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Pátek 24. května, 2024
Evropský rozhled

Exposing war crime is not a crime

Warning: the author of this essay is not a native English speaker

Wikileaks is not a criminal enterprise. Being kept confidential by government and other institutions, documents revealing war crimes are being collected and published by Julian Assange and his collegues on a website called Wikileaks.org. On July 25, 2010, Wikileaks published a collection of 75,000 secret U.S. military documents of the War in Afghanistan. This leak is considered to be one of the largest in U.S. military history, and reveals thousands collateral murders by coalition forces, increased Taliban attacks, or U.S. military war strategies. Together with the Collateral Murder Video that shows American soldiers killing 11 unarmed civilians including two Reuters employees in Iraq, the leakage of these two documents triggers a debate if exposing war crime on a website is a crime. Never before have we had a chance to discuss such an important topic.

The recent news reveals a large number of incidents of violence against detainees and citizens perpetrated by American soldiers. No sooner had one scandal died down, another one flared up. There are many severe cases of military violence: photos depicting the rape and the torture of an Iraqi woman by American soldiers, or revealing the truth about the torture in Abu Ghraib prison, such as a breaking chemical light and subsequently pouring phosphoric liquids on detainees, examining prisoners under pressure of sleeping deprivation.

Taken from the U.S. military helicopter in Iraq, the Collateral Murder Video shows  American soldiers killing 11 unarmed civilians, including two Reuters employees. Only one person ended in prison – Bradley Manning, the man who exposed this war crime. This 22-year old intelligence analyst with the US Army in Baghdad exposed the video on the WikiLeaks, and was accused of a capital crime. He was charged under the Uniform Code of Military Justice for transferring classified data onto his personal computer, adding unauthorized software to a classified computer system, and other „crimes“. Manning faces a prison sentence of as much as 52 years. He is also a suspect in leaking 90.000 documents about  the war in Afghanistan, and Julian Assange, who published these documents as Afghan War Diary, was charged with the espionage act and as the blood-guilty person in Afghanistan. Better would be to seize and punish the real criminals.

Assange’s litigants have the blood of thousands civilians on their hands. The real criminal enterprise bore names like Robert Gates, Mike Mullen or Marc Thiessen. The defence secretary Robert Gates is the former head of the CIA during Iran-Contra, and an overseer of combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Mike Mullen is a military commander for Iraq and Afghanistan. During the war against the terrorists, twenty thousand Afghan people and over a hundred thousand citizens in Iraq were killed as a collaretal murder, many thousands of them were children. Marc Thiessen is a former speechwriter for President George W. Bush. They label WikiLeaks as a criminal enterprise. However, WikiLeaks just exposed their war crimes. That they did, and now they had been charged with the espionage act.

The first victim of war is truth. The leaked documents helped people to understand what is actually happening. The fight against this military violence deserves the support of every righteous individual. Bradley Manning and Julian Assange fight against the violence and that they did, now they had been criminals. Lucky are those who find this truth: Exposing war crime is not a crime.