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.”