Sunday, July 25, 2010
Guardian mines Wikileak data to find evidence of US illegal operations in Afghanistan
by Larry Geller
This may be the best intro to the just-released Wikileaks data so far—watch the video and try the tools made available by the Guardian:
How to read the Afghanistan war logs: video tutorial—David Leigh, the Guardian's investigations editor, explains the online tools we have created to help you understand the secret US military files on the war in Afghanistan.
The Guardian has also done a great job analyzing the data. Here’s an example:
The Nato coalition in Afghanistan has been using an undisclosed "black" unit of special forces, Task Force 373, to hunt down targets for death or detention without trial. Details of more than 2,000 senior figures from the Taliban and al-Qaida are held on a "kill or capture" list, known as Jpel, the joint prioritised effects list.
In many cases, the unit has set out to seize a target for internment, but in others it has simply killed them without attempting to capture. The logs reveal that TF 373 has also killed civilian men, women and children and even Afghan police officers who have strayed into its path.
Now, for the first time, the leaked war logs reveal details of deadly missions by TF 373 and other units hunting down Jpel targets that were previously hidden behind a screen of misinformation. They raise fundamental questions about the legality of the killings and of the long-term imprisonment without trial, and also pragmatically about the impact of a tactic which is inherently likely to kill, injure and alienate the innocent bystanders whose support the coalition craves. [Guardian (UK), Afghanistan war logs: Task Force 373 – special forces hunting top TalibanPreviously hidden details of US-led unit sent to kill top insurgent targets are revealed for the first time, 7/25/2010]
Without a doubt, there will be more revelations very soon. Obama’s weekend must be thoroughly spoiled.