Ellsberg, Cockburn et Afghan Wikileaks



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Ellsberg, Cockburn et Afghan Wikileaks

La publication des dizaines de milliers de documents sur la guerre en Afghanistan par Wikileaks a un écho médiatique considérable. Sur ce dossier, on recommande la consultation du Guardian et de ses archives actualisées sur l’affaire (au 27 juillet 2010).

Parmi les réactions innombrables, nous retenons d’abord celle de Daniel Ellsberg, jugeant cette affaire par rapport à celle des Pentagon Papers dont il fut l’instigateur. Ellsberg parlait, le 26 juillet 2010, lors d’une émission de Democracy Now ! animée par Amy Goodman. On trouve également Gareth Porter parmi les participants au débat.

L’avis de Daniel Ellsberg sur l’acte lui-même de la diffusion de ces documents.

«I’m very impressed by the release. It is the first release in thirty-nine years or forty years, since I first gave the Pentagon Papers to the Senate, of the scale of the Pentagon Papers, and not the first as it should have been. I would—how many times in those years should there have been the release of thousands of pages showing our being lied into war in Iraq, as in Vietnam, and the nature of the war in Afghanistan? I hope there will be—I hope this will inspire, despite the charges brought against Manning under the UC, under the Universal Code of Military Justice, which is not civilian law, it’s not First Amendment law. It’s the military law, so he’s in deep water here, as I think he expected. But nevertheless, I hope people will not be deterred from realizing that they have the responsibility that, according to the reports we’ve had of what Manning said in chat logs to the informant, Adrian Lamo, that realize that there is great deception going on, that there is, in Manning’s reported words, horrific material, almost criminal, as he put it, which deserve to be in the public domain, that they will consider doing what’s been done here, and that is risking their own career and their clearance and even their liberty, maybe for life, in order to save many lives. So, whoever did this—and Manning is charged with it—it remains to be seen whether the government can prove a case against him in the particular charges, but in terms of what he’s reported to have said to Lamo, I admire very much the spirit in which he did this. He said that he felt the public needed to know this and that he was prepared to go to prison, even for life—he said that—or even to be executed. That’s the first person I’ve heard in forty years who is in the same state of mind that I was forty years ago.»

Le journaliste David Cockburn, de The Independent, est célèbre pour ses reportages en Irak et en Afghanistan. Dans un article ce 27 juillet 2010, il apprécie les fuites des documents et leurs effets. Sa conclusion concerne l’appréciation d’une extrême futilité de ce conflit pourtant cruel et considérable, de l’immense gouffre entre l’importance des efforts réalisés et les résultats obtenus. Ces sentiments sont à la fois évidents et bienvenus et seront fortement renforcés par les fuites.

«Overall, the Wikileaks dossier gives the impression of the US military machine floundering into war and only gradually realising the crippling weakness of the Afghan government. There is intermittent understanding on the ground that the presence of foreign occupation forces is itself the main recruiting sergeant of the Taliban.

»Above all, the documents convey a sense of bewilderment that the US military should be making such great efforts and achieving so little.»

A noter l’importance que Cockburn accorde à la corruption, à la circulation folle de l’argent en général, qui semblent paralyser et pourrir complètement cette guerre. Ce rôle omniprésent de l’argent était identifié par le général McChrystal comme l’erreur fondamentale des USA en Afghanistan.

On citera comme exemplaire ce passage du texte de Cockburn :

«Corruption is so pervasive that a substantial part of the income of poor villagers is spent bribing officials. A recent opinion poll showed that Afghans regard endemic corruption as a greater threat even than insecurity. Anybody can be targeted. One US investigator had seven policemen in the south-eastern province of Paktia arrested for extorting money from motorists passing through their checkpoint.

»The policemen explained that they had to do so to buy fuel for their generator if they wanted to have any electricity.

»The presence of foreign forces and their vulnerable supply lines opens the door to profitable protection rackets. In one instance, a fuel convoy travelling from Kandahar to Oruzgan was stopped by 100 well-armed insurgents who demanded $2,000 a truck to let it proceed. The insurgents turned out to work for Matiullah Khan, a pro-government, US-backed warlord in Oruzgan who was already being paid by the Afghan Interior Ministry to protect Nato convoys on the road.»


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