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House to Vote on $33 Billion War Supplemental as World Reads Wikileaks

The reactions are coming in quickly to the news of the Wikileak’s Afghanistan Files – and we can expect to hear all sorts of pushback from official sources. On CNN last night, one reporter was trying to argue that the documents, as raw data, were not necessarily “true”–but CNN followed with comments on the legitimacy so far of Wikileaks releases in the past. CNN followed this with an interview of Julian Assange, who spoke of his desire to expose the “squalor of the war.”

The “raw” angle was also used by Pakistan’s ambassador in Washington, Hussein Haqqani, as he attempted to counter what DAWN calls the “Pakistan spy-insurgent links:”

Ambassador Husain Haqqani called the release of the file by web whistleblower site Wikileaks “irresponsible,” saying it consisted of “unprocessed” reports from the field.

I suspect we will be hearing the word “unprocessed” often in the coming week.

While James Jones, National Security Advisor, in his statement condemning the Wikileaks release said:

“These irresponsible leaks will not impact our ongoing commitment to deepen our partnerships with Afghanistan and Pakistan; to defeat our common enemies; and to support the aspirations of the Afghan and Pakistani people.”

it’s impossible to believe that this public disclosure of the “squalor” of our longest war will not have severe repercussions as governments and citizens around the world dig into the release materials. For example, New Zealand’s TV3 finds the accounts of their soldier’s activities “relatively inconsequential,” but they go on to note:

Mr Key will be pleased to learn New Zealand has not been caught doing anything nasty, but will not like the reminder of the kind of war the Government is supporting.

And with the discussions in the documents of the role of Pakistan, the Indian press is all over the documents. The Hindustan Times is looking at the reports that:

Polish intelligence had, a week before the 2008 Indian embassy bombing, warned of a possible Taliban attack on Indian interests in the Afghan capital with the “main goal” to show its ability to attack on every object in Kabul, according to a document leaked by whistle-blower site

The document dealing with the Indian Embassy is titled ‘Threat Report..Threat to Indian Embassy.’

The date of information is June 30, 2008, while the date of report is July 1, 2008. The organisation involved is “Taliban Center” and the Report number is 75010708.

“Taliban are planning to carry out an attack on the Indian embassy in Kabul. TB (Taliban) designated an engineer to take this action,” the document reads.

“He intends to use stolen ANA/ANP (Afghan National Army/ Afghan National Police) car, and wears stolen uniform. He speaks Dari with distinct Iranian accent. Allegedly, he is the owner of a company,” it added.

A suicide bomber rammed an explosives-laden car into the heavily fortified Indian embassy’s gates in Kabul on July 7, 2008, killing 58 people and wounding more than 140.

Along with international reactions, here at home the sordid nature of this war is likely to add to the falling popularity of Obama’s strategy. As Newsweek’s Andrew Bast, noting that the result of the leak will be new attention to the war, said:

What’s undeniable, however, is that President Obama’s administration — already staggering after firing General Stanley McChrystal and a withering war strategy — will now have to spend the entire week defending a war to an increasingly disenchanted American public.

Given that the House is due to vote this week on “$33 billion supplemental bill to escalate the war in Afghanistan,” today would be a very good time to call your representative and express your disenchantment – 202-224-3121.

The video above is a Channel 4 (UK) interview with Julian Assange made available by Real News. It is a particularly thoughtful and informative piece.

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Siun is a proud Old Town resident who shares her home with two cats and a Great Pyrenees. She’s worked in media relations and on the net since before the www, led the development of a corporate responsibility news service, and knows what a mult box is thanks to Nico. When not swimming in the Lake, she leads a team working on sustainability tools.

Email: media dot firedoglake at gmail dot com