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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  • Alfred

    ” But if you’re arguing about which is the “right” number ”

    Ed, I see that both Craig and I specify, merely “civilian deaths.” Pretty clearly we are talking about deaths due to any war-related cause. But if the Wikileaks number is supposed to refer only to those who were hit by flying lead, or other ordnance, then you have a point.

    But if you do, it means that the Wikileaks number that has been made widely known via the media greatly underestimates the number of civilian deaths due to the war (estimated by the Johns Hopkins directed epidemiological study at almost 700,000 in the first three years of occupation), because we know that disease resulting from the destruction of water purification and sewage systems has been a significant cause of war-caused death.

    Incidentally, many of the 600,000 Iraqi kids killed with the approval of Madeleine Albright (and the Clintons, no doubt) by the US trade embargo prior to Operation Iraqi Freedom (sick LOL) died because the US embargo prevented Iraq obtaining parts needed to maintain its water purification system in working order. The Mongols destroyed Babylon in essentially the same way – by destroying the water works. What NATO has brought to the task that Genghis and co. never thought of is depleated urannium, the lethal and non-lethal genetic effects of which remain to be evaluated.

  • Alfred

    “let’s direct criticism and action against the war machine – in its entirety and at its source – not fall about trying to scry whether nor not so-and-so is genuine and if so, how genuine”

    Try reading “Cognitive Infiltration” by Professor David Ray Griffin, Suhayl, and also the paper entitled “Conspiracy Theories” by Cass Sunstein and Adrian Vermeule:

    http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1084585

    They provide pretty good reason to take an interest in the authenticity of those who tell you what is going on.

  • ingo

    Well done Wikileaks and well done Craig for trying your best to not interupt the press conference.

    Looking at Cryptome and how it is shadowing wikileaks, it could well be the imposter.

    How about making the Sam Adams award ceremony a special event? Invite some of the previous winners to come as well?

    just an idea.

    my best wishes to Nadira, uncle Tom and the rest of the clan.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Alfred, yes, I’ve read the Griffin one and will check-out the other one. I’ve also posted numerous links to articles by the likes of Michael Gardiner and others on similar subjects. I agree with you, it’s a very valid discourse. Of course, the powers will definitely attempt to run all sides of the information war, by every means at their very ample disposal. All I’m saying is, in all this talk of, ‘is he or isn’t he?’, etc., don’t let it – or any other discourse – ever let us, or anyone, forget what the core issue is here: the prosecution of imperial war crimes against civilians.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Alfred, that is an excellent point you make about Genghis Khan and the waterworks of Baghdad – that’s a very famous story, but I’ve never seen the parallel drawn b/w that and the crimes of the imperial powers in that regard – that’s a brilliant parallel.

    It’s very apt, too, that you also keep bringing us back to that (American, lest anyone forget) Lancet study of around 2006 which came in for so much flack from the powers. I think history will prove that the researchers were correct.

  • Sabretache

    Apropos the wikileaks/cryptome spooks front thing:

    The US spooks were clearly well prepared for the latest Wikileaks spectacular. My guess is their preference was that the logs remain hidden. But … having recognised the inevitability of them being published and knowing their contents (if not having planted suitably massaged versions in the first place), in the the tried and trusted methodology of Spookdom, they effectively co-opted the release.

    Still not sure this applies to the Wikileaks operation itself – though my guess is that its systems at least are by now irredeemably penetrated – but they are clearly making the bast possible use of the release:

    1. Total casualties 15,000 to 120,000 ish – when we know the true figure is probably well in excess of a million deaths, plus 4 milliona refugees, orphans etc.

    2. The Iraqis themselves committed the vast majority of the atrocities and general nastiness and mayhem, with the gallant US military doing their level best to make them behave properly

    3. The Iranians were (and remain) the evil hidden hand behind pretty much all the bad stuff that has happened.

    The MSM can naturally be relied upon to lap it up and regurgitate in suitably patriotic fashion.

    Cryptome is well worth reading on the co-option of the Wikileaks project.

    http://cryptome.org/0002/wikileaks-feed.htm

    Their obsession with secrecy and money (a lethal combination) is – or will be – their undoing.

  • Apostate

    Most of the theories around WikiLeaks being an intelligence front finger the Mossad rather than the CIA.

    The Mossad provenenance of the source seems borne out by the recent incrimination of Iran and its role in Iraq alone.

    On the basis of the BBC-hype and the blanket corporate media coverage generally we need to be deeply sceptical of Assange’s War Logs on Afghanistan and now,Iraq billed as they both are as the “biggest intel-leaks in history!”

    With the NYT,Guardian and Der Spiegel all getting early prior access to the documents and publishing simultaneously the same day the phrase “orchestration” comes to mind!

    Such coverage gives the game away to anyone with a brain the size of walnut,doesn’t it?

    Thank God discerning sources like Corbett Report and Media Monarchy haven’t fallen from the stage….sorry FOR THE BAIT-with the same alacrity as Craig Murray!

    Check out The Paradise Post here which will help you guys be a little more discerning re-sources:

    http://www.powerpointparadise.com/blog/2010/07/wikileakswikipedia-truth-serving-lies-with-ciamossad-oversight/

    A website worth its salt would not be accepting such elite-orchestrated agitprop.

    Quite simply the patent fact is there is far more disinformation out there than genuine “news”. WikiLeaks like Wikipedia were fingered as Zio-disinformationists long ago!

    Sorry to be “anti-semitic” and in “denial” again! (LMAO)

    SAPS!

  • Steelback

    Prostate

    WikiLeaks is a cyber-COINTELPRO operation of the type proposed by none other than Cathouse Larry’s pimp-boss,Cass Sunstein!

    Check out cryptome.org which broke away from wiki when it realised it was just a CIA-front. They are still an outstanding uncompromised source for documents.

    You all realised this was a controlled opposition limited hang-out didn’t you?

    Hence anyone who fingers Israel or the Mossad is not welcome.

    Er,that’s like you,me,and Freeborn gotta leave……yea,let’s break away like cryptome did!

  • Suhayl Saadi

    I see, now that its fully functioning, the blog again is replete with various ejaculatory visitations. Spambots crowd-in, with their handbag ads and their proposals to translate.

    Mind you, trying to discern the difference b/w a spambot and a blogger like, say, Lee John Barnes (who, it seems, has left the Mothership but not the building) can be trying in the extreme. Perhaps he’s do well to go and listen to some more Led Zeppelin instead, esp. their excellent Moroccan material.

  • crab

    One day i may need a cultural liason specialist for help building a oasis and power producing solar station near the south west coast of morocco. If that day ever comes you can write your own contract for me Suhayl.

  • CheebaCow

    It’s kind of amusing but also kinda depressing seeing all the accusations fly in this thread. Some say WL is a front, while others say cryptome is a front. Like I said before, no real evidence offered, just innuendo. It’s no wonder the left is famous for turning on itself with such brutality.

    I find it a little weird to see people get so up in arms over the information released about the local actors in the Iraq war (the Iraqis and Iranians). People seem to need to create the idea of a ‘noble savage’ in order to be against the war. Iran arms Iraqi militias, not so dissimilar to Britain supporting the French resistance. During the Vietnam war, the VC and VNA both committed war crimes (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Massacre_at_Hue), but that didn’t make the US war any more moral or legitimate. If anything the fact that all sides routinely engage in such terrible behaviour is a good argument for being against virtually all wars because they are so inherently fucked.

  • Alfred

    “Some say WL is a front, while others say cryptome is a front …”

    I don’t think anyone has made a definitive allegation. The question is important, however.

    If someone leaks evidence of a serious war crime to a “leaks” site such as Wikileaks, which is in fact an intelligence services front, there is a good chance that both the story and the leaker will be smothered.

  • CheebaCow

    Alfred, I agree that it is an important question, and like I said previously, it’s plausible to think that it may be a front. My problem is that virtually all criticism of WL I have seen has boiled down to WL releasing info that others don’t like/agree with. The info that seems to have angered people the most is the suggestion that Iran is involved and that Iraqis are killing/torturing Iraqis. This isn’t new or surprising information. In fact many people against the Iraq war (before it began) predicted all these results and used these predictions to argue against going to war in the first place.

    Has there been any suggestions that WL has refused to release legitimate leaks? Has there been any suggestion that WL has compromised the identity of anyone leaking to them? I imagine that in the internet age such a tale would spread everywhere quickly. If I had a leak that WL refused to publish, I could get a pre paid SIM, make a torrent and seed it behind I2P, post a couple of links and WL would be busted.

    I really recommend people checkout the WL tv piece I posted in my first post on this thread. An Australian journalist {sbs.com.au/dateline/reporter/about/id/9/n/Mark Davis} who I trust completely follows Assange around for a number of weeks, living with him. It offers an interesting insight to the day to day running of WL as well as what the Assange is like as a person.

  • Freeborn

    So Julian Assange AND Craig Murray BOTH have little time for 911 Truth…..um,interesting…

    Maybe Craig thought the toppling of the Saddam statue was SPONTANEOUS!

    Maybe the idea that there are powerful interests who initiated an info-war against the public long ago is just “conspiracy theory”….

    Maybe the advent of WikiLeaks means no-one who wants to get to the TRUTH will ever have to do any of their own research ever again….

    Maybe all we need is a controlled opposition to save us the trouble of getting off our butts…..

    Maybe they’re building runways for pigs too!

  • Frazer

    @ Freeborn…Hmmm..911 truth..few nutcases slammed 2 planes into the World Trade towers..maybe you and Larry of St Louis should hook up. Now can we please go back to the Neo-Nazi /Jewish/Mossad/MI6/CIA.DHS conspiracy that I was enjoying so much??

  • Apostate

    “Frazer”

    You mindless dingbat!

    The “few nutcases” take on 911 is presumably your alcohol-driven explanation for historical change generally?

    Sober up you cretin. There are enough people on this blog making serious arses of themselves already without an alcoholic putting in his pennyworth.

    You were more insightful when you were in the permanent vegetative state that preceded your current stupor!

    Fancy sitting on Andrew Marr’s sofa next Sunday with an intellectual peer of yours-it’s another DUMB-ARSE PAVLOVIAN DOG trained to bark “neo-Nazi” and “antisemite” just like you!

    It’ll be a lot easier than having to do your own research and think about the world meaningfully like grown-ups sometimes do.

    LMAO!

  • craig

    The situation is that around half of wikileaks advisors have resigned due to irresolvable differences with the organisation. The most promiment organ of the (old) web’s cryptography / tech secrecy scene is warning that wikileaks is a compromised spin machine…

    Wikileaks is having conferences broadcast by Rupert Murdoch and is sitting politely with IBC who’s job has been to pass off as a sample of Iraqi media reports as a reasonable “body count”

    …and the most accessible guidance which we have from wikileaks on the implications of the latest leak, is this on the front page of the site:

    “For comparison, the ‘Afghan War Diaries’, previously released by WikiLeaks, covering the same period, detail the deaths of some 20,000 people. Iraq during the same period, was five times as lethal with equivallent population size. ”

    The statement is simply not a valid interpretation of the data. It insists that the two datasets are equally complete and accurate, and even implies to an unwary audience that they are complete and accurate. It also implies that it is just fine to apply such wrong extrapolation of data (just as the IBC proudly do), and makes a mockery of the existing rigourously executed and analysed epidemiological studys of conflict casualities in iraq -which have provided figures an *order of magnitude* larger than wikileaks and IBC are broadcasting.

    So less talk about conspiracy and nutcases please and more about what the heck they are playing at.

    Also, where on earth are wikileaks previous leaks archived now? What the heck is up with them not archiving their own material?

  • Alfred

    “My problem is that virtually all criticism of WL I have seen has boiled down to WL releasing info that others don’t like/agree with.”

    I think you misunderstand what other people are saying, which is that, as reported by the MSM, all the info released by Wikileaks seems to provide justification for the US war of imperial conquest.

    In other words, what’s the use of a leaks site that doesn’t leak anything except what serves the government propaganda interest?

    So quite apart from being a potential trap that could prove fatal (as in zipped up in a sports bag) to a genuine leaker, Wikileaks is telling us nothing we hadn’t heard from the government side and much that we can reasonably assume is untrue. Like the absurd story of Osama running the war against the US from a base in Pakistan. If you believe that, you’re definitely a prime Wikileaks target.

    In fact, it is very hard to see how anyone can take Julian Assange the least bit seriously: “I am constantly being annoyed that people are distracted by false conspiracy theories like 9-11.” He sounds exactly like Larry. LOL

    And for more on JA, check this out:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T-kSuuJrzMo

  • Alfred

    “That author says he sells ‘alien fossils’.”

    LOL

    See he’s discrediting Assange, but he is himself a discredited source, which proves that Assange really is OK.

    But then what’s wrong with selling “alien fossils.” I mean, if there’s a market. I knew a perfectly sane person who offered therapy for alien abductees. Not sure if the business took off. In fact I never heard any more of him. Abducted, probably.

    Still, as the fossil vendor indicates, Assange really does sound like Larry on conspiracy theories.

  • Freeborn

    For a well produced film that makes the fundamental point understood long ago by perceptive researchers like Jim Keith that the ultimate battlefield is the one for the human mind see Scott Noble’s Psy-War here:

    http://metanoia-films.org/watchonline.php

    The early part of the film looks at Saddam statue psy-op and the PR substitute story re-Jessica Lynch’s “rescue” used to stop the news that on the same day when US tanks rolled into Baghdad they shelled the Palestine Hotel and bombed the Al Jazeera TV stn. killing “unembedded” reporters in both attacks reaching the US front pages first.

    The film thus documents how the Iraq war has been an object lesson in pre-planned state propaganda from the get-go.

    Given that the US PR industry now costs $200 billion p/a we must assume says the film that propaganda has become the chosen means by which the wealthy communicate with the rest of society.

    It would be nice to think that WikiLeaks is some new breath of fresh air in the multi-layered exercise of information dissemination.

    In reality it’s like fools gold just another news management op. run by the rich and powerful.

    Only the naive could believe otherwise.

  • Alfred

    “…don’t let …anyone, forget what the core issue is here: the prosecution of imperial war crimes against civilians.”

    The anti-war movement can flail on forever without making any real change to a world in which civilians are reduced by means of religion, “education”, Hollywood, PR and outright propaganda to a state of docile servility to be used however it best suits a ruthless oligarchy.

    So, no, war crimes are not the core issue. The fraudulence of the democratic state and its constitution is the real issue and, unless that is exposed and a different form of government instituted, war crimes will be perpetrated without restraint whenever they suit the ruling elite.

    That is why the case of Julian Assange is of interest. Could he possibly be on our side? What do you think, Suhayl?

  • Suhayl Saadi

    By ‘imperial war crimes’, clearly I mean that all war nowadays is essentially a crime directed predominantly against civilians – as I’ve said many times before hereabouts, on this thread and elsewhere. I do not mean it to refer to the narrowly defined idea of a war crime in a court of law. War is the crime. And yes, the economic system is the current driver of golbal war.

    I’ve said before that the Assange topic is a valid one. It’s not mutually exclusive. But it’s only a small part of the bigger picture, which is about the generation of perpetual war. It is is crucial this is kept in view.

    And what on earth could ‘our side’ mean, Alfred? You make some excellent statements about Iraq (as I’ve said – credit where it’s due). But you want to keep nukes on the Clyde. That’s not being ‘on our side’. That’s being ‘on their side’. The masters of war.

  • Alfred

    “our side,” Suhayl. I mean us, the good guys, obviously.

    As for the nukes, I’d give them up when the good guys prevail on the other side.

    Til then, we should keep our powder dry.

    Otherwise, we are likely to become slaves to the likes of Obarma and Hilary who keep “all options on the table:” cannon fodder for the imperial war.

  • crab

    I just watched ‘Dispatches’ documentary on the leaked war logs and it was uncharacteristically frank and sharp for a mainstream program.

    It brought to attention the bias in the logs by comparing a few reports with the accounts of the Iraqi civillians involved. It had a section on the ease of misidentifying targets and shooting them from apaches with cannon hellfire missiles. I wondered why they summarised the collateral murder video as: “2 reuters journalists were killed and 2 children were injured” – they entirely omitted the 20 other men who were killed just for being there, and trying too attend to the wounded, under fire.

    There were strong sections about the military doing little or nothing about ‘friendly’ Iraqi police and militia conducting terrible torture and executions.

    At the end of the program there was a mention of “Al Qaeda activity” growing from almost nothing at the start of the conflict to very serious now, and we are shown footage of young children being trained as suicide bombers. With no explaination as to the funding or nature of these “Al Qaeda cells”, we are left to assume these are the terrorists we were worried about before, but werent there… but now they are there.

    I think an odd mix of direction went into the program. But some bits of it were remarkably frank and revealing.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Alfred, 9:36pm, we are already slaves of the USA. There is no ‘other side’, Alfred. The ‘other side’ is us. Let’s look in the mirror. What does sone see, if one is a bird? Hoopoe. Dig it.

    Re. the spambots:

    They’ve tried one way, then another nd have decided on this – flooding, as they’ve been beaten in every other way. Their trolls are useless and relentlessly have been exposed. They do not want CM to remain an active political figure – that much has been clear for years. Now he’s resumed blogging, suddenly these massive spams arrive: “I’m looking through you.” Rubber Soul.

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