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Jul-25-2010 20:36printcommentsVideo

Wikileaks Releases 'The Afghan War Diary'

We hope the impact will lead to a comprehensive understanding of the war in Afghanistan and modern warfare in general. - Wikileaks

Mazar e Sharif, Afghanistan
Mazar e Sharif was recaptured by the Afghan Northern Alliance in November 2001, with help from the U. S. Special Operations Forces. Around 2,000 Taliban fighters who surrendered were reportedly massacred by the Northern Alliance after the battle, and reports also place U.S. troops at the scene of the massacre. photo by Tim King

(SALEM, Ore.) - WikiLeaks has done it again; over 90,000 documents from the war in Afghanistan have been released to the public. Wikileaks called, The Afghan War Diary (AWD), "An extraordinary compendium of over 91,000 reports covering the war in Afghanistan from 2004 to 2010.

"The reports, while written by soldiers and intelligence officers mainly describing lethal military actions involving the United States military, also include intelligence information, reports of meetings with political figures, and related detail."

Wikileaks released footage of an Apache helicopter attack on a group of unarmed Iraqi civilian journalists in April, that showed the U.S. Army absolutely decimating a group of eight, with apparent enthusiasm, and a desire to lay waste to the people on the ground. The helicopter crew continually asked for permission to attack the people, who were in no way acting a like a military force.

The journalists had no reason to suspect that an American helicopter would actually attack and leave them all dead. The Apache crew fired at the wounded and chuckled over the results, while insulting the dead as they lay on the ground[1].

That was followed by the helicopter attacking a mini van with two small children in the front seat, positioned in what appears to be in clear view of the attacking helicopter crew.

The van had arrived to evacuate the injured journalists. The attack on the van left several more Iraqi citizens dead in the road and scattered in the area.

After the attack, a U.S. Army HUMVEE arriving on the scene drove over the body of at least one journalist.

The American voices seem to find that aspect humorous, over the radio.

The children somehow were not killed in the initial attack, and an American soldier is seen running a child to a medical crew, only to be told they will not treat the children injured in the U.S. gunship attack, and they would have to wait for the Iraqi Army to arrive and transport them.

The Afghan document collection will shortly be available on a dedicated webpage.

According to Wikileaks:

The Afghan War Diaries is the most significant archive about the reality of war to have ever been released during the course of a war. The deaths of tens of thousands is normally only a statistic but this archive reveals locations and key events behind each of these individual deaths. We hope the impact will lead to a comprehensive understanding of the war in Afghanistan and modern warfare in general.

These reports have been primarily written by soldiers and intelligence officers listening to reports radioed in from front line deployments. However the reports also contain related information from Marines intelligence, US Embassies, and reports about corruption and development activity across Afghanistan.

Each report consists of the time and precise geographic location of an event that the US Army considers significant. It includes several additional standardized fields: The broad type of the event (combat, non-combat, propaganda, etc.); the category of the event as classified by US Forces, how many were detained, wounded, and killed from civilian, allied, host nation, and enemy forces; the name of the reporting unit and a number of other fields, the most significant of which is the summary - This is an English language description of the events that are covered in the report.

The Afghan War Diaries is available on the web and can be viewed in chronological order by over 100 categories, which were assigned by the US Forces such as: escalation of force, friendly fire, development meeting reports, etc. The reports can also be viewed by "severity", where severity is proportionate to the number of people killed, injured or detained. All the incidents have been placed onto a map of Afghanistan and can be viewed on Google Earth limited to a particular window of time and place. In this way, events of nearly the entire war may be seen.

The Afghan War Diaries show how cover-ups start on the ground. When reporting their own activities US Units are inclined to classify civilian kills as insurgent kills, downplay the number of people killed or otherwise make excuses for themselves. When they report on other US Military Units they are more likely to be truthful but still provide excuses. Conversely, when reporting on the actions of non-US ISAF forces they tend to be frank or critical and when reporting on the Taliban or other rebel groups, bad behavior is described in comprehensive detail. The behavior of the Afghan Army and Afghan authorities are also revealed.

These reports cover most units from the US Army with the exception of most US Special Forces activities. The reports do not generally cover top-secret operations or European and other ISAF Forces operations. However when a combined operation involving regular US Military occurs, say with US Special Forces, other ISAF Forces or the CIA occurs the details are often reported. For example a number of bloody operations carried out by Task Force 373, a previously secret US Special Forces assassination unit, are exposed in the Diary -- including a raid that lead to the death of seven children.

This archive shows the vast range of small tragedies that are almost never reported by the press but which account for the overwhelming majority of deaths and injuries resulting from the war.

Wikileaks has delayed the release of approximately 15,000 reports from the total archive. They say it is part of a "harm minimization process" demanded by their own source.

They do intend to release the reports after further review with occasional redactions. Later information will be published in full, as the security situation in Afghanistan permits.

The data is provided in CSV and SQL formats, sorted by months, and also was rendered into KML mapping data.

We believe whisteleblowers are the strongest and bravest advocates for change in existence, and without them the status quo and all of its unchecked wrongdoings escape the light of scrutiny, and the individuals responsible for illegal activity go on hurting others.

I don't say this often, but the government of the United States of America is as corrupt and wrong as any that has ever existed, whether Americans themselves can appreciate that or not. We have broken the world in ways that can never be mended and when we aren't doing it militarily, we are behind environmental devastation, economic depression; you name it. Capitalism as a concept has run a bad course and western people leading sheltered lives have no idea what on earth they have been paying for. Thanks to groups like this, the truth does come forward. The importance of that can never be underestimated.

Further information
United States
Military or intelligence (ruling)
Central Command
Primary language
[1] Apr-05-2010: Group Forces Release of Video Showing Bloody Collateral Attack on Reuter's Crew in Iraq - Tim King

Tim King is a former U.S. Marine with twenty years of experience on the west coast as a television news producer, photojournalist, reporter and assignment editor. In addition to his role as a war correspondent, this Los Angeles native serves as's Executive News Editor. Tim spent the winter of 2006/07 covering the war in Afghanistan, and he was in Iraq over the summer of 2008, reporting from the war while embedded with both the U.S. Army and the Marines.

Tim holds numerous awards for reporting, photography, writing and editing, including the Oregon AP Award for Spot News Photographer of the Year (2004), first place Electronic Media Award in Spot News, Las Vegas, (1998), Oregon AP Cooperation Award (1991); and several others including the 2005 Red Cross Good Neighborhood Award for reporting. Serving the community in very real terms, is the nation's only truly independent high traffic news Website. You can send Tim an email at this address:

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Army Guy August 4, 2010 10:07 am (Pacific time)

I am left to wonder how long you were a Marine and wether or not you were ever involved in actual combat. Have you seen your friends maimed or killed while trying to feed orphans? If I perceive a threat to any of my fellow Servicemembers I will eliminate it. If Death comes for someone and I can choose who he will take, I choose the enemy or those by all appearances and available information are the enemy. The fact that propaganda works both ways is lost on you. I have seen firsthand that women and children are deliberately sent to die so clowns like you can Monday Morning Quarterback. Are there actions that need to be scrutinized? Are there American Servicemembers breaking the law? I would be stupid to think it does not happen. Welcome to war. It is the ugliest tool man has ever devised. We must follow the "rules" to the best of our ability and hold accountable those that blatantly disregard them. We also must allow for error in "gray areas". I saw no markings on the white van to identify it as either an ambulance or journalist's van. The fog of war is real and during such fog perception and reality can become warped in even the most lucid minds. If any of your readers or the clown from Wikileaks truly wants to understand war, I invite them to suit up, raise their right hand and keep their weapon unloaded on "safe" until small arms fire is peppering the crap out of their gaurd position.
God Bless.

Tim King: Don't Army guys who criticize others have names they can use?  You are somebody who chose to be placed in a position where you have to kill people.  First, let's remember that.  Everybody and their uncle knows these are a pair of wars that aren't exactly on the verge of being won, in fact quite the opposite.  There is a history of losing wars in the US, you could have considered that.  Most people writing about these wars haven't been in a combat zone; I have been to both theaters and I have been on many operations.  And what I learned in Iraq is that families are allowed to keep a single AK-47.  That being the case, how did the tripod lead to a death sentence?  You guys have the power to play God and you take it and run with it.  This story is not My Lai, not that bad, but it was a blatant slaughter with all the advantage in the world.  It truly makes me sick and it makes others sick.  You guys had no damned business even being in that country, let alone doing that kind of work.  Nope.  I didn't state in this article that the Taliban are not worse at all times, but that doesn't excuse illegal behavior.  Begging for permission to fire like that?  Come on.  

Joden, a NW resident August 1, 2010 11:38 pm (Pacific time)

Regarding Robert Gates' allegation that people will die as a result of the WikiLeaks--are we to believe that no one has been dying, no one is dying at the moment, and no one would die in the near and distant future had there been no WikiLeaks. There's nothing heroic about killing. The genuine heroes are those with courage to tell the truth. Tim King, I'm so glad to have found your excellent writing, and looking forward to reading more from you!

Gosh July 28, 2010 7:51 am (Pacific time)

Have any of you thought about how many innocent Afghan's are about to be hunted down and killed? Do you recall all the false charges about our military in Iraq and their eventual aqquital? Do you also realize that this release of files was orchestrated by Obama's people (he's too stupid to think about it himself) for political reasons? I'm sure many of you out there are so anti-military and anti-authority that you just love this absurd document release. Well the day may come when things get real violent, becuase of the radical muslims here, and you will not be able to protect yourselves. You are ignorant fools, about to get a dose of reality.

Editor: I think you have radical Muslims in your head and that you are far more dangerous than any Islamic person. 

Anonymous July 27, 2010 5:02 pm (Pacific time)

This is a new twist to this subject...We really have to be aware these days..much propaganda. I have yet to really approve of this article, but, thru past history, it is something to think about.

Anonymous July 27, 2010 10:37 am (Pacific time)

I agree with your assessment Mr. King. I wonder tho, should we blame capitalism? If I am correct, capitalism is more free market, but with state regulations overseeing all is done proper. From my research, it was the state regulators turning a blind eye to corruption that caused all the economic problems. So, should we not blame the state regulators? Should we not have prison sentences for those regulators, and the businesses that broke regulations? The reason I bring it up, is without capitalism, what will we become? Fascists? Nationalize/federalize like Chavez is doing? It seems to me, that it is the corruption in DC, not capitalism. This is a tough subject huh?

Bob July 26, 2010 12:34 pm (Pacific time)

As usual, an excellent summary report of the Wikileaks Releases. My own view is that if the military draft was still in effect, our government would be under intense pressure to end of the war. Even with a total voluntary military, we can't continue to kill innocent civilians as reported in the Wikileaks Releases and not expect any repercussions. Keep up the excellent reporting. Semper Fi.

ARAM July 26, 2010 11:04 am (Pacific time)

Dear Mr. King You are the real king and one of my heros. thanks for simple writings, Navy style. Americans as well as others benefit from your none idiological and same time speaking about universal Human rights these killing are bad because it is Murdur AND racist, not because its unwinable or custs too much money. thank you

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