Five bombshells from WikiLeaks' Iraq war documents

3. Grisly deaths of innocent civilians

AP Photo/
This frame grab image taken from a video shot from a US Army Apache helicopter gun-sight, posted at and confirmed as authentic by a senior US military official, shows a group of men in the streets of the New Baghdad district of eastern Baghdad just prior to being fired upon by the helicopter July 12, 2007. Among those believed to be killed in the attack was Reuters photographer Namir Noor-Eldeen, 22, and his driver Saeed Chmagh, 40.

Whether by Iraqi forces, the US Army, or private security contractors such as Blackwater, civilians were continuously subject to deadly violence.

The Guardian reports that the logs "contain a horrific dossier of cases where US troops killed innocent civilians at checkpoints, on Iraq's roads, and during raids on people's homes. The victims include dozens of women and children. The US rarely admitted their deaths publicly."

US Apache helicopters, just days after the notorious killing of two Reuters journalists, killed at least 14 more unarmed civilians in a series of "gun runs" through Baghdad, according to the Guardian.

The New York Times notes, however, that some of the leaked documents misrepresent reality. In one example, the Times shows how the Wikileaks document says 15 civilians in Haditha were killed in a bomb attack, although it was actually by shooting from American soldiers.

WikiLeaks has also provided examples of Blackwater (now rebranded as Xe) opening fire on civilians yet never being punished by the US government, according to Al Jazeera. The Iraq war employed nearly 200,000 private contractors at one point, exceeding even the US Army's presence yet with little oversight.

The Monitor's Baghdad bureau chief Jane Arraf reported in February that Iraq had ordered more than 200 current and former employees of the private security company to leave the country within four days. The move was in response to a 2007 incident when Blackwater security opened fire on a crowded square, killing 17 Iraqi civilians.

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