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Swedish arms surface in new WikiLeaks logs

The Local · 24 Oct 2010, 16:37

Published: 24 Oct 2010 16:37 GMT+02:00

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The use of Swedish weapons in war is a controversial topic. However, according to the newly released documents, the US used them against its enemies in Iraq and they are also in the hands of these enemies or are fired at Americans, SVT's Rapport news bulletin reported late on Saturday.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who was denied a Swedish residence permit earlier this week, defended the unauthorised release of the documents, saying they revealed the "truth" about the conflict.

The documents from 2004 to 2009 have revealed about 15,000 more civilian deaths than previously reported.

According to SVT Rapport editor-in-chief Morgan Olofsson and Eva Landahl, editor-in-chief of SVT's Aktuellt and Agenda, the three programmes had in the past few months, along with UK newspaper The Guardian, German magazine Der Spiegel and US newspaper The New York Times, gained access to extensive documentation on the war in Iraq from Wikileaks.

"In the documents that we have chosen to publish, we have removed the names to minimise the damage that publication could cause," Olofsson and Landahl wrote in an article published on SVT.se late on Saturday.

They added that no one, including neither Sweden-hosted WikiLeaks nor the Pentagon, had any influence over the way they treated the material or what they chose to publish.

The weapons mentioned in the WikiLeaks reports include Carl Gustaf recoilless anti-tank rifles and various types of ammunition, but old Swedish sub-machine guns also pop up from time to time, Rapport said.

However, the most commonly mentioned export is the AT4, a sales success for Saab and one of the most common light anti-tank weapons in the world.

A single-use weapon in plastic is mentioned about 200 times in the documents. Perhaps not surprisingly, Sweden has exported well over half a million AT4s to the US, the report said.

One of several events that mentions the use of Swedish weapons in the classified documents involves insurgent Abu Yasin, classified by the US military as a so-called HVT (high-value target), along with 17 other people who were killed in 2007 with the help of a Swedish Excalibur grenade, the report said.

Separately, Sweden's Left Party welcomed the new disclosures by WikiLeaks.

Story continues below…

"The systematic abuses in Iraq are extremely outrageous. The responsibility rests heavily on the Iraqi government, but also on the US, which sent thousands of detained prisoners to the Iraqi security forces," party foreign policy spokesman Hans Linde said in a statement.

"WikiLeaks shows that Iraq, as well as the US, have clearly violated the UN Convention Against Torture. Sweden should be a country that stands up for human rights, even when they are violated by the US and its allies. Sweden must powerfully condemn this assault," he added.

Linde pointed out that WikiLeaks has previously shown how horrific abuse and torture were much more extensive than was known in Afghanistan. The new documents now show that the same situation applies in Iraq.

"We now clearly understand the importance of being able to evaluate uncensored information. We cannot omit American military censorship because the Swedish people should be allowed to form an opinion on the war. The world has a right to know what is going on and as such, we welcome WikiLeaks' revelations," said Linde.

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

17:30 October 24, 2010 by RememberAisha
The first victim of war... is the truth.
17:31 October 24, 2010 by krattan
Oh no. They are using weapons to actually kill people. This is absolutely unforeseen.
17:59 October 24, 2010 by Båt-boy
Shock, horror...... but this is Sweden!! I am sure it was not the intention!!! Yawn
18:42 October 24, 2010 by LazyDog
Oh! they teach 18 year old kid's to kill to, is this sweden? :(
18:59 October 24, 2010 by wasi947
i love sweden due to its nature and good hearted people but shock to hear sweden must export flowers not guns so let start from sweden with love
19:09 October 24, 2010 by krow
And he was looking for permission to stay in Sweden? No wonder he was denied. Keep your mouth shout if you want to live in Sweden or go back to Australia my friend.
19:11 October 24, 2010 by boby
Lol at Linde

The media in Sweden is totally censored by a group of islamo-left fachists. If Swedes knew what was going on in threir own country, they would start a revolution a long time ago.

How dare he talk the 'right of every Swede to know the truth'?
19:11 October 24, 2010 by star10
I am not Swede. But I like Sweden. It one of the most fair countries in the world in terms its stance for international justice. The center-right government should refrain from promoting the US-Republican style ideologue policies (such as sending Swedish boys who can contribute a lot to the world to Afghanistan and let them vanish in a meaningless war waged by the morons Bush-Cheney-Ramsfield gangsters).
20:50 October 24, 2010 by Freebie
Star 10,' Could you please give it a rest already! 'The morons Bush-Cheney-Ramsfield (sp) gangsters,' as you label them have been out of the picture for nearly two years. At the very least, please give 'moron' credit to current morons, Obama included and the current gangster boss.

Also, the day may soon come when Assange begins skeleton searching on the likes of Hans Linde. Those standing in judgment wearing long black robes sometimes are discovered to be wearing frilly panties underneath.
20:59 October 24, 2010 by tgolan
How do we know that WikiLeaks documents are real??
21:17 October 24, 2010 by cowboykodp

So from your logic I should extrapolate that Jews are now Jewdeo-right wingers?

In case you are asleep, 80 to 90% of Jews in the US are still left wing Democrats.

Stop embarrassing the good name of the Jew which they have rightly earned through their work in combating anti-semitism and racism.
23:48 October 24, 2010 by ppaf
What exciting times we live in!

Apart from all the controversy it is amazing to observe that in the age of control there is still a possibility for NGO's to challenge powerful structures such as the U.S. army in such a way.

It is definitely an interesting debate on whistle-blowing as well.

Gotta admire idealism in these cynic times!
00:07 October 25, 2010 by reason
"How do we know that WikiLeaks documents are real??"

Many of them should be fairly easy to check and with the sheer number it wouldn't be an easy thing to fake. Besides, considering the reactions, particularly from the US, there seems to be little doubt. The alternative would be that it is information the US wanted to leak. Unlikely since not many countries deliberately make themselves look incompetent.
00:40 October 25, 2010 by Toonie
"How do we know that WikiLeaks documents are real??"

They are war logs kept by troops on an hour-to-hour, day-to-day basis. C'mon, keep up. We're talking about 400,000 documents logging military engagements, troop movements, and communications between troops on the ground and more senior personnel. For example, the permission sought by a US gunship crew on how to deal with 'enemy' on the ground who had hands in the air and appeared ready to surrender. The (inaccurate) response was that enemy could not surrender to an aircraft. So they died. As did 2 Reuters correspondents and Iraqi civilians in another incident involving the same gunship.

As 'leaks', someone in a position to do so would have leaked them to Wikileaks. Investigative journalists in the US and the UK have been reading and analysing them. Naturally, the US govt resents the publication of classified documents. The UK govt similarly, though it has also said that it would have to prosecute any UK forces engaged in torture or other criminal acts.

You'll recall that the US senior command claimed that they didn't do Iraqi body counts. The war logs show that they did in a fairly meticulous manner given the circumstances. (No records were kept for the assults on Falluja.) Glad so many of you think that an extra 15,000 deaths, many of them civilian non-combatants are not that significant. Fortunately, in the UK the reaction at all levels is that you can discuss policy democratically and as forcefully as you like, but we don't like govts to lie to us. How about you up there in Sweden?
05:17 October 25, 2010 by HowSwedeitis
@ Boby: Your spelling and grammar is atrocious.

So, Swedish weapon makers are selling their product legally to a reputable nation like the United States, which is using them in the arena of war, in this case, Iraq. This does not seem to be that much of a shock.

06:34 October 25, 2010 by tillerman
I am sure the Swedish companies never made the weapons with the intent for them to be used in killing people.
09:03 October 25, 2010 by miss79
well, it seems sweden is like israel now..producing weapons..there goes for the taxes again
10:26 October 25, 2010 by andthenme
lets blame the immigrants in sweden, its just fun to do so ;-)
10:46 October 25, 2010 by unforgiven
@ andthenme

liked your comment ;-)
11:01 October 25, 2010 by andthenme
@ unforgiven :-)

i just cant figure out why these immigrants (none-whites) make and send these weapons to the war zones ;-)
11:05 October 25, 2010 by mojofat

Credit rightly belongs with Cheney/Bush administration...they started this unprovoked war with Iraq, and had no plan to get us out. Obama has been tasked with the impossible of cleaning up after those guys...you can't unwind a war and foreign occupation in a week. Same with the economy. Republican ideas just don't work, but unfortunately it's not easy to correct those neo-con "experiments."
11:31 October 25, 2010 by KungsholmenGuy
Sales of Swedish weapons to the US, and the use of these by the US, is not suprising.

Other than the ongoing debates about the contents of the wikileaks publications, which are compelling and important debates, there is only one 'old' debate that one can cite with regard to this article, which is also a good debate subject, namely whether the Swedish defense industry should be allowed to export weapons.

Many cities in the US which had defence research and development labs eventually turned into massive economic boom towns, such as Son Jose/Silicon Valley for example. So to be pro-active, rather than being in shock that one of the most wanted terrorists was killed by a Swedish hand grenade, politicians who are opposed to arms sales, and perhaps all politicians, should be engaged instead in discussions on finding ways to incentivise the Swedish defense industry to transition more toward commercial aviation, search and rescue, green energy, electric cars, etc... by tax breaks for spinoffs and startups in the high tech hardware and software sectors.
12:21 October 26, 2010 by The.Local.Troll
Stupid article. The weapons were legally sold and designed and built for killing people... Why that silly Article heading??

Is it really such a surprise Mr Editor?
19:01 October 26, 2010 by DanishAmerican
Swedes are idiots if they think they came upon their wealth accidentally. Sweden is one of the largest exporters of weapons per capita on the planet. This isn't a new phenomena. Sweden was supplying Hitler's war machine with raw materials as well and making a lot of money doing it. I am not saying it is bad--just open your eyes and stop pretending Sweden is some Christ-like country that just created prosperity in some new and harmless fashion.
11:17 October 27, 2010 by cowboykodp

I sense a bit of resentment.

You mean to say Volvo,Saab, Scania, Ericsson, Ikea, H&M, Husqvarna, Etc..

had nothing to do with the Swedish wealth and success?

What does Denmark have besides some shipping company and Lars from Metallica?
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