July 26th, 2010
10:21 AM ET

What's in the WikiLeaks documents?

Whistleblower website WikiLeaks has published what it says are more than 90,000 United States military and diplomatic reports about Afghanistan filed between 2004 and January of this year. (See the documents)

WikiLeaks released the documents to The Guardian, The New York Times and Der Spiegel before any other media outlets, and they had a chance to examine ahead of time. Each news organization concentrated on different angles, but here are some highlights:

THE GUARDIAN
On Osama Bin Laden:
The Guardian examined documents that allegedly link bin Laden to several incidents between 2004 and 2009.
Examples:
Osama Bin Laden reported to have issued orders to suicide bombers in Afghanistan 
Afghanistan war logs: Bin Laden instigates suicide attack against Afghan President Hamid Karzai, according to U.S. report

On civilian casualties: Many of the documents deal with civilian casualties, whether from air strikes, at roadblocks or in other circumstances.
Example:
Special forces wound two, kill six, including young girl, plus donkey and chickens

On Pakistan ties: Several documents that The Guardian highlights indicate the fingerprints of Pakistan's ISI spy agency on some Taliban activity.
Example:
Pakistan's spies accused of arming Taliban ally with motorbikes for suicide attacks

THE NEW YORK TIMES
The Times redacted material it felt would reveal suspects' identities, to protect “people in danger,” or that would “reveal key tactical military capabilities.” The Times links to an explanation of its redactions.

On Pakistan: The Times reports on documents that show Pakistan allows representatives of its secret service to meet directly with members of the Taliban in strategy meetings to organize militants to fight against Americans in Afghanistan. Plots to assassinate Afghan leaders have been discussed in these meetings, according to the documents.
Example:
• Pakistan Aids insurgency in Afghanistan, reports assert

On how the war is going: The Times reports a "ground-level picture of the war in Afghanistan that is in many respects more grim than the official portrayals."
Example:
• View is bleaker than official portrayal of war in Afghanistan

On fighting the insurgency: The Times tells the story of U.S. Outpost Combat Keating, opened in 2006 in the Kamdesh district of Nuristan Province to fight the insurgency. The Times reports that leaked documents show three years of frustration within the outpost including low troop levels, unreliable Afghan partners, and an insurgency that has “grown in skill, determination and its ability to menace.”
Example:
• Strategic plans spawned bitter end for lonely outpost

DER SPIEGEL
On German military problems:
Spiegel looks at documents that allegedly illustrate little progress by the German troops in northern Afghanistan.
Example:
• Situation is far worse than the German government reports

On targeted assassinations: Several documents involve alleged targeted killings by the secretive U.S. Task Force 373.
Example:
• U.S. elite unit could create political fallout for Berlin


Filed under: WikiLeaks
soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. Pete Larson

    This comment is pending approval and won't be displayed until it is approved.

    I posted some preliminary statistical analysis of the Wikileaks Afghan Conflict data on my personal blog. Please take a look at it for more figures and maps from the data that you might not find elsewhere.

    http://peterslarson.com/2010/07/26/afghan-wikileaks-war-diary-part-2/

    Pete

    July 27, 2010 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Yaller dog Dem

    My Grandpa said, "Don't pay much attention to what they say, watch what they do." The Muslims show all the world the real truth of what they are through their actions.

    July 27, 2010 at 3:25 am | Report abuse |
  3. Bible Librarian

    Probably that the great tribulation is going to start soon before the apocalypse!

    July 26, 2010 at 11:47 pm | Report abuse |
  4. dcdrew8171

    what an assuie hole thing to do self rightous little jerk they brought it to us

    July 26, 2010 at 11:10 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Sam

    And I'm supposed to care that a few Taliban were claiming to be tortured by a justice system of the nation they come from and are fighting against in a brutal insurgency.

    [b] No body cares about Taliban but as Civilized Human being we should care about a suspect being tortured and killed and later found to be an innnocent civilian and not Taliban.

    We should not fall to the level of Taliban who torture and kill innocent people.

    July 26, 2010 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Larry Valecia, Calif.US Army Forever...

      Why do they care if they are innocent are not!!! They shop off their heads anyhow...

      July 26, 2010 at 10:15 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Sam

    "I'll care about the Koran when the fanatics in the Middle East start caring about the Holy Bible, the mere belief of which is a crime punishable by beheading in Afghanistan"

    Muslims care about Holy Bible and belive in it by definition else they are not muslims. Says who! Says Quran.

    Al-Baqara i.e. Chapter 2 From Quran.

    Verse number 1 -3

    (1) This is the Book; in it is guidance sure, without doubt, to those who fear Allah. (2) Who believe in the Unseen, are steadfast in prayer, and spend out of what We have provided for them. (3) And who believe in the Revelation sent to thee, and sent before thy time (Torah and Gospel i.e. Bible ), and (in their hearts) have the assurance of the Hereafter

    Muslims do not see it fit to put Bible down on the groud or burn it or any of such actions and such an action and try doing that in Middle East of even better in Pakistan and you will get the reaction from Muslims and Christian alike.

    July 26, 2010 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Larry Valecia, Calif.US Army Forever...

      Are you saying the the Jewish People do it??? It was the Catholic Nazi that burned the Torah and Jewish Bible during WWII!!!

      July 26, 2010 at 10:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • rgw

      windage-windage

      July 27, 2010 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Coimbra Sirica

    Wikileaks is wrong in thinking that it needs to give the story to only two or three big-name media outlets. It now has leverage it can use to adopt a system used by peer-reviewed journals in the sciences. By providing information under embargo to trusted journalists worldwide, and in advance of publication, it would level the global playing field and give writers time to report the findings in a way that prevents a culturally narrow interpretation of data and information.

    July 26, 2010 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |