Wikileaks – Pride and Prejudice

While the newest wave of documents leaks out through media, I thought I would look more at the last batch. A torrent took only a few minutes to bring in the goods and I left the torrent run to give back some bandwidth. The previous “war logs”, redacted heavily, are

If you are not familiar with MySQL, I will give a summary of what is required to use the SQL version. The spreadsheet is huge and needs lots of space. For the SQL version, you need a server or PC running MySQL or other SQL database. On Debian GNU/Linux:

  • apt-get install mysql-server-5.1 on Squeeze (5.0 on Lenny)
  • mysql -u root -p
  • create database warlogs;grant all privileges on warlogs.* to someuser@localhost identified by ‘somepassword’;quit;
  • mysql -u someuser -p < iraq-war-diary-redacted.mysql

Logging in and exploring reveals:
mysql -u someuser -p warlogs

mysql> show tables;
+————————+
| Tables_in_warlogs |
+————————+
| redacted_war_diary_irq |
+————————+
1 row in set (0.00 sec)

mysql> describe redacted_war_diary_irq;
+—————–+———–+——+—–+———+—————-+
| Field | Type | Null | Key | Default | Extra |
+—————–+———–+——+—–+———+—————-+
| id | int(11) | NO | PRI | NULL | auto_increment |
| url | char(22) | NO | | | |
| reportkey | char(255) | NO | MUL | | |
| date | datetime | YES | MUL | NULL | |
| type | char(255) | YES | MUL | NULL | |
| category | char(255) | YES | MUL | NULL | |
| trackingnumber | char(255) | YES | MUL | NULL | |
| title | text | YES | | NULL | |
| summary | text | YES | | NULL | |
| region | char(255) | YES | MUL | NULL | |
| attackon | char(255) | YES | MUL | NULL | |
| complexattack | char(255) | YES | MUL | NULL | |
| reportingunit | char(255) | YES | MUL | NULL | |
| unitname | char(255) | YES | MUL | NULL | |
| typeofunit | char(255) | YES | MUL | NULL | |
| friendlywia | int(10) | YES | MUL | NULL | |
| friendlykia | int(10) | YES | MUL | NULL | |
| hostnationwia | int(10) | YES | MUL | NULL | |
| hostnationkia | int(10) | YES | MUL | NULL | |
| civilianwia | int(10) | YES | MUL | NULL | |
| civiliankia | int(10) | YES | MUL | NULL | |
| enemywia | int(10) | YES | MUL | NULL | |
| enemykia | int(10) | YES | MUL | NULL | |
| enemydetained | int(10) | YES | MUL | NULL | |
| mgrs | char(255) | YES | MUL | NULL | |
| latitude | char(8) | NO | MUL | | |
| longitude | char(8) | NO | MUL | | |
| originatorgroup | char(255) | YES | MUL | NULL | |
| updatedbygroup | char(255) | YES | MUL | NULL | |
| ccir | char(255) | YES | MUL | NULL | |
| sigact | char(255) | YES | MUL | NULL | |
| affiliation | char(255) | YES | MUL | NULL | |
| dcolor | char(255) | YES | MUL | NULL | |
| classification | char(255) | YES | MUL | NULL | |
+—————–+———–+——+—–+———+—————-+
34 rows in set (0.01 sec)

There is a lot of data there but the meat is in title and summary. So

mysql> select min(date) as start,max(date) as end from redacted_war_diary_irq;
+———————+———————+
| start | end |
+———————+———————+
| 2004-01-01 00:00:00 | 2009-12-31 23:59:00 |
+———————+———————+
1 row in set (0.02 sec)

mysql> select count(*) as ‘IEDs in 2006-12’ from redacted_war_diary_irq where date<'2007-1-1' and date>‘2006-11-30’ and title like ‘%IED%’;
+—————–+
| IEDs in 2006-12 |
+—————–+
| 3520 |
+—————–+
1 row in set (0.11 sec)

Shows how active insurgents were creating indiscriminate fear and damage.

The redactions make reports difficult to read because lots of coordinates, names, etc. are replaced with gibberish but the general idea of what is going on reveals the horrors:
At 311828DEC06 TF -%%% FA reports a CF vehicle accident with LN in the %%% Province %%% of %%% at %%% of . %%% Transportation Company was conducting a CLP on ASR %%% when a vehicle collided with a LN truck. %%% x US soldier was injured and unit requested MEDEVAC. %%% X LN was also killed. -%%% FA MiTT ( F%%%G) responded to incident. There were %%% in the vehicle, %%% x Male, %%% x Female, and %%% x children. %%% x LN was killed and %%% x LN was injured. Injured US soldier and LN were air MEDEVAC to FOB Warrior, Kirkuk. BDA: %%% x US soldier injured (injured leg) and %%% x LN killed. MTF

“LN” is local national. %%% is some number, redacted. Some of the variables quantify the horror:

select sum(civiliankia) as ‘Civilians Killed’ from redacted_war_diary_irq;
+——————+
| Civilians Killed |
+——————+
| 66081 |
+——————+
1 row in set (0.41 sec)

Explore this database if you want to spoil your day. I discuss it only because the US seems intent on suppressing the information in the next wave of leaks to the best of their ability. You can make sure taking out Wikileaks does not suppress the information by downloading 350MB. Wikileaks needs all the help it can get. I know governments as well as individuals have a right to privacy and confidentiality of communications but when that privacy is used to keep citizens in the dark about the true costs/effects/difficulty of governments’ actions the public has a greater right to know. Wikileaks did not accumulate this data and was not the source of the leak. They are not wrong to present it in an organized fashion and particularly with this level of redaction. I look forward to reading the current releases.

Personally, I feel attacks from Al Qaida from Afganistan were sufficient justification for an incursion to punish the unrighteous, but all these years, deaths and destruction have no possible benefit to anyone. If the Afghans and Iraqis are not motivated to take back their country and keep it safe from the insurgents, they deserve what they get. The World will not do that for them. The Coalition should pull out ASAP and provide the tools for citizens to defend their own country. The decent citizens greatly outnumber the insurgents and can deal with them properly if they want to do that. Maybe they should supply the women with rifles.

UPDATE
The Guardian has a database of the new release on-line.

Their take on the privacy/right-to-know issue is up.

But “private” is not the same as “secret”. It now transpires that these confidences were posted on a US government intranet, SIPDIS, for a very wide distribution among diplomatic, government and military circles. They may have been marked “secret” but all secrets are relative: there are around 3 million Americans cleared to read material thus classified.

UPDATE
Wikileaks.org is back with a new site: http://cablegate.wikileaks.org/
This site reveals all the new stuff complete with statistics and categories. Good work, Wikileaks.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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