Sunday, July 26 5pm EST.
WikiLeaks today released over 75,000 reports covering the war in Afghanistan.
The Afghan War Diaries an extraordinary secret compendium of over 91,000 reports covering the war in Afghanistan from 2004 to 2010. The reports describe the majority of lethal military actions involving the United States military. They include the number of persons internally stated to be killed, wounded, or detained during each action, together with the precise geographical location of each event, and the military units involved and major weapon systems used.
The Afghan War Diaries is the most significant archive about the reality of war to have ever been released during the course of a war. The deaths of tens of thousands is normally only a statistic but this archive reveals locations and key events behind each of these individual deaths. We hope the impact will lead to a comprehensive understanding of the war in Afghanistan and modern warfare in general.
These reports have been primarily written by soldiers and intelligence officers listening to reports radioed in from front line deployments. However the reports also contain related information from Marines intelligence, US Embassies, and reports about corruption and development activity across Afghanistan.
Each report consists of the time and precise geographic location of an event that the US Army considers significant. It includes several additional standardized fields: The broad type of the event (combat, non-combat, propaganda, etc.); the category of the event as classified by US Forces, how many were detained, wounded, and killed from civilian, allied, host nation, and enemy forces; the name of the reporting unit and a number of other fields, the most significant of which is the summary - This is an English language description of the events that are covered in the report.
The Afghan War Diaries is available on the web and can be viewed in chronological order by over 100 categories, which were assigned by the US Forces such as: escalation of force, friendly fire, development meeting reports, etc. The reports can also be viewed by "severity", where severity is proportionate to the number of people killed, injured or detained. All the incidents have been placed onto a map of Afghanistan and can be viewed on Google Earth limited to a particular window of time and place. In this way, events of nearly the entire war may be seen.
The Afghan War Diaries show how cover-ups start on the ground. When reporting their own activities US Units are inclined to classify civilian kills as insurgent kills, downplay the number of people killed or otherwise make excuses for themselves. When they report on other US Military Units they are more likely to be truthful but still provide excuses. Conversely, when reporting on the actions of non-US ISAF forces they tend to be frank or critical and when reporting on the Taliban or other rebel groups, bad behavior is described in comprehensive detail. The behavior of the Afghan Army and Afghan authorities are also revealed.
These reports cover most units from the US Army with the exception of most US Special Forces activities. The reports do not generally cover top-secret operations or European and other ISAF Forces operations. However when a combined operation involving regular US Military occurs, say with US Special Forces, other ISAF Forces or the CIA occurs the details are often reported. For example a number of bloody operations carried out by Task Force 373, a previously secret US Special Forces assassination unit, are exposed in the Diary -- including a raid that lead to the death of seven children.
This archive shows the vast range of small tragedies that are almost never reported by the press but which account for the overwhelming majority of deaths and injuries resulting from the war.
We have delayed the release of some 15,000 reports from total archive as part of a harm minimization process demanded by our source. After further review, these reports will be released, with occasional redactions, and eventually, in full, as the security situation in Afghanistan permits.
Come, they said, Let us kill the Beast, so that we should once again be free.