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Huge classified message archive relating to Afghan war to be released by WikiLeaks


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#1 Gregory

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Posted 25 July 2010 - 1736 PM

The archive apparently includes more then 92000 intelligence reports, which paint a picture at odds with information released by both Bush and Obama administrations.

http://www.nytimes.c...?pagewanted=all
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#2 thekirk

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Posted 25 July 2010 - 1752 PM

This is the stuff that Specialist released, and was charged for releasing. Expect some massive "shocked" looks on everyone's faces, as the archive is gone over. Most of this stuff is only going to come as a surprise to people who haven't been paying attention.

One thing I've already spotted, reading the New York Times' take on this is that the media is doing it's usual piss-poor job of interpreting things. Reports that there were reports of surface-to-air missiles used in the downing of aircraft are taken at face value, and not seen as what they are--Uncorroborated initial reports. This is being spun as "OMG, the Taliban have and are using SAMs...".

At least, in the little I've seen so far, there's nothing to actually confirm that weapons are there, or being used.
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#3 Gregory

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Posted 25 July 2010 - 1903 PM

The entirety of the archive is now available at: http://www.wikileaks...iary,_2004-2010
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#4 Jussi Saari

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Posted 26 July 2010 - 0008 AM

At least, in the little I've seen so far, there's nothing to actually confirm that weapons are there, or being used.


I don't really see anything surprising in a few SA-7s or the odd remaining Stinger being found here and there. That either would actually still score a hit on anything is perhaps more of a surprise, but then wasn't the issue a matter of just one single Chinook hit and downed, and a small number of misses against other aircraft?

In any case, initial and unconfirmed reports they may be, but if a pilot says it's a MANPADS and it's observed to go after a flare when released, then 1st/2nd gen MANPADS seems a likely diagnosis, no? Can't see what else would look behave similarly and would be more likely culprit...
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#5 BLAH

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Posted 26 July 2010 - 0234 AM

RE: MANPADS

I have two videos of rebels using them in Afghanistan; one hitting an Apache (it survived), and one missing an A-10.
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#6 Archie Pellagio

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Posted 26 July 2010 - 0303 AM

In nearly a decade there are less than 200 recorded launches of manpads, 99% of the time they just carry tubes around to show off their 'super weapon' to the villagers.
Most of them are inoperable, and even less know how to use them if they were.

As for the rest of it, one of the three bullet points (hehe) the BBC listed as major was a US Army & Navy specops team tasked with hunting down insurgent leaders... :o :o :o
Real earth shattering news there folks... <_<
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#7 Exel

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Posted 26 July 2010 - 0414 AM

The archive apparently includes more then 92000 intelligence reports, which paint a picture at odds with information released by both Bush and Obama administrations.


I continue to fail to see how these revelations are at odds with anything. None of the contents surprised me in the least. If anything I was amazed at how little contradiction there is between the apparent truth and previous reporting.
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#8 EchoFiveMike

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Posted 26 July 2010 - 0433 AM

The people in charge are all Cold War era officers with attendant entrenched attitudes; they CARE about hardware and the (supposedly) highly precious pilot(it doesn't hurt that they're fellow rear echelon cake eaters and thus empathetic characters as well), thus the concern for MANPADS. They really just don't understand or give a fuck about infantrymen, who are just (easily replaced) talking monkeys with rifles. Nevermind that we now have more pilots than no shit trained and experiencedinfantrymen, not ex-tankers, MP's or cooks, etc; it's the Coldwar personalities dominating. It took YEARS to overcome this shit. In the meantime, we lost the war; we just refuse to admit it yet.

I once reported finding SA-7's at a cache site that also had 2nd gen nightvison gear (old nonfunctional PVS-4's). The hysterical HHQ(div level) asshats read this as MANPADS equipped with 2nd gen nightvision sights and damn near called off the war. I get back to the FOB and they're damned near waiting for me at the entry checkpoint. There was much high drama and comedy involved before that got sorted out. S/F......Ken M
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#9 Exel

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Posted 26 July 2010 - 0449 AM

The most hilarious part of the Guardian article:

The war logs also detail:

• How a secret "black" unit of special forces hunts down Taliban leaders for "kill or capture" without trial.


Since when did we need a trial before killing or capturing an enemy combatant in a war?
Did the media forget at some point that there is, in fact, a war going on? :huh:

Edited by Exel, 26 July 2010 - 0450 AM.

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#10 Paul G.

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Posted 26 July 2010 - 0752 AM

RE SA-7. IIRC it was thought that the Mi-17 flown by Eastern Block contractors was shot down a while back by a MANPADS.
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#11 RETAC21

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Posted 26 July 2010 - 0848 AM

They really just don't understand or give a fuck about infantrymen, who are just (easily replaced) talking monkeys with rifles.


Posted Image You meant infrantrymen really talk! I thought it was urban legend... Posted Image

The sad truth is that winning an irregular war requires measures which no Western country has stomach taking.
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#12 Archie Pellagio

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Posted 26 July 2010 - 1030 AM

The most hilarious part of the Guardian article:



Since when did we need a trial before killing or capturing an enemy combatant in a war?
Did the media forget at some point that there is, in fact, a war going on? :huh:


It should be a sporting invitation:

Dear Mr Taliban,
Could you please show up to the Tarin Kowt Courthouse at 09:30 on the 17th of July for your trial for terrorist activities.

Please RSVP at soonest convenience as your attendance is eagerly awaited.

Sincerely, ISAF.


:blush:

What do these fuqtards expect them to do? Bust in the door, give them flowers and hugs and tickle them afterwards?

Here is one of my favourite takes on the whole non-event.

http://www.cnas.org/...0/07/scoop.html

Scoop!
July 25, 2010 | Posted by Abu Muqawama - 9:58pm | 29 Comments

Here are the things I have learned thus far from the documents released via Wikileaks:

1. Elements within Pakistan's Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) support the Taliban.
2. The United States integrates direct action special operations into its counterinsurgency efforts in Afghanistan, targeting insurgent leaders through capture/kill missions.
3. Civilians have died in Afghanistan, often as the result of coalition combat operations.

I'm going to bed, but if I were to stay up late reading more, here is what I suspect I would discover:

1. "Afghanistan" has four syllables.
2. LeBron is going to the Heat.
3. D'Angelo Barksdale didn't actually commit suicide in prison. Stringer Bell had him killed.
4. Although a document dated 17 October 2004 claims the Red Sox were down 3-0 in a seven-game series with the Yankees, they actually went on to win 4-3.
5. Liberace was gay.
6. The Pathan remains wily.
7. Julian Assange is a clown.


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#13 Jussi Saari

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Posted 26 July 2010 - 1110 AM

Since when did we need a trial before killing or capturing an enemy combatant in a war?
Did the media forget at some point that there is, in fact, a war going on? :huh:


Now you just don't get it, do you? We cannot throw away concepts like fair trial just because of some minor thing like a war going on. They way soldiers are allowed to shoot the enemy without so much as charges brought against them is frankly just abhorrent and goes against every concept of justice!

Proper course of action would be to capture the offending suspected enemy combatant alive. If in a fair trial (where he has had a competent legal advisor and sufficient time to prepare to answer to the charges, of course) the suspect is found guilty of being an enemy combatant, he could be released back in the battlefield with a plaque stating "This one is guilty of enemy combatance, he or she is a fair target".

Though if he has committed his combatance under mitigating circumstances, he should only be shot at arms and legs.

And not with a very big gun.

Edited by Jussi Saari, 26 July 2010 - 1110 AM.

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#14 Guest_aevans_*

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Posted 26 July 2010 - 1117 AM

I wonder how guys like Sebastian Junger can even stand to be in the same room with their fellow journalists who've never been to the inner city, much less to an overseas combat zone...
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#15 Marek Tucan

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Posted 26 July 2010 - 1132 AM

Geez, just today our news services carried an aerticle about a secret op currently underway...:rolleyes:
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#16 Ssnake

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Posted 26 July 2010 - 1306 PM

While I agree with everything that has been said here so far, adherence to legal standards (especially the UN conventions) are not a question of reciprocality. Our nations have signed these agreements and therefore are unilaterally bound by them, irrespective of how the enemy behaves.


Of course we're all just humans, and if the enemy doesn't play along, this might influence the legal prosecution to be less enthusiastic to enfore the rules. Still, the rules apply to US, no matter what the enemy does.

That being said, it's not just ridiculous what the journos make of this, and downright dangerous to ourselves what Wikileaks does. There may be a lot of useful idiots in this bunch, but there certainly are a number of players in the scene determined to advance their agenda of weakening ourselves and our societies. It may be a legal form of treason, but the blood of the (Afghan) informers whose names are being identified by Wikileaks will be dripping off their hands. They assume direct responsibility for this. They know that the Islamists will be studying these documents, and act on the information contained therein. This in turn will seriously damage our reputation among those in Afghanistan who are willing to help us, and therefore directly undermine our efforts to come to an acceptable solution. I suspect that all that this release of documents will accomplish is to confirm that NATO and Pentagon are relatively truthful in their reporting (but the journo spin will of course emphasize divergences) while the damage to intelligence sources will be immense, maybe worse than what Ames and others did.
The Wikilieaks claims that they don't reveal anything that directly violates OpSec is ridiculous window dressing. Either they cannot fathom the amount of responsibility that comes with access to these documents, which makes them look foolish at best, or they know exactly what they are doing which would mean that they are ruthless traitors. Either way, they are extremely dangerous primarily four ourselves and I can't see much in their actions that has redeeming qualities.
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#17 JWB

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Posted 26 July 2010 - 1630 PM

The entirety of the archive is now available at: http://www.wikileaks...iary,_2004-2010

All I get is: Internet Explorer cannot display the webpage
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#18 Ssnake

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Posted 26 July 2010 - 1730 PM

Try the subdomain: http://wardiary.wikileaks.org/
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#19 crazyinsane105

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Posted 26 July 2010 - 1745 PM

The US military covered up a reported surface-to-air missile strike by the Taliban that shot down a Chinook helicopter over Helmand in 2007 and killed seven soldiers, including a British military photographer, the war logs show.

The strike on the twin-rotor helicopter shows the Taliban enjoyed sophisticated anti-aircraft capabilities earlier than previously thought, casting new light on the battle for the skies over Afghanistan.

Hundreds of files detail the efforts of insurgents, who have no aircraft, to shoot down western warplanes. The war logs detail at least 10 near-misses by missiles in four years against coalition aircraft, one while refuelling at 11,000ft and another involving a suspected Stinger missile of the kind supplied by the CIA to Afghan rebels in the 1980s.

But if American and British commanders were worried about the missile threat, they downplayed it in public – to the extent of ignoring their own pilots' testimony. The CH-47 Chinook was shot down on 30 May 2007 after dropping troops at the strategic Kajaki dam in Helmand where the British were leading an anti-Taliban drive. Witnesses reported that a missile struck the left rear engine of the aircraft, causing it to burst into flames and nosedive into the ground. All on board died, including 28-year-old Corporal Mike Gilyeat of the Royal Military Police.

Later that day Nato and US officials suggested the helicopter, codenamed Flipper, had been brought down by a rocket-propelled grenade – effectively, a lucky hit. "It's not impossible for small-arms fire to bring down a helicopter," Nato spokesman Major John Thomas told Reuters in Kabul. A US official said it had "probably been brought down by a rocket-propelled grenade [RPG]".

But US pilot logs show they were certain the missile was not an RPG and was most likely a Manpad – the military term for a shoulder-launched surface-to-air missile. "Witness statements from Chalk 3 [another aircraft] suggest Flipper was struck by Manpad," it reads.

Those fears were confirmed by two Apache attack helicopters hovering over the crash site that came under fire from more missiles, twice in 30 minutes. Both missiles missed, and the pilots subsequently reported that they were "not an RPG" but a "probable first-generation MANPAD".

"Clearly the Taliban were attempting to down an Apache after downing the CH-47," it read.

The crash and its handling highlight steadily escalating US worries amid a stream of intelligence reports, also captured in the files, that suggest the Taliban were being supplied with missiles from Iran and Pakistan.

One internal report in September 2005 warned that Taliban commanders in Zabul and Kandahar provinces had acquired missiles they called "number two Stinger", for about $1,000 (£650) each. Nine months later came the first of at least 10 near-miss reports.

In June 2006 a Black Hawk medevac helicopter came under fire 25 miles from Kandahar. The missile changed course after the American crew launched six diversionary flares. "The crew chief saw only the smoke trail due to evasive maneuvering but determined that the missile was a type of MANPAD," the subsequent report read – the second Manpad attack that month.

In June 2007, shortly after the American Chinook was shot down in Kajaki, a British Chinook had a close shave when its missile warning system activated 6,000ft over Helmand. "The crew looked out their window and observed a projectile with a white-grey tight spiral smoke trail rising from their 7 o'clock, climbing through their level and exploding 2000ft 3000ft above and 0.5-1nm [nautical miles] ahead of the aircraft," it read.

"The airburst was described as a dark grey cloud. All crew members heard a loud bang and the projectile passed within 50ft of the aircraft."

A month later a C-130 aircraft was refueling 11,000ft over Nimroz province when a crew member spotted a "bright flash" followed by a second flash 2 nautical miles away. "A corkscrew smoke trale [sic] was observed and the aircraft dispensed flares" just before projectiles streaked past the plane, read the assessment.

The anti-aircraft missile threat has a strong historical resonance in Afghanistan. CIA-supplied Stingers punched dozens of Soviet Hind helicopters from the skies in the 1980s, and were considered to have played a key role in forcing the Soviets to abandon the country in 1989.

Western worries that the phenomenon could be repeated in this war have made surface-to-air missiles a favourite topic among intelligence informers, whose unconfirmed accounts of meddling foreign powers stuff the files.

As fighting intensified in April 2007 one unidentified source told an American officer that seven Manpads purchased by Iran from Algeria had been "clandestinely transported from Mashhad in Iran across the border into Afghanistan". Other reports, also unconfirmed, accused Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence of supplying weapons or missile-trainers to the Taliban.

More concretely, the files contain first-hand accounts of Afghan tribesmen slipping into US bases offering to sell their private stock of missiles. In one instance four elders from Balkh, near Mazar-i-Sharif, arrived with a clutch of blurry photographs of missiles. "Their motivation is monetary gain," the report notes.

The Americans were particularly interested in retrieving unused Stingers from the stockpile of up to 2,000 distributed in the 1980s. One report from Jowzjan in 2005 said an Afghan intelligence chief was authorised to pay $5,000 for older SA-7 missiles and $15,000 for a Stinger. "The NDS [National Directorate of Security] had been ordered to buy all they can acquire, to stop them falling into OMF [opposing military force] hands," it says.

Military experts say many Stingers may no longer be operational – due to drained batteries, for instance – but on at least one occasion US troops feared they were under fire from their own weapons. A Black Hawk helicopter leaving an airbase in Paktika province in July 2007 came under fire from two missiles that crew members believed were Stingers. It was a "probable Stinger due to flight characteristics, the smoke trail going straight up, then turn towards aircraft and lack of cork screws".

The assessment was provided by a crew member who said he had previously operated the Stinger system. It is not recorded whether his assessment was later confirmed.

Another eye-catching intelligence report from January 2009 says an Iranian agent, Hussein Razza, had arrived in Marjah in Helmand carrying four Stingers. There have been no reports since of aircraft being shot down in Marjah, where British and American troops launched a major offensive last February.

But for all the worries about Manpads and Stingers, the Taliban's most potent weapon against US aircraft was a carefully aimed RPG. In June 2005 a Taliban rocket shot down a Chinook in Kunar, killing all 16 special forces troops on board. Another RPG strike in 2007 forced a Black Hawk in Wardak province to crash-land.

As fighting surged in the runup to the last election in August 2009, one report noted 32 RPG attacks against aircraft across Afghanistan in the previous month. "RPGs remain the most lethal weapon system used in theatre, accounting for the majority of A/C [aircraft] losses," it said.

But some missile attacks remained a mystery. In August 2007 two Harrier jets flying at 270mph were circling a target when "an unidentified rocket" passed between them, leaving a thick smoke trail that soared above 21,000ft and took three minutes to dissipate. Task Force Pegasus, the US army aviation command, was puzzled. "The signature reported by the crew does not match any known weapon in Afghanistan. Every MANPAD and known rockets burn out at half the height reported by the crew."

http://www.guardian....-strike-chinook

Edited by crazyinsane105, 26 July 2010 - 1746 PM.

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#20 glenn239

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Posted 26 July 2010 - 1803 PM

From these documents it looks like Pakistan is heavily supporting the Taliban.
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