The WikiLeaks website began publishing on Thursday what it said were more than 100 U.S. Defense Department files detailing military detention policies in camps in Iraq and at Guantanamo Bay in the years after the September 11 attacks on U.S. targets.
In a statement, WikiLeaks criticized regulations it said had led to abuse and impunity and urged human rights activists to use the documents, to be released over the next month, to research what it called "policies of unaccountability".
The statement quoted WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange as saying: "The 'Detainee Policies' show the anatomy of the beast that is post-9/11 detention, the carving out of a dark space where law and rights do not apply, where persons can be detained without a trace at the convenience of the U.S. Department of Defense."
"It shows the excesses of the early days of war against an unknown 'enemy' and how these policies matured and evolved," it said, and led to "the permanent state of exception that the United States now finds itself in, a decade later."
A spokeswoman for the U.S. Embassy in London said it had no immediate comment.