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DoD Study Contradicts Charges Against WikiLeaks

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the offical-story dept.

The Internet 228

Voline writes "Last Summer, after WikiLeaks released 90,000 leaked internal US military documents in their Afghan War Log, Pentagon officials went on a media offensive against WikiLeaks, accusing it of having the 'blood on Its hands' of American soldiers and Afghan collaborators who are named in the documents. The charge has echoed through the mainstream media (and Internet comment threads) ever since. Now, CNN is reporting that after a thorough Pentagon review, 'WikiLeaks did not disclose any sensitive intelligence sources or methods, the Department of Defense concluded.' And, according to an unnamed NATO official, 'there has been no indication' that any Afghans who have collaborated with the NATO occupation have been harmed as a result of the leaks. Will the Pentagon's contradiction of the charges against WikiLeaks get as much play in the media as those original accusations did?"

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First fucking post. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33925696)

Fuckin EoD with the hizzle shit -

Re:First fucking post. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33925882)

s'right man. niggar'z can bearly govern other niggar'z. This is what happens when you take emansipation too far.

Hmmmm. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33925698)

Will the Pentagon's contradiction of the charges against WikiLeaks get as much play in the media as those original accusations did?

Thats not how FUD & propaganda work.

Re:Hmmmm. (2, Interesting)

rainmouse (1784278) | more than 3 years ago | (#33926560)

Don't know how things work in the US but unless I am mistaken, in the UK WikiLeaks could sue them for libel.

Who Cares? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33925704)

Seriously, who cares? Assange has an agenda, and so do we. If we can point out Wikileaks' bias and colr them as they try to do to us, than all the better.

Re:Who Cares? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33925826)

Seriously, who cares? Assange has an agenda, and so do we. If we can point out Wikileaks' bias and colr them as they try to do to us, than all the better.

Hey, wait a minute. You're not us; you're them!

Re:Who Cares? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33925954)

my agenda is to create a totalitariam system of grammar control on the Internet.
We will have a 3-strikes law for people who use then/than incorrectly.

Re:Who Cares? (2, Funny)

ooshna (1654125) | more than 3 years ago | (#33926236)

my agenda is to create a totalitariam system of grammar control on the Internet. We will have a 3-strikes law for people who use then/than incorrectly.

How many strikes for improper capitalization?

Re:Who Cares? (2, Funny)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 3 years ago | (#33926246)

My agenda is to create a totalitarian system of spelling control on the internet.
We will have a three-strikes law for people who spell totalitarian incorrectly.

Re:Who Cares? (5, Insightful)

Concerned Onlooker (473481) | more than 3 years ago | (#33926136)

We? Please don't include me on your team.

Yes, pretty much everyone has an agenda. Having an agenda is not bad. I'd say that having an agenda of holding governments accountable for their actions is a good agenda.

It doesn't sell. (5, Informative)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | more than 3 years ago | (#33925708)

Will the Pentagon's contradiction of the charges against WikiLeaks get as much play in the media as those original accusations did?"

No.

Rational discourse doesn't sell.

Re:It doesn't sell. (5, Interesting)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 3 years ago | (#33925814)

And more accurately, while this will get extremely little to no press, we'll still constantly be hearing character assassinate stories. Crap like, "I would totally be behind wikileaks but I hear Assange is a total tool", as if the only way someone can support what an organization does is if the members of the organization are saints.

These kind of comments are no less trolls/flamebaits than comments like "I'd totally use OpenBSD but Theo de Raadt is a meanie.", yet I see them modded insightful every time there's a wikileaks story.

It's the nature of the beast. (5, Insightful)

khasim (1285) | more than 3 years ago | (#33925860)

People wouldn't change their behaviour even if X was different. They're just using X as an easy rationalisation for their existing bias.

Re:It's the nature of the beast. (4, Insightful)

suomynonAyletamitlU (1618513) | more than 3 years ago | (#33926112)

Of course not. They don't care, and they don't have any reason to care. Until such time as they have a (personally relevant) reason to care, it will be an academic matter to them. It's like debating whether quantum uncertainty makes the universe non-deterministic in nature. It's okay to make completely bullshit comments, because almost nobody who's doing any of the commentary needs to care.

Intellectually speaking, I know that WikiLeaks is an important resource. However, as someone who's never felt like he had any control over his own life (with family and others nearby the ones who have more power, not the government or corporations), the idea of having a place to turn to when you need to expose something of world-shattering import is foreign. Because the first I've heard of it is when I had no power, I'll probably always be predisposed to say, "Yes, underdogs need protecting." If the first time I heard about it, I had power, I would probably see it as a threat to power. What it is, however, is a (non-governmental) judicial mechanism, designed to only affect people who have, in fact, done something wrong.

If the only commentary we heard on the subject was people who were actually affected by Wikileaks, it would be pretty easy to notice biases--group A was happy that plans to the Death Star leaked, group B wanted to use the existence of the leaked plans to run a smear campaign against the Empire, group C are afraid they'll lose their jobs because it got out (or worse), group D is thinking that this might be very useful for leaking many other nefarious plots which they already sense, but cannot prove, are ongoing.

But we're not hearing only those people. We're hearing a lot of myth and speculation from people who are presumed to be knowledgeable, but who are paid to be less than factual. And we're philosophizing like it doesn't matter, because to most people, it doesn't. For that reason, popular opinion shouldn't matter on the subject, but it does. I guess. For some reason.

In any case, let Wikileaks do what they're there for. If it didn't make sense, to them and the people who use them, it wouldn't be there.

Re:It doesn't sell. (-1, Troll)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 3 years ago | (#33925936)

Actually, it has gotten a great deal of press, but it is a bit incorrect. Wikileaks did disclose the names of several Afghanistan operatives, potentially putting them at risk of retaliation by the Taliban. This is also reported, but ironically, the media appears to consider their lives as without value. If an American dies because of Wikileaks, that would be a crime, but if an Afghan dies because of it, oh well it was "important" data released. It is no wonder over half the world thinks we are pricks.

Re:It doesn't sell. (4, Insightful)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 3 years ago | (#33926030)

Exactly what part of "there has been no indication' that any Afghans who have collaborated with the NATO occupation have been harmed as a result of the leaks" are you having trouble with?

This seems like a perfect example of what khasim (1285) just said in the sibling comment right above yours.

Re:It doesn't sell. (1, Troll)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 3 years ago | (#33926070)

here has been no indication' that any Afghans who have collaborated with the NATO occupation have been harmed as a result of the leaks

The word that was left out was "yet". And it doesn't say that no Afghans have been hurt, it says they don't see an indication. It is pretty hard to be more vague, considering the condition of the country and communications in general there.

More importantly, it proves a point: It is ok to release the names of Afghans, but would be criminal if the same was said of Americans. It was an oversight by Wikileaks to include those names, an error, as their intent was originally to NOT do so. That doesn't change my point in the least, that American lives > Afghan lives in the eyes of the press, the military, and it would appear, many others. I'm not so sure that is a good position to take in regards to Wikileaks, which claims to be politically neutral in these matters.

Re:It doesn't sell. (5, Insightful)

sourcerror (1718066) | more than 3 years ago | (#33926256)

here has been no indication' that any Afghans who have collaborated with the NATO occupation have been harmed as a result of the leaks

The word that was left out was "yet".

On the other hand the Pentagon killed half a million civilians (collateral damage) in war based on false premises. Sorry, Assange wins.

Re:It doesn't sell. (1)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 3 years ago | (#33926080)

don't bother. he wants to believe.

Re:It doesn't sell. (1)

bananaendian (928499) | more than 3 years ago | (#33926086)

People wouldn't change their behaviour even if X was different. They're just using X as an easy rationalisation for their existing bias.

Actually, it has gotten a great deal of press, but it is a bit incorrect. Wikileaks did disclose the names of several Afghanistan operatives, potentially putting them at risk of retaliation by the Taliban.

Exactly what part of "there has been no indication' that any Afghans who have collaborated with the NATO occupation have been harmed as a result of the leaks" are you having trouble with?

Maybe he is just illustrating the principle.

Re:It doesn't sell. (1)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 3 years ago | (#33926200)

Exactly what part of "there has been no indication' that any Afghans who have collaborated with the NATO occupation have been harmed as a result of the leaks" are you having trouble with?

I don't know about him, but I'm having trouble with the "written August 16" part. Seeing as how that was roughly a month after the leak, and it's now 3 months later, it would be nice to see some up-to-date info on the situation.

Re:It doesn't sell. (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33926216)

Wikileaks did disclose the names of several Afghanistan operatives, potentially putting them at risk of retaliation by the Taliban.

As long as no photos were leaked then the Afghani operatives are in no danger. YOU try finding "Ahmed" and "Mohammed" in Afghanistan. They're perfectly safe.

Re:It doesn't sell. (1)

machine321 (458769) | more than 3 years ago | (#33926220)

I would totally be behind wikileaks but Theo de Raadt is a meanie.

Re:It doesn't sell. (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33926370)

No, I still think he's a tool for the following reasons:

1. The leaked (lol) internal messages between Assange and other Wikileaks members, which out him as hypocritical, power-hungry and generally an asshole. Dispute this all you want, the messages are out there for everybody to read, courtesy of the Cryptome guy and a few other Wikileaks members who, prior to this last incident HAVE DISSOCIATED THEMSELVES FROM ASSANGE. Yes, the people who know him and his agenda best have fled from his presence.

2. Multiple counts on how he chose to handle "Collateral Murder." First of all, by naming it Collateral Murder. This is Fox News-level editorial framing. Second, NO, THE ORIGINAL VIDEO WAS NEVER RELEASED. The 631 megabyte file is not the original file format that might have aided any sort of independent investigation. It's downsampled in quality and resolution, encoded in a different video format, and shrunk down in a giant black video frame. congratulations, the video quality is shit, and all original artifacts of the original video have been lost in the re-encoding. RELEASE THE FUCKING FILE. Pirate Bay, the bittorrent protocol and the Internet aren't gonna run out of fucking space.

You know what? I don't like Assange. I don't trust him, based on his own actions. I think a service like Wikileaks is important and I do not question the value of the materials already released.

These opinions are completely separate from how much I trust the US government. My opinion is someone who isn't a giant ass and can credibly claim transparency should be running Wikileaks. How about that?

Re:It doesn't sell. (4, Insightful)

IICV (652597) | more than 3 years ago | (#33925842)

Yeah, and even in this report Gates says both of these things:

"The initial assessment in no way discounts the risk to national security," Gates wrote. "However, the review to date has not revealed any sensitive intelligence sources and methods compromised by the disclosure."

and...

"We assess this risk as likely to cause significant harm or damage to national security interests of the United States and are examining mitigation options," Gates wrote in the letter. "We are working closely with our allies to determine what risks our mission partners may face as a result of the disclosure."

Wait so which is it? If nothing was compromised so far, why is this risk likely to cause significant harm or damage? Haven't they heard of Bayesian statistics?

It sounds like he's just covering ass, but is compelled to tell the truth. After all, they were out in the media saying that Assange has "blood on his hands" - apparently, it was imaginary blood.

Re:It doesn't sell. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33926372)

Gates doesn't have a crystal ball. He's saying his assessment is that the probability of damage from the leaks is high.

Just that no damage has been caused yet.

Remember, the initial fear was that the mere leak of some of the travesties shown in the documents would result in a severe backlash against allied troops. That didn't occur. Why? Maybe the enemy is stupid. Maybe they didn't want to read the entire thing. Maybe they did, and got bored. Maybe there wasn't any immediately useful info now, but will be.

Further, as a result of the leak, precautions may have been taken that mitigated or alleviated damage. We don't know if because of the leak, we adjusted before the enemy did. While the typical /. post bad mouths the military regularly, such as your post, and are happy to see military brass go down because the poster finds the war wrong or unpopular, it doesn't correlate that the military is actually stupid--they know how to handle information leaks like this.

And maybe we just weren't as effective lately as we want to be, despite the lack of lost lives.

I'm not sure why anyone is discounting the potential of the damage from the leaks. It's often pointed out in other matters on /. that because something didn't occur, doesn't it was likely to or unlikely to. The same applies here.

Not to mention WikiLeaks with the 2nd attempt was going to release names (a big infight occurred) and it seems the materials one way or the other wasn't really reviewed by them entirely anyways very carefully. iow, maybe the military just got lucky this round. And the big anti-Wikileaks news is the reason why the 2nd leak, which is likely more damaging if the /. stories are correct (and aren't they always...) is being more carefully reviewed, because of the national news scrutiny.

If so, then this perceived overreaction to the leaked documents will have done it's job.

Re:It doesn't sell. (3, Insightful)

bananaendian (928499) | more than 3 years ago | (#33926010)

Yes, please. Everyone line-up here:

-

to apologize for claiming patriotism and being a tool by shouting on previous threads here that Wikileaks had got people killed in Afghanistan.

Writing a hundred times: "I will not watch FOX anymore" should do it.

Re:It doesn't sell. (1)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 3 years ago | (#33926194)

I think it's telling that no one has replied to your request. I don't expect anyone to do it any point either.

Re:It doesn't sell. (3, Funny)

machine321 (458769) | more than 3 years ago | (#33926242)

If FOX is already on 24/7, then they can't watch it any more.

Re:It doesn't sell. (3, Insightful)

causality (777677) | more than 3 years ago | (#33926360)

to apologize for claiming patriotism

You know, I've never seen that claim used to back up a rational position. Maybe that has happened somewhere out there, but I've never once seen it. The primary use of loaded words like "patriotism" is to create emotional fervor that shuts down things like dispassionate inquiry and critical thinking.

Therefore, the people who use "patriotism" in the media don't have the same definition of it that I do. My own preference is for that definition that "a patriot supports his country always and his government only when it deserves it." While I can still see sensible decisions being made on the local and state levels, my federal government hasn't deserved my support for a very long time.

and being a tool by shouting on previous threads here that Wikileaks had got people killed in Afghanistan

If we were so concerned about people getting killed, then we wouldn't invade a sovereign nation and destroy their government because they asked for evidence that bin Laden was involved in 9/11 in response to our extradition request. So clearly, saving lives is not our priority here. It follows that if the government is pissed off about their secrets being leaked it's not because someone might get killed. It's because it makes them lose face and especially because the utter lack of negative consequences reveals that the reason for having those secrets was invalid to begin with.

Writing a hundred times: "I will not watch FOX anymore" should do it.

FOX didn't cause Americans to become a mindless, fat, stupid, herd-mentality, emotionally driven, reactive, childish, flavor-of-the-week, decadent people who hate critical thinking and believe whatever the TV tells them like good little citizens. FOX merely capitalizes on it. They'd risk bankruptcy if they didn't tailor their programming for bovine America.

Hilarious (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33925710)

to note seemingly half of ./ comments were dead set against Wikileaks for exactly this reason...

Re:Hilarious (3, Funny)

PatPending (953482) | more than 3 years ago | (#33925744)

to note seemingly half of ./ comments were dead set against Wikileaks for exactly this reason...

And the other half were /. comments.

Re:Hilarious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33925836)

Not being sure if and/or when it'll let me post does not encourage using much consideration on spelling.

Re:Hilarious (-1, Troll)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 3 years ago | (#33925788)

Some of us just used it as an excuse to appear interested in some abstract notion of universal justice while at the same time getting to bash wikileaks. Frankly, it's no skin off my back whether any afghans were hit by the Taliban as a result of the wikileaks disclosure. I'm just against wikileaks on general, but that's because I hate snitches and they basically take snitching to an absurd extreme.

But on the other hand what this means is that they basically released a bunch of primary source material that wasnt news to anyone who has kept up even the slightest bit with the course of events in afghanistan and therefor were neither helpful nor revolutionary except to cause a big, sensationalist stir so that Julian can feel good about himself in public for a little while for being sooooo damned importan that the whole world has to be up in arms over the bs pseudo-controversy he engineered with the help of a diluted insider who though he was being slick.

Re:Hilarious (5, Insightful)

Hope Thelps (322083) | more than 3 years ago | (#33925876)

Frankly, it's no skin off my back whether any afghans were hit by the Taliban as a result of the wikileaks disclosure. I'm just against wikileaks on general, but that's because I hate snitches and they basically take snitching to an absurd extreme.

You don't care either way whether people have been killed but you do have it in for snitches??? What are you, a twelve year old sociopath?

Re:Hilarious (3, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#33926172)

That's been a serious problem in the US for sometime now. The Bush administration was notorious for keeping things secret whether or not there was a legitimate reason. Which was something which Nixon was notorious for as well. The problem is that just because something is embarrassing to the military or intelligence agencies does not mean that it's a legitimate state secret. And that covering up things of little strategic interest just makes everybody curious about what else is being hidden.

It's shocking to me that it took the press nearly 6 years to get interested in why President Bush was keeping so many secrets when it's really their job to ask those sorts of questions.

Re:Hilarious (3, Insightful)

machine321 (458769) | more than 3 years ago | (#33926260)

The Bush administration was notorious for keeping things secret whether or not there was a legitimate reason.

At least the Obama administration is fixing all that now. Good thing we got their guy out before it was too late.

Re:Hilarious (4, Insightful)

causality (777677) | more than 3 years ago | (#33926388)

It's shocking to me that it took the press nearly 6 years to get interested in why President Bush was keeping so many secrets when it's really their job to ask those sorts of questions.

Why yes ... in fact, it's almost as though both government AND media have a lot of the same interests and agendas in common, are very friendly with each other, and feel it is in their mutual interests not to rock each other's boats too much. But if you took a moment to consider that, why, you'd be a conspiracy nutter like the ones they always show on the media...

Re:Hilarious (1)

cyber-vandal (148830) | more than 3 years ago | (#33926450)

The press' job is to sell advertising space. Controversial topics that are inconvenient to rich people are not welcome in this world.

Re:Hilarious (1)

causality (777677) | more than 3 years ago | (#33926552)

The press' job is to sell advertising space. Controversial topics that are inconvenient to rich people are not welcome in this world.

Right, that's why the old standby of "gays in the military" is suddenly an issue again. They pull that one out whenever the American people start getting tired of the latest pointless war. Oddly I haven't seen them mention "flag burning" in a long while. That's another favorite they like to play up when a distraction is needed. Maybe "flag burning" has outlived its usefulness and stem-cell controversies have replaced it.

The pattern is obvious once you consider that we have much bigger problems we should be focusing on. Gay people in the military is a complete non-issue in the face of things like whether our nation is long-term sustainable.

Re:Hilarious (4, Funny)

http (589131) | more than 3 years ago | (#33925892)

You are diluting the meaning of diluted, and the deluded about the spelling of deluded.

Re:Hilarious (1)

Sean_Inconsequential (1883900) | more than 3 years ago | (#33926206)

He is about 61.8% water, that is fairly diluted. Maybe that is what he meant?

Re:Hilarious (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33925924)

Frankly, it's no skin off my back whether any afghans were hit by the Taliban as a result of the wikileaks disclosure.

Thanks for establishing your low ethical boundaries.

But strangely, you're still trying to imply that there's a basis to the claim that the leak endangered innocent people. I hope people can see through your bullshit.

I'm just against wikileaks on general, but that's because I hate snitches

Riiight. How noble of you. You support torture, brutal military killings of foreign civilians, and spying on American civilians, but you nobly oppose "snitches" who disclose the torture, killings, and spying.

But on the other hand what this means is that they basically released a bunch of primary source material that wasnt news to anyone ...

You now regurgitate the other military propaganda line against the leak, immediately after the "innocents endangered" one was admitted to be a fraud.

It sounds a little silly, you have to admit. All you war supporters stridently vocal, railing against wikileaks due to the leak's "unimportance" and "lack of new information." One would think that, if this were actually the case, you wouldn't even care about the leak.

I.e.: your words pronounce themselves a lie.

Re:Hilarious (2, Insightful)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 3 years ago | (#33925818)

to note seemingly half of ./ comments were dead set against Wikileaks for exactly this reason...

And I'm sure Fox News will apologize, just like they did after they helped frame Acorn.

Re:Hilarious (1)

Rewind (138843) | more than 3 years ago | (#33926002)

Just replying to this to remove the Redundant mod I accidentally gave you. I was trying to click Insightful, sorry :(

Re:Hilarious (1)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 3 years ago | (#33926020)

Let me guess...mouse wheel, right? Happens to me all the time. No worries.

Re:Hilarious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33926282)

It's funny that your name references a voting error... and you were the victim of a voting error.

Re:Hilarious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33926252)

Framed ACORN....suuure.

Re:Hilarious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33926500)

Or, Wired.com's damnation of anything and everything related to wikileaks.

Not holding my breathe for Paulson and Zetter to resign or at least apologize.

NO (4, Informative)

amiga3D (567632) | more than 3 years ago | (#33925724)

It'll barely get mentioned. Every smear against wikileaks gets maximum exposure but retractions are barely heard.

Re:NO (4, Insightful)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 3 years ago | (#33925790)

Every smear against wikileaks gets maximum exposure but retractions are barely heard.

As it is with pretty much every news article. Retractions are on page 43, or a 3 second clip at 4 AM.

It sells. (4, Insightful)

khasim (1285) | more than 3 years ago | (#33925886)

Evil person gives sacred information to our enemies. Holy troops threatened! Tune in at 11.

vs

Some guy posts some stuff and people don't die.

Which do you think will get more eyes and sell more ads?

Re:NO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33925912)

Then, clearly, there is a need to get the word out on this. Staying silent while an injustice continues is NOT optional, here. Not unless you WANT the dark side to win?

Re:NO (1)

darkshadow88 (776678) | more than 3 years ago | (#33926068)

I don't think "optional" means what you think it does. "Not optional" is the opposite of "not an option".

Re:NO (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33925998)

Uhhhhh Wikileaks was trying to do exactly what the 'media' and pentagon officials accused them of. They ADMITTED as much. Wikileaks wanted to damage the US in some way. It took literally an army of people to go thru it to figure out it wasnt worth much. Do you think wikileaks had such an army? No. They wanted exactly the effect they were accused of. Now that it has come to light that the info was not worth much we will hear the backtracking begin. All people involved acted like asses on 'both' sides.

Re:NO (4, Insightful)

rhizome (115711) | more than 3 years ago | (#33926058)

All people involved acted like asses on 'both' sides.

Congratulations on your gymnastic equivocation, but from where I sit lying is worse than having an abrasive personality.

Re:NO (3, Insightful)

Nimey (114278) | more than 3 years ago | (#33926392)

But you see, if you can say "everybody's a luser", then you don't feel so bad about supporting "your" fuckwits.

Happens to me all the time elsewhere when I bitch about the Republicans: one or two people will always come up and say how awful "both sides" are... never mind that there are more than the two sides, and that the person saying so is conservative, i.e. it's a polite form of "shut up".

Re:NO (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 3 years ago | (#33926066)

There might be a tiny note at the bottom of the third page of the paper.

"Wikileaks, the spy platform led by accused rapist Julian Assange, may not have put the forces operating in Afghanistan at serious risk yet."

It must be a lie! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33925734)

Everything the government says is a lie, especially if it involves Wikileaks, therefore I must conclude that this is a lie as well. I'm sure it is all part of a master plan to destroy Wikileaks.

Re:It must be a lie! (1)

BatGnat (1568391) | more than 3 years ago | (#33926350)

Everything the government says is a lie, especially if it involves Wikileaks, therefore I must conclude that this is a lie as well. I'm sure it is all part of a master plan to destroy Wikileaks.

Then the original statements by the pentagon are also a lie, meaning that Wikileaks didn't do anything wrong!!!

Wikileaks download (4, Interesting)

Shyfer (1875644) | more than 3 years ago | (#33925736)

A bit off topic but... anyone knows if there is a way to download all wikileaks documents? I would really like to save that locally

Re:Wikileaks download (1)

Nimey (114278) | more than 3 years ago | (#33926406)

wget -r should be a starting point.

Re:Wikileaks download (1)

sourcerror (1718066) | more than 3 years ago | (#33926440)

Try Getleft.

Yes, but... (4, Funny)

ocdscouter (1922930) | more than 3 years ago | (#33925740)

What this obviously means is that no one has been killed *yet*! There will yet be deferred blood on guilty hands!

Re:Yes, but... (2, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#33926190)

Clearly the CIA is way too busy to assassinate a few of their own informants for the greater good. Check back with them in a few months and they'll have bodies available.

Because it's not about the truth (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33925754)

It's about getting people with the first impression that hits them in their emotional, not rational center.

Once you control somebody's emotions, they'll change their thinking to justify it.

Answer: follow the money (4, Insightful)

PatPending (953482) | more than 3 years ago | (#33925758)

Only if their donations account [slashdot.org] is reopened.

Let us get the word out... (5, Insightful)

PmanAce (1679902) | more than 3 years ago | (#33925824)

Let us get the word out since the media sure as heck won't.

If Wikileaks has more blood on their hands (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33925840)

Then the Pentagon should resign and put Wikileaks in charge of both wars. Surely the Pentagon has to have more blood on their hands just as a matter of pride. I mean, it's what they do, no?

Move along... (1)

beowulf01 (843871) | more than 3 years ago | (#33925880)

...Nothing more to see here. Move along...

No free pass for being irresponsible (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33925890)

Just because no one was hurt.

Re:No free pass for being irresponsible (4, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#33926202)

As opposed to the US Military who is ultimately responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians during the genocide that followed our toppling of the Iraqi government?

I know you're trolling, but give me a break, the DoD is the last organization that should be commenting on another organization's bloody hands.

Re:No free pass for being irresponsible (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33926422)

Holy shit, I just realized that more than one party can be guilty of something and more than one party can be held accountable for their actions at a time! When are you going to realize that?

Re:No free pass for being irresponsible (4, Insightful)

Concerned Onlooker (473481) | more than 3 years ago | (#33926214)

It depends on who you are. George Bush was extremely irresponsible, yet he walked away totally free.

Re:No free pass for being irresponsible (1)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 3 years ago | (#33926218)

If no one got hurt because the actions taken were designed to get no one hurt, I'd say that that is the definition of acting responsibly.

Or are you the kind of person that likes to tell people what to do just because you think you know everything?

What about? (2, Interesting)

Grand Facade (35180) | more than 3 years ago | (#33925910)

the financial and legal measures taken against him/them.

Oh! Gee, sorry about the muck you got drug through........

So, is Wikileaks then contradicting itself? (-1, Flamebait)

Monkeyman334 (205694) | more than 3 years ago | (#33925960)

So was the intel leak a bombshell dropping on Beaver Cleaverville? Or did it show that the US Government actually managed to write 50,000 reports about the war in Afghanistan without a mention of CIA kidnappings or that Osama Bin Laden is being kept alive as a US propaganda effort?

While the Pentagon may have done a poor job of mentioning "hey this wasn't actually particularly damaging," Wikileaks has yet to admit that the troops in Afghanistan are fighting a decent war. They also never mentioned that in the "Collateral Murder" the group that was gunned down was in fact an insurgent RPG team that the news crew had teamed up with (don't believe me, go find the RPG in the video before thinking I'm referring to the camera).

Re:So, is Wikileaks then contradicting itself? (1)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 3 years ago | (#33926100)

that was a camera tripod watch it more carefully.

Re:So, is Wikileaks then contradicting itself? (1)

bananaendian (928499) | more than 3 years ago | (#33926226)

Wikileaks has yet to admit that the troops in Afghanistan are fighting a decent war.

Wikileaks hasn't claimed any of the conspiracy nut theories you refer to. They just release intel. Nor do they have to admit to anything for this reason: anyone can look at the intel and make up their minds themselves about how well the 'war' is going.

As for own sad delusion about "news crew teaming up with insurgent RPG team" (for which even the military themselves dont believe in)...

" People won't change their thinking even if X turns out to be different. Because they're just using X as an easy rationalisation for their existing bias." - Khasim (1285)

This doesn't mean no harm was done! (1, Insightful)

whizbang77045 (1342005) | more than 3 years ago | (#33925990)

Saying something doesn't disclose sensitive intelligence sources or methods doesn't mean no harm was done. Sort things into two piles: things that harm the troops or the US position, and things that harm the ability to collect intelligence. This statement says it had no impact on collecting intelligence. It doesn't say no harm was done to troop or the US position.

Re:This doesn't mean no harm was done! (0, Redundant)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#33926210)

Of course not, it embarrassed the DoD which does harm the US position as embarrassing the DoD makes it more difficult to justify the continued war effort.

Pentagon Reaction Was Self Preservation Mode (5, Insightful)

bkmoore (1910118) | more than 3 years ago | (#33925992)

I'm a military veteran and I may have authored some of the documents that were leaked. But pretty much all of the information was already publicly available in some form or another. We all knew Pakistan was playing a double game. We all knew that the CIA was operating secret drones along the boarder - who else could it be, the Mongolians? If you drop a bomb on somebody, you can keep it secret from the press, but everybody on the ground will know about it. It just takes a little investigative journalism to get at the truth. The main problem the Pentagon has is one of credibility. The fact that a low level intelligence clerk could smuggle out many GBs of classified documents while lip syncing to Lady Gaga makes the military and the entire chain of command look like a bunch of incompetent boobs. It just goes to show that WallMart has better protection against shoplifters than the military has against internal leaks. So the initial reaction is one of self-preservation. "If you leak this, people will die." Which is another way of saying, we royally screwed up and we're placing the blame on you because we don't want to be the ones getting busted over this. I am no longer in the military, so I can speak my mind on this. I still think Julian Assange is an idiot, but that's another topic.

Re:Pentagon Reaction Was Self Preservation Mode (5, Interesting)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 3 years ago | (#33926132)

It's also fascinating how they managed to entirely blame wikileaks.
The new york times and the guardian mirrored a lot of the material too and took part in organizing the data before the public release yet everything was wikileaks fault.
They military couldn't keep it's secrets secret but it was the fault of whoever the documents were sent to, not whoever was supposed to keep them secret.

I wonder how it would have gone had he anonymously posted a USB stick to the guardian or another big name newspaper directly rather than going through wikileaks.
They might have silenced it but they might not.
would we be seeing the newspapers vilified in the same way.

Re:Pentagon Reaction Was Self Preservation Mode (1)

BatGnat (1568391) | more than 3 years ago | (#33926364)

We all knew that the CIA was operating secret drones along the boarder - who else could it be, the Mongolians?

Time to build a city wall.....

Re:Pentagon Reaction Was Self Preservation Mode (1)

Nimey (114278) | more than 3 years ago | (#33926414)

We've got gunpowder already, so city walls are obsolete.

Fortify mech.inf. in the city instead.

Re:Pentagon Reaction Was Self Preservation Mode (0, Flamebait)

bananaendian (928499) | more than 3 years ago | (#33926380)

In what way is your blurb insightful? What was your point? Other than that the Afghan War Diary didn't surprise you or that you think Pentagon is incompetent?

Perhaps as a 'veteran' you could talk about what you think about the actual intel. You know its all online still. [wikileaks.org] Just waiting for people like for your opinion on it ...

I'd rather than listen to such than endless irrelevant ad hominem comments about Assange.

Surely you know Intelligence management is about compromise. Yes you could have only terminal access and no external data connections and limit them to closely vetted people who sign for each access but that would limit the usefulness of the data too much. You cannot put too much restrictions on data access and distribution if you want to use that data widely and frequently. As a result this kind of low level stuff gets 'leaked' all the time: people working on it have it on their laptops, USB dongles, websites etc. They send it via email attachments to research partners, policy interest groups, friends. It just rarely gets into the news cause no one much cares or gets caught. But if this is news to you ...

Re:Pentagon Reaction Was Self Preservation Mode (1)

bkmoore (1910118) | more than 3 years ago | (#33926588)

You're obviously smarter than I am. The information leaked was from the SIPR Net. The SIPR Net is basically an encrypted VPN. You need a security clearance to get a SIPR Net login. SIPR Net computers are in a secure area, requiring an ID check to get into or a key combination. The USB ports are disabled. The only way to send a SIPR document as an email attachment to a 'friend' would be to burn it to CD or floppy, remove the CD from the designated area, and load the CD on a regular internet machine. If people are doing this, that's 'news' to this 'veteran,' because during my time in the service, everyone took classified information seriously.

Re:Pentagon Reaction Was Self Preservation Mode (3, Interesting)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 3 years ago | (#33926514)

I'm a military veteran and I may have authored some of the documents that were leaked. But pretty much all of the information was already publicly available in some form or another. We all knew Pakistan was playing a double game. We all knew that the CIA was operating secret drones along the boarder - who else could it be, the Mongolians? If you drop a bomb on somebody, you can keep it secret from the press, but everybody on the ground will know about it. It just takes a little investigative journalism to get at the truth.

A lot of this was already in the press as well. Which leads me to wonder what the smoking gun was supposed to be. Exactly what was the big story that justified publishing this material? It could have been more corroborating evidence to back up speculation and other sources on these stories. And if so - why not limit the information to specifically those topics?

The fact that these events were taking place isn't going to be a secret - as you've noted. However, the details to how things are done might be. Some of those reports look like they contain operational details that may or may not be gleened by opposing forces. In which case, Wikileaks did present intelligence and the US Military should be upset.

The main problem the Pentagon has is one of credibility. The fact that a low level intelligence clerk could smuggle out many GBs of classified documents while lip syncing to Lady Gaga makes the military and the entire chain of command look like a bunch of incompetent boobs. It just goes to show that WallMart has better protection against shoplifters than the military has against internal leaks. So the initial reaction is one of self-preservation. "If you leak this, people will die." Which is another way of saying, we royally screwed up and we're placing the blame on you because we don't want to be the ones getting busted over this. I am no longer in the military, so I can speak my mind on this. I still think Julian Assange is an idiot, but that's another topic.

The blame game rears its ugly head in almost any bureaucracy. The military is a bureaucractic force in to itself. To be sure - that's part of the story. But Manning (if he is the sole source) wasn't just some soldier from the motor pool wandering off with a book of military secrets. Manning was an intelligence analyst with access and a need to know. Although, if the story is to be believed, the huge question is why this system had a CD burner installed when supposedly these systems already have USB ports disabled to prevent data being transferred via thumbdrives.

There's certainly some blame to go around in this case. However, I don't believe the entire story is simply smoke and mirrors to cover up someone's ineptitude. There is still intelligence value in the raw data. And Wikileaks' goal is to publish that data.

Wikileaks is preparing half a million page release (1)

colordev (1764040) | more than 3 years ago | (#33926032)

Pentagon is preparing to monitor the coming release with 120 reviewers. Therefore, it appears Pentagon isn't yet convinced about the non-harmful nature of Wikileaks.

Re:Wikileaks is preparing half a million page rele (3, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#33926224)

That means precisely zip. All it means is that they're expecting further leaks and are preparing for it. It also means that they realize that there's more material that could be leaked.

Beyond that it really doesn't mean anything at all.

Will the pentagon apologise ... (2)

Alain Williams (2972) | more than 3 years ago | (#33926060)

  • to wikileaks for falsely accusing it
  • to us for misleasing us

I somehow doubt it. They make great words about being on the ''right'' side and then lie through their teeth when it suits them.

Never let a good crisis go to waste (1)

HawaiianToast (618430) | more than 3 years ago | (#33926114)

Don't forget the motto of our authorities: Never let a good crisis go to waste. Just like a good sniper, they wait for loud distracting periphery to take shots.

too bad they can't un-torture Brad Manning (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33926180)

too bad they can't un-torture Brad Manning.

he's being held in Kuwait. hasn't been seen in months. do you think he is having a nice time there?

Will it get coverage? That's about as likely as (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33926192)

the name "Linux", or problems with the current intellectual property regime, or unicorns getting media coverage. It's also as likely as me teleporting to the other side of the world due to the uncertainty principle and quantum mechanics.

Nothing new. (1)

MaWeiTao (908546) | more than 3 years ago | (#33926510)

This is nothing new. This happens dozens (hundreds?) of times a year. A story surfaces, whether it was a mistake or actual disinformation, and is exploited by those stand to gain from spreading. It's beaten to death those first couple of weeks, repeated to the point that people believe it as fact. Then once it's been forgotten details come to light that completely refute the original claims or sometimes simply strips the blatant sensationalism of the original reporting. The correction is always released quietly and easily missed. Of course, by that point the damage is done and there's no going back.

I see evidence of this all the time. And of course the average joe, who doesn't have the time or inclination to follow up on every shred of news, and too often doesn't want to believe something that violates his worldview, becomes an unwitting pawn continuing to spread falsehoods. Hell, I've seen it happen on Slashdot many times.

Unfortunately, there's not a whole lot that can be done about it beyond calling these people out I guess.

gives me an idea (1)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 3 years ago | (#33926550)

why not fake an information leak, make the enemy (in this case Al Qaeda & the Taliban) think some important information was leaked regarding informants or whatever, and when the enemy goes to seek retribution they fall in to a trap and BOOM! bye bye enemy combatants. cant say it would work 100% of the time but even if it worked 30% to 50% it would help some.

Ordinary Afghans are not "sensitive" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33926566)

Just put your American or Anti-American perspective aside for a moment, and think about it as if *your* country were in a civil war. In a civil war, you cannot opt out, because at least one side goes by "if you are not with us, you are against us". You do not get to choose whether to be a part of it or not - this is what a civil war is about, has always been about. You can only choose which side you are on.

Now that the US and NATO interfered in the war, I would be on the side they support, and I would do my bit to support it, too. I'd be very unhappy if, for whatever lofty reason, some Westerner published my name and the names of other sympathizers. Maybe the Taliban knew about us already, maybe not, but now they certainly do. In every country after a civil war was lost, the losing side was punished, and any documents it left behind were used to target the punishment. So it goes.

Of course, whatever happens to me would not be a big deal to the US national security either way, and there is absolutely nothing Pentagon-level sensitive about me either. Basically, no one outside cares about the individual natives too much.

You Must Be New Here (1)

Crypto Gnome (651401) | more than 3 years ago | (#33926572)

And by here, I mean on Planet Earth.

But, to answer your question:

Will the Pentagon's contradiction of the charges against WikiLeaks get as much play in the media as those original accusations did?

The answer is the same answer for the question "Does publicizing the contradiction of the charges INCREASE the levels of fear and/or paranoia amongst the general population?"

Seriously folks, the only terrorists are The Government, The Department of Homeland Security (theater) and The Media. All of whom have a blatantly obvious interest in Keeping The Fear Alive.

As a tax payer... (4, Interesting)

3seas (184403) | more than 3 years ago | (#33926584)

,,,I want the option to write off any contribution I make to Wikileaks to be tax deductable.

My rational is quite simple and direct. For the people, by the people....... So damn't it... I want to know what I'm paying for as its bad enough that I don't have a choice what the taxes I pay are used for.

As to the idea of harm being done, the fact of teh matter is of course there is harm being done by the massive waring mindset budgets of which the funds could most certainly be better spend on removing reasons for war, instead of creating reasons.

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