Wikileaks releases classified Afghanistan war logs: "largest intelligence leak in history"

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130 Responses to “Wikileaks releases classified Afghanistan war logs: "largest intelligence leak in history"”

  1. Rob Beschizza says:

    “masturbating to unicorns and useless information” might very well have to go into the motto rotation.

  2. Ugly Canuck says:

    Personally, I like the way that the US media is emphasizing the “you-cannot-trust-any-muslims” angle of these reports.

    The US emphasis appears to be on the reports which state Pakistan is treachorously working with the Taliban – those seem to be the ones getting the most US media play.

    That’s a meme that’s been floated before, eh?
    “Those rotten muslims…”
    Who benefits?

  3. Raven says:

    Reading the comments it is quite clear that many people are still not aware of what I see as the primary reason for the US involvement in Afghanistan which is : Energy.

    Timeline of Competition between Unocal and Bridas for the Afghanistan Pipeline:
    http://www.worldpress.org/specials/pp/pipeline_timeline.htm

    Dec 1998: Citing low oil prices, concerns over Osama bin Laden, and pressure from women’s groups, Unocal withdraws from Afghan pipeline consortium. Unocal also announces a 40 percent drop in capital spending for 1999 because of low oil prices.

    Since so many here appear to be lefties try reading this:
    http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Afghanistan/Afghanistan_CIA_Taliban.html

    “Since the collapse of the USSR at the end of 1991, U.S. oil companies and their friends in the State Department have been salivating at the prospect of gaining access to the huge oil and natural gas reserves in the former Soviet republics bordering the Caspian Sea and in Central Asia. These have been estimated as worth $4 trillion”.

    Do you guys understand now? I get the US military to go in and secure the region without any cost to myself. In fact I profit from the arms sales. Once the region is pacified I profit more from the oil in the region and I get someone else to shoulder the bulk of the costs.

  4. Jack says:

    Oh might I add, 10 years later, one MASSIVE real estate boom later, NYC changing in ways I never saw and guess what? The World Trade Center site is still a hole in the ground. Way to go!

  5. Funkf00t says:

    MMMM. Methinks the leaks are poor form.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Reminds me of The Cryptonomicon.

  7. Mitch says:

    Well, it looks pretty good in the mountains in the center of the country.

  8. Marshall says:

    “Americans fighting the war in Afghanistan have long harbored strong suspicions that Pakistan’s military spy service guides the Afghan insurgency that fights American troops, even as Pakistan receives more than $1 billion in U.S. aid.”

    Connections between Pakistan’s ISI and various terrorist, extremist and Taliban groups dates back to the 1970′s and are widely documented elsewhere.

    The real question is why do we continue to be in bed with Pakistan when we know that they are supporting groups that have been killing Americans since before 9/11?

  9. dhalgren says:

    It’s kind of interesting when one is right-wing, non-Republican, Conservative, and Anti-Occupation (not just Iraq and Afghanistan – I mean all of our Occupations). My friends don’t know what to make of me.

    I’m 100% for transparency when it comes to what our government does in our name. Unfortunately these ‘leaks’ aren’t going to change anything except to have a few days if that of headlines and then it’ll get brushed under the carpet.

    This is not Watergate. This is not the Vietnam War. This is not 1968. There is no draft. Our soldiers are all volunteers. All my friends in the military want to go fight. My best friend who survived Iraq wants to go to Afghanistan and fight. Anyone who joins the U.S. military knows that once they sign their name they will be deployed at some point to a war zone.

    I just don’t see where this ‘classified’ information is telling us anything shockingly different than what we already know if we have been paying attention at an in-depth level.

    Tonight let’s get our men and women home. These ‘leaks’ unfortunately will be a long jail sentence for some and a self-congratulatory pat on the back for others. One I see as a futile gesture and the other self-serving and self-promoting.

    This is a farce.

  10. CopraCandy says:

    Let me assure you of a few things.

    There are no “rogue elements” in the ISI or the Army. As one very familiar with the workings of our military, it is pretty much impossible to go out and wage your private war. Anything and everything is always approved at multiple levels.

    The ISI will only do what it is ordered to do. It is impossible for it to run it’s own show without approval at the highest level.

    If the US is surprised at this, then they are living in some kind of Alice in Wonderland fantasy.

  11. Stefan Jones says:

    I get the impression that some of the folks here firmly believe that Ignorance is Strength.

  12. asuffield says:

    Wasn’t the whole “We’re in Europe; your silly US laws can’t touch us” the belief of The Pirate Bay folks as well? Things didn’t turn out so well for them in the end

    Newsflash: TPB is still up and running.

    They can go after the people who have been involved in running TPB or wikileaks, but they can’t stop TPB or wikileaks. The number of people who will carry on the fight is larger than the capacity of the jails.

    Nothing short of an international police state would do it, and I’m not sure even that would be enough. Communication is now the norm, rather than the exception, and that is not going away.

  13. bjacques says:

    @CoprayCanday 79&80:

    I recall that not too long ago, the US pressured the government of Pakistan to at least look like they were making an effort to contain the Taliban in the tribal zone. The Taliban then threw a few TNT tantrums in some large Pakistan city or other.

    I can see that Pakistan and the ISI’s interests don’t necessarily match the US and the CIA’s. But is it really in Pakistan’s interest to cultivate a pack of crazy fundamentalist rednecks or let your chief atomic scientist sell nukes out of the back of his car?

    You think blowback only happens to Americans?

    • CopraCandy says:

      +++The Taliban then threw a few TNT tantrums in some large Pakistan city or other.+++

      The Afghan-Taliban… the people America is fighting, have NEVER done anything bad inside Pakistan. They have NEVER broken any laws.

      The people who “threw a tantrum” are the TTP.. or Pakistani-Taliban… a group that has nothing in common with the Afghan-Taliban.

  14. asuffield says:

    Oh, and with TPB the censors have the advantage that what they are doing is peripherally related to something illegal. What wikileaks is doing is not: while it may be ‘treason’ or ‘violation of the official secrets act’ (or whatever local law calls it) to publish material classified by your own country, there is absolutely no law against publishing the secrets of a foreign nation that you have no connection with. The absolute worst thing you could call it would be “legitimate act of war”, and even that doesn’t apply in this case.

  15. Anonymous says:

    For the lazy, here are a few excerpts:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-10760780

    Between these and the BoingBoing article, it sounds like the normal screw ups of war. Maybe less so*. Unpleasant, distasteful, but not as bad as I expected for 9 years of high explosive diplomacy.

    In a way, the leaks appear to align close enough with public expectations that in the end, the leaks could increase trust of Washington and the military. Ironic, eh?

    * war is pretty much filled with horrendous cluster $%@#s. Compared to what historically was encouraged (think Mai Lai as policy for every village) and swept under the rug, I’m quite proud of a military that at least tries (even if it often fails) to minimize the worst parts of war. And proud of a country that airs its dirty laundry (reluctantly) for the world to see.

  16. Ugly Canuck says:

    Anybody who thinks that Pakistan is in any way a ‘secular” state is dreaming in technicolor…or believs the empty statements to that effect put out by the pak Gov to assuage US Senators who may have qualms about allieingh with a Muslim state which refuses tocome into the IAEA and has nuclear weapons, outside of the bounds of that Treaty.
    Pakistan was formed from its beginning as a “homeland” for the “security” of the Muslim inhabitants of what was then “greater India”: India was partitioned into India and Pakistan (East and West), so that the Pakistans could be a home for Indian Muslims.

    How “secular” is that?
    And IIRC, many many non-Muslims were driven out of Pakistan by violence: “ethnic cleansing” before that odious term was given wide use by the US media.
    And this was only sixty years ago.

    Boy, you Yanks can sure pick your Allies.

    • CopraCandy says:

      +++How “secular” is that?+++

      If you look at Pakistan’s flag, the white area on the side represents Pakistan’s Non-Muslim citizens.

      Hence, “secular”.

  17. Anonymous says:

    after reading alot of the released information on the wikileaks site, i found that what i saw was probably already released on the ISAF web site. if people would look out side of the controlled Rueters and AP press releases they would this sort of day to day commintary action reports in the following web site. if you want to know what happen to our troops today look here its released by the military every day for the public.

    http://www.isaf.nato.int/en/article/press-releases/2.html

    why are people surprised there is enemy contact every day in a war zone?

  18. ophite says:

    There is gonna be huuuge rightwing pressure to stomp on wikileaks in the wake of this. No doubt there. Will the mainstream media and democrats (other than the one in the white house) follow suit? Hard to say.

    Of course the Democrats will. They ought to. They’re trying to run a goddamn country here. You can’t just

    If I were a US agency trying to achieve any particular outcome in Central Asia or the subcontinent, I’d try to grind my heel down on Wikileaks as hard as possible. I’d put leakers with security clearances in prison for the rest of their lives. I’d DDOS Wikileaks hosts. I’d put diplomatic pressure on other nations to pull the passports of anyone involved, even peripherally, with Wikileaks.

    I don’t mean that what Wikileaks is doing is morally wrong. To the contrary, I think the threat of leaks keeps our government honest. But secrecy is a necessary part of operating a modern state. Especially diplomatic secrecy. How can we expect to negotiate with (by which I mean “lie to”) a nuclear state unless the confidentiality of our communications with them can be ensured?

    If and when Wikileaks produces an actual, verifiable scandal, they’ll be hard to touch in any public way. To this point, all they’ve managed to push is a horrific but accidental friendly fire incident and 200,000 pages of demoralized military and State Department bureaucrats trying to conduct a war under worsening circumstances.

    That’s it. That’s all there is. And they’ve broadcast it as though it’s some massive propaganda victory over the United States. I suppose the entire concept behind Wikileaks is that they’re completely injudicious about what they’ll release. But as long as they are, they’re not going to get any sort of leverage from the institutions which would be better off if they didn’t exist.

    • Anonymous says:

      How can we expect to negotiate with (by which I mean “lie to”) a nuclear state unless the confidentiality of our communications with them can be ensured?

      Well, if that’s the concern, this has nothing to do with it. This is releasing old documents. Meanwhile, we the people are trying to run a goddamn country here, and we don’t know nothin’.

    • teapot says:

      Your ideas are adorable, but laughably impractical.

      I’d put leakers with security clearances in prison for the rest of their lives.
      If you can catch them. Wikileaks take every precaution to protect the identity of sources, even to the extent of keeping information compartmentalised within the organisation. The only reason Bradley Manning got done was cos the guy bragged about it.

      I’d DDOS Wikileaks hosts.
      Hosted & mirrored across 3 or 4 countires, I believe. Try and DDOS that.

      I’d put diplomatic pressure on other nations to pull the passports of anyone involved, even peripherally, with Wikileaks.
      And then you’d be appalled to find out that many other countries dont cave to immoral requests which contradict human rights.

      To this point, all they’ve managed to push is a horrific but accidental friendly fire incident and 200,000 pages of demoralized military and State Department bureaucrats trying to conduct a war under worsening circumstances.
      To this point, this is largely all the mass media has reported, yes. If you’d actually visited the wikileaks site or done any reading on the matter you would know you claim is, in every way, wrong.

  19. Richard says:

    Not only would transparency in government be a nice but normally unobtainable goal.

    One would hope that the MSM would wake up and do some real reporting on this issue before now.

    And not help toe the party line where it appears thousands of Afghani’s’ have been needlessly killed in order that the government doesn’t have money left to use for those programs which benefit the majority of Americans.

  20. teapot says:

    * The Taliban has used portable, heat-seeking missiles against Western aircraft — weapons that helped defeat the Soviet occupation in the 1980s.

    You mean the Stingers supplied by the US of A to the Taliban via Pakistan’s ISI, right?

    A while back someone in a BB comments section recommended reading a book called Ghost Wars for a better understanding of the quagmire that is Afghanistan. I have, annoyingly, not finished it yet – but it is a *damn* good read, and certainly helps sort the politics from reality.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Cannot view detailed wikileak links, Australia has been censored already

  22. prentiz says:

    I think this sucks. On one hand what is gained? We all knew about the civilian casualties. We’ve all seen the coffins come home as a result of blue on blue tragedies. The fact that Taliban might have Stinger is no surprise and the fact that NATO forces are trying to kill Taliban leaders without trial is sort of the point of war.

    On the other hand, does this information put NATO/Afghan lives at risk? Does it give away the identities of people working with the coalition? Does it give an insight into the tactics of the troops on the ground, the appreciation of which might give the Taliban forces a tactical advantage. I know Wikileaks claim to have redacted stuff – but I’d question how well placed they are to decide what should or shouldn’t be included.

    I know there’s a lot of people here and elsewhere who will rejoice at the publication of this info – perhaps because of their concerns about the previous US Government, perhaps because it is a demonstration of the power of the internet to sweep secrets away. But just don’t forget the young men and women putting their lives at risk, who could get killed as a result. If we lose sight of them we are as bad as those who are accused of ignoring civilian deaths.

    I’d hope that any members of the military involved in this will, if convicted, spend a very long time in prison. It is a shame that Wikileaks highest profile case isn’t more clearly deserving of being leaked.

    • toyg says:

      On one hand what is gained? We all knew about the civilian casualties.

      … except we didn’t, not in these numbers: “the logs demonstrate how much of the contemporaneous US internal reporting of air strikes is simply false”. Hello America: your military lied to you for 8 straight years.

      We’ve all seen the coffins come home as a result of blue on blue tragedies.

      … except that we now know that the Afghan Army is still completely unreliable, with talibans freely running around in official uniforms. Hello America: 8 years in, “training the Afghan Army” is still a pointless exercise.

      The fact that Taliban might have Stinger is no surprise

      … except that it is. Even better, there is now ground to believe that this equipment was indirectly provided by the US, or at least paid for with US money through Pakistan. Hello America: 8 years in, you are still supporting your own enemies.

      and the fact that NATO forces are trying to kill Taliban leaders without trial is sort of the point of war.

      …except that it’s very counterproductive, producing a lot of civilian victims and collateral damage which results in continuous loss of mindshare. Hello America: 8 years in, your fighters still don’t know how to fix this mess.

      So hey, spare me your “war is peace” crap, please.

      • prentiz says:

        “except that we now know that the Afghan Army is still completely unreliable, with talibans freely running around in official uniforms”

        http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/afghanistan/7888751/Reliability-of-Afghan-army-called-into-question-by-Pentagon.html

        (from the Pentagon ffs!)

        “The fact that Taliban might have Stinger is no surprise… except that it is.

        http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/afghanistan/1357632/Taliban-still-have-Reagans-Stingers.html

        (from 2001!)

        “and the fact that NATO forces are trying to kill Taliban leaders without trial is sort of the point of war….except that it’s very counterproductive, producing a lot of civilian victims and collateral damage”

        Except that what you are talking about is air and drone strikes – and what the media were talking about being revealed is SF operations which typically have a much lower level of collateral damage…

        I could go on – and I accept your point about the inaccuracy of US reporting of civilian casualties – if that is the case – as being worthy of exposure. But you need to balance that with the damage you might do to NATO forces on the ground- for example that could have been exposed whilst preserving the secrecy of other information…

        • Ugly Canuck says:

          Your point seems to be that there’s nothing of new value in the leaked documents – but that this could still “damage” the US, and thus it’s release needs to be “balanced”, by those who get to decide (apparently, that is not us “little people”- No, Sir!) what info goes out and when.

          So which is it? Is this worthless old news or dangerous new secrets revealed?
          You’re saying it’s one or the other, depending upon which interpretation best reflects upon the US Govs colossal waste of people and resources.
          I hope the profits from the revived Afghan heroin trade – you know, the one that the Taliban eradicated in the 1990s – make up for that waste.

  23. ophite says:

    Are you living under a rock? Even in BB’s write-up they make reference to Pfc. Bradley Manning. Unfortunately your shit judicial system is gonna put that naive kid through the wringer.

    In what nation is what Bradley Manning did not a crime?

  24. ophite says:

    Well, if that’s the concern, this has nothing to do with it. This is releasing old documents.

    A diplomatic document isn’t “old” until the conditions under which it was created are complete, and the people who are discussed are no longer going to be hurt by it. We’re trying to work with Pakistan. And we do need to lie about what we know about the ISI in order to do so effectively. More importantly, we need to lie about what we believe about the ISI.

  25. happyez says:

    Two extremely interesting quotes to comment on:

    “Another thing I don’t understand is wikileaks; in principle I like wikileaks, but why not filter out the stuff that puts troops at risk?”

    The very fact that they are spending 8 years over there doing very little but propping up a regime and fighting a mob of people who will get their way anyway (likely) says that the very fact that the troops are over there is THE risk.

    How to reduce the risk? Pull them out, then voila, no risk.

    How’s that for a strategy?

    “You’re against that? You have no problem with the Taliban once again taking control over the region? Fine, but then say so.”

    OK, I’ll say it. I have no problem with them running Afganistan. Or to put it another way, I have a problem with all dictatorships, but I don’t live under one, so to me every country that has a dictatorship is pretty much the same.

    Why is it really really important that the USA spends hundreds of billions of dollars keeping one awful mob from running one country, than the regime in Saudi Arabia, or Kazakhstan or Equitorial Guinea.

    I mean, who cares about Afganistan in itself? Do you? Really? To what degree are they more important than E.Guinea?

    To me, if you invest $300b+ into one country, to me you have to give equal attention to all other dictatorships.

    I am really interested in hearing you nail this one Failix. I’d really like to hear a convincing argument for US troops to be in the Middle East.

    • failix says:

      “the very fact that the troops are over there is THE risk.”

      Unfortunately we’ve had to learn the hard way that fundamentalist Islam is bent towards the destruction of secular and western societies regardless of where troops or civilians are.

      “OK, I’ll say it. I have no problem with them running Afganistan.”

      At least you’re honest.

      “To me, if you invest $300b+ into one country, to me you have to give equal attention to all other dictatorships. I mean, who cares about Afganistan in itself? Do you? Really? To what degree are they more important than E.Guinea?”

      Just because all countries aren’t being democratized, does it mean no country should be democratized? In other words, you’re making an ideal scenario the enemy of a good scenario. It won’t get you very far if you actually care… right, you don’t.

      Even an isolationist like yourself who doesn’t care about what’s happening outside his or her own country, has reasons to care about Afghanistan. All dictatorships are equally undesirable, but some dictatorships pose bigger threats to the world than others.

  26. uildaan says:

    anyone else in australia able to get through to the wikileaks archive, or even just wikileaks itself?

    http://downforeveryoneorjustme.com/
    says wikileaks is up

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m in Australia and cant see Wikileaks. I think Conroy is at it again. This is embarrassing! Googling “wikileaks down” shows nothing so I think it is only Australia at this stage.

    • teapot says:

      anyone else in australia able to get through to the wikileaks archive, or even just wikileaks itself?

      I got it, but it was very slow. Server load, or trial run for the proposed internet filter?

      Also does anyone know of a company that will COD me some tinfoil? I got me some er, lampshades to make.

    • Jellybit says:

      I’m in the US, and I haven’t been able to access Wikileaks since this story broke yesterday. I checked downforeveryoneorjustme, and unlike for you, it says this for me:

      “It’s not just you! http://wikileaks.org looks down from here.”

      I assumed DDOS, but it seems others can access it? I’m not sure what’s happening.

  27. Anonymous says:

    If America really is funding the Taliban, are we suggesting that America is prolonging the war on purpose? Or are they supposed to be inadvertently ignorant of their own intelligence reports?

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  29. nyar says:

    I want my $0.50 a gallon gas. Please do whatever is possible to win this war.

    And remember, everything is fair in love and war.

    All jokes aside:

    It is hard to determine the intent of WL in releasing this papers. We can speculate, but we will never be sure.

    Does it damages the war effort, the US and its citizens? Only time will tell.

    Indeed we need… no, we REQUIRE transparency in our goverment, and regardless if I lean left or right, we have not had it in awhil; an external agency had to give it to us.

    And in the spirit of continuos improvement:

    Perhaps pur intelligence agencies will decide to work together, close ranks and create an intelligence environment where this could have been detected/avoided.

  30. Tony Wicher says:

    Where honest journalism hardly exists anymore in the newspapers or television, Wikileaks is real journalism at its best. Like Vietnam, Afghanistan is an imperial war of aggression disguised for the benefit of the American people as self-defense against “terrorism”. But the real truth about Vietnam, which is that the Kennedy assassination was a coup by the military-industrial complex, which has been running the country ever since, never came out, and the country has continued in a steady downhill course toward a full police state and military dictatorship ever since. Now I am praying that Wikileaks will not only expose that Afghanistan is nothing but senseless butchery that benefits only war profiteers, arms and drug dealers, just like Vietnam, but they will actually get into 9/11 itself and expose that 9/11 was in fact an inside job engineered by our own covert agencies, our own national security apparatus which is completely out of any kind of civilian control and riddled with gangsters and psychopaths. Only that will finally break the fifty-year grip of the military-industrial complex on our country. Of course, anybody who would like to look into this does not have to wait for Wikileaks; the facts are already available at the website of Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, ae911truth.org.

  31. toyg says:

    Oh man. I never thought I’d have seen such a thing. This is going to be our generation’s Watergate, and clearly there’s much more to come.

    Shame that today’s “Deep Throat” will probably spend the rest of his life in jail because of the shameful behaviour of Mr. Adrian Lamo.

  32. CopraCandy says:

    As perhaps the only Pakistani here, living in Pakistan, I don’t see why the ISI is being blamed for doing their jobs.

    It would be stupid to assume our interests and American interests are the same. They are not.

    The ISI will do what is good for the country… not what is good for the US. And it is now quite clear the ISI is far better at it’s craft than the CIA.

    Learn to live with it.

    As for the shoulder-launched heat-seekers, they are probably not Stingers… most of those had been bought back by the US in the 90s by offering more money than they were worth.

    These are probably an older generation of Russian hand-me-downs bought on the open black-market.

    • hassenpfeffer says:

      Copra, as an American I have no problem admitting that another country’s intel organization works better than the CIA–hell, friggin’ IBM is more efficient than the CIA. I do, however, have an issue with my tax dollars going to fund the ISI. The overwhelming sentiment by US commenters on this thread is “Get us the hell out,” and we’re hoping (but not really expecting) that this document leak facilitates our exit.

    • Marshall says:

      Regarding the Pakistani ISI.

      “It would be stupid to assume our interests and American interests are the same. They are not.”

      We don’t. What has been a serious concern to Pakistan watchers is an ideological trend towards sympathy to Islamic extremism within both the Pakistani ISI and Pakistan’s senior military officers since the 1980′s. You’re right that the ISI should be expected to have Taliban contacts and contacts with extremist groups in order to do its job, but the concern is that there are elements within the ISI who are gaming the situation to either their own ends or to further an agenda that’s not in line with the public policy of Pakistan’s supposedly secular state.

      • Ugly Canuck says:

        Good points.
        Turning about, is it not worrisome , those reports of Fundy Christians “influencing” the officer Corps of the US Air Force?

        http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9E06E6D61138F932A25755C0A9639C8B63

        • Marshall says:

          Totally worrisome. The Christian extremist problems within the US Air Force are well known and troubling. There’s certainly not the element of corruption and connection/sympathy to active terrorist/extremist elements that has been posited within the ISI, though.

          • Ugly Canuck says:

            In an active war zone, how can you tell?

          • Ugly Canuck says:

            Of course, their “terrorism” would be directed at different targets.
            So, many in America and Canada and the UK would not consider them “terrorists”, just effective soldiers doing their duty.

            And what “Taliban terrorism” has been directed at ANY American, other than those to be found within Afghanistan’s/Pakistan’s borders?

            Funny how that perception of “terrorists” yet applies to both “sides”, when considering the forces of the “other”.

            We in the middle are being played for suckers from both ends.
            Stop spending your money on war.
            How tough is that?
            Apparently, tougher than fighting wars.

  33. floraldeoderant says:

    Sitting in a PC-Bang right now, in Korea. All there is to toast wikileaks and (allegedly) Manning with, is chocolate milk.

    Here’s your delicious, chocolatey toast, all you heroes. More (proper) toasts to come.

  34. CopraCandy says:

    Having said that, according to our Govt, the ISI has to have constant contact with the taliban and what-not so we can know their next move.

    Of course that can be seen as a suspicious activity… but that is also how the job is done.

    In the intelligence game, you can’t shun a source just because “he’s a bad guy”.

  35. bklynchris says:

    OH MY GOD

    also, when you consider what is happening off North Korea.

    toyg-this is in a class of its own. Attaching the suffix -gate almost downplays it significance.

    • Jonathan Badger says:

      Obviously, it is possible that some conspiracy akin to Watergate or Iran-Contra will be discovered in the vast amount of data, but so far from the reports it doesn’t look like that; just that the war isn’t going as well as the propaganda claimed. Not exactly a surprise or conspiracy.

  36. abstrak says:

    If the documents only cover actions up until December, did Manning (or Assange) selectively release these reports? If so, does that imply approval of Obama’s post-December prosecution of the war and elevation of Obama above daylight and transparency?

    • Xeni Jardin says:

      That’s a silly thing to say.

      From what Wikileaks has stated, some material was indeed held back for reasons noted above.

      It hardly seems that there’s any intent to “make Obama look good,” or lay all the blame at the Bush administration’s feet. Judging from what we know of the timeline with Manning, it would seem logical that the period covered by the archive ends with the date upon which the last portion of classified material was downloaded and transmitted.

      • abstrak says:

        Selectively releasing the documents would be a silly thing for Assange or Manning to do. There are far too many people in this world doing silly things.

        I am not entirely clear on the timeline, but I suppose charges were filed near the end of May. My confusion is because the diary is labeled 2004-2010, but the documents released end in December, concurrent with the policy change. Perhaps the 15,000 documents that are not in this release will cover reports after December. It would be quite a coincidence if later reports are not included in the pending release.

        • Xeni Jardin says:

          Read the post, abstrak. Wikileaks, which I am neither condemning nor championing here, states:

          We have delayed the release of some 15,000 reports from the total archive as part of a harm minimization process demanded by our source. After further review, these reports will be released, with occasional redactions, and eventually, in full, as the security situation in Afghanistan permits.

          Every reputable “transparency/sunshine” organization I can think of employs some use of selective publication. Sometimes there are perfectly valid reasons for delaying, or withholding. I can’t speak to that here, but there is zero evidence to support the theory that Wikileaks is acting in a manner to minimize “damage” for the Obama administration. Your suggestions here are ludicrous.

          • abstrak says:

            I’m very firmly pro-sunshine and anti-war. I’m ostensibly pro-Wikileaks, pro-Assange, pro-Manning, and pro-Xeni. But the post doesn’t clearly address my specific question about the dateline. I think my question is valid.

            Your opinion is that there is no agenda in the dates chosen. My hope is that you are correct.

          • abstrak says:

            Incidentally, the defense may hinge on the leaks being “old news”, i.e. part of the old policy.

  37. RyanH says:

    This is not going to be our generation’s Watergate, at least not in North America, because this is not a story that the mainstream media is interested in telling. And sadly the indie and third party media simply doesn’t have the penetration to make a difference. They are not going to reach anyone who is not already critical about these issues.

    If CNN and the New York Times and such were interested in a Vietnam-style ‘What are we doing and should we be doing it?’ story they already have more than enough fodder for a dozen news cycles. The simple fact that they have not makes it wishful thinking that they suddenly will.

    You know what type of story this will run as in the MSM? A national security story. An ‘endangering American lives’ story. A ‘are the people who leaked this (and the people who supported them) with us or against us’ story. And once all the talking heads have solemnly proclaimed that since they are not with us they must be against us. And the the story will be ‘who are they with?’ Here’s one hint, their conclusion will begin with a ‘T’ and end with an ‘errorists’.

    Until it has been spun, don’t make this mistake of thinking this is going to be the story that it should be and deserves to be.

    • toyg says:

      Well, at least the NYT seems to be trying to do the right thing: it’s running an extremely sad piece right on homepage, with the main piece dedicated to Pakistan’s treacherous position. Only a minor line for Assange, the only one really pushing pieces on him is Xeni :D (Note for Xeni: “Afghanistan war logs: Story behind biggest leak in intelligence history” is linked twice).
      Same for the Guardian, more or less; I can’t read German so can’t vouch for Der Spiegel.

      This is simply too big to sweep under the carpet, and there’s probably more to come.

  38. Mingebag says:

    So the administration is saying that the leaked information is putting our troops in danger, but that it is also too old to be relevant to the current situation in Afghanistan.

    I think that one of those statements is going to have to be retracted, either one makes James Jones look like a giant tool.

    Hopefully with a few more leaks like this one the US can finally stop trying to make the world safer by spending trillions of dollars to kill peasants with AK 47s

  39. Antinous / Moderator says:

    This is going to be our generation’s Watergate

    It might at least knock Shirley Sherrod off the front page. Now the White House can play the aggrieved party again.

  40. Anonymous says:

    That it took a leak to get this out shows the failure of “embeded” journalists to get to the real story.

  41. Anonymous says:

    How is this like Watergate in any way? What laws were broken? Is it the fact that the US is keeping secrets?

    I don’t see the difference between celebrating this leak and believing the US should not have an intelligence classification/clearance system whatsoever.

  42. Rukasu says:

    Pakistan is aiding the Taliban? We needed leaked documents to tell us what we’ve known for 8 years?

  43. failix says:

    I don’t understand. People here seem to be rejoicing about the fact the Taliban have grown in strength over the years… The day the coalition forces go home to let the Taliban take over the country again is going to be a sad day, and I don’t look forward to it at all.

    Another thing I don’t understand is wikileaks; in principle I like wikileaks, but why not filter out the stuff that puts troops at risk?

    • Ugly Canuck says:

      Some of us saw this war for what it was, before it started.

      “I told you so!” is the cry here.
      Not “Long live the Taliban!”- which was indeed the cry in Washington, while funding the ant-Soviet insurgency, with US taxpayers’ dollars’, in secret, throughout the 1980s.

      But perhaps you’re not over thirty years old?
      Perhaps you don’t see the long game?

      You know, crowded prisons and harsh courts and brutal cops for you peasants, with unlimited public spending and rich rewards and honors for those developing the weapons of mass destruction, and for those fearlessly patriotic enough to kill “for their country”?

      • failix says:

        “Some of us saw this war for what it was, before it started.”

        What is it then? And in what way exactly did these leaks confirm your previously held views of the war? I for example found the leaks confirmed my view that the alliance between America and Pakistan is flawed.
        But in no way does the leak reveal a “hidden nature” of the war. It is what it is. An attempt at stabilizing the region by getting rid of the Taliban.
        You’re against that? You have no problem with the Taliban once again taking control over the region? Fine, but then say so.

        • toyg says:

          “Some of us saw this war for what it was, before it started.”
          What is it then?

          Like most (if not all) wars, it’s mostly a way for weapon dealers and war profiteers to make bucketloads of money at taxpayers’ expense.
          Have a look at Halliburton’s shares from pre-9/11 to now. Hint: they even did a 2:1 split.

          Plus, it brought a number of political side-effects which I’m sure you’re well aware of.

    • Ugly Canuck says:

      Does a collapse of public support for a cruel and useless war policy put “troops at risk”?

    • Ugly Canuck says:

      Did not the invasion of Afghanistan put more “troops at risk” than any release of any information ever could?

    • Ugly Canuck says:

      Is it now official American policy to pick sides in every single civil war that occurs or will ever occur on the face of the earth?

      I’m a big fan of self-determination, and of staying out of fights which I am not involved in.

      Apparently, America now wants to “get involved” in every conflict going on, anywhere, no matter who or what is gong on…I guess that if they spend so much on the military, they have got to find some excuse to use it, eh?

  44. jjsaul says:

    I think “our generation’s Watergate” is an analogy less on point than “our generation’s Pentagon Papers.”

  45. Ugly Canuck says:

    Information wants to be free.
    And people wish to be free from wars fought for profits, or for glory, or for territory.

  46. Jellybit says:

    Ok, their twitter says they’re overloaded and to use this link:

    http://wardiary.wikileaks.org/

  47. farwest says:

    One can’t help but wonder what the unintended consequences of this leak will be.

    Obviously, a lot of us hope that it will lead to the end of the war in Afghanistan. But could it actually lead to an escalation of the war? Or further incursions into Pakistan, or even Iran?

    It will be interesting to see. History rarely works out in the way that people with good intentions hope.

  48. ryanrafferty says:

    What possible consequences could the release of stale information cause?

    It seems this could be embarrassing to NATO and the US, but it doesn’t seem current enough to be damning.

    The much more interesting, and damning story is the Washington Post intelligence study.

    • Anonymous says:

      Why does it have to be current to be damning.. the washington post story was a letdown.. how long did it take them to prepare for that fluff piece again?

      unrelated: my recaptcha.. is “be stillborn” by far the creepiest recaptcha i’ve ever gotten.

    • Cowicide says:

      The much more interesting, and damning story is the Washington Post intelligence study.

      I think time will tell which is more damning, but I’m glad someone on Boing Boing mentioned that WP article. There’s also going to be a Frontline episode on the whole sordid thing and here’s more info and an interview with one of the WP writers, etc. here:

      http://www.democracynow.org/2010/7/19/top_secret_america__washington_post

      But, I do tend to agree that the WP exposé should be getting tremendously more coverage than it is now.

      • Cowicide says:

        F’ me… I should have searched Boing Boing before posting that. I should have known Boing Boing, of all people, would have already covered such a thing.

        My bad.

  49. Stefan Jones says:

    It’s kind of fitting to have this story break as people remember the old-time journalism legacy of Daniel Schorr.

    *Sigh* What a frigging mess. I don’t think we could have not gone in in 2001, but in retrospect it all seems preordained to be have been a mess. There was a widespread feeling, after the Taliban seemingly had their asses handed to them, that “we couldn’t leave the Afghans swinging in the wind again.” It seemed perfectly doable to fix that place and nail Bin Laden. Between putting work their on the back burner for the totally groundless war in Iraq, and the war from the air strategy, and a worthless corrupt local government.

    Sheesh. Time to let the sun shine in.

  50. straponego says:

    Wait, this doesn’t make sense. Pakistan is our bestest buddy! Why, after A. Q. Khan (with the support of his government) gave nuclear weapons designs and technology to Libya, Iran, and North Korea (everybody but Iraq, really), the government eventually admitted his guilt, and pardoned him, and put him under house arrest for several years. He’s free now, but I reckon everybody learned a valuable lesson. That’s what I call tough on terrorism!

    And sure, they funded the Taliban, and hide Al Queda, and Laskar-e-Taiba, and assassinated Bhutto, and, and… but if you can’t trust them, who can you trust? Throw them another billion dollars and they’ll probably straighten out. Or we can keep massacring wedding parties, that’s helpful too.

  51. Teller says:

    Unfortunately for troops in Afghanistan, the news that sticks may be that wikileaks is an agenda-driven anti-American org.

  52. farwest says:

    What’s funny is that Afghanistan was always pitched as a “moral and honest” war, whereas Iraq was the war based on false pretenses.

    There seemed to be a near-universal consensus, at least among politicians, that the people who attacked us originated in Afghanistan and were harbored by the Taliban. So therefore, we had every right to attack Afghanistan.

    But I never bought this idea. Truth is, it was always a combination of a neo-conservative pipe dream to remake the middle east, and an opportunist conservative pipe dream to control the resources of the middle east.

    Now, eight years later, WHY did we do any of it?

    But again, this will be pitched by the right wing as Obama’s failure (not a failure of policy originating with some morons in the Bush administration.) And it will lead to even more rebarbative and cruel right wing policies if they get re-elected.

  53. Grimnir says:

    Did you see the recent interview with Assange at TED? http://on.ted.com/8TTE

    Looks like Manning is fucked….

    There is gonna be huuuge rightwing pressure to stomp on wikileaks in the wake of this. No doubt there. Will the mainstream media and democrats (other than the one in the white house) follow suit? Hard to say.

    • asuffield says:

      There is gonna be huuuge rightwing pressure to stomp on wikileaks in the wake of this. No doubt there.

      Which will probably be quite embarrassing when they discover that they can’t. Wikileaks was designed specifically to resist US censorship. Any attack on them would require, at the very least, the repeal of the freedom of the press and an invasion of Europe.

      • Jonathan Badger says:

        Wasn’t the whole “We’re in Europe; your silly US laws can’t touch us” the belief of The Pirate Bay folks as well? Things didn’t turn out so well for them in the end, I recall, even if wasn’t technically the US who nailed them.

      • querent says:

        “Wikileaks was designed specifically to resist US censorship. Any attack on them would require, at the very least, the repeal of the freedom of the press and an invasion of Europe.”

        lol. woot.

        god bless wikileaks. his shit needs to be known. obama recently said the truth was dangerous, because if they knew what we were really doing, then they’d REALLY want to kill us. (i’m american.) so yeah. wikileaks.

      • Anonymous says:

        … or wage cyberwar. WikiLeaks is down for me right now — can’t connect.

  54. scolbath says:

    I, for one, would have been more impressed if the documents had been released to the general public at the same time as they had been released to the major media outlets. For an organization that claims to be for transparency, they seem to be spending much more time on self-promotion.

  55. Anonymous says:

    To those who believe the everyday news reports, this may be surprising.

  56. Anonymous says:

    I don’t think these are actually from the Manning leak. In the Guardian, Assange says that they’ve obtained these data in the last two months as a new leak. Manning’s leak seems to be more than two months ago.

    @ previous comment
    “For an organization that claims to be for transparency, they seem to be spending much more time on self-promotion.”

    Efforts to discredit WL even here on the BB comments?

    • scolbath says:

      Efforts to discredit WL even here on the BB comments?

      Cheap shot, ‘Anon’. Not sure how what I posted could be construed as ‘discrediting’ – other than the fact that they set the high standard, not I. At any rate, I retract the criticism: Wikileaks has posted the data.

  57. Anonymous says:

    Well this is just one of the posts that is listed as a “Terse meeting with Pakistani military” It’s the gray dot just south west of Masjed Negar. If you read the report I wonder how this occurred in the place that it did. But it also shows a bit how the Pakistani military was interacting quite well with American troops. (Though it does bother me that they didn’t redact the phone number of the Pakistani Boarder post) ((Maybe those guys would like to get a call? We know their names now)) I think that as with any type of information release we need to take a measured look at what is actually there, who selected what is published, and why. Allot of this information may be pretty frivolous and just illustrate what we know already. Military conflicts are never pretty. Why should never expect them to be. If we do we are naive. The question remains what are the ends and does it justify these means?

  58. asuffield says:

    Your opinion is that there is no agenda in the dates chosen. My hope is that you are correct.

    Worth noting: wikileaks has estimated that the bulk of the remaining documents will be released in a few days, when they have finished redacting names, telephone numbers, and similar personally identifying information. At that point nearly everything they have will be public.

    It’s possible that they just don’t have any documents after that date. So far it’s unclear why they are limited to that time period.

  59. mdh says:

    “never get involved in a land war in Asia”

  60. Delaney says:

    The story NYTimes seems to be running with is that money going to Pakistan is being shuttled via the ISI to the Taliban and the US Government knows it. Unless Obama tries to make the argument that his policy change in Afghanistan changed the minds of the ISI (pretty tough sell) I don’t think they can sell it as old news.

    Incidentally, here’s the wikileaks donation page, please donate:

    http://wikileaks.org/wiki/Special:Support

  61. Anonymous says:

    I’d say this is pretty significant. But it will take a while to sift through 200,000 pages.

    Finally an unfiltered view into the proceedings of a modern “war machine”. Historians and journalists can now compare what reported (or not reported) during that time with what has actually happened.

    This should also help a lot in understanding how the military censorship system works, what news it lets pass how it tries to “spin” the situation.

  62. Pyros says:

    These leaks might prove to be one of the best things ever to happen in U.S. history because it points up the power that technology offers a tiny group of individuals, and the degree to which that power is no longer dependent upon mainstream media outlets to engender opposition. In the past, Watergate needed the NYTs and the Washington Post. If those papers decided something wasn’t a story, then it wasn’t a story. That is no longer the case. If the success of ill-conceived and ill-executed military adventuring depends upon lying to the public, and they obviously do, then that power has now been greatly attenuated.

    I have every confidence that this watershed event will make it all the more evident that technology enables the individual to use the internet for other things besides mindless distractions (though of course it will always be good for that too). Government itself will benefit just as greatly from the reorganization that media and commerce have undergone over the last 10 years (or so).

    Though hopeful, and even joyous that leaks such as these make change eminent, I am still appalled by the vast dimensions of the tragedy that has unfolded in both Afghanistan and Iraq in the name of the American people.

    How many trillions have already been wasted? What a theft! Think about that as the value of your house continues to dwindle, as you find yourself out of work, or what meager pay you do receive remains stagnant. Imagine an equal amount of money allocated to prop up life instead of destroy it. What beautiful parks we could have! What beautiful schools! Could it have gone to help solve homelessness? Could it have been used to help the elderly pay for their prescriptions? The cost in human lives, in other words, cannot be measure only by those left on the field of battle.

    How many people have been needlessly incinerated, tortured, shot, maimed, and blown to bits? Our own people! And for everyone of ours, probably 20 of theirs. Who could face anyone’s surviving mother? How can you tell someone’s family that their loved one has died in vain, or, worse, for an evil cause? Such displeasure on the part of our deceptive, and cowardly leaders, however, is not a very good reason to keep the slaughter going.

    I no longer believe my government’s ability to tell the truth. I no longer believe in terrorists even. Are there crazy people out there that want to make bombs in retaliation for their destroyed families? Yeah, I would think there would be a lot of those, growing day by day.

    This war and the Iraq war have always been about political patronage — securing the necessary work for vast swaths of innumerable districts to tilt votes one way or the other, the vaunted defense-industrial complex that Eisenhower warned us about more than a half century ago. From the vast legions who stand to benefit from the status quo, 9/11 was the most precious gift!

    Just under 3,000 people died that day, and since then hundreds of thousands of casualties, mostly civilian. It makes no sense.

    It’s hard to imagine a circumstance so terrible that these deaths might in some way be justifiable. Now that we know that we have been lied to, the only thing that a conscionable, rational person is left to do is oppose it with all of his or her might.

  63. Hybridan says:

    I know that it has already been stated, and will continue to be stated, but 3 cheers and a great toast to both Manning, Assange, and to all those who have helped us better understand the world around us. It takes many voices from many places, let us continue to try and hear them all.

  64. Anonymous says:

    Wow, this is like Eyes Only from Dark Angel :)

    This is probably the biggest stab from the internet to the governments of the world in human history… The revolution will be digitized!

  65. Anonymous says:

    We are still fighting a war with innocent and enlisted still dying. I know someone who will be there in approx. a month. I hope he comes back.

    These documents (and others still kept under wraps) revealing dissembling, misstatements, etc. add very little to the double bold, italicized and underlined fact that we have been at war there for ~10 years.

    With the first ~8 years being at best unguided and the past ~2 trying somewhat to add direction and ‘finish’ it.

  66. RevRaven says:

    I personally find these leaks distasteful and damaging to the United States and her citizens. I’m shocked and appalled that these documents were allowed to be released and that there hasn’t been any action taken to stop future releases.

    These documents were released as a means of damaging the United States, it’s military and it’s citizens, and that’s it. There was no other reason for their release. I hope that those responsible for leaking the documents to Wikileaks, and those at Wikileaks responsible for publishing them online, are brought to justice for the untold damage they have brought to the United States.

    • jphilby says:

      “These documents were released as a means of damaging the United States”

      So be it. If the facts are damaging to the US, then it’s up to the US to keep the facts more palatable. In an era when facts can travel far and wide, and when in response governments attempt to hide them, it is good that the facts find a way around the damage. For well over 150 years, distance and manipulation kept the facts from US citizens while the government did things far from home (and in right in our own back yards) that they hoped we wouldn’t learn about. Our reputation and our people’s dignity are scarred by the sorry, incompetent results.

      In my town, tens of thousands protested against the war in Iraq — a disaster there and here — and by extension against deep involvement in Afghanistan – where the Soviet Union too wasted 10 years and treasure. Around the world millions more protested against these actions. The wisdom of the people is once again vindicated by the facts.

    • snakedart says:

      I personally find these leaks distasteful and damaging to the United States and her citizens.

      I personally find it much more distasteful and damaging that our government can spend billions every year on an unwinnable war and then lie to the public under the auspices of national security and tell us that “everything’s fine, we’re winning, no innocents are being killed — go back to sleep”.

    • Anonymous says:

      wow that is really narrow minded. my country right or wrong? these documents also expose how the pakistanis are aiding the enemies of the americans….so you would rather not know that?

      it’s like saying. i don’t want to know anything. i have total trust in my government. that’s a scary way to feel befitting life in a totalitarian regime.

    • Anonymous says:

      I believe the term for your shock is “wanting to shoot the messenger.”

    • teapot says:

      Sorry, I swear I remembered to close that tag…. at least the link works….

      PS: RevRaven
      .. to the United States and her citizens
      How cute! I love when people go all formal to convey how sternly furious they are.

      I’m shocked and appalled that these documents were allowed to be released and that there hasn’t been any action taken to stop future releases.
      Are you living under a rock? Even in BB’s write-up they make reference to Pfc. Bradley Manning. Unfortunately your shit judicial system is gonna put that naive kid through the wringer.

      These documents were released as a means of damaging the United States, it’s military and it’s citizens, and that’s it. There was no other reason for their release.
      *Hands Raven some tissues*

      I hope that those responsible for leaking the documents to Wikileaks, and those at Wikileaks responsible for publishing them online, are brought to justice for the untold damage they have brought to the United States.
      Yeah… take that wikileaks! Some upset patriotic turd wants blood. I would estimate that if this intelligence was passed on to, oh lets say the Taliban without the knowledge that it had been leaked, the damage would be far worse.

      How about thinking before engaging in hyperbole next time?

    • mdh says:

      I personally find these leaks distasteful and damaging to the United States and her citizens.

      As an American, I find the truths revealed to be distasteful and damaging to the US and my fellow citizens.

      The leak is bad form, but hiding the truth is worse.

    • EH says:

      I personally find these leaks distasteful and damaging to the United States and her citizens.

      As an American citizen, I don’t feel damaged at all.

      • Floyd R Turbo says:

        That’s because like most of us on here… you’re not the one who will be harmed by this because you — like me — are not risking squat for your freedom. We sit here and masturbate to unicorns and useless information.

        Go see the film Restrepo and read Sebastian Junger’s book War or Marcus Luttrell’s Lone Survivor and see who will get hurt by this leak.

        WikiLeaks is now officially traitorous… lucky for them this is 2010 and not 1910.

        • Jack says:

          That’s because like most of us on here… you’re not the one who will be harmed by this because you — like me — are not risking squat for your freedom. We sit here and masturbate to unicorns and useless information.

          I’m trying to understand who will be harmed by the leak of this information beyond the U.S. Government for perpetuating this lie of a war. A war the U.S. is losing and won’t end any time soon.

          You know what? Just pull out of this mess. It’s 10 years already in the Mid-East and the only lasting legacy is nonsense and now even giving Israel an excuse to act with impunity against “terrorism.”

          If this is the catalyst that will end this mess, more power to Wikileaks.

          Adrian Lamo though. Christ, what an asshole.

        • theawesomerobot says:

          So being in Afghanistan has what to do with securing our freedom? Last I checked we’ve lost more freedoms in the past 9 years than we gained.

          • TEKNA2007 says:

            So being in Afghanistan has what to do with securing our freedom? Last I checked we’ve lost more freedoms in the past 9 years than we gained.

            Oh that is spot-on. Can I quote you? You so completely hit the nail on the head.

        • social_maladroit says:

          That’s because like most of us on here… you’re not the one who will be harmed by this because you — like me — are not risking squat for your freedom.

          I’m so very tired of hearing the “they’re fighting for our freedom” cliché. No, they’re not. Neither the war in Iraq nor the war in Afghanistan had anything to do with “our freedom,” as “theawesomrobot” #52 so succinctly demonstrated.

          In any case, the NYT article, Inside the Fog of War: Reports From the Ground in Afghanistan didn’t really tell me anything new; it pretty much confirmed my cynical view of human nature and confirmed that as a nation we’re wasting our lives, money, and time in Afghanistan.

          What’s also sad is that, even if we hadn’t spent $300 billion on the war in Afghanistan, there’d still be senators who bitched about spending money on renewing unemployment benefits.

    • zio_donnie says:

      Oh so you are offended? Tough luck mate the rest of the world is offended by seeing your invading armies around the planet.

      If you really loved your country you wouldn’t want it fighting useless wars or hiding dirty secrets.

      Also fuck the “they are fighting for your freedom” argument. No mercenary fights for freedom yours or mine. Professional soldiers fight for money, getting killed is part of the job.

    • farwest says:

      We are engaged in a war in a country dubbed “the graveyard of empires.” Do you really think that the public understanding the full ramifications of our adventure there is bad?

      It was sunlight and public disapproval that brought to an end our failed war in Viet Nam. One hopes that the same may happen for our muddling in central Asia.

      My only fear, honestly, is that a lunatic right wing will spin this as “Obama’s failed war” despite the fact that it was already lost under Bush. They’ll try to use it to both gain seats in the midterm election, and to launch an even more right-wing, repressive, and lying agenda (along with endless subpoenas and hearings on issues like birthergate, whether Obama is a secret Muslim, and ACORN. Fun times ahead if that happens.)

  67. Cynical says:

    Wikileaks are abolutely my new heroes. I couldn’t agree more with Pyros above me, who has articulated my feelings about the matter far more succinctly than I could hope to.

    Transparency in government can only be a good thing; that the US government should be loathe for this information to see the light of day speaks far more about the duplicity and maliciousness of Western foreign policy than it does about the supposed “agenda” of wikileaks. If there were no dishonesty in both the stated aims and the reported facts of our involvement in the Middle East, this would be a complete non-story.

    As it stands, this should serve as a reminder that our supposedly democratic society is anything but; when our elected officials and our tax money can produce a situation that is so distorted that merely presenting its true nature is a crime worthy of years in prison, there is something very wrong with our system of government.

  68. flashdadi says:

    The criminal act and attempted cover up called Watergate happened in the same era and involved many of the same players as those involved in the attempted suppression of the Pentagon Papers.

    Watergate: ’72 to ’74 Republican President Nixon used his staff to perform criminal acts for his personal, political benefit. Specifically, they broke into the headquarters of the rival political party, the DNC. Nixon attempted to stifle the investigation “by having the CIA falsely claim to the FBI that national security was involved”.

    Pentagon Papers: 1971 – Daniel Ellsberg leaks a top-secret DOD history of the United States’ involvement in Vietnam from 1945 to 1967 to the press. The papers revealed that four administrations, Truman, Kennedy, Johnson and Eisenhower, had all lied to the public regarding their intentions and actions in Vietnam. Ellsberg was illegally wiretapped, had his psychiatrists office broken into and was to have been ‘incapacitated’ by CIA agents. Many of the Watergate gang were involved.

    As others have noted: I find the most interesting news lately is that the money we are spending in Afghanistan is more and more often funding our enemies.

  69. Anonymous says:

    Sorry RevRaven, I think you’re going to be in the minority, for the most part.

    I personally find these leaks as an eye opening reminder to what the government does with the money they take out of my paycheck every week (at least part of it).

    I have no interest in funding death and destruction in the name of War.

    I’m done hearing this bullshit excuse that if we spend any less than multiple trillions of dollars on wars, that the terrorists – who for the most part live in arid caves – will storm our shores and destroy our country.

    They are insignificant pests who are not worthy of our time and resources.

  70. Anonymous says:

    We should never forget that the original purpose of this war was not some noble endeavor to make Afghanistan a better place. It was to supposedly to find ONE MAN because Afghanistan would not agree to extradite him without proper evidence and the abiding of international extradition policies. Bush said we didn’t need to do that, and that we were coming for him anyway. And we are still there. And the reasons for being there have become so muddled, that we could be there forever and only make things worse.

    It is just remarkable how blinded and confused America became (and still is) post 9/11.

  71. holtt says:

    Honestly, there is no smoking gun here. There isn’t anything here that wasn’t known or surmised. This is just the details of what we’ve always known. No coverup, no “secret Blackwater deathsquad”, no regular money payments to warlords or PAKMIL.

  72. labbster says:

    Meanwhile, in its article detailing this story, CNN is left and right deleting comments that don’t follow the official narrative. Ignorance is strength.

  73. Anonymous says:

    finally, the suspense was grating on my nerves.

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