WikiLeaks publishes secret US military files on prisoner treatment

Julian Assange's pro-transparency organisation has a new stash to reveal: documents that apparently detail the US military's policies for dealing with detainees in facilities such as Guantanamo Bay.
Written by David Meyer, Contributor

WikiLeaks has begun releasing more than 100 secret US files relating to the treatment of prisoners in military custody.

Julian Assange
Julian Assange. Image: C Osborne/Z Whittaker

The pro-transparency organisation revealed the stash of "classified or otherwise restricted files" on Thursday, dubbing them the 'Detainee Policies'. Although they are being published in the final leg of a close US presidential election, it appears that the files largely date back to the Bush era.

The first of the files to appear is a 2002 document that purports to be the founding 'standard operating procedure' manual for Camp Delta, the US military prison at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.

"This document is of significant historical importance. Guantanamo Bay has become the symbol for systematised human rights abuse in the West with good reason," WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said in a statement.

Assange is still holed up in Ecuador's London embassy, in a bid to avoid extradition to Sweden to face questioning on sexual assault allegations.


WikiLeaks claims that some of the documents to be released will demonstrate a systematic programme of unaccountability, when it comes to the way military prisoners are treated by the US.

A 2005 file detailing a 'Policy on Assigning Detainee Internment Serial Numbers' will apparently cover the 'disappearing' of detainees "into the custody of other US government agencies while keeping their names out of US military central records".

Meanwhile, a 2008 'fragmentary order' will purportedly show how the documentation of interrogations is kept to a minimum.

It remains to be seen whether these files come from the same massive leak that has landed soldier Bradley Manning, the alleged leaker, in military detention.

There are many small-scale whistleblowing services that have popped up in the wake of WikiLeaks, although none have achieved the same renown. Anonymous, the hacker collective, is apparently gearing up to launch its own service called Tyler later this year.

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