Russia and the Middle East
Mon, 21 june 2021Mon
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Wikileaks defends its Iraq abuse claims publication

US combat troops may have left Iraq, but the seven-year conflict which rocked the country continues to make headlines. The founder of the whistleblowing website Wikileaks has defended the publication of almost 400,000 classified US documents. They suggest that officials turned a blind eye to evidence of the torture and abuse of detainees.

Julian Assange told a press conference the documents were evidence that war crimes were committed and then covered up. He said: We hope to correct some of that attack on the truth that occurred before the war, during the war and which has continued since the war officially ended. The Pentagon has dismissed the files as ground level field reports containing no surprises. It says the leak puts the lives of US troops and Iraqi collaborators at risk.

People living in Baghdad have not been shocked by the revelations. We lived this, it was real life for us during the war and after, one Iraqi man said. Iraq has faded from the US public debate in recent years but this latest document dump threatens to bring it back. Release of the files the largest security breach in US military history threatens to revive memories of its darkest hours.