Wikileaks’ Iraq War Logs: Pentagon Response to Publication of Logs

Republished from the Bureau of Investigative Journalism

October 22nd, 2010  |  by admin

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism sent two letters – which listed a number of significant allegations regarding U.S. forces and U.S. defence policy – to the Department of Defense Press Office at the Pentagon, so as to provide an opportunity to respond in the interest of fairness.

Among the specific questions the Bureau asked the Pentagon to respond to were the following:

– We allege that the U.S. Government handed over detainees to Iraqi authorities, knowing of concerns that torture was rife in Iraqi detention facilities.

– We have concerns that allegations of detainee abuse by Iraqi authorities reported to U.S. forces were not properly investigated.

– On February 22 2007 a U.S. lawyer advises Crazyhorse 18’s Command Unit that Anti-Iraqi Forces could not surrender to an aircraft and were still valid targets. However, we have found four occasions in the data when people were allowed to surrender to aircraft. What is the DoD’s response to this?

– We have found over 300 alleged cases of detainee abuse by U.S. soldiers after Abu Ghraib in 2004.

– Contained within the files are intelligence reports alleging strong links between Syrian intelligence agents and al Qaeda. What is the DoD’s position on such reports?

The U.S. Department of Defense’s response is as follows:

“We strongly condemn the unauthorised disclosure of classified information and will not comment on these leaked documents other than to note that ‘significant activities’ reports are initial, raw observations by tactical units. They are essentially snapshots of events, both tragic and mundane, and do not tell the whole story. That said, the period covered by these reports has been well-chronicled in news stories, books and films and the release of these field reports does not bring new understanding to Iraq’s past.

“However, it does expose secret information that could make our troops even more vulnerable to attack in the future. Just as with the leaked Afghan documents, we know our enemies will mine this information looking for insights into how we operate, cultivate sources, and react in combat situations, even the capability of our equipment. This security breach could very well get our troops and those they are fighting with killed.”

4 thoughts on “Wikileaks’ Iraq War Logs: Pentagon Response to Publication of Logs

  1. “how we operate, cultivate sources, and react in combat situations, even the capability of our equipment.”

    More than that, far more than that, dear DoD spokesman!

  2. This is a canned response that was given to all media organizations — you can find it in CNN & NY Times 10/22 and others. There was a 1st part as well, which reads:

    ““We deplore WikiLeaks for inducing individuals to break the law, leak classified documents and then cavalierly share that secret information with the world, including our enemies. We know terrorist organizations have been mining the leaked Afghan documents for information to use against us, and this Iraq leak is more than four times as large. By disclosing such sensitive information, WikiLeaks continues to put at risk the lives of our troops, their coalition partners and those Iraqis and Afghans working with us. The only responsible course of action for WikiLeaks at this point is to return the stolen material and expunge it from their Web sites as soon as possible.”

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