Five bombshells from WikiLeaks' Iraq war documents

2. Secret death counts

Bilal Fawzi/AP
Relatives and friends Mourn during a funeral procession for people killed in a raid in Fallujah west of Baghdad on Sept. 16, 2010. US and Iraqi forces launched a raid on the former insurgent stronghold, killing at least six people in the second incident that week despite the official end of US combat.

While American and British officials have long denied any official record of civilian deaths, the WikiLeaks documents reveal an official record of 66,081 noncombatant deaths out of a total of 109,000 fatalities from Jan. 1, 2004, to Dec. 31, 2009.

According to The New York Times, which also had early access to the WikiLeaks files, the death count appears to be greater than the numbers made public by the United States during the Bush administration. It falls roughly in line with independent estimates by Iraq Body Count, which was repeatedly discredited by the Bush administration.

According to The Guardian, another news organization with early access to the files, Public Interest Lawyers is looking to use the WikiLeaks material "in court to try to force the UK to hold a public inquiry into the unlawful killing of Iraqi civilians."

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