For excellent comprehensive coverage of both the content of WikiLeak’s “Afghanistan war logs” and the story about their release and reception, check out Afghanistan: The war logs | World news | guardian.co.uk.
As usual, The Guardian shows why it is really the online paper of record – all the news that’s fit for bits – particularly for intelligent and progressive readers.
Close Read: WikiLeaks and the War: What does it mean to tell the truth about a war? Is it a lie, technically speaking, for the Administration to say that it has faith in Hamid Karzai’s government and regards him as a legitimate leader—or is it just absurd? Is it a lie to say that we have a plan for Afghanistan that makes any sense at all? If you put it that way, each of the WikiLeaks documents—from an account of an armed showdown between the Afghan police and the Afghan Army, to a few lines about a local interdiction official taking seventy-five-dollar bribes, to a sad exchange about an aid scam involving orphans—is a pixel in a picture that does, indeed, contradict official accounts of the war, and rather drastically so…. (via The New Yorker.)
Afghanistan war logs: How US marines sanitised record of bloodbath | World news | The Guardian.
Here are some excerpts from this Guardian article, which draws on material from the WikiLeaks “Afghanistan war logs”:
On 4 March 2007 a convoy of US marines, who arrived in Afghanistan three weeks earlier, were hit by an explosives-rigged minivan outside the city of Jalalabad.
The marines made a frenzied escape, opening fire with automatic weapons as they tore down a six-mile stretch of highway, hitting almost anyone in their way – teenage girls in fields, motorists in their cars, old men as they walked along the road. Nineteen unarmed civilians were killed and 50 wounded….
Journalists on the spot gave a more detailed account. They said angry marines tore their cameras from their hands, insisting they delete the pictures they had taken of bullet-pocked vehicles on the roadside. Rahmat Gul, a freelance photographer working for the Associated Press, said two soldiers and a translator came up to him and asked: “Why are you taking pictures? You don’t have permission.” Then they deleted his photographs….
the Afghan Human Rights Commission published a report into the shooting which said the victims included a 16-year-old newlywed girl carrying a bundle of grass and a 75-year-old man walking back from the shops….
a US army colonel had admitted to the Afghans that the shootings were a “terrible, terrible mistake” and “a stain on our honour”. He paid $2,000 to the families of each victim. The special forces commander in Afghanistan, Major General Francis Kearney, ordered the marines to pull the 120-man company out of the country, an unprecedented step.
But there would be no punishment….
Hello, Has Anybody Seen Our Idea of Governance in Afghanistan?: Mr. Obama needs to find advisors who haven’t already drunk the Kool-Aid. And / or get his own meds checked.
Here’s why . . .
(via Foreign Policy In Focus.)