WikiLeaks

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The recent classified info dump on WikiLeaks is a violation of the nation’s trust, but it is not a catastrophic indictment of the war effort.

Americans should be concerned that there are people who have high-level security clearances that disseminate information they are sworn to protect. Some have an axe to grind with the military, like this traitor, the very smart but traitorous  Army Intelligence Analyst, Bradley Manning, who gave WikiLeaks a Top Secret video of US helicopters attacking and killing a group of people, two of which were Reuters journalists.

Whomever released these files to WikiLeaks is either in desperate need of attention or has an anti-war agenda. Quite probably, the person needs to have a spotlight  on himself and justifies his actions with an anti-war meme.

That the recent leaks, from what is now known, are in any way “chilling” or devastating” is beyond laughable. Very little of what is not already widely known was released. People  are more offended by the details than by the actual content. It’s like the hamburgers and sausages we eat: We love the taste, just don’t show us film of the process for making them.

Most valuable information is called “Actionable Intelligence”. That is, intelligence which can be acted on immediately. For instance, let’s say that a credible source tells a Special Forces team on the ground in southern Afghanistan that Osama bin Laden in living in a hole two miles from their location, that they saw him not more than an hour ago and he’s supposed to be there for another day. That kind of information would bring immediate results should a SF A Team move and capture bin Laden. General intelligence, such as “IEDs are the primary weapon used by insurgents” does not give the US information that immediately impacts the war. A compromise in Actionable Intelligence is far more dangerous than compromised general intel. This compromise of an Israeli operation is an example of compromised Actionable Intel.

Information in the released files will be spun in every direction. Many people will be “horrified” by information that is rather banal. But, whatever some may say, it is an undisputed fact that the the files were leaked by people sworn to protect them from release. Those people operate under a cloak of anonymity. What they are doing is not brave, nor does it serve a greater good; most of the information leaked tells little. These people so entrusted, when and if they are found, should be prosecuted to the maximum extent of the law. Not only can’t they be trusted, but their hubris enabled them to believe they were more important than all the other people fighting this war.

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9 thoughts on “WikiLeaks

    Bill said:
    July 28, 2010 at 12:10 am

    If I could ask you something about the Clearance process. I have done a good bit of contracting for the DoD before and had to get a Secret Clearance. Suffice to say, it was really something I didn’t enjoy much. I’ll put it succinctly though…. I was a jackass in my younger life but by the time I was < 22, I didn't have much of an opportunity to do very much stupid stuff that could cost me a clearance. I'm assuming since Manning is 22 that he got his clearance prior to his current age.

    They have to factor in age to some extent don't they? I mean, by the time you're 40, you've went through a few ups and downs and had some curve balls thrown at you. The older you get, the more likely it is that you'll have a former acquaintance who'll trash you (just by virtue of numbers – even if 99.9% of hte people you know like you – you'll know more when you're 40 than when you're 20) or have went through a financial problem or whatever. On the flip side, you're likely to be much more mature and dependable.

    I'm just thinking if age isn't factored in, then it's a rigged game. I mean, if you applied when you're 18 you'd be a sure thing unless you were really a trouble maker – not b/c you are an angel but b/c you lived under your parents roof, cops might have cut you some slack b/c you're younger etc. I know there's exceptions to the rule but in general… Like Credit reports – when you're 18 you almost certainly don't have any negatives. But they hold that against you to an extent as well b/c there's no reference point showing what you're about. When you're 40, you might have say, two dings on your report but that's compared to 22 years of paying your bills so your credit will be great.

    I'm just thinking if you're inside the military, with say, an Analyst's access, you'd have all sorts of stuff at your fingertips as Manning seems to have proven. I'm just curious how he got that level of trust at such a young age – that seems the equivalent of getting the bank to give you a 2 million dollar mortgage. But I'm not in the military so that's why I'm asking 😉

    Amos Volante said:
    July 28, 2010 at 2:46 am

    Magus is busy, so I’ll clarify the faults of the SF86 (Questionairre for National Security Positions) which you must complete to apply for a Secret or TS clearance:

    No matter how much you vet any candidate (and there are extensive classes on this boring subject) you will still get a few who fail. The point is: No matter how much you have done, or have not done, we cannot predict what future actions you will take.

    I’ve been flawless in my career, but what if tomorrow I decided that I felt some irrational sympathy for my Arab brethren? Would I sell out secrets, or go shoot up the psych ward at my local Army base?

    Sure, you could say I wouldn’t, based on my background, by I’m human. Who knows what I might do?

    These intel analysts are young, and many begin to think about their buddies who went to college and lived the chick-chasing, pot smoking lib lifestyle, and they begin to think: That’s a valye system I should be a part of. What would be the best thing to do for that crowd in my current position? Then they choose.

    A 785 credit score, no criminal history, an Eagle Scout Badge, and 19 years at the same church, won’t change it.

    But it makes it a lot less likely.

    magus71 responded:
    July 28, 2010 at 5:08 am

    Bill,

    You’re absolutely correct in your assessment of the age bias. I don’t believe 18 year olds should have TS clearances. The funny thing is, many of them needed waivers for criminal behavior as teenagers and then they still get the TS. It’s stupid.

    I’d say there’s a massive bias toward you people in the military. That’s why the military has to go to civilian contractors, who have good resumes and age. The military doesn’t know what it’s getting with an 18 yr old recruit. It’s true that the young recruit may not have access to the same stuff that say, an E7 does, but he can see things that 99% of the population can’t, like Manning did. Manning was a shitty soldier who was smart–therefore his analyst position–had a clearance and knew a lot about computers. A bad mix. Low ethical standards, young (the two seem to go together) and high clearance level.

    kernunos said:
    July 29, 2010 at 2:04 am

    As a governmant contractor I don’t get waivers. We are held to a higher standard than Senators and cabinets members. How do you think my clearance would have gone if I had to explain how I killed a young girl in a river while drunk and fled the scene, or that I was a recruiter for the KKK?

    magus71 responded:
    July 29, 2010 at 5:01 am

    kernunos,

    It could have earned you a life-long spot as a democrat senator….

    Amos Volante said:
    July 29, 2010 at 1:59 pm

    I’d vote for ya! Sounds like an incident where forgiveness is appropriate anyway. As long as you’re on the left…

    Regarding TS clearance: I agree with The Mage.

    If your ass is 18, you can wait until you’re 21 for TS. I really doubt the Army would be hamstrung if kids straight out of high school couldn’t get a TS clearance.

    kernunos said:
    July 29, 2010 at 5:13 pm

    You shake the hand of an average 21 year old man and look him in the eye lately. Feels like I’m grabbing on to some wet toilet paper on the end of a coffee straw with the guy looking away. Too much online contact and no real human contact and even less values from these kids. This is about 7-9 out of ten that I come across.

    kernunos said:
    July 29, 2010 at 5:13 pm

    I’ll have to remember correct punctuation next time.

    Amos Volante said:
    July 29, 2010 at 6:13 pm

    That’s why the poor bastards have bad luck with the ladies, too.

    Like horseback riding: Being a man may fade as a skill.

    Then America will be screwed.

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