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Posts Tagged ‘WikiLeaks’

WikiLeaks says US grand jury requests supporter Twitter data

In Uncategorized on January 8, 2011 at 12:01 pm

WikiLeaks said Saturday the Twitter accounts of four supporters had been subpoenaed in connection with an espionage investigation into the whistleblowing website led by a secret US grand jury.


WikiLeaks, which began releasing 251,287 US diplomatic cables in November, added it had reason to believe Facebook and Google had also received court orders requesting details on users.


“Today, the existence of a secret US government grand jury espionage investigation into Wikileaks was confirmed for the first time as a subpoena was brought into the public domain,” WikiLeaks said in a statement.


WikiLeaks said legal action taken by micro-blogging website Twitter “revealed that the US State Department has requested the private messages, contact information, IP addresses, and personal details of Julian Assange and three other individuals associated with WikiLeaks, in addition to WikiLeaks’ own account, which has 634,071 followers”.


It did not name the three other people, but Icelandic lawmaker Birgitta Jonsdottir said on her Twitter feed on Saturday US authorities had asked Twitter to submit her account details and personal information.


“Just got this: Twitter has received legal process requesting information regarding your Twitter account in (relation to wikileaks),” the media freedom champion posted overnight.


“The request for my tweet information is from the US department of justice.” “The request for information from twitter is also for my personal information not just tweets,” she said.


Jonsdottir — a close associate of WikiLeaks who in September suggested Julian Assange step aside as the site’s spokesperson because of rape allegations against him — said she discussed the request with Iceland’s justice minister.


“He is looking into the case of demands of DoJ (department of justice) wanting my twitter details,” she posted shortly after 1100 GMT Saturday.


She explained she had 10 days to stop the legal process and stressed the US Department of Justice, not Twitter, was to blame.


WikiLeaks said Saturday it was “opposing the subpoena order and is currently taking action to instruct US lawyers”.


It urged Twitter to protect its users’ private information and stressed that other than Assange, the three people whose accounts had been subpoenaed had never worked for the site.


“Two were instrumental in helping WikiLeaks bring the Collateral Murder video — which showed a US helicopter crew celebrating as they gunned down civilians — into the public domain,” WikiLeaks said.


The April 2010 release of the classified video, which shows a US Apache helicopter strike in Baghdad that killed several people in 2007, helped push WikiLeaks into the global spotlight.


The site has since angered the Pentagon by posting in July 2010 secret documents on the war in Afghanistan, followed in October by a massive leak of so-called “Iraq war logs”.


Its November release of US diplomatic cables has embarrassed governments worldwide and prompted many calls for WikiLeaks to face legal action.


The site has also faced financial pressure when credit card giants Visa and Mastercard said they would stop facilitating donations to the website.


“Having tried to silence WikiLeaks by pressuring Paypal, Visa and Mastercard to cut off funds, the US government is now intruding into the private lives of some of WikiLeaks most high-profile supporters,” WikiLeaks chief Julian Assange said Saturday.


Assange, the 39-year-old Australian who is the public face of WikiLeaks, is currently on bail in Britain facing extradition proceedings to Sweden on charges of sexual assault.


 

Source: SGGP

U.N. chief offered Mugabe deal to step down: WikiLeaks

In Uncategorized on December 21, 2010 at 9:31 am

Former United Nations chief Kofi Annan offered Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe a deal to step down and live in a safe haven, but the veteran leader rejected the offer, according to U.S. documents obtained by WikiLeaks.


A confidential document dated September 2000 showed that a source from Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC party told U.S. officials in Harare the party had been told that Annan, the former U.N Secretary General Annan, had made the offer to Mugabe during a U.N. summit in New York.


The source said the MDC did not know the details of the deal, reported to it by a businessman, but that it likely guaranteed Mugabe a financial package from Libyan President Muammar Gaddafi and a safe haven, the cable showed.


“Kofi Annan, in the recent meeting in New York during the Millennium summit, offered Mugabe a deal to step down,” according to the document.


“The opposition party heard that Mugabe turned down the offer the following day after discussing it with the first lady.”

Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe addresses a meeting of the ZANU-PF party in Mutare 275km east of the capital Harare, December 17, 2010.… Read more »

A spokeswoman for Annan declined to comment.


Mugabe has ruled Zimbabwe since independence in 1980 and although there has been talk of several plans to ease him from office in the last decade, the 86-year-old has rejected the idea, saying he would never live in exile.


According to another confidential U.S. cable published by WikiLeaks dated October 2009, a senior MDC official suggested that the U.S. should contribute to a fund to buy off security service chiefs.


Elton Mangoma, a senior member in the MDC and minister in the unity government, told U.S. officials that the military men were frustrating reform and did not want to leave office fearing that they had not made enough money and could be prosecuted.


“Mangoma asked for consideration of U.S. contribution to a ‘trust fund’ that could be used to negotiate the service chiefs’ retirement. He said he planned to approach the UK and Germany with the same request,” the documents said.


The service chiefs have in the past publicly backed Mugabe during elections, saying they would not acknowledge a leader who had not fought in the independence war, a reference to Tsvangirai.

Source: SGGP

Assange vows WikiLeaks to stay strong despite new blow

In Uncategorized on December 19, 2010 at 8:26 am

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said the site will stay strong despite another blow to its funding and the publication Sunday of new details of the sex crime allegations against him

 WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said the site will stay strong despite another blow to its funding and the publication Sunday of new details of the sex crime allegations against him.


The Australian began his third full day under “mansion arrest” at a friend’s house while he fights extradition to Sweden, vowing that the whistleblowing website would continue to publish more secre US diplomatic cables.


Assange on Saturday denounced Bank of America, the largest US bank, for becoming the latest institution to halt financial transactions for Wikileaks after MasterCard, PayPal, Visa Europe and others.


The bank said its decision was “based upon our reasonable belief that WikiLeaks may be engaged in activities that are, among other things, inconsistent with our internal policies for processing payments.”


“It’s a new type of business McCarthyism in the US to deprive this organisation of the funds that it needs to survive, to deprive me personally of the funds that my lawyers need to protect me against extradition to the US or to Sweden,” Assange told AFP.


The term was coined to describe the anti-communist pursuits of former US senator Joseph McCarthy from the late 1940s to the 1950s.


Assange is staying at Ellingham Hall, the mansion in eastern England of journalist friend Vaughan Smith, as part of the conditions of bail, which he was granted by London’s High Court on Thursday.


He must also report daily to a nearby police station and wear an electronic tag.


Several British newspapers published lurid new details of the allegations of sexual assault against two women, over which Swedish prosecutors want to question him. The 39-year-old denies the charges.


The Guardian newspaper — which has cooperated with WikiLeaks on the publication of the US documents — and the Mail on Sunday both reported that the two women with whom he had sex in Sweden had gone to police after he refused to take an HIV test.


Assange hit out at Swedish handling of the case, accusing authorities there of leaking fresh details about the case that even he and his defence lawyers have not had access to.


The former computer hacker also reiterated that there were threats against his life and those of the website’s staff, but he vowed that WikiLeaks would continue publishing the cables.


“We are a robust organisation. During my time in solitary confinement we continued to publish every day and its not going to change,” he said.


Assange claimed earlier in an interview with Forbes magazine that a “megaleak” by the website will target a major US bank “early next year”.


WikiLeaks has enraged Washington with its release of thousands of leaked US diplomatic cables and confidential military documents relating to the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.


Assange said Friday it looked “increasingly likely” the US would try to extradite him on charges related to the leaked cables as he savoured his first day on bail.


He said his lawyers believed a secret US grand jury investigation had been started into his role in the release.


Media reports suggest that US prosecutors are trying to build a case against Assange on the grounds that he encouraged a US soldier, Bradley Manning, to steal US cables from a government computer and pass them to WikiLeaks.

A report by congressional researchers said the Espionage Act and other US laws could be used to prosecute Assange, but there is no known precedent for prosecuting publishers in such a case.

The latest US diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks indicated that the United Nations offered Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe a retirement package and safe haven overseas if he agreed to stand down.

The offer was made by Kofi Annan, the UN secretary general at the time in 2000, said the memo, which was drawn up by US officials and cited the then-opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

Source: SGGP

Pakistan praised India response on Mumbai attacks: WikiLeaks

In Uncategorized on December 18, 2010 at 10:56 am

A Pakistan High Commission official praised India for acting “responsibly and maturely” following the Mumbai terror attacks which killed 166 people, according to US official cables released by WikiLeaks.

A fire breaks out of the dome of the Taj hotel in Mumbai, 2008.

The official, whose name was deleted in the confidential cable, made the comments when contrasting New Delhi’s reaction to the Mumbai attacks to its response after the bombing of India’s embassy in Kabul in July 2008.


The cable, dated December 1, 2008 and signed by then US envoy David C. Mulford, spoke of strong demands in the Indian media for retaliatory action against terror camps in Pakistan after Mumbai.


It quoted the Pakistani official as saying the Indian government’s reaction to the embassy bombing was “impulsive and politically motivated” when it swiftly blamed Pakistan’s intelligence agency.


More than 40 people, including India’s military attache and a diplomat, were killed in the July 2008 attack on the embassy in Kabul, while 166 people died in the Mumbai attacks by Islamist gunmen in November 2008.


According to the Pakistan officer, the negative effects of the Mumbai attacks on ties between the nuclear-armed rivals, who have fought three wars, would “fizzle out over the next few months”, the cable said.


The concluding comment on the Mumbai attacks by the US Embassy was: “No Military Confrontation Anticipated”.


India is still pressing Pakistan to bring to justice the alleged masterminds of the attacks in which 10 Islamist gunmen attacked a host of targets including luxury hotels, a Jewish centre and the train station.


Nine of the gunmen were killed and the sole survivor, Mohammed Ajmal Kasab, was condemned to death by a Mumbai court in May. He is challenging the sentence.


Seven suspects in Pakistan including the alleged mastermind Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi and Lashkar-e-Taiba operative Zarar Shah have been put on trial in the country, but none has yet been convicted.

Source: SGGP

WikiLeaks chief Assange fears US charges

In Uncategorized on December 18, 2010 at 10:27 am

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said it was “increasingly likely” the US would try to extradite him on charges related to leaked cables as he savoured his first day on bail.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange (C) holds up a copy of Britain’s Guardian newspaper as he addreses media in the grounds of Ellingham Hall in Norfolk, eastern England, on December 17, 2010.

Speaking Friday outside Ellingham Hall, a friend’s mansion in eastern England, where he must live while on bail, Assange said he was concerned about potential moves from US authorities.


“The big risk, the risk we have always been concerned about, is onwards extradition to the United States. And that seems to be increasingly serious and increasingly likely,” the Australian told reporters.


The 39-year-old founder of the whistle-blowing website is fighting extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning over allegations that he sexually assaulted two women, which he denies.


But Assange said his lawyers believed a secret US grand jury investigation had been started into his role in WikiLeaks’ release of thousands of leaked US diplomatic cables — a probe he condemned as “illegal”.


Looking relaxed, he said the mansion was a “big improvement” on the London jail where he was held in solitary confinement for nine days before his release on bail Thursday.


Media reports suggest that US prosecutors are trying to build a case against Assange on the grounds that he encouraged a US soldier, Bradley Manning, to steal US cables from a government computer and pass them to WikiLeaks.


Assange said: “I would say that there is a very aggressive investigation, that a lot of face has been lost by some people, and some people have careers to make by pursuing famous cases.”


He said WikiLeaks had pledged 50,000 dollars (38,000 euros) towards Manning’s legal fund.


But he told ABC television in the US that “I had never heard of the name Bradley Manning before it was published in the press.


“WikiLeaks technology (was) designed from the very beginning to make sure that we never know the identities or names of people submitting us material.”


Meanwhile, the Pentagon defended itself against allegations that Manning was being kept in harsh conditions in a military brig at the Quantico Marine base, Virginia, where he has been placed under a maximum security regimen.


Manning was in solitary confinement because he was considered a national security risk, said prison spokesman First Lieutenant Brian Villiard.


“What I will tell you is that he is not treated any differently than any other maximum confinement detainee,” he said.


In interviews with British media, Assange said Manning “is the only one of our military sources who has been accused and that means that he is in a difficult position.”


Meanwhile, in Washington a report by congressional researchers said the Espionage Act and other US laws could be used to prosecute Assange, but there is no known precedent for prosecuting publishers in such a case.


“Leaks of classified information to the press have only rarely been punished as crimes, and we are aware of no case in which a publisher of information obtained through unauthorized disclosure by a government employee has been prosecuted for publishing it,” the report said.


On the Swedish case against him, Assange, a former computer hacker, claimed it was part of a “smear campaign” linked to WikiLeaks. But Swedish prosecutors deny their case is related to WikiLeaks.


Assange’s supporters have put up a 240,000-pound (283,000-euro, 374,000-dollar) surety to ensure he does not flee the country.


He has also been electronically tagged, is subject to a curfew and must report daily to a police station near the mansion in picturesque Suffolk.


The mansion is owned by Vaughan Smith, a former army officer and journalist who founded the Frontline Club in London, which acts as WikiLeaks’ British base.


Assange has vowed the allegations against him will not stop WikiLeaks from releasing further documents.


“People like to present Wikileaks as just me and my backpack — it is not true. We’re a large organisation,” he told reporters Friday.


The latest US cables released by WikiLeaks showed that the former New Zealand Labour Party government led by Helen Clark courted China and France in an attempt to curb American and Australian influence in the Pacific.


They also indicated that Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir siphoned off nine billion dollars (6.79 billion euros) of oil money into British bank accounts.


Meanwhile, according to yet another cable, the Dalai Lama, the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, said last year the world should focus on climate change in Tibet rather than politics as environmental problems in his Himalayan homeland were more pressing.
 

Source: SGGP

WikiLeaks’ Assange free on bail, vows to clear name

In Uncategorized on December 17, 2010 at 5:26 am

LONDON (AFP) – WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange vowed to clear his name and pursue his work releasing secret documents, as he enjoyed his first day of freedom Friday after being released on bail by a British court.


“I hope to continue my work and continue to protest my innocence in this matter and to reveal as we get it — which we have not yet — the evidence from these allegations,” Assange said Thursday on the steps of the High Court where he was greeted by a media scrum.


Assange and his lawyers insist that moves to extradite him from Britain to Sweden to face questioning over allegations he sexually assaulted two women are politically motivated.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange celebrates as he prepares to address the media outside the High Court in central London. AFP

Amid a hail of camera flashes outside the London court, Assange thanked “all the people around the world who have had faith in me, who have supported my team while I have been away.”


His website has rocked Washington by releasing hundreds of classified US diplomatic cables, and his supporters have linked his detention to the massive leak.


The 39-year-old Australian arrived later at a country mansion in eastern England, where he will stay while on bail, and spoke of his joy at being released.


“It is very nice to be free for Christmas and to smell the fresh air,” he told reporters, outside the manor house which is a marked difference from the cell in London’s Wandsworth prison where he had spent the past nine days.


But he criticised his stringent bail conditions, which include wearing a security tag and being under the curfew, telling the BBC: “It is a very Orwellian situation when you are under hi-tech house arrest.”


He is staying at Ellingham Hall, a mansion on the 600-acre country estate of Vaughan Smith, an ex-British army officer who founded the Frontline Club, the media club in London that is the British base of WikiLeaks’ operations.


Assange will stay there during the ongoing extradition proceedings, which may take months.


The WikiLeaks chief also voiced fears over US attempts to pursue him, saying that he had heard rumours the United States was preparing an indictment for espionage.


“We have also heard today from one of my US lawyers, yet to be confirmed… that there may be a US indictment for espionage for me coming from a secret US grand jury investigation,” he told Sky News.


He expressed fears that the extradition proceedings to Sweden may actually be “an attempt to get me into a jurisdiction which will then make it easier to extradite me to the US.”


Swedish prosecutors have denied the case has anything to do with WikiLeaks.


Earlier Thursday, Assange’s release was delayed by several hours, apparently by haggling over the availability of the 240,000-pound (283,000-euro, 374,000-dollar) surety which has been put up by supporters including film director Michael Moore.


A senior judge had earlier rejected an appeal by lawyers working on behalf of Sweden to keep him in jail pending extradition.


Assange’s mother, Christine, and supporters including campaigning journalist John Pilger, had packed into the courtroom for the hour-and-a-half hearing along with hordes of journalists.


“I’m very, very happy with the decision. I can’t wait to see my son and to hold him close,” Christine Assange said.


Assange, a former computer hacker, was in court to hear the senior judge reject an appeal against a ruling Tuesday by a lower court that he be bailed.


Judge Duncan Ouseley rejected the prosecution’s argument that Assange was a flight risk, saying: “The court does not approach this case on the basis that this is a fugitive from justice who seeks to avoid interrogation and prosecution.”


In arguing the accusations are unfounded, Assange’s supporters cite the timing of his arrest, which coincided with the release by WikiLeaks of thousands of confidential US diplomatic cables.


The latest US cables to be released by WikiLeaks on Friday show that American officials had evidence of torture by Indian security forces and were briefed by Red Cross staff about the abuse of detainees in Kashmir.


The International Committee of the Red Cross briefed diplomats in Delhi in 2005 about the use of electrocution, beatings and sexual humiliation against detainees, according to the cables, revealed in Britain’s Guardian newspaper.

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Source: SGGP

World braces for WikiLeaks flood of US cables

In Uncategorized on November 27, 2010 at 1:50 pm

Governments around the world on Saturday braced for the release of millions of potentially embarrassing US diplomatic cables by WikiLeaks as Washington raced to contain the fallout.

A screengrab of the Wikileaks page, taken in October.

The whistle-blower website is expected to put online three million leaked cables covering US dealings and confidential views of countries including Australia, Britain, Canada, Israel, Russia and Turkey.


US diplomats skipped their Thanksgiving holiday weekend and headed to foreign ministries hoping to stave off anger over the cables, which are internal messages that often lack the niceties diplomats voice in public.


“WikiLeaks are an absolutely awful impediment to my business, which is to be able to have discussions in confidence with people. I do not understand the motivation for releasing these documents,” said James Jeffrey, the US ambassador to Iraq.


“They will not help, they will simply hurt our ability to do our work here,” he told reporters.


The top US military commander, Admiral Mike Mullen, meanwhile urged WikiLeaks to stop its “extremely dangerous” release of documents, according to a transcript of a CNN interview set to air Sunday.


State Department spokesman Philip Crowley also condemned WikiLeaks’ plans.


“It will place lives and interests at risk. It is irresponsible,” he said.


Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had contacted leaders in Germany, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Britain, France and Afghanistan over the issue, he added.


Russia’s respected Kommersant newspaper said that the documents included US diplomats’ conversations with Russian politicians and “unflattering” assessments of some of them.


Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov blamed the impending file dump on “little thieves running around the Internet,” the Interfax news agency quoted him as saying.


WikiLeaks has not specified the documents’ contents or when they would be put online, but Pentagon spokesman Colonel Dave Lapan said officials were expecting a release “late this week or early next week.”


The website has said there would be “seven times” as many secret documents as the 400,000 Iraq war logs it published last month.


Turkish media said the planned release includes papers suggesting that Ankara helped Al-Qaeda militants in Iraq and that the United States helped Iraq-based Kurdish rebels fighting against Turkey — potentially explosive revelations for the two allies.


Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Turkey did not know what the documents contained.


“This is speculation,” he said on CNN Turk. “But as a principle, tolerating or ignoring any terrorist action that originates in Turkey and targets a neighboring country, particularly Iraq, is out of the question.”


Israel has also been warned of potential embarrassment from the latest release, which could include confidential reports from the US embassy in Tel Aviv, Haaretz newspaper said, citing a senior Israeli official.


The US ambassador in Canada telephoned Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon about the leak, a ministry spokeswoman said, adding that the Canadian embassy in Washington was “engaging” with the State Department on the matter.


Italy’s Foreign Minister Franco Frattini told parliament that US diplomats informed him “that the person responsible for leaking the information has been arrested.”


The government meanwhile said that it was alarmed about “possible negative repercussions for Italy” from the release of the cables.


Officials in Australia, Britain, Denmark, Iceland, Norway and Sweden also said they had been contacted by US diplomats regarding the release.


Australia on Saturday condemned the whistle-blower website, saying the planned release could be a national security risk.


“The reckless and large-scale exposure of classified material by WikiLeaks could put at risk individuals named in these documents and harm the national security interests of the United States and its partners,” an Australian foreign affairs spokesman said.


US officials have not confirmed the source of the leaked documents, but suspicion has fallen on Bradley Manning, a former army intelligence agent.


He was arrested after the earlier release of a video showing air strikes that killed civilian reporters in Baghdad.


Wired magazine said Manning confessed to the leaks during a webchat in May. He was quoted as saying he acted out of idealism after watching Iraqi police detain men for distributing a “scholarly critique” against corruption.


WikiLeaks argues that the first two document dumps — US soldier-authored incident reports from 2004 to 2009 — shed light on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, including allegations of torture by Iraqi forces and reports that suggested 15,000 additional civilian deaths in Iraq.


WikiLeaks is the project of Australian hacker Julian Assange. Sweden recently issued an international warrant for his arrest, saying he is wanted for questioning over allegations of rape and sexual molestation.


 

Source: SGGP

WikiLeaks founder appeals Swedish arrest warrant: lawyer

In Uncategorized on November 20, 2010 at 6:13 am

Swedish court orders arrest of WikiLeaks founder for rape

In Uncategorized on November 19, 2010 at 5:57 am

US under pressure on WikiLeaks allegations

In Uncategorized on October 25, 2010 at 9:37 am

Washington on Sunday came under increasing pressure to investigate allegations in the leaked Iraq war documents published by WikiLeaks, which Britain’s deputy premier called “shocking”.


Governments and human rights organisations alike put the focus on answers to the allegations made against US, allied and Iraqi troops as the whistleblowing website released 400,000 classified US military documents.


The flood of material from 2004 to 2009 offers a grim snapshot of the conflict, especially of the abuse of Iraqi civilians by Iraqi security forces.

Iraqi soldiers from the Ministry of Defence sit along side blindfolded detainees in the back of a pick-up truck as they drive along a road in Baghdad.

The heavily redacted logs appear to show that the US military turned a blind eye to evidence of torture and abuse of civilians by the Iraqi authorities.


WikiLeaks claim the documents reveal around 15,000 more civilian deaths than were previously known about.


British Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg called the allegations “extremely serious” and said people would be wanting to hear “what the answer is”.


“We can bemoan how these leaks occurred but I think the nature of the allegations made are extraordinarily serious. They are distressing to read about,” he told BBC television.


“I’m assuming the US administration will want to provide its own answer.


“Anything that suggests that basic rules of war and conflict and of engagement have been broken, or that torture has in any way been condoned, are extremely serious and need to be looked at.


“People will want to hear what the answer is to what are very, very serious allegations of a nature which I think everybody will find quite shocking.”


There was no immediate reaction from the Barack Obama administration to the calls for an investigation, and little eagerness among Republicans to delve into the low points of a war that came to define the administration of George W. Bush.


Representative Pete Hoekstra, the ranking Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, said the document release “opens up old wounds.”


“If there is information about criminal activity, follow it up. If there is a systemic problems, follow it up,” he said on Fox television. “But let’s not create controversy where there isn’t any. There are enough problems in Iraq without going back over that ground.”


Australia joined Iraq war allies Britain and the United States in saying that the leaks could put troops’ lives at risk.


Australian Defence Minister Stephen Smith vowed a “painstaking” review of the documents.


Denmark’s military also said it would study the documents amid reports that the classified files reveal wrongdoings by Danish soldiers.


“We want to see the documents for ourselves and compare them to our own information,” Danish Defence Command spokesman Torben Kjedsen told AFP.


According to Danish media, the documents reveal how Danish troops had handed over 62 prisoners to Iraqi authorities, despite warnings they would likely face abusive treatment.

The files published Friday contain graphic accounts of torture, civilian killings and Iran’s hand in the Iraq war, documenting years of bloodshed and suffering following the 2003 US-led invasion to oust dictator Saddam Hussein.

Other reports describe Iraqis beating prisoners and women being killed at US military checkpoints.

The files also show Iran waging a shadow war with US troops in Iraq, allegedly using militias to kill and kidnap US soldiers.

Human Rights Watch said Iraq should investigate reports that its forces systematically tortured and abused detainees.

“The US government should also investigate whether its forces breached international law by transferring thousands of Iraqi detainees from US to Iraqi custody despite the clear risk of torture,” it said.

Amnesty International called on Washington to investigate how much US officials knew about the alleged abuse.

Spokesman Malcolm Smart said the leaks fuelled concerns that US authorities “committed a serious breach of international law when they summarily handed over thousands of detainees to Iraqi security forces who, they knew, were continuing to torture and abuse detainees on a truly shocking scale.”

The rights ministry in Baghdad said the logs “did not contain any surprises”.

Supporters of Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said the release was a plot to undermine his bid to stay in power following March elections.

“It is a media campaign against the state and the political process carried out by several groups like the Baathists, regional forces and the new political order,” said lawmaker Hassan al-Sinaid, who is close to Maliki.

WikiLeaks held a news conference in London on Saturday, at which the website’s founder Julian Assange defended the unauthorised release, saying it was intended to reveal the “truth” about the conflict.

“Most wars that are started by democracies involve lying,” he said.

“If there’s enough truth early on enough then perhaps we won’t see these kind of wars.”

Source: SGGP