Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Like my Pentagon papers, these Iraq war logs can't be buried

There is no security risk in revealing the scale of torture and killing. Far more damage was done by trying to suppress it

Daniel Ellsberg, Monday 25 October 2010

"Nearly 40 years ago I leaked the Pentagon papers – a top secret 7,000-page study of US decision-making during the Vietnam war which revealed repeated lies and cover-ups by the administration. The Iraq war logs, published this weekend by Wikileaks, could be even more significant.

As with Vietnam, we have again seen evidence of a massive cover-up over a number of years by the American authorities. The logs reveal the human consequences of the continuing Iraq war, which have been concealed from the western public for too long: the countless instances of torture; the killing of hundreds of civilians at roadside checkpoints....

In the coming months I hope the courage and patriotism shown by the sources of these records – who risk long prison sentences – will be emulated by those with access to higher level documents. We need to see White House, Pentagon and CIA papers that reveal evidence of war crimes by top-level policy-makers – to bring the criminal activity that's happening right now into the conscience of the American people.

The possibility of uncovering this is worth the great personal risk by whoever the sources may be – just as I never doubted that it was worth risking my own freedom to reveal the Pentagon Papers four decades ago."

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