Monday, July 26, 2010

Wikileaks is no Ellsberg - Updated

I've been out all day so I'm just getting around to the Wikileaks story. From what I've seen so far, I just can't get that excited by what I've seen billed as "a bombshell." I have to agree with ProPublica, this is not the Pentagon Papers.
In terms of important disclosures, it's not even close, with the historical importance of today's documents [5] likely to be relatively minor, and that of the Pentagon Papers enormous. [...]

There are many reasons for the differences between these two troves of documents, but perhaps the most important is that today's documents provide a "ground-level" view of the war, while the Pentagon Papers offered a classic "top-down" perspective. Wars are fought on the ground, and the perspective such a view provides can be invaluable. But many of a war's key secrets, especially in political terms, are generated at the top.
All I've seen so far is about tactics and it's not like we don't know this stuff is happening all the time. Call me when they uncover some executive level secrets on policy.

Update: Daniel Ellsberg agrees with me: "However, the equivalent of the Pentagon Papers on Afghanistan – top secret papers relating to policy – had yet to be leaked, he said."

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Anonymous Diogenes said...

If the Wikileaks material is of no consequence or significance why is the White House claiming they pose 'very real threat' to US forces ?

11:06:00 PM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

That's the standard, knee-jerk reaction to any kind of opposition of any sort and being able to do that is one of the reasons we need wars.

For what it's worth, NBC's study yesterday shows nothing that could be construed as putting our troops in danger. The Bush administration of course is out of danger and never was in danger, having blanket immunity through being Republicans, but Obama will be left holding a small share of the guilt, but the entire bag of sh*t.

9:51:00 AM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Diogenes, if you had read the longer post you might have noticed the point is nothing here will create the circumstances to end the occupation. From what I've seen, this leak is kind of like the difference between reports that John Edwards had an affair and then someone posting his diary describing every minute detail of the actual sex acts. Doesn't really add anything new to the knowledge base but won't change the facts. All it does is play to purient curiousity.

Exactly right Fogg. It's not like this will lead to an indictment of the responsible parties. I actually saw an interview with the wikileak guy last night and he's talking about war crimes by the soldiers. WTF? Not seeing how that is much different from th wingnut MO of going after the least culpable individuals instead of striking at the people in charge.

10:09:00 AM  
Anonymous Diogenes said...

Daniel Ellsberg describes Afghan war logs as on a par with 'Pentagon Papers'

Google Ellsberg for Guardian article.

10:46:00 AM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Reading comprehension and following through the links for context is a wonderful thing. You should try it sometime. See my update.

11:52:00 AM  
Anonymous Diogenes said...

Are you always bitchy or is it just something about me you don't like? YOU are what gives blogs and blogging a bad name. Mean spirited rude bitch.

11:58:00 AM  

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