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Pentagon Demands Return of Leaked Afghanistan Documents

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the mail-in-your-hard-drives-everyone dept.

Censorship 523

Multiple news agencies are reporting that the Pentagon has demanded the return of WikiLeaks' collection of secret documents relating to the war in Afghanistan. Defense Department spokesman Geoff Morrell said, "The only acceptable course is for WikiLeaks to take steps immediately to return all versions of all of these documents to the US government and permanently delete them from its website, computers and records." According to the BBC, Morrell also "acknowledged the already-leaked documents' viral spread across the internet made it unlikely they could ever be quashed," but hopes to prevent the dissemination of a further 15,000 documents WikiLeaks is reportedly in the process of redacting. "We're looking to have a conversation about how to get these perilous documents off the website as soon as possible, return them to their rightful owners and expunge them from their records." WikiLeaks, predictably, shows no sign of cooperating.

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523 comments

They will make them comply (5, Interesting)

odies (1869886) | more than 3 years ago | (#33160260)

It doesn't matter if Wikileaks complies, Pentagon has made it very clear they will make them comply [theinquirer.net]:

Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said that not embarrassing the US military was "doing the right thing" and he hoped Wikileaks would "honour our demands".

However, asked what the Pentagon would do next, Morrell told the AP that it was up to the FBI and Justice Department to decide how to proceed.

"If doing the right thing is not good enough for them [Wikileaks], then we will figure out what other alternatives we have to compel them to do the right thing," he added.

Of course the right thing to the US government is always whatever the US military says is the right thing, and as the Wikileaks documents that have recently been released show in brutal detail, the US military has an unusual interpretation of what is 'right'.

Re:They will make them comply (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33160290)

Uh, if you think the US Military drives the decisions of the US Government, you are horribly mistaken. It's visibly the other way around. You have just cited an opinion piece from The Inquirer.

Re:They will make them comply (4, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#33160336)

It's all bark and no bite. They're just pissed for getting called out for what most intelligent people already knew. That the wars are not going well and that W wasn't taking the war seriously at all. At this point any damage that's going to be done has been done, and this is mostly just about saving face.

Re:They will make them comply (1, Insightful)

operagost (62405) | more than 3 years ago | (#33160684)

That the wars are not going well and that W wasn't taking the war seriously at all.

Obama is? He took three months to consider his general's report, then gave the man LESS than the MINIMUM number of troops the general asked for-- as if to claim that he somehow knew better.

My point is this: don't pin it on W. All of our leaders are rife with incompetence.

Re:They will make them comply (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33160742)

That the wars are not going well and that W wasn't taking the war seriously at all.

Obama is? He took three months to consider his general's report, then gave the man LESS than the MINIMUM number of troops the general asked for-- as if to claim that he somehow knew better.

My point is this: don't pin it on W. All of our leaders are rife with incompetence.

I think I'm gonna go ahead and pin it on the guy that started it, if it's okay with you. Or even if it's not.

Re:They will make them comply (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33160814)

I think I'm gonna go ahead and pin it on the guy that started it, if it's okay with you. Or even if it's not.

Osama Bin Laden?

Re:They will make them comply (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 3 years ago | (#33160762)

Whatever could be done, in the past and in the future, regarding that one war - won't change how the old team manufactured another war in times when those (heck, or small part of) resources could make a big difference for the first one...

Re:They will make them comply (5, Informative)

FreeUser (11483) | more than 3 years ago | (#33160796)

Obama is? He took three months to consider his general's report, then gave the man LESS than the MINIMUM number of troops the general asked for-- as if to claim that he somehow knew better.

My point is this: don't pin it on W. All of our leaders are rife with incompetence.

That may as be (I certainly think Clinton would have made a vastly better president than Obama--his inexperience is showing rather painfully in many venues), but that is irrelevant to this wikileaks leak.

All of the documentation covers a time prior to Obama taking office, so the grandparent is correct: this reflects entirely on Dubya and his administration, not Obama, whatever Obama's failings may be.

Re:They will make them comply (3, Insightful)

mcvos (645701) | more than 3 years ago | (#33160746)

I don't know how they intend to save face by claiming they shouldn't be held accountable, and will make people pay for embarrassing them.

The fact that they consider embarrassment a bigger issue than accountability or civilian lives, is a clear sign they have their priorities wrong.

Re:They will make them comply (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 3 years ago | (#33160802)

Also, aren't those circles the ones mostly nodding in unison to "If you've done nothing wrong, you have nothing to hide", "rightful owners" of some info/etc. be damned?

At first I thought Wikileaks was doing good (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33160350)

but honestly, the guy is a fame whore who really doesn't care who dies just as long as he has fame. He wants his time in the sun. Even after seeing other press stories about Taliban acting on names of informants and such he doesn't really seem to care.

Re:At first I thought Wikileaks was doing good (3, Insightful)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | more than 3 years ago | (#33160422)

Fame whore? Without googling, off of the top of your head, what's the full name and correct spelling of the guy behind WikiLeaks? And what does he look like?

Re:At first I thought Wikileaks was doing good (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 3 years ago | (#33160520)

Spelling may be off: Julian Asange, thin, unkempt short gray hair with an "I'm better than you" smirk.

Re:At first I thought Wikileaks was doing good (1)

James_Duncan8181 (588316) | more than 3 years ago | (#33160540)

Julian Assange, pale hair, mid 40s. I don't think he's a fame whore though, I respect the guy. He has cahones.

Re:At first I thought Wikileaks was doing good (2, Informative)

mcvos (645701) | more than 3 years ago | (#33160782)

He's a nice guy. Soft spoken, almost shy. Not someone I'd consider a fame whore.

Re:At first I thought Wikileaks was doing good (0)

kevinNCSU (1531307) | more than 3 years ago | (#33160618)

If knowledge full legal name with proper spelling is necessary by everyone in order for someone to be a fame whore I suppose I take back everything I said and thought about Ocho Cinco.

Re:At first I thought Wikileaks was doing good (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33160648)

Seriously? The guys been in the paper constantly the last few months and has given countless interviews. My mother knows his name. Oh, and he looks like Bill Maher but slightly gayer and more strung out.

WikiLeaks has been around for years. (5, Insightful)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | more than 3 years ago | (#33160712)

Seriously? The guys been in the paper constantly the last few months and has given countless interviews. My mother knows his name. Oh, and he looks like Bill Maher but slightly gayer and more strung out.

Yes, Seriously. I guess everyone missed my point.

WikiLeaks has been around for years and it has only been in the last couple of months that he's come out of the woodwork to defend what they have done.

Before this episode, one would would have to look kind of hard to get his name and his photo wasn't the easiest thing to find - I tried a couple of years ago when WikiLeaks first started making waves.

That isn't a media whore.

Re:WikiLeaks has been around for years. (5, Insightful)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#33160808)

If the government was after me and I felt I might risk being picked up and "disappeared", I might suddenly decide to become a "fame whore", too. Get my name and face out there in every fucking place imaginable.

Re:At first I thought Wikileaks was doing good (1, Flamebait)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 3 years ago | (#33160716)

I think the Taliban can note who enters/exits/mixes with the CIA ect. They also get their own people close to the CIA.
As for fame, thats his only protection.

Re:At first I thought Wikileaks was doing good (2, Informative)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#33160734)

Yeah, too bad Wikileaks redacts identifying names of at-risk persons before publishing, which invalidates your entire comment.

Re:They will make them comply (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33160390)

Well, it is the business of a military to conduct war. In the case of the US military, it is their job to conduct war when the executive asks them to. And he did. Do you know why he did? Because Americans demanded and supported it overwhelmingly. How is that not the "right" thing for the US military to do? Should it stand down on moral grounds whenever it is asked to occupy territory, or conduct propaganda exercises, or carry out searches, or any of the other numerous acts that make up the conduct of a war?

Re:They will make them comply (3, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#33160524)

Well, it is the business of a military to conduct war. In the case of the US military, it is their job to conduct war when the executive asks them to. And he did. Do you know why he did? Because Americans demanded and supported it overwhelmingly. How is that not the "right" thing for the US military to do?

It has already been proven that most of the people who supported military action also believed that saddam was responsible for 9/11 and a whole bunch of other total bullshit that the then-current administration deliberately led people to believe (with media collusion) specifically to drum up support for the war. Fuck, anyone who's seen Wag the Dog should be capable of seeing through it, let alone anyone who has paid any attention to history at all. Nice to see that the Halliburton shills are still too unpopular to risk logging in, though.

Re:They will make them comply (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33160610)

Slow down cowboy!

Slashdot requires you to wait 1 minute between each submission of /comments.pl in order to allow everyone to have a fair chance to post.

It's been -3290 seconds since your last submission!

I wasn't joking about the modpoints, tool. You lost a little karma today.
 
--The Lone Justice of Slashdot

Re:They will make them comply (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33160554)

If we went to war because ultimately the American people wanted it, shouldn't we have pulled out a couple of years ago when they wanted that? And still do, of course.

Re:They will make them comply (2, Interesting)

sznupi (719324) | more than 3 years ago | (#33160628)

...of course the last time "Americans demanded and supported it overwhelmingly" also after being told of lies about WMDs, etc. (not that what the gov was doing isn't some reflection of the society anyway)

Look, in my place the military is slightly impotent overall and generally is as an institution where lazy would-be sportsmen (you need to have absolutelly perfect health, when joining, to be a soldier) can live comfortably. At least, perhaps, with not making it too vital, too big, too entrenched in the society via many of its members, too tech & resource thirsty - the policies aren't influenced by what's good for the military.

The return of the documents... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33160266)

Couldn't they just download it?

Re:The return of the documents... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33160438)

Indeed. This makes you wonder...what kind of people are managing the US Defense? Someone at Afganistan or China must be laughing.

Re:The return of the documents... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33160542)

NES: lol
NES: I download something from Napster
NES: And the same guy I downloaded it from starts downloading it from me when I'm done
NES: I message him and say "What are you doing? I just got that from you"
NES: "getting my song back fucker"

Courtesy of http://bash.org/?104052 [bash.org]

Re:The return of the documents... (5, Funny)

bug1 (96678) | more than 3 years ago | (#33160794)

I think people are mis-reading their demand, what i think happened is that the pentagon lost their copy and they want someone to send them the backup.

"Only wimps use tape backup: _real_ men just upload their important stuff on ftp, and let the rest of the world mirror it" - Linus Torvalds

Re:The return of the documents... (1)

epiphani (254981) | more than 3 years ago | (#33160836)

This actually shows how out of touch they are. Nobody who had any understanding of technology of the last 15 years would ever ask for a document to be "returned".

It's time (3, Interesting)

LordAzuzu (1701760) | more than 3 years ago | (#33160284)

to decrypt the insurance file!

Re:It's time (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 3 years ago | (#33160574)

It's time to decrypt the insurance file!

Is it possible the government already has... and that's why the DoD is so anxious?
I know 256 AES is heavy duty, but the NSA measures their super-computing power by the acre.

Re:It's time (5, Insightful)

Zocalo (252965) | more than 3 years ago | (#33160680)

I don't think that's the way it is going to have been set up. Far more likely it's going to be an automatic disclosure of the decryption process from a source independent of Wikileaks should Julian Assange or any other key members fail to check in some how at regular intervals. That way if they should be detained or "meet with an unfortunate accident" the contents of the assurance file go public.

Quite frankly, I think the US military and government are pointing their fingers in the wrong direction here. The people that are really at fault here are those who have still not managed to put adequate controls on the access and export of sensitive data; one of the task given to the DHS, IIRC. Quite simply put, I doubt that there is any reason why a single person should have been able to access all those documents in the first place, let alone be in a position to take copies and pass them on too WikiLeaks and the media. It's not like Gary McKinnon hasn't given them enough egg on their faces about poor security procedures already, is it...?

Or what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33160286)

It seems like pushing them while they're redacting would just force them to release the documents without all the redactions. That's not what they want, is it?

If the US really *were* evil, they'd die (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33160294)

Geez, you think the Wikileaks folks got the nards to do this to North Korea or Iran?

Re:If the US really *were* evil, they'd die (1, Insightful)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | more than 3 years ago | (#33160446)

Someone in those countries would have to send stuff to them. I don't think WikiLeeks has their own investigators or spies.

But I bet they would.

Too late (5, Insightful)

houghi (78078) | more than 3 years ago | (#33160316)

It is already out in the open. You can't put the genie back in the bottle. Or "Things that have been seen can not be unseen."

Re:Too late (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33160398)

They are probably most concerned with the 15.000 documents that is not out in the open yet. And with showing Wikileaks who is boss of course

Re:Too late (2, Insightful)

jgagnon (1663075) | more than 3 years ago | (#33160400)

Considering they've already shared the unedited files with at least three other news agencies.. yeah, this is just the beginning.

Re:Too late (4, Interesting)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 3 years ago | (#33160662)

Considering they've already shared the unedited files with at least three other news agencies.. yeah, this is just the beginning.

Newspapers have sat on much bigger stories just because the government said "please".
Multiple newspapers sat on or killed stories because, then Director of National Intelligence, Negroponte asked them to.
Telecom spying anyone?

Re:Too late (1)

jgagnon (1663075) | more than 3 years ago | (#33160840)

But three that WikiLeaks shared the data with are from three separate countries. And sure a massive number of people have already downloaded the edited versions. This ship has sailed and no amount of bickering will bring it ashore.

Re:Too late (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 3 years ago | (#33160406)

It is already out in the open. You can't put the genie back in the bottle

Well, yeah, but you can always distract the public with sideshows and carnivals. People quickly forget, and there are new people being born all the time who have never seen it, while the old people who have seen it die and are forgotten.

Re:Too late (1)

stonewallred (1465497) | more than 3 years ago | (#33160506)

What? This is the US military you are speaking of. All they need to do is pull the documents down, and then have everyone who has seen them or heard about them spend a little time with Dick Cheney, a board, a towel and a water hose. All the information will be removed at the end of the session.

Re:Too late (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33160798)

Yeah, I've downloaded every single file and it's not like I......[no carrier]

Re:Too late (1)

Zocalo (252965) | more than 3 years ago | (#33160828)

"Things that have been seen can not be unseen."

Sure they can. It's just a matter of cauterizing the right section of the cerebellum. Of course, since military types usually opt for a "Nuke it from orbit. It's the only way to be sure!" stratagy the process is more likely to be achieved through the application of a smart bomb or bullet from a large caliber rifle than a laser scalpel, but you can't have everything...

Red Flag (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33160324)

Government is the only business which holds the special right to employ coercion (meaning physical force or threat thereof) against you in order to achieve its goals. Secrets have absolutely no place in such a relationship.

Am I saying I wouldn't put an ounce of trust in such an entity no matter how loud they scream "we need secrets"? You're damn right I am.

Pentagons reaction (5, Funny)

TyFoN (12980) | more than 3 years ago | (#33160334)

OMG DELETE THE INTERNET!

Re:Pentagons reaction (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33160486)

That's what I'm afraid of!
It's been made clear to governments around the world that an untamed Internet is more powerful than all of them put together. Because the Internet is nothing but their populations truly free.
They should realize they work for us, and stop fecking up because it'll get them into trouble.
But instead they'll pretend it's a security risk and a danger to children and destroy it piece by piece.

Re:Pentagons reaction (4, Funny)

InShadows (103008) | more than 3 years ago | (#33160518)

From the Pentagon press release an old adage similar to that of mother's across the world:
"I brought the Internet into this world, I can take it out!"

Ha,ha! (0, Troll)

Smivs (1197859) | more than 3 years ago | (#33160342)

"We're looking to have a conversation about how to get these perilous documents off the website as soon as possible, return them to their rightful owners and expunge them from their records." WikiLeaks, predictably, shows no sign of cooperating.

Good.

Re:Ha,ha! (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33160460)

"We're looking to have a conversation about how to get these perilous documents off the website as soon as possible, return them to their rightful owners and expunge them from their records." WikiLeaks, predictably, shows no sign of cooperating.

Good.

Yes, those BRAVE people at WikiLeaks are standing up to a power that might SUBPOENA them from across an ocean.

Yay.

Now, if they had the backbone to stand against the real nasty regimes of this world [wikipedia.org], maybe the worship being thrown WikiLeaks way would be justified.

Woo hoo. They're SOOO brave.

Not.

I see a little problem here (5, Insightful)

tibit (1762298) | more than 3 years ago | (#33160352)

Here we go again with people thinking that the paper paradigm applies to the digital world.

How on Earth do you return digital documents? Do you scrape the oxide layer off the hard drives, put it in a little vial, mark it with volume mount point(s) and put it into an envelope addressed to Pentagon? Oh, yes, I know, you first print out the directory listing (like we used to do with the floppies), tape it to the vial, then scrape, fill the vial and ship.

As for the further documents -- they better watch out, because WikiLeaks may just give up and publish all of the unredacted stuff just to preserve it.

As for WikiLeaks somehow "embarrassing" the U.S. military: waitaminuzel here. Did WikiLeaks compel the military to do all the embarrassing stuff? No? Then well, maybe it was better the taxpayers knew what their money is spent on, huh?

Re:I see a little problem here (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33160430)

As for WikiLeaks somehow "embarrassing" the U.S. military: waitaminuzel here. Did WikiLeaks compel the military to do all the embarrassing stuff? No? Then well, maybe it was better the taxpayers knew what their money is spent on, huh?

You have no fucking clue how wartime intelligence works, do you?

Re:I see a little problem here (3, Interesting)

Klync (152475) | more than 3 years ago | (#33160440)

The part of the picture which I think you're missing is this: the copies may be missing information that the originals contain. This is certainly the case if WikiLeaks is editing them (redacting text) before releasing them. If the files have been tampered with, they may not be admissible as evidence in a court, or they may not be as compelling to a jury, even if they are. There are legal standards for admitting digital evidence, and then there are the forensic experts, of course. Telling a court, "here's a file I downloaded from bittorrent, and it looks pretty legit" isn't going to cut it. If the pentagon manages to get the originals back, they might just save Cheney, Powell, Rice, Bush, Wolfowitz, etc. from a public hanging.

Re:I see a little problem here (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33160504)

the pentagon manages to get the originals back

Did the pentagon only have one paper copy of the documents themselves? Don't they already know what's in the originals?

Re:I see a little problem here (5, Insightful)

kilfarsnar (561956) | more than 3 years ago | (#33160534)

If the pentagon manages to get the originals back, they might just save Cheney, Powell, Rice, Bush, Wolfowitz, etc. from a public hanging.

That'd be a shame.

Re:I see a little problem here (3, Interesting)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 3 years ago | (#33160722)

I wonder what crackpipe you people are smoking. I see a lot of "Bush/Cheney will be hanged one day!!!!" going on, and I'm laughing at this. Nobody is going to go back, find the former president, put him on trial, say "You did shit during a war while you were president that we should hang you for," and hang them. It won't happen. You're all talking about things you "know," and thus things they'd already be on trial for because it's rather public knowledge; obviously there's been no indictment (if it was even possible, they'd pay lawyers to file charges themselves BEFORE there was any evidence, so they could ride through the trial and get acquitted and avoid further trial on "unearthed evidence" later due to double-jeopardy).

Re:I see a little problem here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33160682)

Here we go again with people thinking that the paper paradigm applies to the digital world.

No, they don't. It's you who are ignorant.

These are formalities for the lawyers, nothing else. It's similar to the "I am a terrorist seeking a visa to the United States to blow things up" checkbox on the immigration forms.

One more bullet in the lawsuit.

Re:I see a little problem here (1)

phoenixwade (997892) | more than 3 years ago | (#33160784)

Here we go again with people thinking that the paper paradigm applies to the digital world.

How on Earth do you return digital documents?

Well, you start with Jeff Goldblum, a Mac Laptop, and a cute countdown timer......

Re:I see a little problem here (4, Informative)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#33160830)

Obligatory bash.org [bash.org]:

<NES> lol
<NES> I download something from Napster
<NES> And the same guy I downloaded it from starts downloading it from me when I'm done
<NES> I message him and say "What are you doing? I just got that from you"
<NES> "getting my song back fucker"

"return" of digital documents (1)

jamescford (205756) | more than 3 years ago | (#33160354)

They should be sure to ask for the digital negatives. Without those, I'm sure nobody will be able to disseminate these documents any further!

War Crimes (2)

Klync (152475) | more than 3 years ago | (#33160360)

Quick Julian! Get a copy of those files over to The Hague ASAP. Then you can hand back the originals to avoid the full force of the US government coming at you. Don't worry - the statute of limitations for war crimes never expires. If there is justice in this world, everyone who's touched the US's dirty wars - from Colin Powell to Barack Obama, will be imprisoned for life (or worse - I'm looking at you Herr Cheney!).

Re:War Crimes (1, Interesting)

Beyond_GoodandEvil (769135) | more than 3 years ago | (#33160482)

If there is justice in this world, everyone who's touched the US's dirty wars - from Colin Powell to Barack Obama, will be imprisoned for life (or worse - I'm looking at you Herr Cheney!).
Ha, such naivete, yeah, the big scary Hague will prevent some black ops team from snatching Julian, waterboarding him to disclose his sources and then leaving his corpse at the sight of an auto-accident. That is assuming Julian isn't some patsy for a high level spook looking to embarass his coworkers b/c he got passed over for a job like William Felt.

Re:War Crimes (2, Insightful)

operagost (62405) | more than 3 years ago | (#33160738)

Right... people are disappearing and starving to death in North Korea, and you're most concerned about "war crimes" in Afghanistan? Make sure that you imprison the leaders of all the countries who sent troops there. Oh yeah, and 99 out of 100 members of the Senate.

Assange responds to Wikileaks attacks (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33160372)

".. we've got to be careful, Amy. Mullen actually was quite crafty in his words. He said "might already have" blood on my hands .. it's really quite fantastic that Gates and Mullen, Gates being the former head of the CIA during Iran-Contra and the overseer of Iraq and Afghanistan, and Mullen being the military commander for Iraq and Afghanistan -- I'm not sure what his further background is -- who have ordered assassinations every day, are trying to bring people on board to look at a speculative understanding of whether we might have blood on our hand"

link [democracynow.org]

Re:Assange responds to Wikileaks attacks (-1, Troll)

operagost (62405) | more than 3 years ago | (#33160770)

Ah, so we see Assange's true nature. He pretends to be a free information, "transparency" kind of guy, but he's really a vainglorious Chamberlain-style appeaser of dictators and terrorists.

LOL (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33160376)

Just lol.

For something that's "nothing new".. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33160382)

Considering how adamant they've been that these are 'low level secrets' and how they 'show nothing new', they sure seem eager to supress them.

Re:For something that's "nothing new".. (3, Insightful)

kevinNCSU (1531307) | more than 3 years ago | (#33160674)

Because while the name of some Afghani that ratted out where a random weapons cache or meeting point is isn't exactly important or ground breaking news to us, it sure makes them less likely to help and the Taliban is already saying their looking over the lists for reprisal targets (probably partially in truth but mainly to scare Afghani civilians into not cooperating anymore).

Something I don't understand (2, Interesting)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#33160384)

If these documents are so damaging and endanger so many people, why the fuck has the media talked about it at least a couple of times every single day since the documents were released? Wouldn't ignoring it decrease the chances of people hearing about them and going to read them? Literally millions more people are aware of these documents being leaked thanks to news sources talking about how bad it is that they were leaked.

Stay classy.

Re:Something I don't understand (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33160428)

The media comments about them because it's a good story. They do not have the interests of the government, deployed soldiers, or even the people who would read the documents in mind. In short, because they want to stir the pot and see what jumps out.

They're damaging to our government (5, Insightful)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | more than 3 years ago | (#33160516)

FTFA:

The documents leaked so far illustrate the frustration of U.S. forces in fighting the protracted Afghan conflict and revived debate over the war's uncertain progress.

These documents are showing that the US' operation aren't doing too well. WikiLeaks is holding back stuff that may endanger people's lives.

This is all about the Pentagon and the Government trying hide their incompetence and stupidity. It's also to trying to keep information out of our hands to keep the support for the wars from it's continual slide down.

We're in another Viet Nam type era.

Re:They're damaging to our government (1)

celesteh (1864708) | more than 3 years ago | (#33160676)

They're damaging to the previous administration, not to the current one. However, if they let it go, they won't look tough. And, of course, there are proably a bunch of documents, not yet leaked, that are plenty damaging to the current administration.

Re:Something I don't understand (-1, Flamebait)

James_Duncan8181 (588316) | more than 3 years ago | (#33160622)

Your high UID didn't surprise me, and your contribution is another indicator that Slashdot has become too well known.

Re:Something I don't understand (0)

Fnkmaster (89084) | more than 3 years ago | (#33160646)

Knowledge of the existence of the documents doesn't endanger lives, nor really does general tactical information about past engagements despite what the military might suggest - it's not like the Taliban haven't already figured out all of that stuff themselves after 9+ years of fighting Americans.

The things that endanger lives are specific persons, villages, and sources that have cooperated with US military personnel. Some of those people have probably already been killed or will be very soon, since the Taliban has already said they have people reviewing all the documents for names.

Re:Something I don't understand (1)

Tisha_AH (600987) | more than 3 years ago | (#33160660)

One of the claims of the press is that they are the "fourth branch of government" and that they are necessary to keep the people in power honest. Of course that is all BS as the press first serves it's own interests and hides behind a constitutional protection of "freedom of the press".

We are talking about the international press and they are not obligated in any way to act as responsible stewards of US government information. For the most part, the press is propaganda. It is just not easy to figure out who they are serving as most of the time they fly no flag and take whatever position that leads to the creation of bigger and more sensational stories.

Wikileaks is not a press organization. It is a clearinghouse for folks who are willing to reveal information that they may be sworn to protect. Many of the sources of information on Wikileaks are folks who have committed an act of treason against their country by revealing information that was meant to be kept secret. What should happen is that folks who commit treason should be dealt with "old school", drawn, quartered and their body parts spread to the different corners of the realm.

It has been entertaining to most of us as we have had any skin in the game, it was always someone else s secrets.

If you want your documents, Pentagon, then... (2, Insightful)

adosch (1397357) | more than 3 years ago | (#33160402)

Go download it like the rest of the world has already?

Honestly, what kind of statement is that. It's already been leaked. What is there to gain from getting it back? I doubt Wikileaks got a stack of paper from PFC Manning anyway.

Information (2, Insightful)

MrKaos (858439) | more than 3 years ago | (#33160472)

The best thing about this information is it reveals how governments lie and lie and lie to the populace. Thats the only reason they only want the information back.

Re:Information (2, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 3 years ago | (#33160584)

It also shows how utterly stupid the people who we entrust to fight wars for us are. Like these documents haven't been distributed all over the world in hundreds of thousands if not millions of downloads already from the main site, and as if there aren't currently thousands of OTHER sites all over the world offering these files for download.

Invoking the Streisand effect will only make matters worse and encourage even more downloading.

Re:Information (2, Interesting)

kevinNCSU (1531307) | more than 3 years ago | (#33160750)

Could you point out what documents show a smoking gun of governments lying in the textual documents? Maybe you've read more of them then me but the best example I saw was where a helicopter got shot down by what was likely a heat seeking missile because it had a smoke trail and in the press conference they said it was downed by enemy fire, and was close enough to be small arms theoretically downplaying the presence of heat seeking weapons among insurgents. Not exactly damning stuff though that in my opinion warrants the release of documents that contain indemnifying information about civilians that can be used for reprisals.

Perhaps if pentagon had guns or something (4, Funny)

line-bundle (235965) | more than 3 years ago | (#33160510)

I guess if the Pentagon had guns or something perhaps they could have leverage.

But just having 5 sides and 5 angles? What do they expect to to the wikileaks? Poke it to death?

A note to Geoff Morrell (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33160578)

Dear Mr High Lord Defense Department spokesman Geoff Morrell, Commander of the Good, Christian, Heterosexual Army of the United states.

If you have got nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear.
If you have got something to hide, we will dig it out and publish it on the nets so your own people can see how rotten you are.

Signed:
Your cyberpunk future.

DMCA takedown notice? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33160588)

[Rolls eyes] Can't they just file a DMCA takedown notice like everyone else?

Rightful Owners (4, Insightful)

jDeepbeep (913892) | more than 3 years ago | (#33160604)

return them to their rightful owners

Rightful owners? They must mean the American people who paid for all of this, right?

Fax them back. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33160614)

Will they accept a fax?

Great they worked it out (4, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 3 years ago | (#33160652)

Losing a war? Here's the plan!

1. Leak documents that show boring day to day operational details, including civilian casualties on the internet
2. Blame the people who distribute, download and read said documents for the deaths of those people and the deaths of everyone else from now on in the war due to "security risks"
3. ???
4. Profit
5. (STILL lose the war)

I find it interesting (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33160692)

Last time i looked up US law, it was only illegal to distribute or help facilitate distribution of classified documents (not to possess or read).

Even if Wikileaks was US based, i don't know if the Pentagon would be within it's rights to force anything but a takedown....

Though, they may be in their rights to disconnect Internet connections owned by US companies or on US soil that wikileaks can travel over (facilitate distribution).

Though there may be a clause that says if you distribute classified documents to unauthorized destinations we get to take all your copies (so make sure to have lots of lube on hand as par for the course with a DOJ investigation)

Also, I think the bulk of the classified document policy falls under and executive order not a federal law. So I doubt the bulk of the nuances federal employees/contractors are under do not apply to US citizens, much less the foreign nationals

In any case, they cant touch anyone who downloaded the documents and didn't 1.) redistribute it or 2.) fund wikileaks so how do they really expect to clean up the mess. Everyone who wants the documents already has them

anything the DOJ/Pentagon tries to do now will just be an international PR nightmare

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