On Monday, the Pentagon announced the deaths of two soldiers from California, while the Navy confirmed the death of a sailor from northern San Diego County in the city of Encinitas.
The two soldiers' names were Conrad Mora- from San Diego, and Daniel Lim- of Cypress. They were only 24 and 23 years old, respectively. The sailor's name was Justin McNeley, a thirty-year-old father of two, who was set to return home next month.
All three Californians were killed in attacks by Afghan insurgents on the same weekend that a Sweden-based organization called WikiLeaks published over 90,000 documents (collectively referred to as "The War Logs") that suggest Pakistan, officially an ally of the United States, might actually be aiding and directing these kind of insurgent activities.
The New York Times reports:
The documents, made available by an organization called WikiLeaks, suggest that Pakistan, an ostensible ally of the United States, allows representatives of its spy service to meet directly with the Taliban in secret strategy sessions to organize networks of militant groups that fight against American soldiers in Afghanistan, and even hatch plots to assassinate Afghan leaders.
These revelations are made all the more shocking by the fact that Pakistan receives more than $1 billion from Washington "for its help combating the militants." If the reports paint an accurate picture of Pakistan's relationship to the Afghan insurgency, it could mean that money taken from U.S. taxpayers and funneled to the Middle East, may have been used to fund and support deadly attacks on America's own soldiers.
McNeley and another sailor were traveling through eastern Afghanistan, along the Pakistani border sixty miles south of Kabul when their vehicle was attacked by Taliban insurgents. Sgts. Mora and Lim were also in a vehicle along the Pakistani border (in the town of Qalat) when they were attacked and killed with an improvised explosive device.
It is truly harrowing to consider that Californians may have unwittingly financed the training and leadership of the groups responsible for these deaths. While the contents of the "War Logs" may seriously call into question the effectiveness of Washington's foreign policy and prosecution of the war in Afghanistan, the White House emphatically condemned the leak in a statement, saying:
"The United States strongly condemns the disclosure of classified information by individuals and organizations which could put the lives of Americans and our partners at risk, and threaten our national security.
"Wikileaks made no effort to contact us about these documents – the United States government learned from news organizations that these documents would be posted. These irresponsible leaks will not impact our ongoing commitment to deepen our partnerships with Afghanistan and Pakistan; to defeat our common enemies; and to support the aspirations of the Afghan and Pakistani people."
Meanwhile a Pentagon official told NBC that "An ongoing Pentagon review... found no evidence that the disclosure harmed U.S. national security or endangered American troops in the field." And if what the documents suggest is true, and Pakistan is coordinating attacks on American troops, then the documents will have played a crucial role in exposing how the government in Washington has put the lives of Americans at risk.
After so stunning a revelation, many Americans want (and dread) to know: Were attacks on U.S. soldiers (i.e. my son, my daughter, my brother, my friend...) coordinated with my tax dollars??