*UPDATE* WikiLeaks released nearly 400,000 documents on the 22nd of October which show that the United States failed to report some abuses by Iraqi soldiers on fellow Iraqis. The Pentagon described the documents as “terse and mundane” and reports from “low level officers.” Source: USA Today WikiLeaks *END UPDATE*
The Pentagon is bracing for the potential impact WikiLeaks could have on their secrecy; again. The U.S. military has created a 120 man team within the Pentagon to prepare for and do damage control on the impending release of some 400,000 classified documents by WikiLeaks.
These documents supposedly focus entirely on the U.S. military campaign in Iraq and is said to include battle activity and information on both combat casualties as well as civilian deaths. The Pentagon has been demanding the documents back to prevent any possible threats to our national security however we know WikiLeaks will publish it anyway. Pentagon spokesman Col Dave Lapan said the team was reviewing the files on the Iraq war to discover what the possible impact of the Wikileaks release could be. Col Lapan said the files were from an Iraq-based database that contained “significant acts, unit-level reporting, tactical reports, things of that nature”.
The Pentagon is unsure of when the files, which will dwarf the Afghan War Diary, will go viral but are said to be preparing for them as early as today. WikiLeaks’ website is currently down for maintenance which is probably code for “expanding our servers to prepare for 400,000 documents”. While WikiLeaks continues to display its power the United States isn’t sitting back and letting itself be bullied into a corner either.
Recent allegations by the WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, implicate the CIA in trying to tarnish his reputation by having him accused of rape which he is still under investigation for in Sweden. The United States also placed WikiLeaks on a few “watch lists” and subsequently eliminated some of their funding from sources like Paypal and Moneybookers. Australia followed suit as well and also eliminated their funding. There are even whispers coming from the dark corners of former officials and current “anonymous sources” saying WikiLeaks could have prevented 9/11. WikiLeaks may have started a smear campaign that it cannot win.
The United States military, within the last few days, went fully operational with U.S. Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM) which gives the military unprecedented access to the interwebs as well as the ability to wage cyber wars. Cyber Command is responsible for shielding all military and government computer networks as well as taking offensive actions. It may sound futuristic but it’s reality and I’m sure one of their main offensive goals is the destruction of WikiLeaks. No one is really sure how this new arm of the military works yet but it certainly has the potential to be quite scary.
In reality everything that WikiLeaks released turned out to be meaningless or information we already knew. Even the Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, said their previous leak had not revealed any “sensitive intelligence sources or methods”. We understand that war is in fact war and civilians will die and things will be hidden from the public eye. While WikiLeaks feels that they’re doing everything for the “greater good”, they’re actually just out to make a name for themselves. Who knows what the 400,000 documents will contain and who really cares? I glanced at their last release of 70,000 documents and it was just battle reports; nothing major. The Pentagon has to sweat bullets when WikiLeaks releases things because it could contain more “Collateral Murder” but in my opinion that was Private Manning’s first and last hurrah. When the war is all said and done the history books will chalk it up as another one of America’s hard fought battles and WikiLeaks will, hopefully, be a thing of the past.