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Thank God for the Whistle-Blowers

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Posted on Jul 27, 2010
Lew and Mullen
AP / Maya Alleruzzo

U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Jacob Lew, left, and Adm. Mike Mullen at a press conference in Baghdad, Iraq, on Tuesday. Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters he was “appalled” by the leak and “there is a real potential threat there to put American lives at risk.”


Q & A - Live Chat with Robert Scheer


A live Q & A session related to this column took place on July 29, 2010 at 11:00 am PT.

Click here to view the transcript.


By Robert Scheer

What WikiLeaks did was brilliant journalism, and the bleating critics from the president on down are revealing just how low a regard they have for the truth. As with Richard Nixon’s rage against the publication of the Pentagon Papers, our leaders are troubled not by the prospect of these revelations endangering troops but rather endangering their own political careers. It is our president who unnecessarily sacrifices the lives of our soldiers and not those in the press who let the public in on the folly of the mission itself.

What the documents exposed is the depth of chicanery that surrounds the Afghanistan occupation at every turn because we have stumbled into a regional quagmire of such dark and immense proportions that any attempt to connect this failed misadventure with a recognizable U.S. national security interest is doomed. What is revealed on page after page is that none of the local actors, be they labeled friend or foe, give a whit about our president’s agenda. They are focused on prizes, passions and causes that are obsessively homegrown. 

Our fixation on al-Qaida has nothing to do with them. President Barack Obama’s top national security adviser admitted as much when he said last December that there were fewer than 100 of those foreign fighters left in Afghanistan. Those who do remain in the region are hunkered down in Pakistan, and as the leaked documents reveal, that nation is just toying with us by pretending to cooperate while its intelligence service continues to support our proclaimed enemies. As Gen. Stanley McChrystal made clear in his famous report, the battles in Afghanistan are tribal in nature and the agendas are local—be they about drugs, religion or the economic power of military blackmail. The documents contain a steady drumbeat of local hustles that are certainly deadly but rise to the level of a national security threat against the U.S. only when we insist on making their history our own.

It has ever been so with the Afghans, and our continued attempt to bend their passions to our purposes will always lead to horrid results. That is, in fact, just how their nation came to be the launching pad for the 9/11 attacks, which is the ostensible purpose of our occupation. We meddled in their history in a grand Cold War adventure to humble the Soviets by attacking the secular government in Kabul with which Moscow sided.

When presidential press secretary Robert Gibbs intones, “We are in this region of the world because of what happened on 9/11,” he is mouthing a dangerous half-truth. The opposite is the case: 9/11 happened because the U.S. was in the region, and not the other way around. Entanglement with Afghanistan has been based on a tissue of lies since day one, when Jimmy Carter first decided to throw in with the religious fanatics there, as current Secretary of Defense Robert Gates revealed in his 1996 memoir. Gates had served on Carter’s National Security Council and in his book exposed what the publisher touted as “Carter’s never-before revealed covert support to Afghan mujahedeen—six months before the Soviets invaded.”

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Our government recruited terrorists from the Arab world to go to Afghanistan and fight in that holy war against godless communism with even greater enthusiasm during the presidency of Ronald Reagan, who proclaimed the Muslim fanatics “freedom fighters.” As the 9/11 Commission report stated, those freedom fighters included Osama bin Laden and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged architect of the 9/11 attacks.

Three years before that attack, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Carter’s national security adviser, was asked in an interview with Le Nouvel Observateur if he regretted “having given arms and advice to future terrorists,” and he answered: “What is most important to the history of the world? Some stirred-up Muslims or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the Cold War?”

One of Carter’s advisers back then was Richard Holbrooke, now Obama’s top civilian adviser on Afghanistan. Clearly he knows quite a bit about stirring up Muslims, and someone should ask him about the brilliant decision to give heat-seeking Stinger rockets to those same fanatics who then turned them against our side, according to the recently disclosed documents. They never learn. It was Holbrooke who helped design the Vietnam-era assassination programs exposed in the Pentagon Papers and now replicated in the Afghanistan documents.

Thanks to Daniel Ellsberg, who risked much to make the record of the Vietnam War public, we learned about the madness that Holbrooke and others were creating. We should be grateful to the whistle-blowers who gave us the Afghanistan war documents for once again letting us in on the sick joke that passes for U.S foreign policy.

Click here to check out Robert Scheer’s book,
“The Great American Stickup: How Reagan Republicans and Clinton Democrats Enriched Wall Street While Mugging Main Street.”


Keep up with Robert Scheer’s latest columns, interviews, tour dates and more at www.truthdig.com/robert_scheer.



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By Wikileaks for Nobel, July 29, 2010 at 7:23 am Link to this comment

I have long appreciated Robert Scheer’s part in the struggle to bring America into the community of civilized nations.  This article is yet another useful contribution in that effort…and also a chronicle of just how far we have to go before that worthy goal is attained. 

Blessed are the whistleblowers.

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By Atilla, July 29, 2010 at 6:57 am Link to this comment

mfreeze wrote; “America has proven itself to be a country addicted to war. We have also proven to be very UNSUCCESSFUL at actually “winning” wars. We spend a lot of butter for absolutely no pay-off.”

You are perfectly right on being unsuccessful at actually winning wars. Why? Because we have a bunch of wimpy leaders in the military and Congress. The purpose of war is to kill people, and inflict as much damage as possible to the infrastructure of the enemy. The rules of engagement that our troops operate under gives the enemy cause to stay the course. They know that because of all the cowards in the Congress, and on the liberal left, we will just get tired of playing patty cake with them and we will pick up and leave.

The next time we are hit to the degree of 9/11, and we will be hit again, there will be weeping and gnashing to teeth wanting to know why “we” allowed this to happen. My answer to all of you whiners would be to look in the mirror.

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By DBM, July 29, 2010 at 6:31 am Link to this comment

FiftyGigs,

You ask “Aren’t we maybe being played?” by WikiLeaks ...

This is a valid question which we should all ask ourselves whenever we see or hear news.  My personal answer would be to try to discern what the news provider stands to gain and/or what has their track record been.  Another factor would be the reaction of anyone implicated in the news story.

If a video showing clear and obvious reverse racism comes from the same source as the doctored video attacking Acorn it is obviously likely to be a fake.  In this case we get a pile of documents from the same source as the video of soldiers murdering Iraqi civilians which was never denied by the U.S. military and was therefore presumably valid.  The military/government reaction to the video was to hunt for and arrest the whistleblower.  Neither in this case has anyone denied the veracity of these documents (to my knowledge).

While I can see what the corporate class have to gain from war (personal wealth), I can’t see much that is gained by WikiLeaks with the exception the Julian Asange has become well-known.  He does not seem like the type to have been seeking that out. 

So, I can believe that the LACK of hearing about these things more from the mainstream (corporate owned) media is logical even if they should have been news.  The distribution of the documents, on the other hand, appears to be a moral act from someone driven by higher ideals than a profit motive. 

So, yes, we could be “being played” ... but it seems less likely than the alternative.  That the military and the government have been lying to, or withholding news from, the public abetted by the corporate media.  And that the documents released are valid.

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By Anthony, July 29, 2010 at 6:11 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Another vote for the Department of Peace, here.
There is rarely any mention of the effects of the “cold” conflict between India and Pakistan.  I have read elsewhere that the destabilization efforts of the ISI in Afghanistan may have something to do with Pakistan’s fear of Hamid Karzai’s India-friendly policies.  If this is the case, wouldn’t we be better suited facilitating a peace between these two nuclear powers, rather than military intervention within a symptom of the real problem?  It would seem that this is a much less expensive alternative, if I’m to believe in the outward objectives of our foreign policy managers.

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By FiftyGigs, July 29, 2010 at 4:59 am Link to this comment

DBM: “The point here is that releasing this information to people who did not know it, in a way which will get their attention could be very valuable and could IMPROVE the U.S. position rather than make it weaker in any way.”

This was a brilliant point. I enjoyed your comment, and I would probably agree with you on a face-to-face discussion of most things. But for argument’s sake, I would add two considerations, and neither of these may relate to any of your points:

While we have a stack of documents as tall as the Empire State Building, we do not have the context for any of it. It’s remarkable to me how quickly and readily people, who see information they already suspect and believe, want to believe the validity of of the information suddenly set in their lap. How do folks know the leaked material isn’t intended to manipulate them?

Liberals outraged by data flavored against the military? Hummm….

Second, and most obviously is the ready acceptance of Wikileaks itself. We eye government officials who are elected by us, overseen by documentation and processes (look at the stack!) and subject to specific, defined procedures with righteous suspicion that they’re trying to hide (?) something. But Wikileaks, operated by people with no accountability to anyone for anything in any manner, people who will not tell you where the documents came from or how they got them… we’re suppose to trust them implicitly? Because they aren’t government?

Aren’t we maybe being played?

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By RayLan, July 29, 2010 at 4:11 am Link to this comment

@GoRight said “With knowing where to look one only has to care enough to pay attention. “
This is hair-splitting. The so-called public sources are few and far between and still are not the original sources. The pre-releasing was relatively recent in any case. To say it isn’t news is like saying the Gulf Oil spill isn’t news because it didn’t happen today.  The sheer quantity of documents and revelations become evident only from Wikileaks directly. The second hand journalism is nowhere near as disturbing as the original.
The Afghan war has been going on a lot longer - without the public knowing any of this - There was a cover up.

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By M Henri Day, July 29, 2010 at 2:25 am Link to this comment

«I hope they are able to find the leak and show them a nice little room in Leavenworth, Kansas.  I thought treason, during times of war was punishable by execution.» Well, Mr Weidermeijer, as a «life-long liberal», you are surely aware that the US Constitution does not give the executive branch the power to decide on war and peace ; rather, that power was reserved to the legislative branch, which, judging from the order in which the powers of the respective branches are discussed in the document, was considered paramount. The locus is Article I, Section 8 - Powers of Congress :

...

To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

...

The last time the US Congress declared war was on 5 June 1942 against Bulgaria, Hungary, and Romania, which nations were fighting on the German side in WW II (war had previously been declared against Japan on 8 December 1941 and against Germany and Italy on 11 December that year). My conclusion is that either

1) None of the military activities, resulting in millions killed, among which over a hundred thousand US troops (and «contractors»), in which the US has been engaged since the end of hostilities in WW II can be considered as «war» ; thus your remark about certain activities being «punishable by execution» is irrelevant to the current situation, or

2) These activities have indeed constituted war and thus been carried out in violation of the US Constitution. As specified in Article II, Section 1 of the US Constitution, US presidents swear (or affirm) an oath to «preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States» - given the repeated violations since WW II of one of that document’s most basic provisions (the Founding Fathers wished to prevent a George III from arising in the United States), perhaps it is they - along with those in the Congress who have willingly accepted this treasonous usurpation of powers by the Executive - who should be shown some «nice little room[s] in Leavenworth, Kansas» ? (Admittedly, the presidential oath of office does contain a cop out : holders of the office swear (or affirm) to uphold the Constitution «to the best of [their] abilit[ies]», which would leave some of them with a great deal of wiggle room.)

Henri

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By A Khokar, July 29, 2010 at 1:34 am Link to this comment

USA has got Blood of Millions at Their Hands.

The ground breaking release of wikileaks may serve strengthening of an anti war lobby against Obama administration at home or not——but on the battle fields in Afghanistan, wikileaks material is well known and brings no surprise for any one.

Wikileaks is sure an attempt to pressurise Pakistan and the fixation of its ISI, the country who suffered the most as US ally; indicting them——playing a double game. It will certainly help build a negative perception about Pakistan and its Army that they being an ally—- indeed are the ring leaders of terrorism and have adversely taken an odd posture against USA.

While other coalition forces are also looking for exits. USA is finding itself alone——- and with no victory in sight——- she is ready to eventually abandon its adventurism.

‘Afghanistan is the grave yards of the Empires’ it may be the current terminology but the ‘old world’ also knows——Afghanistan; as ‘the Eastern Round About’; where many old warrior came but Afghanistan always spun them out of its orbit—- badly bruised.

Now—- when US is turning its back dismayed and defeated—-Americans have got blood of millions at their hands.

If the American relatives of Lockerbie pan Am disaster can feel justified to force the Libyan government to award million of dollars as blood money; one wonders how many trillions of dollars Americans have to pay for all the killings and destruction brought in Middle east, Afghanistan, Pakistan and all other places where American have committed atrocities.

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By - bill, July 29, 2010 at 12:49 am Link to this comment

mrfreeze, you should learn to read more carefully.  I never suggested (let alone stated) that “a huge number of Americans are against our wars” (though in fact many polls indicate that a majority believe that we should wind them up and bring the troops home):  I simply observed that despite the fact that a large majority of Americans are so clueless that they can easily be led around by the nose by the two major political parties and their media lap-dogs that still leaves a large absolute number (certainly in the millions - a goodly percentage of whom turned out in early 2003 to protest the imminent invasion of Iraq) who are better informed.

And there’s little evidence that “Americans LOVE war” - though clearly the elite that rules the country does and has the resources to hoodwink most of the rest into allowing them to engage in it.

If you want to be able to contribute towards a solution, you really need to get a much better grip on what the problem actually is.

My earlier response to you primarily addressed your presumptuous assertion “admit it….you all believed it, didn’t you?” which was what suggested to me that you might be hanging around with people less well-informed than many are here.

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By samosamo, July 28, 2010 at 11:50 pm Link to this comment

****************


I fail to connect here since the attack on 9/11/2001 has been
invoked and as an attack coming out of afghanistan, even by
scheer himself. Maybe not for anyone else, but not until the
attack of 9/11 is thoroughly investigated and that bit of ‘extra
over the top top secrecy’ is splayed out so all the people can
see the reality of it, the only good thing here is the ‘thanks for
whistle-blowers’.

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By ofersince72, July 28, 2010 at 11:00 pm Link to this comment

Litl BluDot

  Don’t count on it !!!!!!!!!!!  (or bet money on it)

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By Litl Bludot, July 28, 2010 at 10:56 pm Link to this comment

Ah, well, Scheer is finally getting it.  None of this B.S, about how Obomba would change things if he could.  FINALLY.

Maybe there’s hope?

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By DBM, July 28, 2010 at 10:42 pm Link to this comment

Xntrk,

I would add to your list of CYA “secrets” the use of “National Security” to shut-down any court case involving anyone wrongfully caught up in the clumsy security operations which have followed 9/11.

A prime example is the completely public circumstances of Maher Arar.  His story has been completely exposed and verified in court ... a Canadian court ... resulting in the Canadian government paying $10M restitution for giving his name to U.S. “security forces”.  However, Arar’s attempts to get file a suit in the U.S. who took the name, kidnapped him and then had an agent (Syria) torture him for almost a year, have failed.  The problem is not to do with the obvious merit of his case, just that any case which is deemed to involve “National Security” is never heard.  This despite the fact that all the facts of the case are obviously in the public domain already.

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By DBM, July 28, 2010 at 10:28 pm Link to this comment

Go Right,

I’ll try not to read anything into your words that you didn’t intend.  However, I do think they show a deference for authority which is somewhat misplaced. 

You said:
“I have little concern for what an enemy may learn from these particular documents.  I find nothing as of now which isn’t already available by other fairly easy means.  But I suppose, in a pure “security” sense, it may not be useful to have so much information from a single source so readily available to all enemies of the U.S.. - In other words; if you show your enemy your weaknesses those weaknesses will be exploited to their fullest.”

I have not and am not reading through the documentation on my own (which you intimate you are?), but it seems that the main themes which the documents clarify are:

  * Afghanis have no interest in American objectives they are focused on local issues, local power, local vendettas and - no doubt - in surviving day-to-day.
  * There are no Al Qaeda operating in Afghanistan nor anyone else with credible intentions of harming any Americans who are not in Afghanistan.
  * The Pakistanis are operating a duplicitous game wherein they are a major U.S. ally and military aid recipient while also continuing to support the Taliban (which is after all a creation of the Pakistani ISI).
  * Presumably largely as a result of the previous three, the U.S. has no prospects of achieving anything in Afghanistan if it ever did (apart from finding Bin Laden).

You say that all this is not new and is freely available to those who look.  I agree.  However, I don’t agree that in this case there is anything that is not blatantly apparent to the locals so there is no weakness being exposed to any enemies.  I suspect your warning was intended to be generic and therefore criticising any release of “security” information.  The point here is that releasing this information to people who did not know it, in a way which will get their attention could be very valuable and could IMPROVE the U.S. position rather than make it weaker in any way. 

It would seem that inviting fiscal disaster and dividing the nation’s population through the pointless, unwanted and violent (for all parties) occupation of Afghanistan is making the U.S. weaker every month.  If bringing already known information to more general public attention substantially accelerates the cessation of military operations in Afghanistan it should slow the decline substantially.

Unfortunately (or fortunately?) there is no Grand Decider establishing what secrets are to be released or not.  That decision seems to rest with the media as much as anything.  Therefore approve or dispapprove of such releases is perfectly valid on a case by case basis.  I think Scheer’s point here is that “whistleblowers” by definition are not the powerful and hence are a necessary and valuable contribution.

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By Xntrk, July 28, 2010 at 10:22 pm Link to this comment

DBM touches on an issue that seems to concern few of the people who want to throw the perfidious leakers of classified material into jail or worse,

Who decided to classify all this stuff in the first place? Have none of you read about the explosion of secret agents in countless agencies, both public and private contractors, who have been spying wholesale on our own citizenry as well as foreign countries? These documents are often stamped “Secret” “Top Secret” and ‘Eyes Only” etc, for one simple reason; to protect the person who generated the documents, and now doesn’t want anyone to know it.

The killing of Pat Tillman and the massive cover-up of that act, was declared ‘Secret’ by McCrystal. Then it was lied about for months and years, by our Government. Worse, they used it to gull other stupid kids into the Military so they too could be ‘Heroes’.

Those are the kind of things our Government wants to hide. And those who go along with it only encourage the growth of the massive Lie Industry within the US Government - and other NATO members too, of course.

I for one am really tired of all this justification of Criminal Acts committed in my name. And I am equally tired of being blamed as an accomplice to these acts just because I was born here and didn’t emigrate. I once told my older brother that not staying the course, but trying to correct it, can be much more difficult then running away.

So, color me guilty for supporting these traitorous Whistle Blowers! I just wish there were more of them…

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By tarlipps, July 28, 2010 at 10:05 pm Link to this comment

The Afghans who helped the coalition names were not removed from some of these documents, they will be killed by the Taliban who’s hands will their blood be on?

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Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, July 28, 2010 at 9:51 pm Link to this comment

garard, - GRYM, your “statement points up your problem as a fair-minded person:  You dare not show any weaknes for fear of ... what? ... being wrong?  being exploited? “

-

I believe you make a fundamental mistake in applying your narrative to my words.  You must find a way to understand that I do not share your view of the world.  It is critical for an open discourse.

There is no need to reinterpret what I write.  When I write that weakness will be exploited by an enemy you must assume I mean just that.  Nothing more. 

-

My friend, I have asked of you several times for a simple courtesy.  May I ask that you revisit what I had written and comment on what I actually “put to paper”, so to speak?  Conflict resolution never works by telling someone the things you believe they actually intended to think, write and speak.

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By Amanda, July 28, 2010 at 9:32 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Even if the reverse were completely true, it makes absolutely no fiscal sense to be there this long. It makes absolutely no sense to have to pay trillions of dollars and thousands of soldiers to avenge several thousand civilians. This ain’t fucking 1941.

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By DBM, July 28, 2010 at 8:17 pm Link to this comment

There seem to be an awful lot of complaints about the nature of the source of this leak. 

“unauthorized access to classified government files”

“what we have here is an illegal act”

“The individual(s) who leaked the information should be tried, convicted of treason, ans summarily shot.”

Go Right asks a pertinent question:

“Who will decide which ‘Confidential’ information is to be released to the world?”

It seems to me that the reason this leak is being widely commended is because of its opposition to power.  When massive tax fraud supported by UBS was “leaked”, the bank was given a slap-on-wrist-and-accept-no-liability fine and many of the tax cheats were compelled to pay their illegally withheld taxes.  The leaker was jailed.  When WikiLeaks released the video footage of the callous murder of Iraqi civilians, there was no investigation into the crimes on tape initiated.  Rather a manhunt and subsequent arrest of the leaker. 

On the other hand, it seems like it was the crime-of-the-century to hold Dick Cheney or his acolyte Scoot Libby responsible for leaking information about Valerie Plame.  When the large banks bailed out by American taxpayers chose not to divulge what they did with the money, that withholding of information was just fine ... legal anyway.  When the few (the marketing departments of large firms or the government) collect a little information about a lot of people and use it to manipulate public opinion, that is just fine.

It also seems fine to selectively release information about individuals to meet the desires of power.  Valerie Plame again.  Shirley Sherrod.  Van Jones.  The private lives of political opponents appear to be fair game to all sides.  Conversely, uncontested information which would lead to public embarassment or prosecutions in cases of rendition, torture and/or indefinite detention are routinely withheld.

So the answer to the question appears to be that, for the most part, the powerful get to release information while information which will hurt them can only be released by similarly powerful people.  When a “leak” occurs it is because the powerful are not in control of information ... THAT is why leakers are commendable and important.

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By Peter Knopfler, July 28, 2010 at 7:37 pm Link to this comment

Whatever happened to
“What goes around comes around” OR “Do to others what you would have them do onto you” OR “get them before they get you”, “Get them over there so they don`t follow you here-home!” “Your either with us or against us”, I SAY Follow The MONEY, imagine all those dead people for MONEY. Reminds me of the church, Modern Inquisitian.The truth is WE Teach OUR KIDS how to Kill other Kids. USA has been at war, forgot how to live, only knows how to die. IT IS YOUR MONEY, YOUR TAXES, that pay for the killings, and when they are finished there, they become police, swat teams, trained killers, in your neighbourhoods, and YOU paid FOR IT ALL: Hows them apples. WIKILEAK! LEAK SOMEMORE!

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By gerard, July 28, 2010 at 7:32 pm Link to this comment

Bill:  Thanks for being a c.o.  My nephew Bill was also a c.o.  It runs in the family.

GRYM: I hesitate to engage with you for you are a relentless and sticky customer.  However;
  “if you show your enemy your weaknesses those weaknesses will be exploited to their fullest.” To me, this statement points up your problem as a fair-minded person:  You dare not show any weaknes for fear of ... what? ... being wrong?  being exploited?
  Revealilng, recognizing, admitting truth is not “showing your weakness.” In fact, the opposite is true.  At present the U.S. government dares not “reveal the truth” to the American people becaulse it fears the loss of their cooperation in its insane efforts to “rule toe world” economically, politically, culturally, militarily.
  If most of the WikiLeaks material was all previously known, it was not assembled in one overwhelming package of evidence of mismanagement so grave as to rob the present agression of every remnant of justification.  It is to be hoped that these “revelations” all in one piece will serve to end the war.  Will it prevent the next one?  God help us if it does not!

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By mrfreeze, July 28, 2010 at 7:31 pm Link to this comment

Dear Bill - I live in the Seattle area which happens to be one of the most liberal spots in the country. And believe me, I don’t claim to speak for others; however, in spite of what you want to believe, America has proven itself to be a country addicted to war. We have also proven to be very UNSUCCESSFUL at actually “winning” wars. We spend a lot of butter for absolutely no pay-off. (where’s all the booty and slaves and women!!!!!)

I must respectfully disagree that a) I’m hanging with the wrong crowd and, b) that a huge number of Americans are against our wars. Americans LOVE war. For many it’s a license to kill and for many others it’s a “profit center.” If this wasn’t the case, we would not have gone to war in the first place.

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Peter Knopfler's avatar

By Peter Knopfler, July 28, 2010 at 7:21 pm Link to this comment

PLEASE TELL ME! The Tax Payers are paying for this military behaviour. So why should they tax payer not know where his hard earned money is GOING, GOING GONE no more money. So now the military makes money off of the Heroin in Afghan and cocain money from Columbia, as long as there are addicts the USA military is in the money, another leak, How many times do you have to leak before you check your prostrate.  Women and children are dieing daily for democracy and REVENGE FOR 911, Now europe has good grounds to leave America Alone in this murder by a thosand ways. Clones driving drones! Marching Christian Soldiers.

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By Blueboy1938, July 28, 2010 at 6:54 pm Link to this comment

Well, it’s always better to have the truth than lies, of course.

However, obtaining the truth by unauthorized access to classified government
files is criminal behavior punishable by fines or imprisonment from five years to
life, depending on the level of confidentiality.

Depending on the circumstances, outcomes, and intent, it is possible to be
charged with treason for these offenses.  Treason is a felony punishable by
imprisonment up to a life term, or by execution.  Yes, that’s still on the books!

This is not a game, folks.  This is national security.  While it is likely that much
of what Wikileaks published is routine and unlikely to jeopardize plans or lives,
until it is declassified, disseminating it isn’t “free speech” - it’s criminal
complicit acts and possibly treasonous conspiracy.  Just because you have
information it is not always justifiable to publish it.

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By - bill, July 28, 2010 at 5:42 pm Link to this comment

Dear me, mrfreeze:  you really ought to presume to speak only for yourself.  Anyone paying any real attention at all knew, well before the invasion of Iraq, just how disingenuous ALL the pretexts for that invasion were (so much so that Colin Powell even refused to bring some of them up in his U.N. speech - would that his concept of integrity had been better-honed).

That certainly included me, and I suspect quite a few others here.  I ceased supporting Kerry in early 2003 when he declined to speak out against the invasion, and haven’t voted for a national Democrat in a general election since then (save once in 2006, which turned out to be an error).

I wasn’t a fan of the chest-beating war chants just after 9/11, either.  When Bush intoned, “You’re either with us or with the terrorists,” I decided that had he actually had the power to force that decision on me then I’d be with the terrorists (and have seen no reason to change that opinion in the intervening 9 years:  I still despise our behavior far more than theirs).

And of course I was vocal about my dissent in both cases.  It may have helped that this was not my first experience with our imperial over-reaching:  I opposed the Vietnam war back in the ‘60s as well, refused induction when I was drafted in 1969, and was lucky to be reclassified as a conscientious objector rather than thrown in jail.

Perhaps you just don’t associate with the right crowd (a lot of whom seem to congregate in places like this one).  While the majority of Americans may indeed be as clueless as you suggest, that still leaves a fairly large number who aren’t.

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By mrfreeze, July 28, 2010 at 4:57 pm Link to this comment

Of course the release of classified documents is always “juicy” journalism. Of course ANY administration doesn’t like it when this sort of thing happens. And, OF COURSE bad things have happened in Afghanistan…................

Where was all this concern right after 9/11 when the Bush Administration was making up the facts (admit it….you all believed it, didn’t you?)lying about WMD’s and the mushroom clouds and silencing all decenting opinions?

And now many of you on this thread are “surprised” or want to make judgements on the current administration? Please, this war is making MEGA money for profiteers. Several hundred thousand Americans have VOLUNTEERED to fight and I’m sure more than 50% of Americans secretly love war.

So, for the Media to go on-and-on about these documents is nothing more than the ususal “let’s-manufacture-news-because-we-need-the-money journalism.

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By Go Right Young Man, July 28, 2010 at 3:52 pm Link to this comment

glider, - “Somehow, I got a feeling you don’t like the logical conclusion to your commentary.”

-

War is the proper context, yes?  We should be sure that we’re talking about the same things.

I can’t yet come to your conclusion.  But that wasn’t really my point.  I am more concerned with who it is that has the right to release “Confidential information”.

Mr. Scheer seems to suggest that it’s OK, commendable and brilliant, if it serves the “correct” purpose.  He had very strong feelings on how classified information was cherry picked and released to the public in 2002-2003.  Very specifically Scheer was, I think it’s fair to say, hugely concerned with the President of the United States, the one man that actually has it within his authority to do so, declassifying and releasing information when it served a purpose. - I shared in his concern.

If initial reports are correct then what we have here is an illegal act serving a very specific purpose.  Agree or not with the purpose, agree or not with the information within the documents, my question stands.

Who will decide which “Confidential” information is to be released to the world?  The media?  That’s been done for years.  We can hope for the right reasons.  But can we, at the very least, ask the question?  Who has the proper knowledge and motivations in deciding to break or bend the law with State secrets?  While at war, nonetheless.  It’s a valid question.  One which has been grappled with for 200 years.

-

I have little concern for what an enemy may learn from these particular documents.  I find nothing as of now which isn’t already available by other fairly easy means.  But I suppose, in a pure “security” sense, it may not be useful to have so much information from a single source so readily available to all enemies of the U.S.. - In other words; if you show your enemy your weaknesses those weaknesses will be exploited to their fullest. - Such is the nature of things.

I am not concerned with the information which was released.  I am concerned with the process of the release. 

Who is it that holds the responsibility?  What makes this right but other times wrong/illegal?  Politics?  The correct cause?  Corporate media?  Bob Scheer?  William Krystol?

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By bookmark dofollow, July 28, 2010 at 2:57 pm Link to this comment

So the record of lies and self-deceptions goes back to Carter? We actually did get ourselves into this mess? Not a surprise. We talked ourselves into Vietnam the same way. What you suggest is that the Afghan war is based on ground almost as shaky as the entire Iraq invasion and occupation. Trillions of dollars,thousands of our best young citizens killed and tens of thousands more wounded - for wars that will profit us nothing. That’s what our leaders in congress and the executive branch have brought us to. The only ones who have won in this enterprise are the Islamic radicals, and of course the military-industrial complex!

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By ejreed, July 28, 2010 at 2:24 pm Link to this comment

One piece of evidence eroding our faith in the Afghan war from the recent wiki leaks was the number of civilian casualties not reported.  Not good when the US/NATO strategy includes winning the hearts and minds of the Afghan civilian population.  Here is a case in point.
Afghanistan’s president says 52 civilians were killed in an attack by international forces. But the NATO-led force says a preliminary investigation has not revealed any civilian casualties. Al Jazeera’s James Bays reports. http://www.newslook.com/videos/233241-row-over-afghan-rocket-attack?autoplay=true
Of course there has been some criticism in the leaking of the non-top secret documents.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange defends his decision to release thousands of classified documents on the Afghan War. http://www.newslook.com/videos/233483-wikileaks-founder-responds-to-criticism?autoplay=true

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By glider, July 28, 2010 at 12:59 pm Link to this comment

Go Right Young Man

>>The “truth” is there is no revelation in these documents…<<

Good, then the U.S. has no reason to make these documents “secret”, and has no reason to go after the non-“whistle blower”.  Everything is good because this only results in the truth being more widely broadcast.

Somehow, I got a feeling you don’t like the logical conclusion to your commentary.

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By Tom Weidermeijer, July 28, 2010 at 12:27 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I want to say that I am a lifelong liberal, I want to end the Afghan war (and then just surgically strike against Al Qaeda as intel supports), but I was also a Naval officer. 

Releasing classified military documents, regardless if it supports your side or not, is not good journalism or in any way good for our country.  The military is not a FOIA sort of place.  Sure, we knew most of this.  Sure, some of this shouldn’t necessarily be classified at all.  But the military is in charge of the defense of our country and releasing to the world documents that put our military members in more jeopardy is truly criminal. 

Think about WWII.  If you were a God-loving American, but didn’t think that America should be in a war in Europe and decided to make public 90,000 documents the military had decided was not for public viewing… what would have happened to you?  Would you be a patriot?  Would you have been a good journalist?  Or maybe you would have been viewed as a tratorist spy. 

I hope they are able to find the leak and show them a nice little room in Leavenworth, Kansas.  I thought treason, during times of war was punishable by execution.

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By Hammond Eggs, July 28, 2010 at 12:00 pm Link to this comment

It is our president who unnecessarily sacrifices the lives of our soldiers.

Correct.  And that makes Oh, Bomber a war criminal.

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By garth, July 28, 2010 at 11:56 am Link to this comment

I’ll bet that Kwame Efume, or whatever the hell his name is, you know the rapper who criticized George W. Bush for not liking black people after Katrina, the one who Obama called a jackass, is now calling Obama a jackass.  With a big Hee-haw.

How did we expect a community organizer with questionable credentials and just two years on the national political scene, a former do-nothing state rep from Illinois to make any difference at all to this sordid affair called the Constitutional government of the United States of America?


He has gone beyond George W. Bush.  He stands alone.

(Recently, a person on C-Spoon rate George W. as the fift worst.  He’s the worst.  He supplanted government employees with ideologues from these wacked-out universtities and introduced the Intelligence Community to thousands of like-minded traitors from Yale.  Kevin Phillips bears this out. They are nothing less than traitors.)

In Obama’s ear, he hears the drone of his advisors and the national sycopants, the media.

Por ejemplo, check out Andrea Mitchell’s report on WikiLeaks and Julian Assange on last night NBC Non-News.

Assange was educated as a physicist.  Did you know that?  He’s Australian.  What an eye-opener.

For about 3 minutes of the NBC News starring Brian What’s-his-name, former Jimmy Carter gofor, we heard nothing new and nothing significant about this story.

I guess they think that it’s better they know and that we don’t.

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By REDHORSE, July 28, 2010 at 11:42 am Link to this comment

Good piece. I appreciated the historical insight. Wonder if the info will make any difference? Lots of good poster comments here, more fact than rant. Nice!!

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By BobZ, July 28, 2010 at 11:18 am Link to this comment

Ellsberg found out the American people didn’t really want to hear the truth about
how five U.S. presidents lied to them about our covert operations in Vietnam
starting after World War II. No we are upset because what we suspected is going on
is actually going on. This poor PFC who leaked “secret” information will likely end
up in Leavenworth for exposing the sham of what has gone on in Afghanistan in
this decade. The good news is if we aren’t out of there within three years, the
Congress will cut off funding for the war as they did over Vietnam in 1974. As a
long ago G.I. said in Vietnam, “do you feel like we are the Redcoats?”. That is not a
good position to be in whether in Vietnam or Afghanistan.

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By RdV, July 28, 2010 at 11:16 am Link to this comment

It is amazing, the latest recitations from the echo chamber—“nothing new here”, nothing to see here, move along.
  Have you read it? Or are you being played for a sucker by picking up the spoon-fed refrain manufactured to control the consensus of official denial?
  What ain’t new is how easily folks pick up the baton tossed at them—like the whole “support the troops” campaign to muddle outrage and dissent.

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By berniem, July 28, 2010 at 10:54 am Link to this comment

As a formerly gullible Progressive, I must now strongly demand that those apologists for the Obama administration(regime?)of whatever political affiliation stop with the rationalizations and fear mongering about a potential republican takeover. Their reaction to the recent Wikileaks revelations demonstrates that they are every bit as culpable as bush, et.al. for previous crimes commited as accomplices and for their own acts which they have been covering up! Whether it be ‘10 or ‘12 those of us who believed in the myth of America’s redemtion have precious litle to look forward to much less vote for(as if that made a difference). We must all stand ready to support Bradley Manning for exposing the US helicopter act on Iraqi civilians and to take whatever steps necessary to prevent our insidious government from censoring and persecuting the truth of atrocities commited in our name!

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By bd6951, July 28, 2010 at 10:42 am Link to this comment

The 9/11 lie continues to poison everything that is said or believed about the energy wars. This was and continues to be the purpose of this fiction, to distract attention from the real threat - Peak Oil!  That the connection between geophysical and thermodynamic reality and the ongoing financialization of our society remains unspoken is all the evidence we need to know that we, this society, blindly lies to itself about the inescapable truth that the Long Emergency is now begun.

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By garth, July 28, 2010 at 10:29 am Link to this comment

Julian Assange said today on DemocracyNow! that in Sweden divulging sources or whistleblowers is a crime.  What a novel idea. 

What a great protection.  I’d feel more secure with that law enacted in the US that I do with the Patriot Act and thousands of troops committing war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Everyone in the government including our beloved media portfolio watchers got together and decided that the best spin is to claim there’s nothing new and howa appalled they are.

The obverse side is:  You tell your boss that you’ve heard the joke before, but the way he or she tells it put a special nuance to it.  Ha has all around.

Which is it?  Is it old news that we are conducting a war with two fronts which include Task Force 373 with its suspected war crimes along with the bullshit that is fed to the jokers like Unger?

Or is it a danger to your war?  Obama’s war.  All the Republicans in the the Congress’s war.  The way of the US is to make war.

I ran into a particularly unpleasant employee of the UN this morning at my Dentist’s office.

I can see why people hate us.  His haughtiness was uncalled for and began right from the get-go.

He wanted to get into a staring contest before he heads back to his high postion at UNICEF in Ethiopia.  At the moment, I can’t think of a better place for him.


What might come from this, though, is that the American soldier, sailor, marine and airman might take a good hard look at these released documents and verify what actually happened. 

They might’ve been underestimated as potential human beings.  They might say, “Fuck this.  I don’t want to kick down doors and shoot women and children.  I don’t give a shit what the brass wants.  Fuck ‘em.”

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By cheyennebode, July 28, 2010 at 10:26 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

ROBERT SCHEER IS A VOICE NEEDED TO BE HEARD BECAUSE HE IS A GOOD
MAN…TRUTHDIG IS A GOOD SITE AND WE ARE FORTUNATE TO HAVE FREE
ACCESS…SO THANKS FOR THE OPPORTUNITY

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By taikan, July 28, 2010 at 10:07 am Link to this comment

What Wikileaks did certainly was a useful service, but it wasn’t “brilliant journalism.”  The term “brilliant journalism” should be reserved for discovering and reporting heretofore unknown information.  Rather than ferreting out and reporting hidden information, Wikileaks merely released to three newspapers some documents that it received anonymously.

And rather than thanking “God,” it would make more sense to thank the individual who sent the documents to Wikileaks, unless Robert Scheer thinks that “God” makes special efforts to ensure that some people will become whistle-blowers.

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By rrbm, July 28, 2010 at 9:41 am Link to this comment

JOSE MARTI’S QUOTE SAYS IT ALL…...

ONLY OPPRESSION SHOULD FEAR THE FULL EXERCISE OF FREEDOM.

THE DRINKING OF THE KOOL-AID IS NOW GENETIC AND INTER-GENERATIONAL !

JUSTICE AND DOD INVESTIGATING…...THEY SHOULD SPEND THEIR ENERGY ON DOING WHAT IS RIGHT…..AS FOR ENDANGERING THE LIVES OF OUR SOLDIERS…..THAT RESPONSIBILITY LIES WITH OUR ADMINISTRATION NOT JOURNALISTS…..

HOW QUICKLY HAS THE AUDACITY OF HOPE TURNED INTO THE AUDACITY OF DECEIT !

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By NYCartist, July 28, 2010 at 9:18 am Link to this comment

I suppose it’s good news that more Dems voted NO to the war(s) funding than last time, sigh.  The wars will stop when people insist we stop paying for it.  Don’t give up.  Good interview on DemNow today with Julian Assange http://www.democracynow.org

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By Cathy, July 28, 2010 at 9:07 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Magginkat great comment.

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By felicity, July 28, 2010 at 9:03 am Link to this comment

So, if being stated by the military etc. is true that
the documents reveal nothing new, why have the military
and their enablers in government continued the (fake)
war for 10 years?  That’s what’s astounding.

Is there a person alive - other than the military and
war-profiteers - who would continue, for 10 years no
less, to bleed their finances dry, sacrifice their
fellow human beings to slaughter pursuing a course of
action that was, in the beginning and middle and end,
futile?

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By RdV, July 28, 2010 at 8:58 am Link to this comment

“The individual(s) who leaked the information should be tried, convicted of treason, ans summarily shot.”

  What do you want to be that this is one of those anti-gubbmint zealots on Social Security and Medicare always squealing about some socialist takeover, while coming to the defense of gubbment secrecy and deception?

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By DavidPabian, July 28, 2010 at 8:41 am Link to this comment

“Thank GOD”!?  I thought this was TRUTHdig, not MythoSuperstitions R Us.

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By RdV, July 28, 2010 at 8:35 am Link to this comment

It is the Wall St version of foreign policy.
Here we are throwing huge sums into that black hole at a time when the domestic economy is tottering on the brink and the same bunch of proven bad actors are still running the show.

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By drbhelthi, July 28, 2010 at 8:19 am Link to this comment

Did an Admiral, Mr. Mike Mullen, the Chairman of the Joint
Chiefs of Staff, tell reporters, “- there is a real
potential threat there to put American lives at
risk.”

It takes a hireling on an admiral´s salary to make
such an ambiguous statement as, ” real, potential
threat there - “.  Where exactly is “there”, since
U.S. troops are genociding Iraqis, Afghanis,
Pakistanis and secretively Iranians, in their own
homelands? 

No country of which has even threatened to attack
the US ?  None of whom had anything to do with the
WWII NAZI overtaking of the U.S.ofA.?  None of whom
even knew the NAZI spy, Georg H. Scherf Jr., who has
lived in the U.S. under a pseudonym since about
1950. Whose family history in Germany has been
polished beyond recognition.  Whose American family
history is as fraudulent as a Hillary Clinton three-
dollar bill.  He will die, unable to publicly admit his
paternity and homeland - . Whose spirit will take
none of the billions in drug-money-profits, and
wealth he has stolen from American citizens, when
the Master calls his number, and sends his soul to
Hades. 

Nor will his israeli buddies be able to
thwart the call of the Master - - .

The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
of the combined, U.S. Military makes such a statement as
“- there is a real potential threat there - - ? 
Is this real?

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By Arabian Sinbad, July 28, 2010 at 7:37 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

An excellent piece by Robert Scheer, and the best part of it is the line, “Robert Gibbs intones, “We are in this region of the world because of what happened on 9/11,” he is mouthing a dangerous half-truth. The opposite is the case: 9/11 happened because the U.S. was in the region and not the other way around.”

As to Whistle-Blowers, in these times of mass deception by the people in power, they are, in my book, the ultimate patriotic heroes and the noble friends of TRUTH who should be given the highest medals of honor and a “HALL OF FAME” for their services should be erected to commemorate their services by a grateful nation.

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By wildflower, July 28, 2010 at 7:25 am Link to this comment

Re Atilla: “The individual(s) who leaked the information should be tried, convicted of treason, ans summarily shot.”

Believe you have it backwards, Atilla.  Clearly, there are individuals who need to be prosecuted – starting with the individuals in the Bush/Cheney administration who conspired to promote the great “WMD Lie.” From there, we can move on to those corporations who knowingly sold defective equipment and tainted water to the U.S. government.  And then, of course, there are those potential dishonest and/or incompetent Department of Defense employees who appear to be unable to provide an accounting for all those missing funds.

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By balkas, July 28, 2010 at 6:52 am Link to this comment

Once a man commanded another and lived to brag about it, the greatest evil befel us.

Dionne reveals to me an event i did not know: that US began to interfere in internal afgh’n business six months before SU invaded afghanistan.

He still makes major errors when he personalizes US expansionism and objects to wars on rationalization instead of a principle. tnx

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By Atilla, July 28, 2010 at 6:39 am Link to this comment

“The individual/s who leaked it should get a medal.”

The individual(s) who leaked the information should be tried, convicted of treason, ans summarily shot.

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By Go Right Young Man, July 28, 2010 at 6:19 am Link to this comment

RayLan, - “What are these public sources?”

-

The “truth” is that you may not have not paid much attention.  Or, conversely, you have not known where to look.  The “truth” is there is no revelation in these documents, however, I understand the contents are a revelation to you.

Congressional records, U.N. reports, Human Rights Watch, Hamid Karzai, journalist’s questions, Pentagon daily news releases and much more have all outlined that which is in these documents.

With knowing where to look one only has to care enough to pay attention.

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By RayLan, July 28, 2010 at 6:15 am Link to this comment

Wait a minute - the documents were released first by Assange to the New York Times, Der Spiegal and the Guardian - But that doesn’t mean this news was simply available at large for anybody to view.
That is a delusion. There were a lot more documents that Wikileaks published that were not public knowledge. There was a cover up - that much is obvious from the revealed details.

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By tedmurphy41, July 28, 2010 at 6:08 am Link to this comment

It’s about time that US and UK citizens were given the true details of any wars carried out in their names.
The individual/s who leaked it should get a medal.
The Gunship attack in Baghdad, Iraq, was a case in point. Just how are these thugs, dressed up in official US uniforms, able to get away with cold-blooded murder, with the irony of it finishing in the individual, who released this footage, being thrown into jail. These criminal morons do not seem to realise that their comrades on the ground have to suffer the consequences of their actions by being targeted for revenge attacks.
You Americans should be flocking into the streets to demand answers, along with justice for these innocent civilians caught up in this war, and not fall back to just shrugging your shoulders, letting these incidents slide with the perpetrators getting away with it.
This is the sort of behaviour that brought about the creation of the Nazi party in Germany.

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By M Henri Day, July 28, 2010 at 5:55 am Link to this comment

It is certainly true that much (not all ! - anyone who thinks so is deluding him or herself) of the information released by Wikileaks and published by the The Guardian, Der Spiegel, and The New York Times was previously available to those who were closely following the matter (alas, a small minority in the countries whose militaries are dropping the bombs), but those who concentrate solely on this aspect and loudly proclaim that there is nothing new here are missing the most salient point - the fact that these mainstream (corporate) journals have decided to publish (their sanitised) versions of the Wikileaks material is significant indeed, as it shows that they realise that present US (and satellite) policies in Afghanistan and Pakistan are failing and must be changed. What alas, the documents do not tell us is if plans are being made to devote the military resources thus saved to an all-out attack on Iran. That is, I might say, the 64 million-million (10^12) dollar question - I do hope Wikileaks is in position to release documents which pertain to the matter !...

Henri

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By wildflower, July 28, 2010 at 5:49 am Link to this comment

Re Scheer: “What WikiLeaks did was brilliant journalism, and the bleating critics from the president on down are revealing just how low a regard they have for the truth. As with Richard Nixon’s rage against the publication of the Pentagon Papers, our leaders are troubled not by the prospect of these revelations endangering troops but rather endangering their own political careers.”

Different President, of course, but we’ve known since the days of the grand “WMD Lie” by the Bush/Cheney administration that many of our so called leaders in Washington have no regard for the truth.  For some, it is a matter of endangering their own political careers, but for others it is a matter of conspiring to use U.S. troops and U.S. tax dollars to promote a personal political agenda.

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By RayLan, July 28, 2010 at 5:37 am Link to this comment

@GoRightYoungMan said “I think it’s worth repeating: There is, so far, nothing in these documents which was not already available to the public by various public sources.  One only had to care enough to pay attention.  Who, then, decides when and which “classified” documents should be released?”

Really? You knew about all the chicanery to the depth that it has been exposed and said nothing- did nothing? What are these public sources? Certainly not CNN - or the commercial media.
People cared very deeply, especially ‘young men’ who put their lives on the line - it has nothing to do with caring - we were lied to- pure and simple - if the systematic covering up of the truth is a lie.

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By StormeeATL, July 28, 2010 at 5:24 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Actually thebeerdoctor, many of us supporters of Obama did not agree with his policy of continuing the war in Afghanastan, not enough to make most of us vote for McCain instead who obviously would have also continued the war. So there were other differences in platforms that made us vote for Obama. One thing I think has come around in all of this is the fact that there are still war protests against both Afghanastan and Iraq from people no the left primarily, left wing pundits (Bill Maher a notable one) are constantly saying we need to get out of there. So it was obviously about an idealism, not partisanship as most people against the wars (myself included) are still against the wars. So my question even though it strays a bit from the gist of this article, where were all the tea partyers, etc who rally against Obama’s “fiscal irresponsibility” when the same was going on during the Bush administration? I think this is starting to prove that the left of this country are more likely to stick with their values, while the right will just go any direction and cover up for their politicians mistakes just to get back into power

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By Magginkat, July 28, 2010 at 5:13 am Link to this comment

And don’t forget…
Pentagon can’t account for $8.7 billion in Iraqi funds.

We are throwing away billions in Afghanistan & Iraq with almost no accountability.  Thousands are being murdered because of our illegal invasion.

And now we have to listen to ‘the experts’ whine because their shoddy handling of this war has been exposed. 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/jul/26/afghanistan-war-logs-us-marines


Afghanistan war logs: How US marines sanitised record of bloodbath

War logs show how marines gave cleaned up accounts of incident in which they killed 19 civilians.

It started with a suicide bomb. On 4 March 2007 a convoy of US marines, who arrived in Afghanistan three weeks earlier, were hit by an explosives-rigged minivan outside the city of Jalalabad.

The marines made a frenzied escape, opening fire with automatic weapons as they tore down a six-mile stretch of highway, hitting almost anyone in their way – teenage girls in fields, motorists in their cars, old men as they walked along the road. Nineteen unarmed civilians were killed and 50 wounded.

None of this, however, was captured in the initial military account, written by the marines themselves. It simply says that, simultaneous to the suicide explosion, “the patrol received small arms fire from three
directions”.

And the subsequent rampage as they drove away – which would later be the subject of a 17-day military inquiry and a 12,000-page report – is captured in five words: “The patrol returned to JAF [Jalalabad air field].”
...................

And on and on goes the story of this police action against two countries that have never attacked us & the war crimes that are being committed & covered up. 

And We the People are paying for and approving the continued funds for these illegal and unjustified wars. The military industrial complex has over run our country.  The main question is how to get them back under control.  One way would be to cut the Pentagon budget by 50% and put the money to good use…..providing health care for everyone, education, repairing bridges and highways…...........CREATING JOBS! 

As for the missing money, maybe someone should be checking the offshore banking accounts of people like Cheney, Rumsfeld, Bush etc.

Oh….. and a lot of that top brass at the Pentagon should be fired & prosecuted for war crimes.

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By peterjkraus, July 28, 2010 at 5:10 am Link to this comment

As long as we let them begin wars in our name, we
will have to bear the consequences. There have been
no “just” wars since 1945 - just wars to fill
pockets, to appease donors, to aggrandize otherwise
wimpy Presidents.

So, if we accept their warmongering, are we the “good
guys”? Where does complicity begin to be criminal?

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By Go Right Young Man, July 28, 2010 at 5:10 am Link to this comment

Robert Scheer - “What WikiLeaks did was brilliant journalism, and the bleating critics from the president on down are revealing just how low a regard they have for the truth.”

-

My concern is not the content of these documents.  I have yet to find anything in the, so-far, released documents which is new or “news”.  I do, however have a problem with how this information has been released. 

I think it’s worth repeating: There is, so far, nothing in these documents which was not already available to the public by various public sources.  One only had to care enough to pay attention.  Who, then, decides when and which “classified” documents should be released?

Mr. Scheer believes releasing these documents is brilliant. Why?  Because they bring to high relief that which, he believes, suites his purpose?  He and others sure didn’t believe the same when “cherry picking” and “selective declassification” was the order of the day in 2002-2003. 

Truth?  Brilliant, Mr. Scheer.

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By RayLan, July 28, 2010 at 5:03 am Link to this comment

Whoever said American culture had anything to do with the truth? It celebrates illusion in every form - from celebrity-monging to so-called ‘reality’ shows which are nothing but voyeuristic porn. The playground of America is both metaphorically and actually a city dedicated to the glitzy rip-off -Las Vegas. It shouldn’t surpise us that our wars are the stuff that wet imperialist dreams are made of.
Why else are we fighting other people’s wars?

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By kerryrose, July 28, 2010 at 3:55 am Link to this comment

I guess in the long run the question to be asked is ‘will it make a difference?’

Probably not.  Do you see people caring?  I don’t, not when I drive past BP and see people nonchalantly filling their tanks, or when I am waiting to pick up my child at camp, and park next to three woman in huge Ford, Mercedes, and Lexas wagons/jeeps who idle for 30 minutes with the air conditioning running rather than stand outside in the grass and wait.

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By ardee, July 28, 2010 at 3:04 am Link to this comment

It is interesting to note the furor over the releasing of these documents and the deafening silence regarding what they revealed. Many of us knew full well that we were doomed to failure in sending the military to do a job for which they were not equipped.

Military might cannot ever defeat a determined populace and the use of such simply makes that insurgency even more popular with the citizens who bear the brunt of the invasion.

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By thebeerdoctor, July 28, 2010 at 3:03 am Link to this comment

Fact: Barack Obama said before becoming President that he would focus (that is:escalate) the Afghanistan war. He called it “the right war”.
Fact: Those who pointed out what an idiotic idea this was were denounced by the Obamaites for not getting aboard the hope and change train heading for Washington.
Fact: There is nothing anti-war about President Obama, who ramps up U. S. military spending and totally agrees with Israel that the United States should prepare to go to war with Iran.
Fact: President Obama did indeed send a message to the Arab and Muslim world, when he delivered his famous speech in Cairo, just hours after praising Hosni Mubarak, President dictator of Egypt, who has been in power longer now than the late Saddam Hussein.
Fact: Before becoming President, Barack Obama said he would call the Armenians slaughtered in 1915-16 a genocide. But as President he could not bring himself to utter the frightfully truthful word.
There are many other betrayals of noble intentions, what the President himself referred to as “overheated rhetoric” spoken during an election campaign. The real question is, has anybody learned anything? Apparently not. The additional $59 billion approved by Congress to continue this foreign policy debacle is a case in point.

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By zaphodity, July 28, 2010 at 12:59 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Thank god for them telling us “Pentagon watered-down” garbage we already knew and passing it off as “ground breaking”

Bravo !

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Money is funny's avatar

By Money is funny, July 27, 2010 at 11:21 pm Link to this comment

This “leak” is just another blatant conspiracy exit strategy. I have been told from reliable sources that the next conflict will be televised in 3D.

(if you believe this then you might be insane)

You are insane not me!

Shut up I hate you!

You should shut up, not me.

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By ofersince72, July 27, 2010 at 11:03 pm Link to this comment

Old Man Turtle

A very wise, astute, and brillient post that had
great brevity, but said so much. Thankyou….

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By expat in germany, July 27, 2010 at 10:57 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

References to God in two separate TD headlines? What’s up with that?

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By Old Man Turtle, July 27, 2010 at 9:50 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

So, one feels compelled to ask, are these long self-evident (to Native Peoples everywhere, anyway) truths, about America-at-large, suddenly allowed to be (still rather gingerly) discussed in polite company because some “journalist” has formally “published” a sort of sanitized version fit for PG-13 consumption?  Would even that much adulterated ‘candor’ be permitted without the sop of being able to cast aspersions on the ‘diabolically clever’ and ‘dishonorably duplicitous’ Pakis?

That freedom-of-the-press “bandwagon” Mr. Sheer and so many other ink-stained wretches are jumping-on so joyously these days may turn out to be nothing but the barrel pushed by the guy sweeping-up after the menagerie, at the very tail-end of the big parade.  Is it ungenerous to wonder where they all were when this shit was just starting to hit their fan-base?

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