Leaked documents spill the Afghan beans
They said the huge cache of classified documents — including 250,000 diplomatic messages passed from US embassies around the world to Washington — was a fantasy, "boasting" by Pfc. Bradley Manning, the intelligence analyst who gave Wikileaks that video of US soldiers laughing and shouting "good shot!" as they mowed down Iraqi civilians. The "hi tech" media, especially Wired magazine, did everything they could do discredit and smear him, including spreading rumors about his alleged sexuality. Now, with the release of over 91,000 internal US government communications, intelligence analyses and incident reports via Wikileaks, the motive behind the determined effort to smear Manning and shut down Wikileaks is all too apparent.
The Guardian provides a helpful interactive map, in which you click on a location and read the "incident report." Of course, you're reading a selection of what the Guardian editors consider important, but it looks to me like their news judgment isn't bad at all, because the first one I clicked on was an intelligence report detailing meetings of the Taliban with Osama bin Laden in Quetta, Pakistan, and in villages on the border with Afghanistan. So, bin Laden is not only alive, but they know where he is. I guess when Hillary was hectoring the Pakistanis about the whereabouts of bin Laden, the subtext was: "If we know, then you must know, too!"
A good number of the incident reports are those that detail civilian casualties, which don't seem to have been reported by our own "embedded journalists": the title of this one, "Five in car, including toddler, machine-gunned by patrol," is typical of what the reader has in store. Here's another: "Special forces wound two, kill six, including young girl, plus donkey and chickens." There are hundreds of such reports, detailing slaughters both horrifying ("56 civilians killed in NATO bombing") and pathetic ("Practice shell kills child and 10 sheep, injures shepherd").
What's particularly bad, from the perspective of the Obama administration officials charged with selling this war to the American people, is the dramatic portrayal of the sheer chaos enveloping our military effort, such as this one, entitled "Border police high on opium' in shoot-out." Oh, and by the way, the Taliban is apparently armed with portable heat-seeking missiles — a fact the administration has been covering up.
July 27, 2010
Justin Raimondo [send him mail] is editorial director of Antiwar.com and is the author of An Enemy of the State: The Life of Murray N. Rothbard and Reclaiming the American Right: The Lost Legacy of the Conservative Movement.
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