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 …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    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.

    1. BlueGreen

      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?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        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.

        1. TimeMaster T
          Megaphone

          Yeah...

          So says another AC.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          FAIL

          No facts?

          You mean apart from the published intelligence docs?

        3. Germanjulian
          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.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            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.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        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?

        1. BlueGreen

          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.

    2. HighlightAll
      Big Brother

      Harmony

      It's not just the Chinese...

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
        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."

  2. Anonymous Coward
    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.

    1. Jerome 2

      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.

    2. Eddy Ito Silver badge
      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.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      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.

      1. ertdfg

        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.

        1. Peter 48
          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.

    4. Doshu
      Big Brother

      How quaint

      Enjoy your soma, lewsor.

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

  3. Anonymous Coward
    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!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      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?! :)

      1. Notas Badoff
        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?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          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.

          1. Daniel B.
            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.

          2. Prof. William Waterman Sherman
            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.

            1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
              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.

          3. Escape Velocity
            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)

        2. Richard 126

          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.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      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?

    3. Seb123
      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

  4. Daniel Garcia 2
    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?

  5. PirateSlayer
    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.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      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.

      1. Captain Thyratron

        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.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      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.

    3. heyrick 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.

      1. PirateSlayer
        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.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          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'

        2. Naughtyhorse
          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

        3. Cameron Colley

          @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"?

          1. PirateSlayer
            FAIL

            @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.

            1. Cameron Colley

              @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.

            2. snafu

              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.

              1. Aitor 1 Silver badge

                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).

            3. Aitor 1 Silver badge

              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..

        4. Anonymous Coward
          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.

          1. PirateSlayer
            FAIL

            @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.

        5. Mike Richards Silver badge

          'refutement'???

          You *are* Sarah Palin and I claim my $5.

    4. Naughtyhorse

      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.

    5. Doshu
      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.

    6. This post has been deleted by its author

    7. Mephistro 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.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Surely this is the point

    "However, the material was classified only as Secret, so would be relatively widely available to security-cleared individuals. As far as we know none of them published it, though."

    Am I missing something, if it's classified as Secret then it should be treated as such. Wiki are not in a position to make that choice on this material. The fact that one person has put his colleagues and many others lives at risk is disgusting. A great deal on intelligence can be gathered by chatter which this number of documents provides, in addition to hard facts.

    If he did feel the need to betray his country and leak certain information then at least have the decency to make it non operational. If they want to make a point that some losses have been hidden then they should have specifically targeted information relating to that whilst also ensuring nothing to compromise security went out with it.

    1. kissingthecarpet
      Headmaster

      Which country?

      I believe Mr. Assange is an Australian citizen

      1. PirateSlayer
        Terminator

        @kissingthecarpet

        I believe the Australians are part of the effort in Afghanistan. Operation Slipper.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Yes, missing the point.

      @Am I missing something, if it's classified as Secret then it should be treated as such. Wiki are not in a position to make that choice on this material. The fact that one person has put his colleagues and many others lives at risk is disgusting

      So some bod in the army classifies something as "secret" and WE have to adhere to it despite the fact we all know they are a bunch of corrupt bastards who make these classifications to cover their own backs and NOT to protect sources. The wikileaks guy makes it quite clear that they have removed identifying information from these documents where they find the person could be compromised in some way.

      I do not beleive that the publication of these documents puts peoples lives at risk (the government, armed forces and special ops guys do a perfectly good job of this as it is) but instead embarrasses the intelligence gathering SOB's, sadistic torturing operatives and trigger happy 25 year olds who love nothing more than mowing down lightly armed ground guys from their heavily armed copters, all of whom are happy to do whatever they wish, contravening whatever laws they wish.

      Good on the guys at wikileaks - without them we are all just paranoid androids and conspiracy theorists but with them we have the evidence of what a shifty bunch of characters our so called protectors are.

      1. Ysean
        FAIL

        @Yes, missing the point.

        Do you REALLY REALLY believe that the people involved in wikileaks have the ability to properly vet the intelligence data they are receiving to make sure no individuals are harmed as a result of the illegal leak of data. Beside the fact that the face of Wikileaks is an arrogant b*st*rd that is as reality impaired as the people involved in wikipedia and the "web 2.0 will change the world for the better" crowd.

      2. ViagraFalls

        No lives at risk?

        "The wiki leaks guy makes it quite clear that they have removed identifying information from these documents...I do not believe the publication of these documents puts peoples lives at risk..."

        The thing is that they apparently did not remove all this identifying information from the documents before they published it. I absolutely am for exposing stuff being kept under wraps in order not to damage the military's reputation, and think that blatant abuse and/or misconduct ought to be made known.

        But FFS, if wikileaks somehow managed to expose even the name of a single source, they ARE putting peoples lives in danger, as Mullah Omar and his cronies will have no problems beheading more people.

    3. No. Really!?
      Big Brother

      Title

      :::Sigh:::

      The problem with American's world view is that the World is American.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Yes, you are missing the ability to think about someone else as if they were yourself.

      "Am I missing something, if it's classified as Secret then it should be treated as such."

      If someone killed your father by toting their machine-gun rather more extensively than the situation required; if that someone then attempted to dress up the killing by branding the circumstances a 'secret'; if that someone's superior furthermore decided it would be in 'the national interest' for this stuff to get buried away where no-one would find it; in those circumstances would you or would you not be of the opinion that this entire matter should just stay a secret and we'll all forget it ever happened?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Grenade

    insurance file....

    ...might not have anything to do with the current Afgnanistan files.

    If I were Wikileaks I would have kept back some of the information I'd recieved previously, some of the really juicy stuff, the use as INSURANCE/BLACKMAIL is case anything like this current situation happened. But it will in the end only lead to them getting in more trouble.

    I don't see why everyone is so shocked with these files and what our troops have done. War is war: you can dress it up how ever you want, but innocent people will die, international human rights laws will be broken and no government is going to tell it's public a damn thing about why it really happened.

    If it's endangering lives I agree the information should be kept classified/edited, otherwise I say let the western world accept the monster it has become, and finally try and change for the better.

  8. Blofeld's Cat

    The second oldest profession?

    "In war, truth is the first casualty."

    Aeschylus (525 BC - 456 BC)

  9. Blofeld's Cat
    Unhappy

    Insurance file

    The forms and other paperwork that make up my quote for car insurance probably come to about 1.4 GB.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    lives at risk

    maybe they should come home now then.

    1. DS 1

      Maybe they should come home now then

      Maybe they should. On the other hand, Wikileaks has made enormous noises about human rights. Thats why they have done this. It seems a regular piece of garbage claimed by leftists, communists, and socialists, who have an underlying hatred of the west, and the US - and will basically use anything and everything as a stick.

      A short stick.

      So, let us bask in the glorious idea that driving the west from these places is a terrific idea. And leaving millions to live under the horrors of the Taleban and their many friends is delicious. The ability to fly kites, girls to go to school, and men to not have their noses cut off for having a lack or incorrect length of beard, and women to not be covered in acid for minor issues, and other decident western ideas is over rated. Any and all of the above only brought back to people because of US/UK/NATO men and women willing to go to all lengths including dying for the ideas. Call me old fashioned, sometimes an idea is worth fighting for.

      In the meantime, yes, lets bask in the idea that wikileaks is promoting 'Human rights' - because off course, PR that forces the US and the West in general will lead to better human rights.

      Sarcasm off. I've grown exceptionally sick of this crap. The world is in a fight against 7th century barbarians, and its time it woke up to the reality. Coming home won't end it, and there are no human rights at all under its yolk.

      1. frank ly Silver badge

        Maybe.

        "..It seems a regular piece of garbage claimed by leftists, communists, and socialists,... "

        You forgot the gays and the Jews and the Gypsies.

        We had to destroy the village in order to save it. - Wise words.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        WTF?

        The issue is...

        How can you claim to love democracy and then use it to stamp your own ideas all over the world despite what the locals want?

        Frankly the whole world is pretty f*cked up but it really comes down to - What are we supposedly fighting for? If it's peace and democracy and mum's apple pie then we should be holding ourselves to the highest possible standards (and quite simply we're not). If it's to defend ourselves then that's fine too - but is invading someone else really in line with that vision? As far as I can tell, it's a mix of financial gain, political necessity and a few other things all rolled into one - Maybe I'm wrong but I haven't seen anything believable to the contrary yet.

        I'd be more convinced if "Terrorism" wasn't used as an excuse to get so many freedom restricting laws passed.

        One question: Why is the middle east any more in need of fixing than (say) South Africa or god knows how many other places?

        Frankly, I'm just sick of the lies, cover ups and cock ups - I wish we had some politicians with the balls to either say "this is what we're doing and why it's necessary" or "This is what it would cost to achieve - and we're not willing to pay that price"

        AC as I like my job and it requires a security clearance

        1. Dave Cradle

          @frank ly

          >> "..It seems a regular piece of garbage claimed by leftists, communists, and socialists,... "

          >> You forgot the gays and the Jews and the Gypsies.

          Just because someone doesn't hold the same political views as you doesn't make them a homophobe, an anti-semite or a racist.

          Typical leftie. :-)

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Flame

            @Typical leftie

            A fine point. Righties should also make an effort not to accuse those that don't agree with them of being a traitor, a terrorist, an antichrist, or a leftie. Or a lesbian left-handed eskimo midget albino.

      3. Kubla Cant Silver badge

        @DS 1

        "The world is in a fight against 7th century barbarians...". Yes, but you win that fight by not being 21st century barbarians.

        "...there are no human rights at all under its yolk." - A yolk is the yellow thing in the middle of an egg. I think you mean "yoke".

        1. Andus McCoatover

          @Kubla Kant

          Think he may have meant "joke". Whole bloody thing is a sick one.

      4. snafu

        No, maybe they should do things right instead of utterly wrong

        The question is: are we really doing that, really? And, if so, are we really doing it right? Because that's what the leak is about, really.

      5. ertdfg

        Wha the hunh?

        "Wikileaks has made enormous noises about human rights"

        Ok, so in the furtherance of human rights, they released the names of civilians who helped army troops; so those civilians can be tortured and killed by the terrorists?

        Clearly I don't understand what is good for human rights, and what is bad for human rights. Overthrowing a dictator = bad; torturing, butchering, and killing civilians = good. Yeah, I'm clearly confused.

        Wait, maybe I've got it. Anything that might help the US = bad, anything that harms the US = good regardless of people being killed in any situation... yeah, that covers it.

        Lets not call that "human rights" unless the only human right is to kill people out of hatred for America. If you're willing to have innocent civilians butchered to further your cause; I'm guessing your cause isn't "human rights"... it's furthering the butchering of various people for other goals.

      6. Captain Thyratron

        Wrong idea.

        People stop being barbarians when they realize there's a better way to live. If you think your country's a better way to live, why not let the barbarians figure that out, rather than meddle in theirs until they're convinced yours is dangerous and evil?

        Examples of things western intervention has caused or made worse:

        * The Islamic revolution in Iran, which would probably never have happened if American agents hadn't suppressed Iran's previous, more peaceful democratic revolution decades before to prop up a convenient monarch. (Funny how much we talk about spreading democracy these days.)

        * The regime of Saddam Hussein, which would not have been nearly so well-armed had western powers not armed him to the teeth so he'd do a better job of fighting Iran (see previous point).

        * Osama bin Laden, who first got the idea of hucking bombs at Americans when US soldiers were stationed on Saudi soil to fight off the army of a man we ourselves had armed (see previous point).

        * The Khmer Rouge, which would likely not have been nearly as popular if the US hadn't overthrown the government of Norodom Sihanouk and installed Lon Nol. (In fact, former members of the Khmer Rouge leadership have stated that American intervention in Cambodia was essential in their rise to power.)

        * In fact, what were we doing messing with Cambodia and Vietnam in the first place?

        And so on.

        A lot of the trouble we seem to get into with so-called barbarians is trouble we made in the first place. Maybe they'd stop blowing things up if we stopped giving them reasons.

    2. Daniel Wilkie

      IMHO

      It's the people who are "home" now that are the ones they have made the point about risk. The informants etc who have helped us in *insert whatever you want to call it here*.

      And from reading the whole article, it seems like the biggest part of the problem is that they HAVEN'T removed all the identification information, and are just blaming that on the military. Whom I guess made the assumption that by classifying said information as secret would mean that the information within would be protected.

      But then I'm not going to find many commentards agreeing with me I guess because it's much easier to blame it all on big brother and say the information should be free. Because you know, there was no terrorism before "The War on Terror" was there? So if we had left them too it we'd have no issues whatsoever.

      Muppets

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    cryptome on iq.org

    "31 July 2010 These essays on conspiracies by Julian Assange (me@iq.org) were retrieved today from his website iq.org."

    iq.org/conspiracies.pdf

    http://cryptome.org/0002/ja-conspiracies.pdf

    http://web.archive.org/web/20070129125831/iq.org/conspiracies.pdf

    Thanks to Jason Lewis for pointing to this in his Mail on Sunday report.

    http://www.mailonline.co.uk/news/article-1299311/FBI-question-WikiLeaks-mother-Welsh-home-Agent-interrogate-distressed-woman-search-sons-bedroom.html

    -- unquote -

    http://cryptome.org/0002/ja-conspiracies.pdf

    -------

    Curiously enough that site appears to be empty .. and the Mail on Sunday report don't actually link to the original site.

  12. EvilGav 1

    Or, of course . . .

    . . . the file could be the same FUD that the security services are spouting about the WikiLeaks published stuff anyway (lives at risk etc etc).

    Why go to the trouble of actually publishing something real, when it'd be easy to create a randomised document and then encrypt it. Security services will spend ages trying to hack it to find out what they have.

    reality could be that all WikiLeaks are doing is sowing the seeds of doubt in the security services.

    1. Lee Dowling Silver badge

      Pfft

      I'd be ultra-surprised if any military *bothered* to try to decrypt it, even if they believed it to be damning. If it's damning, they KNOW what it is, know who COULD have it and know who's likely to be the source. They wouldn't need to "verify" it at all.

      And wasting billions of CPU cycles just to say "Oh, yes, those are the classified files" (to yourself) is a bit pointless - if you suspect they are, you have to ASSUME they are, and work from that assumption. Note that this doesn't mean confirming they are authentic in a public forum under any circumstances - any military that did that is too stupid to manage its own PR team - confirmation or denial is as good as authenticating and thus "approving" the collection, content of, and dissemination of all that data publicly. Oh, and if they are, then they are now "compromised" so it pretty much doesn't matter if one person or a million saw them - thus you only have to worry about the consequences and methods of leak rather than the actual particular leak itself.

      If you know for sure they are not your files, well, it would be easy to call them on it, make them give you the key for verification purposes (there's no point paying a hostage-taker when you're not sure he *HAS* any hostages) and a 0.001 second decryption of the first few bytes with the key they give you to see if they do have something you didn't know they had. Or you could just ignore it and let them make a fool of themselves.

      The best thing for ANY military intelligence organisation to do is absolutely nothing until it becomes a militarily-important operation - and then you've nothing to lose by just blowing everyone away whether they're in a foreign country or not. If they are genuinely going to compromise your military, blowing them away is the best option no matter what kill-switches, colleagues, etc. they claim to have. If it's that big a problem, blow them away too. It's a military leak, not a kindergarten rumour.

      I don't think the US public would hate you at the moment if you were to say that he was threatening to release some much-more-sensitive information that would compromise military installations, special forces, "our boys' lives" and so you took him out. Even if it's against some law or constitution, there are countries willing to do your dirty work for you (isn't the UK special forces arm basically used for assassination of people that the US doesn't like because they have a law about doing that and we don't?).

      In all the movie plot threats, yes, the security services might try desperately to decrypt these files. More likely or not, they hardly know they exist until you try to publish something that's actually damaging to the military in a non-PR way (Does a military really care about PR? They kill people for a living!) - like operationally-important details - and then they just kill you. It's like the XKCD cartoon - do you spend years trying to decrypt ultimate mathematics, or do you just hit the bloke over the head until he gives you the password and/or takes the password with him to the grave?

      Hell, the US tortured foreign people, in foreign countries, totally against all its own laws and even allowed filming, photographs and non-classified, bog-standard, low-ranking Army personnel to do it. Do you really think they'd care a jot about just taking someone they consider an *actual* military threat (not a PR threat), torturing him using the same Special Forces personnel that could be put in danger by his actions, and then doing everything under the sun to him until he dies / tells what he knows?

      1. Mephistro Silver badge

        They should consider also the 'cons' before acting

        Killing a national of an allied country who lives in another allied country, a person with a big public profile, who has some popular support in your country and a bigger popular support in allied countries... Doesn't seem a good way of keeping one's allies. Or winning wars, for that matter.

        The day American constituents start questioning this war is the day the war is over, and the military are naturally afraid of any act that brings that day closer.

        It has happened before, and it will happen again.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Reality ?

    Its a good thing that reality is not like the films or these guys would have already been bagged by a black ops team from Langley

    Can't say I would miss them.

  14. envmod
    Alien

    A.L.F.

    aliens/not aliens.

  15. Parax
    Boffin

    Body Count.

    Yes those two words can add a little perspective. Whilst the US military wants us all to believe that wikileaks have put lives in danger, I would like you to think how many lives (and I am considering civilians only!) are in danger from the US military.

    Perspective. use it.

    1. Daniel Wilkie

      Well

      As far as I can make out, not really any more than are at risk from the taliban, iraqi insurgents, the various suicide bomb attacks that continually take place but everyone ignores all across Afghanistan/Iraq/Pakistan.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        hunch?

        Show us the numbers then please - or are you just making it up?

        Or is it OK, on a hunch, to invade sovereign nations and impose 'our kind' of freedoms?

        1. PirateSlayer
          FAIL

          F

          "Whilst the US military wants us all to believe that wikileaks have put lives in danger, I would like you to think how many lives (and I am considering civilians only!) are in danger from the US military.

          Perspective. use it."

          So...er...two wrongs make a right? Excellent logic! Brain. Use it.

          1. Parax

            Daniel Wilkie and PirateSlayer

            Wow two totally diametrically opposed replies... One espousing two wrongs And the other thinking I inferred it. well comon guys fight it out and make up your minds.. you cant both be right. infact you are both wrong.

            If I can quote from Admiral Mike Mullen's Statement: " the truth is they[wikileaks] might already have on their hands the blood of some young soldier or that of an Afghan family ". Where as I see it as some people ALREADY have on their hands the blood of some young soldier or that of an Afghan family. I'm sure you are capable of seeing the perspective, and understanding how small and insignificant the wikileaks issue really is. (I am neither espousing more or less action just lets focus on the large issues that have happened not a small (in perspective) issues that might.)

            @AC no hunch, US Military at least 5000 Direct casualties and counting, wikileaks ?? so far.

            http://www.lmgtfy.com/?q=wiki+civilian+casualties+Afghanistan&l=1

            1. PirateSlayer
              FAIL

              D

              So Parax, unless you are suggesting that the allied forces in Afghanistan are killing civilians on purpose (instead of taking every measure they can be expected to in a war zone), how does this information being released make anybody in Afghanistan any safer? I mean both civilians and soldiers here. Oh...you have no idea? Oh...its doesn't! Well. I am convinced it should have been casually released.

              So lets use your perspective argument. Take 5000 deaths and divide it by the number of troops in Afghanistan. Then take the arsehole at Wikileaks and divide it by a best case scenario of 1 death. I think you'll find that the actions of 1 man in Wikileaks will give you a 1, whereas the actions of the US army will give you less than 1. Therefore the arsehole at Wikileaks has more blood on his hands than the US army for causing civilian deaths! I know, it's a bit dodgy...but so is your specious argument that just because other people have more blood on their hands it somehow excuses the blood that this man probably has on his.

              1. Parax

                reD

                It doesn't make anyone safer, I have not claimed such. I have to stress that I am not trying to defend wikileaks, and if it were my choice I probably would not have published much of the material. However I am trying to highlight the stupid hypocrasy in Mike Mullen's Statement, where he attempts to 'spin' the story, to show wikileaks as being evil. in my opinion they have both done some wrong but so far the count is pretty much one sided. Pot, Kettle, I'll you choose which is which.

                As for your example, First, your best case for wikileaks is premature. Secondly, the figure used for the US military is DIRECT Deaths and I really dont think Wikileaks will score there. But if you want to compare I think you should look at the INDIRECT deaths for both sides. and from memory thats way over 30,000 civilians (excluding combatants) SO FAR, verses erm... none so lets wait on that one and put the prejudment back in tha can.

                Not that it matters, as has been stated, 'two wrongs dont make a right' and as someone once said, 'let him who is without sin cast the first stone' so the US military (voiced by Mike Mullen) should stfu.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Follow the money

    What wikileaks apparently desperately needs, is money. How do you get money? By stirring up enough publicity that enough people'll take the nagging hook and toss you some quarters.

    I think they were doing something interesting back before the "turn off the site for some funding drive thing", but then they started to get annoying, and now it's more fluff than substance. The main value you get is meta-value: Seeing how the media interaction works and noticing that the modern journo hack is more hack than journo. Didn't think various governments hadn't noticed that? Of course they have, they're professionals at this game. I think that mr. Assange and wikileaks are well on their way from blogosphere darlings to self-destructed has-beens.

    Which is both a first and quite sad, come to think of it. I'm not even talking about the relatively irrelevant bickering who's got theoretical blood on their hands--there's plenty of actual blood on many hands around already. If he goes down, their submission network vanishes even more than it apparently is already defunct. Someone whack the guy over the head and have him pull his stuff together.

  17. Danny 2 Silver badge

    In support of peace

    There are thousands of unprosecuted murders listed in these files, like the Poles who mortared a wedding party in 'retaliation' for a nearby IED. Even those of you who don't give a damn about Afghan civilians must acknowledge these create more insurgents and terrorists and therefore more Western deaths, what McChrystal called 'insurgent math'.. It is stupid to think that these informers are on our side or well motivated, often they have proven to be using ISAF forces to settle petty disputes, or simply for profit. If these leaks help end this bloody senseless war a single day earlier then they will have saved more lives than they risk.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Err...

      Accordinng to Radio 4 news, those Poles were shipped back to Poland and put on trial for what they did.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Fail

    Wikileaks is being very foolish.

    Can you say treason?

    Even the posting of a file in an attempt to make a veiled threat could be deemed actionable.

    When Wikileaks gets shut down, and the 'employees' tossed in jail, what do you think will happen?

    2 things. 1) No one will care or raise a meaningful protest. 2) Someone will have downloaded and copied the file (hint: some other entity outside of the US) and if/when the wikileaks founder publishes the key...

    Not a smart move on the part of wikileaks. But then again... their publishing what they did in the first place wasn't the smartest thing either.

    1. Cazzo Enorme

      Re: Fail

      "Wikileaks is being very foolish. Can you say treason?"

      Nope, you fail. Assange is an Australian citizen, and as such cannot commit treason even under American law.

      1. PirateSlayer
        Flame

        @Cazzo Enorme

        Really? So Australia has no treason laws? Australia is not part of the war in Afghanistan? You can see past the end of your nose?

        1. Noodle

          @PirateSlayer

          "Really? So Australia has no treason laws? Australia is not part of the war in Afghanistan? "

          Australia has treason laws - Section 80 of the Criminal Code defines it and I think the relevant section is:

          "A person commits an offence, called treason, if the person:

          ..

          (e) engages in conduct that assists by any means whatever, with intent to assist, an enemy:

          (i) at war with the Commonwealth, whether or not the existence of a state of war has been declared; and

          (ii) specified by Proclamation made for the purpose of this paragraph to be an enemy at war with the Commonwealth; or

          (f) engages in conduct that assists by any means whatever, with intent to assist:

          (i) another country; or

          (ii) an organisation;

          that is engaged in armed hostilities against the Australian Defence Force.

          The key phrase there is "with intent to assist" - it would have to be shown that the guys behind Wikileaks deliberately and intentionally published information for the purpose of assisting "the enemy". While you might argue that it was unwise to publish *some* of the information they have uploaded, I don't think it would stand up as treason.

        2. A J Stiles
          Headmaster

          Point missed

          Australia has treason laws, but they only cover acts that would be harmful to Australia or Great Britain. Acts that are harmful to the USA *wouldn't* be covered under Australian treason laws.

          That's kind of the point of treason; it's a crime against your *own* country. Not someone else's.

          1. PirateSlayer
            Flame

            D

            So endangering Australian forces in Afghanistan then. Aiding the enemy is aiding the enemy, no matter which country you do it in.

            1. Captain Thyratron

              You're really reaching, aren't you?

              Just a thought.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      WIN!

      "Even the posting of a file in an attempt to make a veiled threat could be deemed actionable."

      As could mowing down civilians then attempting to hide the evidence.

      Can you say "liars"?

  19. JaitcH
    Grenade

    More Apache videos?

    Perhaps Wikileaks has a few more videos shot by Apache pilots as they murder innocent reporters going about their lawful business.

    The U.S. military seems to have as many scruples as the Al Quaida.

    1. PirateSlayer
      Flame

      You

      You must have watched a different video. What I saw and heard were two pilots misidentfying insurgents armed with rocket launchers and killing them. A far cry from riding into a crowded market place on a motorbike with explosives strapped to your chest embedded with nails to kill and maime as many innocent civilians as possible.

      What was that about scruples? When was the last time a US Marine or other soldier actually targetted a crowded street PURELY for the purposes of murding innocent civilians...how many times has it happened? How many times have Al Quaida done it?

      Get a grip on reality. I am sure the pilots of those Apaches will have to deal with what they have done long after the war has ended. The cowardly suicide bombers won't have to deal with the consequences of their actions, not that they would care.

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
        Big Brother

        Paging Colonel Kurtz

        Implying that gunning down sand denizens a mile downrange from Apache attack helicopters piloted by stimmed-up kids with hormonal problems will save said sand denizens from being blown apart by suicide bombers on motorcycles.

        Yes, I perceive the logic.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        You say "Brave Troops", I say "Mindless Rednecks". Let's call the whole thing off.

        "You must have watched a different video. What I saw and heard were two pilots misidentfying insurgents armed with rocket launchers and killing them."

        Yes, apparently it was a different video. The one I saw had a couple of rednecks casually picking targets on a whim, rationalizing their choices with the minimum of concern and then slaughtering people in a street. Then they hung around and likewise slaughtered some more people because they dared to try to help the wounded.

        In short, the helicopter pilots appeared to be scum of exactly the same type as the suicide bombers, killing whoever they felt like in order to pursue a bankrupt political aim.

        You can prance about claiming that it was an accident, but the best that can be said is that the killers were only doing it because they want paid at the end of the month and would have equally happily killed real bad guys. Or you. Or me. Apathy is perhaps a step up from zealously, but I'm not convinced it makes much difference to the poor bastards on the ground.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Terminator

      Re: Military Scruples

      "The U.S. military seems to have as many scruples as the Al Quaida."

      Exactly. A database file of "persons of interest" has no scruples what-so-ever.

      Naming a database file of Dutch residents within UK borders as "Het Gegevensbestand" and then claiming "Het Gegevensbestand" is a new terrorist threat... Deja vu, n'est pas?

  20. frank ly Silver badge

    Delicious

    "I'm not sure why we would," Gates said. "You think he's going to tell us the truth?"

    He then asked, "What's this 'irony' stuff I keep hearing about?"

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Grenade

    Might as well have posted it in the clear.

    One would assume the Chinese military will have by now put their resources to work cracking the password. Anything detrimental to the US will be made public eventually, when it suits the Chinese.

    Not picking on them, any number of foreign governments are probably at work on this; I just think the Chinese will crack it first.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Headmaster

    Straw Glass and Bottle?

    Anybody have any idea if the "Straw Glass and Bottle" in the URL is relevant?

    The only thing I can come up with that references all 3 (excluding the bar-trick) is "Fiasco".

    For those that don't want to look it up it is the name given to the rounded bottomed glass bottles (from the same word source as flask, etc) that have strands of straw to enable them to stand up (as seen in your favourite Italian restaurant), and from which we get the word Fiasco - meaning a total balls-up (which is what the bottle design is).

    Anybody tried to download the file and test a few passwords?

  23. James Micallef Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Go Wikileaks!

    I'll bet that a huge percentage of classified documents are classified not to protect the grunts on the ground (who are considered by the chain of command to be cannon fodder anyway), but to protect the chain of command itself from public scrutiny. The secrecy is needed to perpetuate government programs and buereacracies, organisations that exist for no usueful purpose except to self-perpetuate their own BS, and all of it together a nice mechanism of contracts and jobs-for-the-boys that allows taxpayers' and shareholders' money to be funnelled into specific sets of pockets *legally*.

    Bottom line, governments and big companies want to know everything about private citizens (for uses that match their own agenda, not any public good) without revealing any of their own inner workings (and failings, inefficiencies etc). Knowledge is power, and us proles should be shifting that power balance back by keeping as much as possible of our own private lives private, and making as much as possible about supposedly public organisations public.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Black Helicopters

      Ask Gary McKinnon...

      No-one seems to have entertained the notion that it was already encrypted when WikiLeaks go it...

      If it was encrypted by the US Military then the password will be "password", "god", "admin" or "secret".

    2. Peter2 Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Do not pass go, do not collect £200

      Yes...

      And the documents that detail which civilians have given us assistance should be published on the internet (as wikileaks have just done) so the Taliban can carry out their stated policy of killing people that help western forces?

      I know these little facts are inconvenient, but occasionally I think a reality check is needed. it's worth remembering that people are paying with their lives in lethal Q&A sessions because this information was leaked. But I guess they don't matter because they aren't western born and college educated, right?

    3. Mephistro Silver badge

      Thanks, AC

      I googled for "Straw Glass and Bottle" and found many interesting things.

      1'4 GB is lots of data. It reeks of 'video' and 'audio' of the compromising variety. Most documents could be simply denied as fake, but video & audio is a different matter. It could be anything from recordings of torture sessions to videos depicting massacres of civilians. If it's a bluff it's a very clever one, cause that kind of data probably exists somewhere in the american systems.

      Of course we will probably never know the truth, cos both sides are interested in keeping it secret.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What difference does anything make anymore?

    1999 we had a Constitution, today we have a shredded Constitution we can't even tell when it applies or not. Today corporate news outlets feed us 24/7 with four day old news with political spin. There's no truth or accountability in the Executive, Judicial or Legislative anymore. Otherwise there would be a bunch of Senators impeached, banksters jailed, and the Constitution re-instated. but no we have a snooping, spying, data abusing, law ignoring, legal anarchy. We can't protest without handcuffs and mace, when we write our Senators they are apathetic. So what's the point anymore. It's okay to steal people's private data and abuse it but when the shoe is on the other foot. Asked me ten years ago, and I would say it's a crime, but ask me today, and because of the fact there's no oversight, I longer care. What the hell is so damn secret anyway? Are bullets, IDE's, rockets, and crap. It's not like it's the plans for an ECM system on our latest aircraft! Half these fucking state secrets are not secrets, but a way to hide crime, murder and theft. The day I will care about wikileaks exposing state secrets is the day the Senators are arrested for breaking their oaths of office, the Constitution is restored, the banksters are jailed, and all these BS money sucking wars are ended.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Just desserts...

    If the Gub'mint would be straight with us, we wouldn't feel the need for a Wikileaks-- but their credibility has tanked because they've shown us all too clearly that they can't be trusted. Nonexistent WMD, "mission accomplished," constant positive "spin" on how the wars are going, taking away many of the freedoms we are supposed to be fighting for (Patriot Act), illegally spying on citizens (AT&T) and then pardoning those involved-- Assange is doing a dirty job but one that needs to be done. The arrogance and paternalism of the US government has no bounds, but neither has its capacity to screw up or stomp on civil rights, and if it takes the most naked of transparency to make that clear, the risks are necessary-- the Nuremberg Defense is no more valid just because your superiors are in the US Government. We know that Big Brother is watching us, the only defense we may have is for little brother to watch back...

  26. Marketing Hack Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    enough of the hyperbole

    Afghanistan is a mess, and I always knew that attempts to turn it into the next Sussex or Rhode Island were bound to fail, however:

    1. There is no "Secret Intelligence" about how we got into Afghanistan. The Taliban were warned by the U.S. and other NATO powers before 9/11 that they would be held responsible for the actions of their Al-Qaeda guests. Al-Qaeda attacked the WTC, the U.S. demanded that the Taliban hand Al-Qaeda's leadership over or expel then. The Taliban didnt do that, and there is your war....

    2. The Taliban did not fight the Soviets in Afghanistan, and were never armed by the CIA. They were created in the 1990s after the Soviet invasion and CIA involvment were over. Numerous local tribal chieftains and warlords who had fought the Soviets adhered to the Taliban before 9/11 and some of them still do, but the Taliban were not around to fight the Soviets.

    3. Osama Bin Laden may or may not have received CIA training during the Soviet invasion, but he was definitely not trained to blow up American office buildings.

    4. Yes, in fact, the world did have significant problems with the Taliban before 9/11. Other than their association with Al Qaeda, the Taliban was being criticized internationally for their violence towards criminals and in their justice system. Also, women's rights and the Taliban's treatment of Afghanistan's cultural history were

    As for Wikileaks, I have no problem leaking information that helps the public understand the war, but leaking names and locations of anti-Taliban informants is just low....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Black Helicopters

      Actually..

      1. The US ordered the Taliban to turn over Osama Bin Laden. The Taliban agreed they would consider doing so, once the US made a formal extradition request. You know - like is required under international law. The US refused to do so as you cant make such a request without evidence and they had none. All the evidence relating to the people that carried out the September 11th attacks showed the attacks were planned in Germany and funded from Saudi Arabia and direct connections with Afghanistan were tenuous at best. What they did have though was massive international sympathy, which created a window of opportunity for them to invade Afghanistan without either Russia or China objecting.

      2. It is true - The Taliban did not fight the soviets. The force that fought the soviets was essentially a bunch of warlords, partially funded and armed by the US. Once the Russians withdrew they took control of the country, turning it into a lawless state. The corruption and petty feuding of the warlords created an environment where the people turned to religion as an escape and essentially put the Taliban in power. Some of these warlords are the same people that the US and Britain have now put back in power as our 'allies'.

      3. Yeah, funny how these things tend to bite us in the arse eh?

      4. Indeed - The Taliban's human rights record, particularly towards women was terrible.. But this invasion was never about freeing the people of Afghanistan from oppression. It's not about oil pipelines either.. Or even Al Qaeda really, although obviously they will take the opportunity to drive them out/kill them where they can. The objective here is simply that the US want/need bases in the region. That's the prize - An excuse to keep a few heavily armed US bases in the area.

      Take a look at the location on a map. They now have military bases on both sides of Iran and an excuse to keep more troops on China's border, not to mention within easy striking distance of the natural gas reserves in the former soviet states to the North. Make no mistake - when they talk about withdrawal they only mean of the invasion force. They will keep strongholds in the region for years to come as that was the real plan all along.

      That's what people need to understand about both Afghanistan and Iraq. It's just moves on a chessboard, nothing more.

  27. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge
    Joke

    Passphrase

    "Help, help! I'm being repressed!"

  28. JimC Silver badge

    I can't help thinking

    That the widely held attitude "we're the internet: we're above the law and immune to prosecution" is one that is liable to end in tears...

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    password is...

    ONION

    ;-)

  30. NoneSuch
    Alert

    Encrypted? Nawwwwwwwww....

    (AES 256 - From Wikipedia)

    "In cryptography, the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) is a symmetric-key encryption standard adopted by the U.S. government." "It became effective as a Federal government standard on May 26, 2002 after approval by the Secretary of Commerce." "AES is the first publicly accessible and open cipher approved by the NSA for top secret information."

    The NSA is unlikely to endorse anything it cannot read freely. You cannot read that file without the encryption key, but the NSA most certainly can. If Wikileaks truly wanted to protect it from the USGov, they would have used PGP or Twofish and drove them round the bend.

    Wikileaks WANTS the USGov to read that file. In the days of sail, that's called a shot across the bow.

    1. Stephen Tordoff

      Re: Encrypted? Nawwwwwwwww....

      > "The NSA is unlikely to endorse anything it cannot read freely. You cannot read that file without the encryption key, but the NSA most certainly can."

      Highly unlikely. Similar claims were made about DES when the NSA inexplicably (at the time) changed the S-Boxes (part of the encryption method). Many people believed that it was to weaken DES, but in reality it was to remove a weakness that the NSA knew about, but civilan researchers did not.

      The NSA have also approved AES for internal use, so I doubt that it is vunerable.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    What kind of volunteers?

    "Wikileaks will publish the remaining documents once they have been filtered by volunteers"

    I'll help filter it!

    -- Ozzy B. Laden

  32. Phil Hare 2
    WTF?

    Sorry? 1.4 GIGABYTES?

    Am I the only one who finds the sheer size of this file weird? The entire "Afghan War Diary" only runs to 75MB. What the hell could they have that would take up this much space?

    More importantly, what would they actually be insuring against? I mean really?

  33. ratfox Silver badge
    Happy

    password is...

    SWORDFISH

    It always is SWORDFISH.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    RE:.... Seriously ?

    "It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt." -- John Philpot Curran: Speech upon the Right of Election, 1790

    "But you must remember, my fellow-citizens, that eternal vigilance by the people is the price of liberty, and that you must pay the price if you wish to secure the blessing. It behooves you, therefore, to be watchful in your States as well as in the Federal Government." -- Andrew Jackson, Farewell Address, March 4, 1837

    "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." -- Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania (1759)

    It amazes me that a western political tradition based in these philosophical underpinnings could produce a society whose individuals scorn the truth, have no anchorage it their cultures own founding principles and willingly give up basic inalienable rights without even the smallest period of reflection.

    Ultimately over 60 years of meddling in Middle Eastern affairs whether it be to combat the largely illusory threat of communism or to further specific geo-political aims various powerful political factions in America have shaped the situation in the area. I see some here imply that that US involvement in the area has been light and cursory at best. This is of course to disregard American involvement in the destruction of the Democratic regime in Iran that precipitated a reign of oppression for the US sanctioned Shah. The people of Iran stripped of their freedom and disheartened with the Western philosophies of Socialism or Democracy turned to the old deciever, religion. From Iran, Egypt & Palestine spread the politically empowered religious fundamentalism we have today.

    Suicide bombers do not spring from the teeth of the Hydra. They are the physical embodiment of the response to the corruption of Western Liberal Ideals. We created them. We continue to create them. People are not born extreme and extreme ideals or violent hatred can be preached but if there is no physical evidence of such oppression from the west then such extremist ideas spouted by religious demagogues will usually fall on death ears as it does for the most part in our own countries. Imagine if you will the opposite, would not many in America turn to militant Christanity.

    9/11, Is the outcome of American actions in the Middle East. An outcome it itself had a hand in orchestrating. Our intervention has made the threat of terrorism greater by all accounts over the past decade. Our continued presence in Afghanistan and Iraq is a lose/lose situation. Leaving will result in the popular creation of two new Islamic states, staying however is to sanction the continuation growing resentment with no end in sight.

    Even if we accept the assertion that Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda are responsible is sending in a force of 60,000 men to capture 1 man a cogent tactic. I would argue that in every case of this kind small special ops cells would be the the most viable option. Quickly deployed easily concealed. Not 60,000 troops 3 months after the event.

    So if 60,000 troops was too much to take 1 man, It certainly was not enough to invade and successful govern Afghanistan. If peace, liberty and the propagation of democracy was the aim of these Invasions then they we're certainly not planned for. No this was not a war for Freedom and if it was it was conducted by imbeciles unwilling to follow the conventional principles of planning spurred on by extremist imperial ambitions masked by the veil of a democratic mandate which in itself is now widely understood to based on fraudulent voting statistics.

    There is only one way to be safe and that is to set an example that makes you unimpeachable on the one hand and have an almost universal international consensus in times of extreme danger on the other. A properly led and planned intervention by UN based force with millions of soldiers at their disposal with the best expertise from around the globe when there is no other choice I what was required.

    Instead we now live in a society less free than it was and rather than protecting us from the hatred and criticism of our detractors it has in fact only vindicated their initially unfounded and irrational hatred. It is we who have lost our way, we have allowed ourselves to become a legitimate target by forgetting the ideals on which we built and continue to try and build our own societies, the ideals of community or working to benefit each other, of having a safe and free society to live in governed by fair and equitable laws administered by the people for the people. In place of these ideal we have taken on the mantle of European avarice and empire, the 4th estate has become no more than the legitimiser of the corrupt governance and it is time like these that we need organisations like wikileaks to pull away the veil from our eyes.

    People have been using the angle of endangering lives in the publication of this sensitive data. The story in the establishment press moved from questioning why the truth is being actively hidden from the population to "How has the data leaked". The story is now about why the information out there and not "Why was this information not already out there". Ultimately it is not for the military and the Federal Government to decide when and where to go to war or how to best go about covering up the truth from the people. Yes I would have preferred people were not put at risk and as far as we are aware we do not know if they have been all we have is the official government line that people are endangered by this "leak". However the fault here clearly lies with Military and Government being honest with the people.

    Isn't treason usually an offence that carries the death sentence... maybe we should just stone them to death and prove the point that we are different from our hate filled enemy. People forget that our enemy is not just the suicide bomber it is also the politician who commits acts of terrorism on our name and it is high team we broke our own bonds of servitude and demand the truth and hold our politicians truly accountable unless history records as the enablers of the this mess.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Slow down, cowboy

      Not saying I disagree with you. Far from it. Note though that you're thinking in USAian terms and terminology that even in Europe would put you in a little box; it's likely counter-productive. And here your audience is indeed most likely European if not British. Besides, from discussions with others ("That's written for the European market" -- Californian dismissing a rather harsh critique of USoA policy, by an American, published in a British paper, as if that invalidates the points made), the discourse seems stratified such that using one "side" their terminology means the other side won't listen to you. Which in a supposedly open society built upon dissemination of ideas, is a bit of a pity.

      For me wikileaks was neither necessairy nor sufficient to show me what was going on. My highschool history books already quite clearly showed me the mess in latin america as well as the middle east; why presume the perps would stop there? To me, the fervor that drove these actions made me believe that American Ideals[tm] is more of a religion than a philosophy, at least for many of the fanbois. To the point that (ex) black-ops government officials believe they're working for the good of man, claiming they'll have to bail out "you the rest of the world, again", saving us from problems they themselves caused, even wilfully instigated.

      As for Europe, the spineless outbidding collaboration with the USoA makes me sick. The consistent and incessant selling out of European Citizens, to various but ever increasing degrees, even more so. Every freedom lost is a strategic win for the adversaries of our societies. And they're handily succeeding. "If you don't hand over your freedom, the terrorists have won!", indeed.

      Anyway, if our political systems were still somewhat functional I might write a stack of letters to our MEPs, and I might implore you to write your congress and senate critters too. For starters to wipe out every official who has gone on record lying, like, oh, all of the TSA for instance. As it stands, well, maybe those billionaires suddenly happy to give away their billions can be induced to support lobby groups that would, oh the irony, lobby for an end of bigcorp lobbying and bring back democracy as the various founders intended. And then buy back our freedom.

  35. ForthIsNotDead
    Unhappy

    Why?

    Why do people call it a war?

    It's not a war. For it to be a war, BOTH sides would have to be fighting.

    Both Iraq and Afghanistan are invasions.

    We think of the "Taleban" as terrorists. But of course, if you are a native Afghan, the coalition forces are the terrorists.

    Both sides are terrorists. Just depends which side you are on.

    Re Iraq: Everyone says what an evil bastard Saddam was. I'm sure it's true. But look what happened when he was removed. The entire country EXPLODED (or should that be imploded) in years of pent up tribal hatred. Just goes to show, you need a real bastard to keep the lid on these places. What the fuck do we know about it?

    Oh, and of course, we thought the sun shined out of Saddam's ass when he has fighting the Iranians, didn't we? However, when he objected to HALLIBURTON tapping IRAQI oil reservoirs using horizontal drilling techniques from across the border in Kuwait, he quite rightly got mighty pissed about it. His response was to invade Kuwait. America's response was to blow the most progressive Muslim country in the world back to the stone age. Suddenly he was the bad guy.

    It is said what an evil bastard he is. I think it must be true, because I have spoken to Iraqi's about it, and none of them have a good word to say about him. However, the following are facts:

    1) Iraq had a social security system for people out of work

    2) Mandatory education for girls

    3) Women can drive

    4) Not neccesary for women to cover up

    5) Women own their own businesses and employ others (including men)

    6) Lowest infant death stats of any Arab country except the UAE

    Now, he may have been a bastard, but so is Mugabe, and I don't see coalition forces beating a path through Africa to Zimbabwe, do you?

    And another thing. Is what we have replaced Saddam with any better than what they had? Now they have:

    1) No government 5 months after elections

    2) No oil exports at all (it's being held as 'payment' for getting rid of Saddam)

    3) No water

    4) Errant electricity

    5) Transport infratructure broken (no fuel)

    6) Breakdown of education system (children not being sent to school)

    7) Daily terrorist explosions

    8) Broken communications infrastructure

    Yeah, nice job "The West". Way to go. We came, we saw, we kicked some ass.

    Job done eh? Oh how they must love us. I mean, it's much better than what they had before, right?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Stop

      Give me a brake!

      Yes the west is stopping them having free elections, its the west that is preventing them fixing the broken infrastructure and it’s the west that's putting bombs in market places. It's all our fault we should just pull out and let the most murderous group take over.

      And Gerneraly these regimes should be left in place to do anything they like to their own people. The odd diplomatic resolution when something really bad happens will keep most of our people happy so long as we don't actually back the resolution up with any threats.

      It's not as if their people matter as much as ours, and its much better for them to live quietly under a murderous bunch of fascist thugs than it is to oppose them. If they are really quiet they might even get a treat now and then.

      You know when I come to think of it WW2 was a big mistake on our part, we had no business giving any guarantees to Poland. Their problems were none of our concern. The genocide of the Jews was just an internal German issue, and before we went bombing them the Germans had...

      1) A stable government.

      2) Plenty of exports.

      3) Good water, electricity and a really good transportation network.

      4) A great school system that taught them good national socialist values.

      5) Only a small number of state sponsored terrorist bombings.

      6) A great communications system run and monitored by the government.

      It took nearly 10 years for them to rebuild al because of the meddling Allies.

      Really when is it ever our responsiblity to do anything about how another country treats its people. In fact do we even have a responsibility to report it when smeone beats someone else up in the street? More violence might happen if we call in the police right? And that screaming going on next door, that not my problem.

      1. sT0rNG b4R3 duRiD

        Ah I get it...

        "You know when I come to think of it WW2 was a big mistake on our part, we had no business giving any guarantees to Poland. Their problems were none of our concern. The genocide of the Jews was just an internal German issue, and before we went bombing them the Germans had..."

        The West learnt, mate. They sold arms to Indonesia when they blatantly knew of the human rights issues in East Timor.

        How many people died because of that?

        As one other poster put, it's all chess moves. Innit?

  36. Andus McCoatover

    He sould just use the US standard defence...

    (My) Lai and deny.

    What's so hard about that? He'll only get 3 months' house arrest, once commuted by Obama, after all.

    Precedent, anyone?

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    Do you suppose this is related?

    http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2010/08/02/privacy/index.html

    Trying to threaten the US government that way seems a bit much even for Wikileaks, but I could imagine them doing it to a bunch of vigilante hackers much more easily.

  38. Lack of toast

    Rwanda etc etc

    To all those going on about what a great thing it was to go into Afghanistan on account of all the terrible things that were going on there prior to the coalition force's arrival, would you care to comment on:

    Why the UN pulled out of Rwanda, one of the worst genocides since the second world war.

    Why the Gaza Strip is conspicuously devoid of any "peace keeping" or "human rights enforcement" western troops.

    Why Australia gets to break various aspects of the geneva convention unhindered.

    Why the US continues to run guantanamo bay.

    Why Egypt is allowed to torture unhindered, and moreover why the US is allowed to outsource torture to Egypt.

    Why the UK and other countries continue to export anti-personnel weapons such as land mines.

    No one fights a war unless there are some spoils to justify the expense of being the victor.

    The financial crisis is tiny compared to the level of moral bankruptcy. No wonder the UN couldn't agree on joining in, these wars are nothing short of theft. That's a crime, apparently.

    As far as "democracy" goes. The US constitution states that the US can't wage war without it being agreed by Congress. The Korean "police action", otherwise known as a war, was the first contravening of this basic aspect of the US constitution. Not one US-lead war since has followed this aspect of the US constitution. What does that tell you about the US "democracy"?

    Of course, we shouldn't question any of this, on the grounds of "operational security" and "patriotism". It puts lives at risk, you see. Personally I resent having *my* life put at risk by the reckless actions of the country I was born in and those it affiliates itself with. Why do you think the UK is such a huge "terrorist" target? Its not hard to work out!

    Lets get the hell out of these wars - I don't mind paying more for oil based products if that's what it means.

  39. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    Think a little more...

    "...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! ..." AC

    Umm, true. But then, if there was no need for US troops to be sent half way round the world to kill lots of locals before a few have their brains blown out, what need would there be for the US Army?

    And if there was no need for the US Army, what need would there be for the giant weapons manufacturing sector? And a vast intelligence sector? And a huge security industry......

    And if there was no need for the various threat response sectors, it would be harder for some people get very rich. So, you see, it is very important that America keeps defending the free world against all threats, and that threats are manufactured whenever we run short of them.

    A lot of people in the various diplomatic centres round the world are currently looking very hard for a reliable enemy to take the place of the Eastern Bloc, and justify their existence. It looks to me like the Muslim world has been already been chosen.....

  40. Decoy

    Blackmail?

    Surely wikileaks is supposed to be waving the flag on openness of information for the good of all? Why make documents on the BP oilspill available? why post a video of civilian casualties of an American Helicopter attack?

    If ANY other website posted this stuff, we'd all be crying foul on sensationalism and irresponsibility and "news of the world style" shock tactics. We accepted it from wikileaks because we believe that it has a mandate to provide unbiased information. Most of us would subscribe to the view that knowledge is nto a bad thign and that , if anything, knowledge can help keep you safe and make the right decisions.

    thing is, if wikileaks has an "insurance" file, ie: information that the governement would prefer not to have made public then:

    A: its something that the public would be better off knowing and so wikileaks should publish it anyway, whether or not the government forces their hand or wikileaks is guilty of only providing selective truths.

    b: its something that they have held back before because it is unsafe for the public to know, in which case, releasing it because you are threatened is cowardly and shows a severe lack of morality, in which case we can hardly trust their moral stature to provide us with the truth at other times

    c: its a bluff, which smacks of "sensationalist stunt to pull in readers and make the headlines" to me

    d: Its nothing to do with anything other than some "dirty laundry" on US senators...in which case, they should have released it already as the voters have a right to know when they are being lied to....

    I, personally, like the IDEA of wikileaks. I'm not sure i'm liking the current practise....

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Boffin

    @Germanjulian

    Actually, wikileaks suffers from the same "fact" problem as wikipedia in that wikileaks never knows if the documents leaked to it are faked. In the case of these US Military documents, the US Military's cries are what legitimizes the documents, not the wikileaks folks examinations of them.

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Welcome

    Who claimed veracity anyway?

    @AC hence the change in release strategy. Papers provide some journalists to investigate the veracity and get a scoop for their efforts. WL gets profile and external validation of content in return. As has been pointed out, the reactions of the subject are the strongest validation.

    Remember that WL doesn't control the content they receive or what will be considered newsworthy. For years before this I took quiet enjoyment reading through random stuff like Scientology indoctrination documents and all sorts of other digital flotsam floating in on the WL tide. I've never seen it claimed to be anything but a drop box until mainstream media became involved.

    The big conundrum for WL is the "who watches the watchers?". If you don't trust WL and you don't trust the US government, just who do you trust? A worthy question no matter which way your inclinations lie.

  43. sT0rNG b4R3 duRiD

    Look to the enemy within

    This comment is perhaps out of context with the real issue at hand which is wikileaks but one wonders what all the hassle is with Afghanistan.

    Is this really helping stem Islamic terror and domination elsewhere?

    I ask this as an honest question. Is the price in blood worth it?

    I want to suggest an idea that in most countries, the enemy is actually within. It is insidious and ever present and ever growing, if the more vocal of these extremists are to be believed.

    What of this problem?

    And there ARE problems:

    Recently I flew internationally into an airport in the UK. Hint, it's the biggest one. I found it highly interesting that passport control took pictures. No fingerprints. Just the picture there now... biometric identity or so I was told... So they took pictures of 'women' (they could have been anyone) entering the country, who were 'masked' so effectively they would make a ninja proud. One would think fingerprints would have been better....

    Why all this 'biometric' picture taking and all this airport security anyway? it's all because some crazies took out some planes and a whole lot of innocent people, isn't it? Yet they appeared to me this one occassion to be skimping on checking the very likely demographic groups likely to perpetrate such a crazy act.

    Anyone else but me find this worrying?

    Note I do not believe all of Islam is this way, terrorists and extremists... there are good kind folk there, I say the above with due reticence but it has to be said.

    Let these extremists never get their demands, keep state and religion separate. Be careful what you allow and don't allow. Be tolerant, but don't be stupid.

    For the enemy is not just extremists (and to be fair they can be of any persuasion) BUT YOURSELF.

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    The case against Julian Asshat

    It would be nice if Wikileaks would simply publish the information without the oped around it. I used to be a donor but after they published the "Collateral Murder" site I stopped, I am smart enough to decide what I am seeing without someone telling me what to think thanks. The whole thing also makes me wonder what kind of bias exists in their publication selection process, do they ignore information about sources they like or do they act with impartiality. A year ago I would have said they probably acted with a fair degree with impartiality with regards to what they publish but I simply have no idea anymore. It would have been much nicer if wikileaks just published everything they get and Asshat started a separate site to deal with the opinion and social commentary bits.

    Also it seems like the foundation is becoming increasingly Asshat's personal travel agent, what value does the $50k a year in travel expenses offer the foundation?

    On the issue of prosecution, while they will probably write some new books to throw at Asshat it will be next to impossible to secure any form of conviction. Firstly it is not clear the US has jurisdiction in this case (not US national and not US site), he is a journalist so has first amendment protection and the nature of wikileaks means it would be impossible to show he had knowledge of the source of any information. The caveat to this is if a US national dies as the result of any information being released (and US gov can prove it), as he was stupid enough to state to the press he understands this may happen he has just effectively made the case for criminally negligent homicide. If he had said nothing on the subject it would be nigh on impossible to prove.

    Finally a couple of people have noted how absurd it is that a country founded by some of the greatest classically liberal thinkers of all time has been progressing down the road to fascism. There are a great number of organisations making headway to revert this including the http://www.freestateproject.org/.

    1. Charley 1
      FAIL

      You know,

      if it hadn't been for all the ad hominem attacks in your post, I might have read the whole thing.

  45. US Patriot
    Terminator

    One Word for Rendition Julian.

    Rendition.

  46. ertdfg

    Well of course

    When you're publishing classified documentation meant to get innocent civilians in Afghanistan killed by terrorists; some people might not approve. Having insurance then is necessary.

    I understand, anything to hurt America, even if innocent foreign civilians have to die to terrorists to make that happen... I get it. But some people don't think getting innocent foreign civilians killed is a good thing... you want to stop them from coming after you. You need insurance.

    I'm guessing it's the trigger for a bomb. I mean he's perfectly ok with people dying to further his causes (hurting America), and getting innocent civilians killed was the whole goal of his last release; so why not?

    Oh, for those who thought this guy was an anti-war pacifist; pacifists generally don't help terrorists target civilians. They're generally against killing on both sides. When you're against killing on one side and helping with the killing on the other side; that's called a participant on the side you're helping.

    He's not against the war, he's just on the other side.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Flame

      In other words

      Blatant parading of status as "US Patriot" == Ameritard.

  47. Charley 1
    Megaphone

    This article has been great bait

    judging by the number of new commenters who have signed up to post on it.

    Operation Megaphone anyone?

  48. Spider
    Unhappy

    Doesn't matter...

    ...what it was. When one man says to another, "I know what let's do today, let's play the war game."... everybody dies.

  49. tony trolle
    Grenade

    Rendition or ....

    movie plot.

    soldiers mates get killed cuz of website.

    soldier goes after dickhead.

    FBI have to decode file to find soldier (not to sure on this bit may get dropped in re-write)

    FBI have to save dickhead cuz the world would blame FBI/US if dickhead gets shot/killed.

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Checks and Balances

    So if the New York Times, Der Spiegel and The Guardian had advance access to all this material, did they venture an opinion on the balance between safety and public interest? They were locked in a bunker with this stuff for weeks before it was released. People are talking like one person just decided to release all of the material without a second thought.

    And yes, this release seems to have proved that you need grandiose op-ed to receive media coverage. None of the previous "here it is" releases have ever resulted in this level of coverage.

    1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge
      Grenade

      Re: Rendition or ....

      And the moral of the tale, tony trolle, avoid sick dickhead sites. They're full of crazed soldiers and the post traumatically distressed and dangerously disturbed in the abandoned veteran core rank and file.

      However it is also the feeder ground for Remarkable Rogues and Renegade Rebels on Top Drawer Secretive Manoeuvres which are Well Known in Remaining Unknown to All but a Few with ITs Needs and Feeds as Raw Passions to Server and BetaTest for Guarantee of Quantum Excellence. ...... which is QuITe a Sublime Guidance from an Artificial Intelligence System. ...... Colossal Turing Box. :-)

      A Gift for, or a Gift from, Bletchley Boffinry Biffing for Blighty . It there anyone who knows anyone who would be well enough qualified to declare even a speculative opinion on such a bold and rash claim with acres of backup material and fields of transparent evidence ......... Wwwicked Prime Raw Source ....... Immaculately Constructed Beta Meta Data ......... for Space Launching of AIR&dDs with ICBM Data Missives ........ Intelligence Dumps.

      And yes that is a Live BetaTest of Quantum Communications, for all to comment freely on, so that Further Tuning and Modification can Improve Vehicle and Team Performance.

  51. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Softly, Softly ....

    Be sure to download your Insurance Copy. IT is Valuable DaneGeld too.

  52. JaitcH
    Stop

    "You think he's going to tell us the truth?" - Robert Hates

    Although Gates commands respect from booth main US political parties, I would not trust any government, or agency, more than Assange.

    At least his heart is in the right place.

  53. asdf Silver badge
    Flame

    but God is an American

    Seriously though as an American I can say most of the idiot chick hawks on here flag waving do not speak for the majority of Americans. Most of us are not Fox News watching, Rush/Glenn Beck listening angry scared ignorant white males who are only comfortable with a strong leader to tell us what to do (ie, conservative Republicans). It is just the IT industry is full of them here and they complain the loudest. The get scared because they are the equivalent of house slaves that think they are a little better off than field slaves so they will fight to the death to defend their slavery.

  54. Sandtreader
    Happy

    Digital Fortress?

    What's the betting the pass-phrase is "3"?

  55. maniax

    Stuff that doesn't seem to be understood....

    ... is that the invading side had no idea what to do after the invasion. There are a lot of good books on this (it's plainly visible in Philip Gourevitch's "Standard operating procedure", the book about the Abu Ghraib prison). They expected that after they ousted Saddam or the Taliban, the country will come up and create a government, institutions - which is pretty much impossible for some people that have never had a tradition for something else than religious dictatorship.

    This is what these files show in the best possible way. This is what wikileaks is bringing to everyone's attention.

    As for Julian Assange being a traitor, an arrogant prick or whatever - I've met the guy. He's a techie. That's it - a normal, somewhat absent-minded (when it comes to some thing), introverted and devoted techie. He thinks that openness can make the world a better place and makes a system that tries to do that.

    Also, he seems to be pretty good at it. I say good luck to him :)

  56. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Is he wrong ..... with such thoughts .... for are they not right?

    "He thinks that openness can make the world a better place and makes a system that tries to do that."

    And the system and its systems work extremely well in Multiple Streams and Wild World Wide Webs.

    And that is in Cyber Security Operations, a Pioneering AI Frontier

  57. namelessphil
    Flame

    I just downloaded that file (by the time the key is released the file may have "vanished").

    The file modification date is Sat 1st Jan 2011; is that significant? Am I paranoid? Are Wikileaks feeling threatened? Who's threatening them? How devastating will Wikileaks' claiming on this insurance be? For whom?

  58. Anonymous Coward
    Boffin

    Wikileaks Dilemma

    Wikileaks has, and always will have, the moral dilemma that to be leaked "secret" documents, be they secrets of governments, corporations or individuals, someone in a position of trust had to violate that trust and release the documents to wikileaks. Which immediately means that no matter what the "higher goals" may be of the leaker or wikileaks, an immoral act of which wikileaks was the beneficiary had to take place. Which immediately gets one into an "ends justify the means" debate, of which good people may disagree.

  59. Matt Bradley

    Pete & Dud

    A highly pertinent little sketch right here:

    http://stabbers.truth.posiweb.net/stabbers/audio/disco/Peter_Cook_%2B_Goodbye_Again_%2B_06_%2B_War_Correspondent_%2B_wwwDOTstabbersDOTorg.mp3

  60. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    shoot the messenger

    You can debate the merits of the invasions until the cows come home.

    If the army wanted the files kept secret then they should have kept them secret.

    The persons who leaked it could have made the files available by numerous other means, but why bother when wikileaks already has the infrastructure.

  61. Spicy McMarsbar
    Thumb Up

    Password for the file

    "secret1" without the quotes

  62. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Insurance?

    I'm not sure that threatening to expose more secrets is really effective insurance if the people you need protection from are the military or intelligence/security services. This is essentially blackmailing people who routinely use violence to achieve their aims.

  63. Martin Nelson
    Black Helicopters

    70 years ago.....

    WikiLeaks and it's top bods would have faced firing squad for their actions.

    The big problem though is the pathetic nature of the US DoD. They have, for too long, failed to keep any meaningful information secret and what's even more embarassing for them is the fact that they fail to achieve sucessful prosecutions when they catch the people responsible.

    If this insurance file really does contain information the best people to crack it would be Russian intellegence or IT security organisations!

  64. This post has been deleted by its author

  65. jharek
    Grenade

    The Moral Ambguity of Liberals

    The Moral Ambuiguity of Liberals

    Posted Friday 6th August 2010 08:33 GMT

    I see some fools still harping on about 'illegal war' (contrary to the Genocide Act which compels signatories to act), 'war for oil' (all major contracts actually gone to Russia and China' , some mythical 'pipeline' in afghanistan??? i gave up on the left when they started saying 9-11 was an inside job , remember the efforts made by the 'truthers' , first it was a missile, then it was passenger plane firing a missile, then it was the whole building rigged with explosives, to add insult to injury they even marched in the streets 'troops out now' despite the civil war that would have occurred. While i encourage freedom of speech and transparency, wikileaks has been a little irresponsible & Assange's stance on this is not one of neutrality.

  66. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Insurance file

    The file is almost definitely the other video they received, which is the footage of the german airstrike on a stolen gas tanker. The tanker had been stolen by the taliban, and a village worth of people were running up to get free gas from it, and german ISAF command in the area decided they were all taliban and blew it away, probably killing at least a hundred civilians. They already said they had this video, they probably just haven't been able to get the cloud power to decrypt it like they did with the last vid (of the apache shooting journalists and civilian passerby)

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