The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020

Wikileaks and Realities of Afghanistan War


Wikileaks on Sunday released more than 90,000 internal records of U.S. military actions in Afghanistan from over the past six years. The group's founder Julian Assange spoke earlier today at the Frontline Club in London; video is available.

Information based on portions of the Wikileaks data was published simultaneously by The New York Times; the British Guardian; and Der Spiegel.

Reuters reports today: "At least 45 civilians, many women and children, were killed in a rocket attack by the NATO-led foreign force in Afghanistan's southern Helmand province last week, a spokesman for the Afghan government said on Monday."

Rowley, independent journalist with Big Noise Films, just returned from a six-week trip to Afghanistan where he was embedded with a U.S. Marine division in Marjah. He was on Democracy Now this morning, which reports: "The [leaked] documents provide a devastating portrait of the war in Afghanistan, revealing how coalition forces have killed hundreds of civilians in unreported incidents, how a secret black ops special forces unit hunts down targets for assassination or detention without trial, how Taliban attacks have soared and how Pakistan is fueling the insurgency." Also on the program was Daniel Ellsberg, who compared Wikileaks favorably to his leaking the Pentagon Papers, secret documents that showed a pattern of lying by the government about the Vietnam War. See video and transcript.

Gopal has reported from Afghanistan for the Christian Science Monitor and the Wall Street Journal. His dispatches can be read at He is currently working on a book about the Afghan war. In January, he wrote a detailed article on night raids and secret detention centers in Afghanistan.

McGovern was an Army infantry/intelligence officer in the early Sixties and then a CIA analyst for the next 27 years. He said today: "Congress is reportedly slated to vote for an additional $33.5 billion for war in Afghanistan this week. For Congress to proceed and vote for that money without digesting the information just released by Wikileaks would be ostrich-like. The documentation that the Pakistani intelligence services is working in cross-purposes with the U.S. offensive against the Taliban virtually assures defeat." McGovern is a co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, works with Tell the Word (the publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington) and regularly writes for Consortium News, where he has an article today, "Afghan War Leaks Expose Costly Folly."

Stieber is a former soldier in the Bravo Company documented in the video "Collateral Murder" released earlier this year by Wikileaks. The video shows U.S. soldiers killing civilians including a Reuters photographer and then shooting at people in a van attempting to rescue the wounded. Stieber co-wrote "An Open Letter of Reconciliation and Responsibility to the Iraqi People."

A nationwide consortium, the Institute for Public Accuracy (IPA) represents an unprecedented effort to bring other voices to the mass-media table often dominated by a few major think tanks. IPA works to broaden public discourse in mainstream media, while building communication with alternative media outlets and grassroots activists.