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WikiLeaks Set To Release Unpublished Iraq War Docs 411

Posted by Soulskill
from the round-two-about-to-begin dept.
Tootech writes with this snippet from Wired: "A massive cache of previously unpublished classified US military documents from the Iraq War is being readied for publication by WikiLeaks, a new report has confirmed.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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WikiLeaks Set To Release Unpublished Iraq War Docs

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  • by elrous0 (869638) * on Friday September 10, 2010 @09:28AM (#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.
  • by IndustrialComplex (975015) on Friday September 10, 2010 @09:32AM (#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.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 10, 2010 @09:37AM (#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.

      • by Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) on Friday September 10, 2010 @09:46AM (#33533178)

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

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Smidge204 (605297)

          Hey everybody! Conspiracy Of Doves is wife beating, drug dealing homosexual pedophile rapist kleptomaniac who acts as an informant for terrorists cells. Be sure to spread the word to everyone you know, especially local law enforcement, neighbors and anyone who might be looking to hire.

          (If I'm making it up, you shouldn't care right?)

          The real point is Assange more or less bragged about twisting and editing the information he gets for "political effect." He also seems to specifically target the US and only the

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        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).

      • by OldeTimeGeek (725417) on Friday September 10, 2010 @11:04AM (#33534026)

        I like that it contributes to the accountability but it frightens me that I believe wikileaks.

        Improve accountability? No, all this will do is force the decision-making process further away from the prying eyes of public scrutiny. Arguments and discussions will only take place "off the record" and in ways that can be immediately destroyed. No decisions will be documented - at least not in a way that can be used against anyone. Don't like the amount of paper that a bureaucracy produces? You won't have to worry about that much longer...

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

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

      • 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.

    • by Ltap (1572175) on Friday September 10, 2010 @09:43AM (#33533140) Homepage
      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.
    • What other option? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 10, 2010 @09:44AM (#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: (Score:3, Insightful)

      i think the word you were looking for was "revolutionary" and not "cowboyish".
    • by thijsh (910751)
      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. :)
    • by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Friday September 10, 2010 @09:46AM (#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.

      • by BoberFett (127537)

        Well said.

        • by FriendlyLurker (50431) on Friday September 10, 2010 @11:09AM (#33534084)

          Well said, but unfortunately this weeks ruling [nytimes.com] means it is only going to get worse , much much worse. [salon.com].

          Quotes from above:

          "The ruling handed a major victory to the Obama administration in its effort to advance a sweeping view of executive secrecy power."

          "The distorted, radical use of the state secret privilege -- as a broad-based immunity weapon for compelling the dismissal of entire cases alleging Executive lawbreaking, rather than a narrow discovery tool for suppressing the use of specific classified documents -- is exactly what the Bush administration did to such extreme controversy."

          Rulings like this passed with little to no media coverage[1] show that the US is more little down the slippery slope to our Orwellian future. And people here are worried about wikileaks? The mind boggles.

          [1] Slashdot posts old old news [slashdot.org] on Wikileaks instead - like there was ever a doubt that the remaining documents will be published

      • by BobMcD (601576) on Friday September 10, 2010 @10:30AM (#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...

        • by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Friday September 10, 2010 @10:33AM (#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: (Score:3, Funny)

            by BobMcD (601576)

            Insiders, leaks, etc.

          • by IndustrialComplex (975015) on Friday September 10, 2010 @11:01AM (#33533980)

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

            I have argued that items be reduced in classification from Top Secret to Secret. The entity with Original Classification Authority agreed and the classification level was reduced.

            The parent has a point.

            Even for non-classified documents or procedures. Consider a building permit. The group granting permits can only LOSE if they grant a permit which should not have been granted, but little to lose if they deny the permit for a new design. That is why we have so many homes built on previously approved designs, it makes the approval process safe for all parties. Classification is similar. No one wants to be the guy who reduced a classification level, and later we find out that it should have been higher. The burdon is dangerous and it is asking someone to accept responsibility and potentially liability.

            I have proposed processes by which we increase periodic reviews of classified material with a de-emphasis on losing face or embarassment. (it isn't supposed to exist now, but being humans it will always be there) Naturally that won't fly without a LOT of pressure.

            I would prefer such a system to the current wikileaks approach of "Release it all and let God sort it out". It is irresponsible.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Rayonic (462789)

        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 military seems to classify by default. There are probably a few simple reasons for this:

        1. "I don't have authority to decide if something should be classified or not. That's up to my superiors."
        2. "I don't have time to read all these documents and watch hundreds of hours of video and still do my main job. Just keep them classified."
        3. "What if I un-classify something sensitive by mistake? I'd get in trouble, so screw that."
        4. "Who the hell would want to read all this crap anyway?" (i.e. 99% of the leaked Afghan
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by RabbitWho (1805112)
      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?
      • 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: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by c0d3g33k (102699)

        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.

      • by BoberFett (127537) on Friday September 10, 2010 @10:08AM (#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.

    • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Friday September 10, 2010 @09:46AM (#33533192) Journal

      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.

      • by conspirator57 (1123519) on Friday September 10, 2010 @10:00AM (#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.

      • Haha (Score:3, Insightful)

        by copponex (13876)

        Right... the real issue is not that we're invading countries left and right, or opening up secret prisons around the world, or legalizing the assassination of US citizens, or ending the protection of civil rights that western society has had since the Magna Carta, or threatening sovereign nations with annihilation on a weekly basis, or treating the UN like it's our play toy, or refusing to submit to an international legal authority, but it's the fact that we can't keep a secret that's really bothering the r

    • Of course (Score:5, Insightful)

      by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Friday September 10, 2010 @09:48AM (#33533212) Journal

      *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.

      • 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 incident

    • motivation (Score:4, Informative)

      by nten (709128) on Friday September 10, 2010 @09:49AM (#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.

      • by r00t (33219) on Friday September 10, 2010 @10:17AM (#33533494) Journal

        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.

    • by bl8n8r (649187)

      > 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.

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

    • by melikamp (631205)
      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 (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Darkness404 (1287218) on Friday September 10, 2010 @09:32AM (#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 (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Bill_the_Engineer (772575) on Friday September 10, 2010 @09:43AM (#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.

      • 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 achie

    • by halivar (535827)

      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.

    • 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.

    • 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 enem

  • by Pojut (1027544) on Friday September 10, 2010 @09:33AM (#33533060) Homepage

    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.

    • by acoustix (123925)

      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?

      • by Meneth (872868)

        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.

      • 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.

      • by c0d3g33k (102699)

        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.

    • 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.

  • by abigsmurf (919188) on Friday September 10, 2010 @09:37AM (#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.
    • Horse puckey (Score:4, Informative)

      by copponex (13876) on Friday September 10, 2010 @11:11AM (#33534104) Homepage

      I'm too lazy to entirely rewrite what I wrote last time someone made this assertion:

      1) The Taliban are using missiles we gave them back in the 80s to try and shoot our copters down (officially denied until the leak)
      2) Many accounts given by the military to the press were wrong and underreported how many civilians died, according to the original reports
      3) It exposed the "killing squads" -- also known as Task Force 373 -- recently in the news for mutilating Afghan bodies and keeping their body parts as trophies
      4) It exposed the fact that many of the military operations are now classified and under the direct control of the CIA
      5) It documents the rise of Taliban military capability, directly contradicting public statements made by the US military

      I'll leave my snarky commentary on the press and you, the credulous American public, intact:

      But you guys wrap all that up with "No Big Deal," and feed it to all the media outlets who depend on you for access to government officials? Fucking. Brilliant. They don't even have to pretend to have reported on those things before. They just say, basically, the emperor has clothes, and then Joe Sixpack nods his little beer storage unit up and down and switches back to WWE. I know, and now they're all uppity about this Australian guy possibly getting innocent people killed when we're laying civs out left and right - with secret police and secret budgets! God bless the US of Amnesia.

  • by bl8n8r (649187) on Friday September 10, 2010 @09:45AM (#33533168)
    Anyone doing anything for him? If he wouldn't have taken a stand on this, nobody would have known anything.
    • by jonnythan (79727)

      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 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.
        • 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 justif

      • by choongiri (840652) on Friday September 10, 2010 @10:18AM (#33533498) Homepage Journal
        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: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by jonnythan (79727)

          I can't support the law being changed, because I think there is some information that needs to stay classified.

          You can't make an exception in the law, saying that classified documents are OK to release as long as one person thinks they should be and, well shucks, just really means well.

          It *has* to be illegal for one low-level person to break confidentiality and distribute classified military information.

          I agree that governments grossly abuse how they determine information should be classified. Perhaps that

      • by BobMcD (601576) on Friday September 10, 2010 @10:49AM (#33533810)

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

        Let's not forget that he's probably legally a whistleblower [wikipedia.org] as well:

        In the logs, Manning explains his growing disillusionment with the U.S. Army and foreign policy.[14] He gives one example of being assigned the task of evaluating the arrest of Iraqis for allegedly publishing "anti Iraq" literature, only to discover that the writings were in fact scholarly critique of corruption in the cabinet of Iraq Prime Minister Al-Maliki titled "Where Did the Money Go?".[18] He reportedly said to Lamo, "I immediately took that information and ran to the officer to explain what was going on. He didn’t want to hear any of it. He told me to shut up and explain how we could assist the FPs in finding MORE detainees."[14] Manning reportedly characterized some of the allegedly leaked cables to Lamo as, "explaining how the first world exploits the third, in detail, from an internal perspective."[9]

        Before we hang him, let's pause to consider motive...

    • 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 goin

    • 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.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Americano (920576)

        Maximum sentence under the UCMJ for the charges he's facing is 52 years. It's possible that some will be dropped, or he won't be found guilty on some - or all - charges, and receive less.

        He's awaiting an Article 32 hearing right now - similar to a Grand Jury, in which the determination is made whether or not enough evidence is available to proceed with a court martial. Charges could be changed, or dropped as a result of that, as well.

        My expectation based on what I've heard of the case so far is that there

  • ... 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.

    • by iONiUM (530420) on Friday September 10, 2010 @10:22AM (#33533544) Homepage Journal

      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: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Klinky (636952)

      Maybe you should be more concerned about how the US.mil takes care of it's own informants and translators?

      http://www.vetvoice.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=2636 [vetvoice.com]

      Also, try getting the US.mil to take any sort of responsibility for things like no-bid contracts, friendly fire, civilian deaths or even it's own injured vets...

      Easier to close your eyes and blame WikiLeaks I guess.

  • by cryfreedomlove (929828) on Friday September 10, 2010 @09:50AM (#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.
  • 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.
    • by Duradin (1261418)

      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.

    • by cowscows (103644)

      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.

  • 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?

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