New massive release to put Iraq War and WikiLeaks in spotlight

The site will soon publish 400,000 secret documents that are expected to give a never-before-seen, uncensored view of the Iraq War. A source close to WikiLeaks said the material covers the period from 2004 through 2009 — nearly the entirety of the conflict, which began in 2003. On August 31, President Obama declared the combat mission in Iraq over.

The number of documents in this anticipated leak could dwarf the Afghan War Diary which WikiLeaks published in July. The massive, searchable database containing more than 70,000 classified documents about the Afghanistan War is regarded as the biggest intelligence leak in U.S. history and garnered international headlines.

The ground-level view of the war was a much bleaker portrait than the official one from Washington.

This impending leak could be just as revealing.

UPDATE: Iraq war logs: secret files show how US ignored torture – The Guardian

Ӣ Massive leak reveals serial detainee abuse
Ӣ 15,000 unknown civilian deaths in war

A grim picture of the US and Britain’s legacy in Iraq has been revealed in a massive leak of American military documents that detail torture, summary executions and war crimes.

Almost 400,000 secret US army field reports have been passed to the Guardian and a number of other international media organisations via the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks

** Pentagon asks media not to publish war leaks
** Al Jazeera coverage
** Jazeera: WikiLeaks papers show Iraq torture, US killings
** Wikileaks Planned Document Release Poses National Security Risk, U.S. Says
** No surprises seen in WikiLeaks Iraq war data: Pentagon

68 comments to New massive release to put Iraq War and WikiLeaks in spotlight

  • Tina

    AP

    By ANNE FLAHERTY, Associated Press Writer Anne Flaherty, Associated Press Writer – Mon Oct 18, 1:44 pm ET

    WASHINGTON – The Pentagon on Monday asked media organizations not to publish any classified war files released by the WikiLeaks Web site, as the U.S. braces for the potential disclosure of hundreds of thousands of secret Iraq war documents.

    In July, WikiLeaks obtained and released nearly 77,000 classified military reports from Afghanistan. Now, the Pentagon says the group has as many as 400,000 documents from a military database on operations in Iraq.

    WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange on Monday downplayed expectations that a leak was imminent. In a Twitter post, Assange said information were coming from “a single tabloid blog” that had put out a “tremendous amount” of false information about his site.

    Still, the military says its 120-person task force has been on high alert. The group has been reviewing the documents for weeks to determine what information might be compromised.

    Marine Corps Col. Dave Lapan, a Pentagon spokesman, told reporters that the military isn’t sure if WikiLeaks has shared the Iraq war logs with any news organizations. But, he said, media should not disseminate the “stolen” information even if it’s already posted online by WikiLeaks.

    “The concern is that WikiLeaks as an organization should not be made more credible by having credible news organizations facilitate what they’re doing,” Lapan said.

    WikiLeaks was largely unknown until this spring, when it released a gritty war video of Army helicopters gunning down a group of men — including two unarmed Reuters photographers — in Iraq.

  • creativelcro

    That is my guess.

  • Tina

    Iraq war logs: An introduction

    The leaking of more than 390,000 previously secret US military reports details the hidden realities of the war in Iraq

    * David Leigh
    * guardian.co.uk, Friday 22 October 2010 21.32 BST

    The invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq has been one of the most bloodily divisive international conflicts of the past decade. The reputations of George W Bush and Tony Blair, are stained, perhaps indelibly, by it.

    Today’s gigantic leak from that long-running battleground, of 391,832 previously secret US military field reports, details the unvarnished and often unknown realities of the war in Iraq. It is history in the raw. The story these documents tell is ugly and often shocking.

    Between 2004 and 2009, a sectarian civil war merged with a war of “resistance” by nationalist Iraqis, and with a ruthless jihadist campaign by foreign al-Qaida supporters, to plunge Iraq into a three-way bloodbath of roadside bombs, assassinations and high-explosive shelling of villages and towns.

    The Iraq logs detail how soldiers, civilians, insurgents, foreign aid workers, private contractors, old men and young girls, Americans, Britons, foreign Arabs and above all, the Iraqi people themselves, fell victim to a new dynamic of “asymmetric warfare”, in which guerrillas armed mainly with improvised landmines, competed with the awesome weaponry of hi-tech US air power.

    More than 100,000 people died and whole towns such as Falluja were reduced to near-rubble, amid allegations of brutal abuse by some US and UK soldiers at Abu Ghraib prison and elsewhere.

    The raw material in these Iraq war logs, like databanks of previous classified files the Guardian has published on the Afghan war, comes from US military archives. A dissident US intelligence analyst, Bradley Manning, formerly based in Baghdad, is currently facing a court martial charged with leaking similar material to WikiLeaks, the online whistleblowing activists.

    WikiLeaks has defied the Pentagon to pass this data on to a wide range of media organisations, including the Guardian. WikiLeaks intends to post much of it on its own website.

    The Guardian is publishing extracts from original documents where to do so will not endanger identifiable individuals.

  • Tina

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/oct/22/iraq-war-logs-military-leaks

    the wires are a buzz with the release of info, very hard to keep up with

  • Tina

    Al Jazeera

    look on right side bar and click a topic under ‘Findings’

  • mjsteckel

    What’s up with them releasing the docs at 5pm on a Friday? That just doesn’t make a lot of sense to me, esp given that Wikileaks is fairly media savvy.

    A possible explanation for their site being down for maintenance is to drive traffic to their media partners.

  • Tina

    until a few hours ago – in time to ruin the pentagons workers weekend? ;) I’m sure it will be all the talk on Sunday. lol

  • YogiCarl

    imo.

    _______________________________________________________________________
    The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread.
    Anatole France

  • HongPong

    You can log in & nosh on yr own wikileaks bits http://warlogs.owni.fr/ crowdsourcing ftw

    as we say on twitter – #freebradley & put on some lady gaga eh?

    Hongpong.com

  • JustPlainDave

    …and betrayed the trust.

    “The absence of any US-Iran bilateral channel…may have the perverse effect of reinforcing Iranian interest in progressing in the nuclear realm so that the US will be forced to take it seriously and engage it directly.” ~ Richard Haass

  • Anonymous

    Here’s another http://agonist.org/hardtimes

    And that is war in a nutshell. The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and all to lose – especially their lives.

  • creativelcro

    The Pentagon folks would need to work on the weekend. And many of them won’t.

  • Tina

    By MICHAEL R. GORDON and ANDREW W. LEHREN
    Published: October 22, 2010

    On Dec. 22, 2006, American military officials in Baghdad issued a secret warning: The Shiite militia commander who had orchestrated the kidnapping of officials from Iraq’s Ministry of Higher Education was now hatching plans to take American soldiers hostage.

    What made the warning especially worrying were intelligence reports saying that the Iraqi militant, Azhar al-Dulaimi, had been trained by the Middle East’s masters of the dark arts of paramilitary operations: the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps in Iran and Hezbollah, its Lebanese ally.

    “Dulaymi reportedly obtained his training from Hizballah operatives near Qum, Iran, who were under the supervision of Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds Force (IRGC-QF) officers in July 2006,” the report noted, using alternative spellings of the principals involved. Read the Document »

    Five months later, Mr. Dulaimi was tracked down and killed in an American raid in the sprawling Shiite enclave of Sadr City in Baghdad — but not before four American soldiers had been abducted from an Iraqi headquarters in Karbala and executed in an operation that American military officials say literally bore Mr. Dulaimi’s fingerprints.

    Scores of documents made public by WikiLeaks, which has disclosed classified information about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, provide a ground-level look — at least as seen by American units in the field and the United States’ military intelligence — at the shadow war between the United States and Iraqi militias backed by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards

    more

  • Tina

    dpa

    Baghdad/Cairo – The fall-out from the WikiLeaks release of nearly 400,000 secret US war documents reverberated throughout the Arab world Saturday – but to Iraqis the revelations of detainee abuse and Iranian influence were ‘nothing new’.

    ‘This is nothing new. I do not think the Iraqi people will be surprised by the number of facts pointing to abuses carried out by the US military over the course of the years of occupation because every Iraqi has an abuse story to tell,’ said Iraqi Member of Parliament Mohammed Iqbal to the German Press Agency dpa.

    But Iqbal, who is part of the Iraqi Accordance Front, stressed that the revelation of the WikiLeaks documents was still ‘useful.’

    ‘Although it came late, after the drawdown of US troops from Iraq, overall it is useful in that it shows that the US occupation of Iraq was not perfect nor ideal,’ he said.

    The aftermath of the WikiLeaks’ revelation was reported extensively and in depth throughout the Arab world.

    Pan-Arabic television network al-Jazeera, which received an early look at the documents, pointed to evidence that there were transfers of weapons from Tehran to Iraqi political blocs, at least two of whom are now vying for powerful seats in a new Iraqi government.

    According to al-Jazeera, the leaked documents reveal that among the groups that received weapons from Iran were anti-US Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr’s bloc and the Badr Organisation, which was the military wing of politician Ammar al-Hakim’s Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq party.

    Meanwhile, analysts argued that the newly-released information could derail incumbent Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s efforts for another term in office, following nearly eight months of political deadlock.

    One Iraqi lawmaker from the Iraqiya list, which is challenging al-Maliki’s party for top post in government, pointed out the abuse that took place in Iraqi prisons during al-Maliki’s term.

    The leaks hint at al-Maliki’s connections to rampant abuse of Iraqi detainees at the hands of Iraqi security forces.

    The documents, which were released in advance to the pan-Arabic al-Jazeera network, the New York Times, the Guardian of Britain, Germany’s Der Spiegel and Le Monde of France, were posted on the WikiLeaks website Friday evening. It is considered to be the largest leak of its kind in US military history, documenting the war from 2004 through 2009.

    Immediately after the WikiLeaks release, UK-based rights group Amnesty International demanded that the United States investigate the of torture and ill-treatment of detainees held by Iraqi security forces revealed in the documents.

    ‘These documents apparently provide further evidence that the US authorities have been aware of this systematic abuse for years, yet they went ahead and handed over thousands of Iraqis they had detained to the Iraqi security forces,’ said Malcolm Smart, Amnesty International’s director for the Middle East and North Africa, on Saturday.

    According to a report released by the rights group in September, Iraqi authorities are holding some 30,000 people without trial and denying them access to lawyers, leaving them at risk of torture and abuse.

    The report also charged that prisoners had died from maltreatment while in secret prisons run by Iraqi security forces and that around 10,000 detainees were at an increased risk of abuse after the United States handed them over to Iraqi authorities.

    WikiLeaks Editor-in-Chief Julian Assange said that the documents show ‘compelling evidence of war crimes’ carried out by both US and Iraqi forces.

  • JustPlainDave

    …”master class” that bears the risks incurred by his actions. That rhetorical device works for those who have no sense of what manning the line entails. Doesn’t work with me.

    “The absence of any US-Iran bilateral channel…may have the perverse effect of reinforcing Iranian interest in progressing in the nuclear realm so that the US will be forced to take it seriously and engage it directly.” ~ Richard Haass

  • yogi-one

    The public needs to be as informed as possible about the realities of war. This will help people make much better judgements before resorting to armed conflict.

    Glorifying war is beyond stupid.

    Well, maybe it is useful in one sense. It is pretty hard evidence that man evolved from chimps and still behaves like chimps. Human war, as I see it from an evolutionary perspective, is a direct legacy of chimpanzee territory and dominance behavior.

    Calling GWB Chimpy wasn’t just cute; it was scientifically accurate.

    As soon as the genetic science gets up to speed (maybe 2050 or so?) I recommend we re-engineer humans to to share more behavioral traits with bonobos (our second closest primate relative, a species that was not distinguished from chimpanzees for over a century because they are so close), and cut back on the chimp influence.

    As long as the dynamic of American politics is to empower dominant males who glorify killing their neighboring humans, and use sex and violence to dominate their own social groups, we are going to have the same problem. Yes, I’m talking about the Church and Big Politics.

    Wikileaks is a good step in the right direction, but more is needed.

    Human beings are now coming into an age where we understand and can harness some very powerful forces of nature: the atom, sunlight (and technology that takes energy directly from sunlight), and the genetic code.

    We have to use these things to better ourselves with, as well as find new ways to manipulate our environment.

    If you think tampering with the human genome is taboo, against God, or off-limits, I’ll say this: you are entitled to your opinion, and when these technologies break loose you will find yourself in the same position as old-school journalists who think blogging should not be allowed, or record-industry people who believe file-sharing never should have been created.

    It’s going to happen. When humans get a new technology with so many possibilities, some people somewhere are going to explore them and release their findings, regardless of whether some countries (or the Churches) ban it or not.

    The Church is going to hate the new genetic biologists, just like they hated the evolutionary cell-biologists, geologists and astronomers who turned Church orthodoxy on its head.

    Genetic biotech and the harnessing of a star (our Sun) to power our civilization (as opposed to depleting our planetary resources) will be the next revolutionary technologies.

    I say we should race to create a more enlightened human being before those with no moral compass unleash the super-warriors on us to further the chimpanzee mindset (and further destroy our planet and our society).

    You want to end war? I say change the cause of wars – human beings.

    I don’t think the solution will come from liberals arguing against conservatives. To me that looks like two groups of chimps standing on either side of a stream screeching and throwing rocks at each other. I give you FOX vs NPR, Colbert vs Beck, Oprah vs Palin, Olbermann vs Limbaugh, etc. Useless in terms of an actual solution. Great if you want to join your favorite group of chimps and jump up and down screaming, however. It is good exercise and clears your throat out. Your choice.

  • Anonymous

    Manning broke his pledge and obligation when he released the data. However, he would not have been in a position to do that had there been no invasion of Iraq and no ongoing occupation of Afghanistan. Both are relevant to his case and Manning will find out how civil disobedience works since I’m sure he’ll be incarcerated for quite a while.

    Debs is right – these are wars among classes of rulers. Peasants in Afghanistan were not responsible for 9/11. It was an effort that was seed funded by the bin Laden fortune and by the combined resources of the US, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, etc. that put together the foreign fighters and extremists in Afghanistan who have returned to haunt us. If they want people to man the line, then let them hold a vote on the wars with a full disclosure of the interests of all the players. Wouldn’t be many wars.

  • geoduck

    We didn’t evolve “from” chimps. They and we share some relatively recent common ancestor. And so, yes, we are a lot alike in the ways you describe.


    -Geoduck

  • HongPong

    Seriously JPD for every Bradley type person that flushes out some pocket of secret bytes to the general public, there must be 20 government employees with sensitive privileges who just sell the info for their own gain to Israel, China, Russia etc., and even when their higher-ups might catch word of it, they are protected by the hierarchy because everyone knows it’s too embarrassing to have the fails exposed.

    The priorities for punishments are set politically, not in reference to the actual hazards to the nation. Let the friends of Aipac stealing documents go away for 20 years — oh wait, it won’t happen.

    Hongpong.com

  • Joaquin

    Everywhere you look there is some abuse by the U.S. The U.S. must be forced to have a completely open government; that would be justice.

  • JustPlainDave

    Him, personally, I’d lock up for a good long while. He’s someone who never should have been where he was – (as the system had realised) he was due to be separated for failure to adjust. The AIPAC crowd, well, my view, there’s a nice pile of sandbags they should kneel and face…

    Both should be punished. Classification is ultimately a coecive system – for good reason.

    “The absence of any US-Iran bilateral channel…may have the perverse effect of reinforcing Iranian interest in progressing in the nuclear realm so that the US will be forced to take it seriously and engage it directly.” ~ Richard Haass

  • JustPlainDave

    …he knew had the potential to increase the risk to his fellow soldiers. You can talk as much as you like about the morality of the war and its causes – nothing justifies him putting his fellows at risk. That it was so heavily weighted to drek like this (I mean wow SALUTE reports – Katy bar the door) when there’s so much more available that would strike at the political echelon, leaked to such little effect just underlines how ineffectual, ego-driven and out of his depth the guy is.

    “The absence of any US-Iran bilateral channel…may have the perverse effect of reinforcing Iranian interest in progressing in the nuclear realm so that the US will be forced to take it seriously and engage it directly.” ~ Richard Haass

  • JustPlainDave

    I’ve spent seven years watching folks not comprehend what it was that they were looking at. Lack of openness is far, far less the problem than is the vast gulf between reality and the perceptions of the public. Shared context trends to 0.

    “The absence of any US-Iran bilateral channel…may have the perverse effect of reinforcing Iranian interest in progressing in the nuclear realm so that the US will be forced to take it seriously and engage it directly.” ~ Richard Haass

  • Raja

    WikiLeaks Founder Gets Support in Rebuking U.S. on Whistle-Blowers

    New York Times, By John F. Burns & Ravi Somaiya, October 23

    LONDON — Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder, and Daniel Ellsberg, who leaked the Pentagon Papers, lashed out together on Saturday at the Obama administration’s aggressive pursuit of whistle-blowers, including those responsible for the release of secret documents on the Iraq war.

    Mr. Assange also said that WikiLeaks, which released the trove of almost 400,000 Iraq war documents on Friday, would shortly be posting an additional 15,000 remaining secret documents on the Afghan war.

    Mr. Assange, speaking at a news conference in a London hotel a stone’s throw from the headquarters of Britain’s foreign intelligence agency, MI6, was joined by Mr. Ellsberg, 79, the former military analyst who leaked a 1,000-page secret history of the Vietnam War in 1971 that became known as the Pentagon Papers.

    Mr. Ellsberg, who said he had flown overnight from California to attend, described Mr. Assange admiringly as “the most dangerous man in the world” for challenging governments, particularly the United States. He said the WikiLeaks founder had been “pursued across three continents” by Western intelligence services and compared the Obama administration’s threat to prosecute Mr. Assange to his own treatment under President Richard M. Nixon.

    Both men hit out at what they described as the Obama administration’s aggressive pursuit of whistle-blowers, which Mr. Ellsberg said put the United States on a path to the kind of repressive legal framework that Britain has under its broad Official Secrets Act. He said the criminal investigations under President Obama of three Americans accused of leaking government secrets represented a new low.

    [...]

    He said that the documents showed “Iraq was a bloodbath on every corner,” and that they chronicled 15,000 previously unknown civilian deaths there. Adding those deaths to 107,000 others that had been recorded by the group Iraq Body Count, WikiLeaks has estimated the civilian toll since 2003 at more than 120,000. That, he said, put the human cost of the Iraq conflict five times higher than that of Afghanistan.

    Mr. Ellsberg, who described Iraq as a “hopeless, deadly, stalemated war,” said many of the civilian deaths there could be counted as murder.


    One owes respect to the living. To the dead, one owes only the truth.

  • Raja

    The Independent, By Robert Fisk, October 24

    As usual, the Arabs knew. They knew all about the mass torture, the promiscuous shooting of civilians, the outrageous use of air power against family homes, the vicious American and British mercenaries, the cemeteries of the innocent dead. All of Iraq knew. Because they were the victims.

    Only we could pretend we did not know. Only we in the West could counter every claim, every allegation against the Americans or British with some worthy general – the ghastly US military spokesman Mark Kimmitt and the awful chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Peter Pace, come to mind – to ring-fence us with lies. Find a man who’d been tortured and you’d be told it was terrorist propaganda; discover a house full of children killed by an American air strike and that, too, would be terrorist propaganda, or “collateral damage”, or a simple phrase: “We have nothing on that.”

    Of course, we all knew they always did have something. And yesterday’s ocean of military memos proves it yet again. Al-Jazeera has gone to extraordinary lengths to track down the actual Iraqi families whose men and women are recorded as being wasted at US checkpoints – I’ve identified one because I reported it in 2004, the bullet-smashed car, the two dead journalists, even the name of the local US captain – and it was The Independent on Sunday that first alerted the world to the hordes of indisciplined gunmen being flown to Baghdad to protect diplomats and generals. These mercenaries, who murdered their way around the cities of Iraq, abused me when I told them I was writing about them way back in 2003.

    [...]

    The truth, of course, is that if this vast treasury of secret reports had proved that the body count was much lower than trumpeted by the press, that US soldiers never tolerated Iraqi police torture, rarely shot civilians at checkpoints and always brought killer mercenaries to account, US generals would be handing these files out to journalists free of charge on the steps of the Pentagon. They are furious not because secrecy has been breached, or because blood may be spilt, but because they have been caught out telling the lies we always knew they told.


    One owes respect to the living. To the dead, one owes only the truth.

  • Joaquin

    Everywhere you look at the record in Central and South America, including especially Venezuela along with Cuba, Chile, and Iran and who knows where else is the displacement of Democracy with military Juntas or dictators perpetrated by the U.S. for the sole purpose of enriching a few of its citizens. Now if you know some other reason for what appear to be blatant abuses then out with it.

    For example, the U.S. support for pre-revolutionary Cuba, what is your take on it, Dave? How about the military juntas in Venezuela? the overthrow of Mosaddegh? The origin of the Vietnam War according to the Pentagon Papers? Is there something I’m looking at that I don’t understand?

  • Michael Collins

    Manning didn’t know what he was doing, especially in terms of protecting himself. His undoing by Wired Magazine was a self inflicted wound. Ironically, if this was done out of opposition to the killing, why would he give the Taliban a road map to their goals in that endeavor.

    WikiLeaks made the same mistake that Manning made, focusing on soldiers and field operatives.

    The real culprits are known. They’re the killer elite that made this happen, our political leaders and their money men. When people are brought to focus on The Greater Horror, we’ll see a positive influence on policy and people.

  • dk

    where’d you learn that trick? seriously, that’s not SOP is it?
    maybe you have been reading too many Afghan reports.

    The whole Wikileaks thing seems contrived to me. Maybe al Quaida or the Taliban will have a press response by tomorrow. Al Maliki got his out right away. I suppose the US politicians are speaking to it right now on Sunday TV.
    What happened to Michael’s distrust of Assange anyhow?

  • JustPlainDave

    …as in kneel, face the sandbags and then someone puts a round in the back of your head. As Capt. Semrau’s recent conviction and separation from the service demonstrates this is a theoretical position, not one actually practiced – even if motivated by desire to provide mercy. Simply prosecuting AIPAC-type leakers to the full extent of the law would please me.

    Of course the wikileaks thing is contrived. Look at the trajectory of the organization – they need this to be a big splash and they need it very badly. They have little incentive, other than their own sense of right and wrong, to ensure that the information that they put out is contextualized or even correct. My sense is that much of the internal disagreement in the organization centres around this tension (need to expediently get information out there to generate the financial support that will enable them to keep the doors open vs. ensuring that the information they put out provides an accurate picture).

    “The absence of any US-Iran bilateral channel…may have the perverse effect of reinforcing Iranian interest in progressing in the nuclear realm so that the US will be forced to take it seriously and engage it directly.” ~ Richard Haass

  • JustPlainDave

    Sorry, doesn’t work for me. The populace at large bears a great deal of responsibility for this.

    Personally, I once thought that Internet mediated commentary had significant potential to address the information shortfall that allows elites and their supporters to make decisions in a vacuum. Having seen the product that gets the most attention, I no long believe that. Even though it frequently ostensibly addresses policy, the vast majority of the material out there is little better than an episode of COPS in print form, with different subject matter. Similarly, the audience reception and reaction is very far from being sufficient to spark and sustain change.

    “The absence of any US-Iran bilateral channel…may have the perverse effect of reinforcing Iranian interest in progressing in the nuclear realm so that the US will be forced to take it seriously and engage it directly.” ~ Richard Haass

  • adrena

    Wikileaks is no better than the Pentagon.


    Tolerating prostitution is tolerating abuse and torture of women and children.

  • Anonymous

    It’s “us” versus “them” and they have the tools to create illusions that defy the good judgment and will of the people. Here’s proof. See the two polls cited here.

    “Ninety percent of respondents said they don’t doubt Iraq is developing weapons of mass destruction. But without new evidence from U.N. inspectors, 72% of respondents, including 60% of Republicans, said the president has not provided enough evidence to justify starting a war.”

    Despite the deceptive propaganda form the WH and Downing Street, the public had a reasonable stance on war. There’s a process in place to verify the public assumption about Iraq and WMD. A majority of Republicans and Democrats favored following the UN inspection process and findings before supporting an invasion.

    “When the U.N. weapons inspectors present their report on January 27th, if they say they have not found any weapons of mass destruction, Americans strongly believe they should take more time to look. And even when this question is framed to put the burden of proof on Iraq – asking what the U.S. should do if Iraq cannot show proof that its weapons program has been shut down – Americans are equivocal about military action: half support a strike and half say the U.N. should still take more time.”

    More good sense by the public. In January 2003, 77% of the public said “keep looking” for WMD before invading.

    The response of the administration was to ratchet up the lies with the help of Tony Blair and the nuclear scare in the Bush state of the union speech just 4 days after this second poll was published.

    In the absence of a full airing of the data, the a over 70% of the public made the right decision on war, show us the evidence and then we’ll proceed. Remarkable and critical to understanding the need for media manipulation.

    If inspections had finished and nothing was found, an invasion would have ben problematic. They might have done it anyway but without any real justification and against public opposition, as per the polling.

    I recall the first Gulf War publicity. The pivotal point in public sentiment was ‘throwing babies out of their cribs in the Kuwait hospital.’ It was the equivalent of the Bush II nuclear reference in the 2003 SOTU. The babies lie was brought to us via an alleged eyewitness. The eye witness was never there, saw no such thing. She was the daughter of Kuwait’s ambassador to the US. Had those facts been disclosed and the shameless ruse, I guarantee you that the invasion would have been stalled and stopped. Had Bush I been tied to that, he would have been impeached. The critical dimension of the public debate was kept secret from the public.

    In both Gulf War I and II the public was on track to the right decision despite limited public information. It required mass media psyops to shift things the wrong way.

  • dk

    point-> adrena

    lol, that was a good one.

    (we’re all friendly, right? this will be taken as a joke, albeit a pointy one, yes?)

  • JustPlainDave

    One is an organization riven with internal dissent, driven more by ego than mission at the highest levels, trading in reams of data that it doesn’t understand, and ever on the make for expanded funding above all else.

    The other is a five sided building.

    “The absence of any US-Iran bilateral channel…may have the perverse effect of reinforcing Iranian interest in progressing in the nuclear realm so that the US will be forced to take it seriously and engage it directly.” ~ Richard Haass

  • JustPlainDave

    …Cuba that is worth anything. About the only one of these that I know enough about to form an opinion about is old Mossie. However, I do have a meta-opinion and it’s this: too often folks are using this stuff as a cheap justification for not liking their government, rather than seeking to understand events. Take old Mossie as an example – he’s successful, the Shah falls, then what? What was the likely trajectory from that point forward? What happens to the Iranians? How does it play out? Folks that don’t have at least some sort of answer (a realistic one, not a “then everything would be peachy without the Americans” one) to that should maybe explore it before they use the Iranians as a rhetorical point to justify belief.

    “The absence of any US-Iran bilateral channel…may have the perverse effect of reinforcing Iranian interest in progressing in the nuclear realm so that the US will be forced to take it seriously and engage it directly.” ~ Richard Haass

  • JustPlainDave

    From the same polls you cite:

    Q: Suppose Bush decides to order U.S. troops into a ground attack against Iraqi forces. Would you support or oppose that decision?

    Support strongly: 30%
    Support somewhat:28%
    Oppose somewhat: 13%
    Oppose strongly: 22%
    Don’t know: 7%

    What to do if inspector’s report says Iraq can’t prove it’s shut down its program.

    Start military action: 47%
    Keep looking: 47%

    Support for military action to remove Saddam Hussein: 64%

    Public was just a wee bit more in on this.

    “The absence of any US-Iran bilateral channel…may have the perverse effect of reinforcing Iranian interest in progressing in the nuclear realm so that the US will be forced to take it seriously and engage it directly.” ~ Richard Haass

  • Michael Collins

    The poll was in the general context of the rules set out by the administration – inspect, find WMD, have him dismantle WMD, if not, then military option.

    Within the CBS poll, the support war question “General support for military action — when and if it comes ” – was preceded by and subordinate to,”WHAT SHOULD THE U.S. DO NOW WITH IRAQ?” The answer to that was “Find diplomatic solution: 63%” Finding that there were no WMD would have eliminated the justification for war as far as the public was concerned.

    Despite the lies and sequestration of information, the public got it right.

  • JustPlainDave

    …to be the product of nesting options. Broadly similar questions from around the same time frame run the gamut from 52% to 68%. Here.

    On the WMD issue pattern of answers says to me that timing was the central factor (i.e., they hadn’t yet expended their efforts at the end of January). By the time battle was joined, apparently they’d worked through their reserve… /irony

    “The absence of any US-Iran bilateral channel…may have the perverse effect of reinforcing Iranian interest in progressing in the nuclear realm so that the US will be forced to take it seriously and engage it directly.” ~ Richard Haass

  • Anonymous

    ( she had a famous internet as echo chamber rant but also introduced us to Juan Cole) if you go back that far on the Agonist:-)


    The origin of the universe has not as yet been shown to be a conspiracy theory

  • JustPlainDave

    “Just beginning?!” ~ not-Richard Haass

  • nymole

    I must have re-added when you were posting


    The origin of the universe has not as yet been shown to be a conspiracy theory

  • adrena

    Claiming no knowledge about multiple examples offered by Joaquin clears the way for you to use the one that lends better support for your view. Brilliant technique but it doesn’t impress me.


    Tolerating prostitution is tolerating abuse and torture of women and children.

  • Joaquin

    Mosaddegh, was named prime minister by a Democratically elected government and overthrown by the United States in operation Ajax. The “then what” was that he demanded a better deal for Iran’s oil from Britain, the same deal that the Saudis had from the U.S. or he said he would nationalize the oil industry; that’s why he was overthrown.

    Take old Mossie as an example – he’s successful, the Shah falls, then what? What was the likely trajectory from that point forward? What happens to the Iranians? How does it play out? Folks that don’t have at least some sort of answer (a realistic one, not a “then everything would be peachy without the Americans” one) to that should maybe explore it before they use the Iranians as a rhetorical point to justify belief.

    Huh? A democratically elected government has to answer to the United States?” You have to ask yourself, why is it our business? Why would the U.S. care?

  • JustPlainDave

    …discourse could refusing to argue from a position of ignorance be viewed as a rhetorical trap. As an aside, one of the little things to learn about pronouncedly introverted INTJs is that we don’t actually care whether anyone’s impressed.

    “Ignorance is strength.” ~ George Orwell, IIRC

  • JustPlainDave

    …type answers. Think more deeply – who was Mossadegh beholden to? Could he have kept a stable government together in the absence of a figure like the Shah? What about the clerical class, what do they do? Do things like the White Revolution down the road happen in different guise or not at all? The oil deal alone doesn’t cut it – hell, they largely ended up with those terms anyway (quite problematic implementation, but pretty much ARAMCO-type setup and terms). I’m not asking for an exercise in alternative fiction, just something where the Iranians aren’t faceless ciphers led around by the nose by the dastardly Americans.

    C’mon we’re talking a whole nation of 70 million people here – they’re not a talking point. Want things to be different? Stop implicitly treating them like a senseless medium onto which to project western worldviews (and that’s exactly what’s happening with things like the Green Movement right on this very site, BTW – Hooman Majd’s latest is very illuminating on this score).

    “The absence of any US-Iran bilateral channel…may have the perverse effect of reinforcing Iranian interest in progressing in the nuclear realm so that the US will be forced to take it seriously and engage it directly.” ~ Richard Haass

  • dk

    to both Majd’s latest and to the agonist discussions of Iran’s Green Movement you’re referencing. Not a subject I have followed, but I am intrigued by their assertion of a “leaderless” movement.

  • JustPlainDave

    Majd, H. (2010). The Ayatollah’s Democracy: An Iranian Challenge. W.W. Norton & Company: New York.

    As to the discussions here, sorry but I don’t have time to hunt links – working to deadline I’m afraid. The central gist is thus: I recall discussions that shoehorned the Green Movement into the broader “colour” movement (and some, my own among them, that interpreted the Movement as a wholesale demand for overturning the Revolution). Majd emphatically makes the case that it was and is not like this.

    “The absence of any US-Iran bilateral channel…may have the perverse effect of reinforcing Iranian interest in progressing in the nuclear realm so that the US will be forced to take it seriously and engage it directly.” ~ Richard Haass

  • dk

    and its comments will help catch others up to speed if they’re interested:

    http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2010/01/06/think_again_irans_green_movement

    there’s a comment that deals with supposed Green Movement leaders supplying a list of companies for the Obama administration to target for boycott. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB126300060937222569.html

    and then there’s this:
    http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2010/05/06/postcard_from_tehran

    which I haven’t finished reading, and this:
    http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/2010/leverett070510.html

    which I skimmed only to find that Flynt Leverett now works for Steve Clemmons? :
    http://newamerica.net/publications/articles/2010/us_mideast_arms_deal_aims_to_stop_attack_on_iran_37135

    it’s a lot to sort, but I think it signals that we’ve returned to the Arabist realist camp. How many sides of Saudi Arabia can we play?

  • Joaquin

    I stated what was and what the U.S. did. What would the Iranian government have done? Who knows? The point is the United States made it its business to interfere in another states affairs to prevent the unknown because there was a good chance that the unknown might not include oil for the British Navy and the forerunner to BP. Would things have been “peachy”? Well, they certainly aren’t peachy now are they?

  • adrena

    we’ve both been busy :-)

    From what I’ve read so far it appears that what unites the different factions in Iran is their distaste for foreign (especially American) interference in domestic politics. They all strive for a “Made in Iran” solution. The Green Movement, now a civil rights movement, understands that radical methods are counterproductive to producing the change they seek. Working with the current system may achieve better results.

    As for your last link, “Mideast arms deal aims to stop attack on Iran”, WTF? … What if, in future, the “House of Saud” folds like a deck of cards and the arms fall into the hands of Wahabi extremists? What then?


    Tolerating prostitution is tolerating abuse and torture of women and children.

  • adrena

    Well, that explains a lot.

    So, as an analyst of all things military, what would you consider to be your area of expertise? Iran, obviously. The Middle East in general? Anything else?


    Tolerating prostitution is tolerating abuse and torture of women and children.

  • JustPlainDave

    I know enough to form an opinion that might have some value – different thing.

    “The absence of any US-Iran bilateral channel…may have the perverse effect of reinforcing Iranian interest in progressing in the nuclear realm so that the US will be forced to take it seriously and engage it directly.” ~ Richard Haass

  • adrena

    The modesty card will cover all the bases. Smart move.

    INTJ Prayer:
    * God, let me be open to other people’s views, *
    WRONG though they may be.

    Hahahahaha


    Tolerating prostitution is tolerating abuse and torture of women and children.

  • dk

    I almost would bet the majority here would score INTJ.
    you aren’t one too?

  • adrena

    I’m an INFP


    Tolerating prostitution is tolerating abuse and torture of women and children.

  • adrena

    Sorry if I was a little bit harsh. Please keep bringing the treasures of your brilliant mind.


    Tolerating prostitution is tolerating abuse and torture of women and children.

  • adrena

    You are not likely to learn this from corporate press but WikiLeaks and its leader Julian Assange have received the 2010 Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence (SAAII) award for their resourcefulness in making available secret U.S. military documents on the Iraq and Afghan wars.

    ….. This year’s award was presented Saturday, with the customary “corner-brightener candlestick,” by previous Adams awardee, and former UK ambassador, Craig Murray, after Julian Assange discussed WikiLeaks’ release of almost 400,000 classified battlefield reports from Iraq.

    ….. SAAII is a movement of former CIA colleagues and other associates of former intelligence analyst Sam Adams, who hold up his example as a model for those in intelligence who would aspire to the courage to speak truth to power. Sam did precisely that, and in honoring his memory, SAAII confers an award each year to a member of the intelligence profession exemplifying Sam Adam’s courage, persistence, and devotion to truth — no matter the consequences. The award reads as follows:

    It seems altogether fitting and proper that this year’s award be presented in London, where Edmund Burke coined the expression “Fourth Estate.” Comparing the function of the press to that of the three Houses then in Parliament, Burke said:

    “… but in the Reporters Gallery yonder, there sits a Fourth Estate more important far then they all.”

    The year was 1787 — the year the U.S. Constitution was adopted. The First Amendment, approved four years later, aimed at ensuring that the press would be free of government interference. That was then.

    With the Fourth Estate now on life support, there is a high premium on the fledgling Fifth Estate, which uses the ether and is not susceptible of government or corporation control. Small wonder that governments with lots to hide feel very threatened.

    It has been said: “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.” WikiLeaks is helping make that possible by publishing documents that do not lie.

    Last spring, when we chose WikiLeaks and Julian Assange for this award, Julian said he would accept only “on behalf of our sources, without which WikiLeaks’ contributions are of no significance.” More


    Tolerating prostitution is tolerating abuse and torture of women and children.

  • Michael Collins

    The sequence of questions explains what you present as anomalies. The polling was in Dec/Jan 2002/2003. The process the people supported, favored by sizable majorities, was never completed. Utter fabrications via the White House and Blair were introduced and that became the pretext for war – preventing another attack on the US. It was at that point, public opinion shifted. The PEW article linked is from April, after the deliberate psyops on the public. Of course people are strongly in favor of war. They believed the president’s lies and those of the strong supporting cast including Blair and Powell. Lies taken as truth are acted on as truth. But in Dec/Jan 2002/2003, the people had it right.

  • Michael Collins

    That’s my sign also. I will bask in your superior halo;)

  • JustPlainDave

    …at the time of Powell’s address. My recall is they got about a 10 point bounce, more or less, depending on the instrument. As Pew notes, it juiced the numbers but didn’t change the essential nature of the response. It’d be comforting to be able to hang it all on someone else, but your countrymen are a lot more willing to – what was the phrase? Something to the effect of “throw some crappy little country up against the wall” when it suits them. Hang it all on someone else and we’ll get to watch this all happen again. The dumbfuckery might take other forms, even staying out of war (which, I’d have to say all things being equal would I guess be an improvement), but the first step to getting smarter about this stuff is confronting the problem, not indulging in comforting illusion that allows it to be someone else’s fault.

    “The absence of any US-Iran bilateral channel…may have the perverse effect of reinforcing Iranian interest in progressing in the nuclear realm so that the US will be forced to take it seriously and engage it directly.” ~ Richard Haass

  • JustPlainDave

    …throw up one’s hands than actually try to understand them. That it then can be used to reinforce political conviction is all the better. Look, these guys matter – events in their country matter for their own intrinsic reasons, reasons that aren’t actually well served by relying exclusively on explication that’s stamped “made in the USA” because that’s what is convenient to hand.

    “The absence of any US-Iran bilateral channel…may have the perverse effect of reinforcing Iranian interest in progressing in the nuclear realm so that the US will be forced to take it seriously and engage it directly.” ~ Richard Haass

  • graham

    and it aint normal ;)

  • dk

    an INTJ would think everyone else was one too or at least should be. heck, I even got my SO wrong.

  • nymole

    “INFPs do not like conflict, and go to great lengths to avoid it”

    (I am an INTJ, not that anyone including me cares about all those psych generalizations)


    The origin of the universe has not as yet been shown to be a conspiracy theory

  • Joaquin

    It matter so much because they have the natural resources, oil especially that we need. Therefore, we, the United States are justified in interfering with their elected government, replacing it with the Shaw, a brutal dictator every bit as bad as Sadam Hussein. Have I got that right?

  • Raja

    Foreign Policy, By Ellen Knickmeyer, October 25

    Newly released war documents show how the U.S. military, in cable after grim cable, painstakingly chronicled Iraq’s descent into bloody Shiite-on-Sunni violence. So why did top officials deny the obvious?

    Contrary to the jumble of “exaggerated” reporting from Baghdad, the then-secretary of defense said at the Washington press briefing, Iraq was experiencing no such thing as the explosion of sectarian violence that myself and many of my fellow journalists in Baghdad were covering in the aftermath of a fateful February 2006 bombing of a Shiite shrine in Samarra.

    Certainly, some Iraqis were trying to incite civil war, Rumsfeld acknowledged. But Iraq’s own security forces had “taken the lead in controlling the situation,” he insisted, and quick action by the Shiite-led government had “a calming effect.”

    Rumsfeld also made clear at the time that U.S. officials were fighting another kind of war over Iraq — the battle for U.S. opinion. The “misreporting” on the death toll was driving down U.S. support for the war, the defense secretary complained.

    Four years on, however, WikiLeaks’ release of contemporary troop logs raises serious questions about who, exactly, was doing the lying.

    One of the few absolute revelations from the Wikileaks documents is the extent to which Rumsfeld, then-U.S. commander Gen. George Casey, and others had access to ample information from unimpeachable sources — their own troops on the ground in Iraq — regarding how badly events had turned in Iraq by 2006, but nonetheless denied a surge in killing to reporters and the U.S. public.

    [...]

    But in hundreds of terse log entries from the field — now made public by WikiLeaks — U.S. troops documented more comprehensively than we reporters could ever have hoped the explosion of retaliatory killings, kidnappings, tortures, mosque attacks, and open street fighting. The reports streamed in the hours and days after the bombing of the Shiite shrine in Samarra enraged Iraq’s Shiite militias. What we reported then has now been confirmed: The bombing transformed Iraq’s building sectarian violence into something even darker.


    Also, The Daily Beast: WikiLeaks Exposes Rumsfeld’s Lies, By Ellen Knickmeyer, October 25
    Via Harpers.org: The Washington Post and WikiLeaks, By Scott Horton, October 29

    By comparison, reporting by major American papers was lame and defensive. Glenn Greenwald offers a good review of the unprofessional and “government subservient” coverage of the New York Times here and here [Not to mention here]. The Columbia Journalism Review finds that “the Times has been tame to a fault; as if afraid of the material that it has been given by a man and organization they’ve sought to greatly distance themselves from, while working with both.”

    [...]

    What about the Pentagon claim that WikiLeaks “has blood on its hands,” which the WaPo repeats? When pressed by the Senate Armed Services Committee, Secretary Gates was forced to admit that these claims were hyperbole—“the leak… did not disclose any sensitive intelligence sources or methods.” Gates went on to acknowledge that there was no evidence of any informant being killed or threatened or even requesting protection as a result of the WikiLeaks publications. Why then has the Post editorial page decided to ape agitprop that the Pentagon itself has all but retracted? Maybe they don’t read their own paper.


    One owes respect to the living. To the dead, one owes only the truth.

  • adrena

    Arms deals could haunt US


    Tolerating prostitution is tolerating abuse and torture of women and children.

Leave a Reply

Users