WikiLeaks Files Shine Light on U.S. Accountability for Torture in Iraq

This article first appeared in Revolution.

The files WikiLeaks released in late November reveal beyond doubt that the U.S. military in Iraq and the U.S.-controlled Iraqi army were given an official green light for the systematic use of torture, as well the cover up of those war crimes.

"Frago" ("fragmentary order") is a U.S. military term for a concise summation of longer orders. Frago 242, issued in July 2004, directed U.S. forces not to investigate any breaches of "military conduct" unless U.S. troops and those of its "coalition" were "directly involved." Frago 242 said that if an Iraqi detained by the U.S. or coalition troops was abused by another Iraqi, then "only an initial report will be made ... no further investigation will be required unless directed by headquarters."


Columbia j-school staff: WikiLeaks prosecution ‘will set a dangerous precedent’

Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism faculty and officers tell President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder that “while we hold varying opinions of Wikileaks’ methods and decisions, we all believe that in publishing diplomatic cables Wikileaks is engaging in journalistic activity protected by the First Amendment” and that “as a historical matter, government overreaction to publication of leaked material in the press has always been more damaging to American democracy than the leaks themselves.” -

December 13, 2010

Dear Mr. President and General Holder:
As faculty members and officers of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, we are concerned by recent reports that the Department of Justice is considering criminal charges against Julian Assange or others associated with Wikileaks.


What Wikileaks Revealed to the World in 2010

By Glenn Greenwald 

Throughout this year I've devoted substantial attention to WikiLeaks, particularly in the last four weeks as calls for its destruction intensified. 
To understand why I've done so, and to see what motivates the increasing devotion of the U.S. Government and those influenced by it to destroying that organization, it's well worth reviewing exactly what WikiLeaks exposed to the world just in the last year:  the breadth of the corruption, deceit, brutality and criminality on the part of the world's most powerful factions.


War Crimes Byte

Wikileaks sticker orange

By Debra Sweet

One of the important developments in 2010 is that Wikileaks published information which revealed U.S. war crimes and the diplomatic operations of the U.S government.  Instead of prosecuting officials responsible for these crimes, the U.S. government has unleashed a series of vicious attacks on Wikileaks.

The Obama administration is attempting to re-write laws in order to silence Wikileaks.  Assange’s life is threatened in the national media. The U.S. military and State Department has banned personnel from reading these documents. Paypal, Visa, Mastercard and Bank of America ban people from donating to Wikileaks.  But people are resisting such bans. Columbia Journalism professors protested Columbia's ban, and it was rescinded! 

Do people need to know that the U.S. military killed 68 people, including 21 children, in one airstrike in Yemen, a country the U.S. isn’t even at war with? Do they need to know that the U.S. is working with the Pakistani government to wage drone strikes on civilian populations in order to dominate that region?

We say YES!


Supporters Call for End to Inhumane Treatment of Bradley Manning


Mike Gogulski
Bradley Manning Support Network
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Quantico, VA, December 22, 2010 – After trying other avenues of recourse, the Bradley Manning Support Network is urging supporters to engage in direct protest in order to halt the punitive conditions of the soldier’s detention. Bradley Manning, 23, has been held in solitary confinement in military jails since his arrest in late May on allegations that he passed classified material to WikiLeaks.


Is Bradley Manning Being Held as Some Sort of “Enemy Combatant”?

By Andy Worthington   Bradley Manning

In disturbing reports from the US, it appears that Private First Class Bradley Manning, the former intelligence analyst accused of leaking the Afghan and Iraqi war logs, the US diplomatic cables and the “Collateral Damage” video, which have dominated headlines globally since WikiLeaks began making them available in April this year, is being held in conditions that bear a marked and chilling resemblance to the conditions in which a handful of US citizens and residents were held as “enemy combatants” under the Bush administration.

Manning, whose 23rd birthday was on Friday, has been held in solitary confinement for seven months since he was seized in Kuwait, where he was held for the first two months prior to his transfer to a military prison in Quantico, Virginia.  According to David House, a computer researcher from Boston who visits him twice a month, his “prolonged confinement in a solitary holding cell … is unquestionably taking its toll on his intellect.” House explained how Manning “was no longer the characteristically brilliant man he had been, despite efforts to keep him intellectually engaged.”


Tolstoy, and the Torture of Bradley Manning; an Ancient Voice Raised Against a Modern Evil

By Chris Floyd

More than a century ago, an aging man, staring his own death in the face, spoke the truth of our times:

Again war. Again sufferings, necessary to nobody, utterly uncalled for. Again fraud, again the universal stupefaction and brutalization of men.


What Wikileaks Reveals: Cables, Lies & Murder

WikileaksBy Larry Everest

Beginning on Sunday, November 28, Wikileaks ( began publishing batches of 251,287 secret State Department diplomatic cables from 274 U.S. embassies and consulates around the world—the largest batch of secret government documents ever made public. These documents had been leaked to Wikileaks, a website dedicated to government transparency. Wikileaks aims to release all the cables, which date from 1966 to February 2010 (with most from the past three years), in stages over the next several months. This follows Wikileaks' releases of secret documents on the U.S. wars in Afghanistan in July and Iraq in October.


Truth-Tellers and People of Conscience vs. the War Machine

Daniel Ellsberg

Daniel Ellsberg, arrested at the White House yesterday. Ellsberg was quoted as saying about WikiLeaks, "I think they provided a very valuable service. To call them terrorists is not only mistaken, it's absurd."

By Debra Sweet

As the Obama administration issued its "Afghanistan Progress Review" yesterday, announcing plans for even more drone bombings in Pakistan and even floated out the possibility of a ground invasion as well, and Congress debated amending the Espionage Act to go after Wikileaks and its sources, 250 of us gathered outside the White House to say "Stop These Wars!" Some 130 people were arrested and cited for standing along the White House fence, including many Veterans for Peace members, former CIA analyst Ray McGovern, Pentagon Papers-leaker Daniel Ellsberg, and writer Chris Hedges. 


Spooky Action at a Distance: The Strangulators of Truth Strike Again

By Chris Floyd 

At 3:25 p.m. on Tuesday, a UK judge reverses an earlier court decision and granted bail to Julian Assange, who is being held in a British prison on a warrant for "sexual misconduct" charges in Sweden. The bail is attached with heavy conditions, including the demand for a large wad of cash upfront, a daily curfew (which will keep Assange off the prime-time news), and the requirement of wearing an electric tag.

The ruling does not free Assange, however; he is sent back to jail pending the gathering of the cash, and pending a decision by Swedish authorities to appeal the bail ruling.

At 4:18 p.m., outside the courtroom, film director Ken Loach, one of the many people putting up money for Assange's case, makes this comment:

Clearly, if the Swedish government opposes bail it will show there is some vindictiveness beyond this case. It will show there is some political element that goes beyond the case.

Indeed. At this writing, it is not believed that Sweden has never pursued anyone so zealously (if at all) through the international criminal justice system on a charge of 'sexual misconduct' (not rape).



World Can't Wait mobilizes people living in the United States to stand up and stop war on the world, repression and torture carried out by the US government. We take action, regardless of which political party holds power, to expose the crimes of our government, from war crimes to systematic mass incarceration, and to put humanity and the planet first.