In the biggest leak of military secrets in history, WikiLeaks, the whistleblower website, has released 400,000 secret US files detailing every aspect of the war in Iraq, copies of which have been obtained by Al Jazeera. The sheer magnitude of data contained in the secret files reveals a graphic narrative of the war that goes far beyond any information about the conflict ever released into the public domain. Using thousands of classified US military reports, Al Jazeera is now able to tell the inside story of a war which left thousands dead and a country fractured along sectarian lines.
Working with the Bureau of Investigative Journalism in London for the past 10 weeks, Al Jazeera has analysed tens of thousands of documents, finding facts the US has kept hidden from public scrutiny. What has been uncovered often contradicts the official narrative of the conflict. For example, the leaked data shows that the US has been keeping records of Iraqi deaths and injuries throughout the war, despite public statements to the contrary. The latest cache of files pertains to a period of six years – from January 1, 2004, to December 31, 2009 – and shows that 109,000 people died during this time. Of those, a staggering 66,081 – two-thirds of the total – were civilians.