Julian Assange is free: What information did Wikileaks leak about the US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan?

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has returned to the public eye after his release from prison on Monday and returning to Australia with his family on Wednesday. As part of a deal with the United States, he pleaded guilty to leaking classified US documents.

Assange had been Five years in prison United Kingdom, from where he was fighting to avoid his extradition to the United States, whose justice required it due to the massive leak in 2010 by WikiLeaks of confidential government writings, but what are the documents that Assange leaked for which he was detained?

It all started in July 2010, when the WikiLeaks page that claimed to have published more than 10 million documentsincluding confidential or restricted official reports related to the war, espionage and corruption, leaked some 91,000 documents on the war in Afghanistan to various newspapers.

According to the BBC, US authorities said that the publication of the information had put identified military personnel in Afghanistan in “risk of serious harm, torture or even death”.

But critics, especially those in the U.S. military, have been unable to point to specific cases in which the release of documents led to the death of a person. In 2010, Joe Biden, then vice president under Barack Obama, acknowledged that WikiLeaks’ publications had not caused “substantial harm.”

In August 2010, Assange requested a work and residence permit in Sweden, which was denied when he was investigated for double fraud. rape and abuse complaint.

It was not until October of that same year that WikiLeaks leaked 391,000 Pentagon documents again, now on the Iraq war, as well as 800 evaluation reports on detainees in the Iraqi prison. Guantanamo and 250,000 cables from the United States Department of State, according to the indictment document against Assange.

This is how the United States claimed Assange for 18 crimes of espionage and computer intrusion due to the revelations on its WikiLeaks portalabout alleged war crimes by that country in the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The key to WikiLeaks’ success was that Assange and his colleagues found a way to encrypt the documents and make them untraceable, to protect sources from complaints of retaliation.

What did Assange reveal about the US wars in the Middle East?

The files published by Wikileaks exposed serious abuses committed by the US armed forces in the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and over Cablegate.

With this, numerous possible crimes committed in the wars fought by the Americans and their allies, including Australia, in Afghanistan and Iraq after the attacks of September 11, 2001 (9/11), became public.

Among these documents there was also graphic material. Assange published a video titled “Collateral Murder,” which showed American soldiers shooting from a helicopter, killing Iraqis and two Reuters journalists in 2007. In this video you can hear how the agents laugh and celebrate among themselves, stating that “it was a good shot.” Furthermore, when one of the wounded tries to crawl for cover, the soldiers in the helicopter do not take him prisoner as international rules require, but instead shoot him again.

Other attacks followed, in which two minors were injured in the same video. US military authorities investigated this incident, but concluded that “the soldiers acted in accordance with the rules of war.”

WikiLeaks disclosed approximately 75,000 reports of significant activities related to the war in Afghanistan, 400,000 reports of significant activities related to the Iraq war, 800 evaluation reports of detainees at Guantanamo Bay, and 250,000 cables from the United States Department of State. United States, according to the indictment document against Assange.

In 2017, Julian Assange took refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy in London for seven years to avoid being extradited to Sweden for questioning over alleged sexual assaults against two women. Although Sweden eventually dropped these charges, the United States government quickly escalated its request for his extradition to that country.

However, in 2019 he was imprisoned in England for the last five years, according to The Conversation.

Until this week, Assange’s freedom was possible after an agreement with the US Department of Justice that was formalized during a hearing in a court in Saipan, in the Northern Mariana Islands (US territory), in which he pleaded guilty to violate US espionage law as part of the pact.

With information from EFE and The Conversation.