5 WikiLeaks Hits of 2011 That Are Turning the World on Its Head -- And That the Media Are Ignoring
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Glenn Greenwald says they shed new light on the persecution of Al Jazeera cameraman Sami al-Hajj , who was caged at the camp "for more than six years and then abruptly released without ever being charged,” an injustice he has written about on multiple occasions. Al-Hajj’s crime was working for Al Jazeera. It was also revealed by The Guardian that "almost 100 of the inmates sent to Guantanamo were listed by their captors as having had depressive or psychotic illnesses ." Many went on hunger strikes or attempted suicide. Officials in charge also found it appropriate to detain children and old men, including an 89-year-old Afghan villager suffering from senile dementia, and a 14-year-old boy who had been an innocent kidnap victim.
The Guardian also revealed that authorities heavily used unreliable evidence "obtained from a small number of detainees under torture" to justify due-process free detentions. “They continued to maintain this testimony was reliable even after admitting that the prisoners who provided it had been mistreated." Despite President Obama's promise to close it, the shameful, legal black hole that is Guantanamo is still open for business: 172 detainees remain imprisoned at Guantanamo, about 50 of whom are being subjected to indefinite detention .
3) US allies are among the leading funders of international terrorism. Following the secret raid on Osama bin Laden's compound, WikiLeaks released the Pakistan Papers , a batch of previously secret State Department cables specifically dealing with the US relationship with Pakistan. The cables were published in Dawn, an outlet Al Jazeera describes as “Pakistan's oldest and most widely read English-language newspaper.”
The documents expose the complicity of senior Pakistani officials in US drone strikes that have maimed and killed hundreds of innocent civilians, including children. A cable from late 2009 reveals Pakistani officials actively encouraging the bombing missions.
Despite longstanding denials, the documents disclose that the US has been conducting special ops inside Pakistan and taking part in joint operations with the Pakistanis since 2009.
The most disturbing, though not surprising, reports show that the Saudis, our supposed allies, are among the leading funders of international terrorism. It appears Saudi Arabia and the UAE have been financing jihadist groups in Pakistan for years. A cable written in 2008 by Bryan Hunt of the U.S. consulate in Lahore, Pakistan, reads: “financial support estimated at nearly 100 million USD annually was making its way to Deobandi and Ahl-i-Hadith clerics in south Punjab from organisations in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates ostensibly with the direct support of those governments.” The Dawn Article reports that Hunt outlines the process of recruitment for militancy in the cable, describing how “families with multiple children” and “severe financial difficulties” were exploited for recruitment purposes. “The cable details the recruitment of children, who are given age-specific indoctrination and would eventually be trained according to the madrassah teachers’ assessment of their inclination “to engage in violence and acceptance of jihadi culture” versus their value as promoters of Deobandi or Ahl-i-Hadith sects or recruiters.”
Recruits “chosen for jihad” would then be taken to “more sophisticated indoctrination camps, after which “youths were generally sent on to more established training camps in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and then on to jihad either in FATA, NWFP, or as suicide bombers in settled areas."
Therefore, the US government, well aware for years of Saudi Arabia's disgusting exploitation of children, has remained a steadfast ally of the world's biggest financier of terrorism.
4) World leaders are practically lighting a fire under the Arctic. As Secretary of State Hilary Clinton met with the Arctic Council last month to discuss oil exploration, WikiLeaks, with impeccable timing, published a new trove of cables highlighting a race to carve up the Arctic for resource exploitation. Nations battling to poison the arctic with oil drilling include Canada, the US, Russia, Norway, Denmark, and perhaps even China, which all have competing claims to the Arctic.