You’ve probably already heard about the latest hit release from Wikileaks. This time it’s nearly 400 000 classified documents relating to the war in Iraq. These guys belong in a Bond movie – the volumes of data they’re getting and the impact it has is truly inspiring. We now know claims that the us government hadn’t been truthful when it said it wasn’t keeping track of civillian deaths were untrue – they’ve documented well over a hundred thousand.

The fallout from this release is flying everywhere. Many in the US government, as well as their cronies in the media are warning that Iraqi and Iranian terrorists will use these documents “against us“. The Iranian government’s media puppets, on the other hand, are using them – arguing that they should be the basis of criminal prosecutions for those military personnel involved in atrocities. Some American conservatives are so angry they’ve hinted at everything from government-sponsored cyber-warfare to hinting at military action against Iceland (worse yet – the server’s actually in Sweeden, 2000km away). This type of temper tantrum has been fairly common lately – call it the officer bubbles effect.

For the ultimate example of bad optics made pretty – here’s a map of every documented death in these files, courtesy of the Guardian. Scroll out, or in – either way, it’s horrifying.

What’s more horrifying, though, is that this is far from the only unbelievably bad press that’s coming out. Al Jazeera recently broke a story from the horrifically violent Mexican Drug War, which has now claimed almost 30 000 lives. One of the most horrifying cartels, it turns out, got their start in America as paramilitaries trained at the infamous Ft. Bragg. Instead of fighting the Zapatista rebellion, though, they defected and began a cartel which is so notorious for its violence (putting heads on pikes, massacres, killing pregnant women etc) that even other cartels find them distastefully brutal. In order to deal with the increasing death toll and brutality of the Drug War south of the border, the US government is building a massive corporate/military complex on the boarder.

Even closer to home, news is now coming out in many American cities that Federal agents had infiltrated and raided the anti-war movement and were frequently spying on peaceful critics of the government’s policy. This has come out now in Pittsburg, Iowa and raids in several more states. And of course, the FBI was forced to admit last month that it’s been fabricating evidence in order to connect the peace movement with terrorists

It’s easy to forget with Bush gone that so many of the things which were done still won’t be “declassified” for years, and much of it is still going on. Empires are not pretty, and America is no exception, but this latest round of bad news is uglier than most. How many hundred thousand documents, or dead, will it take before something seriously changes?