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WikiLeaks Set To Release Unpublished Iraq War Docs

Soulskill posted about 4 years ago | from the round-two-about-to-begin dept.

The Military 411

Tootech writes with this snippet from Wired: "A massive cache of previously unpublished classified US military documents from the Iraq War is being readied for publication by WikiLeaks, a new report has confirmed. The documents constitute the 'biggest leak of military intelligence' that has ever occurred, according to Iain Overton, editor of the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, a nonprofit British organization that is working with WikiLeaks on the documents. The documents are expected to be published in several weeks. Overton, who discussed the project with Newsweek, didn't say how many documents were involved or disclose their origin, but they may be among the leaks that an imprisoned Army intelligence analyst claimed to have sent to WikiLeaks earlier this year."

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CIA to Release Video of Assange Kicking Puppies (5, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | about 4 years ago | (#33533008)

"They're really cute puppies too," said a CIA spokesperson. A Swedish prosecutor immediately filed charges of animal cruelty against the Wikileaks founder, then retracted them, then filed them again.

Re:CIA to Release Video of Assange Kicking Puppies (2, Funny)

Adolf Hitroll (562418) | about 4 years ago | (#33533030)

The whole Wikileak hype is a CIA PsyOp... or if it's not is about to become one.
Assange doubts Bush's version of 911, he's a jerk.

Re:CIA to Release Video of Assange Kicking Puppies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33533078)

stupid moderators don't know funny

Re:CIA to Release Video of Assange Kicking Puppies (1)

elrous0 (869638) | about 4 years ago | (#33533114)

Thank you, Mr. cummings.

I like the concept, not the implementation (3, Insightful)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | about 4 years ago | (#33533036)

The concept is nice: A tool for exposing corruption

But the implementation leaves a lot to be desired. Even as someone who is very strongly in support of open government, the methods used by Wikileaks just feel a bit too... cowboyish?

I don't really know, perhaps someone can explain better, but I just get this bad feeling the way they are going about this.

Re:I like the concept, not the implementation (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33533096)

It's ugly. No doubt. Really really ugly but in a ugly world can you really play with kid gloves on?

I like that it contributes to the accountability but it frightens me that I believe wikileaks. Is it any worse then believing (insert major news outlet here)?

In a world filled with neverending bullshit, anything different can't be bad though.

Re:I like the concept, not the implementation (5, Insightful)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | about 4 years ago | (#33533178)

If they were making it all up, the government wouldn't care what they said.

Re:I like the concept, not the implementation (1)

haystor (102186) | about 4 years ago | (#33533262)

The scary part is the politicians are never quite sure when it is being made up. They either like it or don't like it.

Re:I like the concept, not the implementation (1)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | about 4 years ago | (#33533536)

Politicians, yeah. But we're talking about the CIA here.

Re:I like the concept, not the implementation (1)

OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) | about 4 years ago | (#33533554)

Or politicians don't know what is being made up either.

Hell, it's quite a believable argument that most congress critters hope against hope that no-one will ever actually do the shit they vote through.

Re:I like the concept, not the implementation (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33533350)

Is it any worse then believing (insert major news outlet here)?

No, it's much better because they release all source information - whereas [major news outlet] do not, and in the process have failed to uphold their obligation as the 4th estate [wordpress.com] . Wikileaks is helping investigative journalism regain some credibility.... no more rhetorical questions at last [youtube.com] (at least on the internet).

Re:I like the concept, not the implementation (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33533120)

Perhaps you would like something more beaurocratic? Maybe the government should run Wikileaks so we can all feel more comfortable about it.

Re:I like the concept, not the implementation (1)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | about 4 years ago | (#33533402)

Perhaps you would like something more beaurocratic? Maybe the government should run Wikileaks so we can all feel more comfortable about it.

Would it be a bad idea to have a more critical review of what we classify and a periodic review of releasing such information?

It's not impossible. It would be hard, but wholesale release of everything is simply not acceptable.

Re:I like the concept, not the implementation (4, Insightful)

Ltap (1572175) | about 4 years ago | (#33533140)

I think that we're enjoying a good period right now where Wikileaks is still useful. How much time will we have before groups start to release faked documents to it in an attempt to discredit their rivals? Poisoning the well must only be a few years away, assuming they don't manage to dismantle the entire organization by then.

Re:I like the concept, not the implementation (4, Informative)

ptbarnett (159784) | about 4 years ago | (#33533508)

How much time will we have before groups start to release faked documents to it in an attempt to discredit their rivals?

To measure that interval, your clock would have to run backwards.

Fake, but Accurate [wikipedia.org]

Re:I like the concept, not the implementation (0, Redundant)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | about 4 years ago | (#33533146)

How would you prefer they go about it?

What other option? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33533156)

There is no other option. You are providing evidence against a powerful wrongdoer. One that holds a special right to employ physical force against you. You cannot play "let's make a deal" with them. They will bury you. The only option is to be aggressive, just as government was aggressive in hiding their wrongdoings in the first place.

I salute those who engage in whistle-blowing and hold the highest respect for them. They are the ones making personal sacrifices to help us all, not the elite at the top of the power pyramid.

Re:I like the concept, not the implementation (3, Insightful)

Kristopeit, M. D. (1892582) | about 4 years ago | (#33533160)

i think the word you were looking for was "revolutionary" and not "cowboyish".

Re:I like the concept, not the implementation (1)

thijsh (910751) | about 4 years ago | (#33533172)

Yeah, we used to love cowboys... they were our lone heroes! Although I would describe Wikileaks a little bit more like Zorro... Not that I've seen them running around with a mask, but the big Z carved into the military uniform kinda gave away it was him sticking it to the man. :)

Re:I like the concept, not the implementation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33533364)

Although I would describe Wikileaks a little bit more like Zorro... Not that I've seen them running around with a mask, but the big Z carved into the military uniform kinda gave away it was him sticking it to the man. :)

A very apt description, as Zorro was always sort of flamboyant, and by flamboyant I mean fabulous.

Re:I like the concept, not the implementation (5, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about 4 years ago | (#33533180)

I don't really know, perhaps someone can explain better, but I just get this bad feeling the way they are going about this.

Well, here is the situation we have right now: the government labels a document classified, and we are expected to assume that it would be dangerous for anyone without clearance to read the document. After all, we are at war, and if the enemy were to learn about our planned troop movements, it would result in many dead American soldiers.

Great, in theory, and it makes sense -- the military has always needed to keep certain things secret during times of war. Unfortunately, the military also has a habit of classifying documents inappropriately. An old video of an attack that left two reporters dead? Reports about the numbers of casualties? We live in a democracy, and we need to know what is happening in order to make democratic choices. The inappropriate classification of documents is the reason Wikileaks does what it does. The government can only lie about the reasons for classifying documents so long before the people stop trusting the government, and we crossed that line a long time ago. Wikileaks exists to fight back and show people what the government (and other powerful organizations) does not want them to know. Sure, Wikileaks has some responsibility for ensuring that civilians are not harmed in the process, and they try to redact the leaks. They even asked for government help in redacting the leaks. In the end, though, Wikileaks is run by volunteers, and the government is not willing to help them, so yes, some civilians are harmed. That is unfortunate, but it is not Wikileaks' fault -- Wikileaks is not responsible for the war, and Wikileaks is not responsible for the government misclassifying documents to the point of becoming untrustworthy.

Re:I like the concept, not the implementation (1)

BoberFett (127537) | about 4 years ago | (#33533400)

Well said.

Re:I like the concept, not the implementation (3, Interesting)

BobMcD (601576) | about 4 years ago | (#33533622)

The inappropriate classification of documents is the reason Wikileaks does what it does. The government can only lie about the reasons for classifying documents so long before the people stop trusting the government, and we crossed that line a long time ago.

What if we made it a crime to over-classify documents, with identical punishments to disclosing classified material? Seems like an easy fix to me...

Re:I like the concept, not the implementation (5, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about 4 years ago | (#33533648)

How would that law be enforced? If you cannot read the documents, how do you know whether or not they have been overclassified?

Re:I like the concept, not the implementation (1, Informative)

RabbitWho (1805112) | about 4 years ago | (#33533182)

Right, it's a beautiful thing. I feel more independent organizations like Amnesty international should be able to proof read everything. Assenege seems like someone with a hard-on for power and attention, a bit of a megalomaniac. Why should a random person have this amount of power just because they came up with / helped implement the idea?

Re:I like the concept, not the implementation (1)

BarryJacobsen (526926) | about 4 years ago | (#33533392)

Why should a random person have this amount of power just because they came up with / helped implement the idea?

It's what we've always done, for precedent see God.

Re:I like the concept, not the implementation (2, Insightful)

c0d3g33k (102699) | about 4 years ago | (#33533394)

Assenege seems like someone with a hard-on for power and attention, a bit of a megalomaniac. Why should a random person have this amount of power just because they came up with / helped implement the idea?

Kind of comes with the territory, doesn't it? Anyone with the balls and motivation to pull this kind of thing off in an effective way on the world stage isn't going to be a small-time whistle blower with a small-time ego or a small-time sense of risk-taking. Anybody with this kind of drive and motivation will seem like a megalomaniac to the sheeple.

Re:I like the concept, not the implementation (4, Insightful)

BoberFett (127537) | about 4 years ago | (#33533414)

The US government could neuter him by not being so secretive. If the only things that were kept a secret were those things that were truly important he'd have no power.

Shatters Confidence of Control (3, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | about 4 years ago | (#33533192)

I don't really know, perhaps someone can explain better, but I just get this bad feeling the way they are going about this.

For better or for worse, this is going to seriously shake any confidence a person or country is going to have when offering sensitive information to the United States. The United States conducts a lot of operations both good and bad throughout the entire world. If you think that overall the United States' actions in other countries is good then you would probably have a bad feeling about this. Let's say I know where a warlord is hiding out in Sudan but if I tell US forces about it and anyone finds out that it was me, I'll lose my life. After being able to peruse their entire set of documents from Afghanistan and Iraq, how much confidence can I have in them?

Hopefully bringing in Bureau of Investigative Journalism is a way to protect those people but at the same time relaying the important information to the public in a way it doesn't further jeopardize lives.

Re:Shatters Confidence of Control (5, Insightful)

conspirator57 (1123519) | about 4 years ago | (#33533348)

Obama promised openness and accountability. He delivered more secrecy and persecution of whistleblowers than Bush. Ergo he deserves what he gets. Maybe with enough popular backlash (and make no mistake: domestic or not wikileaks and thinking Americans' support for it constitutes popular backlash) politicians will start considering *doing* the things they promise in order to get elected.

Here's an alternative view for you: if, for example, rather than hiding pictures of our torture behind claims that releasing them will incite those near our victims, what if we instead had a firm policy of releasing pictures of our wrongdoings, prosecuted those responsible, and had that whole accountability thing? Maybe the fact that we don't have any accountability (because we're tacitly approving heinous activities) is *actually* more damaging to our national security than releasing these sorts of documents. But hey accountability and transparency have never worked before. Nope. The Church Commission was completely wrong about that one. Whoops. There went 20 years where we could've been torturing more than we did.

Of course (5, Insightful)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | about 4 years ago | (#33533212)

*ENGAGE SARCASM MODE*

When you are blowing the whistle, you got ask permission first. Because I am SURE the pentagon would happily lend a hand and help with releasing video of its soldiers slaughtering unarmed civilians complete with audio track of the soldiers enjoying the slaughter as if it is a game.

*END SARCASM MODE, SWITCH TO QUIET DESPAIR*

The above post is sadly a growing movement of "don't rock the boat" people who just don't want to hear anything that upsets them. If you tell them their house is on fire, they blame you, not the fire. Shoot the messenger, so you never have to hear anything disturbing. Trust the state, keep quiet and all will be well.

Reagan did this well, soothing voice, zero policies zero convictions. No wonder people want him back. No matter that he killed the economy. All is well because he said it was.

If you read the news and your blood doesn't boil every other article, you ain't reading news, you are reading entertainment.

Re:Of course (1)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | about 4 years ago | (#33533356)

The above post is sadly a growing movement of "don't rock the boat" people who just don't want to hear anything that upsets them.

Bullshit. I want to hear when my country is doing things that are illegal. I want to hear when my congressman has accepted a bribe and is trying to sweep it under the rug. I want to hear when something is hidden only because it is embarassing and not actually dangerous to those involved.

Are you telling me that these thousands of documents each correspond to a thousand incidents? Or is it just an attempt to "OMG that's a big number" and catch more headlines. If it is important and someone did something criminal, that alone will be enough to get headlines.

What would happen if they released a single document which had implications of wrongdoing and simply said that there were 20-30 MORE documents relating to the incident? Isn't it possible to be a bit cautious when releasing and not just tossing everything into the air and letting the chips fall where they may?

Don't pretend that my statement was about sticking my head in the sand suggesting that I don't want to know where corruption exists. My statement was that the manner in which this is being performed is irresponsible and is harming the cause in those that would normally support something like wikileaks.

Is it wrong to say, The ends don't always justify the means? Isn't that the goal of a lot of people who support wikileaks?

Re:Of course (1)

conspirator57 (1123519) | about 4 years ago | (#33533452)

i'm telling you that people are taking broad scope ethically/morally correct action in leaking/whistleblowing precisely because our government has *proven* itself incapable of policing its abuses of secrecy privileges. I'm sure that if Obama (and his congress, and the last (Republican) government) were'nt fighting FOIA release of their misdeeds tooth and nail that there would be a lot fewer leaks, with a lot narrower focus. because our government feels itself to be free from the rule of law people are rationally acting to expose and discredit it.

and your quibbles about wikileaks' methods are interesting to hear. perhaps they don't have the resources to address your concerns. maybe you should help them edit and remove information harmful to the innocent. alternatively, it's interesting to finally hear these complaints when it's the US government's secrets on display. no similar outrage was present for all the times they blanket released the secrets of other governments. what makes the US deserve so much special consideration?

Re:Of course (1)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | about 4 years ago | (#33533584)

and your quibbles about wikileaks' methods are interesting to hear. perhaps they don't have the resources to address your concerns. maybe you should help them edit and remove information harmful to the innocent.

No thank you. I've already said I don't approve of their methods, I'm certainly not going to help them.

Re:Of course (0, Troll)

inviolet (797804) | about 4 years ago | (#33533670)

When you are blowing the whistle, you got ask permission first. Because I am SURE the pentagon would happily lend a hand and help with releasing video of its soldiers slaughtering unarmed civilians complete with audio track of the soldiers enjoying the slaughter as if it is a game.

I think that is the crux of the whole apache/reporters/wikileaks issue. Our soldiers are professionals who ought to enjoy their work. And our soldiers are most definitely humans who, being predators, naturally enjoy the hunt and the kill. But these facts are now out of vogue, and they cause dissonance in the minds of We The People. So we ask (via a million subtle implications) our soldiers to be simultaneously effective yet miserably unhappy about their work.

Then the apache video comes out and dispels our precious delusion. Our dissonant reaction is to recoil from the whole war/occupation/"police action".

No wonder the Pentagon wants to keep stuff like this under wraps. They KNOW that we want -- more than anything else -- to be protected from the truth of what we humans are.

motivation (3, Informative)

nten (709128) | about 4 years ago | (#33533236)

I feel like the site has developed (and in part always had) a primary purpose of attacking U.S. foreign policy. The site needs to be more than that if it is to be a true data haven. Some have said Cryptome comes closer, I am not well read enough to agree or disagree. The problem of editing is a big one. Failing to edit out the names of informants for instance. The easiest way is to be neutral and edit nothing, allowing the posters to retain responsibility for all that is posted. That would flood the site with false data though, and part of the service wikileaks provides is at least rudimentary verification. If wikileaks wants to be what it claims it set out to be, it needs a larger diversity of leaked content.

Yep. I'd thought the intent was different. (3, Insightful)

r00t (33219) | about 4 years ago | (#33533494)

I feel like the site has developed (and in part always had) a primary purpose of attacking U.S. foreign policy. The site needs to be more than that if it is to be a true data haven.

It sure does look that way. Assange clearly has political goals that go beyond exposing corruption, fraud, and the like. How can I trust him to not be selectively suppressing things or even editing things?

Originally I recall there was an emphasis on corporate wrongdoing. So-and-so just dumped 50000 gallons of dioxin in the Mississippi River, some OS keyword searching your email and forwarding some of it to the RIAA, etc.

That "collateral murder" thing removed any doubt I had. First of all, "murder" is a specific type of killing; it is a particular class of unlawful killing. Neither accidents nor acts of war qualify, of which the events were both. Before even releasing the original video, he made a short version of of the video which lacked much of the context. He stripped out pictures that showed people running around with AK-47 and RPG-7 weapons. He also stripped out scenes that might remind viewers that there is much confusion in battle.

Re:I like the concept, not the implementation (1)

bl8n8r (649187) | about 4 years ago | (#33533250)

> I don't really know, perhaps someone can explain better, but I just get this bad feeling the way they are going about this.

Because the information could be taken out of context and open to subjective interpretation. And the friggin news media does not need much to make a mountain-out-of-a-mole-hill.

Re:I like the concept, not the implementation (1)

Saint Stephen (19450) | about 4 years ago | (#33533490)

The word you're looking for is Hubris. I think the greeks wrote one or two plays about the concept...

Re:I like the concept, not the implementation (1)

melikamp (631205) | about 4 years ago | (#33533492)

What part exactly of Wikileaks's actions do you find cowboyish? The fact that they are redacting documents without getting any official guidance or compensation? Before blaming Wikileaks for anything, let us recall that Wikileaks does not actually leak anything: Bradley Mannings do. And if Wikileaks is taken down or even comes under sufficient pressure, the leaks won't magically disappear. The future wistleblowers will simply opt for spreading the data directly over the internet, now 100% raw and unedited.

Good (2, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about 4 years ago | (#33533040)

This is a good thing and a positive step for democracy, because, without knowing -what- our tax dollars are used for, how can we make decisions on how to spend them? Without the -full- intelligence from Iraq and Afghanistan, how can we know the true cost to make a rational decision on whether to continue them?

A democracy (or republic) can't work unless people have all the facts, otherwise it falls apart. The more information the better.

Re:Good (4, Insightful)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | about 4 years ago | (#33533142)

This is a war not monday-night football. We don't need arm chair commanders making political hay over day-to-day operations.

I'm for an open government, but I don't see how knowing intimate details about operations will make the government more open about the war. Sure you can point to the effectiveness of the ground forces, but your totally disregarding the defense contractors who are really raking in the money. In fact I believe these documents will serve to focus our attention on old field reports and distract us from Haliburton, Blackwater (Z), and others who are profiting from the war. Worse these documents are really just increasing Wikileaks visibility at the risk of endangering US troops and worse the Afghans that helped.

Now if wikileaks could disclose documents between congressional leaders and these contractors, then I would be very impressed.

Re:Good (1)

Kristopeit, M. D. (1892582) | about 4 years ago | (#33533248)

Now if wikileaks could disclose documents between congressional leaders and these contractors, then I would be very impressed.

because you believe congressional leaders would act on such information? how do you get re-elected when your constituents never know what you're doing, and why?

Re:Good (1)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | about 4 years ago | (#33533330)

because you believe congressional leaders would act on such information? how do you get re-elected when your constituents never know what you're doing, and why?

You lost me. Maybe I need another cup of coffee but my point is not that congressional leaders would act on the information, rather that the constituents would see what their elected politicians were really doing. Hence the "disclose documents between congressional leaders and these contractors" comment.

Of course, I don't think it would really matter. The elections seems to be nothing more than pick the lesser of two evils. Even New York city mayor Bloomberg proved that you can not only buy an election but also a third-term in a city with a two-term limit.

Re:Good (1)

Kristopeit, M. D. (1892582) | about 4 years ago | (#33533464)

you do realize that the USA works as a government OF the people, right? suggest otherwise, and you'll lose a lot of people.

Re:Good (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33533504)

I have every faith that Wikileaks would reveal congressional documents if they had them. At some point they can only reveal the documents that are leaked to them, and at some point those in a position to leak things are going to find the value proposition simply too low. There aren't a lot of disgruntled congressional staffers out there that have enough personal clout with an individual congressperson and are willing to release private and sensitive communications. The Army is far bigger and filled with far more people disillusioned with their current mission.

Disagree (1)

roman_mir (125474) | about 4 years ago | (#33533510)

It is excellent that Wikileaks is releasing information, it needs to release everything completely and not look at anybody pointing fingers how they 'endanger the troops'.

The only people who endanger the troops are those who sent them to Afghanistan and those who will not get them out of there now.

All information that can be retrieved, must be released. All of this information is of prior situations and it shows that Afghanistan war is just as screwed up as all other wars, it has no chance in hell of achieving anything substantial that can change lives of residents of that country. The US/UN war machine will move on, and Afghanistan will be what it was, what it always was. As they say in Afghanistan: the West has the clocks, but we have the time. It's true, US/UN/Anybody can't last in that war forever, they'll move on and things will go back to where they were, except now there will be more people, who made billions on war and there will be millions who lost lives/limbs/health counting all sides.

The only correct strategy to these wars is to move out of the regions and bring all troops home, all troops, from all bases around the world, and do it immediately. If the leaks of documents help to achieve any part of that, then wikileaks document leaks would be most important actions taken for peace and economy.

Re:Disagree (1)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | about 4 years ago | (#33533652)

The only people who endanger the troops are those who sent them to Afghanistan and those who will not get them out of there now.

You've confused Afghanistan with Iraq. Afghanistan got itself in this situation when the Taliban aligned themselves with Al-Qaeda and allowed them to operate freely within their borders. This ultimately led to the 9/11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. The US could not afford for that situation to continue.

Iraq is a whole different story...

Re:Good (1)

Alarindris (1253418) | about 4 years ago | (#33533678)

"I'm for an open government, but only if they want to be."

Re:Good (1)

Kristopeit, M. D. (1892582) | about 4 years ago | (#33533204)

here's a fact... the tax "dollars" you're talking about are backed by nothing and created and distributed by the federal government as they see fit. taxes are irrelevant. the distribution of wealth is irrelevant.

Re:Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33533252)

Why is this insightful? I bet even the president doesn't know 10% of all of what the government is doing. Do you realize how big America is?

Re:Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33533280)

like the other guy said, we dont need armchair generals, and its so cute you think we live in a republic, here have a tax refund and dont worry your pretty little head about it citizen

Re:Good (1)

halivar (535827) | about 4 years ago | (#33533332)

Except America is neither a democracy, nor a republic. Both of them are terrible. America is a limited-democratic federalist republic. You do not get to have a say in every decision this country makes. What you can do is choose, for yourself, the people who do, and you can elect other people to police them. And then they select people to protect themselves from the whims of a fickle public majority.

Re:Good (1)

flaming error (1041742) | about 4 years ago | (#33533352)

Even if you gave people all the facts, people wouldn't have all the facts. Most of us have confirmation bias, filters that let in only what we decide to believe (including falsehoods). If anything unwanted manages to get in, we mangle and distort it until it too confirms our world view.

The only way democracy would work well is if people didn't act like people. Until then we decide based on superstition and dogma, groupthink and partisanship. And we get what we've got.

Re:Good (1)

jimbolauski (882977) | about 4 years ago | (#33533410)

This is a good thing and a positive step for democracy, because, without knowing -what- our tax dollars are used for, how can we make decisions on how to spend them? Without the -full- intelligence from Iraq and Afghanistan, how can we know the true cost to make a rational decision on whether to continue them? A democracy (or republic) can't work unless people have all the facts, otherwise it falls apart. The more information the better.

You do know how a republic works and why it works that way, with the shear number of people in the US it would be impossible to have everyone vote one every issue, so we elect people to make those decisions on our behalf (Democratic Republic). Furthermore items like troop movement, asset locations, and battlefield strategies should not be made public as it will jeopardize lives and the effectiveness of missions. Wiki leaks should be a place where people can post information about cover-ups, not where enemies can go to figure out troop locations.

i wish (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33533638)

without knowing -what- our tax dollars are used for, how can we make decisions on how to spend them?

I'm not usually consulted about how to spend tax dollars.

You know what bothers me the most? (5, Interesting)

Pojut (1027544) | about 4 years ago | (#33533060)

Not the fact that Wikileaks is publishing information like this. Not the possible side effects from "inside information" being released.

No, what bothers me the most is that something like Wikileaks needs to exist at all.

Re:You know what bothers me the most? (1)

acoustix (123925) | about 4 years ago | (#33533166)

So you don't recognize that there might be some information that shouldn't be exposed to the public for a certain length of time?

Re:You know what bothers me the most? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33533380)

Not in a true democracy.

Re:You know what bothers me the most? (1)

acoustix (123925) | about 4 years ago | (#33533642)

Not in a true democracy.

The U.S. is not a true democracy. It is a republic.

Re:You know what bothers me the most? (1)

Meneth (872868) | about 4 years ago | (#33533420)

There's some information that should remain secret forever, medical journals, some military secrets.

However, some information that should be public is wrongly being kept secret by those in power. To rectify that, leaks are made. As long as corruption exists, there will always be a need for a safe way to publish leaked info.

Most, if not all, information published by Wikileaks falls into this cathegory.

Re:You know what bothers me the most? (1)

AmonTheMetalhead (1277044) | about 4 years ago | (#33533586)

Why keep medical journals secret? Or do you mean medical files on persons?

Re:You know what bothers me the most? (1)

BarryJacobsen (526926) | about 4 years ago | (#33533460)

So you don't recognize that there might be some information that shouldn't be exposed to the public for a certain length of time?

Recognizing that there is some information that shouldn't be immediately exposed is entirely compatible with believing that more information is being restricted than their ought to be.

Re:You know what bothers me the most? (1)

c0d3g33k (102699) | about 4 years ago | (#33533546)

So you don't recognize that there might be some information that shouldn't be exposed to the public for a certain length of time?

No, not really. In a representative democracy, as much information as possible should be in the hands of everyone, else it's all just a big fiction.

Re:You know what bothers me the most? (1)

Kristopeit, M. D. (1892582) | about 4 years ago | (#33533294)

shouldn't you be mad at yourself for needing it then?

get yourself some guns, run down to the grocery and get a few steaks and few cases of beer, and sulk in your necessity.

what we REALLY need is a wikileaks to check and balance wikileaks.

Re:You know what bothers me the most? (1)

CraftyJack (1031736) | about 4 years ago | (#33533318)

No, what bothers me the most is that something like Wikileaks needs to exist at all.

'Something like' Wikileaks is an important part of a functioning democracy. We used to call it investigative journalism, and it certainly told a better story. I think the Wikileaks version of Watergate would be a bunch of hotel receipts and some questionable expense reports.

Get back to me (1)

Shivetya (243324) | about 4 years ago | (#33533614)

when they start publishing similar information from countries which would be more inclined to take the actions some suggest the US does in response to WikiLeaks

There are times where I cheer them on, there others where I think they only do what they think is safe.

For the sake of safety (0)

buchner.johannes (1139593) | about 4 years ago | (#33533070)

lets hope they cleaned the documents properly

Re:For the sake of safety (1)

CarpetShark (865376) | about 4 years ago | (#33533162)

Not too clean though. Wouldn't want murderers or war criminals being protected from the people who'd hold them to account. Not that an entire army would have any individuals like that, of course...

Re:For the sake of safety (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33533176)

Whore

Assange punches a newborn (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33533076)

No no everybody! Don't believe the leak! Not when Old man Assange is going around raping women and punching newborns.

So will this be like the last hyped release? (2, Insightful)

abigsmurf (919188) | about 4 years ago | (#33533092)

Where next to none of the incidents were really unknown and all it really showed was that field reports by low level soldiers tend to not be very accurate. But hey, it named a whole bunch of informants who'll now find themselves dealing with a drastically life expectency, that was good right?

The only thing that really came out that was surprising for the British papers that looked over the documents was that it was the first time we'd heard the military accuse Pakistan intelligence and military of supplying weapons to extemists. They'd always tiptoed around this in the past, not admitting it publically.

named informants ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33533154)

"it named a whole bunch of informants who'll now find themselves dealing with a drastically life expectency, that was good right?

Where do they name informants, my understanding is they were redacting any such information.

Re:So will this be like the last hyped release? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33533232)

Where next to none of the incidents were really unknown

They where not? If the incidents where public knowledge, what conclusion would you like me to draw from that? That American taxpayers are evil and think it is ok to kill civilians?

Re:So will this be like the last hyped release? (1)

abigsmurf (919188) | about 4 years ago | (#33533382)

Let me ask you this: There have been a number of horrific bombing incidents in Iraq recently. Without looking it up, can you tell me how many incidents there have been in the last 3 months? Of course you can't.

Why? Because stories about casualties in a war zone blend together. There have been a steady stream of incidents and operations in Afganistan for the last 9 years. Few people pay attention to every report and almost no one remembers each individual report because it would require an extraordinary memory. The incidents and operations are too common and too in-distinctive from each other to easily remember.

Wiki leaks compiled documents covering around 9 years worth of incidents and released them at once.

what about the dude in prison? (4, Interesting)

bl8n8r (649187) | about 4 years ago | (#33533168)

Anyone doing anything for him? If he wouldn't have taken a stand on this, nobody would have known anything.

Re:what about the dude in prison? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33533292)

He needs a legal contributions fund, but I doubt money can buy your way out of Leavenworth, or whatever hellhole he is in.

Re:what about the dude in prison? (1)

jonnythan (79727) | about 4 years ago | (#33533428)

If he's the one who leaked these documents, he frankly belongs in prison. He broke the law.

I know that's harsh, but that's reality. He knew what the consequences were if he got caught. I'm highly sympathetic and indebted to him for doing something that I think was good and right, but he still clearly and willingly broke the law.

Re:what about the dude in prison? (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | about 4 years ago | (#33533476)

I guess to him, some things are worse than federal prison. That in itself should tell you that the world should pay attention to these documents.

Re:what about the dude in prison? (1)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | about 4 years ago | (#33533518)

I guess to him, some things are worse than federal prison. That in itself should tell you that the world should pay attention to these documents.

And some people feel that it is more important to kill someone they hate even though they will go to prison. Not all people think rationally or assign the same weight to benefits and consequences.

Some people flip out and would blow up a building over a traffic ticket they feel was wrongly issued. That they feel it is so important to them does not make them justified in their actions.

Re:what about the dude in prison? (3, Insightful)

choongiri (840652) | about 4 years ago | (#33533498)

If you're "highly sympathetic and indebted to him" for doing something good and right, the logical conclusion would be for you to support the law being changed, not support him being in prison. Governments abuse the classification of information to bury information that would harm their personal interests as opposed to necessarily protect all of us. That is the crime here.

Re:what about the dude in prison? (1)

Fujisawa Sensei (207127) | about 4 years ago | (#33533564)

If he's the one who leaked these documents, he frankly belongs in prison. He broke the law.

I know that's harsh, but that's reality. He knew what the consequences were if he got caught. I'm highly sympathetic and indebted to him for doing something that I think was good and right, but he still clearly and willingly broke the law.

I'm not, there were 70,000 documents there. Its not like he read over every one of them before dumping them.

he's paying for his conscience (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | about 4 years ago | (#33533474)

he betrayed his military duties. a functioning military has to expect certain things of its members, or it doesn't work. if you betray those agreements, people can die. he betrayed his military duties, therefore he is being punished. yes, you can say he was following a higher conscience, a higher duty. that's fine. but he has to pay a price for that from the military's point of view

this is real life: if you have a higher conscience, if you have a higher calling you are going to make sacrifices, you are going to suffer for them by crossing vested interests. doing the right thing in this world is not easy, and you are a fool if you believe doing the right thing is easy and without personal cost

in fact, it is a simple inescapable fact of life that if you care and work for something that goes against vested interests, you will be nailed to a cross

so be prepared to suffer for what you believe in, or stop believing in that thing, and lead a nice cozy life

that's the choice we all face in this world: sell our conscience, and live comfortably, or have a conscience, and suffer for it. there are no other choices. the effort to make this world a better place is a road of suffering, no two ways about it

you don't get comfort in this world without some unease about what your comfort costs you in terms of self-regard and the rest of the world in terms of what it takes to support that comfort. think of that next time you put gasoline on your SUV

additionally, you don't get to have a clear conscience, made clear by facing and fighting vested interests, without suffering for it, often dearly

welcome to the real world, no one said it was all rainbows and unicorns

Re:what about the dude in prison? (1)

Fujisawa Sensei (207127) | about 4 years ago | (#33533524)

Anyone doing anything for him? If he wouldn't have taken a stand on this, nobody would have known anything.

He's probably going to spend the rest of his life in a military prison. In releasing over 70,000 classified documents its not like he was selectively picking documents to expose an illegal cover-up, he dumped everything he could get his hands on.

In addition part of getting a clearance is knowing the consequences of actions like that, so he screwed himself.

Besides, there's nothing you can do, he's outside of the civilian court system, he belongs to the military.

Kinda makes you wonder... (1, Insightful)

pedantic bore (740196) | about 4 years ago | (#33533190)

... why they're so casual about releasing information about people that may well get those people killed or imprisoned, and in the meanwhile they're not willing to take any responsibility for their actions.

Re:Kinda makes you wonder... (4, Insightful)

iONiUM (530420) | about 4 years ago | (#33533544)

I thought the general argument was that they release this information because the US citizens (and indeed, the world, since the US likes to romp around with its army) should have got these facts from their government in a more safe way. However, since they did not, it falls to wikileaks who tries their best to censor it safely, and even (so I hear) gave the US gov't a chance to censor the names further.

Am I wrong?

Re:Kinda makes you wonder... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33533588)

Except that these unpublished documents have been censored to remove information pertaining to informants. Without, it should be noted, any help from the Pentagon, which was requested but not given.

That sounds pretty much like taking responsibility to me.

Leak^2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33533208)

Wait a second.. Is this a leak about a leak?

Re:Leak^2 (1)

heroid1a (1898046) | about 4 years ago | (#33533454)

Yo dawg... no, no, mustn't do it... too easy...

This is happening because the Iraq war is unjust (3, Insightful)

cryfreedomlove (929828) | about 4 years ago | (#33533238)

This is only happening because the US war on Iraq was whipped up unjustly for motives that are still not clear. In a free and open society you should expect this kind of fallout when so many lives are destroyed and so much debt incurred for no apparent reason.

Re:This is happening because the Iraq war is unjus (1)

Liquidrage (640463) | about 4 years ago | (#33533592)

The reasons are pretty clear. Saddam purposefully let the world believe he had huge stockpiles of chemical weapons and WMD's to keep Iran at bay because he was fearful of Iran crossing the borders.

Coupled with a gung-ho president wanting to finish his father's legacy and that's why we went in.

And please, keep in mind that the world not going into Iraq is a bit of a black eye. Iraq was a country run by a brutal dictator. Leave the hyperbole at the door before talking about American tyranny. Bush went in for poor reasons, reasons Iraq wanted them to believe (and just never expected they would come). But countries like Iraq should not be allowed to exist in the modern world. And for that matter there's dozens of other countries we have all turned our back on and their citizens are forced to live in fear and ignorance of a brutal government.

About informants names (2, Insightful)

Bobakitoo (1814374) | about 4 years ago | (#33533306)

If the army realy did care about their safty they should not have put their real name in report in first place. In attempt to shut wikileak, they act like they care now. But to them they are just expandable foreigner. So really, blame the army, not Wikileak.

Re:About informants names (1)

Duradin (1261418) | about 4 years ago | (#33533482)

Ya, since they really don't want to actually be able to use information in the reports, reports are there just to make busy work for the clerks.

Codenames? Well, if you're supposed to be reading those reports you'll have to have a list and guess what? The list will get leaked right alongside the document.

Re:About informants names (1)

cowscows (103644) | about 4 years ago | (#33533516)

Of course. What possible reason could the military have for internally sharing the identities of individuals who were willing to help them?

Don't blame the guy who stole my wallet and then used my credit card to buy crap. It's my fault for carrying around a piece of plastic with my real credit card number on it. How foolish of me.

Re:About informants names (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33533582)

If the army realy did care about their safty they should not have put their real name in report in first place.

Because the report was supposed to be classified?

What if the handler gets hit by a bus?
What if we find out the informant is actually a 'bad guy'?
How would we find out if the handler is just making stuff up and no actual informant exists?

Though, I'm wondering if this is all off-topic, do we know if any informant names were available in the leaks?
Seems that information would/should be a bit harder to get access to.

But to them they are just expandable foreigner.

[citation needed]
I know I don't have enough information to make that assertion.

Slight issues of proportions. (1)

Steauengeglase (512315) | about 4 years ago | (#33533312)

the site's stash of Iraq documents is believed to be about three times as large as its Afghanistan collection.

So only 1/3rd of the number of people who bothered to read the Afghanistan collection will read the one on Iraq?

WikiLeaks is the new Tupac (1)

an00bis (667089) | about 4 years ago | (#33533326)

Discuss

I hope there is an attack on civilians (0, Troll)

davev2.0 (1873518) | about 4 years ago | (#33533686)

And, I hope that attack kills hundreds and can be directly linked to the leaked documents on Wikileaks.
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