U.S. war resisters praise WikiLeaks

American war resisters seeking refuge in Canada say the recent round of military documents released by WikiLeaks offers further support of their claims.

American war resisters seeking refuge in Canada say the recent round of military documents released by WikiLeaks offers further support of their claims.

Among the revelations contained in the nearly 400,000 documents comprised of field reports by U.S. forces and intelligence officers, dated 2004 to 2009, are suggestions that the U.S. military has under-reported civilian deaths and stood by as Iraqi troops tortured and abused their prisoners.

Former Pte. 1st Class Joshua Key, one of about 200 Iraq war resisters who fled to Canada, said he witnessed egregious civilian deaths he was prevented from reporting when he served in Iraq for seven months in 2003.

Oklahoma native Key currently resides in Saskatchewan with his wife and four children and is awaiting leave to appeal his rejected asylum claim.

Among the unnerving encounters he recalled of his Iraq stint as a combat engineer, many recalled in his 2007 book The Deserters Tale, was being out on patrol and seeing two civilians decapitated and their bodies desecrated.

“There were American solders kicking the heads around like soccer balls,” said Key, 32.

“When I got to my compound later that’s when I asked, ‘Can I file a report? I want to let it be known this happened and what I had seen there.’ I was told, ‘It’s none of your concern, none of your business,’ and on other occasions as well.”

He can’t be certain, but Key feels strongly that such deaths were not logged. He is sure though about the American military’s general disregard for Iraqi lives.

“The running procedure was ‘Shoot first, ask questions later.’ We had no regard for the lives of the civilians around us. That was pretty evident in day-to-day actions, as well as the way we raided their homes and did everything else. There were no repercussions, no questions.”

 
 
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