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What do the leaks mean for the US?

00:17 UK time, Saturday, 23 October 2010

Wikileaks has released almost 400,000 secret US military records, which suggest US commanders ignored evidence of torture by Iraqi forces. What is your reaction to these new leaks?

The documents also reveal many previously unreported instances in which US forces killed civilians at checkpoints and during operations.

A US Defence Department spokesman dismissed the documents as raw observations by tactical units, which were only snapshots of tragic, mundane events. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said earlier she condemned "in the most clear terms the disclosure of any information by individuals and or organisations which puts the lives of United States and its partners' service members and civilians at risk", but did not go into specifics on the disclosures.

What is your reaction to the release of these documents? Does it put lives at risk? Does it change your perception of the Iraq conflict? Do you trust leaked and unprocessed information?

This debate is now closed. Thank you for your comments.

Comments

Page 1 of 11

  • Comment number 1.

    The US government is guilty of mass murder. It is an absurdity that they should point the finger at Wikileaks.

    Why aren't the BBC focussing on the real criminals?

  • Comment number 2.

    First of all,the only thing that these leaks put at risk is the ignorance of the public as to what's going on over there in Iraq.Secondly,they should erode public support for that obscene war but they won't unfortunately.In any case,the public does have a right to know what's going on and wise up.

  • Comment number 3.

    Its outrageous. I cannot understand why the have not pulled the plug on this treasonable website.

  • Comment number 4.

    I fail to understand how are lives being put at risks by documenting US torture, US war crimes, falsifying information or denying the true extent of their abuses against civilians.

    What is really being put at risk are careers, elections and promotions in the US political system and among the Pentagon warlords responsible for these atrocities.

    Are these abuses part of the Western and Christian values?
    Are they part of the democratic spirit being brought by Western saviors?

    Why isn't the UN Security Council demanding stern measures and sanctions against the criminals?

    Why isn't the international media expressing outrage?

    What would it be the reaction of these entities if the perpetrators were Chinese, Iranians or some other imagined enemy?

    Western hypocrisy, double talk and chicanery knows no boundaries!!

  • Comment number 5.

    Who can say until we read them?

    Nonetheless, we can reasonably predict that the Iraqis have been involved in some atrocities, and possibly Coalition forces too. We can also reasonably predict that the media (and assorted left-wingers--we have two here already) will scream blue murder.

    While we should neither encourage no condone such behaviour, neither should we get over-excited about it. Could be worse, after all. We could behead journalists on video, for example. Or put schoolteachers in jail for calling a teddy bear Mohammed. Or threaten the life of someone who drew a cartoon. Or fly an airplane into a skyscraper.

    This is, like it or not, a war. Get over it.

  • Comment number 6.

    @ MellorSJ
    In what way will the media scream 'blue murder', to use your charming term? This very comment thread is indicative of the majority of the media, more concerned with this farcical distraction about whether wikileaks is responsible for the deaths than dealing with the parties responsible for these atrocities.

    Why is there not a comment thread here asking if Bush and Blair should be charged with war crimes? That's the reasonable question to ask at this juncture, not whether we should be prosecuting the whistle blowers.

    Shame on the BBC for playing the Pentagon's games.

  • Comment number 7.

    @5

    Yes! You're so right. It could be worse, couldn't it? I mean - we could be -foreigners-!

    That's sarcasm, by the way.

    I'm sure there were people who were witness to many atrocities through time who condoned them by the stupid statement

    -it could be worse-

    I mean, it's only a few tens of thousands of people, right? That's okay. So long as it's not... what, exactly? At what point does it become important to your pathetic little ideology? Because that's the reason for your views: you're bludgeoned into stupidity by blind adherence to a tribal value system.

    Screw spectrum politics.

  • Comment number 8.

    This may be a war, and in war injustice and abuse seem to come with the territory, as history has shown. No matter how disciplined a military force may be, its administration will not be able to prevent every single act of abuse or injustice committed by its soldiers. But as a former soldier, I know that Western military forces should be setting the standard for "jus in bello" - just conduct in war. Otherwise, how can we criticize and act upon the injustice committed outside of our own countries?

    Studies into police corruption and sexual misconduct by clergy have shown that these problems are not the result of a few "bad apples" in these large organizations- the problems are systemic in nature, created by administrative cover-ups and the creation of corporate cultures which allow - and therefore encourage - this sort of conduct which runs completely contrary to their stated standards and ethics.

    What is shocking about these leaked documents is that they seem to indicate the existence of a similar subculture in the U.S. military that, whether intentionally or not, encourages these sorts of acts. One gets the impression that the unofficial policy is to only act on such potentially embarrassing misconduct when to NOT act on it would throw the military into greater disrepute. It is also naive to think that this culture is limited to the U.S. military.

    It is certainly possible that these documents could endanger lives, and certainly will be excellent ammunition for extremist recruiters. Hopefully Wikileaks took that under serious consideration before publishing these documents. But I think that leaks like this, and even the risk that they might happen, are invaluable to preserving transparency and responsibility in our governments - and militaries - by placing a high price on irresponsible and unjust conduct. Good on Wikileaks for doing what the press should do - keeping official and unofficial government policy in check by creating political pressure from society.

    I will not "get over it". We should demand only the highest standards from our militaries and governments. Would love to see this discussion continued!

  • Comment number 9.

    Does the new Wikileaks release put lives at risk?

    Pardon? Which side are you on?

  • Comment number 10.

    Damned straight, j3steven.

  • Comment number 11.

    I find it hard to stomach the fact that all this has had to be revealed by one man. Where the hell were the Worlds reporters when all this was going on? Why weren't they digging these facts out? How come it's been left to one man put his neck on the line to get this information out to the public?

    I think every current affairs reporter on the planet should hang their head in shame for sitting on their backsides and swallowing the US/UK propaganda. They have taken the easy way out by allowing themselves to be spoon fed government approved lies and not looking for themselves to see what the truth is. Where have the reporters of the 60's and 70's gone that would put their lives at risk to get the truth to the people?

    Then to compound the shame you ask the incredibly obnoxious question "Do you think it will put lives at risk"? Man that really shows me what side of the fence the BBC sits....and it ain't with the truth, human rights or the people of Afghanistan.

    Still I suppose we still do have the likes of Pilger, Chomsky and Hari to give us the truth...all too few in number nowadays sadly.

  • Comment number 12.

    Leaking classified information can lead to charges of treason. My own opinion is that this leak should result in the Congressional Medal of Honour whomever leaked this information. To highlight inhumane treatments is humane, to keep a lid on it is inhumane. Hiding abuses behind a state's veil of secrecy makes those skulking in the shadows Nazi-esque. I'm reminded of Pastor Martin Niemöller and so wish protection on the humane and a pox on the inhumane.

  • Comment number 13.

    Did the Twitter Cray XMT make sense from this dataset..

  • Comment number 14.

    Andy : I agree with you. The release of the information has shed light into what has long been suspected: war crimes have been committed. Its release perhaps will bring into focus the cruelty committed by invading armies, regardless of their origin or affiliation. Perhaps what is more revealing is the hollowness of the "good guys, bad guys" dichotomy that has engender so much suffering not only to those being invaded and massacred, but also to the invading nation, its people and its armed forces.

    There is no alternative, but to face the reality and hopefully [I doubt it will happen] bring those responsible to an international tribunal, as purveyors of state sponsored terrorism and associated criminal activities.

    Those shedding light into these horrible crimes should be commended, supported and most importantly: protected from retaliation.

  • Comment number 15.

    I agree with the comments of reenie53110. The Wikileaks website should be zapped to save the lives of so many brave troops.

  • Comment number 16.

    5. At 01:12am on 23 Oct 2010, MellorSJ wrote:
    Who can say until we read them?

    Nonetheless, we can reasonably predict that the Iraqis have been involved in some atrocities, and possibly Coalition forces too. We can also reasonably predict that the media (and assorted left-wingers--we have two here already) will scream blue murder.

    While we should neither encourage no condone such behaviour, neither should we get over-excited about it. Could be worse, after all. We could behead journalists on video, for example. Or put schoolteachers in jail for calling a teddy bear Mohammed. Or threaten the life of someone who drew a cartoon. Or fly an airplane into a skyscraper.

    This is, like it or not, a war. Get over it.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------

    These leaks indicate 66,000+ civilians have died in this war. Perhaps you would like to tell all those who have lost their families and loved ones to 'get over it'?

  • Comment number 17.

    Murder will speak one day. Prez George Walker Bush should be tried by the International Court in Hague for the war crimes and slaughter of millions of civilians in the melee in Iraq going against the advice of world leaders including IAE Agency. Millions more were displaced in this egoistic invasion. The disclosure of vital data by Wikileaks cannot be negated as truth triumps in the end. Justice should not only be done but must be seen to be done even if it puts lives at risk.

  • Comment number 18.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 19.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 20.

    Today, in our time, Wikileaks is like an oasis in a forbidding desert. Let there be rain!

  • Comment number 21.

    its quite telling that clinton is condemning the leaks but not the torture that they reveal

  • Comment number 22.

    Oh my god!!! This story is a like hitting the jackpot for some of you HYS dwellers. Let the America bashing begin.
    The US was not intentionally killing civilians. When you don't know who your enemy is but you know they are all around (because they blend in with the population) it's unfortunately inevitable that civilians will die. Allegedly the US ignored reports of torture by the IRAQI FORCES (read the article carefully), it is after all Iraq. That's the way they do things in that part of the world (does it mean it's right? NO). It does not say that US forces were torturing Iraqi's (and yes I know about waterboarding but that was then), it says Iraqi forces were torturing Iraqi's.

  • Comment number 23.

    No.

  • Comment number 24.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 25.

    20. At 04:12am on 23 Oct 2010, markus_uk wrote:
    Today, in our time, Wikileaks is like an oasis in a forbidding desert. Let there be rain!
    ------------------------------
    Umm. You realize that also in those wikileaks were the identities of those Iraqi's who assisted the Americans and British. How do you feel about that? What do you think will happen to those Iraqi's? I just saw on CNN that the Pentagon is trying to figure out how to keep them same from retaliation. Let there be rain huh?

  • Comment number 26.

    18. At 03:58am on 23 Oct 2010, Brains_not_Bozo wrote:
    There is no story here, except the treason of the American who released these documents, and the anti-Western bias of the media who hype up these stories.

    Iraqis tortured people. But, bar some isolated incidents, not Americans. Were they realistically meant to stop every abuse in a country that effectively exists in the stone age? How are the West responsible for their every failure? Blame those responsible, and stop living in a dream world where a perfect democracy springs up over night.

    Civilians died. Because they didn't stop at a checkpoint. Were soldiers really meant to risk their lives because some fools couldn't follow simple instructions? They should take responsibility for their own actions, including those that lead to their own death.

    We overthrew a vicious dictator, spent huge amount in money and lives in trying to give these people the best chance they will ever have of living in a free and prosperous country. Opportunities that Germany and Japan seized after the second world war. We have made a heroic effort, and if it fails blame should solely be laid at the feet of the Iraqis, who were too primitive to take the opportunities we have have worked so hard to give them.

    They were not worth the lives of our soldiers.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------

    Don't be so naive. They wanted the oil, the revenue. It's all about greed and nastiness, can't you see that? If they really cared about high-blown concepts like 'freedom' and 'humanity' they would not have allowed such widespread cruelty to take place. In fact, they would not have gone to war at all. Were you born yesterday? Stop being such a racist inhuman bore and get real about the world.

  • Comment number 27.

    It is so easy for some to say "So what! it is the reality of war". I urge people of such opinion, not to be so naive. All civilised countries whether they are developed or developing nations have laws for such situations. If we in the west truly believe that our way of life is actually superior than the uncivilised world, then we must prove this time and time again that we are indeed civilised, when such situations arise.
    The fact that it has been allowed to happen is a reality check. Are we as civilised as we believe ourselves to be?

  • Comment number 28.

    22. At 04:18am on 23 Oct 2010, effinuts wrote:
    Oh my god!!! This story is a like hitting the jackpot for some of you HYS dwellers. Let the America bashing begin.
    The US was not intentionally killing civilians. When you don't know who your enemy is but you know they are all around (because they blend in with the population) it's unfortunately inevitable that civilians will die. Allegedly the US ignored reports of torture by the IRAQI FORCES (read the article carefully), it is after all Iraq. That's the way they do things in that part of the world (does it mean it's right? NO). It does not say that US forces were torturing Iraqi's (and yes I know about waterboarding but that was then), it says Iraqi forces were torturing Iraqi's.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    No, nothing intentional happened here... it is only that the US government unintentionally deceived the world, unintentionally plundered Iraq, unintentionally profited from the chaos, then unintentionally sunk the global economy... and didn't kill or torture anyone unintentionally.

    They did all this because they care about human rights, democracy and freedom. And the British government joined them on this journey, not because they were moral, but because they were unforgivably spineless.

    WAKE UP: ALL GOVERNMENTS STEAL, ALL GOVERNMENTS LIE, ALL GOVERNMENTS PRACTICE TORTURE.

  • Comment number 29.

    'Classified' should remain classified and 'sensitive' should remain sensitive, especially when it relates to matters of life and death. Wikileaks is doing a good job but there should be a cut-off point. Life indeed could be endangered.

  • Comment number 30.

    There's no evidence at all to support the charge of "blood on their hands" after Afghan leak (Greenwald documents here: http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2010/10/17/wikileaks/index.html%29, and I believe Assange & Co. were even more careful this time around.

    Heinous. Now we know what the United States government is hiding---why Obama said look forward ["look away"] and not back, how Bush, Cheney and Yoo got to walk away. Dozens and dozens of accessories, throughout congress and the military, every one of them deserving of the same Tribunal. [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

  • Comment number 31.

    Maybe if our politicians told more of the truth from time to time, then the rest of us might begin to trust them just a little bit more.

    In politicians becoming more trustworthy and accountable for their actions , the general public's need for information leaked would diminish .

    In reality, there is no chance of "open government " virtually anywhere in the world. Many political leaders would be carted off to "the Hague " for crimes against humanity if the full truth ever came out.

    Leaking military operational secrets does out our troop in a far more dangerous situation ,and should be stopped and the whistle blowers sacked

    Leaking political Secrets , after events like the invasion of Iraq merely exposes possible war crimes and gives an insight as to the reasons why the Iraq's started to shoot back once Sadam had gone.

    Leaks of that political nature not too bothered because it might not only expose possible war crimes , but in the long run just might prevent future war crimes ,if the politicians thought they might be held accountable to the world for any illegal act.

  • Comment number 32.

    This is yet more proof that the world (the western world) really has gone mad! Who the hell is Hilary Clinton to decide what we should or shouldn't know? I thought the basis of Mr Obama's government was democracy. That's what the American people voted for.. a democracy.

    More lies.

    I'm thankful I am British, don't get me wrong, we have our fair share of rats and vermin, but the arrogance and "I am" attitude of the Americans this time, really has gone too far. And they wonder why they're frowned upon by two thirds of the Earths population.

    Classless, tasteless, completely undignified and so history repeats itself yet again.

    Shame on you.

  • Comment number 33.

    "Brains_not_Bozo" spews the usual cliches, and comically begs sympathy for the poor defenseless soldiers in their Humvees with their assault weapons. But BnB has one salient point: democracy does not spring up, and certainly not during an invasion and occupation. Iraqis were denied the opportunity to develop their own democracy.

  • Comment number 34.

    We live in a time when the concept of a "whistleblower" is a badge of courage, but we aren't smart enough to distinguish a whistleblow from an act of treason.

    Anyone taking an oath of allegiance, then stealing classified documents and passing them along to third party sources to get sprinkled into the ether should do life in prison, period. Recent history has revealed spies and turncoats as most often disgruntled jerks. Jerks who are so consumed with their own poutey angst they have no compunction or hesitation to put their comrades at mortal risk. They are loathsome animals.

    As is the founder of wikileaks. The declaration, "WikiLeaks has combined high-end security technologies with journalism and ethical principles" is self aggrandizing and laughable. The whole notion that, as long as they can find a willing weasel, broadcasting classified docs is an "ethical" thing to do is absurd.

    Simply sleazy.


  • Comment number 35.

    Rules of war.

    1. There are no rules.
    2. Refer to 1.
    3. Refer......... and so on.

  • Comment number 36.

    workrobotwork: "Don't be so naive. They wanted the oil, the revenue. It's all about greed and nastiness, can't you see that?"

    Oh no! Not that canard again!

    Oil output has _dropped_ since the invasion. Moreover the cost per barrel, once the costs of the war are taken into account, are astronomical.

    "Don't be naive," indeed!

  • Comment number 37.

    workrobotwork writes: "WAKE UP: ALL GOVERNMENTS STEAL, ALL GOVERNMENTS LIE, ALL GOVERNMENTS PRACTICE TORTURE."

    Monaco practices torture? Who'da thunk it?

  • Comment number 38.

    Warren ,

    You make my day with your precise , concise comment.

  • Comment number 39.

    The picture related to the article says it all - cuffed and hooded in your own country by foreign invaders.

  • Comment number 40.

    What amazes me is that people are surprised by this, and that people continue to be so gullible and so naïve. Only the really blinkered can’t see that Blair and Bush are war criminals, so what has been divulged in these leaks is entirely to be expected.

    And yet still people think that Iraq was all about the “war on terror”. The claim is that 911 was masterminded from Afghanistan…so Blair/Bush invade Iraq. And still people swallow that. Frankly it amazes me how some of you people have the intelligence to remember how to breath.

  • Comment number 41.

    36. At 05:33am on 23 Oct 2010, MellorSJ wrote:
    workrobotwork: "Don't be so naive. They wanted the oil, the revenue. It's all about greed and nastiness, can't you see that?"

    Oh no! Not that canard again!

    Oil output has _dropped_ since the invasion. Moreover the cost per barrel, once the costs of the war are taken into account, are astronomical.

    "Don't be naive," indeed!
    --------------------------------------------------------------------

    Are you seriously suggesting that was about 'terrorism'?
    Follow the money, it's not hard.

  • Comment number 42.

    37. At 05:36am on 23 Oct 2010, MellorSJ wrote:
    workrobotwork writes: "WAKE UP: ALL GOVERNMENTS STEAL, ALL GOVERNMENTS LIE, ALL GOVERNMENTS PRACTICE TORTURE."

    Monaco practices torture? Who'da thunk it?
    -----------------------------------------------------------------
    Instead of being clever why don't you look up extraordinary rendition and see how we the righteous people do business. You probably like the idea, because on the surface it completely absolves us of any moral responsibility. Let's face it, the surface is about as deep as it gets for some people.

    BY THE WAY - You still have not answered my question about the thousands of dead people who had no choice in the matter. Are you going to tell their surviving families to 'get over it'???

  • Comment number 43.

    26. At 04:50am on 23 Oct 2010, workrobotwork wrote:
    "Don't be so naive. They wanted the oil, the revenue. It's all about greed and nastiness, can't you see that?"
    ------------
    Such narrow minded thinking. I've never agreed with the Iraq war because I didn't believe it was really part of the fight against terrorism, but I never thought it was about oil. The amount of money and lives lost in that war we could have probably figured out how to generate power from a moon rock. And where's the revenue? I wish we had some of that, maybe we wouldn't be in debt up to our eyeballs.

  • Comment number 44.

    chrisk50 wrote:

    Rules of war.

    1. There are no rules.
    2. Refer to 1.
    3. Refer......... and so on.


    Are you Tony Bliar?

    You might want to do a little research before making yourself look such an idiot. There is a little thing called "international law", which interestingly enough, one of only two countries in the world who don't sign up to is...the good ol' usa. What a lovely bunch they are eh?

  • Comment number 45.

    19# could not agree with you more , this is a war and our troops have their hands tied , if someone has a bomb strapped to them how do our lads know ? these folk would murder their own family (and freqently do well their women anyway ) why should my son or yours have to give his life for a country living in the 12th century . we should come out and wait for them to catch up if they ever will , its our constant iterfering in others countries that brings grief , is this a war on terror or not ?

  • Comment number 46.

    How long have we been in this ridiculous war now? About seven years. Now, I was a stroppy teenager when this all started so I didn't care what it was about, but now I look back and think "why did we go to war at all?"

    Everyone should have known that no amount of force would help backwards Middle Eastern countries to move forward in their thinking. Force is an integral part of Afghani/Iraqi policy - many, if not all, of their punishments for crime are violent. Essentially, the West has taken it upon itself to try and drag these countries kicking and screaming into the modern world, and it would never work. Imagine if the same had been tried on us back when we had a culture not dissimilar to theirs - we would have resisted with everything we have. Why wouldn't they do the same?

    To answer the question, in a word, it's unlikely. But we won't know for sure until we've actually READ the documents.

    Wikileaks does what is for many a thankless, but in my opinion important job. If not for people willing to risk themselves as the word "traitor" is flung at them, we would be much more oblivious to what is really going on. And I would rather know the facts than some politician's spin.

    Think about it, Americans. Because I know most of you will eff and blind about "treason" and "anti-Americanism" (because anyone who even slightly criticizes anything America does obviously hates the country. /sarcasm)
    Isn't it more treasonous to act against the moral code that your country has created for itself? More treasonous to act as you feel like, but tell the common man something different? In fact, is it not being a patriot to risk yourself spending life in prison and having people call for your hanging, to try and keep your fellow citizens informed as to the truth? Isn't that a big American thing, truth?

  • Comment number 47.

    We need to be on the hunt for this wikileaks person because what they are doing is not only feeding some your irrational rants but really putting peoples lives at risk. And I'm sure your not so concerned about British and American forces so how about the Iraqis? Some Iraqis who were just simple translators, where's your concern for them? It's apparently all in there , not just the stuff about America that gives you guys your jollies.

  • Comment number 48.

    effinuts writes: "Such narrow minded thinking. I've never agreed with the Iraq war because I didn't believe it was really part of the fight against terrorism, but I never thought it was about oil. The amount of money and lives lost in that war we could have probably figured out how to generate power from a moon rock. And where's the revenue? I wish we had some of that, maybe we wouldn't be in debt up to our eyeballs."

    Quite so.

  • Comment number 49.

    steve butler wrote
    ...The claim is that 911 was masterminded from Afghanistan....

    Actually, Al-Qaeda did train in Afghanistan...with the help of the Taliban. The evidence is overwhelming. Interviews, images and video of the camps, et al. You may be excused for being unaware of the voluminous data, but please refrain from spreading misinformation based on your lack of knowledge.

  • Comment number 50.

    43. At 06:04am on 23 Oct 2010, effinuts wrote:
    26. At 04:50am on 23 Oct 2010, workrobotwork wrote:
    "Don't be so naive. They wanted the oil, the revenue. It's all about greed and nastiness, can't you see that?"
    ------------
    Such narrow minded thinking. I've never agreed with the Iraq war because I didn't believe it was really part of the fight against terrorism, but I never thought it was about oil. The amount of money and lives lost in that war we could have probably figured out how to generate power from a moon rock. And where's the revenue? I wish we had some of that, maybe we wouldn't be in debt up to our eyeballs.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    You are quite right, it wasn't all about oil, but it was mostly about money, billions of which were defrauded from the tax-payer and are still entirely unaccounted for.

    Please understand, war is big business. Weapons are sold, contracts are issued. You want to know where that money has gone? Ask George Bush, Dick Cheney and all their friends.

  • Comment number 51.

    Since these leaks are out in the open and war crimes were committed then why are Bush and Blair still out and not at The Hague to stand trial for their participation in these crimes as commanders in chiefs of their armed forces? They were the ones that order the invasion of Iraq and the destruction of the country based on lies and for that they should be stand trial. We cannot preach one thing and do the opposite

  • Comment number 52.

    11. At 02:42am on 23 Oct 2010, iNotHere wrote:...

    Where the hell were the Worlds reporters when all this was going on?

    Thank you "iNotHere" - exactly right. BBC et al, hang your heads.

  • Comment number 53.

    If you give details to an enemy force that may be an advantage to them in any way you are a traitor.

    Even in war any person (or persons) can be deemed to act illegaly.
    Any person (or persons), who ignore illegal acts, are complicit in those illegal actions.

    Wikileaks is on a tightrope.
    The whistleblower has stuck his neck in a noose.
    Hillary Clinton is dusting off political (complicit and trecherous) damage.


    Youtube.com Mr Robin Cook resignation speech BEFORE the war took place.

    A costly, nasty, illegal, damaging, dirty and UNNECESSARY war.

  • Comment number 54.

    48. At 06:24am on 23 Oct 2010, MellorSJ wrote:

    Quite so.
    ---------------------------------

    Yes, MellorSJ, I am still waiting for you to answer my question. Are you going to tell the families of all the people who died in Iraq to 'get over it'?

  • Comment number 55.

    Well all I can say is that after over 100000 people are murdered and they all may have been innocent, as we can no longer trust US/UK to tell us the truth .
    The BBC asks the dumbiest question ever. Is the disclosure going to cost US lives. Well BBC all you have proved to me by these actions is that you as an organisation are just state sponsored proganda and not a serious news agency. Why are we paying a license fee of £146 to not be told the truth. The BBC should hang it head in shame as it is now no better than Al jazeera.

  • Comment number 56.

    Britainsnotpleased wrote: "The BBC should hang it head in shame as it is now no better than Al jazeera."

    Actually Al Jazeera (the English station, I hasten to add) is quite good.

  • Comment number 57.

    17. At 03:46am on 23 Oct 2010, Aziz Merchant wrote:
    Murder will speak one day. Prez George Walker Bush should be tried by the International Court in Hague for the war crimes and slaughter of millions of civilians in the melee in Iraq going against the advice of world leaders including IAE Agency
    --------------------------------
    I seem to remember a very articulate British man also.
    Hmm...who was that man? OH!!!...The British Prime Minister! Don't give Bush all of the credit, he could barely put a coherent sentence together. Your Tony Blair translated Bush's words to the rest of the world and backed Bush 100%.
    Hey! Here's something for you...Maybe Blair was really the driving force but because the UK doesn't have the military capabilities of the US, he convinced Bush to do do the heavy lifting. Yeah, and remember when Blair convinced Clinton to join in the Kosovo War an ocean away from the US? What did America gain from that one?
    That Tony Blair..he sure was a smart one!
    Wow... the blame game can work both ways. This is jolly good fun!

  • Comment number 58.

    Ha, it poses no risk. That was just used as an excuse to make Wikileaks look like they were the bad guys, when it's the US government/military that are actually the bad guys. War criminals actually. Make that evil war criminals.

    Why aren't you, the BBC, covering this in greater detail? this should be the TOP news, since it IS the TOP news. ALL news outlets should be carrying full blown coverage of this and demanding that world criminal courts be bringing charges against any and all officials involved in this lie of an immoral war.

  • Comment number 59.

    5. At 01:12am on 23 Oct 2010, MellorSJ wrote:
    ...
    This is, like it or not, a war. Get over it.

    >>> I wonder whether that line would have worked for the Nazi war criminals indicted at Nuremberg. Perhaps they should have tried it.

  • Comment number 60.

    40. At 05:47am on 23 Oct 2010, steve butler wrote:
    What amazes me is that people are surprised by this, and that people continue to be so gullible and so naïve. Only the really blinkered can’t see that Blair and Bush are war criminals, so what has been divulged in these leaks is entirely to be expected.

    And yet still people think that Iraq was all about the “war on terror”. The claim is that 911 was masterminded from Afghanistan…so Blair/Bush invade Iraq. And still people swallow that. Frankly it amazes me how some of you people have the intelligence to remember how to breath.

    =========================================================================
    Your lack of knowledge on the this afagan training camp is amazing, the next thing you will be telling us is " 911 was an inside job" Ignoring all of the facts despite the twin towers being once before by islamic extremists in 1993.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1993_World_Trade_Center_bombing

  • Comment number 61.

    There is a certain way you can assert this information is damaging to the public. Imagine two scenarios:

    1. The current scene where USA and allies are exposed.
    2. Imagine if the Wikileaks documents pertain to deeds of Iran government.

    In case two, you will see a 'universal' outcry demanding accountability from Iran Government and few nations would be busy in UN chalking out newer sanctions. You can be certain that there will be an International fallout adverse to Iran. Not to mention, Wikileaks founder will be the hero of the universe and may even get the next Nobel peace price.

    I am neutral as to the usefulness of this expose. It certainly will put more US & Allies' lives in danger. The real hope is that such exposes will prevent tragedies like Iraq. If anything, US and its allies have more blood on them than Wikileaks can ever hope to.

  • Comment number 62.

    Clinton was on the news this morning condemning the leaks. She ought to have been condemning the complicity in war crimes by the US military.

    I support the Iraqis, the majority of whom want the Americans out of their country. I am sure that this will put American lives at risk. The leaks show the full extent of the carnage visited on Iraq by America in the pursuit of their illegal Zionist ambitions. Obviously ordinary Iraqis will be incensed by this egregious behaviour by the Americans.

    I support the Iraqi ambition to liberate their country from US occupation. I think that American lives should continue to be at risk there until they have all left and Iraq is free.

    Interestingly, there have been talks between Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, Hamas, Iraqi Shia leaders like al-Sadr and al-Maliki, the Iraqi PM. This has resulted in an alliance which should ensure that there are no US bases in Iraq after 2011, which provides essential security for Iran against further American aggression, This is not what the Americans went into Iraq to achive. One diplomatic observer pointed out that the Americans could not have got it more wrong if they tried.

  • Comment number 63.

    44. At 06:04am on 23 Oct 2010, steve butler wrote:

    ***chrisk50 wrote:

    Rules of war.

    1. There are no rules.
    2. Refer to 1.
    3. Refer......... and so on.

    Are you Tony Bliar?

    You might want to do a little research before making yourself look such an idiot. There is a little thing called "international law", which interestingly enough, one of only two countries in the world who don't sign up to is...the good ol' usa. What a lovely bunch they are eh? ***

    As I said there are no rules.

    In the event of a nuclear war, would you:-

    1. Initially use a nuclear weapon?
    2. Retaliate knowing you will kill people from surrounding countries?
    3. Do nothing.

    Your answer is number 3 because 1 & 2 do not satisfy the rules. Your toast then.

    What rules to you want to abide by?

    A country is killing it's own population, another is terrorising the world - eliminate the enemy by whatever means necessary, otherwise you get caught up in long drawn out wars that eventually get more killed that the initial strike would have.

    And so much for international law, go on go sue the Taliban then.

    Shoot the person that is aiming at you before you get killed. There that's my rule.

    I like being an idiot as I survive as one.

  • Comment number 64.

    Hundreds of thousands died under the rule of Saddam Hussein, some tortured to death, others gassed, or shot or thrown out of helicopters - so whats so new about the few more dying after a regime change - each of the Iraqi religious groups is as bad as the other.

    it is not going to stop because the media trumpet it as the fault of the Americans, it is not going to stop because Saddam Hussein is gone, it is not going to stop because the religious bigots in Sunny and Shia Islam see each other as the enemy, it is not going to stop because the Iranians stop interfering in Iraqi politics and religion.

    It will stop when education is more important than religion or tribalism.

  • Comment number 65.

    41. At 05:52am on 23 Oct 2010, workrobotwork wrote:
    36. At 05:33am on 23 Oct 2010, MellorSJ wrote:
    workrobotwork: "Don't be so naive. They wanted the oil, the revenue. It's all about greed and nastiness, can't you see that?"

    Oh no! Not that canard again!

    Oil output has _dropped_ since the invasion. Moreover the cost per barrel, once the costs of the war are taken into account, are astronomical.

    "Don't be naive," indeed!
    --------------------------------------------------------------------

    Are you seriously suggesting that was about 'terrorism'?
    Follow the money, it's not hard.
    --------------------------------------------------------

    Come on MellorSJ, You know full well the whole point of invading Iraq was to 'control' oil production - in order to maintain output and supply - thus increasing PRICE and profit! Saddam was an irritant to the Oil industry precisely because HE pumped out too much oil!

  • Comment number 66.

    No; what puts lives at risk is sending young men and women into other countries to fight and kill and be killed.

    If the politicians don't like it send them instead!

    The truth must NEVER be hidden. It absence of truth only serves those who hide behind their own propoganda and enables them to manipulate the rest of us to do their bidding.

    Truth...come on down!

  • Comment number 67.

    How would these allegations put anyone’s life at risk? Especially that WikiLeakes had gone to the extent of hiding the identities of all the perpetrators. I’m certain that the people in the ground in Iraq (wither military or civilians) know these details and more. So the only party really gaining any insight are us the “hood-winked” masses.

    Some, here, have suggested that those who leaked these details should either be “tarred and feathered” or, in a more vile and despicable language, “hung” or “imprisoned for life” sighting that the leakers have betrayed their oath of allegiance!
    I believe that every person giving their oath of allegiance to any entity, do so because they believe in and share the values of that entity. So when faced with belligerent disregard of every value they believe in by SOME who claim to be defending these values and with SOME other people cover up these transgression in higher places, the only root for them is to make it public! Heroes indeed!

  • Comment number 68.

    Ghost becomes increasingly annoying with: "Come on MellorSJ, You know full well the whole point of invading Iraq was to 'control' oil production - in order to maintain output and supply - thus increasing PRICE and profit!"

    Any evidence AT ALL for this assertion?

    I think I'll go back to my policy of ignoring his posts.

  • Comment number 69.

    If the abuses happened then they should be condemned, investigated and those responsible should be punished. If the West wants to take the moral high ground that's the way it has to be.

    I suspect (but don't know for sure) that the abuses are the exception rather than the rule and pale in comparison to the abuses dished out by Saddam Hussein and his generals, but that's still no excuse for them.

    These leaks don't suddenly make America 'evil' but they must be dealt with properly or the West becomes just as bad as the violent, despotic regimes it's trying to depose.

  • Comment number 70.

    The sad thing is that this is no longer a big surprise.

    What is staggering is how after all of this, there's no apology or taking responsibility, only more finger pointing as if there's nothing wrong with this kind of thing.
    It's like some kid being beaten to a pulp in the playground and then complaining about the kid who told a teacher.

    These sort of things make it much harder to see who the good guys are who the bad guys are which long term is only bad news.

  • Comment number 71.

    The simple answer is yes

    both

    because of increased anti west feelings

    and hopefuly

    because the US has the death sentance and they will start using it against the war criminals on BOTH sides.

  • Comment number 72.

    40. At 05:47am on 23 Oct 2010, steve butler wrote:
    And yet still people think that Iraq was all about the “war on terror”. The claim is that 911 was masterminded from Afghanistan…so Blair/Bush invade Iraq. And still people swallow that. Frankly it amazes me how some of you people have the intelligence to remember how to breath.
    =-=============
    Here's something for you guys to chew on...
    9/11 was something so big and so unthinkable that we had to go to war. Obviously Afganistan was the place to go but it turned out to be too easy (or so it seemed at the time.) But Afgan had nothing to destroy to equal the scale of the attack in America and on all freedom loving people from around the world (it wasn't just innocent Americans killed). They needed something bigger to feel that justice was served. What's the next best thing? Saddam Hussein, a tyrant who we had already been to war with and who was a threat in the region. Iraq had a real army to defeat and the US/UK thought it would be quick, easy and a good deed for the region.
    So it was kind of like killing two birds with one stone. We would take out Al Queda/Taliban and finish off Saddam and it would feel like real justice because we weren't just bombing caves and tents.

    It was not about oil, it was about feeling that we had really retaliated for 9/11 and we were all lied to (from Bush and Blair) about Iraq to get support for that war.

    Iraq has turned out to be a disaster but we can't turn back the clock. We should just leave! Those people will never live in peace because they don't know how to have peace.
    For the record...I never supported the Iraq war. I do support the fight against terrorism but not thru an endless unwinnable war.

  • Comment number 73.

    The US doesn't like it's lies being challenged. Nor does the UK.
    I do. As No.5 - markus_uk wrote:

    "Does the new Wikileaks release put lives at risk?
    Pardon? Which side are you on?"

    Maybe it's time to bring back the guillotine for the "political" classes; unless mass-murder now comes with a side-salad.

  • Comment number 74.

    I expect there are lots of files that if released would cause a stir amiongst the more precious in society, we were effectively at war and still are, these things happen and a lot worse.

  • Comment number 75.

    Bliars last excuse for his complicity in war crimes has been shown to be yet another pack of lies, what will it take before he is arrested and his war crimes are properly investigated?

  • Comment number 76.

    Of course this will put lives at risk.

    Unfortunately it is likely to be the lives of aid workers and other civilians, not only in Iraq but in other countries as well.

    Yes, horrific things happen in wartime. When the area is still unstable now is not the time to publicly deal with them.

    We need to think about why matters such as this were not dealt with at the time in the past. It is more than to do with careers.

    It potentially means that everyone in Afghanistan, and possibly Pakistan (those who are only trying to help local people, those who have helped British/American/NATO forces) are even more at risk than they were before as the word spreads. It is a much bigger more complicated picture, and as such it is the living and their safety which needs to be taken into consideration first and foremost.

    I don't believe the Iraq war should have taken place. But it did. Trying now to deal with it in such a way is going to put nothing right and help no one.

  • Comment number 77.

    Will the BBC be attending the press conference today with Daniel Ellsberg (who leaked the Vietnam War logs)? Please post the time of the press conference and stream it LIVE
    [Personal details removed by Moderator]

  • Comment number 78.

    "Put lives at risk?"

    Has the BBC finally confirmed it is really the Daily Stunt, funded by Rupert Murder and other Tory cronies?

  • Comment number 79.

    Only the guilty need fear the truth.

  • Comment number 80.

    Clinton, Hitler, Stalin, Bush and Blair; what do they have in common?

    The suppression of a free press.

  • Comment number 81.

    77. At 08:35am on 23 Oct 2010, Rick Seymour wrote:
    Will the BBC be attending the press conference today with Daniel Ellsberg (who leaked the Vietnam War logs)? Please post the time of the press conference and stream it LIVE
    [Personal details removed by Moderator]



    Oh really. Mods either allow your post or they remove them. Oh, and it's in italics.

  • Comment number 82.

    If what we read on Wikileaks is true, it goes to show just how evil and corrupt mankind is. If the US is responsible for such horror, I can just immagine how much worse would be the same leaks from some of the even more corrupt countries in our world, and I don't mean just those who are openly evil and promote terrorism. It is not looking good for our world which seems to be under the control of evil forces. The US have been exposed, but what about the UK, and most of Europe, and even worse, most of Asia and Africa. Find me an honest leadership anywhere, and I will truly be surprised.

  • Comment number 83.

    My personal take is that if in the UK there is ONE act of police brutality, it gets front page, newsflash attention and the public scream and shout about how bad the police are .... however if 100000 such acts are committed by our Army abroad then it's quietly pushed under the carpet.

    Where is your humanity?

  • Comment number 84.

    Given the long years of tyranny under Saddam Hussein, undoubtedly there were many old scores to be settled within the Iraqi population when the invasion by Coalition forces took place. Arabs have little or no concept of nationhood, as we understand it, being a society firmly based on tribe and family with loyalties appropriate to that organisation. In the absence of a common foe, Arabs will invariably conduct 'hostilities' between tribes and families, so given the divisions within Iraq, especially in tumultuous times, I would have been surprised if a degree of abuse of this kind had not occurred. To what extent the Americans were in a position either to intervene or influence matters remains an open question.

  • Comment number 85.

    It is not Wikileaks that has put lives at risk; it is the actions (and inactions) that it exposed that put lives at risk.

  • Comment number 86.

    If Wikileaks put lives at risk then it is up to the Soldiers & their back-ups to hedge around the leaks, tough; after all, our conduct is unacceptable to begin with.

  • Comment number 87.

    Absolutely not, it is war that puts lives at risk!

  • Comment number 88.

    I think that putting US forces anywhere puts lives at risk (and not their own).
    Wikileaks seems simply to confirm what many suspect but is usually denied by official sources.

  • Comment number 89.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 90.

    The Defence Department spokesman who dismisses these tragedies as "mundane events" should be dismissed immediately. The US approach to combat, known as "Shock & Awe", sums up their cavalier and gung-ho approach to anyone in their vicinity in hot zones. Having worked with US Forces many times (including the Green Berets), I ensured that I was always out of harms way when they picked up weapons!!!!
    These revelations are unsurprising and well known to the enemy.

  • Comment number 91.

    Why didn't we get these leaks when the Republicans were in power ? I think that speaks volumes about who is behind this attack on the present government. They should be in jail for risking soldier's lives just to earn political points.

  • Comment number 92.

    Point 1: the attack to the twin towers, and subsequent attacks in London and Madrid were masterminded by Al-Qaeda from AFGHANISTAN. The UN authorised intervention in AFGHANISTAN. So what were we doing in IRAQ?

    Point2: There are laws even in war, maybe some people expectations about their country's armed forces are low, not mine, I respect the law, and I expect the military to do the same.

    Point3: It would have been irresponsible to leak details that could lead to identification of the individuals involved, but the documents released are heavily redacted, to hide individual identities and details, so the point that lives are put at risk is a moot one. By hiding information that could lead to the identification of individuals Wikileaks acted in a very responsible manner.

    Crimes have been committed, given the points above I can only conclude that it's a good thing that such crimes are exposed.

    And before some idiot replies mentioning the other sides crimes, I just point that we all know and agree that Al-Qaeda, and similar organizations, are a bunch of evil criminals, unafraid of killing even their own to further their evil political agenda. At this point in time, however, I am also interested in knowing the crimes that have been hidden from us, not just the ones that have been exposed.

  • Comment number 93.

    The WikiLeaks disclosures would place troops' lives at risk. The unauthorised release of classified information on the Iraqi war would be handing vital information on a platter to unscrupulous terrorists! Organisations have a responsibility when it comes to saving military and civilian lives. Terrorists would thrive on leaked information of this magnitude. By publishing the documents in its possession WikiLeaks is showing its contempt for the efforts of the United States Defence Department and the national security interests.

  • Comment number 94.

    At 08:13am on 23 Oct 2010, effinuts wrote:
    At 05:47am on 23 Oct 2010, steve butler wrote:
    And yet still people think that Iraq was all about the “war on terror”. The claim is that 911 was masterminded from Afghanistan…so Blair/Bush invade Iraq.


    Come on, wake up and smell the coffee.
    George W. Bush organised the 9-11 attacks, everybody knows that, GWB also started rumours about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, he is also responsible for UFO's, AIDS (with Ronald Reagan), the Ryder Cup loss, the BP oil well disaster, the Columbia shuttle failure, the Boxing Day Tsunami, the Wall Street Crash in 29, the failure of the banks in the UK, the falacy of the findings of the Warren Commission Report - and every other act or omission of the US government and its agencies that we know about and all those we don't know about.

    It was said that if the CIA was half as successful as its critics say, it would be twice as successful as it actually is. Conspiracy theorists of the world unite, all you have to fear is running out of conspiracies.

  • Comment number 95.

    No, of course not. It's a way to try to stop the truth to come forward. I'm Swedish Julian has been accused for raping by two women and it seems as it's a set up, it never happen. The Swedish government has questions to answer to these abuse cases that was filed to him. He has been denied asylum in Sweden, we who has an open inflow of immigrants from Africa and elsewhere, can't give this man - a true hero - asylum. The Swedish government are in Lucifer's leash. I can't wait to the day to come when I can ask to be released from my Swedish citizenship.

  • Comment number 96.

    Crikey, what would the Founding Fathers say (probably approve 100%)?
    Hey Clinton - nothing to hide nothing to fear, right?

  • Comment number 97.

    It is absurd to say that to reveal the misdeeds of the American soldiers are going to risk lives. Whose lives were at risk when the illegal invasion took place? Why the Americans think that their lives are more precious than others even if they commit war crimes? The mainstream media like the BBC have never disclosed these details before and one can always guss what the yanks would have done judging from their adventures in the past in Korea,Vietnam and El-salvadore. Can we forget My-Lai?

  • Comment number 98.

    What shocks me is that anyone is shocked .

  • Comment number 99.

    Try some nuance people . .you can both condemn the war and wikileaks.
    The leaked information will get Afghans and Iraqis killed all while wikileaks makes tons of money off of this. Sooner or later the Taliban will search the documents for the names of sources in their province (which are in fact published) and they will kill them.
    Wikileaks did nothing courageous, they merely irresponsibily published what someone sent them. Who cares what civilians get killed because of it, this makes them MONEY. They're not heroes . .the least they could do is remove innocent civilian names from the documents. Lazy. Irresponsible. So yes, this will get people killed.

  • Comment number 100.

    @Oslo13
    Prove it.
    Send a link to a wikileaks document with a FULL name... just one...of someone who actually could be killed because of their actions.

    Here is the Guardians SEARCHABLE website on the Afgahn warlogs... to get you going
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/datablog/interactive/2010/jul/25/afghanistan-war-logs-events

 

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