In the UK an officer is arrested for disclosing civilian death statistics to Human Rights Watch. Remember the good old days when Human Rights watch was the enemy of a few Central American dictatorships and countries that were on the other side of the Iron Curtain?
A confidential NATO report from January reveals that civilian deaths from the war in Afghanistan have increased by 46% over the past year.
The disclosure follows the unrelated arrest of Colonel Owen McNally earlier this month for passing older civilian death toll figures to Human Rights Watch analyst and former BBC radio reporter Rachel Reid. Human Rights Watch published a report based around that data, which covered 2006-2007, last September.
The London Times, stated that American military officials were “seething” over the leaks.
A UK Ministry of Defence source reportedly told the Daily Mail:
- “What McNally passed on will not cost lives in the sense that it doesn’t give specific military details. But the whole point of defeating the Taliban is winning hearts and minds and stopping the population joining their cause. If they think we’re lying to them, it could become a very dangerous place. This has caused a diplomatic row and the Americans are not happy at all.”
Wikileaks legal spokesperson Jay Lim stated “We deplore the arrest of Colonel McNally for revealing civilian death figures. It is clear that Col. McNally’s actions are of the highest moral calibre. His example has encouraged others to step forward.”
Of if you want the report here it is: http://wikileaks.org/leak/nato-afghan-metrics-2008.pdf
Oh, and if you want evidence that American military officials were actually seething over the leaks look here: