Clegg hints at investigation of Iraq leak
By Ian Dunt
Nick Clegg has suggested an investigation into British military behaviour could take place following the Wikileaks release of thousands of confidential documents.
The deputy prime minister, who was a passionate opponent of the Iraq war, refused to explicitly demand an investigation but said the allegations should be “looked at”.
“You can argue about how the leaks occurred but the nature of the allegations made are extraordinarily serious,” he told the Andrew Marr Show.
“Anything that suggests that torture has in any way been condoned should be looked at.
People will want to hear what the answer is to these very, very serious allegations.”
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has condemned Wikileaks for disclosing the thousands of confidential documents.
The leak has also been condemned by government’s across the world, with US secretary of state Hilary Clinton and Iraq’s prime minister also attacking Wikileaks.
The reports constitute a damning indictment of American leadership in Iraq, strongly suggesting that Iraqi-on-Iraqi violence was systematically ignored by the allied forces.
Dead bodies with evidence of torture and footgae of summary executions appears to have prompted no investigation at all from American or British forces.
“We hope to correct some of that attack on the truth that occurred before the war, during the war and which has continued on since the war officially concluded,” Wikileaks founder Julian Assange told a news conference in London.
An MoD spokesperson said: “We condemn any un-authorised release of classified material. This can put the lives of UK service personnel and those of our allies at risk and make the job of Armed Forces in all theatres of operation more difficult and more dangerous.
“It would be inappropriate to speculate on the specific detail of these documents without further investigation while the Iraq Inquiry is ongoing.
“There is no place for mistreatment of detainees and we investigate any allegation made against our troops. The protection of civilians is always at the core of what UK forces do in any operational theatre and any civilian casualty is, of course, a matter of deep regret and we take any incidents extremely seriously.”
Wikileaks continues to act as a thorn in the side of the American government. Observers believe a sole military analyst is responsible for leaking the information to the website, which is hosted on several international servers to avoid prosecution.