400,000 Secret Files on Iraq War Leaked; U.S. Blasts Torture Claims by Whistleblowing Website
Byline: Mail Foreign Service
THE United States suffered its largest ever leak of classified documents last night as 400,000 military reports were posted on whistleblowing website WikiLeaks. The massive disclosures purport to show that commanders failed to investigate torture and killings by Iraqi police and soldiers.
They also claim that a helicopter gunship involved in the shooting of journalists also shot insurgents after they tried to surrender, and reveal 15,000 previously unknown civilian deaths.
The leaks, due to be put online today, came under fire from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who said they could imperil the lives of U.S. and British soldiers.
Although UK troops have withdrawn from Iraq, the documents could expose operating procedures.
Mrs Clinton condemned 'in the most clear terms the disclosure of any information by individuals and or organisations which puts the lives of United States and its partners' service members and civilians at risk'.
The new leak is believed to come from the same dissident U.S. army intelligence analyst who earlier this year is alleged to have leaked a tranche of 90,000 logs chronicling bloody encounters and civilian killings in Afghanistan.
The latest reports describe abuse by the Iraqi police and soldiers of detainees and are often supported by medical evidence, The abuse includes rape, torture using electric drills, whipping with metal hoses, wire cables and chains. Some executions are also logged. The documents also reveal that under a secret military order called Frago 242, soldiers were told only abuse by Coalition forces would be investigated.
A memo reads: 'Where the alleged abuse is Iraqi on Iraqi, only an initial report will be made. …