By Lex, on July 28, 2010
One of the ostensible reasons that Wikileaks Julian Assange has put forth for the revelations within his “Afghan War Diaries” is that potential war crimes are detailed therein. This from the team that put together the “Collateral Murder” video whose biases were quickly exposed.
Whether the Afghan War Diaries will reveal war crimes – they have not to date – they have placed Afghans who put their trust in the NATO coalition in grave danger:
Hundreds of Afghan civilians who worked as informants for the U.S. military have been put at risk by WikiLeaks’ publication of more than 90,000 classified intelligence reports which name and in many cases locate the individuals, The Times newspaper reported Wednesday.
The article says, in spite of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s claim that sensitive information had been removed from the leaked documents, that reporters scanning the reports for just a couple hours found hundreds of Afghan names mentioned as aiding the U.S.-led war effort.
There can be little doubt of the fate awaiting revealed collaborators once they fall under the tender mercies of the Afghan Taliban. The third order effect, of course, is that Afghans hopeful for a more peaceful and enlightened future have even less faith in the coalition’s ability to deliver.
Afghanistan has seen an awful lot of warfare over the last several decades. Survivors have learned to calculate the stronger side with precision. Mr. Assange has just made it rather more likely that more will align themselves with the Taliban, or at least stay out of their way. This increases the odds that a brutal tyranny will once again be imposed, but not before the forces of freedom and moderation are further bloodied.
There are war crimes to be found in the Afghan War Diaries. Just not the ones Mr. Assange was referring to.