Friday, July 30, 2010

More Doubts About WikiLeaks's Joshua Foust reports on the consequences that "thousands of documents in the archive... identify Afghans by name, family, location, and ideology" — Taliban Use Wikileaks to Hunt, Murder Named Afghans. We learn that founder Julian Assange "insisted that any risk to informants’ lives was outweighed by the overall importance of publishing the information."

"Cui bono?" one has to ask. Is Mr. Assange a selfless hero? Or is this about his ego? Or were the leaks, which reveal nothing new, orchestrated by the régime, either as a face-saving measure ahead of the inevitable withdrawal, or as justification for widening the war to Pakistan and Iran? Links to previous posts casting doubts on the whole affair — Assessing Assange, Who Leaked the WikiLeaks?, General Gul Responds to WikiLeaks.

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Anonymous m.z. said...

Indeed. How nice of Assange to determine that the certain threats to the lives of Afghan informants was worth it.

I'm not sure how much we really learned though these leaks. Of course, I've never been one see openness as a value to be pursued for its own sake.

12:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was just coming to your blog to give you the link to this quote of Assange's. He kind of sounds like Madeline Albright to me.

I am curious if will own up to this side of their new heros personality.


12:55 AM  
Blogger The Western Confucian said...

m.z., I, too, am wary of openness as an ideology.

Faustina, I, too, thought of Albright's "worth it" comment, about the 500,000 Iraqi children killed by sanctions. I've always looked to as teachers, but it seems they've missed something here. Maybe this is another one of Raimondo's "man-crushes," the last one being on Obama.

1:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Alex Jones of all people interviewed Wayne Madsen, who runs a bulletin that appears to collect the DC scuttlebutt, and who is a frequent guest on Russia Today, the Russian news channel.

In the videos, which can be found on youtube, Madsen says that many journalists believe that wikileaks is a propaganda operation, which intersperses real scoops with the narrative it wishes to weave.

2:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where did Assange publically announce these files?

London, right?

Why wasn't he arrested then?

3:25 AM  
Anonymous walt said...

My 2 cents, I think this is a strategically released psy op to start the US withdrawl from Afghanistan, "the rollout" as that other commenter noted. The administration can pretend to be outraged about the security breach or say there is nothing new here but I think they know it's time to cut their losses while setting up a cover story. I'm thinking of a post I saw about Colonel Fletcher Prouty's work on the CIA in the 1970's. Prouty claimed the CIA and the Nixon administration knew the US would soon withdraw from Vietnam so the CIA leaked the Pentagon Papers to make Nixon take the hit for it in the public's eyes. I'm wondering if something similar is at work right now as the "sharks" start feeding on each other over who lost Afghanistan and their trying to get their legacies into place.

FWIW, I also think Gen. McChrystal brought the Rolling Stone reporter in on purpose to as a clever way to get himself relieved of command because he realized his Counterinsurgency strategy was not going as planned and he needed to save face. US intel was already assesing that the Taliban could sustain itself indefinitely back in Dec of 2009. The even more recent intel reports from earlier this summer were pretty dismal too.So what better way to go out than as a military vet "narced on" by a reporter from a "dirty hippie" magazine and fired by a Democrat President.

4:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have recently read somewhere that the Washington Post owns Salon magazine. It relates to this story in the lack of media outlets and that the outlet remaining need to rely on the Government for press releases and access. Plus the embedde reporter problem. So then Assange just decides to pick the NYT as one of his collaborator organizations....


5:06 AM  
Anonymous The "Roll Out" Guy said...

@Walt -

What you say makes sense. We should also consider that this is a mid-term election year. As such, it'd be better for Obama to get this out of the way now before 2012. Plus, it's their last chance to blame the GOP for the way the war has been conducted. After the 2010 election the Dems wholly own the war (figuratively speaking, politically).

In short - there may be electoral / campaigning strategies at work here in addition to military ones.

7:58 AM  

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