WikiLeaks "Afghan War Diaries" - by Stephen Lendman
Calling itself "the intelligence agency of the people," WikiLeaks is "a multi-juristidictional public service designed to protect whistleblowers, journalists and activists who have sensitive material to communicate to the public" that has a right and need to know - to then use responsibly for better government in a free and open society, absent in today's America run by warlords, criminal politicians, and corporate bosses, spurning the rule of law for their own gain.
On July 26, WikiLeaks published "The Afghan War Diaries," its modern day Pentagon Papers, top-secret documents eroding support for the Vietnam War, The New York Times saying they "demonstrated, among other things, that the Johnson Administration had systematically lied, not only to the public but also to Congress, about a subject of transcendent national interest and significance" - what Julian Assange has done on Afghanistan, revealing Bush and Obama administration lies and duplicity about their illegal war of aggression, America's longest. More on that below.
Releasing over 75,000 of nearly 92,000 reports, they represent a small fraction of millions of US files uploaded to WikiLeaks databases, more to be regularly released, "high quality material," according to Assange.
They're chronologically listed in over 100 categories, covering the period January 2004 - December 2009, describing lethal US military actions, including numbers internally killed, wounded, or detained by geographical location, units involved, and major weapons used.
Since the Pentagon Papers, they comprise the "most significant (comprehensive) archive about the reality of war," with no resolution or opposition in Congress, providing "a comprehensive understanding of the war (and) modern warfare in general."
Accounts come mainly from soldiers and intelligence officers, but also from US embassies and other sources revealing corruption and criminality across Afghanistan, including coverups, collusion, distortion, and duplicity - a sordid story needing telling to shock a comatose public to action, and revive a badly needed anti-war movement.
As expected, the White House reacted sharply and deceptively, National Security Advisor James Jones saying:
"The United States strongly condemns the disclosure of classified information by individuals and organizations which could put the lives of Americans and our partners at risk and threaten our national security," ignoring the war's illegality; its duplicitous, mindless, shameless destructiveness; a brutal quagmire; waged under false pretenses; and its shocking human costs on both sides; Afghan civilians mostly, but also NATO casualties, including deaths, mutilations, disabling injuries, PTSD, suicides, deadly toxins exposure, and proper care at home denied.
In several Nation magazine articles, Joshua Kors highlighted how US soldiers are treated, his April 26, 2010 article titled, "Disposable Soldiers: How the Pentagon is Cheating Wounded Vets," mistreating them, misdiagnosing their needs to deny care and disability pay, providing substandard care, abandoning them when no longer needed, the major media not reporting it, how they're now sanitizing WikiLeaks revelations, downplaying their importance, omitting important truths - about illegal wars and crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan, both Bush and Obama administrations culpable.
The Constitution's Article 1, Section 8 grants Congress only the power to declare war, appropriate funding, and "provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the" nation.
The UN Charter is also explicit, explaining under what circumstances violence and coercion (by one state against another) are permitted. Articles 2(3) and 33(1) require peaceful settlement of international disputes. Article 2(4) prohibits force or its threatened use, and Article 51 allows the "right of self-defense if an armed attack occurs against a Member....until the Security Council has taken measures to maintain international peace and security."
In other words, justifiable self-defense is permissible. Articles 2(3), 2(4), and 33 absolutely prohibit any unilateral threat or use of force not specifically allowed under Article 51 or authorized by the Security Council.
Three important General Assembly resolutions concur, unconditionally prohibiting "non-consensual military intervention:"
-- the 1965 Declaration on the Inadmissibility of Intervention in the Domestic Affairs of States and the Protection of Their Independence and Sovereignty;