Congrats to Wikileaks for releasing all those 92,000 documents on the Afghan War.
It’s the biggest peak into U.S. military operations since Daniel Ellsberg’s Pentagon Papers back in the Vietnam War.
And like the Pentagon Papers, these new documents show the U.S. war effort to be much less rosy than the White House has portrayed it.
For one thing, the Taliban have successfully used surface to air missiles to bring down U.S. helicopters, the documents reveal.
But most telling of all is the confirmation, in great detail, of the links between the Pakistani intelligence service and the Taliban.
According to the Wikileaks documents, the ISI not only meets with the Taliban. It advises the Taliban on who to attack in Afghanistan, and where. Its agents set off bombs in Kabul. And a former director of the ISI, Lt. Gen. Hamid Gul meets repeatedly with Taliban leaders to plan attacks and makes monthly visits to the madrassa where “95% of the suicide attackers are trained.”
This is nuts!
The United States is giving the government of Pakistan $1 billion a year in aid, and that country’s intelligence agency is turning around and advising the Taliban on how to wage war against U.S. forces in Afghanistan.
No wonder the war’s going so badly.
These aren’t the first revelations about the ISA’s links to the Taliban, or to the unwillingness of Pakistan to cooperate fully with the U.S. But they do provide much more evidence than ever before that Pakistan is working hand in glove with the Taliban.
There is also much more evidence about the killing of civilians by U.S. and allied forces. The documents cover 144 such incidents.
"These files bring to light what's been a consistent trend by US and Nato forces: the concealment of civilian casualties,” Rachel Reid, who investigates civilian casualty incidents in Afghanistan for Human Rights Watch, told The Guardian.
The documents also show that the United States has a special operations unit, Task Force 373, operating in Afghanistan that has a list of 2,000 people to summarily execute.
Wikileaks founder, Julian Assange, says there is evidence of “war crimes” in these documents.
The White House has denounced him for leaking the documents, but he should be applauded for doing so.
We, as Americans, need to know the facts of this impossible and immoral war the United States is waging.
And now, armed with the facts, we need to bring it to an end.
If you liked this story by Matthew Rothschild, the editor of The Progressive magazine, check out his article “Obama a “Socialist”? I Wish!”
Follow Matthew Rothschild @mattrothschild on Twitter