Monday, July 26, 2010

Wikileaks Releases Classified Military Documents

Wikileaks released somewhere between 75 and 91,000 (sources vary) classified military documents under the name Afghan War Diary. The site has proven itself true to its name and has focused on the current Afghan war as of late. But though few are hailing the move, government officials are calling it "alarming" and "a criminal act."

Perhaps more interesting than Wikileaks' release of the documents is the revelation that at least three media outlets in three, different countries -- The New York Times, The Guardian, and Der Spiegel -- received the documents almost a month earlier. These outlets are now discussing the documents, but did not reveal them first. Regardless, everyone agrees that the documents reveal the war in Afghanistan is far more complicated, and "grimmer," than the American media and government has painted it.

Said government condemned the release of the documents, saying it endangers American troops and their partners. Wikileaks says the latest documents are over seven months old and the site is withholding some 15,000 documents to avoid endangering troops. At least one veteran agrees that "It's not intelligence."

The larger truth is that many Americans understand the government's need to classify intelligence, but almost none of us believe the government should hide information with the express intent of misleading us.

© C Harris Lynn, 2010

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