Monday, October 25, 2010

Daniel Ellsberg On The New Wikileaks Release

I've been paying a sort of half attention to this... my basic feeling, as I've said before, is that if you've been paying attention, there's not really anything new here. But I found this perspective, by Daniel Ellsberg (of The Pentagon Papers fame) in The Guardian startling, and an important way to think about the importance of the documentation.
Now we know that the Pentagon, which claimed in the early years of the Iraq invasion either that it didn't count casualties or that it had no evidence of them, was indeed keeping meticulous records all along. It has reports of 66,000 civilian casualties – 15,000 of which were completely unknown to Iraq Body Count, the only public attempt to log the war's victims. That means 15,000 deaths that never made any news report – five times the number murdered on 9/11. It certainly would be news if they were American or British deaths. That's 15,000 families who've suffered huge anguish and who may potentially have been motivated to seek revenge against American or allied troops. For the Pentagon to lie or try to hide this kind of carnage can only be self-defeating.
The previously unknown victims outnumber the dead of 9/11 by five to one.

Flowers and candy, ya youbetcha.

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