New leaked documents expose scope of torture, civilian killings in Iraq
Hundreds of thousands of American military documents made public on the whistleblower website WikiLeaks expose a bleak picture of the war in Iraq. The deatils are included in some 400,000 pages of secret military field reports spanning five years.
Many of the classified documents, which span from 2004 to 2009, include claims of abuse by Iraqi security forces, while others appear to show that US soldiers did nothing to stop state-sanctioned torture.
Website founder Julian Assange conveyed the files reveal a "bloodbath" in previously unseen detail. "These documents reveal six years of the Iraq war at a ground level detail -- the troops on the ground, their reports, what they were seeing, what they were saying and what they were doing," he told CNN.
"We're talking about a five times greater kill rate in Iraq, really a comparative bloodbath compared to Afghanistan."
In one report, US military personnel describe detainee abuse by Iraqis at a facility in Baghdad that is holding 95 detainees in a single room where they are "sitting cross-legged with blindfolds, all facing the same direction." It says "many of them bear marks of abuse to include cigarette burns, bruising consistent with beatings and open sores... according to one of the detainees questioned on site, 12 detainees have died of disease in recent weeks."
Other reports describe Iraqis beating prisoners and civilian women being killed at US military checkpoints.