Afghan war documents go online at WikiLeaks


Daylife/Getty Images used by permission

A whistle-blower website has published what it says are more than 90,000 United States military and diplomatic reports about Afghanistan filed between 2004 and January of this year.

The first-hand accounts are the military’s own raw data on the war, including numbers killed, casualties, threat reports and the like, according to Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks.org, which published the material Sunday.

Here’s the link. When I prepared this post, last night, their servers were pretty much swamped.

“It is the total history of the Afghan war from 2004 to 2010, with some important exceptions — U.S. Special Forces, CIA activity and most of the activity of other non-U.S. groups,” Assange said…

The significance lies in “all of these people being killed in the small events that we haven’t heard about that numerically eclipse the big casualty events. It’s the boy killed by a shell that missed a target,” he told CNN.

What we haven’t seen previously is all those individual deaths,” he said. “We’ve seen just the number and like Stalin said, ‘One man’s death is a tragedy, a million dead is a statistic.’ So, we’ve seen the statistic.”

The website held back about 15,000 documents from Afghanistan to protect individuals who informed on the Taliban, he said.

The news-as-entertainment crowd, liberal or conservative – it matters not, will probably panic over this. As will their mirror-image peers in Congress.

The culture of government which has adopted the practice of classifying information as “secret” because it is embarrassing, damning or otherwise a potentially negative force upon the body politic – demands severe penalties for revelations. Our representatives in Washington DC have had this cowardly habit for decades.

The easier it becomes to collect data, the easier it is to lose control of it.

Climate phonies even ignored their own scientists

For more than a decade the Global Climate Coalition, a group representing industries with profits tied to fossil fuels, led an aggressive lobbying and public relations campaign against the idea that emissions of heat-trapping gases could lead to global warming.

“The role of greenhouse gases in climate change is not well understood,” the coalition said in a scientific “backgrounder” provided to lawmakers and journalists through the early 1990s, adding that “scientists differ” on the issue.

But a document filed in a federal lawsuit demonstrates that even as the coalition worked to sway opinion, its own scientific and technical experts were advising that the science backing the role of greenhouse gases in global warming could not be refuted.

“The scientific basis for the Greenhouse Effect and the potential impact of human emissions of greenhouse gases such as CO2 on climate is well established and cannot be denied,” the experts wrote in an internal report compiled for the coalition in 1995…

Documents drawn up by the coalition’s advisers were provided to lawyers…during the discovery process in a lawsuit… The documents included drafts of a primer written for the coalition by its technical advisory committee, as well as minutes of the advisers’ meetings…

According to the minutes of an advisory committee meeting that are among the disclosed documents, the primer was approved by the coalition’s operating committee early in 1996. But the approval came only after the operating committee had asked the advisers to omit the section that rebutted the contrarian arguments.

The primer itself was never publicly distributed.

So much for peer review and anything resembling verifiable methods – when corporate flunkies play at junk science.