US Slams Wikileaks Release of Iraqi War Classified DocumentsWorld | October 23, 2010, Saturday // 14:42| views
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange during his press conference in South London Saturday. A total of 400 000 new American military documents have been exposed by Wikileaks website. Photo by EPA/BGNES
Wikileaks has released almost 400 000 secret US military documents, showing American commanders ignored evidence of torture by the Iraqi authorities, BBC reports Saturday.
The army logs also imply "hundreds" of civilians were killed at US military checkpoints after the invasion in 2003 and the US kept records of civilian deaths, despite previously denying it.
The largest leak of classified documents in US history, lists death toll at 109 000, of whom 66 081 were civilians.
A US Department of Defense spokesman dismissed the documents published by Wikileaks as raw observations and snapshots of tragic, mundane events.
On allegations of abuse, he said it was policy always to report "potentially illegal abusive behavior" so action could be taken.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also condemned the disclosure and suggested the leaks put lives at risk.
At a news conference in London, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange said that those snapshots of everyday events offered a glimpse at the "human scale" of the conflict, adding he was confident that the documents - published in a heavily censored form - contain "no information that could be harmful to any individual".
Wikileaks says it expects to launch legal proceedings as a result of information contained in the documents.
The numerous documents are mostly reports written by soldiers after vicious firefights with insurgents or after a roadside bomb has gone off, or the bodies of a family have been found murdered in an abandoned factory.
The Pentagon once again asked Wikileaks to remove the documents from the web and return them to the Department of Defense.
A Pentagon representative told BBC that the leak was a "travesty" which provided enemies of the West with an "extraordinary database to figure out how we operate," pointing out the documents contained "nothing new" with regards to fundamental policy issues.
The release of the documents comes as the US military prepares to withdraw all 50,000 remaining troops from Iraq by the end of 2011.
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