Shared with the usual caveats.
British fury as Wikileaks publishes the 90,000 top secret files that expose the horrific civilian cost of Afghan war By Katherine Faulkner
White House slams leak as 'irresponsible' 16 children killed in error by British troops Special forces 'black' unit hunts down Taliban leaders French troops shot at a bus full of school children Polish troops killed wedding party in mortar attack Taliban have acquired deadly surface-to-air missiles
A massive file of secret military documents revealing chilling details of the Afghanistan war and civilian deaths have been leaked to a whistle-blowing website. In one of the biggest leaks in military history, 90,000 records of incidents and intelligence about the conflict were passed to Wikileaks. And in a disclosure which has enraged the White House, the website has published the documents and handed the files over in full to three national newspapers in three different countries.
The secret documents suggest that coalition forces have killed hundreds of civilians in incidents that have never been reported.
They include claims that 16 children were among the civilians shot or bombed in error by British troops. They also reveal how a secret 'black' unit of special forces hunts down Taliban leaders for 'kill or capture' without trial. And how the U.S. covered up evidence the Taliban had acquired deadly surface-to-air missiles. Other disclosures include how the coalition is increasingly using deadly Reaper drones to hunt and kill Taliban targets. And how the Taliban has escalated its roadside bombing campaign which has claimed 2,000 lives to date.
SO WHO LEAKED THE DOCUMENTS?
U.S. government agencies have been bracing for the release of thousands more classified documents since the leak of a classified helicopter cockpit video of a 2007 firefight in Baghdad. That leak was blamed on a U.S. Army intelligence analyst working in Iraq.
Spc Bradley Manning, 22, of Potomac, Maryland, was arrested in Iraq and charged earlier this month with multiple counts of mishandling and leaking classified data, after a former hacker turned him in. Manning had bragged to the hacker, Adrian Lamo, that he had downloaded 260,000 classified or sensitive U.S. State Department cables and transmitted them by computer to Wikileaks.org.
Mr Lamo turned Manning in to U.S. authorities, saying he could not live with the thought that those released documents might get someone killed.
The Pentagon's criminal investigations department continues to try to trace the leaks but Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has flatly refused to meet with U.S. intelligence agencies to help them find the culprit. And he has also refused to discuss how he obtained the Afghanistan files published today. But suspicions are already centring again on Sgt Manning. Speaking to The Daily Beast, Mr Lamo said he believed Sgt Manning was behind today's leak also - but added that he could not have been working alone.
The documents detail coalition troops shooting unarmed drivers and civilian motorcyclists because they are terrified that they could be Taliban suicide bombers. In one incident never before reported, French troops shot at a bus full of children because it had come too close to a military convoy. Eight children were wounded in the attack, which took place in the village of Tangi Kalay, near Kabul, in 2008. Other reports record how a U.S. patrol machine-gunned a bus, wounding or killing 15 of its passengers.
And they show how Polish troops mortared a village in 2007, killing a wedding party including a pregnant woman, in what was apparently a revenge attack.
The White House has condemned the leak and claimed that the publication of details from the secret documents could put lives at risk. 'We strongly condemn the disclosure of classified information, which puts the lives of the U.S. and partner service members at risk and threatens our national security,' a U.S. Government spokesman told the Guardian newspaper, which published the files.
'Wikileaks made no effort to contact the U.S. government about these documents, which may contain information that endanger the lives of Americans, our partners, and local populations who cooperate with us.'.....
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1297644/Wikileaks-publishes-90-000-documents-Afghan-war.html#ixzz0umcLz9cB