world, so I virtually threw the award candlestick at Julian and got off. The consequence of my lack of composure was that few people realised who I was or what had just been given.

Those who watched the full press conference on Sky or BBC red button will have seen me. Nadira said it just looked like some nutter had got up from the audience to give Julian a present. Oh well.

As for the Wikileaks document, the relentless detail of casual and routine torture and murder is chilling. But what I find most shocking is the fact that the military did in fact keep detailed and careful count of many tens of thousands of civilian deaths in Iraq – some 70,000 are detailed. Yet all the time it was claimed, again and again and again from Blair and Bush down, that there were no official figures on civilian deaths and no estimates could be given.

If there had been a tiny bit of honesty in the official version of events, there might be some reason to consider the British and American government’s claims that British and American troops are put at risk because people know the truth.

This does not put soldiers lives at risk. What it puts at risk is the reputation of lying politicians and bureaucrats who send soldiers to their deaths.


79 thoughts on “Julian Assange and Those Wikileaks Iraq Documents

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  • ingo

    Swarovski in danger of going bust, desperate like all the other malingering spam bots here, must be xmas soon.

  • Alfred

    Alfred, 9:36pm, we are already slaves of the USA.

    Quite possible, although “vassals” I think is the more appropriate term.

    And vassalage need not be permanent. Charles II and James II in exchange for gold made England a vassal of France. Phony Blair and Gordon Brown may, likewise, have made Britain a vassal of the US, and the global plutocratic oligarchy. But there is no reason to suppose that Britian cannot regain its independence or that as with the relation of 17th century England to France, Britain may not redress the balance with the US.

    In view of the present relationship between Britain and the US my comments about Britain’s nukes have always been hedged by reservations as to whether they are really British. Obviously, if they are not British built, designed, controlled, then there is no issue of Britain retaining its deterrent.

    However, if it is the case that there are real British nuclear warheads and if there are potentially effective means of delivering them then, as I have argued before, Britian should retain them as a deterrent, until such time as they may be useful as a bargaining chip in the negotiation of a nuclear/bio/chem weapons disarmament treaty.

    It’s one thing to be opposed to criminal wars of aggression. It is another thing altogether to throw away your means of self defense, or in the case of nukes, deterrence.

    Further, if as you insist, Suhayl, Britain and the US are one, then the entire discussion about Britain’s nuclear weapons is pointless.

    My contention is that Britain is a sovereign state and should act independently. That means becoming a neutral with nukes. Such a state is esentially no threat to anyone else’s security.

  • Alfred

    Here’s Stef on recent releases of “chilling” information:

    http://tinyurl.com/2cmnujp

    which suggests why Wikileaks made sure not to invite bloggers to the annointing of Saint Julian. Bloggers seem to have rather little tolerance for flakes. In fact, isn’t exposing flakes mainly what the blogsphere is all about?

  • Suhayl Saadi

    “Further, if as you insist, Suhayl, Britain and the US are one… Alfred

    Nope, I never wrote that, Alfred and never meant to infer it. Whether the nukes are ‘British’ or ‘American’ is neither here not there. De facto, they are under the control of the USA and cannot be fired without the USA’s express order.

    By your argument, the UK would never get rid of the nukes until everyone else in the world had done so, by which argument, no-one would ever get rid of them. I’d like to see the UK get rid of their nukes as, say, Kazakhstan and Ukraine got rid of theirs. Now, Kazakhstan lies b/w Russia and China, both nuke powers+++ Ukraine lies b/w Russia and Israel is pretty close, too. Russia would still have gas hegemony over Europe/ Ukraine regardless of nukes.

    The nukes in the UK are useless without the US ‘strategic umbrella’. I mean, i would argue that there’s useless anyway. So let’s get out of the umbrella and chuck ’em. We don’t need the umbrella and we don’t need them.

    I entirely agree that an UK completely independent of the USA would be the aim. Getting rid of the nukes I see as part of that. NOT being completely ‘undefended’! But getting rid of the nukes.

  • Alfred

    “Whether the nukes are ‘British’ or ‘American’ is neither here not there.”

    No you are talking rubbish.

    It is the Trident missiles that are under American control. Or may joint UK/American control. As I made clear, I was talking about the warheads, which at one time Britain was supposed to have built — at Aldermaston, under the direction of Sir William Penney.

    That is why I have repeatedly raised the distinguished between possession of the weapons and their deliverability using solely British means.

  • Alfred

    “I’d like to see the UK get rid of their nukes as, say, Kazakhstan and Ukraine got rid of theirs.”

    This is a silly analogy. You do not seem to understand that Britain actually built nuclear weapons. Until 1939, the Cavendish Lab in Cambridge was the World’s leading center for nuclear research.

    The Karzakhs and the Ukrainians gave up weapons stationed on their soil by the Russians. They certainly lacked the competence to manage such weapons, let alone build them.

  • Alfred

    “The nukes in the UK are useless without the US ‘strategic umbrella'”

    What’s that supposed to mean?

    If Britain currently possesses its own nuclear weapons, which as I have repeatedly stated, is unclear, and if Britain has or can develop means of delivery, which seems most likely, then Britain has a nuclear deterrent, which could, for example, take out New York, Chicago and Los Angeles in a punitive, post British death, response to a nuclear attack on Britain by an even more deranged than at present United States. That’s what deterrence amounts to.

  • Alfred

    “I entirely agree that an UK completely independent of the USA would be the aim.”

    Well on that we can agree!

    “Getting rid of the nukes I see as part of that.”

    On that we will have to agree to disagree. In a world where a shitty little country like Israel has nukes and a triad of planes, missiles and subs to deliver them, I’d want to keep the deterrent if I had one.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Okay, Alfred, I’ll swap you the nukes for an iota of British Columbian sunshine! It’s tanking it down here and, in that specifically unromantic, Scottish manner, feels like the very edge of what is habitable by hominids. Ah! But your winter is rushing-in, I’ll wager! Better an honest hot summer and a no-nonsense ice-queen winter than a damp, Altantean squib. So long as one has the tyres.

  • Alfred

    A jot of sunshine, Suhayl, is about all you’d get here today, but at least a decent amount of the precipitation we get is in solid form — and can be so darned cold it’s not even slippery.

    As a Darwinist, I cannot decide whether the Scots must be more intelligent than other people because of the rigor of natural selection in their harsh environment or dumber for not having already taken the broad high road to London. My late bud, Postman Patel abandoned his ambition of obtaining a higher degree after one winter term in unheated digs in Edinburgh.

    Here, incidentally, is how I see global nuclear disarmament unfolding:

    Britain: we won’t until those lunatics in Israel do it.

    Israel: we won’t do it until those Islamic fundamentalists in Pakistan do it.

    Pakistan: we won’t do it until those Hindu occupiers of Kashmir do it.

    India: we won’t do it unless those Chinese Commie’s do it.

    China: we won’t do it unless those imperialist American bastards do it.

    America: we won’t do it unless those Russian Nationalists do it.

    Russia: O.K.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Billy Connolly has a great joke about that, I mean, the Scots. In his theory, the Scots are congenital masochists, so, in the Celtic migrations, when they got to Ireland, it was much colder and wetter than what they’d been used to and they were very happy. Nonetheless, after a while they grew bored. One day, they looked up; it was very clear day; and spotted Scotland and said:

    “Oh look, there’s somewhere even colder, darker and wetter than here! C’mon guys, let’s go there!!”

    Well, it’s the way he tells them.

  • Alfred

    Ha, I must have the climate masochism gene. Years ago I wanted to buy a piece of Scottish bog in Caithness:

    http://tinyurl.com/39ekouy

    The negotiations were going so well my wife was compelled to put her foot down. She simply would not live within sight of the Arora Borealis. I’m still sad about it.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    One summer, my car broke down on the north coast of in Caithness – this was before mobile ‘phones, etc. I stopped to take a picture and the car wouldn’t start.

    It was beautiful spot, on a beach with silver sand, turquoise water, primeval, almost. Yet suddenly, it seemed altogether more sinister. The nearest ‘phone was… how many miles away? There seemed to be no-one else around and it was a single-track road; hardly any other cars would pass by.

    All at once, three men in black frogman suits appeared from the beach down below and helped me to jump-start the car. I didn’t stop again all the way to Ullapool, which was some conciderable distance away on those roads.

    I think, later that day and on the same road, I may have encountered the phantom of an old crofter on the way to Ullapool.

    Actually, my firm belief is that the car had been cursed by a possible witch who ran one of those ubiquitous pottery places, which in that period seemed legion across the Highlands. I’d visited her barn earlier the same day, but didn’t buy anything; I’m sure I spotted an evil glint in her eye as I left.

    On the way back down the hill (she lived atop a hill), I saw that an Italian car on its way up the hill had run into the ditch at the side of the road. My own brakes started to grate; they’d been fine before.

    That was the beginning of the end for that car.

    Bizarre, yes. But it’s a true story.

    Caithness, land of bogs, witches, frogmen, nuclear power stations and the excellent Wick Heritage Centre. One day, I’d like to visit that far northwestern peninsula – actually in the ironically-named (by the Vikings) Sutherland – and just ‘be’ for a while. Apparently, John Lennon used to go there; I think he had relatives there. Actually, his cousin lives in Ayr.

    Wonder if he ever met the phantom crofter. Aye.

    http://www.durness.org/Lennon%20Connection.htm

  • Frazer

    I could make a few comments if you stopped deleating them…4comments in the last few days..nothing radical at all..just comments..thought we were in a public forum..rather peed off..

  • Frazer

    @Apostate.

    Interesting comment’mindless dingbat’

    Wow..how growed up you are.

    Actually I have been in a permenante vegitative state for years so I really do not give a flying one..Comments on this blog are open to all and so should be treated as such, not personally attacking me for any opinions I hold.

    Think I will bugger offanddrink4bottlesobrandyfobreakfast!!

  • Alfred

    Suhayl,

    I’m expecting little frogmen in black suits all over this web site any time now.

    If Craig intends to keep blogging, why does he not move to Word Press? It costs little or nothing, organizes the discussion in a sensible way and automatically deletes the spam.

    Cheers

  • aliraqi

    There are too many question marks on the documents released by wikileaks. I am iraqi and I can say that the details either have been sexed up, by international intelligence agencies or a lack of accuracies and analysis when the detailed were gathered/logged. The majority of victims in Iraq were killed by Al-Qaeda and not the government or the US army as the docs suggests. We know the US army caused atrocities among civilians but the main crimes were committed by the Sunni insurgents- mainly saddam remainders who lost there power. I am afraid wikileaks war logs have no credibility or impact among Iraqis who lived the horror of saddam or the terror groups who targeted civilians.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Interesting comment. Would be be inclined to share with us your evidence, aliraqi, particularly wrt your assertion that ‘Al Qaeda’ killed the majority of people who were killed in Iraq from 2003-now and that ex-Baathists killed most of the rest? I appreciate it. Thank you for your engagement.

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