Wikileaks: a somewhat less redacted version of the Lamo/Manning logs

Discuss

97 Responses to “Wikileaks: a somewhat less redacted version of the Lamo/Manning logs”

  1. Antinous / Moderator says:

    Are you seriously suggesting that because the U.S. made the inexcusable mistake of having Saddam Hussein as an ally and leaving him in power after 1991 means they didn’t have the right from removing him from power in 2003?

    Are you seriously suggesting that the US has the right to remove the head of state of a sovereign nation from power? Because that’s the jingoistic psychopathy that breeds fascism.

    • failix says:

      Not only the right but the obligation, and you just showed that you don’t have a clue what you’re talking about.

      People often seem to forget that two thirds of Iraq was a no-fly zone enforced by the U.S and other countries and the Iraqi people suffered from multiple UN imposed sanctions. How sovereign is that? Anyway, just to make this very clear; there are several conditions under which a nation just looses its sovereignty, for example through the violation of certain international treaties or conventions. Just to name a few:

      -WMD research (e.g. Biological Weapons Convention)
      -Invasion and annexation of a neighboring country
      -committing genocide against your own people (e.g. genocide convention)

      Iraq was repeatedly guilty of all these things and in breach of nearly every treaty it had ever signed. Sadly the U.S and the UN only acted when their economic interests were at play and the genocide and use of biological weapons had already occurred. But after 1991 the U.S somehow decided it was a good idea to leave Saddam Hussein in power. And you think to reverse that decision is a bad thing…

      Iraq was in no reality-based way a sovereign nation. And as far as allowing and breeding fascism goes, what you’re imagining to defend the Baath regime seems to me to be of far greater danger.

      You should be proud of your country for helping build a secular democratic republic alongside the long fighting socialist opposition to Saddam Hussein and his fascist party. Just think of how incredible it is that the first democratically elected president of Iraq is a socialist leader of the Kurdish opposition. Yeah, that’s the same Kurdish people who were mass murdered and oppressed a few years ago. If there’s a time to call Iraq a sovereign nation it’s now.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Several Points that need to be made:

    The first few relate to WW2.

    1. The U.S. intentionally antagonized Japan in order to instigate an attack so that the U.S. could then enter the war. I am of the opinion that FDR sought war with Japan for purely political reasons.

    2. General Douglas MacArthur received an offer to surrender from credible Japanese officials prior to the campaigns on Iwo Jima and Okinawa. When MacArthur informed Roosevelt of the offer to surrender Roosevelt dismissed it out of hand, claiming that MacArthur was an excellent military leader but “no politician”.

    3. The atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was a war crime worse than any that Japanese generals were executed for in Tokyo and Manila. Sure, Hiroshima and Nagasaki did have military installations, but they were still civilian centers. Even if you concede that the use of the atomic bomb was absolutely necessary to end the war, the bombs could have easily been dropped on more heavily militarized areas. That’s pretty much a moot point however, because the use of the bombs wasn’t necessary at all. There were several other options available to President Truman at the time: a “bloodless” blockade, conditional surrender, etc. (http://www.doug-long.com/quotes.htm)

    Moving on to contemporary issues:

    Forgive me if I fail to see how the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq protect my freedom. In fact, what freedom are they protecting exactly? The US claims to be a free nation, but there are innumerate, draconian restrictions in place here under the guise of keeping the populace “safe” or whatever. I could list a rather large number of said restrictions, but that’s beyond the scope of this post.

    Look, the massive, far-flung, imperialist army of the US isn’t going to stop some crazed person from blowing himself up in a movie theater or some other crowded, public place. It can’t possibly prevent this. Furthermore, the fact that you would reflexively assume that it exists and is being used for this purpose is simply a testament to the success of statist propaganda.

    You pro-war types really are interesting though. I mean, do you seriously believe it’s OK for the U.S. to kill civilians, but only as long as we kill them by accident, or don’t kill as many as the other side?

    Also, please explain how WikiLeaks endangers the lives of U.S. Soldiers.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Owing to my ignorance of the term, I went to Wikipedia to find out what “air gap” means in relation to computer networking. (You can go there too to find out what it is, I won’t fill this comment up with their explanation.) What interests me most is what you would have to do to breach it:

    The upside to this is that such a network can generally be regarded as a closed system (in terms of information, signals, and emissions security) unable to be accessed from the outside world. The downside is that transferring information (from the outside world) to be analyzed by computers on the secure network is extraordinarily labor intensive, often involving human security analysis of prospective programs or data to be entered onto air-gapped networks and possibly even human manual re-entry of the data following security analysis.

    That’s how you get information onto an air-gapped network. Getting information off an air-gapped network, or moving it to a lower level of classification, is much harder. Now multiply that by 260,000 – done by just one guy in his spare time.

    I call bollocks. This is imho just an attempt to destroy Wikileaks.

    • Anonymous says:

      Sounds like all he has to do is copy the data onto a thumb drive, burn it to a disk, something like that. It’s not as hard as you think.

      On the other hand, leaks during the Vietnam war required Xeroxing individual documents page by page. . .thousands upon thousands of them in “spare time.” There are people who are *very* dedicated to getting the info out there.

    • Anonymous says:

      /shrug

      This quote doesn’t show how getting the information off the airgapped network more labor-intensive and difficult than putting it on. Are there specific measures that reliably prevent batch processing?

      It sounds like the vulnerability is a matter of internal access, scripting, and sneaker-net technology.

    • Mike Gogulski says:

      You’re not being very clever here. The chat logs have Manning saying he had two laptops on his desk, one on the top-secret network, the other on the lesser-classified one. There’s your air gap.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I haven’t been following this much, but one thing sticks out at me. Wired News involvement to conceal this.

    Like I said I haven’t been following this story. Basically only saw headlines followed by a paragraph or so, but can anyone enlighten me on Wired’s involvement on this?

  5. Santos says:

    Did your illustrator get permission to use “Koichi Zenigata” in his art?

    Am not cool with people being put in harm’s way for bullshit reasons. Rather than risking that, there needs to be a secure way to stop ‘bad actors’ and not leave whistle blowers vulnerable.

    @Pantograph – My late uncle’s Purple Heart medal makes you look like an ungrateful wanker.

    • loonquawl says:

      The Purple Heart is given for wounds received by the enemy. My late grandfather had three of the German equivalent. He was fighting bravely, but the greatest bravery would have been to abstain from fighting, as he told me on numerous occasions.
      Do not confuse official acknowledgement of bravery with true bravery, and bravery with a good cause – There are heaps of brave Taliban and brave US-soldiers and nothing about this bravery says one iota about the cause.

      @PapayaSF: ‘Violence’ at peace demonstrations is not the issue here, as much of the kind of the violence that gets counted is not even listed in statistics about the war.
      As you rightly recognized, there is a lot of apple/orange (a/o) comparison going on here. Your he said/she said with Antinous started on Antinous’ comment on FloydRTurbo’s a/o aside on the issue of the possibiliy of non-violent conflict resolution. I will not enter into this side-discussion, but relate a report i read in a newspaper the other day. It is about an Afghan farmer, and i’ll redact it for shortness, although the sheer lenght of his misfortune was a sight on it’s own:
      His farmland lies in a remote Afghan village. The village was in and out of Taliban control for the last decades, because it’s people are of a tribe suffering under the Taliban (religious and tribal reasons). The current governor is American-imposed, who in turn gave the posts of judge, and police chief to cronies. The farmer’s land, his only possession, has been stolen by some relation to one of the officials. He went on a ~300d-long journey through war-ravaged Afghanistan to get someone to hear his case; at last, he found someone that fulfilled all 5 elusive characteristics : in charge, US-sanctioned, not away, giving a shit, and fair. He got a paper, saying his land was to be returned, and his brother (thrown in jail for no lawful reason, and held without trial) was to be at least accused of something. The slip of paper was seen and dismissed. The US will not intervene, because the current governor is the only bulwark against the Taliban, in that region. The last time the Taliban were there, theyoppressed the people and later killed a third of the village, when they rebelled. The village currently has high hopes on the return of the Taliban, because while some might die, the order the Taliban impose will be transparent.

      Says a lot about the war, and about the counting of the dead.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Is his name pronounced “Lame-o” ? That would be so appropriate.

  7. Anonymous says:

    whoa

  8. Anonymous says:

    Hmmmmmm. It appears the Washinton Post has access to even more of the transcripts than what’s shown here and at Wired. There are two quotes in the linked article:

    In one particularly poignant message, Manning wrote: “my family is non-supportive . . . im losing my job . . . losing my career options . . . i dont have much more except for this laptop, some books, and a hell of a story.”

    and

    In one message, Manning said: “i’m exhausted . . . in desperation to get somewhere in life . . . i joined the army . . . and that’s proven to be a disaster now . . . and now i’m quite possibly on the verge of being the most notorious ‘hacktivist’ or whatever you want to call it . . . its all a big mess i’ve created.”

    that don’t seem to be in this copy of the transcrpts nor the Wired one.

  9. Anonymous says:

    It looks very much like the duplicated lines were duplicated by Adrian copy-pasting them back to bradass87, having been requested by brad to do so in order to check that no IMs had been lost to lag. I do this sometimes with my own IM contacts.

  10. loonquawl says:

    Military targets in the Twin Towers do not make the terror attacks less gruesome and unneccessary.

    Hitler had central command fix up a few different European conquest plans, only one presupposing the 1939 secret protocol to the treaty with the Soviet Union. The pact was just something happening along the way to war. Get you facts straight.

    And about political turncoats: You are preaching to the choir.

    And “[...]liberating people from a dictator and helping them establish a democracy is a good thing to do.” – yes? so? Telling an old woman what time it is, is nice too, no reason to punch her in the face first.

    And: Could we get a little more on topic, here? How about the question asked somewhere a little up the thread by floraldeoderant: Was there something in the Collateral Murder video that threatens national security?

    • failix says:

      “Was there something in the Collateral Murder video that threatens national security?”

      I’ve never heard someone convincingly argue videos of the sort could somehow threaten national security. If anything it’s outrageous and stupid they try to hide them. There doesn’t seem to be much to be arguing about here… however thread after thread and post after post you can read the same nonsensical misconceptions about facts surrounding the war in Iraq and fallacious moral equivalences being spewed all over the place.

  11. Stooge says:

    Xeni, the edit you cite where the comment timestamped (12:26:09 PM) is clearly part of the chat: Adrian copy-pasted 2 messages from the chat log in answer to the question ‘what was the last message you recieved?’

  12. Xeni Jardin says:

    Thanks. Those aren’t my notes, but the note of the source. Maybe I’ll remove that to avoid confusion.

  13. zikman says:

    this is heavy stuff.

  14. Bill Albertson says:

    Wow. This has got to be the weirdest cointelpro setup ever. But it explains a lot. It also shows that you can never ever trust someone who made a deal with the Feds.

    I wonder who else is on the payroll?

  15. Anonymous says:

    I still can’t believe so many media outlets have called this “boasting.”

  16. Anonymous says:

    Interesting. Lamo, in his taped interview with Greenwald, claimed that Manning said (I’d have to listen to the recording again for the exact quote, but this is very close) that Manning’s intention was to “destroy US foreign relations for years to come.”

    That bit of the chat is not in the Wired logs, and not in your logs. I am skeptical that it is in the full, unredacted logs either, since Poulsen was quick to confirm the 260,000 number when he misunderstood my question about whether the former phrase was in the logs, but has been silent on the issue once I spelled it out for him.

    Either:

    - Lamo is lying, and claiming Manning said something (quite damning) that he did not, in fact, say, or
    - Lamo redacted that portion himself, only to go on record quoting it later, which makes little sense, but implies that there does not exist an unredacted log, or
    - Wired, and your source, are continuing to keep secret a particularly important statement of Manning’s (as it speaks to his motive and intent) for no reason at this point (since the quote has been made public — whether it should or should not have been redacted in the first place is irrelevant.) Or
    - Some other reason. Poulsen deciding to keep that material concealed to emphasize the fact that it is he, not I or anyone else, who gets to dictate what is made public (which is more or less the case right now), and ego is getting in the way of journalism? I’m reaching here, because it really does seem like one of the first three is the simplest explanation.

    Both Lamo’s credibility and Manning’s motivations could be illuminated if Wired would answer the simple question: “does the content that Lamo quoted to Greenwald exist in the logs, or not?” I find it frustrating and suspicious that Poulsen won’t answer. Is he trying to protect the credibility of his friend, and putting that before his duties as a reporter?

    Note that, if the timeline is correct, Manning was taken into custody prior to the FBI receiving any chat logs; he was apparently apprehended on the basis of an informant’s hearsay alone. If that informant turns out to have fabricated Manning’s “statement of intent”, then he was detained in part on a lie.

    Come on, Kevin. Out with it. Your unwillingness to answer this question seriously casts doubt on your impartiality, and on Lamo’s credibility.

    –Len.

    P.S.: Xeni, why make the additional redactions, and then write an article on the material you redacted, quoting it? I agree it’s off-topic, unrelated, and should probably have remained redacted, but the cat’s out of the bag. Seriously, just curious as to the rationale here.

  17. Anonymous says:

    I smell bullshit. Barring more in the full transcript, there isn’t anything specific enough there to show Manning had material. Anyone who has worked around federal offices could paint that kind of vague picture with enough keywords to imply they knew classified, or recall something vague from something they had actually seen, but I don’t see how that log shows Manning had what he claims he had.

    According to the listing of Ambassadors to Iceland (https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/United_States_Ambassador_to_Iceland), the first Ambassador not to have completed a standard 3 year assignment was Sigmund A. Rogich from 1992 to 1993. Prior to that, there’s another long string of 3+ year assignments. This is all public data.

    I say Manning was just crying out for attention and making it up as he went.

    • bersl2 says:

      I say Manning was just crying out for attention and making it up as he went.

      In which case, Manning probably did not convey diplomatic messages to Wikileaks. That may make this an enormous attempt to discredit Wikileaks, which we have reason to believe the United States government is seeking to do.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Additional to my previous:

    Turns out there was a snafu recently in 2010 with the US Ambassador to Iceland, but he never got there. Carol Van Voorst left after her tour, but Robert Connan was nominated and then never confirmed. Never got to post, so the post has been vacant for almost a year, running under the Charge d’Affairs.

    Sources:
    http://diplopundit.blogspot.com/2009/08/oops-what-happened-to-robert-connans.html

    http://www.icenews.is/index.php/2010/04/23/usa-finally-appoints-new-ambassador-to-iceland/

  19. MB says:

    Please stay on this Xeni & Co. Full scepticism is required, but this could be so so important to us all, that it has to be fully explored, and not allowed to be transformed into “some pissed off kid from nowhere got upset when he was discharged.”

  20. Anonymous says:

    This needs to be on my answering machine…

    I have more messages than resources allocatable to action them. Please be very patient.

  21. Anonymous says:

    I wouldn’t have thought US Intelligence Analysts would use so many emoticons.

  22. Santos says:

    Still want to know about the illustration. Inspector “Koichi Zenigata” is copyright Kazuhiko Katō AKA Monkey Punch. I don’t want to see a bs “creative commons” on someone else’s creation.
    ====
    1. Outing someone discredits that person how?
    2. Is there a way constructive whistle blowers or those concerned with Fraud, Waste and Abuse could be protected from those others who would cover up their crimes?

  23. Antinous / Moderator says:

    you just showed that you don’t have a clue what you’re talking about.

    No. I just don’t agree with your view that one nation has the right to destroy another nation. You’ve reconstructed history to fit your slavering desire for world domination.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Whatever the story, what can be read in this IMO doesn’t seem like the human emotion of boasting, but more like unburdening a heavy weight. Empathizing with the situation Manning found himself in, I notice perhaps his job didn’t meet a deep need he had for integrity and transparency of his country in relationship to the world. Continuously being exposed to covert mission activities, our meddling in the affairs of others to maintain our intelligence presence, and the PR campaigns to hide those actions. That to me seems like it can be very disillusioning. Raising difficult questions of what allegiance means. Are the actions that you are witnessing aligned with your worldview. Those are dangerous questions for a soldier to ask themselves, no matter what army they’re in.

    It makes me think what it takes to actually work in that capacity and swallow all that intel and continue to live a life of coping normality. Maybe that’s why after a certain age people eventually come forward with their story.

  25. Znaps says:

    The attached picture shows that not even the great detective Zenigata can trace this whole thing back to the source!

    Which will naturally be Lupin… Lupin Sansei!

  26. Anonymous says:

    Wikileaks still says they don’t HAVE the cables.

  27. matt4077 says:

    BoingBoing: Classified information on national security between cute burning restaurant maskots and a preview of next season’s IT Crowd.

    I like this world.

  28. Anonymous says:

    It sounds like Poulsen/Wired cut more than they admit. These are not too personal nor are they related to national security. It also appears that Wired has its own leaks. I wonder if they’ll be posted to Wikileaks as well. ;-)

  29. Anonymous says:

    I am sure this has nothing to do with the recent “Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act.”

  30. Floyd R Turbo says:

    Manning deserves a life sentence in prison.

    Getting our own people killed through his subterfuge and theft is not the proper way to deal with these alleged atrocities… and having known some Army aviators — the video shown here and on Wikileaks is highly edited as I’m sure the “massacre” will be. 3, 2, 1…

    • Anonymous says:

      You must be the dumbest person alive.
      Manning is talking about saving many many many human lives, and you are talking about potentially losing some US lives. Forget about the US for 1 damn minute, and look at the big picture!!! Manning wants the WORLD (not just the USA) to be a better place, and if the US army is working against that cause, and US solider`s die, that is a sacrifice we must bare, to potentially save many many many HUMAN lives, not just US.
      Bring down the US War(whore) Machine, enlighten people, show us the truth.

      Information is power

      • Floyd R Turbo says:

        “Information is power?” What wall did you crib that off of? Policy by slogan is the same thing Bush and Obama do — why resort to it now? A lot fo things are “power”.

        How do you use the information? This leak puts thousands of soldiers AND Afghans in danger and helps the Taliban directly. If Manning is right and this was a “massacre” which presumes intent as opposed to a “mistake”…. relax Anon — it’s manslaughter or negligent homicide vs. murder so there is a difference. And like the helicopter video…. why were journos hanging out with terrorists? What d-bag has kids out in a war zone? Etc. Etc. That grainy video raised many more questions than it answered. I know I know… questions mean I’m a fascist or “the dumbest person alive” as opposed to lockstep with a biased anti-war Wikileaks. If they’d be up front about the bias and stop editing videos down to a few measly minutes from tens of minutes to over an hour long they might have more credibility.

        I guess too much of the information that causes a disconnect in your narrative saps power right Anonymous?

        • gepinniw says:

          “Why were journos hanging out with terrorists? What d-bag has kids out in a war zone? ”
          Are you kidding? Have you even seen the video? How do you infer that they were “terrorists?” You are aware that this was a street in an urban area, not some no-man’s land, right? You really are a vile human being to insult the dead father of these children, who was simply being a good samaritan by attempting to save a life.
          And please, explain exactly how this video puts any American lives at risk.
          Fact: Innocent journalists killed. Fact: Innocent civilians killed. Fact: Reckless, irresponsible American military personnel responsible.
          Good God, man, where is your sense of humanity?

        • Anonymous says:

          So this info (most of which we haven’t yet seen, if it’s true) is THE thing that puts soldiers’ lives at risk?

          But it’s potential to turn people against the wars and against “islam versus west” hysteria, thus (***perhaps***) reducing war by the runaway war machine that the US has become, that would NEVER save US lives in the long term?

          Well, IF you think the wars are the only way to solve terrorism, are necessary, and are PERFECT, then yeah, I guess he did the wrong thing and he should just follow orders because the whole policy is perfect.

        • Anonymous says:

          ROFL! Yeah! Everyone knows that people who look Muslim are all terrorists and that whenever the U.S. decides to invade your country you dig a hole in your back yeard and bury your kids in it for 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 50, 100 years until the Americans decide to go home. ROFL!

        • thefuture says:

          What d-bag has kids out in a war zone?

          The sort of poor sod, whose neighbourhood, heck, his whole country, has been turned into a war zone. Apologists like you totally explain why the US is as effed up as it is. Your army goes ahead and butchers innocent civilians, and then the guy who informs the public about it is the one who is responsible for any possible backlash that could endanger US soldiers? You make me sick.

    • Pantograph says:

      What makes your people so special?

      • Ted8305 says:

        What makes our people so special? The fact that they’re _our_ people. While I do not support harming the innocent, I will defend “my” people more enthusiastically than some random outsider.

        As the saying goes: Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill every person you meet.

        • Anonymous says:

          Where do the borders of your people’s territory end, then? At your front door? Your city’s corporal limits? State line? Country? Every last person on this planet is in it together, friend. Lay down your fear, and try to be strong. The more fight you’ve got in you, the weaker you are.

      • Floyd R Turbo says:

        Pantograph… your freedom to hate and blog and live didn’t just spring sui generis from your parents. Someone protects that right and fights for it — whether or not you know what gratitude is.

        And odds are that person was carrying a gun because solely blathering endlessly never resolved the great issues of any day without some credible threat of enforcement. Even many in the so-called anti-war movement brings bottles, rocks, and Molotov cocktails.

        • Anonymous says:

          “And odds are that person was carrying a gun because solely blathering endlessly never resolved the great issues of any day without some credible threat of enforcement. Even many in the so-called anti-war movement brings bottles, rocks, and Molotov cocktails.”

          As a longtime antiwar activist, who has protested the war, been attacked for protesting the war, and has not recovered from her injuries from these attacks, I believe your comment crosses the line into defamation.

        • Pantograph says:

          My freedom has absolutely NOTHING to do with US soldiers, but everything with political cooperation on my side of the Atlantic. Despite what your propaganda machine is telling you, the US didn’t single handedly liberate the planet from oppression.
          In fact they were late to every conflict where they were wanted and often made the situation worse once they got there.
          And don’t even try mention how you saved our ass in WWII, because Prescott Bush was still bankrolling the Nazis when the Canadians successfully liberated this country.

        • Anonymous says:

          YEAH! Killing journalists and indirectly funding terrorism against your own people PROTECTS YOUR FREEDOM! Didn’t you know that?!?!

        • Antinous / Moderator says:

          Even many in the so-called anti-war movement brings bottles, rocks, and Molotov cocktails.

          Wow. I must have missed some big news stories. Could you please link to some articles detailing how many people have been killed by anti-war protesters? Then we’ll compare that to how many Afghan civilians have been killed by US armed forces.

          • PapayaSF says:

            Could you please link to some articles detailing how many people have been killed by anti-war protesters? Then we’ll compare that to how many Afghan civilians have been killed by US armed forces.

            Apples, meet oranges. While the number of people killed by anti-war protesters is no doubt rather small, I suspect it’s slightly larger than the number killed by pro-war protesters. And while the number of innocent civilians killed by the US in Afghanistan is greater, it no doubt pales in comparison to the number killed by the Taliban and associates. And when the Taliban does it, it’s not an accident.

          • middleclass says:

            Ha. I love this. How to win hearts and minds, instill civic virtue, and unite the people behind a strong central government?

            Pashtun: “The Americans have killed many civilians and are destroying our land.”

            PapayaSF: “Ah, yes, but the number of innocent civilians killed by the US in Afghanistan… pales in comparison to the number killed by the Taliban and associates. And when the Taliban does it, it’s not an accident.

            Pashtun: “OIC. Please, let me help you burn my poppies.

          • asuffield says:

            And while the number of innocent civilians killed by the US in Afghanistan is greater, it no doubt pales in comparison to the number killed by the Taliban and associates. And when the Taliban does it, it’s not an accident.

            Here is a carefully sourced article aggregating the death toll in Afghanistan to date. The US has killed around twice as many civilians as the Taliban and associates over there.

            If you have some other clearly documented sources, please share them.

          • PapayaSF says:

            asuffield, I am also including the not inconsiderable Taliban-caused deaths pre-2001, unlike that article. I think it’s only fair to include them.

            Sorry, Antinous, I made my point about your bogus analogy and I don’t feel like spending time getting the ball through the goal posts after you move them. Floyd Turbo is right, and news articles about violence at peace demonstrations in recent years aren’t hard to find.

          • thefuture says:

            I am also including the not inconsiderable Taliban-caused deaths pre-2001, unlike that article. I think it’s only fair to include them.

            I’m sorry, I thought that the argument was about the US armed forces at least trying to minimise collateral damage and winning “hearts and minds”. I didn’t know that the goal was just to be a little less inhuman than the Taliban. And even using that yardstick you have to quible about pre and post 2001 casualties. Are you not seeing how wrong it is that you have almost become the monsters you are fighting?

          • failix says:

            First of all: Yes, the military is flawed and many of the actions undertaken by American and European governments are problematic to say the least. Dropping bombs on people is inhumane and causes innocent people to suffer and die.

            While I don’t think this should be a contest about who killed the least civilians, there are some problems with the article you link to and the conclusions you draw.

            Disproportionately powerful entities have to be disproportionately self-critical. However, this means there’s a higher amount of attention directed towards the actions of the military. In my opinion this is a good thing, but I think we should take it into account when comparing the data.

            Even if you want to ignore all the deaths the Taliban caused before 2001, you’ll notice that the article doesn’t have any estimates for civilians killed by insurgents for the five first years of that war. Since there’s also a lack of estimates for indirect deaths caused by insurgents, let’s look at the two lowest estimates for direct deaths caused by both parties.

            According to these estimates, 4029 were killed by insurgents and 5568 were killed by the military. This means that in 4 years, insurgents nearly killed as many civilians as the military did in twice that amount of time (missing 2004 and 2010 estimates). In the only period for which estimates are available in both cases (from 2006 to 2009), you can see that insurgents actually killed about twice as many civilians as the military did (HRW and UNAMA estimates).

            Now I have a quarrel with an “anti-war” argument based on civilian deaths. The parties of god (let’s stop calling them insurgents) specifically target civilians. You don’t know how many civilians would’ve died if there had been no intervention in Afghanistan. About half the amount of direct civilian deaths the military caused in Afghanistan in 9 years, was caused in only one day by a group that found refuge in Afghanistan. They blow up little girls for going to school for frack’s sake! If you say you want America to leave Afghanistan because you want civilians to stop dying you’re either lying, or you’re not thinking hard enough.

          • PapayaSF says:

            I’m not defending errors in war or the occasional American soldier who kills a civilian unfairly. But yes, I believe we are the good guys here. Anyone who thinks the Taliban is “better” either believes in Sharia or is blinded by hatred of the US, or both. However, Afghanistan is so screwed up, and has been for ages, that the whole problem may well be something we can’t solve.

            failix: Yes.

            asuffield: There are no “people killed by US forces from that period” because the US wasn’t there before late 2001.

            Pantograph: You need to read some real history, not just the conspiracy stuff. Canada and the British empire would likely have lost the war without the US.

            Antinous: No, I don’t count “enjoying murder as an accident.” You’re missing my point. Even assuming what you say is true, it’s a tiny portion of the civilian deaths. Only the deranged think the US is intentionally slaughtering civilians, but the Taliban do kill them intentionally, as a matter of policy. There is no moral equivalence here.

          • Kaden says:

            “Canada and the British empire would likely have lost the war without the US.”

            This conjecture fails to acknowledge the Russian role in WW2.

            Those damned commies ruin everything, don’t they?

          • PapayaSF says:

            Kaden, since the damned commies started World War II in Europe as allies of the Nazis so they could divvy up Eastern Europe between them, no, I don’t give them a lot of credit for switching sides almost two years later after they were betrayed by their fellow totalitarians.

            One more point regarding civilian casualties: according to the Geneva Convention, when a combatant hides among civilians or tries to trick the other side into killing civilians (and the Taliban is well-known for both), any resulting civilian deaths are an illegal act committed by them, not the side shooting at them. So any fair-minded supporter of the international laws of war has to move many of those civilian casualties in the US column over to the Taliban column.

          • Kaden says:

            Which in no way negates the Russian impact on the outcome of the conflict.

            Nice attempt at a strawman though. Keep practicing.

          • asuffield says:

            I am also including the not inconsiderable Taliban-caused deaths pre-2001, unlike that article. I think it’s only fair to include them.

            Then it is only fair to also include all the people killed by US forces from that period.

            Both groups are trigger-happy, but the Taliban uses sticks and knives while the US prefers to carpet bomb villages. They usually rack up the larger body count due to superior technology.

          • PapayaSF says:

            Based on my Googling, it sure seems like people on the web are more interested in post-2001 civilian deaths in Afghanistan caused by the US, than pre-2001 civilian deaths caused by the Taliban. But here’s one from 1998 that puts the Taliban in the lead when added to the Wikipedia numbers: Ethnic Hatred Led To Massacre By Taliban In August — As Many As 5,000 Civilians Murdered. (Assuming you stick with either all the low estimates or all the high ones.)

            And then there are all the terror attacks and various murders done by the Taliban just across the border in Pakistan.

          • Antinous / Moderator says:

            While the number of people killed by anti-war protesters is no doubt rather small, I suspect it’s slightly larger than the number killed by pro-war protesters.

            I’m sorry. Your link didn’t come through. You did intend to provide a credible citation, didn’t you?

            And when the Taliban does it, it’s not an accident.

            If you had even passing familiarity with these issues, you’d be aware of recordings of US soldiers who can’t distinguish between video games and actual murders. Or do you count enjoying murder as an accident?

          • PapayaSF says:

            You have heard of the Weather Underground, right? Their death toll varies depending on whether you want to count members killed building bombs intended for others. There was also the Sterling Hall bombing, which killed one and injured three.

          • Antinous / Moderator says:

            Why stop with going back four decades? I’m sure that you could find some specious citations from ancient Rome if you try a little harder. You’re just phoning it in now.

          • Anonymous says:

            The “weather underground”.

            Yup, ALL anti war protest will forever be tarnished (and legitimately so) by a couple of groups here and there throughout history.

            THey should just give up and accept war all the time, because the weather underground was violent, back n teh sixtieeees!

            It’s not depressing that people believe such nonsense (they don’t really), but it’s depressing that liberals worry about and feel intimidated by it.

            Maybe that’s why you don’t just come out and say it, “war is fun for those of us who approve it behind the safety of thousands of miles and a comfortable, healthy society” as well as “killing people who aren’t wasps makes me feel the world is a bit cleaner”.
            People won’t like to hear it but it feels good to unburden yourself. Just ask Mr. Manning how good he feels, having unburdened himself and “admitted it all” to some loser on the internet.

  31. Floyd R Turbo says:

    I should add to the above… only if Manning is proven guilty in a court of law…. if he did nothing illegal then so be it.

  32. Anonymous says:

    What are the chances that Manning was a plant and Adrian knew this because he’s one of the WL secret founding members.

  33. Kaden says:

    You do like your strawmen, don’t you? The point I made was that the US *didn’t* win WW2, aside from nuking 2 cities full of non combatants in the Pacific theater. Your pride in American bellicosity seems oblivious to the fact that as a nation, y’all don’t actually win many wars. You’d love to take credit for WW2, but the facts do not match your interpretation. Korea? Nope. Vietnam? Nope. Iraq 1? Nope. Afghanistan? Nope. Iraq 2? Nope not that either.

    All those toys, all those lives wasted, and you can’t put one in the win column. You kill a lot of civilians though, and mow down a shitload of strawmen, while making the world a generally less peaceful place.

    Fear does that to people.

    As a nation, you need to grow a pair.

    • PapayaSF says:

      Gosh, you’ve really got to read some history. Hiroshima and Nagasaki were both ports, had munitions industries and/or military facilities. They were legitimate wartime targets and Japan would not have surrendered if they hadn’t been atom bombed. (In fact there was a failed coup after Nagasaki to prevent Japan from surrendering.) They only surrendered because we claimed to have more bombs, even though more would not have been ready for months.

      And we saved Russia’s ass in World War II. Google “Murmansk run.”

      loonquawl: They allied beginning with the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact in August 1939. Hitler invaded Poland about a week later, and about two weeks after that Stalin invaded Poland from the East. They carved up Eastern Europe between them according to the secret protocols in the Pact until Hitler invaded Russia in June 1941.

      That period is actually quite fascinating, because after the Pact lots of American communists (Hellman, Hammett, Trumbo, Pete Seeger, etc.) switched from being anti-fascist to the Moscow line that fascism was not really a threat, only to switch back to being anti-fascist after June 1941.

      • Kaden says:

        My knowledge of history is just fine, thanks… certainly better than your ability to read and/or write without letting blind jingoism colour your thought processes.

        • PapayaSF says:

          “Jingoism” doesn’t mean what you or Antinous seems to think it means. It’s not “jingoism” to believe that the US was central to winning WWII, that Hiroshima and Nagasaki had military facilities, or that liberating people from a dictator and helping them establish a democracy is a good thing to do.

          • Antinous / Moderator says:

            Jingoism is defined in the Oxford English Dictionary as “extreme patriotism in the form of aggressive foreign policy”.

            That would describe you quite accurately. Of course, the villain always believes himself to be the hero.

  34. Anonymous says:

    Isn’t that what war’s about? Risking the lives of the few to save the lives and comfort of the many?

    As cold as it sounds, the soldiers knew this, too.

    Its war, any way you look at it. But this needed to be brought to the public.

  35. failix says:

    All right that “no clue” remark may have been a little bit harsh and I apologize, I’m just getting tired of this kind of lazy “anti-war” rhetoric; but seriously dude you can’t in all honesty believe I want world domination simply because I think the Iraq intervention was a good thing in the long run… is this point of view so foreign to you that you’d rather believe I’m the devil and am lying to you than reply to the points I’ve made?!

    I’m not reconstructing history, you can look it up, it’s documented and everywhere. If you want I can point you to wikipedia articles that’ll pretty much confirm the factuality of what I said. If there’s something I just got wrong, please correct me, in the end that’s really what I’m hoping for.

    The problem here really isn’t your point of view, because you’ll notice that’s not what I mainly criticized in my last post, it’s on what you seem to base your point of view. You just can’t call Iraq of pre-2003 a sovereign nation.

    And the “world domination” part is just hilarious man… come on, what do you even mean by that? Who or what should dominate and how? Me personally? An institution or organization of which I’m no part of? “My” country? Which one: the country I was born in? Or the one I grew up in? The one I have the most cultural affinities with? Maybe the one I’d like to visit the most? The one I live in? None of these is America btw. Some clarification would be nice…

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      We got involved in Iraq because we wanted to control the Middle East. Compare this with WWI and WWII, when we got involved because aggressive nations were carrying out mass invasions and attacks on multiple fronts. There are a hundred countries on earth that are as bad or much worse than Saddam Hussein’s Iraq was. There was nothing in that situation that made it appropriate to violate Iraq’s sovereignty and, oops, destroy the country in the process.

      • failix says:

        With the U.S.A’s long history of actually sponsoring dictatorships and overthrowing revolutions for imperialist motives you’d think they’d come up with a cheaper idea than spending billions and billions of dollars to do the exact contrary: overthrowing a dictatorship and sponsoring a democracy. The republic of Iraq is now a full member of the international community and a sovereign country. That’s not as easy to control but it turns out it isn’t as dangerous and inhumane as cruel regimes are. Duh…

        “Compare this with WWI and WWII, when we got involved because aggressive nations were carrying out mass invasions and attacks on multiple fronts.”

        Unfortunately that’s not why you got involved in WWII. The U.S were attacked and that’s when they finally decided to intervene two years after the war had already begun. Iraq and WWII are only comparable to the extent that a confrontation was inevitable and both enemies were fascist. That’s about it. Of course Iraq isn’t WWII but it’s definitely not Vietnam either.

        “There was nothing in that situation that made it appropriate to violate Iraq’s sovereignty”

        I thought I covered that bit already by giving you precise examples of what made it appropriate if not obligatory for the U.S to violate Iraq’s sovereignty? Whether the U.S wanted or not they had to do it sooner or later.

  36. JorgeBurgos says:

    bradass87′s long list just reeks of typical conspiracy theory bs to me…

    My guess is that he’s reading a whole lot more into the documents he has than what is actually there. ClimateGate is an apt example but not in the way he thinks.

    A handful of cherrypicked memos, or a grainy helicopter video – they can be spun one way; then again, they can be spun another way.

    This type of information is just never reliable enough to start making the claims that Manning makes.

    There’s good reason for intelligence security – the same reason that we have concern for our own privacy – people who don’t know what they are talking about are generally to quick to jump to ridiculous conclusions.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      My guess is that he’s reading a whole lot more into the documents he has than what is actually there.

      Then you’ll join us in celebrating the release of all the documents so that there’s no more doubt.

      • JorgeBurgos says:

        >>>> My guess is that he’s reading a whole lot more
        >>>> into the documents he has than what is actually
        >>>> there.

        >> Then you’ll join us in celebrating the release
        >> of all the documents so that there’s no more
        >> doubt.

        I’m sorry, that makes no sense.

        Sure, if we’re lucky, the people who deserve to be brought to justice will be brought to justice, and we will be able to thank the release of the documents for that.

        Unfortunately at the same time a lot of innocent people will be dragged across the coals, the actual facts will be muddied and twisted beyond recognition by the press and few people will be better off for it.

        It’s absurd to imagine that Brad has had the time to investigate these documents fully enough to be drawing the conclusion that he does; and portions of the media seem to have already made their mind up to about what the facts are too; so this process of non-analysis has begun already.

        I could be proved wrong – maybe the release of these documents really will have an effect on 6.7 billion people, ushering in a new age of world peace. From past experience though I wouldn’t bet on it.

        • Anonymous says:

          Yup! ‘Cause we can always count on ignorance and vanity to prevail with a majority of people who are just like you and deny the truth when it’s staring them in the face.. “Naaaah… prolly just reading too much into this evidence of war crimes..” “Those journalists and children had it coming..”

  37. putty says:

    Sorry Floyd.

    There is nothing that has been released so far that has posed any security threat to the USA whatsoever.

    And I reject your “with us or against us” false dichotomy. Not only is it possible to support our troops and our constitution and our democracy and our way of life while taking a stand against a particular war, doing so in a public protest is a patriotic act demonstrating a love for our country through our desire to see it’s policies shift to a more peaceful direction.

    Those soldiers “protecting my freedoms” are being funded with my tax dollars. Damn fucking right I want to know what they’re up to. The taxpaying public paid for those weapons, that helicopter and the media the video was recorded on. It belongs to us.

  38. PapayaSF says:

    So does a fireman who helped put out a fire deserve full credit for his effort if he helped start the fire in the first place? And if he illegally took possession of some of the ruins afterwards? Maybe in your moral universe, but not mine.

    • Kaden says:

      I suggest examining your moral universe for similarities between your analogy and the American presence in Iraq and Afghanistan.

      I’m looking forward to your appraisal.

      • PapayaSF says:

        Kaden, comparing the US in Iraq and Afghanistan to the Soviets or the Nazis is too absurd to discuss. Read some history (no, not Zinn, real history).

        Anon, the reason I brought up the Weathermen was to refute an apples/oranges comparison. And no, war is not “fun.” Sometimes it’s necessary, though.

        And if you want to unburden yourself, just admit you don’t care if the people of Iraq or Afghanistan live under bloodthirsty tyrants like Saddam or the Taliban.

        • Kaden says:

          Oh, I dunno… Taliban? Former beneficiaries of US largesse. Saddam too. Then your government betrayed their former allies for votes, oil and nothing more. The US started the current ‘fire’ in both countries, so by your analogy the holy troops of US crusaders can’t really expect anything approaching credit for saving sweet fuck all. Your gang of oil hungry bully boys are where they are not wanted, doing bad things to innocent people. You know… terr’st stuff.

          They really should stop… your country has become a laughing stock because terrified people like you encourage and attempt to justify ‘rogue nation’ actions by your government. It’s like you hate America or something.

          • failix says:

            You’re not really saying that the fact the U.S. armed the Taliban and had them as allies invalidates them from fighting them now are you? Are you seriously suggesting that because the U.S. made the inexcusable mistake of having Saddam Hussein as an ally and leaving him in power after 1991 means they didn’t have the right from removing him from power in 2003? If anything, they have an even higher moral obligation to take responsibility for the mess they’ve made. There’s a lot more to take responsibility for, but at least it’s a roughly better direction than continuing to make deals with Saddam Hussein, and pretending that the Taliban is only the Afghan’s problem.

          • PapayaSF says:

            And note that in the same thread, Kaden argued that the Soviets should get credit for defeating Hitler, even though they started the European war with him and fought as allies for nearly two years! Double standard exposed….

          • loonquawl says:

            Are you really suggesting the Soviets began the war with the Nazis? could you expand on that, for a moment?

  39. floraldeoderant says:

    Okay, everyone who thinks Manning (allegedly) was in the wrong, raise your hands.

    Alright. Now. Explain to me precisely 2 things.

    1) We are just supposed to trust that everyone in power has their hearts in the right place, and believe that everything they claim is classified for National Security really is?
    Um… Have you heard of this guy called Nixon? Spoiler alert: HUGE douchebag.

    (If your answer’s yes, then you lost the logic game).

    2) Please explain to me how footage like the collateral murder video is such a threat. Cuz that was totally hidden, and I can see nothing relevant to national security in it.

    (Do NOT feed me that “questioning our methods emboldens the terrorists” crap. It makes me angry.
    Nor, give me the “Well, if we throw all these high ranking military and diplomatic officials in jail for war crimes, they can’t do their job, which impedes national security” crap. Even the Italian supreme court thinks that’s bullshit, and those are some generally clueless motherfuckers).

    (Yes, the swearing at the end was absolutely necessary. And enjoyable).

  40. Guesstimate Jones says:

    Let’s just suspend judgment, until Manning is de-briefed, shall we?

    It will probably turn out that this all the just a figment of an over-active imagination, some sort adverse reaction to the extreme stress of an extended deployment abroad.

  41. Anonymous says:

    Speaking as a non-US citizen who has grown up surrounded by anti-US rhetoric because of, well, everything from the placement of dictators in South American countries and the overthrowing of governments who do not support the commercial interests of US companies (check out Confessions of an Economic Hitman for more details – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confessions_of_an_Economic_Hit_Man ) – the single most powerful defence for the US, the one which defeats the US’s critics – is that you are attempt to be the very best of freedom, democracracy and justice, internally at least. In the UK/Europe we envy your legislature, in China they envy your justice, in Iran they envy the free speach.

    We all know that massacres and mistakes took place during Iraq – and to think that this will come as a shock or suprise to America’s opponents there is silly – it is exactly the behaviour expected (and experienced) of America. What is also expected by them is the actions of Lamo, the arrest of the whistleblower and the argument that all the shit that goes on at war should be censored. But for America to win this argument – internationally and internally – it must show that justice, free speach and the protection of those who risk themselves to bring injustice to public light- is what America is about. The risk of embarassing some soldiers should not stop that.

    I am a pacifist so I’m suprised by quite how angry I feel towards Lamo right now. And anyone who loves America, and wants to defend America, should be too.

  42. Anonymous says:

    Your link in “Glenn Greenwald wrote in his Salon piece published yesterday” is not exact.

    The fix:
    http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2010/06/18/wikileaks/index.html

  43. Anonymous says:

    Gawd I despise Adrian Lamo, what a world-class rat! I sincerely hope he gets what’s coming to him…

  44. headphonegirl says:

    wish these same people would whip up something pronto for the Gulf of Mexico

  45. Yamara says:

    This is really just in keeping with the restaurant mascot theme this week.

    What Floyd and other US-boosters are really trying to say is that their fellow Americans are delicious.

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