back to article Wikileaks creaks under demand for Afghan war logs

Tens of thousands of US Army documents revealing details of the war in Afghanistan were published by Wikileaks late last night and interest is almost bringing the website to a halt. The "War Logs" were also given to newspapers and reveal far more civilian casualties than previously admitted and deep concerns about the role of …


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  1. Scott 19


    And they wonder why there are these so called terrorists, when your killing civilians and covering up do you wonder why.

    The UK sould pull out today.

  2. Doug Glass

    As If ...

    ... we are totally stoopid and didn't know this shit already.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Black helicopters

    I think I'd be paying close attention to my personal security after depositing this particularly steaming pile on The Establishment's doorstep.

    Sadly, the real surprise would have been if they were actually murdering only the number of civilians they claimed to be...

  4. g e

    US policy document

    Google ' denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism' (for those of you who don't already know where that's going) to find a famous alleged quotation which sounds scarily like the blueprint for US government.

  5. Anonymous Coward


    Good that Spiegel got it. I would not trust the English speaking press even a bit on publishing something that is opposite to the party line as far as something that "hot" is concerned.

    Example - elsewhere in the world most newspapers published the key bits from the transcript of the Polish president flight trying to land at Smolensk. They are about 15 minutes before it hit the birch and the flight captain can be clearly heard to say: "If we do not land that **** will kill me". El Mundo in Spain did, so did Italian, German, etc newspapers.

    Not a single British newspaper braved to actually say what the pilot thought about the holy martir of russophobia's orders.

    1. Dan 10

      I'm interested...

      Can you point me in the direction of a good english-language source for this stuff? Cheers.

  6. Petey
    Black Helicopters

    "...interest is almost bringing the website to a halt."

    Yeah right, DDOS attacks from US government more like...

    On a serious note, I'm all for wikileaks but not if it means more people are going to be killed as a result of this leak.

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon


      did you say "more people" ?

      did you mean to say "more innocent people" ?

      Truth is always a casualty of war, mainly because governments lie to their electorate.

      +several million to Wikileaks

  7. Owen Sweeney

    Error 503 Service Unavailable obviously under pressure too..

    Service Unavailable

    Guru Meditation:

    XID: 1544642921

    Maybe it's been taken over by the pirate hoardes?

  8. Anonymous Coward

    Nice one

    The more oversight the better. Even if you do believe the leaks compromise security then a couple of bungled operations and a few more dead soldiers is a small price to pay for governmental accountability for every cover-up attempt, incompetence and short sighted decision.

    1. CmdrX3

      ... I bet your ass isn't on that pricelist though.

      Easy to say as long as YOU aren't one of the few dead soldiers, eh? Armchair heroes... you gotta love them.

      These reports are apparently 7 months old so it's highly unlikely there will be any effect on current operations

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Well, yes...

        "Easy to say as long as YOU aren't one of the few dead soldiers, eh? Armchair heroes... you gotta love them."

        Of course it's easy to say. But then the same thing is said by the people who send the troops off to get killed. Real life means that someone somewhere has to say that action xxx is worth the lives of a few dead troops. Otherwise, what exactly would be the point of an army? Parades?

        The troops signed up to go where they were told to go and face people who want to kill them. There's little point in pretending that anyone involved in that process - including the soldiers - believes that each human life is of infinite value.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Big Brother

        Re: Pricelist

        "These reports are apparently 7 months old so it's highly unlikely there will be any effect on current operations"

        Until some tribal leader's son (who took over after his father's, uncle's and grandfather's deaths, let alone female relatives) finds out that the US was responsible for his "promotion"... might make him less likely to cooperate further, eh?

        That's the problem whenever we have political and military motivations in any region - you can't be the shining shield of Truth and Justice if you lie, cheat, steal and kill your "allies". Its the American Way, after all...

        With the obvious comtempt they have for the American People, how did you *think* they were handling foreigners?!

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        ...nor yours, I have no doubt

        "...Armchair heroes... you gotta love them."

        Dark words, swivel eyes, faux military chit chat and the acrid waft of testosterone and gunsmoke; the True Patriot types are always turned out of the same, tedious mould.

    2. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge


      Its your son coming home in a body bag because some traitor leaked info on his operation.

      Lets hope they catch the guy responsible and send him on a nice compromised mission.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Quite right too

    "The "War Logs"... reveal... deep concerns about the role of Pakistan in the region".

    Yes indeed! As a country that is actually in the region, Pakistan clearly has no right to a role. Only nations located on the other side of the world can have legitimate roles in Afghanistan.

  10. Anonymous John

    "described Wikileaks as opposed to US policy in Afghanistan."

    That's a bad thing? It's not a matter of being unpatriotic, is it?

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Just the US military top brass and marektdroids

      Call the waahhaaambulance!

  11. Avatar of They
    Thumb Up

    Fantastic release, shame on MP's

    I heard on the radio this morning and interview with our security minister. Dame something or other and she was more bothered with how it was leaked, not that the leaked documents have information on civilian casualties that NATO have done but not told anyone about. she was on about the kind of files and the processes used to secure them should be our concern.

    Seems wrong to me, surely we should be asking why we aren't being told, THEN asking how it was leaked.

    It was like the old speaker of the house wanting to know HOW MP's expenses were leaked, not that so much Fraud was being done by the expenses process.

    MP's still don't get it.

  12. Anonymous Coward

    @Anonymous John

    "...described Wikileaks as opposed to US policy in Afghanistan."

    The fact that they even make that statement is concerning. Why shouldn't people oppose US policy in Afghanistan? After all, US foreign policy is supposed to be supporting democracy around the World and that gives people the right to express their views.

    Anonymous...just because.

  13. iMlite
    Black Helicopters

    Its all in the eye of the beholder!

    Downloaded all but the HTML format, which appears to be so sought after that it would take all day to download, and what do I find – reports indicating a slow and inexorable increase, over 5 years, in the activities of a war against a guerrilla army in a hostile environment with a corrupt local populace.

    The more interesting point of reference is what has been cherry picked by the various newspapers that have had the information for over 3 weeks. The New York Times, and now the US press, is focused mostly on the imagined betrayal of the Islamic countries of that region (who seem to be hedging their bets), revealing the growing xenophobic isolationism (and Islamaphobia) of the US public. The Guardian, and UK press, is focusing on the civilian casualties – think of the children. The German press on the poor organisation and failing technology (and why were their troops put into such a dangerous place?)!

    Rather a boring read – but looking for snippets of interest – no TR-3b’s yet!

  14. mark 63 Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    i'm confused

    "The documents provide evidence of special forces operating as "snatch or kill" squads seeking out Taliban leaders"

    Right, so , isnt that their job?

    is this a secret?

  15. Cool Hand Luke
    Thumb Down

    Support the troops.

    I downvoted AC@9:55 because I couldn't believe what they were saying.

    I know this sounds trite, but I bet you wouldn't say that to someone who's son is currently serving over there or who has just watched their boy being buried because they've been blown up by an IED.

    It's pathetic to wish death on a group of soldiers just to prove a point. They are over there doing a job. They aren't the ones manipulating figures, so lets lay off the bashing of the troops.

    1. Tom 13

      Maybe you can't see him doing it,

      but I can. Some people really are that low.

    2. Sir Runcible Spoon


      My nephew has just signed up to the Army - it's his choice to go and fight a war on the other side of the world.

      You can't really say the same of the civilian population.

    3. TimNevins
      Thumb Down

      AC is quite correct

      Hitler/Blair only kept support despite invading Poland and Austria(Iraq and Afganistan) by invoking patriotism and a 'Support the Troops' mentality. If more people had not fallen for this there would have a been a much shorter war.

      But no-one wants to be seen to be unpatriotic. So the war trundles on.

      I suggest take onboard the following quotes from people in power.


      "Terrorism is the best political weapon for nothing drives people harder than a fear of sudden death."

      - Adolf Hitler

      "Why of course the people don't want war ... But after all it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship ... Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger."

      - Hermann Goering, Nazi leader, at the Nuremberg Trials after World War II

      "I know two types of law because I know two types of men, those who are with us and those who are against us."

      - Hermann Goering, 1936

      "The easiest way to gain control of a population is to carry out acts of terror. [The public] will clamor for such laws if their personal security is threatened".

      - Josef Stalin

    4. malan

      @Support the troops.

      I would bet that there would be many people who would be saying that even to a father of someone who is serving in Afghanistan, especially if some of their own relatives have been massacred in civilian casualties over there, as in the NATO rocket attack last week which killed 45 mostly women and children. But that's beside the point.

      We can justify if we want by bringing up patriotism and the fact that the soldiers are just following orders. The people in suits who authorise these and would never hear of the lives on both sides that they destroy are untouchable to us general population. But the AC@9.55 did not seem to be wishing death on the soldiers to prove the point you seem to be thinking of. What he was saying seemed to be that a few deaths are a reasonable price to pay to maintain the oversight and transparency that is needed in a democracy for the people to know that the government is only killing the bare minimum of their own and foreign people to ensure the peoples' own protection/survival. And if me or a son of mine had to sacrifice the life for such a course, I would consider that an honour.

      The worth of a patriot would be how much they care about the welfare of his or her own people, not how obediently they follow the government orders. We have been in so many wars that this point seems to have been removed from the brains of the masses. Instead, the fact that obedience to the government is the absolute patriotism seems to have been pushed in its place. I wonder how that happened...

      In the end I guess most of this come down to 'how many innocent Afghan lives are worth one innocent British or American life?'.

    5. Peter Thomas 2

      "They are over there doing a job"

      A job that's illegal, costly to taxpayers and not making us any more safer, just the opposite.

      What a waste.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down


      I don't wish death on any of the troops over there but as I'm responsible for what they're doing I have a dogdamn right to know what they're doing, up to and including the nasty bits they'd rather not I knew about because it involves dead children. If I can't get that information they are coming home posthaste to as dishonorable discharge. No exceptions. This is not Stalins Russia, no matter how much our current wannabe overlords want it to be. If a democracy can't fight a war with open books, it's shouldn't be fighting at all. Same goes for the soldiers - if they have nothing to hide, they have nothing to fear.* If they have something to hide, they also very much have something to fear because they shouldn't.

      [*] I knew that piece of tripe could be used for something some day.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Propaganda is a mighty weapon.

        "The worth of a patriot would be how much they care about the welfare of his or her own people, not how obediently they follow the government orders"

        Yes. True patriot ignores government if they (try to) do idiot things, because he's loyal to his people and the country and not some sock puppet playing president/prime minister/choose you own.

        "I wonder how that happened..."

        Government has millions and millions to put into propaganda and lot of time. They learned that from Göbbels, who really was a genius, who could make a nation do whatever he wanted. In just ten years he converted a democracy into dictatorship and everyone were happy for that(!).

        Happened already in US with Bush Jr, "executive orders" flew like leafs in autumn and most of those are still in effect: Democracy is just for show. EU is very far on the same road: No voter gets to choose comission and it rules over the parliament if it chooses to do so and it has repeatedly said that "if parliament won't accept, we rule this-and-this anyway". There's no democracy in that process.

        Also: You may bribe comissars as much you want, it's not even a crime. No wonder every one of them leaves the job with pockets full of (bribe) money. On top of absolutely ridiculous salary.

      2. mhenriday
        Thumb Up

        A minor correction, Tim -

        the Göring quote is not taken from anything he said in court - that would have been a fine scandal, indeed, in particular as the last sentence, which you omit, runs like this (in my English translation from the German) : «This method works in every country» - but from an interview by Gustave Gilbert with Göring in the latter's cell on 18 April 1946. The German original (with ellipses) can be found here :

        In any event, perhaps Den Norske Nobelkomite, instead of sullying their name by awarding the Nobel «fredspris» to war criminals like Heinz Alfred Kissinger and Barack Hussein Obama, might want to consider bestowing it on Wikileaks. But don't hold your breath !...


      3. Anonymous John

        Re Depends

        I'm sure that the number of civilian deaths is common knowledge in Afghanistan. So what harm can the rest of the world knowing it too do?

        I'm not defending the war, but in a situation like that, civilian deaths are unavoidable. We aren't fighting an army in uniform, but people indistinguishable from civilians. And possibly with a motive to engineer situations resulting in the Coalition killing civilians.

  16. Anonymous Coward

    leaks schmeaks

    I do not believe that anyone leaking actual US Army secrets would last very long. . . Wikileaks is probably a propaganda/disinfo engine. Don't forget we are actually in a state of war.

    And, yes, being against US interests is punishable, internationally.

    You like that?

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon


      And where is this country that the US is at war with?

      Terrorism - I've heard of it but can't quite place it on a map.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Re: Where on the map

        That's the beauty of "terrorism". We can put it anywhere! No more having to stay up late fabricating "evidence"; we can't show you - National Security! No more having to come up with excuses to smack other countries around to our way of view - They harbor terrorists... sorry, can't show you the "evidence", you know (see 1). :)

        And then we can take out anyone single person we want, as our own populace has been brow-beaten and undereducated for so long, all they end up seeing is a news blurb during the commercial break for "Dancing with the Stars".

        Neat and Tidy, just as Nanny Sam likes it!

        Mr. Spoon, I commend you. If others can't tell the level of sarcasm in this post, this towel might help you wipe the irony off your jacket, and pants, and shirt, and soul...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          I say

          "And then we can take out anyone single person we want, as our own populace has been brow-beaten and undereducated for so long, all they end up seeing is a news blurb during the commercial break for "Dancing with the Stars"."

          Steady on. It's "Strictly Come Dancing", if you don't mind.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Where's the declaration of war?

      "Don't forget we are actually in a state of war."

      Have you officially declared war so far? To who?

      As far I know, that hasn't happened. So, you are not in state of war, but some self-inflicted mess like Vietnam.

      Selling weapons to army is so good bussiness that you have to arrange a "war" time to time to get rid of the old ones and push the cost of new ones to the taxpayers. Ridiculous profits are partially and quietly forwarded to campaign money and everyone is happy. Except taxpayers but they are not asked.

      Also, securing the oil in Irak is good bussiness. By funny coincidence only safe areas in Irak are the oil fields, I wonder why is that ...

  17. Anonymous Coward

    "They're endangering the troops"

    No, the troops being in Afghanistan is what's endangering the troops, you fools.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Wikileaks breath the air of democracy.

    Democracy can only exist when the populace is free to judge any issue with access to all the evidence.

    Never call what we have voted for a democracy, when we complain that our crimes have been made public, rather than been made accountable

  19. TkH11

    The 1911

    Not sure what the legal position is here, but if someone in the UK is disclosing information from UK originating classified documents then this is a criminal offence under the Official Secrets Acts, and I don't think it matters whether that person is SC cleared or not.

    Given that we have extradition laws and the same kind of legislation as the UK, if it's an offence here and and offence in the USA, wouldn't the Yanks be able to invoke extradition proceedings?

    I believe there might be a public interest defence in the UK, but can a release of so much material be in the public interest? Snippets I believe could be.

    If I recall correctly, the official secrets acts says that if a person comes in to receipt of classified material which they shouldn't have (which they don't need in the execution of their duties) then they themselves are guilty of an offence, and said individual is required to prove they didn't know the information was classified - which is difficult to prove given that the documents always have a protective marking stamped on them!

    So are the newspaper editors vulnerable, or are they hoping that with such wide publicity that no one will attempt to prosecute them?

  20. Anonymous Coward

    A novel approach to spying

    Wouldn't a site like this be a nifty thing for a spy network to set up?

    If you could convince honest and loyal people to provide confidential and secret information it would become a gold mine.

    A.C. => Anna Chapman

    If the information needs to be shared with the people, then send it to multiple well known news outlets instead.

  21. Anonymous Coward

    Lot to hide -> criminal

    "US officials condemned the leak as dangerous and irresponsible and described Wikileaks as opposed to US policy in Afghanistan."

    Bullshit. They are worried that their own war crimes will become public and that seems, judging by the material, a very real concern.

    Why these bastards are anxious to hide everything? Are they criminals or what?

    Department of Homeland Security always remembers to tell us that "An honest citizen has nothing to hide" but this obviously don't apply to "US officials", they sure a have a lot to hide -> they are criminals by DHS logic.

  22. This post has been deleted by its author

  23. Willy Messerschmitt

    Now The War Is Completely Unwinnable !

    Before, it was only "simply unwinnable".

    Face it - the Vast Majority of the Population supports the "Taleban" as much as they can. Supplying food, providing shelter, intelligence and weapons/ammo from caches.

    Short of a policy of Torched Earth and Ulimited Fear this war is unwinnable. And because we cannot stand the pictures of hundreds of villages burned to the ground with their population killed (because they haven't warned us of a planted IED or of enemy combatants), this option is only theoretical.

    Get out of the land of crack and secure your borders properly. Much cheaper and very effective. I am sure the German Ministry of International Cooperation can provide courses to train American Police in Effective Security.

    And all the money dumped into this war could be spent to pay American policemen properly, so that people with more than three brain cells would be attracted to become a merkin policeman.

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon


      Hold your horses there Willy, I think you may be doing the Afghan's a bit of a dis-service there.

      They are caught between a highly technological army and a guerilla army that lives in the cow-shed. they just want to make a living and raise children like most people and have to do what is necessary to survive. Don't forget they had 20 years of the Russians before the Yanks and the UK waded in on their white chargers.

      If a bunch of gun-toting lunatics took control of your neighbourhood and threated your family if you didn't supply them with food/shelter when they demanded it, could you really refuse?

      <joke> I expect the Taliban are just as bad </joke>

      As much as human beings are capable of both good and bad things to their fellow man, I would have thought that survival was common to everyone.

  24. Danny 2 Silver badge

    @Dan 10 - Polish Air Crash

    I was interested too so I tracked the source down, I don't know how credible it is.,1664953,0,1,jak-nie-wyladujemy--to-mnie-zabijeja,wiadomosc.html

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