July 26, 2010 01:44:46pm
The New Pentagon Papers - Devastating Picture of Afghanistan War
27 July 2010
thank you Amy and everyone
DemocracyNow!'s best newshour ever!
The New Pentagon Papers - 1-hour interview: WikiLeaks releases 90,000-plus secret military documents painting devastating picture of Afghanistan War
"We have released 91,000 reports about Afghanistan from the United States military. The reports cover the period from 2004 to 2010 in minute detail. They cover essentially all US military operations, with the exclusion of some special forces operations and the CIA. It covers each civilian kill, each military kill that has been internally reported, where it happened, and when it happened. It is the most comprehensive history of a war to have ever been published during the course of a war. There doesn’t seem to be an equivalent disclosure made during the course of a war, during the time where it might have some effect. The nearest equivalent is perhaps the Pentagon Papers released by Daniel Ellsberg in the '70s. That was about 10,000 pages. But already that was about four years old by the time it was released. There's about 200,000 pages in this material. Pentagon Papers was about 10,000 pages."
"The documents, most of them classified as secret, give a blow-by-blow account of the war in Afghanistan between January 2004 and December of 2009. The findings include detailed reports on 144 attacks on civilians by coalition forces, ranging from the shootings of individuals to massive air strikes, resulting in hundreds of casualties; how a secret black ops special forces unit named Task Force 373 hunts down targets for assassination or detention without trial."
"And the files reveal NATO commanders fear neighbouring Pakistan and Iran are fueling the insurgency. According to the New York Times, the records suggest Pakistan allows representatives of its spy service to meet directly with the Taliban in secret strategy sessions to organize networks of militant groups that fight against American soldiers in Afghanistan and even hatch plots to assassinate Afghan leaders."
"If this worked, if this was a viable method, we would have won this thing back in '04 or ’05, you know? And the other point, too, about Dan Ellsberg’s excellent point about the strength of the Taliban, I’m in complete agreement. If you actually go back and look at comments made by General Barno, who was the commanding general of American forces in 2004 and 2005, back then he was saying there were only 2,000 Taliban. Last summer they said it was 40,000. And I concur with Dan Ellsberg. We've sent 30,000 more troops into southern Afganistan, and that probably has exponentially increased the strength of the Taliban, because we see the Taliban get their support because of resistance to foreign occupation and resistance to a corrupt and unrepresentative government."
"There are very few things here that have not, in some fashion, been reported by the news media, particularly over the last year or so. But there is one set of documents, in particular, that I thought were particularly insightful in terms of revealing the basic nature of the society and of the Afghan government that the United States is supporting, and that is a set of documents that show, for example, a police commander, a district police commander, who had raped a sixteen-year-old girl and who was confronted with a civilian complaining about this rape. He ordered his bodyguard, according to this report, to shoot the civilian. The bodyguard refused to do so, and then the police commander simply killed his own bodyguard in order to basically deal with the situation. This sort of laid bare the basic structure that the United States has stumbled into, or, perhaps I should say, has allowed itself to take control of, and—or tried to take control of, and I think what it shows is that this is a war that not only cannot be won, but in which the United States is on the wrong side."