The War Crimes That Assange and WikiLeaks Exposed
In 2010, U.S. Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning provided WikiLeaks with documents containing evidence of U.S. war crimes. They included the “Iraq War Logs,” which were 400,000 field reports describing 15,000 unreported deaths of Iraqi civilians, as well as systematic rape, torture and murder after U.S. forces “handed over detainees to a notorious Iraqi torture squad.” They contained the “Afghan War Diary,” 90,000 reports of more civilian casualties by coalition forces than the U.S. military had reported. And they also included the “Guantánamo Files” — 779 secret reports with evidence that 150 innocent people had been held at Guantánamo Bay for years, and 800 men and boys had been tortured and abused, which violated the Geneva Conventions and the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.
Manning also furnished WikiLeaks with the notorious 2007 “Collateral Murder Video,” which shows a U.S. Army Apache attack helicopter targeting and killing 11 unarmed civilians, including two Reuters journalists, as well as a man who came to rescue the wounded. Two children were injured. The video reveals evidence of three violations of the Geneva Conventions and the U.S. Army Field Manual.
This is the first time a publisher has been prosecuted under the Espionage Act for disclosing government secrets. In December 2022, The New York Times, The Guardian, Le Monde, El País and Der Spiegel signed a joint open letter calling on the U.S. government to dismiss the Espionage Act charges against Assange for publishing classified military and diplomatic secrets. “Publishing is not a crime,” the letter says. “This indictment sets a dangerous precedent, and threatens to undermine America’s First Amendment and the freedom of the press.”
[If the media had made this argument years ago and stayed on it before the government set the official narrative in stone, Assange would be a free man giving us more truth in place of government lies. But the media totally failed in its responsibility to protect the 1st Amendment.]