Wikileaks recieved excellent coverage on CNN last night, including inteviews with Daniel Elsberg, Pentagon Papers, John Sloboda, the Iraq Body Count’s co-founder, and Phil Shiner of the U.K.-based Public Interest Lawyers.
John Sloboda, the Iraq Body Count’s co-founder, told reporters that the names of civilian victims are among the details included in the documents. “Almost every log tells a story, and far too often, this is a previously unknown story of human suffering and death,” he said. Sloboda said the meticulous records kept by the U.S. military and published by WikiLeaks will be a valuable tool in investigating civilian casualties in the Iraq war.
Phil Shiner of the U.K.-based Public Interest Lawyers, a firm specializing in international and human rights law, told reporters that some information in the documents would be the subject of legal action in the United Kingdom. He alleged the documents revealed details about unlawful killings of civilians, indiscriminate attacks against them and unjustified use of lethal force.
“There must now be a judicial inquiry into all these deaths,” he said.
Pentagon Papers whistle-blower Daniel Ellsberg, responsible for leaking the U.S. government’s top secret study on the Vietnam War in 1971, attended the press conference and praised Assange.
“I want very much to congratulate all of you who are mining this material to learn what we could have learned if it had come out earlier,” Ellsberg said.
Group: Investigate reports of torture in Iraq WikiLeaks documents
By the CNN Wire Staff
October 23, 2010 10:50 p.m. EDT
London, England (CNN) — Human Rights Watch on Saturday urged the Iraqi and U.S. governments to launch investigations into reports of torture and detainee abuse after the WikiLeaks website published thousands of classified military documents detailing the war in Iraq.
The release includes evidence that Iraqi security forces tortured and killed prisoners, the group said. Human Rights Watch called on the Iraqi government to prosecute those responsible.
It also urged the U.S. government to look into whether its forces broke international law by transferring thousands of detainees to Iraqi custody despite what Human Rights Watch called “the clear risk of torture.”
“These new disclosures show torture at the hands of Iraqi security forces is rampant and goes completely unpunished,” said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “It’s clear that U.S. authorities knew of systematic abuse by Iraqi troops, but they handed thousands of detainees over anyway.”
Also Saturday, anti-war activists said at a news conference that the WikiLeaks release revealed that 15,000 more Iraqi civilians died during the conflict than previously thought.