Monday, July 26, 2010

Wikileaks Has "Several Million" US Government Files

Those 92,000 documents Wikileaks released to American, British and German news organizations?   Just the teeniest tip of a enormous iceberg.   According to The Guardian, the Afghanistan war logs released to the media are just the start.

[Founder Julian] Assange volunteered that Wikileaks was in possession of several million files, which amounted to an untold history of American government activity around the world, disclosing numerous important and controversial activities. They were putting the finishing touches to an accessible version of the data which they were preparing to post immediately on the internet in order to pre-empt any attempt to censor it.

American authorities are fighting back:

Since the release of the Apache helicopter video, there has been some evidence of low-level attempts to smear Wikileaks. Online stories accuse Assange of spending Wikileaks money on expensive hotels (at a follow-up meeting in Stockholm, he slept on an office floor); of selling data to mainstream media (the subject of money was never mentioned); or charging for media interviews (also never mentioned).

Earlier this year, Wikileaks published a US military document which disclosed a plan to "destroy the centre of gravity" of Wikileaks by attacking its trustworthiness.

According to The Guardian, a key player in the leaks was a US Army intelligence analyst serving in Baghdad who went by the online name Bradass87.   It all began when Bradass87 contacted computer hacker Adrian Lamo.

For five days, Bradass87 opened his heart to Lamo. He described how his job gave him access to two secret networks: the Secret Internet Protocol Router Network, SIPRNET, which carries US diplomatic and military intelligence classified "secret"; and the Joint Worldwide Intelligence Communications System which uses a different security system to carry similar material classified up to "top secret". He said this had allowed him to see "incredible things, awful things … that belong in the public domain and not on some server stored in a dark room in Washington DC … almost criminal political backdealings … the non-PR version of world events and crises."

Bradass87 suggested that "someone I know intimately" had been downloading and compressing and encrypting all this data and uploading it to someone he identified as Julian Assange.

So it would seem that the Afghanistan logs could be just the beginning of a fascinating look into America's role in the world.   We may just get to see the American government for what it truly is, not what it pretends to be.

Bring it on.


JimBobby said...

Yes, indeed. Bring it on. And don't think for a minute that our own reputation won't be tarnished, too. We've been willing participants in the US's hegemony.

Our Minister Cannon is now decrying the leaks while saying little about the damning content of the documents other than the contradictory statements that: 1) the revelations will harm Canada's troops and 2) the documents have nothing to do with Canada.

Shooting the messenger is top priority. Facing up to a clumsily executed operation that cost billions of dollars, thousands of lives and compromised longstanding humanitarian norms and values is secondary.

I'm slightly baffled as to why there isn't a lot more chatter on Twitter and in the MSM on the War Logs. Granted, there's not a lot that we haven't strongly suspected before but these doc's confirm all of our worst fears. It's the story of the year, if not the decade, IMO.

LeDaro said...

"I'm slightly baffled as to why there isn't a lot more chatter on Twitter and in the MSM on the War Logs." I don't know about Twitter but MSM is owned by the big business who benefit from such wars. It is the poor who get screwed all the time.

The Mound of Sound said...

With this volume of material it's going to take a massive effort to really connect the dots as this story requires.

I've had cases involving several thousand documents but never anything approaching 92,000. That's a tough, tough job to make sense of that many shards of information. The relevance of some key documents may be obscure, even undetectable until other 'building blocks' are identified and assembled like an enormous jigsaw puzzle. Then suddenly what had seemed irrelevant becomes an essential key to understanding a particular narrative account.

Now imagine having to sort through, catalogue and collate "several millions" of such documents. Even with autofeed scanner/optical character readers and powerful computer software that's a chore beyond just about anyone save for a powerful government.

Once the documents are out, they're out, but I wouldn't be at all surprised to find the information mountain "mined" for gems for years to come. Like miners I think sleuths will pick up on veins of information that reveal a specific, perhaps even quite narrow, topic of interest and develop revelations from there, one at a time.

JB suggests it's the "story of the decade" but I think it's a story that will continue for a decade, perhaps more if those several million documents actually do flood the public domain.