27 July 2010

How Devastating Are Those 92,000 Wikileaks Leaked Afghan War Docs?

*** How many Americans and other people will be killed because of the foolish actions of WikiLeaks?

WikiLeak logo

Irresponsible hotdog "journalism" and lousy whistleblowing

From Denny: OK, so where do I even begin with this insane news story? It's like the whole world of ethics and regard for the safety of others is spinning out of control. WikiLeaks promotes itself as some kind of crusader for the truth. If they were truly that they would have taken their information to appropriate courts long before releasing it to the public.

No wisdom or respect for lives from WikiLeaks

Wisdom would have dictated a far different course than this site took. First, you give a country's judicial branches a chance to bring charges. If they won't do the right thing, then you release information - and only information that speaks to the most heinous - not a barrage of information, much of which is tangled up in the larger whole that ends up taking more lives. Sure, reveal the wrongdoing, especially any that is unclassified - but don't risk the lives of people out in the field. They have enough potential violence and danger to contend with every day.

Since when did WikiLeaks become judge, jury and the protectors of the whole truth?

The owners of WikiLeaks don't have a military or intelligence background - nor certainly have they displayed any maturity - to know how to cherry pick this information for what they could and could not release wisely. And you can't just leave that up to lawyers who also don't have any military or intelligence experience. Besides, what they did is considered an act of treason. Are they really just this bonehead stupid about the law and their responsibilities to fellow Americans?

My intelligence community perspective

I guess I have a unique perspective. I have a journalism degree, so I've heard all the arguments about free speech and access to all and any government information. I also grew up in America's intelligence community so I know first hand what it's like to have to look over your shoulder all the time, wondering which country's assassin is coming your way just because you are a family member of a CIA officer. Trust me; it got old quick being hunted by assassins and just plain nosy intelligence people, thinking some teenaged high school girl was harboring nuclear secrets for a foreign government.

The world intelligence community

Intelligence people are a paranoid bunch, so it was no surprise to me when Cheney had created 200 offices per state - that's 10,000 locations - of redundant, parallel and off-the-books, spy-on-Americans-on-American-soil various intelligence gathering communities during the Bush years. The new Director of Intelligence has a lot of work ahead of him to unwind the madman ravings of a paranoid lunatic who is still draining the American taxpayers of billions of dollars. Republicans always grow the government far beyond what the Democrats ever envision because Republicans love to use taxpayer monies to gather information on Democratic opponents and then wage wars to pay off their defense contractor donors. Meanwhile, middle class warriors bleed and die for their country - or so they believe.

Looking back at my childhood, when we were overseas, it became painfully obvious my chances of survival were only about five percent I would survive. Well, survive I did - with a Herculean effort on my part - and no thanks to the CIA or my American government, too many of whom were complete weasels content with playing their idiot intelligence games instead of protecting their own American kids overseas.

But that's the vile culture of the CIA and often much of the military: they throw their own spouses and children under the bus, using us as pawns in their international games. I just refused to go along with it and was mentally tough enough to figure a way out of their labyrinth of constant traps to make me - and my little sister too - an easy target to kill.

And it's also the reason I despise Republican presidents as they are the absolute worst for being so cavalier with the lives of intelligence personnel and their families. They like to emotionally distance themselves and label it "collateral damage" - a military term. Because the public and the media never gets wind of what happens in the intelligence community, scumbags like President Nixon and President Bush never get found out to be the murderers they are. But enough about "me" - what about "you"?

Our everyday American security is tied up in government workings

That's what these Wikileaks documents are all about: American security. First of all, far too many Americans worship at the altar of the military. These guys are far from perfect, folks. They also bungle a lot on a regular basis. All big organizations have screw-ups, weasels, opportunists, black market dealers and traitors taking money from other countries who "turned" them. The military is not immune from these issues and quit thinking they are all honorable. They are just people. The problem comes from not enough oversight in obvious areas where it is easy to probe and collect classified information.

Just how foolish is the Pentagon these days?

Which brings me to my first question to the Pentagon: What were you thinking allowing someone far too young in life experience, Bradley Manning (stationed at a small outpost outside Baghdad, Iraq), not enough career time in the military either, to be in charge of those diplomatic cables and other messages? Are you crazy, unwise or just bonehead stupid beyond belief? This is that Army mindset of thinking the secretary is low level and unimportant. That's the mistake of hubris because those "secretaries" are the first level most vulnerable to intelligence operatives and business opportunists like Wikileaks.

Just how large is the Manning network of leakers and hackers?

You also have to ask just how many people were involved in this operation. Manning was busy bragging to a computer hacker. Well, hackers brag to other hackers and they brag to yet more. The gossip network in the military and hacker communities was probably operating like a brush fire yet the old school low-tech military guys were completely unaware - because they were asleep at the switch, too busy waiting to collect their retirements. It's laziness like this that ends up costing a lot - thousands - of innocent people their lives: military boots on the ground who fight the daily wars and the intelligence operatives and their intelligence sources in that war information network. What ever happened to the military code of honor to protect the lives of other soldiers?

Prosecute WikiLeaks for treason to the fullest extent of the law

To say I am disgusted with Wikileaks is beyond the pale. These guys (and founder Julian Assange) are complete scumbags, fools of depraved indifference, too busy trying to score kudos points and too stupid to realize what they just did: they killed people. Our government needs to take them to task, hunt their sorry asses down, round up the entire traitorous network and hang 'em high from the nearest trees. A trial by their peers is too good for them. People who have never experienced the fallout from scumbags like this cannot begin to imagine the fury felt. I expect my government to get busy and do a lot more than a wimpy investigation, cover-up and throwing up their hands with an "Oh, well..."

When WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was asked about how he has helped to kill people here was his crass response:

From Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon, "Mr. Assange can say whatever he likes about the greater good he thinks he and his source are doing, but the truth is they might already have on their hands the blood of some young soldier or that of an Afghan family."

From Assange: "That was none of his concern," and seemed irritated when a questioner in London pressed him on whether he believed there were ever any legitimate national security concerns that would prevent him from publishing a leaked document.

"It is not our role to play sides for states. States have national security concerns; we do not have national security concerns."

Here's what I found from the WikiLeaks site:

"WikiLeaks' domain was surrendered under a California court order, but you can still access the Web site's IP address: Sure, You Can Drop WikiLeaks’ DNS Entry, Not Their IP Address (This was written as far back as 19 Feb 2008).

The Afghan War Diary an extraordinary secret compendium of over 91,000 reports covering the war in Afghanistan from 2004 to 2010 - 75,000 of those reports were classified.

Most entries have been written by soldiers and intelligence officers listening to reports radioed in from front line deployments. However the reports also contain related information from Marines intelligence, US Embassies, and reports about corruption and development activity across Afghanistan."

Other news sites where you can read about what is found in the Afghan War Diary as reporters pour over it and digest it:

The New York Times

Der Spiegel

The Guardian

These are just a few of the headlines about this news story, the beginning of many to come as more details emerge and the story unfolds:

WikiLeaks Reportedly Outs 100s of Afghan Informants - Hundreds of Afghan civilians who worked as informants for the U.S. military have been put at risk by WikiLeaks' publication of more than 90,000 classified intelligence reports which name and in many cases locate the individuals, The Times newspaper reported.

WikiLeaks Vs. the Pentagon Papers

Pentagon: "Very Robust" Probe of WikiLeak Source
Spokesman Says Release of War Documents "Could Potentially Endanger Our Operations and Forces in Afghanistan"

Fighting a Post-WikiLeaks War in Afghanistan
Congressional Hearings, Spending Bill Will Be Colored by Blowback From Release of Classified Documents

Entering The Secret World Of Wikileaks

WikiLeaks Unlikely to Change Afghan War's Course - Washington Post: Experts See Little Revelation in Trove of Leaked Docs, But Obama May Need to Re-Sell Strategy

Update 29 July 2010:

Pentagon: Leak investigaton may go beyond military

And more on the news front this week:

U.S., S. Korea Warn North with Anti-Sub Bombs - 3rd Day of Military Drills Sees Artillery Fire, Aerial Bomb Drops in Clear Warning to North Korea

Senate derails campaign finance bill ahead of 2010 elections - Senate Republicans blocked a Democratic campaign finance bill Tuesday, leaving corporations free to spend as much as they want on political ads ahead of the 2010 elections this November.

"The proposed law would have required that chief executives appear at the end of political ads, claiming responsibility for the material. The law also would have banned foreign corporations or governments, large government contractors, and federal bailout recipients from spending money in US elections."

President Obama's Schedule (7/27/10)

In the morning, President Obama will receive the Presidential Daily Briefing and the Economic Daily Briefing in the Oval Office.

Later in the morning, Mr. Obama will meet with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Minority Leader John Boehner and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer in the Cabinet Room. Following this meeting, the president will deliver a statement to the press in the Rose Garden.

In the afternoon, Mr. Obama will have lunch with House Members in the Roosevelt Room.

Later in the afternoon, the president will congratulate the 2009 Little League Softball World Series Champions from Warner Robins, Georgia in the East Room. Later, he will meet separately with Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates in the Oval Office.

In the evening, the president will attend a DNC Fundraising Dinner at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel.

Here's the Full Schedule from the White House (all times Eastern):

9:30AM: President Obama receives the Presidential Daily Briefing

10:00AM: President Obama receives the Economic Daily Briefing

11:00AM: President Obama meets with bipartisan members of Congress

12:00PM: President Obama delivers a statement to the press

12:20PM: President Obama has lunch with House Members

3:05PM: President Obama congratulates the Warner Robins Softball World Series Champions

4:00PM: President Obama meets with Secretary of the Treasury Geithner

4:30PM: President Obama meets with Secretary of Defense Gates

7:00PM: President Obama attends a DNC Fundraising Dinner

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