back to article Pentagon: Wikileaks file-dump didn't reveal anything important

It was revealed over the weekend that in the judgement of US defence secretary Robert Gates, the much-hyped Wikileaks dump earlier this year of military files regarding the war in Afghanistan did not compromise "any sensitive intelligence sources and methods", though it had endangered the lives of US troops and Afghans …

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Anonymous Coward

one thing

One thing the records do tell us is that if the military turn around and go "ooo we don't know what was going on that day" they're probably lying seen as pretty much every element from the very mundane to the very interesting is documented in triplicate.

Of course over time they drip drop information to those who want to know (like courts and tribunals investigating the mass murder of innocent locals (I mean collateral damage))

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FAIL

America

Basically.

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Silver badge
WTF?

So if nothing important was revealed....

....what was all the fuss about???

Is US Gov realising that it does not, in fact, have global jursidiction?

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Anonymous Coward

To Lewis Page

What I found revolting (and I believe many others did) in that footage was not the fact that civilians were killed. Yes, it happens far too often, and whatever the kind of weapon used, and more with bigger bombs.

Rather it was that for the first time, I saw how much fun those pilots are having killing civilians. They certainly did not sound like doing a job in a cold, this-is-hard-but-we-have-to-do-it way. They were scoring in a game. Maybe they were pissed their buddies had been attacked, so they just got their steam out on the first available target?

But now, what if the B-2 pilots have the same attitude?

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Unhappy

I agree

When the Brits got attacked awhile ago and one soldier died, they were positively having fun, even though they saw the friendly identification marks.

After they got in radio contact with the guys on the ground, they realised that the game they were playing wasnt so fun any more.

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IT Angle

Heliocopter "event"

I watched most of the film from the heliocoptor. I did not come to the same conclusion as you did, however.

Before I get started I will let you in on my background so you will see I do not have any hidden agendas. I was in the US military for 2 years and 6 months. I got a early out, as there were too many military people in Germany. I was an E-5 (spec 5) and my job was a rather technical one (I was working on a IBM MF computer as a Systems Programmer). I liked the job but couldn't stand dealing with the military pin heads.

I watched the film and I was really not all that upset with the video. The area was a war zone (the locals knew it) When they decided to congregate outside in the small square (square might be too generous) the pilots saw this and in the group I believe they saw several people carrying rifles. No not everyone just say 5 or 6 or so. I did not do a freeze frame to actually count but that was the number that I saw. I assume (reasonably to) that the heliocoptor saw the same or possibly more it is not clear than anyone said a specific number. The copter fired into the group and also hit at least (maybe 2 houses) and some people.

To me it was a patrol copter doing their job. They did not hover and use people as targets firing thousands of bullets but sprayed the crowd. As to the attitude of the people in the copter it wasn't joy it wasn;t humor they were just doing their job. NOTHING that I saw/heard really indicated that people enjoyed the firing of the machine gun (sorry no idea of calibur) they fired and left they did not linger and keep shooting they just left. They was no indication that any of the people in the copter had done anything wrong. They were on patrol and they busted up a gathering of people with a machine gun.

I do not remember subsequent reports as to how many people were killed my mind says two or three it sure was no masacre. The whole incident to me was unfortunate but when you are in a war zone and there are large amount of people milling around something like this is going to happen. I suppose the people in the copter should have told teh crowd to disperse before firing but a language probelm does exist in this do unless there is a prerecorded message what are people supposed to do in a war zone? Wait for an interpreter ? Not likely. Should they have ignored the group despite seeing 5 or more rifles, ahhh no.

In a perfect world we would not have been in there in the first place. When war breaks out people die and in my opinion there should not have been a war going on in the first place. BUT if a war happens there are going to be casualties and sorry to say in this incident people died.

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FAIL

Adrian Lamo has perfect name

Of this whole sorid blown out of proportion tale Adrian Lamo is the biggest weasel. I guess the system scared his Mittnik wannabe butt enough to make him butt buddies with the man. Leaking sensitive data is a crime as is perjury and both deserve punishment but Adrian Lamo is basically the Linda Tripp of this whole sad affair.

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Go

War is about winning...

... so it is inevitable when soldiers on one side whoops it up when they finally hit something. Especially in a war that has lacked any long term engagements, but has been a series of skirmishes and booby traps. It is human nature to be glad to have finally done something. Heavy action for weeks at a time, would normally result in soldiers that would be a lot more somber, or perhaps just weary.

As far as the military claiming they don't know what was going on, in a given day, they still don't. Yes, they might have a zillion incident reports, but those are just reports written hours or sometimes days later. And that is just what the soldiers saw. How many combatants were really there? Those reports will never contain every relevant detail, because it is impossible to have complete situational awareness.

War really doesn't change. It is boring, dangerous for everyone, and even more dangerous when people get bored, because they get sloppy, or overzealous. And ultimately, when you kill people, it is a messy emotional business. But "Faill America"? No, that is just how war is. Your country would be the same if not worse at war.

BTW, the US military is in Afghanistan at the pleasure of the Afghanistan gov't. If the gov't asked them to leave, they would. It can't even be called a "war" anymore. The Afghanistan gov't ultimately will cook up some sort of power share deal with the Taliban, but the keep the US military around to keep pressure on the Taliban and various other warlords to come to a settlement.

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Anonymous Coward

Errata

"War is about winning"

War is about righting wrongs (although any given "wrong" may not actually be as such). I'm not sure at what point during "righting a wrong" you feel the need the whoop it up; I tend to feel a heavy heart from start to finish. There is never any reason to exult in the killing of people.

"As far as the military claiming they don't know what was going on, in a given day, they still don't. Yes, they might have a zillion incident reports, but those are just reports written hours or sometimes days later."

Unless the chain of command is broken (like so much is with your forces) information still flows upwards rather freely and quickly. Of course, command reserves the right to not hear most of this information and, when publicly caught out, it will pretend it was never told. This is called The Scapegoat. A beast that troubles every organisation. Do you suppose that your All American Heroes are somehow immune from this?

"BTW, the US military is in Afghanistan at the pleasure of the Afghanistan gov't."

You mistake inviting the bully to your birthday party (as it's better than a beating) for actually liking the bully.

Most of us don't like the US. Problem is, you have all the money, and our leaders have their eyes on that. Fail America for still not realising that.

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so what you are basically saying is that...

people in a battle situation behave in horrible ways: disgusting, hateful and shameful ways.

That's just the way war is.

I agree.

You wouldn't think that from an army recruiting video though.

Or a memorial service.

Or war films.

Or a battle report from an 'embedded reporter'.

Or any sentence containing the word 'Glory'.

War is basically shit.

It's helpful to be reminded of that from time to time, because it's glossed over in 98% of the media we see referring to war. I think most people have a picture in their heads of war that bears little relation to the reality.

Personally, I think they should show the tattered remains of the slain on the news of every person who dies in one of our 'elective' conflicts like Afghanistan or Iraq: even if that takes 10 minutes each night.

It would be horrible.

So horrible, that people would realise whatever we were killing for really wasn't worth it.

There's very little worth killing each other for.

Very little.

If you're going to fight: fight, but no country that has chosen this path should be able to claim ignorance about the consequences.

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Silver badge
WTF?

"The lady doth protest too much, methinks." (Shakespeare's Hamlet)

What ever the significance of the releases, Wikileaks has scored.

Never, EVER, forget the callous way in which US pilots murdered Reuters reporters as if they were hunting.

Bad enough friendly fire, cold bloodied murder takes the biscuit.

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