Aggressive surveillance of whistleblowers prior to release of damning footage
Tuesday, April 6th, 2010
The sickening video released today of U.S. troops slaughtering innocent civilians, including two Reuters reporters in Baghdad in July 2007, clearly indicates why the Pentagon was intent on destroying Wikileaks, the whistleblower website that it now has little chance of putting out of business.
Last month, the notorious truth-seeking website leaked a secret report, authored by the Army Counterintelligence Center, that condemned Wikileaks as a danger to national security.
“Wikileaks.org, a publicly accessible Internet Web site, represents a potential force protection, counterintelligence, operational security (OPSEC), and information security (INFOSEC) threat to the US Army,” the report states.
“The leakage of sensitive and classified DoD information also calls attention to the insider threat, when a person or persons motivated by a particular cause or issue wittingly provides information to domestic or foreign personnel or organizations to be published by the news media or on the Internet.” the report continues.
No matter that the “particular cause or issue” in this case was revealing the sadistic murder of innocent civilians by laughing military forces and the cover up that ensued when they realised what had really transpired.
The 2008 Army document suggests that the person (or persons) responsible for such leaks should be hunted down and prosecuted, mentioning Wikileaks by name and advocating its destruction in order to deter other whistleblowers.
“Web sites such as Wikileaks.org have trust as their most important center of gravity by protecting the anonymity and identity of the insider, leaker, or whistleblower. Successful identification, prosecution, termination of employment, and exposure of persons leaking the information by the governments and businesses affected by information posted to Wikileaks.org would damage and potentially destroy this center of gravity and deter others from taking similar actions.”
Wikileaks also claimed last month that it was under aggressive surveillance from the Pentagon, indicating that it’s imminent release of a ‘Pentagon Murder Cover-up’ at the National Press Club in Washington on April 5, was the specific reason.
Reports at the time assumed that Wikileaks was referring to a different video to the one released yesterday, specifically, footage of a U.S. airstrike in Afghanistan dating from May 7 last year that killed 97 civilians. That video still remains unreleased.
The way the Baghdad incident was originally reported in 2007, proves that the U.S. military lied about the attack and that a cover up was enacted.
On July 13 2007, the New York Times reported:
Clashes in a southeastern neighborhood here between the American military and Shiite militias on Thursday left at least 16 people dead, including two Reuters journalists who had driven to the area to cover the turbulence, according to an official at the Interior Ministry.
The Times quoted a military statement that read:
Baghdad Soldiers, with their Iraqi Security Force counterparts, killed nine insurgents and detained 13 more after coming under fire July 12 in the New Baghdad District of eastern Baghdad.
Soldiers of 1st Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, and the 2nd Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment, both operating in eastern Baghdad under the 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, along with their Iraqi counterparts from the 1st Battalion, 4th Brigade, 1st Division National Police, were conducting a coordinated raid as part of a planned operation when they were attacked by small arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades.
The leaked video clearly shows that the forces did not come under fire.
The statement continued:
“There is no question that Coalition Forces were clearly engaged in combat operations against a hostile force,” said Lt. Col Scott Bleichwehl, spokesperson and public affairs officer for MND-B.
In addition to the release of the video, Wikileaks has also provided more research obtained by reporters that traveled to Baghdad. This provides more much needed context, without which the leaked video could have been somewhat passed over by the mainstream media.
Among the material is a photograph from Reuters reporter Namir Noor-Eldeen’s camera, taken by soldiers after he had been killed by the U.S. military.
The Wikileaks investigators also spoke to eyewitnesses who were able to identify the two Reuters journalists, and track down the two children injured in the attack, as well as their mother, now a widow.
Watch the video from Wikileaks:
Clearly, Wikileaks, which has been facing extinction through lack of funding for some time, is set to be elevated to new heights following its brave exposure of this tragic event. It was able to obtain information and footage that Reuters had been unable to get hold of for two years.
The Pentagon’s agenda to “destroy” the organisation has failed and, along with the clear proof of duplicity surrounding this incident, it should serve as evidence of deception against the American people, not to mention as evidence of the unprovoked murder of innocent civilians.
The Iraqi Journalists’ Union has demanded a government investigation into the horrific incident.
Julian Assange, editor and co-founder of WikiLeaks, appeared on Russia Today earlier to defend the release of the video and discuss the difficulty of bringing U.S. military personnel to account for crimes carried out by the armed forces.
Watch the interview:
This article was posted: Tuesday, April 6, 2010 at 10:26 am