Another highly anticipated wave of secret Army field reports — nearly 400,000 in total — are about to be released by WikiLeaks. The Guardian has had a peep at them and says they “detail torture, summary executions and war crimes.” The Times has also unveiled its WikiLeaks package, which dominates the nytimes.com homepage. According to the new logs, American officials neglected to investigate perhaps hundreds of reports of abuse, torture, rape, and even murder by Iraqi police and soldiers — in some cases in the face of video evidence. The sheer number of such reports indicate gave the Times “the impression that such treatment was not an exception.” Six such reports ended with the death of the prisoner. Additionally, more than 15,000 civilians were apparently killed in previously unreported incidents. (According to the Guardian, “US 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.”)
According to the Times’ reading of the documents, Iran’s Revolutionary Guards play a steady and powerful role in the training of Iraqi militants, and a shadowy war is being waged between those forces and the Americans in the region. Iran reportedly continued to train Iraqi dissidents even after President Obama reaffirmed his commitment to withdraw troops from Iraq by the end of 2011 in an effort to soothe relations with Iran. The neighboring nation, according to U.S. intelligence, is also trying to infiltrate several levels of Iraq’s fledgling government.
Detainees Fared Worse in Iraqi Hands [NYT]
Leaked Reports Detail Iran’s Aid for Iraqi Militias [NYT]
A Grim Portrait of Civilian Deaths in Iraq [NYT]