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back to article Wikileaks publishes encrypted 'insurance' file

Wikileaks, the transparency website under pressure from the US government over its disclosure of intelligence documents from Afghanistan, has published a mysterious large file labelled 'insurance'. The 1.4GB file is encrypted with AES-256, so its contents are unknown, but it was quietly posted on the site's Afghan War Diary page …

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Boffin

The real issue for Wikileaks

The real issue for Wikileaks is that the more exposure of its stretching the truth, hyperbola, sophomoric behavior, opacity and crass political views are exposed, the lower its reputation sinks. It's shown itself to have fallen far short of being the apolitical transparency organization that it purports. The worst part is that it's members really have drunk the Kool-Aid and really don't see what they have become. And that's a shame.

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Bronze badge

Now will you look at that!

Yet another AC throwing pure opinion as mud. And first post too, how curious. I guess some people would rather live under big brother, having to think for yourself and work it all out yourself is sooo tiring.

Unless you are big brother?

Faint whiff of green plastic, anyone?

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Big Brother

Harmony

It's not just the Chinese...

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Megaphone

The US DoD megaphone program...

"A posting about Wikileaks has appeared. Go to this URL and say something nice about the US military or smear Wikileaks."

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Boffin

@BlueGreen

There are no facts in Wikiland. All is opinion in Wikiland. That is the whole point of Wikiland. And that is the whole problem with Wikiland.

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Megaphone

Yeah...

So says another AC.

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FAIL

No facts?

You mean apart from the published intelligence docs?

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IT Angle

uhhh no

references, real documents, real sources, investigative work proofing things do happen and are facts.

Wikipedia is more fact then opinion, same goes for wikileaks.

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Boffin

@BlueGreen

Oh, you mean you are a better person for using a userID like "BlueGreen" which always gives you anonymity rather than having one's real name as one's userID but posting anonymously when one occasionally wants anonymity?

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Bronze badge

Dear AC

I think I know who you are, in which case you will know, beyond my handle, who I am.

And I think you do a disservice to your readership.

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Black Helicopters

In "sensible" items Wikipedia is absolutely lame

I don't have a strong opinion of Wikileaks but I know for real that cliques, lobbyists and secret agents are censoring content in Wikipedia. Wikipedia may be factual for, say, String Theory but it is heavily one-sided when it comes to 9/11 or Israel, where "the other facts" and opinions are censored in spite of a policy that states that articles should have a "neutral point of view", i.e. reflect the various viewpoints on the matter in a balanced and comprehensive manner.

But not all wikis are the same. I don't see why Wikileaks and Wikipedia would have anything in common, except the Hawaiian part of the name.

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Flame

Surely........

They'll just leak it eventually anyways.....

How long should the US govt. allow this site to hold them hostage? I'd vote for a very BRUTAL move to act as a deterrent to future idiots.

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You're fucking joking right?

You might be happy with your state of willful ignorance but don't wish it on the rest of us.

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Grenade

Your reality check bounced

How long should the US govt. hold us hostage? Their previous very BRUTAL acts to "deter" imaginary threats and constant security theater has already leaked the real meaning out of the Constitution to the point where it is little more than a paper wrapping for govt dross.

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WTF?

Where's the "crack pipe" icon when you need it?

So, on top of a war we started then left half done (Afghanistan), a war started illegally on the basis of barefaced lies (Iraq) and a war against a scattered group of often unidentifiable foes with no specific achievable goals (terrorism), you want us to start a war against...the Internet?

The truth does not fear investigation, lies do. If an entity (person, corporation, government) is being "held hostage" by the truth, then maybe they should try not lying to us for once.

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Big Brother

How quaint

Enjoy your soma, lewsor.

(ok, wrong pic/book but gotta work with what's available)

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Right

"The truth does not fear investigation, lies do."

Right, and the civilians who are now outed as giving intelligence to US troops in Afghanistan can use the truth as a shield to keep the Taliban from killing them. How does that work exactly? Does the truth stop the knife from slitting your throat?

Or is the butchering and death of innocent civilians ok if it's done with the goal of harming instead of helping the US? that isn't pacifist, that's simply being on the other side.

When the outcome of your actions is the death of innocent civilians, you've lost the moral high ground, now all you're doing is helping the other side in the war. So take your "holier than thou" attitude and stuff it. This release will get more innocent civilians tortured, butchered, and murdered... but you're ok with that if it hurts America.

Why not take a good long look as what you're ok with; because I think you're no different than those you rail against. Anything, even the death of innocents, to further your cause... good job. You're at least as much a monster as those you struggle against.

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Stop

spread more fear

"Right, and the civilians who are now outed as giving intelligence to US troops in Afghanistan can use the truth as a shield to keep the Taliban from killing them. How does that work exactly? Does the truth stop the knife from slitting your throat?"

From what I can see of the documents I had a look, no civilians are being mentioned by name or any other identifier. The people named are all officials or police, all of whom I'd expect to be fighting against the taliban.

This is just another case of unfounded fearmongering as typified by scum-merchants like fox news who wouldn't know the truth if it slapped them in the face.

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Big Brother

Hmmm I seem to remember we went to Afghanistan

to save people. If that isn't what is happening then I want to know as its my tax dollars which is funding this supposed global rescue!

No so funny when little brother is watching you is it?

If only WikiLeaks had of been able to get their hands on the intelligence used to justify the war in Afganistan we may not be in this mess now!

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Coat

If only WikiLeaks had of been able to get their hands on ..

"..the intelligence used to justify the war in Afganistan we may not be in this mess now! "

Nothing to leak as there wasn't any intelligence! Surely that's what all the fuss has been about?! :)

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Troll

"there wasn't any intelligence"

Hope you don't have a drivers license, as you seem to get locations, directions, green and red lights confused.

Afghanistan was the Taliban-held place that decided that exporting fun Al Qaeda pranks was the thing to do. Plenty of intelligence about the lack of intelligence therein, yes?

Iraq is the place you must be barking about. Much lack of intelligence there, and about there, as Bush, Blair and you have sufficiently demonstrated.

Come on, if you can't get even the latest 10 years figured out, how will you ever conquer puberty?

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Stop

Intresting come back

The Taliban were the party in power at the time of Sept 9/11. At the time of the 9/11 attacks nobody had anything bad to say about them except 'they won't let us build our gas pipeline' (Trans-Afghanistan Pipeline). We used to quite like them and supplied them with arms in their fight against the Russians. Where did Osama get his arms training…. Hmmm. Yes that's right the CIA

That's why we had soooo much intelligence. But not enough of our own

This is why WikiLeaks is so important because people will re-write history to suit their needs.

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Intelligence

Afghanistan was the country (Governed by the Taliban) where Osama bin Laden was living during and after the 9 11 attacks. america demanded that the Taliban extradite bin Laden to face trial on charges of terrorism and the Taliban quite rightly asked "do you have any evidence that he has commited any crimes." They futher said that if we had any valid evidence they would extradite him. We of course had no evidence or at least refused to show it if it existed and thought it would be easier to invade and over throw the government. It was of course no more than an excuse to build a pipeline.

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WTF?

I love the US!

Let's sell the bad guys guns, then when they use the guns, we'll rush in like the cavalry and save the day from the "Axis of Evil" (tm)! Are people still being taken in by this utter tripe?

If the US hadn't armed half the flipping nutters in the world, then there would be no need for US troops to be sent half way round the world to have their brains blown out their country! Don't even get me started on how our "special relationship" got us an RSVP to Mr Bush's 'Suicide Dinner and Dance'!!

Classic Bill Hicks skit:

"Saddam was a an evil genius and we still don't know what weapons he has.". Why not check the receipt and shipping orders you printed when you sent the fluffing stuff to him?

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Black Helicopters

Media did complain about the Taliban, though.

I do remember that the Taliban regime over the country had pretty good coverage *before* 9/11, in fact I had been following the whole thing for at least a year before 9/11. The problem was that it seemed to be one of those things that nobody cared about, kinda like the Rwandan genocide. It took an idiot Osama for the world to put their eyes on Afghanistan.

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Headmaster

The real reason for the UK and the US to...

be in Afghanistan is to protect the Afghan people from the Chinese and to help them use their vast resources wisely. Whenever one is confused why is something happening, just ask yourself, where is the profit?

Here it is... just recently confirmed, I mean discovered. We didn't know anything about it before.

The United States has discovered nearly $1 trillion in untapped mineral deposits in Afghanistan, far beyond any previously known reserves and enough to fundamentally alter the Afghan economy and perhaps the Afghan war itself, according to senior American government officials.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/14/world/asia/14minerals.html

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Go

Forget re-writing history. Try reading history.

The Taliban came after, fought, and displaced, the Mujahideen. The people we armed to fight Russian invaders were Mujahideen. Taliban largely sat out that fight, or were too young.

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FAIL

Nothing bad to say ? Well, words are empty....

"At the time of the 9/11 attacks nobody had anything bad to say " about Afghanistan,

History and Fmr. President Clinton would disagree:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cruise_missile_strikes_on_Afghanistan_and_Sudan_(August_1998)

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Alien

They are actually...

...a Pakistani product (in the sense of, a tool partly controlled by Pakistani secret services). With Saudi Ideological input, AFAIK.

Of course they got good traction what with all the warlords that were cancering up whatever remained of Afghanistan.

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Grenade

RE:Coward

"How long should the US govt. allow this site to hold them hostage?"

and how long should the rest of the world allow US to hold them hostage?

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Flame

So...

'This material was available to every soldier and contractor in Afghanistan," he claimed, stretching the truth.'

This is not stretching the truth, it's a straight up lie. He is trying to cover for his disgraceful actions which will no doubt result in the deaths of individuals who have helped us in this war. He can come up with whatever excuses he likes, but he will have blood all over his hands soon enough. Maybe already. What a prick.

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FAIL

but he will have blood all over his hands

I think society should judge who has blood on their hands..and that is with all the information at our disposal. No the information they choose to share with us.

And from where I am sitting its Tony Blair, George Bush and the rest of those fuckers which took us to war for profit.... nothing else.

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Grenade

he will have blood all over his hands

More or less than the US Military?

So where are those civilian casualty figures?

How many 'Terrorists' under 12 have been killed?

How many 'Blue on Blue' incidents?

There is Enough Blood all around.

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Silver badge

One person may have some blood on his hands

How much blood do you suppose is on the hands of Blair and Bush for unnecessary, costly, unwarranted and unjustified "conflicts" (important: not a _war_, so those who lose a family member do not get the provisions offered by the state in case of wars). The death toll on both sides is how many? To achieve what, exactly? Oh, wait, you didn't actually believe the "shock and awe" marching in, sorting Iraq in two-odd weeks? So what WAS the plan? Easy oil? The American way of life is so screwed up that some oil is worth the lives of hundeds of their own servicemen? And don't forget, every "friendly fire" incident that is blown off, dismissed, or otherwise poo-pood by army officials (until it turns into a Big Incident) may well cause more deaths than Wikileaks. Or NATO. Specifically America complaining about a lack of European partnership in Afghanistan. Oh, jesus, I really in my innocence thought the point of NATO was to make a World War next to impossible for a member state will have the backing and protection of all the other member states - strength in numbers. I really wasn't aware that it was a quick and easy means to start a conflict and "oblige" member states to send free troops to act as additional cannon fodder. The concept of NATO has been hijacked.

Conflicts are ugly, and the politics behind them even more rancid. It's about time we all start asking questions instead of bleating on cue.

.

Personally I think Wikileaks is about taking this closeted bullshit and exposing it for public scrutiny. I just wish Assange, etc, would STFU. It's about the information, it is always about the information. Their egos and personalities mean nothing. It is the information. Nothing else.

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Megaphone

Waffle

I see a lot of waffle about blood on everybody elses hands...but not much refutement of the fact that this selfish arsehole's actions will have endangered the very people you all seem to think are worthy of staying alive.

Your rants don't change the fact:

People who have helped us (regardless of the justness of it) will be killed by people who hate us (regardless of the justness of it) as a direct result of this fucker's arrogance and self importance. Bleet away.

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Stop

'regardless' of the justness of it

as long as we are killing them and not them killing us.... then that's all right then.

What ever happened to wining the war of 'hearts and minds'

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Silver badge

deaths of patriots???

wikileaks would have to be proved guilty of involvement in the deaths of a few thousand of your patriots before they were even in the same league as bush et all.

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Coat

of only

there were clear human rigths violations... and who was guilty of them then?

fuck em

dont you get it yet WE are the bad guys in this situation.

If you murder civilians just out of spite, then fuck you you can have hesse's old room in Spandau for the next 50 or 60 years, it's what you deserve. cos you are just the same as them.

Mines the one with 'godwin' written on the back

Arrrgghhhhhh

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@PirateSlayer

Who "helped us". If you mean the troops in Afghanistan, how did they help you?

As for the people who "hate us" they do so because of wars like this, not despite them.

Or by "helped us" do you mean the Taliban who helped the US against the Ruskies? By "hate us" do you mean most of the world apart form the US who now think of it as a country that was run by a chimpanzee who tried to turn the population into "burger-eating war monkies"?

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@Cameron Colley

I am from the UK.

You might want to ask the Spanish, the Dutch, the British, the Russians and anybody else who has been executed for being gay, for being different, for committing adultary who "us" are. As far as I am concerned "us" includes you. You enjoy the freedoms of the west without respecting the need to defend it. You may also want to ask the people in Iraq an Afghanistan who just want to live normal lives but can't because ignorant religious zealots keep blowing themselves up in market places and mosques.

As for the people in Afghanistan who will now be killed by religious zealots thanks to this self obsessed arsehole, they helped me by making the world safer by eliminating breeding grounds and providing a focus for groups intent on killing themselves so they can get fucked in the afterlife by anybody but their own wivces. Your naivity speaks volumes.

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FAIL

Enough

Isn't it time to stop all this mindless rah-rah bullshit?

Making public governmental/military abuses/blunders is an integral and critical part of healthy democratic society.

Sorry to burst your flag-waving little bubble.

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@PirateSlayer

Funny, I don't recall the last time someone was executed in Spain, The Netherlands or the UK (not heard about it in Russia either but, then, might not make the news in the same way).

I've equally not heard of an Afghan missile capable of reaching any of those countries and killing large amounts of the population.

Iraq and Afghanistan have been messed up for years, probably due in part to US and UK funding of dictators and terrorist groups for their own ends.

Your naivety in believing that troops are there to in some way give people a better way of life also speaks volumes.

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No fail yet

Actually, the war in Iraq has produced such a situation (zealots blowing themselves, repression on women, etc.) ex novo. Instead of reducing Saddam to an administrative insignificance and so letting the iraqi live under a Westish regime, we westerners manage to destroy it and then let it rot in the worst mishandling of a postwar situation ever seen. How many dead up to now? 106.000? And it was all about furthering the "American Century" goals as the neocons were shamelessly boasting at the time.

One thing is defending human rights and so, another one is defending only our human rights and f*ck everyone else's.

About Afghanistan: the wikileak was all about uncovering the lies about the state of play and the reasoning behind past and current strategy, because it is really questionable and is producing deaths in both civilians and soldiers, and until now nobody had any means to know about it and steer things to saner courses of action. However one considers it, this is a triumph over a policy of undemocratic obscurity and lies.

If the disclosure produces allied civilians' deaths, of course it is reprehensible. Until now there seems to be no proof of that, so we'll see.

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Silver badge

So...

I read a few months ago that the USA military routinely shared intelligence data with private contractors, and that sometimes private contractors where in charge of maintaining the military computers.

The fact that such sensible data, including names and locations of spies was ever in the hands of a very junior intelligence officer seems to be coherent with that hypothesis.

If people dies due to this data being made public, I think that other hands -in the american military and intelligence communities- are more blooded than Mr.Assange's.

Making this stuff public may even have a positive effect, by forcing the Americans to remove those operatives from the field, because chances are that data has already been compromised before.

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Flame

wikileaks < blood_on_hands <= us_military

"I see a lot of waffle about blood on everybody elses hands ... but not much refutement of the fact that this selfish arsehole's actions will have endangered the very people you all seem to think are worthy of staying alive."

The people who are worthy of staying alive are the people we are supposed to be defending, yes?

These would be Afghan civilians, yes?

How peculiar then the documents published by wikileaks reveal quite a lot of civilian casualties, and that quite a lot of these civilian casualties aren't reported on because the military doesn't like to appear to be shooting the people it's supposed to be defending.

If, then, this 'selfish arsehole' prevents the US Military killing some people we are supposed to be defending (and defending with /our/ lives, not theirs, yes?) would that not mean we are slightly nearer to fulfilling our purpose in Afghanistan?

Addendum - four grammar-Nazi points:

1) The thing sheep do is 'bleat', not 'bleet';

2) There's no such thing as 'refutement' - I do believe the word you require would be 'refutation', or 'refute';

3) "elses" should contain an apostrophe: "else's" (in much the same manner as "arsehole's")

4) If you're going to get on your high horse and do a rant maybe consult a dictionary before posting. Nothing quite undermines one's argument as an inability to use the correct word and/or correct spelling.

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us sponsored zealots?

I guess you mean thos CIA sponsored zealots.. the same ones CIA et al sponsored to destabilize those very same countries?

People in afganistan will be killed by zealots because our governments created them in order to use them as pawns, don't get confused.

As for wikileaks being responsible.. well, they should have warned the us government.. I guess, but to write all those things down..

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ummmmm

Spain: 1975 for terrorism.

For being gay.. umm.. there was someone called Torquemada.. but no, they just burned "infidels" not gays.. it must have been some hundreds of years ago.

As for discrimination of gays, they are almost not discriminated (certainly, not by law) in Spain, but they are in the US.. so they are going to defend gay rights?

As for MY right, no being gay and liking freedom, I really don't see how they are defending me by killing these people and changing War chiefs by tyrants (the ancient/classical definition for our "democratic presidents" would be tyrant).

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@Silver Fox

Hey Silver. How would a dictionary aid me in my lack of grammar skill? You also forgot to capitalise 'Wikileaks' (I guess your OpenOffice spellchecker didn't pick it up).

I don't understand your condescending points after that either because you have failed present a cogent argument. Explain to me how releasing these documents about civilian deaths (which are always reported on, and normally covered by iraqbodycount) stops reprisals against intelligence sources casually and carelessly revealed by Wikileaks? Explain to me what justification this lazy arsehole can possibly have for not redacting the data about intelligence sources to prevent murder? That's right...he couldn't be arsed, now people will die. Explain to me how this is a victory for free speech and a victory for Wikileaks.

"Funny, I don't recall the last time someone was executed in Spain, The Netherlands or the UK (not heard about it in Russia either but, then, might not make the news in the same way)."

Amazing what short memories appeasers have. You must have missed all of that guff about state sponsored terrorism. I don't "recall" Ireland or Northern Ireland launching missiles against London (or indeed having the capacity to do so), yet elements in those two countries still managed to murder, assassinate and maim civilians, just as they now do from Afghanistan.

"Your naivety in believing that troops are there to in some way give people a better way of life also speaks volumes."

What speaks volumes is your denial that having centres which breed religious zealots who are intent on killing as many non Muslims in order to get the good life in heaven is a bad thing. Having the luxury of not living in one of these hell holes, I am guessing it's quite simple for you to think that trivial goals such as 'security' wouldn't give people an easier life.

Thanks again for the grammar points Fox and two spelling corrections and your gracious acknowledgement that I managed to get "arsehole's" correct.

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Nothing else? Really?

It's easy to blame leaders, but what about their constituencies? Sure, we can point at Bush and Blair and all those guys and say it was their fault, but somebody had to listen to them. Somebody had to watch Fox News and CNN and take all the ridiculous fearmongering about secret mobile nerve gas factories and whatnot seriously. Somebody had to be gullible enough to believe that, rather than a bunch of disconnected bands of angry peasants, armed with rusty old guns left over from the Cold War, who were angry about imperialism, we faced a ubiquitious, invisible, ridiculously sophisticiated and evil worldwide conspiracy that hated us for no good reason. A calm, rational mind that can't find any evidence of something usually concludes it's probably not there; a mind driven by fear and fashionable paranoia concludes that it's everywhere at once and that it's poised to destroy our civilization (or something). Millions had to be gullible enough to believe it.

The lesson of all this is that we should keep our heads on straight and not simply believe what we're told without sound evidence, especially when we are deciding whether or not to consent to acts of war. Unfortunately, the lesson most people will learn is that we voted for the wrong guy; they'll put all the blame on him and believe that everything would be better if we'd voted for somebody else. Presidents and prime ministers may have a lot of power, and it may only take a few people to start a war, but it takes millions to heed the call--and I don't just mean soldiers.

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