Published on Monday, November 22, 2010 by the Daily mail/UK
by Daniel Bates
Wikileaks has announced it is to release a second batch of Iraq war logs which will be seven times bigger than the first.
In a defiant posting on its official Twitter account, the website’s founders said it was ‘under intense pressure’ over the disclosure but vowed to press ahead anyway.
‘The coming months will see a new world, where global history is redefined. Keep us strong,’ they added.
Such a vast information dump would create another firestorm in Britain and the U.S. where generals are still furious over the first set of 400,000 classified documents, the biggest military leak of all time.
They detailed what Wikileaks founder Julian Assange called ‘compelling evidence of war crimes’ by the U.S. led coalition and the Iraq government and sparked calls for a full inquiry.
Among the revelations were the claim that U.S. generals failed to investigate torture and killings by Iraqi police and soldiers.
They also revealed 15,000 previously unknown civilian deaths and told how a helicopter gunship involved in the shooting of journalists also shot insurgents after they tried to surrender.
A second far larger set of war logs could contain even more damaging revelations about similar crimes, or throw up entirely new incidents involving coalition troops.
They also raise the possibility of individual officers being named as perpetrators of ‘war crimes’ and special forces agents in the field having their identities revealed.
On Wikileaks’ Twitter page, its founders posted a rallying call to its supports and vowed to publish the second set of data.
‘Next release is 7x the size of the Iraq War Logs. intense pressure over it for months. Keep us strong,’ it said.
The information will almost certainly have come from the Bradley Manning, the dissident U.S. army intelligence analyst who earlier this year is alleged to have leaked a tranche of 90,000 logs chronicling bloody encounters and civilian killings in Afghanistan.
Should Wikileaks go ahead with its promise, it will be the third time it has published such information in the face of opposition from military top brass around the world.
Its first Iraq war logs covered the period in the occupation between 2004 and 2009 and contained revelations that America failed to investigate hundreds of reports of abuse, rape, torture and murder by Iraqi police and soldiers.
The information revealed that more than 15,000 civilians died in previously unknown incidents – U.S. and UK officials have insisted that no official record of civilian casualties exists but the logs record 66,081 non-combatant deaths out of a total of 109,000 fatalities.
In addition, the logs claim that in one incident a British rifleman shot dead an eight-year-old Iraqi girl as she played in the streets.
Soldiers were handing out sweets to children in their bid to win ‘hearts and minds’ when she was allegedly killed.
Adding to the controversy is the international arrest warrant which has been issued for Mr Assange by Swedish prosecutors over allegations of rape, sexual molestation and unlawful coercion.
The allegations, which the 39-year-old Australian has repeatedly denied, relate to two women he met while on a visit to Sweden in August.
Assange’s London lawyer Mark Stephens, has said the claims were ‘false and without basis’.
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