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Iraq War Document Release Dangerous, Just Like Undangerous Afghan Release

As promised, hundreds of thousands of secret documents about the Iraq War have been released by Wikileaks.

The Pentagon and right wing media are responding to the release of these secret documents by saying that they endanger American lives. That’s the same thing that the Pentagon and right wing media said about the release of secret documents about the war in Afghanistan.

The number of American deaths in Afghanistan that can be attributed to the release of documents by Wikileaks: ZERO

That’s not to say that the release of secret Iraq War documents is safe. This release is quite dangerous: To politicians who have promoted the war, and to military and civilian government officials involved in facilitating what appears to be a systematic, planned series of war crimes.

Among the details found so far in the documents:

- The United States kept 15,000 civilian deaths secret, saying that it wasn’t keeping records of civilian deaths, when in fact, it recorded 66,081 such specific deaths.
- According to American military logs of known deaths in the Iraq War, over 60 percent of known fatalities in the war have been civilians known not to be combatants. For every one U.S. “enemy” killed in Iraq, 2.75 Iraqi civilians have been killed.
- Evidence of previously undisclosed torture and executions by American and British soldiers
- It has been official American military policy to ignore reports of torture, rape and murder by the Iraqi police.

In a particularly dark piece of irony, right wing media are claiming that the Wikileaks release of documents might result in the death of Iraqi informants working for the U.S., but the Wikileaks documents themselves show that the U.S. military is already placing its informants in danger. Documents detail how, when Iraqi informants pass along evidence of torture and murder by Iraqi police, the U.S. military has a policy of then giving that evidence right back to the police organizations that are implicated in the wrongdoing in the first place. In many cases, that evidence could implicate the informants who gave it to the Americans in the first place.

Besides that, Wikileaks is blacking out the names of informants in the Iraq documents, so as to protect them from violent reprisals.

For more information, see: Iraq War Logs.

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