We know that President Barack Obama has announced that all American troops serving in Iraq will be coming home in time for the holidays, but do we really know why?
More importantly, do we know who is responsible for ending this lost cause of a war? We might now.
It was reported that U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said any deal to keep U.S. troops in Iraq beyond the withdrawal deadline would require a guarantee of legal protection.
The Iraqis refused to agree to that, however, which meant that American soldiers could be tried in Iraqi courts and subjected to Iraqi punishment if they stayed.
Why did Iraq hesitate to grant legal protection to American soldiers? It seems that the Iraqis were less than pleased with a diplomatic cable that was released by WikiLeaks alleging that Iraqi civilians, including children, were massacred in a 2006 raid by U.S. troops (rather than in an airstrike as the U.S. military initially reported).
That cable – released in May, 2011 – reveals that U.S. troops may have executed at least 10 Iraqi civilians, including a woman in her 70s and a 5-month-old infant, then called in an airstrike to destroy the evidence during a 2006 raid incident in the central Iraqi town of Ishaqi.
The cable verifies the claims of the doctor who performed the autopsies, who said “that all the victims had bullet shots in the head and all bodies were handcuffed.”
The cable notes that “at least 10 persons, namely Faiz Hratt Khalaf, (aged 28), his wife Sumay’ya Abdul Razzaq Khuther (aged 24), their three children Hawra’a (aged 5) Aisha (aged 3) and Husam (5 months old), Faiz’s mother Turkiya Majeed Ali (aged 74), Faiz’s sister (name unknown), Faiz’s nieces Asma’a Yousif Ma’arouf (aged 5 years old), and Usama Yousif Ma’arouf (aged 3 years), and a visiting relative Iqtisad Hameed Mehdi (aged 23) were killed during the raid.”
The U.S. then lied and claimed the civilians were killed by the subsequent airstrike.
“In other words, whoever leaked that cable cast light on a heinous American war crime and, by doing so, likely played some significant role in thwarting an agreement between the Obama and Maliki governments to keep U.S. troops in Iraq and thus helped end this stage of the Iraq war…”
The person accused of accomplishing this feat, Bradley Manning, has been imprisoned for over a year now without a trial, and, if convicted, is certain to stay locked up for many more years to come.
According to chat logs produced by Wired, Manning’s goal in leaking those cables was “hopefully worldwide discussion, debates, and reforms…i want people to see the truth…regardless of who they are…because without information, you cannot make informed decisions as a public.”
It would seem that Manning’s goal has been accomplished. War over.