Nothing new in WikiLeaks documents: Blair

The release by WikiLeaks of 400,000 documents related to the Iraq war and showing torture and more Iraqi deaths than previously thought revealed nothing new.

Updated: Oct 28, 2010, 00:11 AM IST

Sao Paulo: The release by WikiLeaks of
400,000 documents related to the Iraq war and showing torture
and more Iraqi deaths than previously thought revealed nothing
new, former British prime minister Tony Blair said.

"All this information was already known," Blair told
today`s editions of Brazilian newspapers Folha de Sao Paulo
and Estado de Sao Paulo during a visit to Sao Paulo.

The number of Iraqi civilians killed since the 2003
US-led invasion of Iraq -- which the WikiLeaks documents said
was 15,000 more than the 50,000 previously disclosed -- "were,
basically, victims of terrorism," Blair told Estado de Sao
Paulo.

"What is important today, whether it is in Iraq or
Iran or in other places in the world, is that we have to
confront those who commit these acts of terrorism," he said.

Blair, prime minister from 1997 to 2007, lent
Britain`s full support to the invasion and occupation of Iraq
ordered by former US president George W Bush on the premise
that Baghdad was hiding weapons of mass destruction.

He has defended that support in a recent
autobiography, and in the Estado de Sao Paulo interview he
dismissed calls in Britain for him to face war crimes
charges as coming from "an extremely small group of people."
WikiLeaks, an international whistleblowing website,
last week released the 400,000 classified US military
documents it said shed light on the Iraq war.

The documents showed alleged widespread torture by
Iraqi forces trained by the United States, and reports
suggesting the 15,000 additional civilian deaths
in the Iraq conflict.

US officials claimed WikiLeaks was jeopardising the
security of its troops and Iraqi civilians.

But Iraq`s rights ministry has said the logs "did
not contain any surprises."

PTI